FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Warhawks at 501 North Calvert Street

by Bill Hughes

 

Last week, I was standing in the checkout line at Eddie’s Market in Charles Village. I noticed a legal size pad lying next to the front window, with a long list of signatures on it. So, I picked it up. The paper was entitled, “Petition.” It was a earnest plea by the local citizens to the City Council to find the money to reopen a local Enoch Pratt Free Library branch. It had been closed because of lack of public funding.

On the corner, as I headed homeward, I couldn’t help but stare at the banner newspaper headlines in a long row of boxes. They told of the continuing carnage in the Balkans and of the U.S. role in it. The experts say this war may cost more than $100 billion to win, and that American troops might be in the Balkans for “another 30 years” to keep the peace.

What a contrast! Baltimoreans are rightly upset that a library branch has been shut down for fiscal reasons. But, where is their outrage over an undeclared military conflict, that is killing innocent civilians, aggravating a monumental “ethnic cleansing” problem, and sending our tax dollars to evaporate in an orgy of black smoke in the Balkans?

Congress has not declared war on Yugoslavia, a sovereign nation. Nor does the civil war there pose a threat to our national interest. Yet, Bill Clinton, and Madeleine “The Mad Bomber” Albright, have targeted Serbia for a trip back to the Stone Age. It was Albright’s State Department that in 1998, listed the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a separatist movement, as a “terrorist organization.” The KLA is suspected of bankrolling its operations from proceeds from the international heroin trade. Now Albright, because of politics, wants to arm them.

How does Clinton and his gang, get away with such patently unlawful conduct? What explanation is there for the gross indifference of so many citizens, including the clergy, to this situation? Well, it sure helps to have on your side a complicit press, such as The Baltimore Sun.

Since U.S. bombs first began falling on Yugoslavia, The Sun has utilized all its editorial muscle aiding and abetting Clinton’s amoral and reckless military intervention. The propaganda coming from the computer desktops of the warhawks at 501 N. Calvert Street has been non-stop, despite the fact there isn’t any legal basis for such an aggressive attack.

Humanitarian concerns for the refugees doesn’t cut it. Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-WI), put it best when he said, “I’m really perplexed how genocide and tragedy of this proportion requires our action, but do not require our action in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Sudan and East Timor.”

Also, just imagine the outcry, if during our civil war, Great Britain would have invaded the North to “punish” Abraham Lincoln for his militant defense of the Union. Kosovo is a part of Yugoslavia and Belgrade has every right to defend its national borders. This does not excuse the excesses of Slobodan Milosevic, but he’s Europe’s problem, not America’s. However, none of these arguments have penetrated the skulls of The Sun’s geopolitically-impaired warhawks.

On April 28, the House of Representatives voted against funding ground troops in the conflict. To their credit, Baltimore’s Rep. Ben Cardin (D-3rd) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-7th) have demanded Clinton get their approval before making that kind of military commitment. Cardin said, “I have serious concerns about ground troops. If the president believes it is necessary to use ground troops, I believe he must come to the Congress in compliance with the War Powers Resolution.” The House also, on April 28, voted by a 472-2 margin “against declaring war.”

The Sun responded on April 30, by mocking the independence and integrity of the House members and barking that it “gets a failing grade.” The warhawks claimed the lawmakers are, “not coming to grips with the problem, merely pointing blame in a contradictory manner.”

The Sun also let loose its cartoonist Mike Lane, to ridicule the congressmen. He portrayed the courageous vote of House members, like Cardin and Cummings, as giving a “comfort basket” to Milosevic. If anyone is waiting for Lane to criticize the drug running KLA, in the same vicious guilt-by-association manner, don’t hold your breath.

I hope The Sun’s warhawks don’t prevail on this issue. Americans don’t deserve to again witness their fallen heroes returning to the Dover, Delaware Air Force base in body bags. One Vietnam is one too many.

As the great Martin Luther King once said, “Spirit of God, forgive our pride in being so well adjusted to life that we fail to be malajusted to the tragic effects of physical violence and to tragic militarism.”

Finally, Baltimoreans are entitled to a free and vibrant public library system, without petitioning to higher powers. Let the brass at the Pentagon, for a change, go the solicitation route to get its funding.

(Originally published in The Baltimore Press, May 5, 1999.)

?

Bill Hughes is the author of Baltimore Iconoclast

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
David Yearsley
Manchester-by-the-Sea and the Present Catastrophe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail