Skip to comments.(Vanity) A Look Back at 1968, Part II, or, The Impotents Abroad
Posted on 08/26/2008 5:08:16 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
In an earlier article, I posted a review of a portion of the 1968 Democrat Party Platform, dealing largely with domestic affairs, and contrasted the claims made in the platform with the actual results once the policies were put into practice. Hindsight is always 20-20. With that in mind, it is instructive to return again to the 1968 Platform, and look at its highlights as it touches on foreign policy.
The section entitled The World leads off:
The conscience of the entire world has been shocked by the brutal and unprovoked Soviet aggression against Czechoslovakia. By this act, Moscow has confessed that it is still the prisoner of its fear of freedom. And the Czechoslovakian people have shown that the love of freedom, in their land and throughout Eastern Europe, can never be crushed.
Does anyone want to give me odds on whether a similar statement will be issued concerning Georgia? Or even (given the number of Hollywood stars in the Democrat Party, and the influence George Clooney reportedly has over Barack Obama) Tibet?
The blend of American power and restraint, so dramatically demonstrated in the Cuban missile crisis, earned the respect of the world and prepared the way for a series of arms control agreements with the Soviet Union. Long and patient negotiation by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson resulted in the Nuclear Test Ban, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, and Space treaties and the "hot line." These hard-won agreements provide the base for pursuing other measures to reduce the risk of nuclear war.
And since that time, how many other states have joined the nuclear club? Pakistan, India, Korea, and hard on their heels, Iran. Like the Kyoto treaty, and reduction of CO2 emissions in general, the Democrats are apparently happiest when any freezes apply exclusively to the United States.
The unprecedented expansion of the American economy has invigorated the whole free world. Many once skeptical nations, including some communist states, now regard American economic techniques and institutions as a model.
Its a shame this lesson didnt rub off on the Democrats in this country.
An economically strong and democratic Japan has assumed a more active role in the development of the region. Indonesia has a nationalist, non-communist government seeking to live at peace with its neighbors. Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Republic of Korea have more stable governments and steadily growing economies. They have been aided by American economic assistance and by the American military presence in the Pacific. They have also been encouraged by a confidence reflecting successive Presidential decisions to assist nations to live in peace and freedom.
And what do you know? Forty years later, many of these countries are no longer economic basket cases. None of them did it by taxing themselves rich.
Elsewhere in the developing world, there has been hopeful political and economic progress. Though Castro's Cuba is still a source of subversion, the other Latin American states are moving ahead under the Alliance for Progress. In Africa, many of the new states have chosen moderate leaders committed to peaceful nation-building. They are beginning to cooperate with their neighbors in regional agencies of their own design. And like developing countries on other continents, they are for the first time giving serious attention to agricultural development. This new emphasis on food will buy time to launch effective programs of population control.
Well, I guess its strictly one step at a time here. Why on Earth did Bill Clinton (a Democrat, natch) send storm troopers to send Elian Gonzales back to Cuba? And in case you didnt notice, other Marxist nutjobs have gained influence in Latin America, from the Democrat-party-backed Sandinistas in Nicaragua, to Chavez in Venezuela. And the population control? Last time I checked the Demographic Data, it was all the *developed* nations which were below replacement birth rates. We soon might want to be buying time of another kind
The next section is title Toward a Peaceful World. Some excerpts follow.
In the pursuit of our national objectives and in the exercise of American power in the world, we assert that the United States should: Continue to accept its world responsibilitiesnot turn inward and isolate ourselves from the cares and aspirations of mankind;
Hmm, kind of like funding the U.N. and accepting mercantilist trade policies from other nations?
Seek a world of diversity and peaceful change, where men can choose their own governments and where each nation can determine its own destiny without external interference;
Tell me again why you opposed *both* Iraq wars as much as possible?
Resist the temptation to try to mold the world, or any part of it, in our own image, or to become the self-appointed policeman of the world;
Especially not when we could advance our own national interests by doing so.
Call on other nations, great and small, to contribute a fair share of effort and resources to world peace and development;
Good luck with that one.
