e l l e d to a crucial April 14rnmeeting in Washington, D.C.rnwith Attorney General JanetrnReno and J u s t i c e Departmentrnand FBI o f f i c i a l s in which thernimpending April 19 attack onrnthe compound was reviewed.rnThe 186-page “Investigation into thernActivities of Federal Law EnforcementrnAgencies Towards the Branch Davidians,”rnprepared by the Committee on GovernmentrnReform and Oversight and submittedrnto Congress in 1996, does not namernthese two officers, but CounterPunch impliesrnthat one of them was probably Clark.rnOne of the officers had recormoitered thernBranch Davidian compound a day earlier,rnon April 13. During the Justice Departmentrnmeeting, one of the officers toldrnReno that, if the military had been calledrnin to end a barricade situation as part of arnmilitary operation in a foreign country, itrnwould focus its eiforts on “taking out” thernleader of the operation:rnultimately tanks from FortrnHood were used in the finalrncatastrophic assault on thernBranch Davidian compound onrnApril 19. Certainly the Wacornonslaught bears characteristrni c s typical of Gen. WesleyrnClark: the eagerness to takernout the leader (viz., thernClark-ordered bombing of Milosevich’srnprivate residence);rnthe u t t e r disregard for thernl i v e s of innocent men, womenrnand children; the arrogantrnmiscalculations about the effectsrnof force; disregard forrnlaw, whether of the Posse Comitrna t u s Act governing militaryrnactions within the UnitedrnStates or, abroad, the purviewrnof the Nuremberg laws on warrncrimes and attacks on c i v i l ­iansrn.rnOn the subject of Nuremberg, the lastrnsurviving prosecutor from that war-crimesrntrial, Walter J. Rockier, strongly condemnedrnClark’s and Chnton’s war as illegalrnand immoral {Chicago Tribune, Mayrn10).rnThe planning and launching ofrnt h i s war by the presidentrnheightens the abuse and underminingrnof warmaking authorityrnunder the Constitution. (Itrnseems to be accepted that thernpresident can order his personalrnarmy to attack any countrnr y he pleases). The bombingrnwar also violates and shredsrnthe basic provisions of thernUnited Nations Charter andrnother conventions andrnt r e a t i e s ; the attack on Yugoslaviarnconstitutes the mostrnbrazen international aggressionrnsince the Nazis attackedrnPoland to prevent “Polishrna t r o c i t i e s ” against Germans.rnThe United States has discardedrnpretensions to internationalrnl e g a l i t y and decency, andrnembarked on a course of raw imperialismrnrun amok. . . .rn[W]henwe, the self-anointedrnr u l e r s of the planet, issue anrnultimatum to another country,rni t is “surrender or d i e . “rnThat such conduct undermines thernmoral and social fabric of the country hasrnbeen clear to traditionalist anti-imperialistsrnall along. It is gratifying to find thernsame conclusion on the left end of thernspectrum, in the Independent (May 23):rnViolence is horrifying but i trni s also exciting . . . TonyrnB l a i r ‘ s s t r i c t u r e s against thernmedia, when he complainedrnabout “refugee fatigue”, ignoredrnthe p o s s i b i l i t y that violentrnacts by the s t a t e , l e g i t ­imatelyrnreported by the press,rnnormalise bloodshed by bringingrni t into our everyday l i v e s .rnWhat passes for France’s intellectualrnscene these days was badly shaken by anrnopen letter to President Jacques Chiracrnfrom Che Guevara’s old pal, Regis Debrayrn{Le Monde, May 13). Debray traveled allrnover Serbia (including Kosovo) in May;rnhe also visited Macedonia and, witnessingrnthe misery of the refugees from Kosovo,rnwanted to go to the other side to see howrn”that kind of crime” was possible. Uncomfortablernwith “the ‘Intourist’ way ofrntravelling or joumalist bus-cruises,” he demandedrnand received from Serbian authoritiesrnthe right to travel with his translatorrnand his car, to stop wherever hernwanted, and to talk to whomever he liked.rnHis impressions were radically at oddsrnwith the received wisdom:rnI t is possible to buy the foreignrnpolicy of a countrytrnh a t ‘ s what the U.S. does withrncountries in t h i s region-butrnnot i t s dreams, or i t s memorrni e s . If you could see thernlooks full of hate that Macedonianrncustoms officers and policemenrnare sending to armoredrnvehicles and tank convoys,rnthat are coming every nightrnfrom Salonika to Skopje, looksrnaimed at the arrogant crewsrnoblivious of their surroundings,rnyou’d understand thatrni t ‘ s easier to enter this battrnl e f i e l d than to escape fromrni t . . . . Remember De Gaulle’srnview of NATO: “An organizationrnimposed on the Atlantic Alliancernthat represents nothingrnbut the military and p o l i t i c a lrnunderestimation of Western Europernby the US.” One day yourn[President Chirac] will havernto explain the reasons why yournchanged t h i s judgement.rnWhen Debray asked a Belgrade dissidentrnwhy Milosevic received an Americanrndelegation but not a French one, he wasrntold, “It’s better to talk to the boss than tornhis servants.”rnDebray’s views promptly drew stingingrnreplies from France’s globalist liberalsrnand neoconservatives. “Philosopher” andrnprofessional Serbophobe par excellencernBernard-Henri Levy entitled his replyrn”Farewell, Regis Debray” and called thernopen letter nothing less than a “live broadcastrnof an intellectual’s suicide.” But in anrnopen letter to Prime Minister LionelrnJospin, a broad group of anti-interventionistsrn—ranging from former Foreign MinisterrnClaude Cheysson and some ex-ambassadorsrnto filmmaker Costa Gavras andrnphotographer Henri Cartier-Bresson—attackedrnthe NATO campaign as the pretextrnfor “a questionable new post-Cold Warrnrole” in a New World Order of whichrnFrance should not be a part. The Frenchrnsquabbling over the bombing of Serbiarnhas reached the point of vitriolic adrnhominem abuse; even leftist sociologistrnPierre Bourdieu—no stranger to intellectualrnsparring—has called for a “ceasefire”rnof rhetoric and some serious debate on thernfundamental issues involved.rnIn the meantime, the “ceasefire” withinrnAmerica’s intellectual elite—on Kosovornand on any number of other issues affectingrnthe future of this country—is continuing,rnas it has for some decades now.rnAUGUST 1999/27rnrnrn