INSIDE: Republican RX Success Human Trafficking U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts on Saddam’s WMD Democrats in Disarray
VOLUME 38 • NUMBER I • SPRING 2004
BUSH’S JUST WAR www.riponsoc.org
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VOLUME 38 • NUMBER I • SPRING 2004
Note From the Executive Director
4 On the cover: Children gather beside a toppled statue of Saddam Hussein in Bagdhad, Iraq, on April 14, 2003 . Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
Publisher The Ripon Society President Hon. Bill Frenzel Executive Director Elvis Oxley Communications Director, Editor Jeffrey T. Kuhner Assistant Editors Karen Padgett Robin Kessler Political Reporter Stephen F. Manfredi Culture Reporter Rachel K. Ayerst Foreign Affairs Reporter Sara M. Kupfer Foreign Policy Columnist Dr. Grace Vuoto Design/Art Direction John Boone Banta PubNet Production Banta Corp. © Copyright 2004 By The Ripon Society • All Rights Reserved One Year Subscription: $25.00 individuals $10.00 students
POLITICS 5 7 9
Republican RX Success - by Jeffrey T. Kuhner Democrats in Disarray - by Stephen F. Manfredi The New Slavery - by Sara M. Kupfer
COVER STORY 11
Bush’s Just War - by Grace Vuoto
What Happened to Saddam’s WMD? - An Exclusive Interview with U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts
CAPITOL FORUM 16 18
The Endangered Species Act Turns 30 - by Michael De Alessi Saving Social Security - by Peter Ferrara
PUBLIC POLICY 20 22 24
The Terminator Takes Charge - by Adrian Moore and George Passantino Teaching America Abroad - by Gary Wasserman Real Arms Control - by Jeffrey T. Kuhner
FOREIGN AFFAIRS 25 27 28
A United States of Europe? - by Sara M. Kupfer Chechnya’s Agony - by Jeffrey T. Kuhner Free Trade for the Americas - by Donald Lambro
THE JUST CAUSE 30
Remembering Red Victims - by Jeffrey T. Kuhner
Periodicals postage paid at Washington, DC and additional mailing offices. Postmaster, send address changes to: The Ripon Forum 1300 L Street, NW Suite 900 Washington, DC 20005 www.riponsoc.org
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
The Ripon Forum (ISN 0035-5526) is published quarterly by The Ripon Society. The Ripon Society is a research and policy organization. It is located in Washington, D.C. There are National Associate members throughout the United States. Ripon is supported by chapter dues, individual contributions, and revenues from its publications. Comments, opinion editorials and letters to the magazine should be addressed to: The Ripon Forum, 1300 L Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20005 or may be transmitted electronically to: email@example.com.
Note From The Executive Director
he Ripon Forum is back and ready to champion Republican principles in this pivotal election year. After a brief interruption, The Forum will resume its traditional practice of being a high-quality political quarterly magazine. Under the leadership of its editor, Jeffrey T. Kuhner, The Forum has undergone a revitalization and redesign. Our goal is not only to provide you, the reader, with interesting and incisive analysis on many of the poignant issues of our day, but also to help articulate a modern Republican agenda of fiscal responsibility, tax cuts, entitlement reform and winning the global war on terrorism. You can expect that future pages of The Forum will have leading Bush administration officials, influential Republican congressmen and prominent GOP governors displayed expressing their views on the major challenges confronting our country. In this issue, we are proud to publish an exclusive interview with Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican. Mr. Roberts discusses the committee’s much-anticipated upcoming report, which looks into the U.S. intelligence community’s pre-war handling of information in the build-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom. In particular, Mr. Roberts addresses the questions of what happened to Saddam Hussein’s WMD and whether the Bush administration exaggerated the threat posed by the Butcher of Baghdad. Moreover, our cover story by Prof. Grace Vuoto persuasively argues that President Bush’s military campaign to topple Saddam from power was the right course of action on strategic, moral and humanitarian grounds. Mr. Kuhner examines whether the Republican-backed prescription-drug measure is good politics and good policy. Our investigative journalist, Stephen F. Manfredi, probes the Democratic presidential primaries and the party’s ideological divisions that have resurfaced. Sara M. Kupfer, our foreign affairs correspondent, has a feature piece on the troubling (and largely ignored) phenomenon of international human trafficking. This issue also has incisive and cutting-edge coverage of Social Security reform, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first months in office, the 30th anniversary of the landmark Endangered Species Act, the upcoming expansion of the European Union and the continued genocide in Chechnya. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of The Republican Party (which took place in Ripon, Wisconsin, hence, our organization’s name). To celebrate this, The Ripon Society is planning numerous events and outreach efforts throughout the year. These events include our traditional breakfast and dinner series, as well as novel opportunities for our members and supporters to generate interest and visibility as the November election grows closer. It is also our intent to broaden the scope of The Ripon Society beyond the Beltway this year with a strong grassroots campaign. More details to come …. You can rest assured that, just as The Grand Old Party played a central role in abolishing the evils of slavery, economic injustice, segregation and Soviet communism during the past century and a half, we at The Ripon Society will continue to follow in the proud footsteps of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan during this new era in the war on terrorism. I look forward to hearing from you as this election year unfolds. Sincerely,