The Section on National Defense starts off::
The tragic events in Czechoslovakia are a shocking reminder that we live in a dangerous and unpredictable world. The Soviet attack on and invasion of a small country that only yesterday was Moscow's peaceful ally, is an ominous reversal of the slow trend toward greater freedom and independence in Eastern Europe. The reimposition of Soviet tyranny raises the spectre of the darkest days of the Stalin era and increases the risk of war in Central Europe, a war that could become a nuclear holocaust.
Dont worry, Ronald Reagan saved your...donkey.
Against this somber backdrop, whose full portent cannot now be seen, other recent Soviet military moves take on even greater significance. Though we have a significant lead in military strength and in all vital areas of military technology, Moscow has steadily increased its strategic nuclear arsenal, its missile-firing nuclear submarine fleet, and its anti-missile defenses. Communist China is providing political and military support for so-called wars of national liberation. A growing nuclear power, Peking has disdained all arms control efforts.
And Bill Clinton undid everything Reagan gained by allowing advanced technology to reach Red China. Including ICBM guidance systems and nuclear warhead designs.
We must and will maintain a strong and balanced defense establishment adequate to the task of security and peace. There must be no doubt about our strategic nuclear capability, our capacity to meet limited challenges, and our willingness to act when our vital interests are threatened.
There is no doubt at all. Joe Biden even suggested giving $200 million to Iran, no strings attached, just after 9-11, to prove we werent a threat. So we cant even meet limited challenges just as the platform wants. To this end, we pledge a vigorous research and development effort. We will also continue to pursue the highly successful efforts initiated by Democratic administrations to save tax dollars by eliminating waste and duplication.
Ah, yes, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. Its a shame the Dems cant be as vigilant about cutting pork and waste out of social programs. You know, like the report that since 2001, federal employees have AWOL for at least 19.6 million hours. Maybe the new Dem proposal to limit Federal employees to a 4-day week is merely a recognition of the status quo.
Under Arms Control the platform says:
Even in the present tense atmosphere, we strongly support President Johnson's effort to secure an agreement with the Soviet Union under which both states would refrain from deploying anti-missile systems. Such a treaty would result in the saving of billions of dollars and would create a climate for further arms control measures. We support concurrent efforts to freeze the present level of strategic weapons and delivery systems, and to achieve a balanced and verified reduction of all nuclear and conventional arms.
Hence the opposition to Reagans Strategic Defense Initiative. Hows that reduction of Soviet (and Chinese!) arms working for you?
For the Middle East, the 1968 platform has this to say:
As long as Israel is threatened by hostile and well-armed neighbors, we will assist her with essential military equipment needed for her defense, including the most advanced types of combat aircraft.
Did I miss something here?
For Vietnam and Asia, the platform boldly states:
Our most urgent task in Southeast Asia is to end the war in Vietnam by an honorable and lasting settlement which respects the rights of all the people of Vietnam. In our pursuit of peace and stability in the vital area of Southeast Asia we have borne a heavy burden in helping South Vietnam to counter aggression and subversion from the North. We reject as unacceptable a unilateral withdrawal of our forces which would allow that aggression and subversion to succeed. We have never demanded, and do not now demand, unconditional surrender by the communists.
I guess that this predated the rise of John Kerry. Where is his form SF-180, anyway? Its now approaching the *next* Presidential administration, guy.
And an apology to the families of millions who were tortured and slaughtered by the Communists would be a nice touch, even if transparently fake.
That covers the majority of the text for World Affairs.
