EMILY KAMAN sale of these products went to buy guns, pay off the interest rates on debts incurred in buy ing guns, and into the pockets of ruling elites. It is no wonder that the inhabitants of the Horn turn to Muslim fundamentalism in the midst of a Western-induced hell on earth. “I think the answer is probably not in what we did on Saturday,” McGovern said after the Baghdad missile attack. “A better answer is to push for a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and push those Arabs as effectively as we can to carry out some reforms. The absence of the reforms feeds the extremism.” Our European policy is likewise at.loose ends. A post-NATO world order might have emerged in the Balkans. But having announced his intention to take military action, Clinton waffled in the face of resistance by the crazed Bosnian Serbs, and finally gave in to their phony plebiscite. This group of thugs played America for a sucker and won. Clinton’s weakness unleashed an entire new round of warfare. While Clinton condemns the Serbs, he is now siding with a plan that essentially achieves what Croatia and Serbia went to war about in the first place, carving up Bosnia between them, leaving a smidgen of territory for the Muslims. So, after thousands have died, we will still see the dissolution of Bosnia. Far from bringing down Milosevic, Clinton’s policy has inadvertently buoyed the Serb leader, conceivably casting him as the first of the post-Cold War nationalist dictators made in the mold of Saddam Hussein. The drift of American foreign policy is not restricted to these flashpoints. When Clinton took office, a task force was appointed in the State Department to recast America’s aid policy towards the developing world in an effort to cut the graft, make it more democratic, and stop serving corporate agenda. But according to participants that task force has gone nowhere, blocked by the Treasury Department and the National Security Council, where the interests of transnational corporations hold sway. Clinton’s support for the multinational corporations was to be expected, although in the case of the North American Free Trade Agreement, it could turn into a political dis aster, aligning as it already has a wide array of left and right, industries, citizen groups, and unions against the Administration. The President, meanwhile, has now taken the step of requesting increased funding for the Central Intelligence Agency an organization whose dismantling Senator Moynihan proposed two years ago. Getting rid of the CIA would be a great way to cut the deficit. But Clinton wants to soldier on, providing the spies with a new mission, running an espionage network for the transnational corporations, undoubtedly in the Third World against indigenous labor groups. By far the most dangerous obstacle to Clinton’s political future lies with the military-industrial complex and its conversion to the post-Cold War world. For years it has withstood every attempt at reform. Clinton has retreated on his promise to end the ban against gays, but the debate remains charged, and downsizing plans by Defense Secretary Les Aspin and announced base closings have every indication of creating turmoil and resistance at the Pentagon. “The military hates Clinton,” says a Special Forces reservist who is active in conservative politics. “All you have to do is go into the Pentagon and look at the graffiti in the bathrooms. The enlisted men are the worst. They have incredible contempt. He didn’t serve his country and he is doing these major cutbacks that are going to affect them and their future. They hate him for taking away their livelihood. They hate him because he’s a nonserver. They hate him because he’s a jerk. The military votes. He’s going to lose hundreds of thousands of votes.” That view strikes some as extreme. “No matter who was elected there would be a cutback in the military, so the senior officers don’t particularly blame Clinton,” Harry Summers, the Army colonel who is now a newspaper columnist, says, in a far more reserved tone. “He has an awful lot of things they don’t agree with. But the military is a hierarchical organization. No matter what they may think of him, Clinton is still the Commander in Chief.” Still, the emotional fervor over the sociology of the military combined with institutional economics is likely to produce longterm, endemic opposition to the President at the Pentagon. And almost surely, preserving and protecting the military will become the conservatives’ main rallying call in the Sunbelt. ith no real order in the executive branch, Clinton’s domestic policies are being determined by the network of wellto-do, politically ensconced lawyers and lobbyists holding the leashes of rotten politicians on Capitol Hill. Clinton talks about reforming the party pols, but he is dependent on them. They are the hearts and minds of the Administration. That means no serious change. The wealthy suburbs won’t spend the money to resuscitate the cities. The budget debate is not about a new dawn in America. It’s a game of smoke and mirrors aimed at convincing Wall Street that the deficit is under control so interest rates will stay low. It almost makes one yearn for Ronald Reagan’s Keynesian defense economics, which at least had America rebuilding battleships. As the budget bills proceed through final debate within a House-Senate conference committee they still carry the stamp of Clinton’s original intent. But barely. The proposed new taxes are “progressive” in that they fall on the wealthy. But the pressure to cut the deficit has all but eliminated the President’s $5.9 billion “investment” program to create a new infrastructure in education and services. \(That’s not including the $16 billion stimulus package that was scrapped under investment is down to about $500 million, THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13
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