Will America Be Caught in Clinton's 'Web'?|
What Clinton Told the UN
President Bill Clinton made a major speech to the
United Nations General Assembly on September 22,
1997 in which he set forth his hopes for the future. It
didn't get much ink then, but it's very important in
explaining his world view and how his various foreign
policy initiatives mesh together into a consistent plan.
Clinton used the metaphor "web," and it is very apt.
He described the series of treaties he has signed and sent
to the U.S. Senate for ratification as a "web of
institutions and arrangements" that has set "the
international ground rules for the 21st century," and he
urged Americans to support what he called "the
emerging international system."
Clinton enthusiastically described the treaties which
are locking the United States into a network of global
entanglements: the World Trade Organization (WTO),
the Chemical Weapons Convention, "binding
international commitments to protect the environment"
(i.e,, the Global Warming Treaty), and the NATO
Since Clinton's speech, this rosy picture has been
somewhat tarnished. The WTO decision against
Eastman Kodak was followed by a layoff of 16,000
employees, people are asking why the Chemical
Weapons Treaty doesn't protect us against Saddam
Hussein's chemical and biological weapons, and the
Global Warming Treaty is being ridiculed as hot air.
In his UN speech, Clinton spoke with gusto about
what he called "this new global era." He said, "The
forces of global integration are a great tide, inexorably
wearing away the established order of things. But we
must decide what will be left in its wake."
All of a sudden it appears that the "established order
of things" being washed away is our right to decide how
to spend American tax dollars. According to Treasury
Secretary Robert Rubin, global integration requires us to
spend tens of billions of U.S. dollars to bail out the bad
loans made by the big U.S. banks to corrupt Asian
"Before the century ends," Clinton told the UN, "we
should establish a permanent international court to
prosecute the most serious violations of humanitarian
law." That means that Clinton's "web" includes a global
court empowered to invent and adjudicate a new system
of "humanitarian law" made by persons unknown.
"Just last week," Clinton told the UN, "we lost some
of our finest sons and daughters in a crash of a UN
helicopter in Bosnia. Five were Americans, five were
Germans, one Polish and one British; all citizens of the
world we are trying to make."
When those five Americans joined our armed
services, they had no inkling that they would be
transformed by presidential ukase from American
citizen soldiers defending U.S. national security into
"citizens of the world" and then called upon to give their
lives to "make" Clinton's new global world.
"The United Nations must play a leading role in this
effort," Clinton said, "filling in the fault lines of the new
global era." He defined the UN mission as taking over
peace, security, human rights, eliminating poverty, and
"sustainable development" (the code word for global
control of energy consumption).
Clinton concluded his UN speech by telling us that
it is "necessary to imagine a future that is different from
the past, necessary to free ourselves from destructive
patterns of relations with each other and within our own
nations and live a future that is different from the past."
He didn't define what will be "different" about our
future, but it clear from the text and tone of the entire
speech that the principal difference will be submerging
what he called our "poisoned nationalism" into a "web"
of global organizations.
Exploring Clinton's mind further, let's look at his
remarks made the following month, on October 17,
1997, in Buenos Aires to Argentine reporters. "What
I'm trying to do is to promote a process of
reorganization of the world so that human beings are
organized in a way that takes advantage of the new
opportunities of this era."
Hear that again! Clinton says he is trying to achieve
a "reorganization of the world" so that "human beings
are organized"! The scope of this global goal staggers
Continuing his remarks to Argentine reporters,
Clinton added, "If we can prove that you can merge
integrated economies and integrated democracies, then
we'll be more likely to build a global system of this
kind." It's clear that the "kind" of a "global system" that
Clinton is trying to "build" will be based on merging
"integrated" economies and democracies.
The notion of integrating the United States, either
our economy or our democracy, into a "global system"
has never been cleared with the American people. So
how come Clinton is announcing it to Argentineans? In
describing his plans, Clinton is much more forthright in
talking to foreigners than he is with Americans.
When Tim Russert asked Bill Clinton on NBC's
Meet the Press what he hopes his legacy will be, Clinton
responded immediately by talking about his "global"
aspirations. Americans had better get busy if we want
to stop Clinton's "inexorable" march toward global
Clinton's Go-to-War Treaty
President Bill Clinton made the NATO Expansion
Treaty his primary foreign policy objective in his State
of the Union Message. It was also an essential (albeit
little reported) element of his 1996 campaigning in big
cities with large blocs of ethnic voters, such as Detroit.
