It was only seven years ago, when the Rabid Right was going insane with criticizm about Bill Clinton’s presidency. I know; “Amercans have a huge amnesia problem.” Everybody knows it.
From the minute Clinton was sworn into office the first time, the Republican Propaganda machine was fired up with snarky sarcastism about an Arkansas hillbilly in front of the world stage. Whether it was Rush Limbaugh’s never ending line-up of jokes about it, or it was clearinghouses of “journalists” who was declaring Clinton’s foreign policies being complete and total disasters. For example; Newsmax still carries this little gem on their website:
Today, after eight years of bumbling and near-treasonous activities by the Clinton-Gore administration, America’s foreign policy is in shambles, neither friends nor enemies respect us, and our armed forces are in a state of disarray.
<tsk><tsk> Yeah… Clinton broke everything.
Actually, the article is pretty horrible towards Clinton. The article goes bullet by bullet on each one of Clinton’s heinous “sins” against the American people. My favorite was this bullet:
In his new book, “Selling Out America,” Kenneth Timmerman follows covert Chinese campaign contributions to the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign and states flatly: “For the first time in American history we had a president of the United States who took money from the head of a foreign intelligence service. In any other era, such behavior would have been called treason. During the Clinton presidency, it was dismissed as just a “mistake”.
<tsk><tsk> It’s so horrible.. Why did Clinton have to be so….. so… “incredibly evil”! So “vile”?!!?!?
Now I’m not one to be a contrarian, but in yesterday’s issue (7/6/2007) of The International Herald Tribune we find this: World shrinks for U.S. diplomats as security fears keep them inside embassies
Threatened abroad, U.S. diplomats have been hit with unprecedented security restrictions, confining many to fortress-like compounds and frustrating Bush administration efforts to get out and counter anti-U.S. sentiment.
Lockdowns and prohibitions on travel now apply to Americans posted to embassies and consulates in at least 28 nations, according to an Associated Press survey of State Department warnings, internal directives and officials. More than half the nations are identified as key to curbing the spread of militant Islam.
The security detailes for all of our US diplomats carry a double-edged sword. While the Bush administration, specifically Sec of State Condi Rice, needs her embassy personnel to get out and show our “good will” and our “love of democracy”, these restrictions prevent that from happening and it makes it appear that the United States is “unatainable”…
The GAO (Government Accounting Office) published a study in the Spring of ’07 that pointed this issue out clearly:
“Security concerns have forced embassies to close publicly accessible facilities and curtail certain public outreach efforts, sending the unintended message that the United States is unapproachable,” it said in the little-publicized April 26 report.
These restrictions aren’t laid out for embassy personnel only. The United States now has travel restrictions to a almost all Muslim countries worldwide and US diplomats have restrictions on a far grander scale.
The United States have a “No Families” rules for most Middle Eastern countries…
But the no-family rules go far beyond Kabul and Baghdad, covering all seven U.S. missions in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as well as 12 posts in Bosnia, the Central African Republic, Congo, Kosovo, Liberia and Sudan.
Have you started counting the number of countries yet? Moving right along…
In addition to the al-Qaida hotbeds of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, official U.S. travel is banned or curtailed due to Islamic terrorism concerns in Algeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Mali, the Palestinian territories, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Yemen, according to the AP survey.
Outside of areas where radical Islam is considered the main threat, travel restrictions for U.S. diplomats are in place in Burundi, Colombia, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Haiti, India, Laos, Nepal, Peru, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Venezuela. Many of those countries are beset by internal strife.
The AP survey did not include countries where the U.S. does not maintain a diplomatic presence, notably Iran, North Korea and Somalia. Nor does it include nations that have slapped travel restrictions on U.S. diplomats in retaliation for similar measures imposed by Washington, such as Cuba, Eritrea and Zimbabwe.
The American Foreign Service Association, a union for US Diplomats note that the threat for US personnel abroad has never been as high as it is today. The AFSA was formed in 1924, four years after World War I.
We’re all smiles with those Arkansas Redneck Hillbilly jokes about Bill Clinton’s foreign policy. On foreign soil, Clinton pulls in upwards to $750,000 for speeches he’s made. His “foreign policies were so disasterous“, that in the past six years, he’s netted more than $40 million.
George W. Bush, who is obviously far better of a US President than Clinton could ever dream of being, can only sit in “shock and awe” at the bazillions of dollars the world will throw at him once he’s left office. Why, I’ll even go so far as to believe that George W Bush will be on tour for years and years to come!! His schedule will be packed! He’ll be swamped with speaking engagements!! His “Texas Sized” bullshit will be in demand everywhere!! Honest!!! Believe me!!
Okay…You’ve got me. Maybe I am a bit of a contrarian. Just a wee-bit though. Here…have some of my fresh fruit.