by Patrick J. Buchanan – May 14, 1999
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
Whether Wen Ho Lee should have kept his top-secret clearance at Los Alamos years after being fingered as a suspected spy misses the point. It is not Lee; it is this White House that has become an unacceptable national security risk for the United States.
Not even during the Red Decade and World War II, when Josef Stalin’s spies and traitors looted the Roosevelt administration at will, were U.S. security secrets under less competent stewardship.
But there is this difference: Half a century ago, America was a serious nation. When Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were unmasked as atomic spies, they were marched to the electric chair. Now, yawns greet the news that Beijing has stolen every atomic weapons secret America has and acquired, through our Fortune 500 companies, the ability to rain down multiple warheads on the United States.
In the Reagan era, when we learned Toshiba had transferred silent-propeller technology to Moscow, America was enraged. Yet, the report that China in 1997 stole U.S. radar satellite technology, enabling it to track and kill U.S. subs underwater, was buried in a New York Times story whose front page told of the president’s latest apology for mistakenly hitting China’s embassy in Belgrade.
As our “strategic partner” bused mobs to our embassy to hurl bricks, the White House fretted that the trashing might impede plans to chaperone Beijing into the World Trade Organization.
No wonder the Chinese despise us; our groveling is despicable.
To see China heap abuse on us, even as our president burbles his apologies, proves again the old adage: It is the whimpering dog that gets kicked.
Consider the record of Bill Clinton’s CIA. Based upon dirt samples, it concluded that a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant was producing biological weapons. U.S. missiles destroyed it. When the Sudanese challenged us to prove our case, the CIA could not. Now, we learn the CIA — to program “precision” air strikes on Belgrade — has been using 5-year-old maps that do not even show the Chinese embassy.
Before launching this Balkan war, the president was briefed to believe Slobodan Milosevic would cave and withdraw. Today, there are more Serb troops in Kosovo than when the air war began; a human rights crisis has become a catastrophe; the Balkans are destabilized; the Russians are enraged; and the Serbs have rallied behind Milosevic.
Why has no one accepted responsibility or resigned?
Consider the state of our military. Since Clinton began to hand out NATO war guarantees to Eastern Europe, police the Balkans and declare “dual containment” of Iran and Iraq to be U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf, he has drawn down U.S. forces to pre-Pearl Harbor levels.
Now, in an air campaign against a tiny Balkan nation, the last superpower finds itself running out of air-launched cruise missiles and laser-guided munitions, taking weeks to fly a dozen Apaches to a war zone where two crash before any see action, cannibalizing F-16s for spare parts, and calling up the reserves. And for the first time in 50 years, our Pacific fleet has been stripped of carrier-based air power.
How, exactly, would we now honor commitments to Korea, Kuwait and Taiwan, if, simultaneously, our IOUs were called in?
How stands NATO, “the most successful alliance in history”? The Greeks sell oil to the Serbs and will not let Thessalonika be used to bring in troops; France opposes a blockade; Germany says ground troops are off the table; Italy objects to hitting TV stations; and the Dutch object to hitting Milosevic’s palace for fear a Rembrandt may be disfigured.
Even allies sense our indifference to our own security. Israel, the beneficiary of $100 billion in U.S. aid, has, according to London’s Financial Times, sold China the technology for its Python 3 air-to-air missile and Phalcon radar, giving Beijing the capability track and shoot down aircraft. China has also reportedly acquired the technology for Israel’s Star-1 anti-missile radar, the U.S.-backed Lavi fighter and the Patriot missile.
Should China move on Taiwan and decimate a U.S. fleet that sails to defend it, the craven appeasement of China and cowardly refusal to confront Israel will be paid for with the lives of our sailors.
Clinton’s White House has fed this Asian tiger $250 billion in trade surpluses, with World Bank loans for dessert, in the belief that money can buy you love. Yet, yearly, China grows more brutal toward its own and more belligerent toward us.
Enough is enough.
America’s national security requires a new leadership that will put U.S. vital interests first, a leadership whose vision is rooted not in naive beliefs about the inevitability of progress but in eternal truths about the nature of man and the character of nations.