November 17, 1999
It remains to be seen whether or not George W. Bush and other
Republican presidential candidates have a coherent foreign policy, but
there is no mistaking that Bill Clinton has one. His National Security
Advisor Sandy Berger laid it all out in a speech last week to the
Bilderberg Steering Committee.
Those who think the Bilderbergers are just a phantom of conspiracy
theorists need to face the fact that Clinton's top foreign policy
adviser was driven in a White House limousine on November 4 to address
the Bilderbergers dining at the Library of Congress. The Library's
magnificent Great Hall was an appropriate venue for a meeting of this
45-year-old elite group of Atlantic community movers and shakers.
Berger's speech was entitled "Strengthening the Bipartisan Center:
An Internationalist Agenda for America." Clinton's goal is an
"internationalist agenda," "bipartisanism" is the road to take us
there, and "isolationism" is the dragon to be slayed en route.
"Bipartisanism" at the top levels in both parties is the essential
glue that holds Clinton's foreign policy together. Berger bragged that
the Administration has worked with both Republicans and Democrats in
Congress to enlarge NATO, to pass NAFTA which is now to be expanded by
similar trade bills for Africa and the Caribbean Basin, to join the
World Trade Organization, to ratify treaties such as the Chemical
Weapons Convention, and to finance "engagements" in the Balkans and "a
host of other international initiatives."
Berger complained that Congress is "not meeting our obligations to
the World Bank and IMF," is conditioning the payment of UN dues on
unrelated issues, and has cut our request for peacekeeping by 60
percent. He asserted that "the only acceptable position for the
world's wealthiest and most powerful nation" is to support these
missions, not only with our UN vote but by paying the costs.
Asserting that "global leadership is not divisible," Berger said
that treaties must be used to "establish standards of international
conduct," and America must respond to local conflicts. Not all of
them, of course, just the ones that the internationalists choose.
Pledging more U.S. handouts and interventions, Berger whined about
"a small group of Senators" who are responsible for the steady decline
in our international affairs budget. He particularly complained that
Congress "is refusing to fund a historic debt relief initiative" which
Clinton is demanding.
Clinton had been demanding that the American taxpayers pay the
debt of 41 nations including 33 in Africa. Majority Leader Tom DeLay
calls this sending U.S. taxpayer dollars overseas "to subsidize the
corruption and mismanagement of foreign countries" and robbing the
Social Security surplus for "Ghana versus Grandma."
Clinton vetoed the foreign aid bill on October 18 because its
handouts were 14 percent less than he wanted, calling it "another sign
of the new isolationism." After some heated closed-door sessions with
Administration negotiators threatening to close down the government,
Congress added another $799 million to the $12.7 billion foreign aid
Rep. Sonny Callahan (R-AL) commented that "every time somebody
walks in the White House with a turban on his head," the President
offers them money. Callahan said he was going to "buy me one of those
turbans" and seek money for senior citizens.
Berger called opponents of Clinton's agenda a "dominant minority,"
a strange oxymoron. He ruefully recognized that these opponents have a
"coherent philosophy" which sees "international spending as inherently
disconnected to America's interests, views most multilateral
enterprises with suspicion and considers most difficult international
endeavors . . . as likely to fail and therefore not worth trying."
Berger urged his internationalist audience "to recognize when our
beliefs are being threatened" and to "defend them together."
The Clinton Administration has had significant success in coopting
Republicans to support its global agenda in the name of bipartisanship.
On February 11, a long list of officials from the Ford and Bush
Administrations joined with powerful CEOs, who are the source of soft
money for the Republican Congress, to co-sign a two-page ad in the New
York Times demanding that Congress immediately vote for four of
Attacking "isolationism" and the "drift toward disengagement from
global leadership," these dignitaries demanded (1) more tax handouts to
the International Monetary Fund, (2) use of the Exchange Stabilization
Fund to prop up foreign currencies, (3) $1 billion in "back dues" to
the United Nations, and (4) Fast Track trade authority for Clinton.
Republican signers of these demands included President Gerald Ford,
former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig, former
National Security Advisors Brent Scowcroft and Robert McFarlane, former
U.S. Trade Representatives Bill Brock and Carla Hills, and the heads of
scores of multinationals and bank corporations.
It would be a mistake to think that Clinton's foreign policy is
just the result of improvisations or "wag the dog" coverups. Clinton
has repeatedly enunciated his vision of where he is trying to take
America, such as his statement on CBS Morning News on July 30 that he
wants "to promote the integration of all the democracies."
That's where the "bipartisan center" is taking us. The question
for Americans is, is that where we want to go?