Posted on December 27, 2023



Bubba's Bursting Bubbles

Hope is not a foreign policy


Daniel Clark



Almost thirty years ago, two similar international agreements were made that have dramatically shaped recent events, and not for the better. The common denominator between them is President William Jefferson Clinton.

In September 1993, President Clinton mediated the signing of the first Oslo Accord, between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat. Clinton had not been involved in creating the substance of the agreement, which had already been negotiated in Oslo, Norway, as the title would suggest. However, he did endorse the finished product, by hosting the ceremony and having Secretary of State Warren Christopher sign as a witness.

The accord provided for Palestinian self-rule in Gaza and parts of the West Bank, from which the Israelis would withdraw. In exchange, Israel got nothing verifiable, but only a promise of peace. Arafat had agreed that the PLO charter would be amended in order to recognize Israel's right to exist, an offer that should have drawn immediate skepticism because it could not have been accomplished by merely adding or revising a single clause. Rather, it would have required a total rewrite of the document, whose calls for the destruction of the Jewish state are woven throughout.

Clinton encouraged Rabin to sign the deal without this having been done beforehand. By taking Arafat's word for it that the largely symbolic action would be taken at some point in the future, Rabin was accepting an IOU for an IOU, from one of the most untrustworthy men in the world.

The newly created Palestinian Authority never did recognize Israel's right to exist. The Palestinians voted out the PLO and put the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hamas in control of the P.A. instead. With the Israelis gone from Gaza, Hamas plotted against them, uninhibited, culminating in the atrocities of this past October. For America's part in this misguided "land for peace" deal, our own assets throughout the Middle East are coming under attack by other Iranian surrogates that are acting in concert with Hamas, suggesting the possibility of direct warfare between the United States and Iran.

A little more than a year after Oslo, Clinton signed onto another pact that had tragic results, and has involved America in another conflict three decades later. The Budapest Memorandum, signed by President Clinton, British Prime Minister John Major, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, required Ukraine to give up the nuclear weapons it had possessed since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine had needed its nuclear deterrent to prevent the Russian invasion that everyone must have known would otherwise take place. Nevertheless, it agreed to turn its nukes over to Russia, supposedly to be destroyed, at the prodding of its Western allies who sought to contain nuclear proliferation. In return, that nation was assured by the other three heads of state that nobody would violate its territorial integrity. Of course, the Ukrainians did not trust Russia to uphold this agreement unilaterally. The assurance they needed came from the President of the United States. Hence our obligation to assist them, now that the inevitable Russian aggression is being waged.

To his credit, Clinton now acknowledges and regrets his role in setting the stage for the war in Ukraine, but how could a man who had been entrusted with the most awesome responsibility in the world have failed to see this coming? Just as in the case of Oslo, he had encouraged a friendly nation to make a very costly substantive concession in exchange for nothing more than an evil entity's word that it would behave itself.

That's the kind of unseriousness we should have expected of "the man from Hope" who wasn't really from there; the candidate who went on MTV and told the kids what kind of underpants he wore; the man who spoke in fluffy platitudes about hope and change, and then tried to come across as a deep thinker by saying the word "profound" as often as possible; the president who wiped away nonexistent tears and pretended to look across the Korean DMZ after forgetting to remove the lens caps from his binoculars; the superficial chief executive who said the one thing he would miss most about being president was the White House movie theater.

Hope is not a solution, trusting the evildoers not to do evil is not a foreign policy, and this uniquely insubstantial man should never, ever have been made Leader of the Free World. Nevertheless he was, and now we're left to deal with it.



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