President George Bush reneged on the most famous campaign pledge of modern times (“No new taxes; read my lips”) after his adviser Richard Darman told him, “Nobody believed that anyway.” Bush discovered that, on the contrary, people did believe him and were angry enough about his betrayal to defeat him for reelection in 1992.
Bill Clinton promised in 1996 that he would have American troops out of Bosnia by the end of 1996, and that the mission would be “precisely defined with clear, realistic goals” that could be achieved within the year. He reneged on that promise only days after he was reelected in November.
Then he made another promise that our troops would come home by July 1998. On December 18, he reneged on that promise and called for an open-ended commitment to keep our troops in Bosnia.
Clinton apparently figured that nobody believed him anyway and that he could get by with a sort of an apology during the Christmas holidays. He said he was “wrong about the timetable.”
All evidence indicates that his latest statement is not an apology but a fresh deception. He wasn’t just “wrong” about his timetable; he lied about the timetable in order to conceal his real intention to keep American troops indefinitely in Bosnia.
The announcement a couple of weeks ago that the State Department experts had just discovered that, if we pull our troops out of Bosnia, the locals will resume fighting, is black comedy. Of course, they’ll resume fighting, and anyone with common sense has known this all along.
The Serbs, the Croats, and the Muslims don’t like each other, and they are not willing to live under the untenable Dayton accord forced on them by Clinton. “Peace” exists in Bosnia today only because U.S. troops are playing policemen, social workers, and (to quote Rush Limbaugh) providing “meals on wheels.”
The whole idea of using American fighting troops to build a multiethnic Bosnian democracy sounds like a theory hatched in academia by the high priests of multiculturalism and diversity. History tells us that prolonged bloody ethnic fighting ends only in dictatorship or partition.
The Bosnian situation today is fundamentally no different from what it was before we spent $8 billion supporting American troops there. Bosnia is not a nation; it is an artificial “made in America” police state.
The goal of Clinton’s “peacekeeping” expedition is not peace (except as enforced by U.S. troops). The goal is not “nation-building” because there is no nation to build. Clinton has no exit strategy for Bosnia because he has no plans to exit.
At his 90-minute news conference on December 18, Clinton was asked a question about his “open-ended U.S military commitment to Bosnia.” He declined to assure us that U.S. troops will be out even by the time he leaves office three years from now.
Clinton’s goal is permanent intervention in foreign conflicts, using NATO as the mechanism to preempt Congress. Why? Because Clinton and his advisers all believe in U.S. interventionism in foreign, particularly European, conflicts as a permanent feature of U.S. policy. They call this “showing leadership.”
If the Senate is so foolhardy as to ratify the upcoming NATO Expansion Treaty, we will have one “Bosnia” after another, and it will be an economic as well as a military drain on U.S. resources. Clinton’s advisers are quite frank in acknowledging this.
Ever since the Berlin Wall came down and ended the threat that the old Soviet Union would invade Western Europe, NATO has been a bureaucracy in search of a mission. Those who believe in U.S. interventionism as the indicia of “leadership” have been desperate to find a rationale to keep American troops in Europe.
In a May 20, 1997 speech to the Atlantic Council, Clinton’s personal foreign policy and Rhodes scholar roommate Strobe Talbott said: “NATO today doesn’t need an enemy. What it needs is an enduring purpose, and that it has; namely, to undergird trans-Atlantic security, . . . to maintain the collective will and capacity to meet new threats.”
Describing his plan to bleed American taxpayers in behalf of his global goals, Talbott added, “We want to do for the Central and East Europeans what Dean Acheson and George Marshall’s generation did for Western Europe.” Echoing Talbott’s enthusiasm for a multi-billion-dollar “Marshall Plan” for Eastern Europe, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Meet the Press on January 26, 1997, “We have to do for Eastern Europe what we did for Western Europe.”
Who are “we”? The American people never said that’s how we want to spend our money. But the democratic process doesn’t matter to Albright, who Time magazine reported has a “passion for American activism.”
On December 18, Clinton sanctimoniously declined to set a new deadline and laid down “benchmarks” by which he will decide when U.S. troops can come home. He said that U.S. troops will stay in Bosnia until there is a “self-sustaining, secure environment” and its media are free from “hate and venom.”
Those are code words for never! Clinton doesn’t even think the U.S. media are free from hate; his spokesmen are constantly whining on television that the United States is plagued by “hate radio.”