- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Bill Clinton will visit Vietnam later this week, following an Asia-Pacific economic forum. To the bitter end, the president pursues his legacy — a more dangerous world shaped by a flower-child foreign policy.

Clinton's worldview is founded on the illusions of the '60s anti-war movement, foremost among them that international conflict is due to misunderstandings, and as long as we're talking we're not fighting. (Doesn't anyone remember Munich?)

Clinton will be the first president to call on the communist north. Rehabilitating Vietnam is his way of justifying his conduct during the war. First he lifted the trade embargo, then he normalized relations with Hanoi. Now he comes courting the same regime responsible for the deaths of 58,000 Americans in the conflict he avoided.

But Clinton has advanced the interests of far more lethal regimes. Last month, Madeleine Albright became the first secretary of state to visit North Korea. As part of her tour, Albright paid homage at the tomb of Kim Il Sung, the Stalinist who launched a war that cost the lives of 55,000 Americans. The administration believes that, with bribes and diplomatic rewards, it can soothe this savage beast.

North Korea does a brisk export trade in medium-range missiles. Its clients are Third like Iran, Libya and Syria.

A Pentagon report, leaked to The New York Times in September, noted that Pyongyang has deployed large numbers of rocket launchers and artillery near the DMZ. It added, “There is little or no evidence of … reduction in military (activity), or a lessening of anti-U.S. rhetoric.”

The same could be said of China. The People's Republic continues to threaten Taiwan, brutally repress dissent and openly declare that war with America is inevitable. And Clinton rewards Beijing for its very bad behavior.

Writing in the Nov. 6 issue of Insight magazine, Kenneth R. Timmerman, author of numerous books on the Chinese threat, charges, “Today we are facing a more modern, more aggressive Chinese military, equipped with some of the best technology in the world, thanks to Clinton and Gore.”

Timmerman shows how this administration gutted the national security export-control system and arranged for China to purchase more than 600 military-grade supercomputers, among other advanced technology. Military exchange programs give the People's Liberation Army inside information on how America will fight future wars.

The Clinton rationale for arming Beijing was enunciated by then-Defense Secretary William Perry, “If we treat China as an enemy, surely it will become one.” By extension, if we're kind to a militaristic state, bent on expansion, our concessions will somehow civilize it. Imagine where we'd be today if this utopian dogma guided Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan during the Cold War.

Clinton's policy of kindness to the cruel isn't confined to communist states.

Despite the violence in the Middle East, for which Yasir Arafat is solely responsible, Clinton clings to the fantasy that one more summit will solve everything. The president refuses to modify his policy of evenhandedness in the conflict — identical treatment for a nation that has been one of America's most loyal allies since its inception and a man who's murdered Americans and sided with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War.

In the current crisis, when Israel's survival hangs in the balance, the administration calls for restraint from both sides, as if Israeli troops acting in self-defense are the moral equivalent of Palestinians murdering civilians and lynching unarmed soldiers.

When the Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israel in early October, the United States abstained. “We have to be an honest broker,” Albright explained lamely — and forget morality and national interest.

Campaigning for the Democratic ticket, Clinton asked voters if they were better off financially than they were eight years ago. But a nation doesn't survive by low-inflation rates alone. Today, the American people are far less secure than they were in 1992, thanks to a foreign policy unable to distinguish friend from foe and convinced love conquers all.

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