The Right Coast
August 31, 2005
Clintonian Foreign Policy: Eight Years of Sleep-Walking
By Mike Rappaport
Charles Krauthammer has a wonderful essay in Commentary on Neoconservatism. It begins:
The post-cold-war era has seen a remarkable ideological experiment: over the last fifteen years, each of the three major American schools of foreign policy—realism, liberal internationalism, and neoconservatism—has taken its turn at running things. (A fourth school, isolationism, has a long pedigree, but has yet to recover from Pearl Harbor and probably never will; it remains a minor source of dissidence with no chance of becoming a governing ideology.) There is much to be learned from this unusual and unplanned experiment.Krauthammer devestatingly describes the Clintonian experience in liberal internationalism:
It is hard to be charitable in assessing the record. Liberal internationalism’s one major achievement in those years—saving the Muslims in the Balkans and creating conditions for their possible peaceful integration into Europe—was achieved, ironically, in defiance of its own major principle. It lacked what liberal internationalists incessantly claim is the sine qua non of legitimacy: the approval of the UN Security Council.Its funny. Clinton was so worried about his legacy that he tried over and over again to get Yasser Arafat to sign a peace deal. What Clinton did not realize is that symbolized and was his legacy.