The text covered is here (note some sections have been left uncommented on):
National Defense The tragic events in Czechoslovakia are a shocking reminder that we live in a dangerous and unpredictable world. The Soviet attack on and invasion of a small country that only yesterday was Moscow's peaceful ally, is an ominous reversal of the slow trend toward greater freedom and independence in Eastern Europe. The reimposition of Soviet tyranny raises the spectre of the darkest days of the Stalin era and increases the risk of war in Central Europe, a war that could become a nuclear holocaust. Against this somber backdrop, whose full portent cannot now be seen, other recent Soviet military moves take on even greater significance. Though we have a significant lead in military strength and in all vital areas of military technology, Moscow has steadily increased its strategic nuclear arsenal, its missile-firing nuclear submarine fleet, and its anti-missile defenses. Communist China is providing political and military support for so-called wars of national liberation. A growing nuclear power, Peking has disdained all arms control efforts. We must and will maintain a strong and balanced defense establishment adequate to the task of security and peace. There must be no doubt about our strategic nuclear capability, our capacity to meet limited challenges, and our willingness to act when our vital interests are threatened. To this end, we pledge a vigorous research and development effort. We will also continue to pursue the highly successful efforts initiated by Democratic administrations to save tax dollars by eliminating waste and duplication. We face difficult and trying times in Asia and in Europe. We have responsibilities and commitments we cannot escape with honor. But we are not alone. We have friends and allies around the world. We will consult with them and ask them to accept a fair share of the burdens of peace and security. North Atlantic Community The North Atlantic Community is strong and free. We must further strengthen our ties and be constantly alert to new challenges and opportunities. We support a substantially larger European contribution to NATO. Soviet troops have never stepped across the border of a NATO country. By harassment and threat the Kremlin has repeatedly attempted to push the West out of Berlin. But West Berlin is still free. Western Europe is still free. This is a living tribute to the strength and validity of the NATO alliance. The political differences we have had with some of our allies from time to time should not divert us from our common task of building a secure and prosperous Atlantic community based on the principles of mutual respect and mutual dependence. The NATO alliance has demonstrated that free nations can build a common shield without sacrificing their identity and independence. Arms Control We must recognize that vigilance calls for the twin disciplines of defense and arms control. Defense measures and arms control measures must go hand in hand, each serving national security and the larger interests of peace. We must also recognize that the Soviet Union and the United States still have a common interest in avoiding nuclear war and preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. We also share a common interest in reducing the cost of national defense. We must continue to work together. We will press for further arms control agreements, insisting on effective safeguards against violations. For almost a quarter of a century America's pre-eminent military strength, combined with our political restraint, has deterred nuclear war. This great accomplishment has confounded the prophets of doom. Eight years ago the Democratic Party pledged new efforts to control nuclear weapons. We have fulfilled that pledge. The new Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has undertaken and coordinated important research. The sustained initiatives of President Kennedy and President Johnson have resulted in the "hot line" between the White House and the Kremlin, the limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the treaty barring the orbiting of weapons of mass destruction. Even in the present tense atmosphere, we strongly support President Johnson's effort to secure an agreement with the Soviet Union under which both states would refrain from deploying anti-missile systems. Such a treaty would result in the saving of billions of dollars and would create a climate for further arms control measures. We support concurrent efforts to freeze the present level of strategic weapons and delivery systems, and to achieve a balanced and verified reduction of all nuclear and conventional arms. The Middle East The Middle East remains a powder keg. We must do all in our power to prevent a recurrence of war in this area. A large Soviet fleet has been deployed to the Mediterranean. Preferring short-term political advantage to long-range stability and peace, the Soviet Union has rushed arms to certain Arab states to replace those lost in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967. As long as Israel is threatened by hostile and well-armed neighbors, we will assist her with essential military equipment needed for her defense, including the most advanced types of combat aircraft. Lasting peace in the Middle East depends upon agreed and secured frontiers, respect for the territorial integrity of all states, the guaranteed right of innocent passage through all international waterways, a humane resettlement of the Arab refugees, and the establishment of a non-provocative military balance. To achieve these objectives, we support negotiations among the concerned parties. We strongly support efforts to achieve an agreement among states in the area and those states supplying arms to limit the flow of military equipment to the Middle East. We support efforts to raise the living standards throughout the area, including desalinization and regional irrigation projects which cut across state frontiers. Vietnam and Asia Our most urgent task in Southeast Asia is to end the war