Jewish World Review June 1, 2000 /27 Iyar, 5760
idea for Clinton
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- AS A SENSITIVE, COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVE I feel sorry for President Clinton. Time is running out on him, and he still has no significant foreign policy achievement. After all, foreign initiatives are what legacies are made of.
Hold on, you say. What about his triumph in Somalia? His expenditure of $3 billion in aid and commitment of 20,000 U.S. troops to Haiti, only to see its condition unimproved? His incessant cruise-missile volleys against Iraq for who knows what reasons? His bombing of an aspirin factory in Sudan?
His accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade? His innumerable apologies to miscellaneous foreign potentates for America's innumerable past sins? His effort to con the Senate into ratifying his unverifiable and unenforceable Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty? His meddling in the internal election politics of Israel? His rewarding North Korea for their reckless nuclear policies? His undermining of U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq?
His war on sovereign Serbia from 15,000 feet? His unfinished business in the Middle East, the Balkans and Northern Ireland? His reversal of U.S. policy concerning the sovereignty of Taiwan, encouraging Red China to adopt a more openly belligerent attitude toward her?
His relaxation of security to enable his party's major soft money contributor to sell U.S. nuclear delivery technology to China? His refusal to remedy security standards at our nuclear weapons laboratories, despite repeated thefts by the Chinese communists of our most sophisticated nuclear weapons technology?
You get the point. Clinton needs a major breakthrough in the foreign policy arena. How do you otherwise explain his insistence on securing a nuclear treaty with Russia at this late hour in his second term?
Clinton can live with the impeachment "stain" on his record, but it would be too much for him to bear if historians tied his foreign policy failures to his sexual proclivities. That would mean that his critics had been right all along, that it was more than just lying about sex. Indeed an AP story provides a foreshadowing of this interpretation. "With only eight months left in Clinton's final term, however, some experts consider it more likely that he will be remembered not as a bold architect of post-Cold War diplomacy but as a president who, distracted by domestic policy and impeachment, was cautious on international affairs."
Presidential historian Henry Graff agrees that with respect to foreign policy there have been "no really big successes and probably will not be ... They all look for their place on postage stamps and coins at this stage. But I don't really think he can do much."
So Clinton trucks ahead to Russia, hoping against hope that he can reach some miraculous breakthrough with Putin. Clinton is embarking on dangerous territory. Russia's recent offer that both countries reduce their strategic nuclear warheads to 1,500 each has alarmed top U.S. military officers, according to their testimony to Congress.
What is more alarming is Clinton's mindset regarding our nuclear policy. He seems willing to reduce our offensive nuclear capabilities while blocking efforts to develop a comprehensive nuclear missile defense shield. In fact, Clinton is even reluctant to go ahead with a limited national defense system, apparently out of fear that such a system could set off a cold-war-style arms race between China, India and Pakistan. Well, what do you think China, India and Pakistan are doing now?
This is not the same world that existed in 1972 when the United States entered into the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with the Soviet Union. We were the world's only nuclear superpowers, and strategic stability was based on the premise of mutually assured destruction (MAD) that each of the nations would respond in kind in the event of a nuclear attack by the other. Missile defense could arguably interfere with the peace, by removing the nuclear deterrent.
Today we are vulnerable to nuclear attack by an ever-increasing number of hostile nations. Assuming the questionable MAD policy ever had merit, it is certainly outmoded today.
I have a novel idea for Clinton that could help him with his all-important legacy and enhance the national security of the United States at the same time. He should remove all barriers, especially his own, to the development and deployment of a comprehensive nuclear missile shield.
SDI? Yes, I know it was Reagan's idea, but who's
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?