|nettime on Sun, 13 Jun 1999 12:25:16 +0200 (CEST)|
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|wray: CLINTON'S WET DREAM IS OVER|
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - <email@example.com> is the temporary home of the nettime-l list while desk.nl rebuilds its list-serving machine. please continue to send messages to <firstname.lastname@example.org> and your commands to <email@example.com>. nettime-l-temp should be active for approximately 2 weeks (11-28 Jun 99). - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 00:47:25 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Stefan Wray <email@example.com> Subject: CLINTON'S WET DREAM IS OVER CLINTON'S WET DREAM IS OVER by Stefan Wray June 9, 1999 Clinton's wet dream is over. Now we have "peace." The U.S. directed war on Yugoslavia successfully drew media and public attention away from Clinton's dick and Monica Lewinsky's mouth. Five months ago the press and Congress were hot with talk of presidential impeachment. Now this talk is dead. Nothing like a little war to create a distraction. But are U.S. leaders so cunning they would orchestrate a war to divert public attention from the ignoble acts of presidents? This is what some people thought when the U.S. bombed Iraq at the end of December and this is what some people thought at the onset of the NATO actions against Yugoslavia. Now, we hear no more talk about Clinton's sexual adventures, nor do we hear anymore conjectures about how his military adventures conveniently served to dull the interest in his perjury before Congress. But whether by design or not, the fact remains that Clinton, as the bombs stop falling on Serbia, has few people noticeably concerned about his previous misdeeds. Clinton may have to contend with the wrath of generals who all along thought his military strategy was ridiculous and doomed to failure. He may have to deal with continued disgruntlement from some Republicans in Congress who all along thought the U.S. should have never been engaging in this latest global police action. But in the end, receiving criticism from generals and lawmakers over flawed military strategy is a better position to be in, than being hounded by House judiciary committee members over charges of lying to Congress and having to apologize before a national television audience over his sexual transgressions in the White House. And again, whether by design or by accident, it does not matter. Five months ago Clinton was in trouble. Now, he may not necessarily be out of trouble, but the kind of trouble he may be in is much more becoming of a president. Historians, of course, will not forget Monicagate, and once this Yugoslav episode fades in the minds of most Americans - as it surely will in the not too distant future - perhaps remnants or re-inventions of Monicagate will resurface. Or not. Maybe the bombing campaign has wiped out any interest in Clinton's domestic escapades. So how much did this intended or unintended public relations job cost? And who ultimately pays? There is probably not yet a definitive total. We have the cost of the entire NATO military operation, for which the U.S. - i.e. the U.S. taxpayers - have paid the lion's share. We have the cost of damage inflicted upon Yugoslavia. CNN reports this evening that just replacing door and window frames will cost $10 million dollars. Who pays for this is unclear. Total costs must run in the billions of dollars. What do we - the U.S. public - get out of this? We were able to observe superficial news coverage on network and cable television programs that glorified the campaign and offered little in the way of considered criticism. We were able to watch so-called government leaders reiterate over and over again the rationale for the bombing campaign. And from time-to-time we saw some of the effects of the war with glimpses of Yugoslav or international television. But this war wasn't for the American people. Or rather, the American people had little to lose or gain in this war. There was never any threat to American lives. Parents of soldiers had little to fear. There were no American casualties due to battle. At most there was mild paranoia on the part of relatives of soldiers or pilots. No body bags came home. The worst thing was the capture of three - a mere three - U.S. soldiers along the Yugoslav border. Big deal. Yet when was there a war or military action in which the American people really had something to gain or lose? The Civil War? Normally the American people do not start wars, carry out wars, or finish wars. And it's been quite a long time since the U.S. was actually attacked. For Americans war exists on television and in film. Admittedly, despite the losses incurred from the military operations, there must have been some economic gain. The U.S.-NATO war proves that the U.S. is still willing to act as a global police force. This is important. War is good for the economy. And the economy must be protected. But who really gains? Who was this war for? Why did it occur? Was it by design? Did it simply just happen? Clearly it had something to do with the consolidation of power and the realignment of political blocs. Probably NATO comes out ahead. But then on the other hand with Russia more willing to talk with China and India, that's bad news for the alliance. But then again, it seems NATO has now demonstrated a new face - one willing to take military action. But getting back to the original point raised. Clinton, he comes out relatively unscathed. Yes, he ran into some roadblocks and hurdles, but he certainly comes out of this more elegantly than he did from the Monicagate debacle. Returning to the question of whether the U.S. instigation of the NATO air campaign on Yugoslavia was in some way a ploy to distract public attention off Clinton's poor image, it is not inconceivable, as government's are apt to do what they need to do in order to maintain themselves, but it is probably impossible to prove. And it may not matter. But the fact remains, that Clinton is in better shape in the public's eye and that the war in Yugoslavia was certainly a distraction from domestic issues that plagued him. So if there are any winners, Clinton is probably one.