Elvis Oxley Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
Republican Rx Success Why Medicare reform is good policy - and good politics By Jeffrey T. Kuhner
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
the largest expansion of the Medicare program since its creation in 1965. The law gives millions of seniors voluntary prescription-drug coverage for the first time for a premium of about $35 a month and a yearly deductible of $250. The government will subsidize 75 percent of a senior’s annual drug costs up to $2,250. Beneficiaries then need to pick up out-of-pocket costs
between $2,250 and $5,100 — what is commonly referred to as the “doughnut hole.” Beyond that amount, the government pays for 95 percent of costs. More importantly, seniors who earn less than $12,123 a year will pay no premium or deductible and will have no gap in coverage. The law begins to kick in for lowincome seniors this summer. John Boone
he Medicare prescription-drug bill passed by the Republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by President Bush in December is a landmark piece of legislation that the GOP should be proud to take credit for. The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 is an important step toward strengthening and reforming Medicare. Moreover, it is also a huge political victory for the GOP as they head into this year’s pivotal election campaign. The Republican prescription-drug legislation was only passed because of the strong support given by Mr. Bush and GOP congressional leaders. Most Democrats opposed the bill, arguing that the program was not large enough and simply designed to help the president’s re-election efforts. Some conservatives, meanwhile, voted against the measure because they believed the program was too costly. Mr. Bush and the majority of Republicans in Congress (along with a handful of important moderate Democrats such as Sens. John B. Breaux of Louisiana and Max Baucus of Montana) who backed the legislation deserve to be commended for their political courage in making necessary reforms to modernize and update the broken Medicare system. The law’s primary achievement is that it provides a prescription-drug entitlement to millions of Americans who desperately need it. Many low- and middle-income seniors face the dilemma that, being no longer in the workforce, their limited budgets are being squeezed by rising drug costs. The median income of people age 65 and over is only $23,118. Nearly 80 percent of seniors are required to take a prescription drug on a daily basis; more than 4.7 million of them have drug costs that exceed $4,500 a year; 2.9 million have medicine costs of more than $ 5,800. Even more alarming, during the past decade the average retail price of prescription drugs has doubled; in 2002 alone, spending on prescription drugs increased by more than 12 percent. Many elderly Americans, who after nearly a lifetime of paying down their home mortgages, realize to their horror that the same amount of money needs to go to pay for drugs. The 10-year, $534 billion measure is
Politics: Republican Rx Success Beginning in 2006, seniors who decide to remain within the traditional Medicare system will use private insurers to receive the drug benefit. But one of the law’s bold new options is to let private companies provide comprehensive health insurance, including prescription drugs. The bill also requires Medicare to compete directly with private plans starting in 2010 in a six-year pilot program involving six cities — a reform proposal promoted by Republicans but vehemently opposed by most Democrats. The measure also provides a significant boost to rural health care. It has a $25 billion package aimed at increasing Medicare payments to rural hospitals and doctors. Yet perhaps the law’s most innovative aspect is that it creates tax-free health savings accounts of up to $4,500 every year. This will encourage individuals of all ages to save for their medical costs rather than rely solely on the government or private insurance. In short, the health savings accounts program is a major reform initiative that seeks to empower individual Americans, enabling them to have more control over their health care decision-making and options. Perils of Medicare Reform If the bill has any major flaws, it lies in two areas: possible sky-rocketing long-term costs and problems posed by the coverage gaps. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the final price tag for the drug subsidy could be as high as $2 trillion in its second decade, especially if Congress fills in the coverage gaps in the current benefit. Several liberal Democrats such as Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts have already introduced a bill that seeks to bolster the new drug benefit by plugging up the law’s coverage gaps. “We’ve only just begun to fight,” Mr. Kennedy said recently. However, Republicans need to point out that, although the prescription-drug benefit might be costly, expanding the market-oriented options for medical care could more than compensate for the long-term expense. Crucial cost-control measures such as mandatory competition among insurance plans, health savings accounts and the six-city experiment of direct competition between Medicare and private insurers will go a long way toward making the national health care program financially viable in the future. Moreover, the GOP will eventually need to address the law’s coverage gaps. The best course of action is to gradually fill in the gaps over time through incremental pieces of legislation. This would help keep costs under control, while broadening the benefits of the drug subsidy.