The Washington Post explained the politics. NATO
Expansion has "a major American constituency in
millions of voters of Eastern European extraction, many
of them in pivotal states, who would welcome closer ties
to their ancestral homelands." So why is the Republican
Senate about to hand Clinton a stunning foreign policy
and political victory? Especially when it will give him
convenient cover for his personal scandals?
It looks like some highly-placed people in both
political parties haven't discovered that the Cold War is
over and our side won. Instead of helping America to
move on to meet new challenges, they want to keep the
Cold War going by perpetuating its structures. These
tunnel-visioned spokesmen have a "Maginot Line"
mentality. They are committed to re-fighting the last
war instead of preparing for the future.
NATO was the linchpin of the Cold War strategy to
scare the old Soviet Union out of invading Western
Europe. It succeeded. Nobody is worried any longer
about Soviet troops marching into Western Europe.
The NATO Expansion Treaty would be a profound
change in that mission. It is a life-and-death
commitment to go to war to defend Eastern European
borders, which ethnic factions have been fighting about
for a thousand years. All those borders were established
as a result of bloody battles. There is nothing sacred
about them, and there is no reason why America should
promise to go to war to preserve them.
The New York Times calls the NATO Treaty a
"commitment to use American soldiers and weapons,
including nuclear arms, to defend new members in
Eastern Europe." (March 9, 1998) The Washington Post
calls this treaty "the most ambitious expansion of U.S.
global commitments since the end of the Cold War."
(March 8, 1998)
This dramatic expansion of our commitments to
expend our blood and treasure has had almost no media
coverage outside the Beltway. It is irresponsible for the
Republican Senate to ratify this watershed commitment
without a national debate. What's the rush? This
decision is too important to be made casually or rapidly.
The supporters of the NATO Treaty admit that the
admission of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic
will be followed by many others. Romania, Slovenia,
and Bulgaria are already lining up. On January 16,
Clinton signed a Charter of Partnership at the White
House with the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and
Estonia. It explicitly supports bringing those countries
into NATO and, while not binding, Administration
spokesmen brag that future administrations will not be
able to back away from it.
There are no viable criteria for admitting some ex-Communist countries and omitting others. What about
Ukraine? Bosnia? Even Kosovo? Refusing to admit
eager applicants to the NATO club next year, and the
year after, is sure to give us expensive grief.
Johns Hopkins foreign policy expert Michael
Mandelbaum says that "NATO Expansion is the
equivalent of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that
authorized the war in Vietnam. . . . We will be unable
to go backward, because we can't expel these countries;
unable to go forward, because the Europeans are not
ready to expand NATO to the Russian border; and
unable to stay where we are, because we have vowed to
expand NATO to the Russian border, and not to do so
would be to draw a new dividing line in Europe."
New York Times foreign affairs expert Thomas L.
Friedman issued this warning about NATO Expansion:
"There is no bridge to cross later, there is no cost-free
rest stop along the way. There is only a car with no
brakes on a slippery slope to trouble." (March 31, 1998)
"Out-of-area" has become the new jargon used by
those who have visions of extending NATO's new
mission much farther than Eastern Europe. The Wall
Street Journal reported that "the strongest questions
focus on what sort and how many new out-of-area
responsibilities NATO should accept." (March 12, 1998)
Senator John Ashcroft worries that NATO could become
a "mini-United Nations with a standing army to be
deployed in peacekeeping operations all over the world."
When Madeleine Albright testified before the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, she admitted that this
treaty commits us to defend not only the borders, but
also the NATO-defined "interests" of Eastern Europe.
She urged that NATO extend its geographic reach
beyond Europe to "the Middle East to Central Africa."
The NATO Treaty means that NATO, not Congress,
will decide when America goes to war. It will burden us
with one "Bosnia" after another, using our Armed
Services as global policemen and global social workers
in costly conflicts that are none of America's business.
It means institutionalizing Clinton's Presidential
Decision Directive 25 (PDD 25) to put U.S. troops
under foreign commanders. It will cost billions of
taxpayer dollars by assuring perpetual foreign giveaways
to countries that are unwilling to pay to defend
The NATO Treaty rejects Ronald Reagan's
successful strategy of peace through strength, and
replaces it with the Clinton-Albright strategy of
repeatedly entering foreign conflicts under NATO or UN
The NATO Treaty repudiates George Washington's
advice "to steer clear of permanent alliances with any
portion of the foreign world," and instead commits us to
permanent involvement in foreign conflicts. It should be
called Clinton's Go-To-War Treaty.
