OBSERVATIONS | 1999-04-17

I. I have pointed out here a couple of times that the United States, because of the Kosovo bombing, is now closer to a nuclear war with Russia than at any time since 1962. Yeltstin just said the same thing. (See March 6 and March 27)

I have pointed out that Arizona Republican Senator John McCain goes out of his way to be the liberal's favorite conservative (See December 19). Since then, he has demanded that we prepare to send troops to fight ON THE GROUND against the Serbians. He is outliberaling Clinton on this war!

II. The United States has recognized that Taiwan is part of China. President Clinton tried to get China to rule out the use of force to reclaim this southern island.

In a joint appearance with Clinton, Prime Minister Zhu Rongji of China refused to rule out the use of force to take Taiwan back into China. He pointed out that he had seen a bust of President Lincoln in the White House. He pointed out that Lincoln had used force, and lots of it, to force his South back into the Union.

Clinton said that was different. I suggest we press people on that point. WHAT is different? Taiwan wants out, and China wants it back in. The South wanted out, and Lincoln wanted it back in. What IS the difference?

I pointed out on April 3 that a representative of the Bush Administration probably caused Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. Apparently she hinted to Saddam that the United States might look benignly on his invasion of Kuwait if he said it was to bring a historic part of Iraq back "into the Union."

I also pointed out on April 3 that the Bush Administration took the same line with the central government in Yugoslavia when Croatia and other regions seceded. They pointed out that the United States had come down on secession hard.

Thank God Bush isn't in power now. As a carpetbagger Republican, he might have given the same hint to the Chinese Prime Minister, and Rongji would have the impression the United States approved of a Taiwan invasion. It would takes a very small hint for a despot to hear what he wants to hear.