home > archive > 2002 > this article
Fool's gold: The legacy of America's appeasing presidents
By Murray Soupcoff
Will the depressing news about the ever-eroding "legacy" of William Jefferson Clinton, not to mention the never-ending gullibility and stupidity of Nobel Prize winner Jimmy Carter, never stop? Since 9/11, we've had countless reports of the missed opportunities of the Clinton administration to put Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda out of commission. And now comes the recent headline news that North Korea reneged on the Carter-brokered 1994 peaceful "accomodation" between the Clinton administration and the tyrannical North Korean dictatorial regime -- the "Agreed Framework" between the two nations in which North Korea agreed to freeze its nuclear weapons program and the United States agreed to send billions of dollars in aid to assist Kim Jong Il in rescuing his starving people from state-created famine and the grinding poverty generated by the Communist nation's rigid collectivist economy.
Of course, it's very old news about Jimmy Carter's futile attempts as president to free American hostages in Iran by appeasing the extremist mullahs in Iran. And most of us still remember at least a few of his many accomodating efforts to diplomatically reach "an understanding" with leftist political tyrants of all religious persuasions by ceding them everything they wanted -- in the interests of "international peace."
Unfortunately, recent news also includes Bill Clinton's refusal to heed advice from the FBI in 1996 to "prohibit fund-raising by Islamic terrorists and identify terrorist organizations," as described by Dick Morris in his New York Post column of January 2, 2002. According to Morris, who was there as a close political adviser to Bill Clinton, Clinton ignored those recommendations for fear that such actions would be viewed as politically incorrect -- racial profiling of Islamic charities. Better to "look the other way" and appease such anti-American constitutencies, especially if some future votes might be bought.
In fact, according to Morris, similar 'civil liberty' and 'profiling' arguments were made against a separate recommendation to require that drivers' licenses and visas for non-citizens expire simultaneously, so that illegal aliens pulled over in traffic stops could be identified and (if appropriate) deported. In particular, George Stephanopoulos stressed the "potential abuse" of such profiling and the political harm to the president's Hispanic base if such measures were implemented.
Of course, as noted by Morris in his Post column, had the FBI recommendation being adopted by Bill Clinton, Mohammed Atta might have been deported after he was stopped for driving without a license three months before be piloted an American Airlines jet into the World Trade Center.
And then there was that little matter of the refusal of Bill Clinton to accept Sudan's offer in the 1990's to deport Osam bin Laden from Sudan to American soil. Too messy and risky a proposition, opined the former present who turned down the offer and looked the other way. As Paul Harvey might put it, we certainly know the rest of the bin Laden story.
Fast forward to the present and we have shocked headlines in the mainstream press revealing that North Korea has admitted that after the 1994 Carter-brokered agreement between the Clinton administraton and North Korea, North Korea broke its word to to the dual masters of appeasement and secretly developed nuclear weapons right under the noses (and averted eyes) of the Clinton foreign-policy team. And yes, folks, that means that today North Korea probably has the capacity to launch at least a few nuclear-tipped missiles at Alaska or Hawaii (as first evidenced by the multistage North Korean rocket that flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific ocean in August 1998, evincing only a few token peeps of protest from Bill Clinton, Madelaine Albright and company).
Gosh, that sure was some tough Agreed Framework with North Korea that Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter worked out in 1994 -- with its lofty language, deliberately vague provisos, and noticeable omission of any serious sanctions should North Korea abrogate the agreement. However, as Martin Sheen or Barbra Streisand might point out, it's just an another sterling example of how much can be accomplished internationally when military action is avoided and the conflicting parties turn instead to peaceful negotiations. Certainly, as members of this year's selection committee for the Nobel Peace Prize pointed out, U.S. President George W. Bush could learn a thing or two from Carter's obsequious and empathetic negotiating strategy -- pretending that even the most loathsome tyrants are "just like us," misunderstood, well-intentioned good souls desperately searching for new ways to live in peace and benefit all humankind.
Of course, there is something Mr. Bush can learn from all this (not that he appears to need to). And that's just how bankrupt was the Neville Chamberlain style of international diplomacy favored by Jimmy Carter and the Clinton administration in dealing with the 1994 Korean nuclear crisis. The message that the Carter/Clinton team quickly telegraphed to their tyrannical adversary was not one of good will and peaceful intentions, but rather weakness -- a lack of resolve to end the North Korean nuclear-weapons program for good (or else!). And of course, as Adolph Hitler demonstrated in the 1930's, what the forces of evil inevitably do in the face of such "good will" and "peaceful intentions" is walk all over it; trample it; spit in its face -- all the while daring the totally flummoxed forces of appeasement to do something about the ever-more outrageous misdeeds of their mischievous adversaries (who well know that the well-intentioned "peace-at-any-price" crowd simply don't have the wisdom or the will to do a thing about any of it).
Sadly, that's the stuff today's Nobel Peace Prizes are all about -- lots of talk, diplomatic bafflegab and covert appeasement. The perfect international award for Jimmy Carter.
And of course, as events unwind in the twenty-first century, we increasingly learn that's what the foreign policy of Bill Clinton was all about, whether in dealing with international terrorism, North Korea, Iraq, Communist China and other rogue tyrannies -- lots of talk, diplomatic bafflegab and covert appeasement. And as we are learning today, lots of dire consequences.
Some legacy. Some president.
And to think that such sorry excuses for political leaders as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter are revered by so many these days. What a corrupt and morally-compromised age we live in!
Murray Soupcoff is the author of 'Canada 1984' and a former radio
and television producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He
also was Executive Editor of We Compute Magazine for many years, and is
now the Managing Editor of the popular conservative Web site, Iconoclast.ca.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!
© 1996-2019, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.