Clinton Lacks Focus on Foreign Policy

By Anthony Lewis Copyright New York Times News Service | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), October 12, 1993 | Go to article overview

Clinton Lacks Focus on Foreign Policy


Anthony Lewis Copyright New York Times News Service, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The world has caught up with Bill Clinton. If you ever believed that as president he could keep his attention on domestic affairs, that illusion is gone. Russia, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia: The list of foreign crises is growing, and they will not go away.

For two reasons foreign policy is a difficult area for this president. One lies in himself, the other in the nature of international problems today.

"Somehow," The Economist wrote two weeks ago, "the fire is not in Mr. Clinton's belly when he speaks on foreign policy." Anyone who heard him on health care and on Somalia will understand. On health he was sure on his facts, confident, enthusiastic. On Somalia he seemed tentative, fuzzy, unconvincing.

Of course Somalia is a complicated problem. But so is the issue of national health care; there Clinton may not have the perfect solution, but he is so informed and committed that he communicates his conviction.

In our democracy, foreign policy must have public support to be successful. And the nature of the problems in the world makes it much harder to get that support now than in recent decades.

For 40 years after World War II most Americans saw communism as a menacing danger to our security and freedom, and they supported programs to oppose it. The Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the North Atlantic Treaty, Korea, Berlin, even far-fetched Grenada: Presidents could rally public support in the Manichaean framework of the Cold War.

Now there is no great enemy. Instead there are brutal internal conflicts and humanitarian crises. To rally Americans for intervention in those matters is difficult. Indeed fewer and fewer Americans have any interest in foreign affairs.

President George Bush, goaded by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, managed to rouse support for war on Iraq. He exaggerated: Saddam Hussein was "worse than Hitler." But the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was undisguised aggression, and the threat to Western oil supplies did present a risk to national security.

To intervene effectively in any conflict abroad, a president must persuade the public that the United States has a national security interest there.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Clinton Lacks Focus on Foreign Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.