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C1inton's New American Deal

Asahi Evening News
November 30, 1996

A.M. Rosenthal

C1inton's New American Deal

With determined concentration President Bill Clinton has worked a historic
change in American foreign policy. Foreign policy amounts to a nation's
political, moral and military stance in the world, its role and values. For
America, the change will affect all these, and for ill. 

Clinton has made trade the foundation of his foreign policy, far surpassing
other traditional American goals and values, like democracy and human
rights, and overriding security interests. 
Central to this change is China, with whose president he has decided to
exchange state visits, to further his suddenly proclaimed "partnership"
between the world's largest democracy and its largest tyranny.  The message
he sent to all who hoped the United States would help them attain some
relief from political oppression and religious persecution is: Don't. 

Easily grasped everywhere. Today China and occupied Tibet, tomorrow Cuba,
Myanmar (Burma). Indonesia, Africa, the Mideast. 

Clinton worked long to achieve the turnaround. Diligently he broke his
promises of help to China's victims and instead tied his administration to
the overarching trade value. Consistently he and the people with the stomach
to carry out his policy underrated Chinese violations of agreements against
sales of missiles or nuclear-warfare material. 

And in tireless duplicity, they told America the issue was to "isolate"
China or not. False: Human rights supporters cheered when Nixon-Kissinger
"opened" China. 

Once, conservatives could be expected to oppose strengthening Communist
power. No longer; as the left abandoned anti-communism, the right has
abandoned human rights. 

Senator Sam Nunn, a Democrat from Georgia, says China did not make much
progress in our definition of human rights, but made a lot in a ''broader"
definition -- economic betterment.

This is the classic rationalization by dictators and for dictators. Now it
allocates different human values to Asians. It says that America was able to
rise economically from its revolution while expanding freedoms, but Asians
are not. 

Also corruptive of democratic values is the "libocon" position that the
business of the world is now business, so if the right to talk without risk
of arrest and torture has any lingering interest let American businesses in
China handle it. 

At home, the rights to collective bargaining, Social Security and defined
working conditions were not granted by business but came through a mix of
public opinion, legislation and business needs. Abroad, that mix created
embargoes against South Africa and Cuba. 

In China, U.S. businesses grow in numbers but not in inclination to walk up
to one of Clinton's Chinese partners for a stern chat about the Chinese gulag. 

Clinton did not even get a decent bid for his change of policy. Economically
China promised him only huge American trade deficits. Now China blackmails
U.S. companies with demands for technology that would put more Americans out
of work. 

So, we must understand. Those human rights promises he made in the 1992
campaign--he never intended to keep them. 
(The New York Times)