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August 17, 1992 GOVERNOR CLINTON'S FOREIGN POLICY THE LOS ANGELES SPEECH GEORGE BUSH HAS ACHIEVED MORE IN AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY IN A SINGLE TERM THAN ANY OTHER AMERICAN PRESIDENT SINCE THE EARLY DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC. BILL CLINTON HAS NEVER MADE A FOREIGN POLICY DECISION IN HIS LIFE. o Bill Clinton is taking on the "Bear" Bryant of foreign policy and trying to tell him that he doesn't know how to rack up victories. Months after George Bush has compiled a magnificent record, Clinton is carping about game strategy and play selection -- complaints he never voiced at the time. With George Bush providing Western leadership: -- The West won the Cold War. -- Eastern Europe was liberated. -- Germany was peacefully united within NATO. -- The Soviet Union disintegrated, communism collapsed. -- We smashed the Iraqi army and dashed Saddam Hussein's plans for conquest and nuclear weapons. -- Israel and all its Arab neighbors, for the first time in Israel's 44-year history, sit at the same peace table. -- President Bush has won Russian agreement to eliminate four- fifths of superpower nuclear weapons and most of the nuclear weapons in the world; Russia has agreed to destroy the most destabilizing missiles ever built. -- Panama was liberated and its drug-running dictator was brought to justice; El Salvador and Nicaragua have became working democracies. -- And the President is creating the world's largest free trade area to create hundreds of thousands of new American jobs. WHILE THE PRESIDENT'S EXPERIENCE, SKILL, AND VISION ENSURED A FINAL VICTORY IN THE COLD WAR, CLINTON'S INEXPERIENCE COULD LOSE THE PEACE. o Clinton gave a serious national security policy speech in Los Angeles on August 13. Because of the gravity of the subject, his criticisms of President Bush and Clinton's own policy prescriptions both deserve careful examination. o Shutting America Out of the World Economy: Clinton said his first foreign policy priority was to restore America's economic vitality. But Clinton's plan would hurt, not revitalize the American economy. American business must have global markets to sustain production lines and offset the skyrocketing R&D costs of high technology products. Opening the world's markets means a policy of free trade. But Clinton, imprisoned by Democratic special interests and Big Labor, cannot bring himself to pair the words "free" and "trade" (nor did the Democratic platform). Clinton has even backed away from his earlier support for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Though he has said that he puts economics first, Clinton did not even mention NAFTA in a speech to a Southern California audience the day after the agreement was announced. Clearly, establishment of the largest free trade area in the world has dropped off his economic agenda. Clinton also misjudges American competitiveness. He ignores the record-breaking growth in U.S. exports and world-beating productivity, particularly in manufacturing. He continues to promote radical environmental measures -- such as an unnecessary increase in auto efficiency standards -- that would sacrifice at least 300,000 American jobs. His spending increases would crowd out private investment. His economic design would increase the budget deficit by at least $200 billion over four years, and erase the significant progress that America has made in the last four years in lowering interest rates, keeping inflation down, and cutting the foreign trade deficit. Nor does he understand how to bring down trade barriers. He declared that the stalemate in GATT derives from US weakness. He does not seem to understand that the GATT standoff comes from American strength and will -- to fight against Europe's agricultural subsidies. America's farmers and cattlemen are ready to compete with those from any other nation. American pressure to achieve cuts in European subsidies will make this possible. o Defense Policy: Clinton would slash America's defense by nearly $60 billion more than the President's careful defense reductions. To cite just one example, the Arkansas governor advocates a ten carrier Navy. But independent Congressional Budget Office analyses show that such a force would have been too weak to support America's Gulf War victory. Clinton's defense cuts will also put as many as one million Americans out of work. He would turn a sensible defense drawdown into a freefall, cracking the morale and readiness of our military, bringing back the dispirited "hollow" army of the Carter era. The man who, as Governor of a small state, got kicked out of office for letting unarmed Cuban refugees roam around the West Arkansas countryside, is not the man to plan America's national security needs into the next century. George Bush, the man who oversaw the most successful and extensive mobilization of American fighting men and women in decades, is. o Gulf War Waffle: Though he persists in claiming that "I supported the decision to use force to get Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait," the truth is that Clinton said absolutely nothing on the issue until two days after Congress voted to authorize the use of force. At the time Clinton's instinct was to continue sanctions instead of taking decisive action: "I agree with the arguments of the people in the minority on the resolution -- that we should give sanctions more time and maybe even explore a full-scale embargo ... before we go to war," (AP, as printed in the Pine Bluff Commercial, 1/15/91). But, he could