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Daily Journal, Franklin, Ind.

Advances in medical technology are outpacing our society’s ability to adapt to them.

Saturday, July 28, 2001

Advances in medical technology are outpacing our society’s ability to adapt to them.

For weeks, President Bush has struggled with a difficult decision: whether to federally fund stem-cell research. Federal funding would speed medical breakthroughs that could end the suffering of millions of Americans.

Complicating Bush’s decision was the announcement last week that Virginia scientists have created human embryos in the laboratory, solely to harvest their stem cells.

While the effort was funded privately, that does not excuse the fact that this approach is inherently unethical. It’s one thing to utilize embryos from infertility clinics that would never be implanted anyway. It’s something else entirely to create a human embryo in a petri dish, specifically to harvest its stem cells.

Clearly, the president should steer federal funding toward research on adult stem cells. Embryonic stem-cell research should not be funded with tax dollars until the long-term ethical implications are fully resolved.

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Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the Balkans portion should be pothole-free for at least a few centuries. NATO’s well-meaning meddling in Kosovo … has pushed neighboring Macedonia to the brink of civil war.

The best that Macedonia can reasonably hope today is that a shaky peace deal is reached, under which NATO would send in 3,000 troops to disarm ethnic Albanian Muslims. … The worst-case scenario, which appears more likely every day, is another Balkans war.

No one intended for Kosovo’s militants to spread unrest and weapons to Macedonia when NATO launched its invasion in 1999; the intention was to stop the Serbs from ”cleansing” Kosovo of ethnic Albanians.

But what is it they say about the best-laid plans? NATO stopped the Serbs from expelling the Muslims, then stood by dumbfounded as the Muslims turned around and ”cleansed” much of Kosovo of Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. …

If peace talks fail, NATO would have to intervene, according to the alliance’s commander during the Kosovo campaign, because ”NATO cannot accept another war in the Balkans.” Particularly a war of its own making, the commander might have added.

It is time for U.S. leaders to acknowledge that NATO has solved nothing in the Balkans. It has replaced stability … with an unstable peace that depends on a heavy presence of foreign troops. …

How long they will remain there, no one can say, but President Bush should take his national security adviser’s advice and leave the whole Balkan mess to Europe’s good intentions.