During the Clinton Administration, all the generals lined up and said, one after another, that America's armed forces were in great shape and ready for war. They said that our great leader President Clinton was doing just fine by our troops.

Yes, Virginia, those were the same generals who lined up as soon as Bush was elected and talked about how the military had been robbed and ruined by the Clinton Administration. Once Bush was elected they told the public -- and the incoming President Bush -- that since the great times of President Bush Senior and the Gulf War, the military had been neglected and crippled.

But back to the Pentagon line during the Clinton Administration.

In 1999, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, took the lead in announcing what fine shape America's armed forces were in.

But when it came to fighting in the Balkans, as liberals wanted, Powell was dovish.

Powell was a great bureaucrat, and mouthed whatever line was in vogue whenever it was in vogue. Nobody in our day gets four stars without that willingness. But he also didn't want those forces out there being tested.

This reluctance on Powell's part infuriated those in the State Department who wanted war in the Balkans.

American policy in the Balkans was to force violently hostile ethnic groups in that area to be in the same country. This has been American policy since Abraham Lincoln, and Federal troops have been used regularly to enforce it inside the United States with racial integration and busing for racial balance.

President Clinton stated the purpose of the war he wanted to conduct in the Balkans: "We must remember the principle we and our allies have been fighting for in the Balkans is the principle of multi-ethnic, tolerant, inclusive democracy. We have been fighting against the idea that statehood must be based entirely on ethnicity."

Another great Pentagon bureaucrat, General Wesley Clark, stated this more specifically: "Let's not forget what the origin of the problem is. There is no place in modern Europe for ethnically pure states. That's a 19th century idea and we are trying to transition into the 21st century, and WE are going to do it with MULTI-ETHNIC STATES."( June 12, 1999 - BUSING BY BOMBER).

If it was good enough for Lincoln it was worth American blood in the Balkans. Liberals were infuriated with Powell's fear about what might happen to American troops if they got into a ground war in the Balkans.

Then Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, finally blurted out what liberals were all thinking. In answer to Powell's dovishness, Clinton's Secretary of State said, "What good are these forces if we can't USE them."

In other words: "Why do we have all these people in uniform if we don't put them in harm's way?"

For those of us who value American lives, of course, the best reason for having a powerful military would be to PREVENT its having to be used. It's called a "Defense" Department. If you're strong enough you don't have to defend yourself.

But when we build up a big military, liberals and conservatives use it to get into disastrous places like the Balkans, the Middle East and Vietnam.