Marin GOP Opposes War
by Deke Welch
Marin Independent Journal

On April 15, members of the Marin County Republican Central Committee (MCRCC) met to consider a resolution on the war in Yugoslavia. Each member spoke his or her opinion before a general discussion. In the end, the vote for 9-2, solidly against the war.

The committee's consensus developed from these points: Some parents with teen-aged sons fear a return of the draft. The war was initiated by NATO with our country as the principal participant. NATO, as a defensive alliance, exceeds the its character by becoming the aggressor against a foreign nation. The conflict in Yugoslavia is essentially a civil war.

Our government's expressed goals were to protect the Kosovar Moslems form the Serb army and to prevent destabilization of other governments in the Balkans. In terms of these goals, the war has been a failure because the NATO attack provided cover for the Serbian army and police to drive the Kosovars from their homes into the mountains and to Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro. The influx of refugees has destabilized surrounding countries' governments.

The NATO attack took place without exhausting the uses of diplomacy and ignores the interests of other governments such as Russia, which has long-standing ties, both religious and cultural, with Yugoslavian Serbs.

The attack has effectively strengthened the hand of dictator Slobodan Milosevic, who had been extraordinarily unpopular with his own people until very recently. Serbs, who were our allies in the fight against the Nazis now see us as despoilers of their homeland.

The Kosovar refugees are worthy of our pity and material assistance (food, medicine and shelter). The revolutionary Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), however, has been listed as a terrorist organization and reportedly has practiced the same tactic of "ethnic cleansing" against the Serbs as the Serbs have effected against the Kosovars.

The prospects of a widened war on the grounds are dismal. During World War II, the German army suffered several hundred thousand casualties in trying to pacify territory held by the Serbs. In spite of many infantry divisions committed to Yugoslavia, the Germans never accomplished the task of pacification.

The committee does not believe the United States has a vital national interest in Yugoslavia. Recognizing that truth dies early in every war, the propaganda flow from both sides is enormous and not to be believed.

The Constitution of the United States assigns to Congress only the right to declare war. Accordingly, the MCRCC took this position:

The Marin Republican Central Committee opposes the war in Yugoslavia and will withhold its endorsement from any Republican presidential primary candidate who supports the war.

Furthermore, the Marin Republican Central Committee supports the efforts of Congressman Tom Campbell and Senator Robert Smith to either enact a declaration of war or withdraw from the conflict.

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