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Pat Buchanan on Kosovo

In long term, Serbs & Kosovars & Albanians will resent US

For 78 days, US pilots flew thousands of missions against Serbia, destroying bridges, electrical grids, and, yes, even hospitals, schools and the occasional embassy. Yet, before launching his war, Clinton never received the authorization of Congress. But as a consequence of our triumph over Serbia, our young men and women are in Kosovo policing territory that has been violently contested for hundreds of years.

As of now, we do not know if US troops will end up fighting Serbs, or Kosovar Albanians, or first one, then the other. But it is a near certainty that the US will one day be forced to pull out of Kosovo, after having earned the lasting hatred of Serbs--a people who never harmed the US--and of the Albanians, whose aspirations will not be satisfied until the US helps to carve out an ethnically pure Greater Albania.

If 78 days of bombing could not eject Milosevic from power, how does forcing the people of Serbia to endure a brutal winter without fuel or heat advance our goal?

Source: Speech at conference, San Mateo, CA Mar 24, 2000

Balkan policy is a neo-imperialist failure

NATO, a defensive alliance, launched an offensive war against a nation that threatened no member of that alliance, dissipating its moral authority. Serbia is smashed. Montenegro and Macedonia are destabilized. Kosovo was purged first of Albanians, then of Serbs. And lies in ruins. US relations with China and Russia have been damaged. For what? So we and NATO could police in perpetuity a Balkan province that has not the remotest connection to US vital interests. Such are the fruits of neo-imperialism.
Source: Speech at conference, San Mateo, CA Mar 24, 2000

End sanctions that hurt innocent Serbs

Buchanan criticized “smashing” Serbia with a 78-day bombing campaign, and then denying Serbs heating oil & aid in removing the debris of war. “This immoral policy shames us as a people,” Buchanan said. “We are putting old men, women, and children under a sentence of death for failing to do what NATO itself could not do: overthrow Milosevic.” Better ways to punish rogue states, Buchanan said, include cutting off overseas assets of dictators, denying them loans & levying tariffs to deny them hard currency.
Source: NY Times, p. A22 Dec 17, 1999

Balkans: Let Europe police their own backyard

The Balkan wars that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia have lasted for nearly a decade, but until we attacked Belgrade in 1999, America remained unaffected. We have no vital interest in that blood-soaked peninsula to justify a permanent military presence. The Balkans are not our backyard; they are Europe’s backyard, and responsibility for policing the peninsula belongs to them, not us.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.385 Oct 9, 1999

We attacked Yugoslav territory without Congress’ approval

Before Clinton ordered air strikes on Yugoslavia in the early 1999, US forces had never fought in the Balkans. But today there are 8,000 US troops in Bosnia and a US occupation army in Kosovo. America engaged in acts of war against a nation that did not perpetrate any act of violence against the US or its allies. Clinton’s original ultimatum to Yugoslavia--to attack its troops and sovereign territory if it did not remove its forces from Kosovo--was made without the formal approval of Congress.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p. 29 Oct 9, 1999

Kosovo conflict is illegal and unconstitutional

Buchanan called the conflict over Kosovo “an illegal and unconstitutional war, launched without authorization by Congress. There is not now, and there never has been, any vital US interest in whose flag flies over Pristina to justify the loss of a single platoon of US Marines.”
Source: Associated Press Jun 18, 1999

Prefers “least-bad peace” patrolled by Europeans & locals

Rather than wading deeper into this bloodsoaked peninsula with “all means necessary” to win, what the US needs today in the Balkans is a least-bad peace, patrolled by Europeans, where Serbs rule Serbs, Croats rule Croats, and Albanians rule Albanians.
Source: “Issues: Disaster called Kosovo” Jun 5, 1999

Intervention causes the disaster we sought to avoid

When Mr. Clinton launched this misguided crusade, he claimed that if we did not intervene, the Balkans would be destabilized, the Kosovar Albanians would be victimized, and NATO’s credibility would be compromised. Our mindless intervention has produced precisely the disaster we sought to avoid. After weeks of bombing and billions of American tax dollars, a million Albanians have been displaced, Milosevic’s ground forces control all of Kosovo, and NATO is deeply divided.
Source: “Issues: Disaster called Kosovo” Jun 5, 1999

No vital US interests; no right of US attack

America has no vital national interest in whose flag flies over Kosovo’s capital, and no right to attack and kill Serbs fighting on their own soil to preserve the territorial integrity of their country.
Source: “Issues: Disaster called Kosovo” Jun 5, 1999

War in Yugoslavia is none of our business

Mr. Buchanan opposed from early on the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia. “We are now in a foreign war that’s none of our business.” Buchanan contended that his antiwar stance will be his definitive rallying cry.
Source: NY Times, p. A10, col. 1, “A Crowded Race” May 29, 1999

NATO should not be the air arm of the KLA

NATO was created to defend Western Europe against Soviet aggression, not to serve as the air arm of some highly suspect ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’ in its war of secession from the former Yugoslavia. What has Slobodan Milosevic done to the Albanians that Mr. Clinton’s ‘strategic partners’ in Beijing have not done to the Tibetans?
Source: Press release quoted on “Geraldo Rivera Show” May 6, 1999

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Kosovo.
  • Click here for a profile of Pat Buchanan.
  • Click here for IssueMatch responses by Pat Buchanan.
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