Another important feature of the law is that it places a priority on preventative care. It is not a coincidence that the measure was strongly supported by hundreds of healthcare, patient-support and senior-citizen interest groups nationwide. One major institution that backed the law was the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from diabetes. In 2002 alone, an estimated $132 billion in expenditures was directly attributable to the disease. Nearly 40 percent of Medicare costs are linked to combating diabetes.
Yet instead of seeking to counteract the alarming rise of the disease among the elderly through early screening and other preventative measures, the current Medicare system relies almost exclusively upon treatment. This approach is not only expensive, but ineffective as well. Current Medicare will not pay for tests or lifestyle training that doctors say is pivotal in arresting the disease in its early stages. The ADA correctly argues that the new law will encourage Medicare to embrace the one practice that can help curtail the spread of diabetes: more preventative care. The results will be not only healthier citizens, but billions of dollars in savings in medical costs. GOP Winner at The Polls Moreover, the prescription-drug law significantly aids U.S. drug companies by implementing vital protections for their patent rights. Foreign companies ripping off American patents represent one of the most dangerous threats to the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. Many Democrats and liberals argue that importing pirated less expensive drugs from Canada and the www.riponsoc.org
European Union would help drive down prices of domestic drugs. The fundamental problem with that proposal is that it strikes at the very heart of the innovative dynamism that has enabled the U.S. pharmaceutical industry to emerge as one of the world’s leaders in medical research. Many foreign outfits can sell their drugs at lower prices for one simple reason: forgers can avoid paying the high research and development costs of legitimate U.S. companies that in reality create the new miracle medicines of today. This is why it is important to maintain the law’s ban on cheaper drugs from Canada. By protecting the intellectual property rights of U.S. pharmaceutical companies, the measure is ensuring Americans will continue to have access to the most advanced medicines. Yet the Republican-backed legislation is not only good policy, but also good politics. By leading the effort to provide seniors with a prescription-drug entitlement, the Republicans along with Mr. Bush have coopted a key issue that Democrats have claimed as their own since 1965. Polls have consistently shown that, while the GOP scores very well with voters on issues such as taxes, trade and national security, the Democrats traditionally have received high marks on education and health care. This is no longer the case. Republicans have now shown that they can deliver sweeping health-care reforms. Hence, if the GOP really wants to take advantage of the prescription-drug accomplishment, they must take credit for the benefit they have given millions of seniors over staunch opposition from the Democratic leadership. In particular, the measure should help win support from seniors across the country, especially in pivotal electoral states such as Arizona, Florida and Nevada. It is not just seniors who appreciate assistance with their drug costs; so do aging baby boomers, who are themselves approaching retirement and now have one less concern to deal with regarding their parents. This legislation is win-win for the Republicans. Come November, the Democrats will find out just how much of a winner it is. —Jeffrey T. Kuhner is the editor of The Ripon Forum
You can also read Jeffrey T. Kuhner’s commentaries in The Washington Times
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
Democrats in Disarray John Kerry vulnerable in November By Stephen F. Manfredi
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
