Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Move over, Jerry Lewis

Bill Clinton isn't about to let the world forget what a smug, sanctimonious blow-hard he can be. It's no surprise the worst of him comes out in an interview with Le Monde. I can imagine the reporter's unwavering and adoring gaze heating up the ego of France's second-favorite American man. Well, he gave them what they wanted:
"We cannot isolate ourselves from the world behind walls."
Here we go again ... Which is it? Are we a problem because of globalization and the incessant march of our influence around the world, or are we crouched behind our stockade in a paranoiac last stand against foes who are only trying to get us to change?
"We cannot kill all our enemies."
If you say so, pardner. This kind of all-or-nothing approach got us nowhere back when Clinton was president. It's merely a stalling tactic of those who prefer the safety of deliberation over the potential for blame that comes with action.
"We need a strategy which will create more partners and fewer terrorists." Americans' destiny is closely tied to that of other people." He cited the example of U.S. aid raised for victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean, and linked it to an increase in the proportion of Indonesians who had a favorable opinion of the United States."
Oddly, Clinton is referring to a poll conducted in February by the Heritage Foundation. He just loves those polls. Why don't we hand over Arkansas to the good people of Aceh? Then they'll really like us! Clinton makes it look as if Democrats are suggesting once again that we put American policy up for a referendum in places populated by people who clearly do not share our vision and goals. They'd better wise up before 2008.
"It can't but improve our image when we show that we can be selfless, that we want to build a world with others, by understanding their problems, by helping them both for our interests and for shared objectives," Clinton said.
This blinkered optimism would be funny if it were not costing so many innocent lives. We do not share objectives with Islamists.
He also urged the use of religion to resolve conflicts rather than to create them.
Clinton said he regretted the rejection of the European Union constitution by French and Dutch voters in referendums earlier this year. "It is difficult to overcome the reflexes of national
identity. But you will get there."
Talk about condescending. And misleading. Why does he presume that those who voted no did so out of a reflexive sense of national identity and not out of reasoned concerns over the prospect of common policies, economics, and immigration?

I imagine that all over France this morning, Le Monde readers were gazing wistfully at a photo of Clinton's big, grinning mug (or maybe he was making his "I feel your pain" face--I haven't seen the paper yet). Can't they all chip in and get him an old farmhouse in Provence? Or maybe a sleazy little bachelor pad down in Marseille? You can have him for a while. We won't mind.


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