It is all too common these days to see former U.S. Presidents rush off overseas and proceed to overtly and negatively criticize the current administration in office.
In the latest test to the adage of "politics stopping at the water's edge," former U. S. President Bill Clinton went to Davos, Switzerland and the World Economic Forum and proceeded to blame the U.S.--via the current administration--for everything the ails mankind, and maybe a few things that don't.
As participants, and the "mostly admiring audience (that) seemed to hang on his every word, " Clinton went on to scold the U.S. in everything from the climate, to Iran, to the recent victory of Hamas in the Middle East.
Regarding the issues, Clinton, was essentially hailed as a "political God" by Former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans: "He's a great performer and then he's got the greatest convening power of anyone now in the world, I think, and the greatest capacity to articulate things that matter."
Of course, the Davos crowd of learned elites and the like "seemed to hang on (Clinton's) his every word." This was not lost to Associated Press Writer Dan Perry, who went on to write this embarrassingly stroke-filled paragraph: "Clinton won frequent enthusiastic applause _ not a common situation at the annual gathering in the Swiss Alps _ for articulating a global vision more conciliatory and inclusive than the one many of the assembled tend to associate with U.S. politics."
So what did the former president-turned-God on earth say?
On Iraq- The United States should not "give this thing up and say it can't work," but should consider "drawing down some of our troops and reconfiguring their components, trying to increase the special forces (and) putting them in places where they're not quite as vulnerable."
On Iran- Iran, he argued, must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, and neither economic sanctions nor "any other option" should be ruled out as ways of preventing this. But he warned there would be "an enormous political price to pay if the global community ... looked like they went to force before everything else has been exhausted."
On Hamas- Clinton also suggested the West should be more open to eventual dialogue with Hamas. "One of the politically correct things in American politics ... is we just don't talk to some people that we don't like, particularly if they ever killed anybody in a way that we hate," he said. "I do think that if you've got enough self-confidence in who you are and what you believe in, you ought not to be scared to talk to anybody."
"You've got to find a way to at least open doors ... and I don't see how we can do it without more contact," he said. Hamas might "acquire a greater sense of responsibility, and as they do we have to be willing to act on that."
On U.S. Economic Policy- Clinton said that the current global system "works to aggravate rather than ameliorate inequality" between and within nations _ including in the United States, where he lamented the "growing concentration of wealth at the top," alongside stagnation for the middle classes and rising poverty.
"I don't think we've found the way to promote economic and political integration in a manner that benefits the vast majority of the people in all societies and makes them feel that they are benefited by it," he said. "Voters usually see ... issues from the prism of their own experience."
We have seen this before from Clinton and others--like former President Jimmy Carter-- and it has been documented right here in these pages. Not to long ago, it was Clinton in Canada, in regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Or Former President Carter's malicious mumblings about President Bush being out of step regarding American values.
Whatever the case, or whomever the personality, the mainstream press never wearies over printing as much negativity against the current administration (or any GOP administration) and the United States--so long as it is made by a "Democratic God" like Bill Clinton.