I’d like to make a few comments in response to Zoe Unger’s article in last week’s Record (“Americans Too Quick To Judge NATO.”) Unger believes that a good “doctor” like the United States has an obligation to “help as many people as possible.” I agree that this is what good doctors should do, but I don’t think the analogy applies to the United States (otherwise known as NATO). Why do I think this? In a recent example (if we go back a few years we can find many, many more), the UN reports that the number of Iraqis who have died since the Gulf War as a result of U.S. sanctions hovers around one million (one million!). This is due to the inability of Iraqis to obtain basic medicines, which the State Department apparently believes Saddam could use to rebuild his nuclear arsenal and become master of the universe.
The United States also shirks its “good doctor” responsibilities in its policy towards Turkey and Colombia. Both these countries are engaged in brutal civil wars with minority populations. Very conservative estimates put last year’s death toll in these countries at the level of the Kosovo crisis. As for refugees, the situation is far worse, with total flight estimated to be around one million in each case. But interestingly, the Clinton Administration does not scorn these governments and call their leaders “Hitler;” rather, it provides key financial and military support for the regimes, allowing them to adequately control their guerilla “terrorists.”
Thus, the argument that “the good doctor should help as many people as possible,” is really quite irrelevant, since it does not apply to the country we happen to be talking about. Again, I want to stress that the examples above do not at all exhaust the possible arguments that could be made against the United States’ status as a “good doctor.” The United States is more like a mad doctor that says it wants to cure people but really wants to cause as much destruction as possible, if that will serve the “national interest.”
As for Unger’s claim that “it was only a question of when Milosevic would wage war on the ethnic Albanians,” let us all hope that no one besides NATO uses this logic to start a war, for if so the bombs may never stop falling on Washington.