agenda, Mr. Dean settled on an anti-war, anti-tax cut, anti-establishment and antiBush campaign. Mesmerized by his success, the Democratic field of candidates marched to the left in hot pursuit. After casting votes in Congress to authorize the use of force in Iraq, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Edwards and Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri abruptly adopted Mr. Dean’s anti-war message in an attempt to appeal to Democratic activists. In another about-face, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Edwards all criticized the Patriot Act despite voting in favor of it. It would be a mistake, however, to write these policy reversals off as only another example of election-year pandering, for that conclusion fails to recognize two realities. First, the Democratic Party is more beholden than ever to activists and leftist interest groups, even at the expense of mainstream votes. And more importantly, Mr. Dean’s candidacy has given a semblance, at least, of organization to these perennially disenchanted, but fragmented,
Embracing Economic Populism The abandonment of former President Clinton’s centrist New Democratic program, which included the passage of NAFTA and welfare reform, has allowed for the revival of an antiquated economic populism among the Democratic candidates. For whatever reason, Democrats have been unwilling to embrace the prosperity of the Clinton years, deciding instead to resuscitate old rhetoric about the power of evil corporations, “special interests” and other bogeymen that prevent hard-working Americans from succeeding. While the first stirrings of this populism could already be seen in Mr. Gore’s “we’re for the people, they’re for the powerful” demagoguery during his failed bid for the presidency in AP/Wide World Photos
f John Stuart Mill could casually dismiss British conservatives as “the stupid party,” then modern-day Republicans would be wise to take notice of the power of political smear and label their Democratic opponents the “anti-party.” After all, the Democratic presidential candidates’ deafening anti-Bush rhetoric and unwavering opposition to nearly every Bush policy reform give such a charge more than a tinge of truth. After nearly falling out of contention for the Democratic nomination, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts succeeded in launching an extraordinary comeback, overtaking former front-runner Howard Dean en route to victories in Iowa, New Hampshire and virtually every other primary and caucus. But Mr. Kerry’s resounding victories offer no proof of a party genuinely united around his candidacy. Whereas Mr. Dean’s failed campaign can be credited with galvanizing the Democratic base and bringing new voters to the party, Mr. Kerry’s run has been victorious, but thoroughly uninspiring. In an effort to oust President Bush, Democrats have voted with their heads rather than their hearts, allowing the electable default candidate Mr. Kerry to triumph over sentimental favorites such as Mr. Dean and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. Some may call such a strategy politically astute, but it also reveals the extent to which Democrats have been forced to conceal deep party divisions by waging an “anybody but Bush” campaign. Rather than finding unity in shared principles or mutual commitment to a candidate, Democrats have found unity in contempt for the president. While every primary season tends to expose party divisions, the initial success of Mr. Dean’s insurgent campaign had the effect of pushing the entire party to the left, widening pre-existing ideological fissures among Democrats. In many respects, Mr. Dean’s stated desire to “take back America” was as much a struggle to save the soul of the Democratic Party from the centrist policies of the Clinton era as an attempt to wrest the presidency from Mr. Bush. Rejecting the Democratic Party’s Clintonite wing for its willingness to use American power abroad and pro-free trade economic
leftist factions. Although mainstream Democratic voters put an end to Mr. Dean’s candidacy by choosing the more electable Mr. Kerry, the former Vermont governor’s influence on the party has not been purged. Moderate Democrats who have come to see Mr. Dean’s collapse and Mr. Kerry’s impending victory as a conservative restoration have breathed a sigh of relief too early. Mr. Dean’s candidacy has challenged the supremacy of the centrist Clintonite wing of the Democratic Party and moved the party farther to the left. With Al Gore’s endorsement of Mr. Dean, the death certificate of the Clintonite wing was at once signed, sealed and delivered.
Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., pumps his fist while arriving for a rally at the Roxy Theater in Atlanta.
AP/Wide World Photos
Politics: Democrats in Disarray
U.S. Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., addresses the crowd at the old train depot in Albany, Ga.
