This White House seems to have no foreign policy vision and no interest in developing one. This is a bad political mistake—even for an administration that would prefer to focus “like a laser beam” on domestic problems. It is the charisma established on international questions that gives the American presidency its imperial aura, which can sometimes be successfully parlayed in domestic politics. The bad polls on Clinton’s foreign policy performance will greatly weaken his ability to mobilize support for his social programs.
But the greatest sin of this administration is its inability to grasp the historical opening that the end of the cold war has provided for democracy abroad. The United States unflinchingly spends billions for the military and cries poor when it comes to large-scale economic aid for the post-communist countries in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. It has permitted the North-South gap to keep widening remorselessly. The great opening for democracy in South Africa will not survive if the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank attempt to impose austerity in the face of rising expectations for greater social justice and equality....
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