David H. Hackworth
CLINTON'S IRANIAN CONNECTION
So far, with about 120 days into the Bosnian peace enforcement mission, the U.S. Army has taken two soldiers dead from mines and accidents, and seven wounded from mines, explosions and small arms fire; 146 other soldiers have been medically evacuated from the theater.
Thirty-three more Americans died on Secretary Ronald Brown's USAF aircraft when it plowed into a hilltop on the Croatian coast. The White House has clamped the lid down on the release of specific accident information.
"We've been told to keep our mouths shut," reported an officer involved in the investigation, who called me from an air base in Germany.
The dollar cost has also been enormous. Congressional number crunchers are reporting that the tab for stopping the Bosnians from killing each other is running almost twice the original White House estimate.
A source says the total price tag of the operation from the late 1995 beginning to the scheduled December 1996 end will run the U.S. tax payers over $4 billion, with "double that figure coming later down the track."
Unfortunately, there has been another terrible casualty in Bosnia - the truth. Now we find President Bill Clinton and his National Security Advisor, Anthony Lake, have flimflammed the American people, even deceived their own intelligence service, while allowing Iran - the exporter of worldwide violent revolutions - to arm the Bosnian army.
Yes, I said Iran, those very same madmen who held 50 American hostages for 444 days during Jimmy Carter's watch, burned our flag, killed and tortured dozens of American citizens and are supporting terrorist attacks all over the world.
Yes, Iran, those wonderful folks who left more than one unsmudged fingerprint on the World Trade Center bomb and who have vowed to destroy America.
For Clinton to join forces with the outlaw nation of Iran is like FDR slipping Hitler our atomic bomb Secrets or JFK sharing our signal codes with the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Since 1994 Clinton and fellow conspirators, by looking the other way, went along with Iranian 747 aircraft landing at the United Nation's controlled Tuzla air base with weapons, ammo and Islamic "Freedom Fighters" and funneled more war material and Islamic warriors through Croatia.
The Bosnian misadventure has been one deceit piled upon another, from the phony naval blockade -which I wrote about in 1993, declaring it "a joke" - to the NATO bombing of the Serbs after Muslim troops dropped mortar rounds on their own people in 1995 then blamed the Serbs, to the flawed Dayton agreement, which will soon blow up in the faces of all concerned.
Clinton must stop misleading Congress and stop lying to the American people. But unless the American people sound off and stop this sort of chicanery, we should only expect more lies, more U.S. casualties, more heavy costs and, as usual, no one held accountable.
Here's the sorry plan: In September, Clinton, with much fanfare, will start pulling our forces out of Bosnia and will turn over the futile mission to a reluctant EUROCORPS, which will be composed of all NATO implementation force troops, less the U.S. 1st Armored Division, which will redeploy to Germany.
What we won't be told is this: Uncle Sam will leave a huge logistical and intelligence apparatus in Croatia, Hungary, Italy and Albania that will be quietly funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars. This lash-up will support the EUROCORPS and other secret operations.
And we won't be told that our tactical and support aircraft will covertly continue to fly the Bosnian mission while our spooks and other secret warriors continue to do their clandestine thing.
Starting with the first warriors heading home, Clinton will toot his horn about his Bosnian success, but we won't find out the high cost of the secret operation until he is well into the second term. By then, Bosnia will have returned to a killing field, like Somalia and Haiti, and the average zonked-out American will be worried more about who goes to the Super Bowl.
Presidential deceit is nothing new. We suffered it in Vietnam, Nicaragua, El Salvador and scores of other Cold War hot spots, and you can count on it continuing until we-the-American-people hold the feet of those responsible to the fire.