"But is it in our national interest?" - that's the question on a million lips.
When bullets hail and bombs explode, people die.
When bullets hail and bombs explode in the middle of a continent, all civilized life is threatened.
When bullets hail and bombs explode, hatred is on the march.
America cannot be indifferent to hatred. Hatred is like cancer. Unless it is expunged, it spreads.
Hatred spreads from the mouths of leaders. It goes on to reside in people's hearts.
America is right to oppose the hatred that drives wedges between people. America must oppose ancient grievances that split people into hostile groups.
When people die, Americans must go to the source of hatred and say: "Stop now! Our sacred principles are at stake. We will commit our resources. We shall defend our principles."
That, without the shadow of a doubt, is the national interest.
And so, as the nation reluctantly comes to terms with the horror story from Littleton, Colorado, our attention is focused upon the hatred in people's heart, the hatred on people's lips, the hatred that made the bullets hail and the bombs explode.
Those are the bullets, not the ones in Kosovo, that aim at America's heart.
By the early 1960's, this nation had achieved unprecedented levels of freedom, prosperity, and the security of civilized living. It was not perfect: There was segregation in the South, and women often did not receive the same remuneration as men. Country clubs tended to restrict membership. But people were safe in their homes, safe in the streets, and children went to schools as safe as their homes, walking to and fro on streets with not a concern in the world.
Americans were united in being - American. Pride in, and loyalty to, the country were as natural for most as leaving the door of their homes unlocked.
In fact, things were so good, many grew increasingly embarrassed about segregation in the South; the movement to dismantle it gained national support. Women, too, found not only their voice, but more and more leisure time as machines took over more and more of traditional household chores.
And then... all blew up in our faces. Why pretend any longer that the Vietnam war tore this nation apart? It - the war, that is, - merely provided an opportunity, just as did the Civil Rights movement, Women's Lib, or concern about pollution, to transform America from obstacle to leader in the construction of a world along socialist designs.
Crude socialists like Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and his two disciples - Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin - put their faith in raw power. The super-sophisticated intellectuals of Germany, France and Italy knew better. Some of them, like Herbert Marcuse, their lives saved by finding refuge in America, returned the favor by developing the virus that could be spread through a suitable host.
That suitable host turned out to be the generation that came of age around the late 1960's. The virus was hatred, an inexhaustible supply of it, in an infinite variety of guises: rejection, contempt, deconstruction, diversity-through-hyphenation, to name just a few.
Rejected was America's past. Contemptible were the people who had built it. Deconstructed had to be our moral code, our language. Hyphenation saw to it that no one was left simply "American."
Groups and group identities began to sprout like daffodils after an April rain. With the invention and confirmation of every (unconstitutional) special right came a special bonus: to hate as a matter of right.
Women were persuaded to forget that they had built America as equal partners, so they could declare open season on men. Americans of African origin were persuaded to remain fixated on past grievances (instead of present opportunity) and declare open season on non-black Americans. An entire fictitious category of "Hispanics" was created to declare open season on the English heritage. The list goes on.
Open season, too, was declared on anyone who did not succumb to the hysterical demand du jour, be it environmental, permissive, or just loud.
Resentment was first institutionalized in the form of university departments teaching little more than justification of grievances. Next, it was enshrined in so-called National Standards for United States History. Now, it has been written into law in the form of "hate crimes" legislation, separating permanently those who may be legally hated from those who may not even be criticized. Demagoguery and expressions of contempt for The People emanate daily from the rulers elected in 1992, and from their appointees. A few hours after bemoaning the Colorado school massacre, Vice President Al Gore went to Detroit and openly fomented racial hatred at a meeting of the NAACP.
In our upside-down society, leaders of violent gangs who had just burned down a city are treated with the utmost respect on ABC-TV's 1992 Nightline. The Kanab ambersnail is favored over human beings. Men and women who believe that the Ten Commandments are key to the successful coexistence of people are ridiculed every day, but ten communists who were blacklisted 50 years ago are worshiped as martyrs every month on one television network or other.
In our dislocated society, women kick men in the groin while other women cheer. A presidential team clearly without the slightest notion of what the military is for, orders up the bombing of foreign civilians. Criminals are excused, while honest citizens - from schools to airports - are subject to humiliating searches.
Our public schools are ruled by the National Education Association - a misnomer if ever there was one. In them, young people are incited to "save the Earth" instead of picking up their garbage. They are pumped to express themselves before they can read or write. "Self-esteem" takes the place of competence. Above all, they are conditioned to loathe the country in which they live, and to regard one another with suspicion or contempt.
The two who killed in Littleton were the product of an era in which America's institutions have been turned on their head, the glue that held this society together has been dissolved, and Americans have been taught to be afraid of one another.
And we are told our concern should be with the Serbs and Albanians of Kosovo?