Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Pataki Criticizes Clinton for Indecision in Kosovo

Pataki Criticizes Clinton for Indecision in Kosovo

By Jean Weinberg Hoya Staff Writer

New York Governor George Pataki criticized President Clinton’s actions regarding Kosovo but failed to offer any solutions in a speech Wednesday in ICC on foreign policy issues. Pataki called Clinton indecisive and said he has been unclear on his goals in Kosovo. Pataki said Clinton’s bombing of Kosovo has not deterred atrocities in Kosovo and that it has actually intensified the atrocities, driving hundreds of thousands of Kosovars into exile.

Pataki said he was concerned that the “prospect of peace consistent with the values that the United States hold dear is now in question.” According to Pataki, the result of Clinton’s strong emphasis on domestic issues in his presidency has been that the foreign policy of the United States is now “run very much like social domestic policy – to the extent where the president refers to atrocities in Kosovo as `hate crimes.'” Pataki said “hate crimes” is more of a social term and that it is inappropriate in reference to governmental atrocities.

Pataki said the Clinton administration has been using the military as a social force to impose its values on countries “with whom we have no vital interest.” Pataki criticized the United States’ policy of using the military like the Peace Corps, saying that a humanitarian effort to protect human rights in Somalia during the Bush administration has now turned into a situation where the U.S. military acts as a social police in nations where it has no business intervening.

The major result of U.S. action in Kosovo thus far has been to show that America is weak and indecisive, he said. The United States looks weak because it failed to achieve what “should be a modest objective for a military superpower.” Pataki did not say what the objective of the United States should be.

According to Pataki Clinton ought to have the courage, if necessary, “to take decisive, overwhelming military action.”

Pataki hailed Bush’s organization of “a massive military buildup” and his ability to use “enormous military might,” in dealing with Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and chastised Clinton’s failure to clearly outline objectives in bombing Kosovo.

Originally Clinton’s goals were to secure the lives of the Kosovars and support the human rights of the people there, Pataki said. However now his goals are undefined, according to Pataki.

He said we need “diplomatic, economic and, if necessary, military actions to achieve a clearly defined set of goals.” Pataki emphasized that it is Clinton’s responsibility, as the President, to let the American people know what the goals are and how he plans to achieve them. Clinton must also define victory and state how the United States will be able to disengage once those goals have been achieved.

The recent Kosovo bombings “instead of bringing stability to the Balkans” have created an “increased level of instability in ontenegro and Macedonia” and damaged the United States’ relations with Russia. U.S. efforts to erode support for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic have actually “rallied the Serbian people around him.”

We need “leadership based on confidence in the strength of our moral convictions,” and also a willingness to take a firm stand supporting the goals of the Unites States.

Of the students who attended the speech, many were from the New York or New Jersey area. J.C. Uva (COL ’02), a resident of New Jersey, said he attended the speech because Pataki is a governor, one who traditionally doesn’t deal with international affairs.

Howie Wachtel (SFS ’02) said, “He came off as very professional, and I was impressed by his speaking skills.” However, Wachtel was disappointed with the speech because Pataki “neglected to give any plans of his own.”

Elena Boyd (COL ’02) agreed with Wachtel, saying that Pataki should have focused on how to correct the Kosovo situation, not just talk about the problems with it. In a conference with the press, Pataki refused to give a solution and pointed to the fact that it is the President’s responsibility to decide what the solution is.

Pataki emphasized it must be made clear that the United States has respect for human dignity and rights.

In the question and answer session following his speech, Pataki jokingly remarked on how many New Yorkers were asking the questions. He ended by touting New York’s emergence as a stronger state and thanked the university and the lecture fund for inviting him to speak.

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