Reprinted from Antiwar
The Obama administration "has no foreign policy," says Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP's 2012 vice-presidential candidate. While we may tune out this kind of election year rhetoric, similar complaints -- no matter which president is being denounced -- are common on both sides of the aisle. When the Democrats are in power we hear it from Republicans, and when the GOP is in the saddle we hear similar accusations arising from the Democrats. The reality, however, is that the leaders of both parties know perfectly well that we do in fact have a remarkably consistent policy, one that has been pursued with increasing militancy ever since the end of the cold war.
Let's step back and take a look.
No sooner had the Berlin Wall fallen than George Herbert Walker Bush took the opportunity to make his move in the Middle East with Iraq War I. Declaring the throne of the Emir of Kuwait to be a vital national interest of the United States, Bush I declared "this shall not stand" when Saddam Hussein invaded Iraq's "nineteenth province," otherwise known as Kuwait. It's time for a "new world order," Bush famously declared -- and Washington's push for world hegemony was on.
Bill Clinton kept up the pressure on Iraq for the whole of his presidency, launching punishing bombing raids and imposing sanctions that killed many thousands. A new front was opened up in Europe, where the Bosnian Muslims and their Kosovar neighbors were pimped out to the Americans: a short war made short work of the former Yugoslavia, and US-occupied Europe grew a little larger. This aggression was buttressed by the addition of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to the NATO alliance, as the US and its satellites pushed right up to the gates of Moscow.
Less obvious but no less obtrusive, the Clinton regime set up a special government agency to exploit the oil resources of the Caspian Basin, extending the encirclement of Russia into the steppes of Central Asia.