Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only shake you down once a year, but when we do we really mean it. It costs a lot to keep the site afloat, and our growing audience, well over TWO million unique viewers a month, eats up a lot of bandwidth — and bandwidth isn’t free. We aren’t supported by corporate donors, advertisers or big foundations. We survive solely on your support.
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:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 29, 2016
Robert Fisk
The Butcher of Qana: Shimon Peres Was No Peacemaker
James Rose
Politics in the Echo Chamber: How Trump Becomes President
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Vice Grip on the Presidential Debates
Daniel Kato
Rethinking the Race over Race: What Clinton Should do Now About ‘Super-Predators’
Peter Certo
Clinton’s Awkward Stumbles on Trade
Fran Shor
Demonizing the Green Party Vote
Rev. William Alberts
Trump’s Road Rage to the White House
Luke O'Brien
Because We Couldn’t Have Sanders, You’ll Get Trump
Michael J. Sainato
How the Payday Loan Industry is Obstructing Reform
Robert Fantina
You Can’t Have War Without Racism
Gregory Barrett
Bad Theater at the United Nations (Starring Kerry, Power, and Obama
James A Haught
The Long, Long Journey to Female Equality
Thomas Knapp
US Military Aid: Thai-ed to Torture
Jack Smith
Must They be Enemies? Russia, Putin and the US
Gilbert Mercier
Clinton vs Trump: Lesser of Two Evils or the Devil You Know
Tom H. Hastings
Manifesting the Worst Old Norms
George Ella Lyons
This Just in From Rancho Politico
September 28, 2016
Eric Draitser
Stop Trump! Stop Clinton!! Stop the Madness (and Let Me Get Off)!
Ted Rall
The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate
Robert Fisk
Cliché and Banality at the Debates: Trump and Clinton on the Middle East
Patrick Cockburn
Cracks in the Kingdom: Saudi Arabia Rocked by Financial Strains
Lowell Flanders
Donald Trump, Islamophobia and Immigrants
Shane Burley
Defining the Alt Right and the New American Fascism
Jan Oberg
Ukraine as the Border of NATO Expansion
Ramzy Baroud
Ban Ki-Moon’s Legacy in Palestine: Failure in Words and Deeds
Gareth Porter
How We Could End the Permanent War State
Sam Husseini
Debate Night’s Biggest Lie Was Told by Lester Holt
Laura Carlsen
Ayotzinapa’s Message to the World: Organize!
Binoy Kampmark
The Triumph of Momentum: Re-Electing Jeremy Corbyn
David Macaray
When the Saints Go Marching In
Seth Oelbaum
All Black Lives Will Never Matter for Clinton and Trump
Adam Parsons
Standing in Solidarity for a Humanity Without Borders
Cesar Chelala
The Trump Bubble
September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]