Strobe Talbott has two qualifications to be Clinton’s chief adviser on foreign policy, especially Russia, and to be waiting in the wings to succeed Warren Christopher as Secretary of State. He was Clinton’s roommate while they were both Rhodes scholars in England, and then he spent 22 years as a writer for Time Magazine.
In that capacity during the 1992 Presidential campaign, he wrote and selected news that excused Clinton’s draft-dodging and presented his candidacy favorably to the American people. Birds of a feather flock together: by his own account, Talbott’s trick knee kept him out of Vietnam, but not the squash courts at Oxford.
You can tell a lot about any man by examining his world view, and Talbott’s is clearly spelled out in his prolific writings. He is eager to get rid of nationalism and patriotism and to replace American independence and sovereignty with world government.
World government is not just utopian idealism so much as it is a manifestation of arrogance. Talbott has apprenticed himself to the foreign policy intellectuals, long dominated by Paul Nitze and George Kennan, who believe that an internationalist elite should control the whole world and everybody in it.
In his long article in the July 20, 1992 Time entitled “The Birth of the Global Nation,” Strobe Talbott cheerfully predicts that, in the next century, “Nationhood as we know it will be obsolete, all states will recognize a single, global authority.” Almost as though he is talking to children, he reminds us that “national sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.”
Manifesting the elitists’ characteristic disdain for those with contrary views, he asserts that “great minds thought alike . . . giving primacy to interests higher than those of the nation.” Of course, he identifies himself with the “great minds” who are planning to make Americans “citizens of the world,” subservient to an international bureaucracy.
In this Time article, Talbott reveals how his crowd measures progress on the road to world government.
One landmark was the Rio Earth Summit which, he said, signified the acceptance of “the transcending sovereignty of nature” rather than of nations. We can’t deny that Mother Nature is an important fact of life, but that doesn’t mean we want her as our political sovereign.
Talbott bragged about how national sovereignty has been diminished by the International Monetary Fund and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GAIT) which, he said, are the coming world government’s “protoministries of trade, finance and development.” If the IMF and GATT are, indeed, diminutions of national sovereignty on the road to world government, the American people were never so advised.
Talbott is so out of touch that he actually thinks that it is now written in stone the that “the internal affairs of a nation are no longer off limits” to world government. His evidence for this incredible statement is that the UN authorized troops to help the starving Kurds in Irag.
Since Talbott’s goal of world government would have to include the Soviet Union, and since he has been a Russophile since long before the Communist empire broke up, he denies that the Soviet Union was ever a threat. “It never was,” he says.
World government would require the repeal of both history and human nature, as well as of the United States Constitution. The notion that the world can live in democracy and stability under some international bureaucracy is an impossible pipe dream, as witness the powerful nationalistic drives in the former Yugoslavia and other battlegrounds around the world.
World government is not for the United States because we in America have a constitutional republic so unique, so precious, so successful that it would be total folly to put our necks in a yoke with any other nation. If the rest of the world wants to enjoy the blessings of liberty and prosperity, they can copy our system. We are not going to compromise with theirs.
Margaret Thatcher’s common sense is a good antidote for Talbott’s weird writings. As a student of history, she reminds us that we must accept “the legitimacy of nationalism as a basis for independent statehood. National pride, in combination with liberty and the rule of law, powerfully strengthens democratic government.”
Indeed, it does. She further points out that people will consent to be governed and accept common sacrifices only when they feel themselves part and parcel of one another in a community of “shared history, loyalties, songs and myths, and, above all, a common language and culture.” She reminds us that those sentiments cannot be created by a bureaucracy.
The Talbott crowd will not be able to achieve their goal of world government.
No matter how many Leagues of Nations and United Nations they create, world government, like the horizon, will always recede.
However, since seventeen of Talbott’s buddies from the Aspen Strategy Group and the Council on Foreign Relations are now senior policymakers in the Clinton Administration, they can create a lot of mischief while trying.