Editorial on Kosovo

Editorial on Kosovo
by ron provine


    We are bombing some poor slobs in Kosovo back to
the stone age and everybody in the Pentagon is busy
jacking off and making missile noises.  I know
something big is happening, they even interrupted
daytime television to have Pentagon spokespersons lie
to me (and my fellow Americans).

It isn't clear why we are bombing Kosovo. I don't think American companies make much money off of the region--it must be to satisfy some sort of big trading partner. Or take our minds off of selling nuke secrets to China. (I know Wag the Dog scenarios are old by now. But we *do* always seem to bomb the shit out of somebody during scandals and elections....)
The official reason is that 'We cannot allow the oppression, genocide and obliteration being perpetrated by the Serbs.' Sure. I will believe we give enough of a fuck about oppression to try and stop it by bombing the day bombs rain down on Georgetown and Martha's Vineyard and Kennebunkport and Trafalgar Square and all the other places the American and English industrialists live.
So why do I care about the bombing anyway? Well first of all, people are going to die. Americans are going to die, and I don't like when Americans die for no reason. Call me a patriot.
But I'm not an altruist entirely. See, we have said that the bombing will continue until 'the Serbs give up or we have damaged them enough they can't continue their campaign of terror'. Well, everybody in the world who *didn't* go to Harvard and *doesn't* work as one of the policy geniuses at the pentagon knows perfectly well that the Serbs will not give up and that you can't do enough damage just by bombing to cripple a campaign of terror. It's been what, seven years now and Iraq is still as evil as ever. We bomb the shit out of them sometimes, when we don't have anybody else to bomb.
Which means, a ground war. Or, excuse me, 'ground strikes'. We won't call it a war...it's a multinational peacekeeping extravaganza. All we need is a Phish coverband and a few kegs of Natty Lite in fact and it could be a frat party.
So why do I care? The draft. Most males over the age of 18 are 'registered with the Selective Service'. That means 'draft eligible'. Oh, you say, but we don't need any *troops*. We have lots and lots and lots of troops.
Sure we do. But after we suffer our first wave of heavy casualties, when the volunteering surge has died down, do you think the generals are gonna look around and say 'Oh sure we have enough boys here. Who needs more troops?'? Yeah, I doubt it too. They need more troops. And all the slick ad campaigns showing people jogging and playing computer games in the world won't lead to much volunteering when the pictures of Americans shot up and exposed to mustard gas (yeah, it's against the Geneva convention--and I hear Milesovic has whole bunkers of it) first air on Nightly News.
So...what does it take to bring back the draft? An act of Congress. Oh yeah and guess who is represented well in Congress...well let's see. People over 50 are an important voting block. And then there are people in their late thirties to late forties they vote a lot and contribute to campaigns...and all of these people are too old for a draft. Oh, and they think that going off to war is just the thing to instill a little discipline into kids today.
Hold on, you are saying, these are the *hippies*. They were *all about* fighting against Vietnam. Yeah, sure. And when your mommy was named Raindrop and living off her parents and when your daddy was growing shrooms and getting student deferments would they have owned a Lexus? Or lived in a suburb? Or golfed? Idealism is alive, sure it is. The hippies didn't sell out their movement the day the war ended and Wall Street came calling.
Maybe you're a rich kid and you won't have to go off to a war anyway. Rich kids never do. The solidly middle class can probably avoid it too. The rest of us are expendable if the draft comes back.
Let me say this for the record. I am a pacifist. I abhor violence. It is cruel, it is a violation of the most basic laws of nature. Using violence to bring about peace is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of. But if the government puts a rifle in my hand and teaches me to kill, to fight oppression over there in Kosovo, I can't promise that if I return home, I won't continue to fight against oppression with those same skills they taught me in Martha's Vineyard and Kennebunkport and Georgetown and Lake Forest and a few other places.
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