NATO Expansion = European Welfare
All the arguments that the Republican Congress used
in order to pass welfare reform, after President Clinton
vetoed it twice, apply just as importantly to the NATO
Expansion Treaty. This Treaty would continue old-style
welfare to foreigners that costs U.S. taxpayers dearly and
perpetuates the dependency of the recipients.
Welfare handouts also create a stream of taxpayers'
money that enables many others along the way to have
their hand in the till. Behind the orchestrated
propaganda for NATO Expansion is the $51 million that
U.S. weapons contractors have spent on lobbying in the
last two years. (New York Times, March 30, 1998)
U.S. weapons manufacturers, which expect to make
billions of dollars selling arms and military equipment to
the new NATO nations, have funneled an additional
$32.3 million to Congressional candidates. This political
money (which dwarfs the donations made by the
tobacco industry) went equally to Republicans and
Democrats, which explains why support for NATO
Expansion is "bipartisan."
The establishment elite, the sort of men who always
lobby for extravagant foreign handouts and who serve
on the boards of directors of the corporations that make
money out of this flow of taxpayers' money, recently ran
a full-page newspaper ad advocating NATO Expansion.
The ad states: "The upcoming Senate debate on
expanding NATO to include Poland, Hungary and the
Czech Republic is all about securing the victory of
democracy and free markets."
Let's have a reality check. NATO Expansion has
absolutely nothing to do with securing free markets to
Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic; instead,
NATO Expansion's immediate effect will be to deny
free markets to those countries.
What the former Warsaw Pact nations really want
and need is membership in the European Union (EU),
which they see as the key to their economic security and
future prosperity. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
ought to be pressing our European allies to admit
Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to the EU.
But West Europeans don't want to admit Eastern
Europe into their exclusive EU free-market club.
Western Europeans are no longer afraid of Warsaw Pact
troops marching westward, but they are in deadly fear of
an invasion of cheap goods and cheap labor from
So, Western Europeans are pursuing a protectionist
policy in order to protect their farmers and
manufacturers from price and wage competition.
Running along the same line as the former Iron Curtain,
we now have a Competition Curtain separating Western
capitalist countries from the former Warsaw Pact
It's easy to see why Western Europeans think NATO
Expansion is a splendid idea. Admitting Poland,
Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO gives
Western Europe cover for not letting them into the EU.
Nobody can assure us of any ceiling on NATO
Expansion's cost to the United States, but it is certain
that NATO Expansion will cause a steady outflow of
U.S. dollars. Open up your pocketbooks for the tax
collector! "Collective security" means the U.S. pays and
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Clinton's
chief foreign policy adviser Strobe Talbott are already on
record as endorsing "Marshall Plan"-style handouts for
Eastern Europe. In a May 20, 1997 speech to the
Atlantic Council, Talbott said: "We want to do for the
Central and East Europeans what Dean Acheson and
George Marshall's generation did for Western Europe."
Sharing Talbott's enthusiasm for a multi-billion-dollar
handout plan, Madeleine Albright told Meet the Press on
January 26, 1997, "We have to do for Eastern Europe
what we did for Western Europe."
The Clinton Administration claims that much of the
cost of NATO Expansion will be paid by the new and
current NATO members. But Western European
countries, which have gotten by ever since World War
II with letting Uncle Sap pay for most of their military
defenses, see no reason to end their dependency now.
The Pentagon says that the NATO Treaty obligates
Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to spend $10
to $13 billion to upgrade their military forces and make
them "compatible" with sophisticated Western
equipment. But they don't see any reason to modernize
their military. Who's the enemy? Isn't it better to
modernize their economies?
The U.S. weapons industry has already protected
itself against the inability or unwillingness of the new
NATO countries to fulfill their commitments. In 1996,
the U.S. arms industry lobbied a bill through Congress
to force American taxpayers to guarantee loans for
weapons exports. (New York Times, March 30, 1998)
The NATO Expansion Treaty will put NATO-U.S.
troops right along the border of Russia, and Russia sees
that as, at best, a diplomatic slap in the face, and, at
worst, a military threat. So the Clinton Administration
is buying Russia's acquiescence with more handouts,
which adds up to an additional financial cost of the
Western Europe, which has grown wealthy on U.S.
handouts over the past 50 years, is today's "welfare
queen." The Senate should terminate welfare for
foreigners now. The NATO Expansion Treaty is a
terrible and costly mistake.
