Commander in Chief Hillary?

Those who worry that a Hillary Clinton presidency would just be the Return of Bill may yet be proved optimists.  Judging by her article in Foreign Affairs on October 16 Hillary is determined to bring back the human rights-based failures of Jimmy Carter. 

In a June 1977 speech, Jimmy Carter said he wanted to make American government “competent and more humane.”  Carter celebrated what he called the end of our “…inordinate fear of communism which once led us to embrace any dictator who joined us in that fear.” And – establishing the most ineffective foreign policy since King Canute’s – Carter said, “Our policy must reflect our belief that the world can hope for more than simple survival and our belief that dignity and freedom are fundamental spiritual requirements… we have reaffirmed America’s commitment to human rights as a fundamental tenet of our foreign policy.”

In her article, Clinton pledges a return to Carterism, writing that, “We must once again make human rights a centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy and a core element of our conception of democracy.”  That was Carter’s first of five foreign policy principles.  To the other four, Clinton also pledges her allegiance.

Carter’s second point was to “reinforce the bonds among democracies.” Channeling Carter, Clinton wants to, “…rebuild our alliances. The problem we face is global; we must therefore be attentive to the values, concerns, and interests of our allies and partners.”  Those values, concerns and interests — such as Europe’s dependence on Iranian oil and the planned arms sales to China delayed so far by Mr. Bush — will prevent action on Iran before it achieves its nuclear weapons ambitions and endanger every American ally on China’s periphery, including Japan.

Carter said that to deal with the Soviet Union, his third principle was, “…a freeze on further modernization and production of weapons and a continuing, substantial reduction of strategic nuclear weapons as well. We want a comprehensive ban on all nuclear testing, a prohibition against all chemical warfare, no attack capability against space satellites, and arms limitations in the Indian Ocean.”  Clinton agrees. 

Hillary Clinton wrote that she would, “…seek to negotiate an accord that substantially and verifiably reduces the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. This dramatic initiative would send a strong message of nuclear restraint to the world, while we retain enough strength to deter others from trying to match our arsenal. I will also seek Senate approval of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by 2009…” 

Carter didn’t go as far as Clinton did, physically embracing the wife of terrorist Yassir Arafat, but he did try the same “peace process” Hillary would repeat.  In that same speech, Carter said he would pursue a peace process to establish, in accordance with existing UN resolutions, a Palestinian homeland at the pre-1967 war borders, requiring Israel to give up the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 

Hillary wants a, “…renewed Middle East peace process that would mean security and normal relations for Israel and the Palestinians. The fundamental elements of a final agreement have been clear since 2000: a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank in return for a declaration that the conflict is over, recognition of Israel’s right to exist, guarantees of Israeli security, diplomatic recognition of Israel, and normalization of its relations with Arab states.”  Four years of failure under Carter, eight years of Clinton and now a year or two under Bush don’t dissuade Sen. Clinton. 

A Hillary Clinton presidency would also be pledged to Carter’s fifth principle – “…even at the risk of some friction with our friends, to reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation and the worldwide spread of conventional weapons.”  Clinton is aiming to take dramatic steps to, “…reduce our nuclear arsenal [to] build support for the coalitions we need to address the threat of nuclear proliferation and help the United States regain the moral high ground.” Clinton, like Carter, wants “to negotiate an accord that substantially and verifiably reduces the US and Russian nuclear arsenals.” 

Faced with the utter collapse of the “incentive” deals given North Korea by her husband and by George Bush, Hillary would remake that agreement and make another one like it with Iran.  She proposes, “…to offer Iran a carefully calibrated package of incentives” in return for which — she thinks — Iran would give up sponsorship of terrorism and its nuclear weapons program.  Nothing succeeds like failure.

The North Korean deals negotiated by the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations were broken by the North Koreans before the ink was dry.  The horrible silence you hear about the September 6 Israeli air strike in Syria is the result of the Bush administration’s desperate attempt to conceal the failure of the deal with North Korea.  The Israelis caught the Syrians up to their noses in North Korean nuclear proliferation and provided a carefully calibrated air package to incent the Syrians to stop importing nuclear technology.  None of those facts will dissuade Mrs. Carter, er, Clinton.  

She wants to create a “Northeast Asian security regime” to secure our interests against North Korea.  Never mind NATO: under Hillary, we’ll have “NEATO.”

And it only gets worse. 

Under Carter’s human rights principle, the so-called “dirty source” rule meant refusing to hire spies who could never qualify for the rank of Eagle Scout.  Clinton says that to combat terrorism she would restore morale in our intelligence agencies, increase human intelligence gathering (i.e., the number of active spies) and raise the status of intelligence analysis.  Her devotion to human rights is most admirable, and we must wish her success in recruiting all the spies we need from among the members of the Vienna Boys’ Choir. 

There was no issue of ballistic missile defense under Carter.  Ronald Reagan began the program which now is deploying successfully-tested missile interceptors which — right now — would protect the US from a North Korean launch.  Nevertheless, Clinton wants to abandon it. She wants to pay for the military modernization she purportedly plans by taking the money from missile defense. Clinton wrote, “Ongoing military innovation is essential, but the Bush administration has undermined this goal by focusing obsessively on expensive and unproven missile defense technology while making the tragically misguided assumption that light invasion forces could not only conquer the Taliban and Saddam Hussein but also stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq.” 

Jimmy must be sad that he didn’t invent global warming before he left office.  Clinton would pay as much attention to global warming (she mentions the supposed problem at least three times) as to nuclear proliferation and spread American money throughout the Third World.

When I was writing my UN book, “Inside the Asylum”, former US economic counselor to the UN Dennis Goodman described to me the Third World bureaucrats who populate the UN, saying “They think the US treasury is the common heritage of mankind.”  Clinton apparently agrees with those bureaucrats, promising one Third World aid program after another.

Clinton writes that she has, “…seen firsthand how many of our past policies have earned us respect and gratitude.”  But that which she has seen has apparently taught her nothing.