Sit tight

Fearful people fleeing the rampage of terrorists-the odd juxtaposition on April 20 of adolescent mayhem in Littleton, Colorado, and ethnic cleansing in Kosovo may be an accident of the ubiquitous TV camera. But the murders at Columbine High School did pose again the question that haunts us whenever people turn to violence: Could it have been prevented? The young men in Littleton who murdered thirteen people, injured twenty-three, and finally killed themselves had shown animosity to other people and to the community’s values in ways that begged for intervention. Yet nothing was done.

By contrast, we have intervened in Kosovo. But has it done any good? Some of our readers think not (see, Correspondence, page 4). NATO’s decision to intervene was not made easily or hastily. Belligerence, abuse, rape, and murder in Bosnia through the first part of this decade brought Europe and the United States reluctantly and even shamefacedly to the realization that violence in the Balkans would not be contained by salvos of diplomatic protestation and threats of military action never acted upon. Nor could it be hidden: CNN is watching. In this part of the world, it appears, real deterrence requires real action.

And so after the failure of the latest diplomatic efforts at Rambouillet, there began a slow and deliberate bombing of Yugoslavia. Over a month later it continues and now includes Serbian targets in Kosovo and...

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