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You fellas are absolutely right of course, as far as you go.

My question is this: Just because the neighbors have been pillaging and murdering each other for generations, does that mean we have to allow it to keep happening simply because it's in their house, or do we have the right to call the cops or form a posse?

I don't want to get involved, I don't want my sons to get involved, but I want to see the cavalry come to the rescue. I'd rather do it myself than see my kids have to do it, but that ain't in the cards, so it's up to the kids, directed by their elders, to do the risky part, as usual.

We are very well experienced in not lifting a finger because we don't care about people who are "different," or who may not care about us. The Holocaust is the a prominent example, among others. Is "Never Again!" merely a slogan, or does it rise to the dignity of a principle.

I'm not arguing that we should barge in wherever we see bad things happening, but sometimes circumstances warrant us thinking we can put a clamp on things. We may miscalculate, as we did in Vietnam. Too soon to tell about Yugoslavia but it isn't looking wonderful. Maybe we should try to exercise a little patience and let the war and the diplomacy develop to the point where maybe we can put a stop to the war and achieve a positive result that let's the Kosovars return under a peacekeeping force. Peacekeeping forces seem to be the way of the world these days. At home we call 'em the cops. So no one elected us the World Cop. But it's us and anyone we can get to join us, in this case eignteen other NATO nations. That ain't chopped liver.

U.S. military, or political, doctrine, mandates that we send in technology, i.e., artillery, bombs, and rockets, before we send in kids. I wouldn't prefer to reverse the doctrine.

I realize we have a problem with the idea that we're attacking a sovereign nation for what it's doing to its own people, but I think international law is just going to have to accommodate itself to the idea that when one portion of the population decides to eliminate another, to stand by and watch is tantamount to endorsing the practice. That's the position we adopted during the Holocaust; don't think we want to do that again. So here we are, damned if we do, and damned if we don't. I'd rather be damned trying with good intentions than standing by pretending nothing amiss is going on, or saying, "Ain't my problem." Am I my brother's keeper? Not if I can help it, but sometimes we can help it.

So, do we get condemned for trying? For not trying? Or for trying ineffectively? Take your choice.

-rs



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