news Sports Opinions arts variety interact Wildcat On-Line QuickNav

Meaningless to support troops while bashing Clinton

By Mark J. Mullenbach
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 30, 1999
Send comments to:

To the editor,

Al Mollo's recent commentary, "Question Clinton, Support Troops," was another example of the kind of partisan dislike of President Bill Clinton and ignorance that has only served to increase the president's favorability and credibility with the American people over the past seven years.

Many of Mollo's opinions lacked a sense of reality. The president is not "distrusted" by an overwhelming majority of Americans. Most Americans polled indicate that they do have confidence in the president in the Kosovo crisis. Mollo, and others like him, want to have it both ways in the Kosovo crisis. They say they don't trust the commander-in-chief, but they support the American troops.

If one does not support the decision made by the president to participate in the NATO intervention in Kosovo in order to prevent ethnic cleansing and atrocities against ethnic Albanians, then one's support of the troops is meaningless (especially to those Americans who are proudly serving their country in the armed forces in the Balkans region).

Mollo seems to imply that the president is able to "use the military for reasons other than our best national interests," but he does not understand how these decisions are made. The Pentagon and the National Security Council recommended that the president give the order to American troops to participate in the NATO intervention in Kosovo.

President Clinton did not just come up with the crisis in order to divert attention from some mythical domestic problem. The same applies to the decisions of the past seven years to strike targets in Iraq - these decisions were never undertaken to divert attention away from President Clinton's personal problems, regardless of when they were made.

Do we really think that Defense Secretary William Cohen, a former Republican senator from Maine, would have remained in the job if that were the case?

Mollo invented a theory which suggests that President Clinton ordered American participation in the current NATO intervention in order to "divert attention from the administration's dangerously irresponsible actions in the wake of the Chinese theft of nuclear technology."

Anyone who is really aware of that case knows that any Chinese theft of nuclear technology occurred during the Reagan administration, and it has been the Clinton administration that has taken steps to uncover the possible espionage and to ensure that it will not happen again in the future.

It is time for those who personally dislike President Clinton to accept the fact that President Bill Clinton was twice elected president by the American people and that he enjoys majority approval for his handling of his official responsibilities as president. If one does not support American participation in the NATO intervention in Kosovo, then just say so. Don't hide behind the rather meaningless expression of support for our troops.

Mark J. Mullenbach
Political science graduate student