WASHINGTON (Oct. 2)
Four years ago, I was asked what a Clinton administration would mean for U.S.-Israeli relations and for the American Jewish community. I said then that Bill Clinton “has an abiding respect for the Jewish people” and “a profound belief in the State of Israel and its unique, historic role in the world,” and that “nothing could be better for American- Israeli relations than the election of Bill Clinton.”
In 1996, the record is clear. Just look at what President Clinton has done to further the cause of peace in the Middle East, an area of vital interest to America’s own security. He understands that the United States must aggressively facilitate the peace process, on which so many people build their hopes for a brighter future and an end to war.
The president’s leadership has been evident in his decisive response to the recent outbreak of violence, inviting the region’s leaders to Washington in hopes of getting the peace process back on track.
President Clinton’s leadership of America’s foreign policy is evident on many other fronts as well. No atomic warhead is aimed at any American community. From the silos of Ukraine to the laboratories of North Korea, nuclear programs are frozen and nuclear bombs are being dismantled. The world is stepping back from the precipice of a global holocaust and President Bill Clinton is leading the way.
With a strategy of Democratic realism, President Clinton has projected American military power and moral leadership in this new world so that democracy, trade and human rights can proliferate, not war and weapons of mass destruction.
Faced with challenges that confront our interests and our allies, he has responded with determination.
From the straits of Taiwan to the Persian Gulf, American strength has protected peace and held dictators at bay. Confronting threats from Saddam Hussein, President Clinton has been steadfast, using military power to keep Saddam from threatening neighboring nations and American interests.
In Bosnia, the president used force and diplomacy, genocide and ethnic cleansing has been stopped, hope has been kindled and NATO has been reborn.
From Korea to Ireland to the Middle East, President Clinton has done the good work of peace, helping enemies cast off decades of hate and begin to believe in the promise of peace.
We are not the world’s policeman, but we are the world’s most respected peacemaker. That is a tribute to the skill and bravery of America’s men and women in our armed forces. And that is a tribute to their commander in chief, whose vision of our nation’s place in the world is clear, consistent and true.
We need President Clinton’s vision as we prepare to meet the post-Cold War threats of terrorism and violent nationalism. With the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and the barracks in Saudi Arabia, the president has focused American policy on the need to detect and deter terrorist groups. He recognizes that the best defense against terrorists is a strong offense, and that we need to do more to infiltrate such groups, conduct surveillance of them, and encourage informants and defectors to advance our cause.
President Clinton also sees the value of economic growth as a means to more freedom and peaceful relations among nations. Countries with free markets tend to be or become democracies. And countries that trade freely with each other tend not to wage war against each other.
All our freedoms flow from the fact that we are secure. By that most important measure, President Bill Clinton has fulfilled his oath of office to preserve, protect and defend this nation.
He deserves four more years.