not resist waffling -- trying as usual to have it both ways: "I guess I would have voted with the majority if it was a close vote. But I agree with the argument the minority made" (Arkansas Gazette, 1/15/91). o Support for Yeltsin and Democracy in Russia: In his speech on August 13th, Clinton charged that the President "snubbed Boris Yeltsin." Unfortunately for Clinton, Yeltsin's own words prove the emptiness of his charge: addressing the U.S. Congress this June, Yeltsin thanked the President by name, and the American people, for supporting Russian democracy against the dark forces of reaction. Clinton, in his speech in Los Angeles, emphasized the need to encourage democratic forces. But he failed the most important test of judgment, the rise of democracy in Russia. He went to Moscow in June 1991, at the time Yeltsin was running for the office of Russian president. Clinton did not meet with Yeltsin; yet, he found time to talk to Yeltsin's opponent (Bakatin), a Communist Party hack. Then Clinton publicly accused Yeltsin of manipulating the election, suggesting that Yeltsin had scheduled it "in a hurry so the other candidates wouldn't have time to get known" (Arkansas Gazette, 6/13/91). He recklessly took sides against the man leading the future of democracy in Russia. o Clinton Falters During the August Coup in the Soviet Union, 1991: Two weeks before the August 1991 coup, Clinton praised President Bush for "handling the Soviets well today" (Washington Times, 8/1/91). Now he finds it politically convenient to change his mind and criticize the President. But when democratic reform in the Soviet Union faced its gravest threat during the August coup, Clinton typically dithered. After the President had branded the plot "misguided and illegitimate" and while the resurgence of democratic forces was still in doubt, Clinton granted the coup plotters a measure of legitimacy, saying: "We'll just have to wait and see what the intentions of the new president and that team who are apparently in control are" (Arkansas Gazette, 8/19/91). o Clinton Comments on Bush and Gorbachev: In Los Angeles, Clinton analogized the end of the Cold War to the dawn, an inevitable force of nature. He thus shows startling ignorance of diplomacy and its instruments, misreads history and does not grasp American strategy and tactics that make all the difference. For example, he charges that the President should have abandoned Gorbachev and rushed faster to recognize the Baltic states and the new nations in the former Soviet Union. Clinton's reckless idea of undermining Gorbachev prematurely, while he was still the essential agent of a peaceful transition, would have threatened perestroika, halted Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe and Germany, caused a crisis with our allies, and led to a Soviet veto in the United Nations of the resolution backing war against Saddam Hussein. o Creating Democracies: Bill Clinton says that the central purpose of his foreign policy would be to spread democracy. Yet, since 1989, at least thirty-nine countries have moved from communism or authoritarianism toward democracy: from the former Soviet Union, to the countries of Eastern Europe, to the freely- elected government in Panama. o Clinton's Self-Professed Role Models -- Jimmy Carter and George McGovern: While American Embassy personnel were being held hostage in Teheran, Clinton thought Jimmy Carter was performing his executive role brilliantly: "Iran has helped him enormously because people are seeing in him again what they thought they saw when they elected him -- a smart, good, solid, profoundly thoughtful and firm man doing his best in a difficult time ..." (Arkansas Gazette, 12/30/79). Last September, in a tribute to George McGovern, Clinton said, "History has borne you out, and I'm still proud to have worked for you." This remarkable statement was excised by the Clinton campaign from official speech texts distributed to the media. o Clinton and the Middle East: Clinton accused the President of mishandling the peace process and the issue of loan guarantees to Israel. Yet, just this week, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin complimented the President's decisiveness in defeating Saddam, destroying the most dangerous threat to Israel's security. It is because of George Bush's extensive skill and experience that today Israel has achieved face-to-face negotiations with all of its Arab neighbors -- the top diplomatic objective of the Jewish State since it was founded in 1948. o Yugoslavia: Clinton's statements have wandered in defining the war aims he proposes for American military action in the Balkans. Following Clinton's stumbling performance, the Boston Globe reported (on 8/10/92) that Clinton seemed "vague, hesitant and uncharacteristically [sic] unsure of himself on several questions." The Globe concluded that Clinton was "muddy about what he had in mind when it came to military force in the Balkans, seemingly suggesting that simply contemplating its use was a policy end capable of achieving a foreign policy result." George Bush has had to face the wrenching decision of whether to put America's fighting men and women in the line of fire. He moved decisively in the Persian Gulf and Panama when America's interests were directly threatened. He understands the need to have clearly defined military missions, clearly obtainable political objectives, and to think through these options -- especially where American lives could be put at risk -- before speaking. Clearly, Clinton does not.


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