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Baby Boomers/Baby Bombers

Our baby boom leaders have become baby bombers as Clinton and Blair attempt to emulate Roosevelt and Churchill by militarily destroying Milosevic's Yugoslavia like their World War II heroes destroyed Hitler's Germany. By spinning the specter of another Hitler in Belgrade, Clinton, Blair and their NATO spokesmen try to justify the almost daily accounts of civilian deaths in Yugoslavia as NATO bombs strike hospitals, nursing homes, bridges and residential areas killing innocent men, women, children and even small babies. These Vietnam peaceniks who opposed the "unjust war" in Southeast Asia when they were young men eligible for military duty are now the warhawks who have found a "just war" to send their nation's young warriors to fight.

With his high-pitched, tenor-in-the-choir voice, Blair's attempt at being Churchillian comes across more like a chiding chihuahua than a bellowing bulldog. Reviving the lost legacy of legendary Brit bravery that served an Empire upon which the sun never set, Blair calls for an all-out ground war by the NATO colossus against the small nation of Yugoslavia. Leading the Yanks in what has become America's Century since the demise of the British Empire is the ever poll-conscious Clinton, who is becoming less certain of his "Rooseveltian" war leadership legacy as his approval ratings plunge and 82% of the US people now favor a bombing halt and a negotiated peace. (CNN/USA Today)

Meanwhile, some of the other "third way," center-left leaders of NATO countries are suffering the political consequences of this increasingly unpopular Anglo-American led war. Wim Kok has been forced to step down as Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Massimo D'Alema, the Italian Prime Minister, is pressing for a bombing halt and a negotiated peace due to strong domestic opposition. And in Germany, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's governing coalition is on the brink of collapse due to the Green Party's strong opposition of NATO's Kosovo policies.

Perhaps the biggest lobby for the war in the United States is the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), who sponsored a working retreat in Florida this Sunday called "The Politics of the Third Way." Among the attendees were Bill and Hillary Clinton, top White House and political staffers, as well as one of Tony Blair's top advisors, David Milband, and the director of the London School of Economics, Tony Giddens. The DLC was founded in the eighties by Al From, who was primarily concerned about changing the Democratic Party's liberal image. The list of DLC corporate sponsors reads like a "Who's Who" of the defense industry and other businesses who believe that war is good for profit margins.

David Broder reported last week that From hosted the leaders of Britain, the United States, Germany, Italy and Holland at the recent 50th Anniversary of NATO celebration in Washington. Broder calls From the chief promoter of "Third Way" government and quotes From as saying "It is terribly important how this turns out. A generation of peaceniks now has the responsibility for completing a wartime mission--and they better not fail." From uses a Blair-like tone in his publication The New Democrat, and says NATO must achieve their goals in Kosovo even if "it means risking and accepting casualties."

We have already suffered tremendous casualties and they are mounting every day we continue to bomb Yugoslavia without even trying to negotiate a successful peace agreement. The first casualty is the division within and damage to the NATO alliance itself caused by the pell-mell miscalculations of the Anglo-American leadership that even now can't decide if NATO can "win" an air war or must send in 50,000 ground troops to "win." NATO can't even agree on what "winning" means. The leaders of member countries whose ruling coalitions are shaken because of anti-war sentiment must also feel like casualties. What could be a bigger casualty to NATO's global credibility than the hypocrisy of bombing Yugoslavia, while Turkey, a NATO member state, continues to engage in massive genocide of its Kurdish minority? To kill the Kurds more efficiently, the Turks have become the biggest single importer of military hardware from the United States.

Perhaps Clinton, Blair & Co. have succeeded in bringing NATO back to its original purpose of fighting the Cold War because relations with the Russians and Chinese have deteriorated so drastically in the past three months. Military planners can now be excited at their new prospects of plotting strategy against superpowers and rogue states, but Clinton and Blair should probably avoid watching any more WWII movies. Bombin' babies ain't good Hollywood.

Tom Turnipseed

Tom Turnipseed

Tom Turnipseed is an attorney, writer and peace activist in Columbia, SC. His blog is

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