Clinton Is Selling Us Down the Rivers
Can you believe the chutzpa of Clinton? Without
any constitutional or Congressional authority, he is
proceeding with a vast plan for the federal bureaucracy
to take over our nation's rivers and their adjacent lands.
Of course, this grab for power has a lovely label:
American Heritage Rivers Initiative (AHRI). Behind
that name is an attempt to institute national land-use
planning and zoning over wide strips of land along U.S.
rivers, starting with ten rivers this spring, and adding 20
more by the year 2000 and ultimately as many as 114
Clinton's Rivers Initiative would restrict the property
rights of private property owners living along the banks
of the rivers. AHRI would put hundreds of thousands of
acres of land under the control of federal regulators with
authority over the "characteristics of the natural,
economic, agricultural, scenic, historic, cultural, or
recreational resources of a river."
Clinton announced his Rivers Initiative in his 1997
State of the Union Message. On September 11, 1997,
he issued Executive Order 13061 prescribing its
Nothing in the Constitution gives the executive
branch the authority to take over our rivers or to engage
in land-use planning. Under our Constitution and
system of federalism, Congress regulates navigable
waters, and jurisdiction over land-use planning, water
rights, and local zoning is reserved to the states.
The Founding Fathers believed that the separation of
powers is essential to freedom, and that the
accumulation of legislative, executive and judicial power
in the same branch is, as Madison wrote in the Federalist
Papers, "the very definition of tyranny."
Even if the AHRI could pass constitutional muster,
it has no statutory authority because Congress has not
designated any American Heritage Rivers or authorized
the President to do so. The U.S. Constitution gives
Congress jurisdiction over interstate commerce, federal
lands, and the appropriation of money, and Congress has
not transferred any of those powers to the executive
Clinton's Rivers Initiative is a direct threat to the
private property rights of Americans which are
enshrined in the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh
Amendments. The liberal elite looks upon private
property rights as inconvenient barriers to bureaucratic
planning and regulation.
The AHRI process has a thin veneer of local
community participation. A local community can
nominate its river to the President's Council on
Environmental Quality if the community sets forth an
elaborate plan for the future of the river and for
controlling the property alongside of it. Then, the
Council on Environmental Quality appoints an
American Heritage Rivers Interagency Committee to
make recommendations to the President. That's where
the pork-barrel connection rolls into the picture.
Clinton's Council on Environmental Quality let the
cat out of the bag when it wrote in a memo that the
selection committee will recommend more rivers than
will actually be designated as American Heritage Rivers
(AHR) in order to allow the President to choose any
rivers he wants and thereby "ensure that designated
AHRs serve political purposes."
The obvious "political purpose" is designating rivers
that just happen to flow through the districts of
Congressmen who won by only narrow margins in the
last election and therefore can be significantly impacted
by a new influx of federal spending. The first three
rivers expected to be selected to fulfill this criterion are
the Willamette in Oregon, the Yellowstone in Montana,
and the Mississippi north of St. Louis, which touches
eight marginal districts.
The AHRI also purports to give Clinton the power to
appoint ten River Navigators, each paid $100,000 per
year, whose job is to guide the local citizens through the
federal programs (i.e., to browbeat them into
acquiescing in federal land management of their
property and in blocking river bank development). The
President can appoint ten more Navigators in each
Clinton is getting the money to finance AHRI by
diverting funds from 12 federal departments and
agencies. That means using funds that Congress has
appropriated for other purposes.
Clinton's Rivers Initiative is part of the Clinton-Gore
attempt to "reinvent government." The AHRI violates
constitutional and statutory law, imposes a new layer of
federal bureaucracy, reduces the domain of the states,
restricts private property rights, is a political
boondoggle, and will stifle economic activity.
Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID), with 46 cosponsors,
has introduced H.R. 1842 to stop the funding of
Clinton's Rivers Initiative by any federal agency.
Congress should pass this bill before we lose any of our
rivers and lands to the federal regulators.