Editorial: Don't ignore the war

Send in the troops. This is the hesitant battle cry of the U.S. government to help quell the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. A treaty authorizing the troops' mobilization to Bosnia was finalized Sunday after U.S. officials met with the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia in Dayton, Ohio.

President Clinton proposed sending 20,000 U.S. troops to be part of a 60,000-member NATO peacekeeping force in war-ravaged Bosnia. Several Senate Republicans have spoken against the treaty in spite of the tradition that the president has final say on military matters, .

However, despite the opposition of some Republicans and many Bosnian Serbs, the much-needed treaty is underway.

Thus far in the multifaceted civil war, the U.S. military has taken the role of a casual observer. The United States has sent some troops as part of U.N. forces and has made several attempts at establishing peace accords, but no solid action has been taken.

Unlike the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the United States has little financial interest in the former Yugoslavia region. Unfortunately, by basing military involvement on mainly financial pursuits, the Bosnian people are being ignored.

Since the war began, millions of people have been killed, injured or displaced from their homes. The United States, with its tradition of a strong military, has a responsibility to notice and take action when a smaller nation is in dire need of aid.

Citizens of the former Yugoslavia want help from outside forces. They can't be expected to subsist in the current conditions, which are much worse than their normal standard of living.

The United States set a precedent for international involvement by taking action in the Persian Gulf. Now it's time to take a firm stand against the genocide occurring in Bosnia. The Dayton treaty is the beginning of a move in the right direction.

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