Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Who Are the 'Doves' and the 'Hawks'?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Who Are the 'Doves' and the 'Hawks'?

Article excerpt

The decisive issue of the next presidential campaign could be the "doves" against the "hawks," just as it was during campaigns staged during the Vietnam War. That can only happen if the United States gets involved in a protracted war in Yugoslavia and its casualties are high and mounting.

Our current involvement is indeed shaping political positions, pro and con, on the bombing of Kosovo - whether it is enough, whether the president should have ruled out in advance the use of ground forces.

But how candidates stand on the US bombing initiative isn't likely to change the votes of many Americans. Not yet. That happens only if and when the public becomes much more emotionally involved. Iowa Congressman James A. Leach, a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and regarded as an expert on the global scene, particularly on Russia, is sounding like a "dove" these days. As he reminded us at a recent Monitor breakfast, he is one of those urging the president to get the approval of Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, before he deploys troops into military action in Kosovo. Also, several weeks ago Mr. Leach voted against congressional authorization of US intervention in Yugoslavia "because I could discern no national interest in taking sides in a civil war in the Balkans, no approach that would lead to a diminution of violence, and no credible exit strategy." Yet Leach says there are no real "doves" or "hawks" - not yet. "It is too complicated," he told us, for such definitive terms to be applied. How right he is. Alongside the moderate-Republican Leach in expressing reservations about US intervention in Kosovo is arch- conservative GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. Then there's Sen. John McCain, an independent-minded Republican admired by many liberals, who wants the US to go in - yesterday, were it possible - to defeat the Serbs and drive Slobodan Milosevic out of office. One could well ask: What would a "dove" description mean now? …

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