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Recent events on the Indian sub-continent ought to remind us that our
lives could be changed forever in a very fundamental way by the
consequences of the Clinton administration’s incompetence. Clinton
partisans may dismiss this as just another unwarranted attack on the
President. Yet we must hold the Clinton administration responsible for
the nuclear poker now going on between India and Pakistan.

The clear and simple fact is that Indian and Pakistani nuclear
testing represents the collapse of American policy in a very important
area of the world. In dealing with the Indian sub-continent, the
non-proliferation goal was not just one modest element among other
elements of American policy; it was a keystone of American policy. The
total collapse of that effort reveals that our policy has been put
together and conducted incompetently and has directly resulted in the
current dangerous tension. This policy incompetence has been magnified
by the Clinton administration’s arbitrary and possibly corrupt
favoritism toward Communist China.

Our tilt to China has created anxieties which have now snowballed
into what is potentially a nuclear military confrontation between
Pakistan and India. War between these countries is far from
unthinkable. There have been shooting wars between them with some
regularity over the past several decades. And the signals that have
been sent in the course of the last couple of weeks are meant clearly to
convey that if there is a shooting war again, it may well involve
nuclear-tipped missiles.

Nuclear weapons have not been used in anger since 1945. To breech
that threshold now would represent a far greater danger than we ever
knew during the Cold War. During the Cold War there were two major
centers of power which — whatever jockeying went on between them — had a
reasonable assurance that their huge arsenals would be responsive to a
single will that could be dealt with on a predictable basis. The
structure of deterrence at least had some logic to it, however
terrifying that logic.

A world of proliferated nuclear weapons, in which those weapons can
be used in intense regional conflicts that can sometimes be triggered
over things that would seem crazy to most Americans, is a world in which
madness is armed with nuclear weapons and can at any moment produce a
situation of nuclear tragedy. And once nuclear exchanges occur in
regional wars, how will we be able to restrict their use even to that
horrible level? Depending on the overall situations of tension that
might exist, any use could trigger a major nuclear exchange between the
powers that have the huge arsenals.

So to say that the Clinton administration’s misdeeds have the gravest
consequences is not academic. It is rather to call attention to the
consequences of incompetence and corruption, particularly when dealing
with the national security of the country. Reckless favoritism toward
China has sent the signal that the United States, the major superpower,
is carelessly going to build up a sophisticated nuclear potential in
Communist China. India has no reason to believe that China is a good,
peaceful neighbor, since the Chinese are sitting right now on pieces of
Indian territory that they took by aggression. India’s insecurity has
led to Pakistani reaction, and created a situation that is fraught with
danger for all of us by introducing a new element of nuclear
instability.

The entirely inadequate response of the Clinton administration is
further evidence of egregious failure of policy. Sanctions and
international rebuke are to foreign policy what punishment often is to
child-rearing — a sign of failure. When I actually need to punish my
children, I know that not only have they failed, but so have I. The
goal of the parent is not punishment, but good character formation; the
aim is to prevent the kinds of things that require punishment.
Similarly, when those responsible for foreign policy are reduced to
sanctions, punishment and reaction, it means they have been overwhelmed
by events. Our incompetent and possibly corrupt president has been
overwhelmed by events that are the consequences of his own failures, his
own bad decisions, and his own possibly wrong leanings and inclinations,
based on the corrupt influences that may be emanating from Communist
China. This is the reality we’ve got to face.

If we wake up to the danger in time, we may be able to do something
to prevent further erosion of the safety and security of future
generations. We are dealing with the possible creation of a massive
shadow that could overshadow future generations of young Americans just
as the shadow of nuclear holocaust and cold war overshadowed generations
in the latter half of the 20th century. Did Americans in this century
work so hard and risk so much, and send people to die in Vietnam and
elsewhere, so that we could stupidly rebuild a similar danger in the
21st century? If we let this administration blunder its way toward
disaster, that is what we will have done.

Despite his lack of credibility, President Clinton is stubbornly
insisting on going to Beijing in order to negotiate with the very people
whom he has been accused of being corrupted by. We must decide how to
react to the possible corruption of the Clinton White House. If we do
not insist on investigations that produce the truth, we acquiesce in the
further destruction of America’s best interests. We need to make sure
that the steps taken by our representatives get at the truth, do so in a
timely way, and help us to get past this major crisis. The stakes
cannot be overstated.

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