January 14, 1998
The political pundits and TV talk show personalities have begun talking about a subject
they think is in their domain to decide: what President Clinton's legacy will be. Will it be a
balanced budget, an expanding economy and stock market, or his ability to finesse scandals and
setbacks and score so high in the polls?
Why don't we ask Bill Clinton what he thinks his legacy will be? Tim Russert did that
recently on NBC's Meet the Press, and Clinton responded immediately by talking about his
Exploring Clinton's mind further, let's look at his remarks made in Buenos Aires on
October 17 to Argentine reporters. "What I'm trying to do is to promote a process of
reorganization of the world so that human beings are organized in a way that takes advantage of
the new opportunities of this era."
Hear that again! Clinton says he is trying to achieve a "reorganization of the world" so
that "human beings are organized"! The awesomeness of this global goal staggers the
Continuing his response to Argentine reporters, Clinton added, "If we can prove that you
can merge integrated economies and integrated democracies, then we'll be more likely to build a
global system of this kind." It's clear that the "kind" of a "global system" that Clinton is trying
to "build" will be based on merging "integrated" economies and democracies.
The notion of integrating the United States, either our economy or our democracy, into a
"global system" has never been cleared with the American people. So how come Clinton is
announcing it to Argentineans?
Probing further into Bill Clinton's world view and plans to reorganize and integrate "the
world," let's examine his lengthy speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September
22. It didn't get much ink then, but it's suddenly relevant to discussions of his legacy.
Clinton's words speak for themselves. "The forces of global integration are a great tide,
inexorably wearing away the established order of things. But we must decide what will be left in
All of a sudden it appears that the "established order of things" being washed away is our
right to decide how to spend American tax dollars. According to Treasury Secretary Robert
Rubin, global integration requires us to spend tens of billions of U.S. dollars to bail out bad
loans, bankruptcies, and financial corruption in Asia, especially in Korea.
Clinton spoke with gusto about what he called "this new global era." He enthusiastically
described the network of global entanglements into which he has led or is leading the United
States: the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Chemical Weapons Convention, "binding
international commitments to protect the environment" (i.e,, the Global Warming Treaty), and
the NATO Expansion Treaty.
This rosy picture has been somewhat tarnished in recent weeks. The WTO decision
against Eastman Kodak was followed by a layoff of 16,000 employees, people are asking why
the Chemical Weapons Treaty doesn't protect us against Saddam Hussein's chemical and
biological weapons, and the Global Warming Treaty is ridiculed as hot air.
Clinton choice of metaphor was apt. He described these treaties as a "web of institutions
and arrangements" that has set "the international ground rules for the 21st century," and he urged
Americans to support what he called "the emerging international system."
"Before the century ends," Clinton said, "we should establish a permanent international
court to prosecute the most serious violations of humanitarian law." So, Clinton's "web"
includes a global court empowered to invent and adjudicate a new system of "humanitarian law"
made by persons unknown.
"Just last week," Clinton said in his UN speech, "we lost some of our finest sons and
daughters in a crash of a U.N. helicopter in Bosnia. Five were Americans, five were Germans,
one Polish and one British; all citizens of the world we are trying to make."
When those five Americans joined our armed services, they had no inkling that they
would be transformed by presidential ukase from American citizen soldiers defending U.S.
national security into "citizens of the world" and then called upon to give their lives to "make"
Clinton's new global world.
"The United Nations must play a leading role in this effort," Clinton said, "filling in the
fault lines of the new global era." He defined the UN mission as taking over peace, security,
human rights, eliminating poverty, and "sustainable development" (the code word for global
control of energy consumption).
Clinton concluded by telling us that it is "necessary to imagine a future that is different
from the past, necessary to free ourselves from destructive patterns of relations with each other
and within our own nations and live a future that is different from the past."
In his peroration, he didn't define what will be "different" about our future, but it clear
from the text and tone of the entire speech that the principal difference will be submerging what
he called our "poisoned nationalism" into a "web" of global organizations.
That's what Clinton hopes will be his legacy. Americans had better get busy if they want
to stop Clinton's "inexorable" march toward global integration.