in Vietnam by an honorable and lasting settlement which respects the rights of all the people of Vietnam. In our pursuit of peace and stability in the vital area of Southeast Asia we have borne a heavy burden in helping South Vietnam to counter aggression and subversion from the North. We reject as unacceptable a unilateral withdrawal of our forces which would allow that aggression and subversion to succeed. We have never demanded, and do not now demand, unconditional surrender by the communists. We strongly support the Paris talks and applaud the initiative of President Johnson which brought North Vietnam to the peace table. We hope that Hanoi will respond positively to this act of statesmanship. In the quest for peace no solutions are free of risk. But calculated risks are consistent with the responsibility of a great nation to seek a peace of reconciliation. Recognizing that events in Vietnam and the negotiations in Paris may affect the timing and the actions we recommend, we would support our Government in the following steps: Bombing: Stop all bombing of North Vietnam when this action would not endanger the lives of our troops in the field; this action should take into account the response form Hanoi. Troop Withdrawal: Negotiate with Hanoi an immediate end or limitation of hostilities and the withdrawal from South Vietnam of all foreign forcesboth United States and allied forces, and forces infiltrated from North Vietnam. Election of Postwar Government: Encourage all parties and interests to agree that the choice of the postwar government of South Vietnam should be determined by fair and safeguarded elections, open to all major political factions and parties prepared to accept peaceful political processes. We would favor an effective international presence to facilitate the transition from war to peace and to assure the protection of minorities against reprisal. Interim Defense and Development Measures: Until the fighting stops, accelerate our efforts to train and equip the South Vietnamese army so that it can defend its own country and carry out cutbacks of U.S. military involvement as the South Vietnamese forces are able to take over their larger responsibilities. We should simultaneously do all in our power to support and encourage further economic, political and social development and reform in South Vietnam, including an extensive land reform program. We support President Johnson's repeated offer to provide a substantial U.S. contribution to the postwar reconstruction of South Vietnam as well as to the economic development of the entire region, including North Vietnam. Japan and the European industrial states should be urged to join in this postwar effort. For the future, we will make it clear that U.S. military and economic assistance in Asia will be selective. In addition to considerations of our vital interests and our resources, we will take into account the determination of the nations that request our help to help themselves and their willingness to help each other through regional and multilateral cooperation. We want no bases in South Vietnam; no continued military presence and no political role in Vietnamese affairs. If and when the communists understand our basic commitment and limited goals and are willing to take their chances, as we are, on letting the choice of the post-war government of South Vietnam be determined freely and peacefully by all of the South Vietnamese people, then the bloodshed and the tragedy can stop. Japan, India, Indonesia, and most of the smaller Asian nations are understandably apprehensive about Red China because of its nuclear weapons, its support of subversive efforts abroad, and its militant rhetoric. They have been appalled by the barbaric behavior of the Red Guards toward the Chinese people, their callous disregard for human life and their mistreatment of foreign diplomats. The immediate prospect that China will emerge from its self-imposed isolation is dim. But both Asians and Americans will have to coexist with the 750 million Chinese on the mainland. We shall continue to make it clear that we are prepared to cooperate with China whenever it is ready to become a responsible member of the international community. We would actively encourage economic, social and cultural exchange with mainland China as a means of freeing that nation and her people from their narrow isolation. We support continued assistance to help maintain the independence and peaceful development of India and Pakistan. Recognizing the growing importance of Asia and the Pacific, we will encourage increased cultural and educational efforts, such as those undertaken in multi-racial Hawaii, to facilitate a better understanding of the problems and opportunities of this vast area. The Developing World The American people share the aspirations for a better life in the developing world. But we are committed to peaceful change. We believe basic political rights in most states can be more effectively achieved and maintained by peaceful action than by violence. In their struggle for political and economic development, most Asian, African, and Latin American states are confronted by grinding poverty, illiteracy and a stubborn resistance to constructive change. The aspirations and frustrations of the people are frequently exploited by self-serving revolutionaries who employ illegal and violent means. Since World War II, America's unprecedented program of foreign economic assistance for reconstruction and development has made a profound contribution to peace, security, and a better life for millions of people everywhere. Many nations formerly dependent upon American aid are now viable and stable as a result of this aid. We support strengthened U.S. and U.N. development aid programs that are responsive to changing circumstances and based on the recognition, as President Johnson put it, that "self-help is the lifeblood of economic development." Grant aid and government loans for long-term projects are part of a larger transfer of resources between the developed and underdeveloped states, which includes