March 1999 - While the American people take a collective deep breath in the wake of President Bill Clinton's acquittal on impeachment charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, the rest of the world continues to thumb their noses at this globally challenged leader. The Cold War may be over, but this US president still faces tough international decisions that, to this point, have perplexed him at best.
North Korea is fast acquiring capability to deliver nuclear warheads to North America by means of a new, long-range, three-stage missile. CIA Director George Tenet has testified to Congress that North Korea is on the verge of producing long-ranged missiles that could "deliver large payloads to the continental United States."
Tenet's dramatic testimony confirms the total failure of President Clinton's Korea policy. When confronted in 1994 by incontrovertible evidence North Korea was building nuclear weapons and delivery systems, Clinton chose to bribe rather than confront Pyongyang. He pressured South Korea and Japan into joining the US to offer North Korea an amazing US$4.6 billion in oil, food, and light-water nuclear reactors in exchange for its promise to halt building nuclear weapons and producing plutonium. By contrast, Clinton chose to repeatedly bomb Iraq, which offered almost no threat to anyone, while bribing extremely dangerous North Korea. Of course, there was no domestic lobby in the US demanding the destruction of North Korea, as there was for Iraq.
Last March, President Clinton went hunting for black votes back home by staging a highly-publicized safari to Africa. Clinton, who was accompanied by a 1,000-strong entourage more befitting a Chinese Emperor, proclaimed "a new African renaissance." Now, nearly a year later, more than half of black Africa is convulsed by war, slaughter, or famine. Sudan, the largest nation, is torn by civil war. So, too, Sierra Leone, where drug-crazed rebels chop off the hands and feet of their victims. Eritrea and Ethiopia are warring over a barren border region. Tribal warfare rages in Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, Congo Brazaville, and Liberia. Rwanda is a mountain of bones. But the most interesting conflicts are in Congo(ex-Zaire), and Angola. They offer a striking sense of deja vu.
In Kosovo, Clinton seems determined to maintain the status quo, even at the price of continuing Serbian atrocities. Heavily-armed Serbia will shoot back if bombed, unlike nearly defenseless Iraq. The White House and Pentagon prefer military theater to real warfare. Protecting Kurds and Shia Muslims from Saddam's wrath is one thing; saving Albanians from the cruelty of Slobodan Milosevic quite another. So rather than go after Milosevic, the man who destroyed Yugoslavia, supervised the murder of more than 250,000 victims, created 2 million refugees, and committed the worst atrocities in Europe since the Nazi era, the US and NATO have elected to stall and prevaricate. Instead, NATO delegates keep going to Belgrade to beg, cajole, and flatter Milosevic, while telling Kosovar Albanians to stop causing trouble.
Want more? There's plenty. In future articles we'll detail more of lame duck President Clinton's miserably failed foreign policies. Do you have comments? Let us know your opinion of American foreign policy in the Clinton White House.
Special thanks to Eric Margolis of The Toronto Sun.
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