2000, economic populism has since then become the leitmotif of Democratic politics. Mr. Edwards’ attacks on “special interests” and constant invocation of “two Americas,” one swimming in luxury and one mired in poverty, offers the most striking example of this shift away from embracing Clintonite prosperity. He seeks to bring an end to “trickle down economics” by raising taxes on Americans earning over $200,000 a year and repealing most of Mr. Bush’s tax cuts. Mr. Edwards’ Democratic opponents could not agree more. While Mr. Dean called for the complete repeal of all of Mr. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, Mr. Kerry promises to repeal most of the tax cuts. Neither willing to accept the pro-growth free-market policies of the Clinton years, nor part with expensive social programs, Democrats in general and Mr. Kerry in particular run the risk of being pigeonholed with the most lethal of all political slurs: that of tax and spender. Although Mr. Bush’s own budget deficits may lessen the impact of such a label, the efforts of Democrats to raise taxes remain a political liability. Mr. Kerry has been particularly critical of tax cuts, even the more modest cuts of the Clinton era, saying that “going back to the Clinton tax cuts doesn’t create another job, it puts a burden on… middleclass Americans.” With Republicans in control of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, and making inroads into the judiciary, Democrats have become
desperate to take back power. Lacking new ideas or an alternative program, however, they have been forced to rehash old policies. As a result, anti-business rhetoric has become a hallmark of the Democratic primaries. Democrats have vociferously criticized NAFTA and the WTO, pandered to manufacturers with protectionist policies and made economic nationalism an issue with attacks against the Bush administration’s perceived indifference toward the “outsourcing” of jobs to countries such as China and India. Is Kerry Too Liberal? Though successful at striking fear in the hearts of workers over losing jobs to foreign competition, Democrats have offered no comprehensive solutions, save Mr. Gephardt’s advocacy of an “international minimum wage.” Unable to offer viable alternatives, Democrats have mercilessly attacked Mr. Bush’s historic education and health care reform bills despite being unable to deliver legislation of their own when they held power. Offering no new ideas on domestic policy and unwilling to return to Mr. Clinton’s policies, it seems that Democrats have decided to go back to the liberal populism of Walter Mondale instead. Such a strategy will be self-defeating, for this kind of big-government liberalism has long been repudiated by voters. Mr. Clinton’s acceptance of the Republican reforms of the 1990s allowed the Democrat to position himself as a centrist and win reelection despite the Republican takeover of Congress. www.riponsoc.org
With Mr. Kerry’s nomination all but assured, all eyes turn toward the November election. Despite a lack of passion among Democrats for his candidacy, the highly decorated Vietnam War veteran remains an attractive candidate on many counts. His honorable record of military service gives him credibility on foreign policy. In addition, two decades of service in the Senate give voters looking for experience a true statesman. But he may be too liberal for the job. His repudiation of Republican tax cuts and fixation on expensive social programs identify him with outmoded fiscal thinking. Mr. Kerry’s call to review all U.S. trade agreements and his declaration that “health care is a right” automatically put him at odds with many middle-class Americans who demanded welfare reform and decried the Clinton universal health care proposal less than a decade ago. Simply put, Mr. Kerry’s unwillingness to accept the reforms passed by Mr. Clinton and the Republican Congress threatens to alienate him from many moderate Democrats and independents – voters that he will desperately need to defeat Mr. Bush. Mr. Kerry’s campaign also remains vulnerable to charges of inconsistency. In addition to criticizing major pieces of legislation that he supported in the Senate, such as the Patriot Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, Mr. Kerry’s vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq and subsequent criticism of the war reveal his tendency to flipflop on significant issues. But Mr. Kerry’s wavering on issues of war and peace is nothing new. Just as Mr. Kerry began protesting Vietnam after returning home from the war, his initial support of the Iraq war resolution and subsequent condemnation make one doubt his resolve. Whether Mr. Kerry has the stomach to engage in a prolonged conflict and protect the nation from terrorism will no doubt remain a question in the minds of voters. In the end, loaded insinuations about Halliburton, levying threats against “Benedict Arnold corporations,” and macho expressions like “bring it on” are no substitute for real thought and new policy initiatives. Failing to sponsor any major legislation after 20 years in the Senate and lacking concrete alternatives to Mr. Bush’s foreign and domestic agenda, Mr. