the national unification guidelines were drawn up in 1991,
a consensus was reached after thorough deliberation among
people of all political shades," said Professor Lin Yu-fong
of Tamkong University. "Yet the collective decision of
about a hundred people was scrapped overnight by one single
person. Is he still worthy of the title of Mr. Democracy?"
THE DRIVERS' SEAT
Taiwan Relations Act commits the United States to the unconditional
military defense of the island, which is perhaps why President
Lee doesn't care who he provokes. Let Beijing thunder: the
U.S. will bail Lee out no matter what. An ally entrusted with
guarding the frontiers of empire has suddenly turned, rebelling
against all constraints and mobilizing its American amen-corner.
This perfectly illustrates the prophetic power of a passage
from Garet Garrett's classic Rise of Empire: "A
time comes when the guard itself, that is, your system of
satellites, is a source of fear. Satellites are often willful
and the more you rely upon them the more willful and demanding
they are." In the case of Taiwan, as in some others,
it is fair to ask: who is the true satellite? Is Taipei in
orbit around Washington, or is it now the other way around?
Benjamin Gilman (R-NY), in his role as the chief congressional
spokesman of Taipei's Washington lobby, has vowed to block
congressional approval of all arms transfers until and unless
the administration resumes arms sales to Taiwan. Determined
to rid the US of the only leverage it has over its rambunctious
ally, Gilman is outraged at reports that we may be using the
arms question to pressure Taipei into stepping back from the
precipice. Typically, the administration denies this, as if
reining an "ally" that takes inordinate risks
with American lives is inadmissible.
SECOND THE MOTION
true, these shortsighted, wrong-headed sanctions are not in
the US interest," Gilman declared, because they will
"undermine Taiwan's fundamental security and may destabilize
the fragile peace in Northeast Asia. Accordingly, as a result
of my concern, I plan at this point to withhold my approval
for arms transfers notified to the Congress until this matter
is resolved to my satisfaction." This, of course, is
a grand idea: it means, at least temporarily, no US tax dollars
to arm the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the totalitarian
drug gang that aspires to rule Kosovo. It means no military
aid to the corrupt Colombian government, which is fighting
a popular guerrilla movement and could well lose power; no
arms sales to the nearly bankrupted governments of Eastern
Europe, all of whom are scrambling to modernize their military
forces to meet NATO standards. It also means no government
subsidies to the armaments industry, and less risk of war.
Best of all, it means a veritable freeze on overseas intervention
for as long as the sales ban is in effect. Just one suggestion:
why not make it permanent?
DEFENSE OF KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON
is it about New York that makes it the world capital of the
War Party, even above Washington, D.C.? Its politicians are
the most jingoistic Gilman is a good example of the
species and its media are the most belligerent, with
the New York Post getting the top prize in this category.
recent editorial, they attack Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
(R-Texas) for daring to argue, in a recent lecture to the
Heritage Foundation, that America is "assuming too many
commitments where our interests are vague" and "injecting
American troops into political situations that pose no threat
to us or our allies." Horrors! This heresy is nothing
less than "isolationism," avers the Post:,
which "seems to be making a comeback in the Republican
Party and not just in the fever swamps of its Pat Buchanan
wing. But while a healthy debate over foreign policy is always
to be encouraged, the GOP will be making a serious mistake
if it travels back to the era of Robert A. Taft." If
anyone is feverish, it is the Post's editorial writer
who expects us to take this argument seriously. If "isolationism"
equals opposition to "vagueness" and over-commitment,
then the isolationists appear to have carried the day.
characteristic lack of either courtesy or common sense, the
Post flails away at Hutchison for being "one of
the noisiest and most irresponsible critics of any use of
US force during the recent war in Kosovo." Of course,
from their perspective, all criticism of the war was
"irresponsible." As for being called "noisy"
by the New York Post are we to be spared nothing?
