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Eight Years of Clinton’s Dirty Diapers


Gregory J. Rummo

A baby walking around with a loaded diaper is an obvious distraction to anyone within sniffing distance. When our second son did his best to contribute to the sulfurous quality of the atmosphere in the Rummo household, it was left up to me or Mrs. Rummo (usually the latter) to change his diaper. My older son, a toddler at the time, was always pre-occupied with his own playthings. Despite the rank odor, he somehow managed to ignore it long enough until the adults got wind of the crisis and did something about it.

Loaded diapers remind me of Bill Clinton’s foreign policy, particularly in three areas: North Korea, al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

These festering stenches have all come back to haunt us at the same time like screaming triplets.

They were largely ignored by the toddler in the Oval Office who was pre-occupied with his own plaything and more focused on his legacy. Now that the adults running the Bush administration are back in charge, the clean-up has begun.

Al-Qaeda was active during Clinton’s presidency and bin Laden undoubtedly emboldened by the US’s limp response to the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the 1995 bombing in Saudi Arabia, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.

The sum total of Clinton’s military response to these attacks was to lob a few cruise missiles at what we were told was an al-Qaeda training camp in the Sudan. It later turned out to be an ibuprofen factory and the timing coincided with Monica Lewinsky’s Grand Jury testimony.

On the other side of the world Clinton was equally inattentive when North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1993.

A Congressional Research Service report, prepared by Richard P. Cronin, Coordinator Specialist, Asian Affairs, Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division in 1994 stated, “Congress has tended to regard the threat posed by North Korea's actions as one of the most important U.S. foreign and security policy concerns, and Members have monitored and often criticized the Clinton Administration's handling of the issue. What some see as judicious Administration adjustments to a very difficult negotiating environment have been interpreted by others as vacillation and wavering.”

As to Clinton’s confrontation of Iraq, I’ll let him explain in his own words from an address to the nation in December, 1998: “Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq…Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors. Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world. Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.”

What prompted Clinton’s actions? Again, in his own words: “Six weeks ago, Saddam Hussein announced that he would no longer cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors called UNSCOM. They are highly professional experts from dozens of countries. Their job is to oversee the elimination of Iraq's capability to retain, create and use weapons of mass destruction, and to verify that Iraq does not attempt to rebuild that capability…”

Why attack Iraq? Don’t other countries have weapons of mass destruction?

“…Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: he has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq. The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.”

“…This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance. And so we had to act and act now.”

Where were all the protestors, the dissenters in Congress and how come all of the hypocrite-Hollywood hand-wringers were MIA? For one, they were still busy helping to defend Clinton’s behavior with an intern named Monica. (The strike against Iraq was ordered on the eve of the impeachment vote in the House of Representatives).

But even more to the point is simply this: Deep down inside these phonies knew Clinton wasn’t serious about ending Iraq’s chemical and biological threat.

The fact that we are still stuck with the same stench in our nostrils five years later is all the evidence we need. Fortunately the adults are back in charge. But what a mess they’ve been left with.

Gregory J. Rummo is a syndicated columnist. Visit his website;

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