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avgust 20, 2008

















Inching Toward Armaggedon

WASHINGTON, Apr. 19, 1999 - A California congressman, Richard Pombo, has had it with Clinton and Washington. Here's an excerpt from his statement published on the Net by the

"I came to Congress the same year that Bill Clinton came to the White House. As a member of the loyal opposition, my service in the U.S. House of Representatives is historically intertwined with those events that have come to define the Clinton presidency. The conservative district in California's Central Valley that sent me to Washington did so because we both agreed that Americans were overtaxed, over- regulated, and that our government had grown too large. Before our children -- or grandchildren -- are back to the relative position of military strength bequeathed us by Ronald Reagan and George Bush, American taxpayers will sacrifice many of their hopes and dreams so politicians and generals can play catch-up. The vibrant domestic economy that keeps the Dow floating above the 10,000-point level will have to compete with a government borrowing to ensure its survival.

The alternative, of course, is to not play catch-up. But that would cost us even more. It might cost us everything. All of which brings us to Mr. Clinton's war in Serbia.

This is his 33rd such foreign military excursion since taking office in 1993. That's three times the number of deployments of American troops to foreign soil of all his predecessors since World War II -- from Truman to Bush. All together.

Between the attacks on Serbia and the earlier attacks on Iraq, the U.S. arsenal of air-launched cruise missiles has dwindled to a mere 75. And the stock of Tomahawk missiles, on which the Pentagon has grown to depend, has been drawn down to dangerously low levels. The Tomahawk is not currently even in production. We are currently converting nuclear-armed cruise missiles to conventionally-armed weapons to make up the shortfall. That, of course, means a loss of nuclear deterrent should some other part of the world heat up and pose a threat to U.S. soil.

To illustrate just how naked this leaves us, remember that last summer's attempt to kill the terrorist Bin Laden cost us 75 cruise missiles -- to take out a few tents in the Afghan desert and a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan. If orders for replacements were placed today, it would still be two years before those cruise missiles were available in any military theater.

With what will we respond if the fanatical communist regime of North Korea, with its hair trigger border and its fourth year of famine, decides to turn years of bluster into a full-blown invasion of the South? Unlike Serbia or Haiti, a free and friendly South Korea is strategically essential to U.S. security. But unlike Haiti, Somalia or Serbia, North Korea has -- or shortly will -- missiles capable of hitting U.S. territory.

As President Reagan so often counseled, peace comes from strength, not weakness. Weakness -- even the perception of it -- emboldens enemies and tempts them to test our limits and our resolve.

This month I communicated a message to my constituents that I have been forced to communicate four times since August 1994, when Mr. Clinton began launching foreign adventures. It is a message about the conditions under which I, as their representative, could, in good conscience, vote to send their sons and daughters to fight on foreign soil.

I ask myself... Is this action to:

1. Protect and defend territories belonging to the United States?
2. Preserve our political and economic systems from foreign threats?
3. Keep sea-lanes open for trade and maintain free and voluntary trade between the United States and trading partners?
4. Prevent the domination of strategic areas of the globe by powers hostile to the United States?
5. Safeguard Americans and their property from acts of terrorism?

Mr. Clinton's Serbian War clearly does not meet these conditions for committing our young men and women. We can only pray that before he is done, his actions don't create them."

Rep. Richard Pombo is a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Northern California.