The Post wants a "debate" over foreign policy
about as much as the Chinese Communist Party wants a debate
over Taiwanese independence: the last time someone rose to
challenge the bipartisan internationalist consensus, they
smeared him as an "anti-Semite"; of course, I mean
Patrick J. Buchanan, who beat their scurrilous charges and
lived to fight another day. And as for Robert A. Taft: if
even the Post is forced to note the Taftian revival,
then we are not far from victory.
pointing out the obvious fact that "NATO has been turned
into an alliance that starts wars," the Post accuses
Hutchison of implying that the US "initiated the Kosovo
bloodshed" although this is clearly not
what she said. Initiating bloodshed and initiating a war are
not the same thing, but the Post's lowbrow audience
(practically everyone in New York City) is not supposed to
notice this sleight of hand. Hutchison had the gall to utter
the unutterable: "Why not let the Kosovar Albanians fight
for themselves?" They answer by citing a Post
columnist, Paul Greenberg, who writes: "Washington and
other Western capitals [must] realize that they must impose
peace in Europe, or Europe will impose war on them."
Ah, the infinite elasticity of words: we "impose
peace," the bad guys "impose war." Those must
have been "peace bombs" falling on Belgrade, obliterating
passenger buses, hospitals, factories, bridges, and uncounted
thousands of lives.
GREED OF THE WAR GOD
not even Bill Clinton is trigger-happy enough for the Post.
Never mind that he has sent in the troops and/or launched
the missiles more than all five previous presidents combined
in the view of the New York chapter of the War Party,
you can't have too much of a good thing. "The problem
with Bill Clinton," they aver," is not that he's
been too quick on the trigger using what Hutchison
calls, preposterously, "gunpoint diplomacy"
but that he usually waits far too long to act and, when he
does so, he acts incompetently. That was true in Bosnia and
in Kosovo, and, mark our words, it will prove true again when
it comes to the nettlesome, unresolved issue of Iraq."
Thousands of American troops occupy Bosnia years after they
were supposed to have come home, and we went to war for Kosovo,
which will now be a permanent US protectorate. In addition,
Clinton bombed Iraq all throughout the period of the Balkan
war and the assault continues, along with murderous sanctions
that have killed over a million Iraqis, most of them children,
old people, and women. But this is not enough for the Post,
which demands more and better sacrifices to the war god.
TELLS IT LIKE IT IS
daring to tell it like it is, Senator Hutchison deserves the
Congressional Medal of Honesty & Plain-speaking. President
Clinton had the nerve to cite the classic economic arguments
for interventionism, the same one touted by the "Manifest
Destiny" imperialists at the turn of the nineteenth century:
we needed to seize Kosovo and dismember Yugoslavia in order
to ensure "trade with Europe." If our war on Yugoslavia
is not "gunboat diplomacy," then the phrase has
foreign policy is "weak-kneed," says the Post,
it has inexplicably and "inadvertently
fueled support for isolationism." But if Clinton's frenetic
interventionism is "weak-kneed," then why hasn't
it sparked a backlash demanding a more muscular interventionist
stance? Of such a reaction there is not the slightest sign.
The sudden upsurge in "isolationism," i.e., the
policy of the Founding Fathers who urged peace and good relations
with all, "entangling alliances with none"
is based on nothing as insignificant as Clinton but on the
historical reality that Communism is fallen. With the dissolution
of the Soviet Empire and the end of the Cold War, people are
beginning to challenge the bipartisan policy of perpetual
war. Let the Post rant and rave about "isolationism"
and "fever swamps" every day for the next ten years,
but it won't put a dent in the growing movement to abolish
America's imperial pretensions and restore our old Republic.
US is clearly worried about the inroads made by Marxists guerrillas
in Colombia: the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
have attacked within a few miles of the capital city, and
Barry McCaffrey, Clinton's "drug czar," has requested
millions in military aid to the government in order to fight
the "narco-terrorists." The State Department accuses
FARC of being in the thick of the drug trade which
fuels what there is of Colombia's economy but even
if this is true, how can the US sponsors and allies of the
KLA, which runs most of the European heroin trade, say this
with a straight face?