JAMES A. BAKER: I can sum up the Clinton Administration's foreign policy in one sentence: Bill Clinton has done for foreign policy what Hillary did for health care.
Over the last four years, the Clinton Administration has made over 25 trips to Damascus to pay court to Syria's dictator, and come up with exactly zero. So, when they write the history of Bill Clinton's foreign policy, they're going to call it "Gullible's Travels."
We have also seen a representative of the IRA hosted in the White House just prior to its resumption of terrorist bombings in London. The result has been the worst relationship with our closest ally, Britain, since the Boston tea-party.So when people say Bill Clinton has been around and is wise in the ways of the world, they're sure not talking about his foreign policy.
Four years ago this great country of ours stood at the pinnacle of world power. America had won the Cold War.Europe was once again whole and free.In the Middle East, the United States had liberated Kuwait and brought Israel and her Arab neighbors into direct peace negotiations.Elsewhere in the world, democracy and free markets, under American leadership, were on the march.Our allies trusted America's word. Our adversaries respected America's resolve.As the sole remaining superpower, we had an unprecedented opportunity to protect our interests and promote our values in a way never granted to any nation in human history.That was 1992. What a difference four years have made!
Four years of drift, not direction. Four years of rhetoric, not resolve.
Four years of flip-flops and photo-ops passing for a foreign policy.
In Central Europe we have tragically failed to seize historic opportunities. For forty-five years we worked to liberate the brave peoples of Central Europe. Now they are reaching out to us.But Bill Clinton would rather defer to Moscow than exercise American leadership.Poland, Hungry, and the Czech Republic deserve NATO membership, and they deserve it now.
In Asia, the record is even worse. Not long after Bill Clinton raised the flag of his hard line China policy, he hauled it down in surrender. The Chinese learned that his word was meaningless. Then he elected to appease the outlaw regime in North Korea.And all asians learned that he was weak.
American foreign policy demands coherence of vision, consistency of execution, and, above all, strength. Today it has none of these!
In private, our allies will say what they dare not admit in public: that America is no longer the world leader it was under Ronald Reagan and George Bush.And, sad to say, our allies are right.Now reasonable people can differ on foreign policy.But I believe that all Americans can agree on three critical principles to guide our foreign policy.
The first is maintaing America's military superiority.We need to begin building an anti-ballistic missile system now. America must have the means and the will to defend itself and its allies.
The second principle of American foreign policy must be restoring our hard won credibility. Above all, we need to cease making empty threats of military action, as we did in both Bosnia and Somalia. My friends, a President of the United States should never, never, never threaten the use of force unless he is damn well prepared to back it up by action. "If you're not going to pull the trigger, don't point the gun."
The third principle of American foreign policy must be strengthening presidential leadership.
Ronald Reagan understood the meaning of leadership when he declared that the Cold War could only be won through American strength.And, as he promised, the Berlin Wall came down and communism collapsed.
George Bush understood the meaning of leadership when he said that Saddam Hussein's aggression would not stand.And, as he promised, Kuwait was liberated and Iraq's army expelled.
Bill Clinton promised nothing- and delivered even less.
Presidents Reagan and Bush knew that America has a unique role to play in creating a more secure, prosperous and freer world.And so, my friends, will President Dole.
Bob Dole understands that military strength is a necessity, not a luxury. He knows that the word of the President of the United States is the coin of our national credibility.We need a strong President one the American people can trust.We need a President the world can trust.
I have been privileged in my lifetime to serve three such men: President Ford, President Reagan and President Bush. And I can assure you that Bob Dole is qualified to protect and extend their legacy of American leadership.
As an individual and as a Republican, I am proud to have known and worked with Bob Dole and Jack Kemp for 20 years.And, as an American, I am looking forward to the day when, with pride, I will see our country under a Dole-Kemp Administration once again trusted by our allies, feared by our adversaries, and admired by friends of freedom everywhere.