Originally Posted by Botnst
No crystal ball necessary. From the beginning of this nation, each president has been faced with international problems. Sometimes they accede and sometimes they do not. Clinton had been in office long enough to demonstrate both characteristics. Bill Clinton, unlike his wife, is a very complex person. I do not think you could ever make a dogmatic statement concerning Mr Clinton without finding exceptions to that dogma.
In Clinton's second administration, like almost all second administrations, his allies and his competitors were squabbling over turf as they angled for the 2000 run. Externally, the press, especially the foreign press, was printing an awful lot about the hardships and deprivations of the Iraqi people due to the "oil embargo" (I use quotation marks because given the breadth of the scandal, it wasn't a terribly effective embargo anyway). The Russians and French had both publicly stated their willingness and intention to lift the sanctions. This is public, international pressure. True, Clinton didn't have to listen to it.
But we all know that Clinton was very sensitive to international criticism, especially from Europe. (Why else would he send US forces into the former Yugoslavia but NOT into Rwanda?).
But, Bot, we also know Clinton served his entire second term as President, and he did not have to entertain or veto a UN resolution to stop the oil embargo, so the secenario you depicted above, while presented to sound reasonable, is pure, crystal ball gazing speculation on your part, Bot. And, your suggestion of why he sent US forces into the former Yugoslavia but NOT into Rwanda sounds an awful lot like more crystal ball speculation to me. Given Clinton served as President to the term limit in the Constitution, and he never had to address a UN resolution to end the sanctions, what was the context of your statement about the French and Russians making noises about ending the sanctions, if not to merely add unfounded inuendo about the circumstances, commonly known as spin or hype?
Originally Posted by Botnst
Here's my crystal ball moment: I'll bet if 9-11 had NOT happened, that international pressure and Congressional debate would have resulted in the collapse of sanctions against Iraq, regardless of who won the 2000 election.
The events of 2001 changed everything, for good and ill.
Interesting theory. I doubt any US President would have eliminated the sanctions entirely in a one sided concession to pressure from anyone. My crystal ball says giving the Iraqi people a break by ending certain sanctions could have been negotiated along with more weapons inspector access and greater restrictions on international trade for WMD materials and technical resources. And, given 20-20 hindsight, I would have been happy to develop an Iraq that was controlled by the UN but not a friendly sponge for Islamic fanatics from Iran. Oh yeah, that was what Saddam already represented! Oh well. Jim