Clinton, the Revisionist

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 20, 2003 | Go to article overview
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Clinton, the Revisionist


This month, Bill Clinton has been bouncing from one camera to the next, from one media forum to another - revising history along the way, and preaching what his administration never practiced. We separate fact from Mr. Clinton's fiction.

* On Iraq, with NBC's Katie Couric: "If we have to go without another U.N. resolution - if we have to go and European powers or Russia or China are vocally opposed to this - then there will always be the suggestion that this was, in effect, a pre-emptive strike. ... We've never done that. And Democratic powers normally wait to get hit before they hit."

The facts: On Dec. 16, 1998, without U.N. approval - indeed, in the face of pronounced objections from U.N. Security Council members France, Russia and China - the United States joined Britain in a four-day strike against Iraq. At the time, Mr. Clinton justified the attack because a report by U.N. weapons inspectors determined that Iraq had failed to "provide the full cooperation it promised."

Nor did Mr. Clinton seek U.N. approval before the United States and its NATO partners began bombing to protect Bosnian Muslims in 1995.

Four years later, Mr. Clinton again ignored the United Nations when he persuaded NATO to embark on a sustained bombing campaign of Yugoslavia to protect Muslims in Kosovo.

* On North Korea, with CNN's Larry King, Mr. Clinton says his administration succeeded in ending North Korea's nuclear-weapons program using plutonium.

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