L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 47, May 30, 1999
No, No, Kosovo! No, No, Kosovo!
by L. Neil Smith
Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise
You know, it's damned hard to write about Bill Clinton.
(I was about to say "a guy like Bill Clinton" when I realized that
the last guy even remotely like Bill Clinton had his elderly
mother's belly cut open with a sword so he could see where he'd come
It's also damned hard to shift from fiction, which I've been writing
the past several months, to what we laughingly call reality. At least
I believe it's reality -- I think I'd hallucinate better than this.
But I digress.
I like to temper the outrage that seems to drive so much of my
writing (it took the Littleton shootings -- or rather the political
vultures feeding off of them -- to get me started doing columns
again) with a little absurdity now and again, but Caligulito (as I've
come to think of him) always seems to be just a little bit ahead of
me in that department.
Take this business in the Balkans. Over the decades, to this baby
boomer, Yugoslavia has meant Marshall Tito giving the finger to the
Soviets, Montenegro as the birthplace of Nero Wolfe as well as the
setting for one of his most interesting adventures, and finally, the
most ridiculous automobile the world has seen since the three-wheeled
Like everybody else, I've been pretty unhappy that people in the
remnants of Tito's jackbooted stomping grounds haven't been able to
get along with each other. I knew they'd been pretty artificially
jammed together at the end of World War I, an arrangement almost
Clintonian in its arrogant stupidity. I knew that they'd been held
together by the brute force of an almost Clintonian police state
until recently. I'd watched the way Czechoslovakia quite peaceably
became Czecho and Slovakia and wished the Newgoslavians could do it
the same way.
Before you knew it, while the rest of the world was celebrating what
looked like it was gonna be freedom by beheading countless thousands
of statues of Lenin, the former people of that nation began beating
up, raping, pillaging, and killing each other as if they'd fallen
years behind schedule during the Tito regime and had to catch up.
It was ugly, it was stupid, and it was regrettable. But you know
what? Never once did I imagine that it had anything to do
with me. Or with you, for that matter. As a (now what's the right
expression, here?) student of Ayn Rand, I've always rejected the
bald, unsupported assertion that I'm my brother's keeper. But even
if I didn't, I think the brother that I'd most likely keep would live
at least as close as Nebraska.
Or New Jersey.
But this was about Bill Clinton, wasn't it? Look what we have in the
absurdity department: the infamous Vietnam era draft-dodger and
self-described loather of all things military, conducting what's
beginning to look like Johnson's late, lamented war in southeast Asia
by dropping ordnance on the Serbians in quantities rivaling those
dropped on Hanoi during the bad old days of Barry Sadler and Joanie
Phoney -- and at the same time imitating Nixon by secretly sending in
ground troops while publicly proclaiming he has no intention of doing
Remind me to call up the Fort Collins Peace Center tomorrow and ask
them where the hell they are with their protest songs and picket
Now what are we to make of all this? Clearly, much of it can be
attributed to the now-famous "wag the dog" phenomenon. If you keep
an eye on Matt Drudge's wonderful website, you know that China,
Inc.'s bagman Johnny Chung was never missing, he was just being
hidden out in something like the witness protection program and is
now eagerly ready (bulletproof vest and all) to vocalize like the
proverbial dinosaur descendent. Combine that with the steadily
increasing number of allegations of rape against a pitiful excuse for
a man whose greatest crime (in the view of this child of the 60s) is
giving oral sex a bad name.
What does it add up to?
I have a simpler (and sicker) explanation. Clinton, not very deep
inside, is a cowardly pissant desperate to prove he's a mensch
by throwing away other people's lives the same way liberals try to
prove they're charitable (they're not, you know; they're the meanest,
tightest-fisted misers on the planet, and its worst racists, to boot)
by spending other people's money. This whole thing is nothing more
than a disgusting little prick trying to buddy up to his classmates
Of course he's carried overcompensation to a level that can hardly be
called sane. That's why my "exit strategy" for the Balkans (right
after we crazy-glue Madeline Albright to Janet Reno and let them
frighten each other to death) is to send the men in the white coats
to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and let Algore take over for the rest of
Stupid is better than crazy.
L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of The Probability Broach,
Pallas, Henry Martyn, Bretta Martyn, The Mitzvah (forthcoming, with
Aaron Zelman), and 15 other novels. Order them from Amazon.com via
or from Laissez Faire Books at
or just call Laissez Faire toll free, 1-800-326-0996.
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