international trade and private capital investment as important components. Like the burden of keeping the peace, the responsibility for assisting the developing world must be shared by Japan and the Western European states, once recipients of U.S. aid and now donor states. Development aid should be coordinated among both donors and recipients. The World Bank and other international and regional agencies for investment and development should be fully utilized. We should encourage regional cooperation by the recipients for the most efficient use of resources and markets. We should press for additional international agreements that will stimulate mutually beneficial trade and encourage a growing volume of private investment in the developing states. World-wide commodity agreements that stabilize prices for particular products and other devices to stabilize export earnings will also spur development. We believe priority attention should be given to agricultural production and population control. Technical assistance which emphasizes manpower training is also of paramount importance. We support the Peace Corps which has sent thousands of ambassadors of good will to three continents. Cultural and historic ties and a common quest for peace with freedom and justice have made Latin America an area of special concern and interest to the United States. We support a vigorous Alliance for Progress program based upon the Charter of Punta del Este which affirms that "free men working through the institutions for representative democracy can best satisfy man's aspirations." We support the objective of Latin American economic integration endorsed by the presidents of the American Republics in April 1967 and urge further efforts in the areas of tax reform, land reform, educational reform, and economic development to fulfill the promise of Punta del Este. United Nations Since the birth of the United Nations, the United States has pursued the quest for peace, security and human dignity through United Nations channels more vigorously than any other member state. Our dedication to its purpose and its work remains undiminished. The United Nations contributed to dampening the fires of conflict in Kashmir, the Middle East, Cyprus and the Congo. The agencies of the United Nations have made a significant contribution to health, education and economic well-being in Asia, Africa and Latin America. These efforts deserve continued and expanded support. We pledge that support. Since we recognize that the United Nations can be only as effective as the support of its members, we call upon other states to join with us in a renewed commitment to use its facilities in the great tasks of economic development, the non-military use of atomic energy, arms control and peace-keeping. It is only with member nations working together that the organization can make its full contribution to the growth of a world community of peace under law, rather than by threat or use of military force. We are profoundly concerned about the continued repression of Jews and other minorities in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, and look forward to the day when the full light of liberty and freedom shall be extended to all countries and all peoples. Foreign Trade and Financial Policy World trade is essential to economic stability. The growing interdependence of nations, particularly in economic affairs, is an established fact of contemporary life. It also spells an opportunity for constructive international cooperation that will bring greater well-being for all and improve the prospects for international peace and security. We shall build upon the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 and the Kennedy round of trade negotiations, in order to achieve greater trade cooperation and progress toward freer international trade. In future negotiations, which will require careful preparation, we shall: 1) seek continued reciprocal reduction and elimination of tariff barriers, based on the most favored nation principle; 2) negotiate the reciprocal removal of non-tariff barriers to international trade on all products, including agriculture; 3) give special attention to the needs of the developing countries for increased export earnings; and 4) develop and improve the rules governing fair international competition affecting both foreign commerce and investment. To lessen the hardships suffered by industries and workers as the result of trade liberalization, we support improvements in the adjustment assistance provisions of present law. Provision of law to remedy unfair and destructive import competition should be reviewed and strengthened, and negotiated international agreements to achieve this purpose should be employed where appropriate. The United States has experienced balance-of payments deficits for over a decade, mainly because of our security obligations in the free world. Faced with these deficits, we have behaved responsibly by avoiding both economic deflation at home and severe unilateral restrictive measures on international transactions, which would have weakened the international economy and international cooperation. We shall continue to take the path of constructive measures by relying on steps to increase our exports and by the development of further cooperative arrangements with the other countries. We intend, as soon as possible, to dismantle the restrictions placed on foreign investment and finance, so that American free enterprise can play its full part as the agent of economic development. We will continue to encourage persons from other lands to visit America. Steps of historical importance have already been taken to improve the functioning of the international monetary system, most notably the new special drawing rights under the international monetary fund. We shall continue to work for the further improvement of the international monetary system so as to reduce its vulnerability to monetary crises.
Next up, economic policy.
i don’t know whether i can read that!
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