December 6, 1999 — Excerpts of 2000 Republican primary debate, Arizona

Moderator Judy Woodruff, of CNN:

Mr. Keyes, another Kosovo question. You have said that you thought the scale of Serb atrocities there was grossly overstated and that what the U.S. did through NATO in intervening was more dangerous than what happened inside the province itself. My question is that there is a new report just out that [comes from] a neutral organization that confirms an overwhelming, brutal Serb campaign to drive out a million Albanians from Kosovo. Do you still stand by your view that the U.S. through NATO should have stood by and done nothing?

Alan Keyes responds:

I understand the report, it confirms an intention, Ma’am. It’s not entirely clear to me we react in foreign policy to intentions. We’ve got to react to facts. And the facts as they have been established on the ground do not support all the reports that came out in the course of that war, and you and I know it. The Pentagon has said so, others have said so. We have got to be very careful to not lower the threshhold of intervention. It was the pretext of the abuse of minorities in Poland and elsewhere that Hitler used for his aggression, that other countries have used for their aggression. If we are to maintain the principle of non-aggression that has been the bedrock principle for which Americans have died, then we have got to be very careful not to set an example ourselves that allows an easy pretext to be out there in the world for would-be aggression. It’s gonna cause far more trouble than the trouble we resolve, as we are discovering, I believe, right now in Kosovo.

[Applause.]

(Notice this one is actually black. Not 50% white and 43% Arab. But the real thing.)