Ejagle,” were staged 50 miles east ofrnTirana, in a new training center whichrnwas developed under American guidance.rnA month later, in August 1996, thernAlbanian army sent the first batch of itsrnsoldiers for training to Camp Lejeune inrnNorth Carolina, while American marinesrnexercised along Albania’s Adriatic shore.rnThe cynic would say that there wasrnnothing unusual in the government ofrnthe United States propping up a corrupt,rndictatorial regime and offering it militaryrnassistance; but normally such regimes—rnin Kuwait, Indonesia, Turkey, or Pakistanrn—are to be found in strategically orrneconomically important parts of thernworld. Albania is “strategically important”rnonly if this administration has longtermrndesigns in the Balkans, which remainrnunstated in public.rnAmerican policy in the Balkans hasrnnever been about the Balkans, any morernthan it has been about peace, justice,rnprosperity, and democracy. Albaniarnwas interesting in the early 1990’s as arnlow-cost bridgehead in a region besetrnwith animosities—some of which, asrnin Bosnia, have been additionally fannedrnby American interference. It was alsorninteresting as an area where America’srnpresence, once established, could stayrnimmune to any future ups and downs inrnits relations with European allies.rnAn additional explanation for Americanrnpolicy in Albania is to be found inrnthe broadly anti-Serb set of assumptionsrnthat have dominated Washington’s strategyrnin the region for the past five years.rnDame Rebecca West warned that foreignersrnseem unable to resist taking sidesrnin the Balkans, and Clinton’s foreign policyrnteam has confirmed the adage withrnconsiderable gusto. Strong Americanrnsupport for Albanian ethnic separatistsrnin the Serbian province of Kosovo mayrnhave been initially intended as a toolrnfor curtailing Serb objectives in Bosnia,rnbut it has developed into a bipartisanrntenet that is no longer open to reexamination.rnIt is uncertain how long it will take forrnthe State Department to grasp the futilityrnof its present reliance on Balkan dictators,rnsuch as Berisha and Milosevic, andrntheir regional colleagues, Franjo Tudjmanrnin Zagreb and Alija Izetbegovicrnin Sarajevo. But come what may, Americansrnmay rest assured that their embassyrnsilver in Albania will be safe. In a cable tornthe American envoy in Tirana, MarisarnLino, Secretary of State MadeleinernAlbright reiterated “the State Department’srnpolicy for safeguarding of sterlingrnsilver flatware on the occasion of an evacuation”rnand instructed Ms. Lino to takernthe cutlery with her if the time comes tornfold the flag. Good! At least some or thernmistakes of Saigon and Phnom Penh willrnnot be repeated.rn—Srdja TrifkovicrnPARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION—arnprocedure which its practitioners callrnD&’E, dilatation and extraction—is oncernagain the subject of congressional legislationrnthat would ban the grisly act. PresidentrnClinton would appear to be in arnbind with this bill, because he can hardlyrnveto it a second time without appearingrnto be totally committed to feticide, or asrnSenator Daniel Moynihan called it, infanticide.rnWhen Mr. Clinton vetoed the firstrnban last year, he produced a flurry of argumentsrnto justify preserving this cruelrnprocedure, chiefly the contention that itrnmay be necessary to preserve the healthrnand reproductive ability of the gravida.rnAdditionally, it was alleged that the procedurernis used only very rarely—scarcelyrn500 times per year, in the whole country,rnand then only in extreme cases, for situationsrnvery late in pregnancy (desperaternones, of course). Already, at the time ofrnhis veto, many eminent medical authorities,rnincluding former Surgeon GeneralrnC. Everett Koop, a stalwart supporter ofrnthe Clintons’ abortive (if we may use thisrnword in this connection) Health SecurityrnPlan, had denied that there is ever arnmedical necessity for such a technique.rnThe American Medical Association andrnthe American College of Obstetrics andrnGynecology concurred with Dr. Koop.rnThere were some rumbles from medicalrnquarters about regulating “medicalrnprocedures” by law, but medical opinionrnalmost unanimously condemns thisrnparticular procedure, which amountsrnto nothing less than killing a babyrnseconds—or inches—before it fullyrnemerges into the wodd and can claim thernprotection of the law.rnAs the discussion grew more heated,rnand as it became evident that the newrnCongress would once again pass a banrnomitting the “health of the mother”rnexception, pro-abortionists began tornrally to defend the procedure, to providerncovering fire for Mr. Clinton, shouldrnhe again use the power of the veto to ensurernthe procedure’s continuation. ThernChicago Tribune, ardent in its defense ofrn”the right to choose” (to “terminate,”rni.e., kill, the unborn, but of course not tornsmoke cigarettes), ran a front-page featurernon one of the clinics offering the servicernin Illinois, a clinic suggestively calledrn”Hope Center” and featuring bannersrnproclaiming “Pro Choice-Pro Family.”rnThe Tribune’s article tried to turn whatrnseemed a mortal blow to the procedurerninto an asset.rnRon Fitzsimmons, head of the NationalrnCoalition of Abortion Providers,rnwho had previously testified to the rarityrnof the procedure and averred that it isrnonly used in extreme cases, suddenly admittedrnthat he had “lied in my teeth,”rnbecause of his fear that the proposed banrnmight limit access to abortion generally.rnEven before Mr. Fitzsimmons recanted,rnthe word was out that the procedure isrnperformed much more often than 500rntimes a year, and used for many cases ofrnpurely elective (i.e., optional) abortions.rnOne clinic in New Jersev alone reportedrnperforming 1,500 such abortions in onernyear. Walter Hern, M.D., a pioneer ofrnthe method, stated that 80 percent of hisrneases involved healthy women and normalrnfetuses, and were accordingly purelyrnelective.rnWith these facts becoming commonrnknowledge, pro-abortionists attemptedrnto turn the situation to their advantage.rnWith regard to the admitted gruesomenessrnof the operation, one New Yorkrnabortionist pointed out that all majorrnsurgery—such as cancer operations—isrngruesome. And as it became necessaryrnto admit that the operation is performedrnfrequently, on healthy women and normalrnfetuses, it was argued that it really isrnessential, as otherwise these women willrnbe deprived of their “right to choose.”rnSuch “covering fire” may give Mr.rnClinton the (im) moral support that willrnenable him once again to work the willrnof his friends, the extreme feminists. (Itrnshould be pointed out that not allrnfeminists favor abortion, even if thernringleaders do.) If he does veto the newrnbill, however, he may do the abortionrncause and his own standing more harmrnthan good.rnIn the same issue of the Tribune thatrnlauded “Hope Center,” columnistrnStephen Chapman exposed the inanityrnof the pro-abortionists’ latest defense ofrnD&E. The argument, “It’s gruesome,rnbut so is all surgery,” overiooks the factrnthat other surgeries are performed forrnthe benefit of the one who suffers therngruesomeness, while abortion destroysrnJUNE 1997/7rnrnrn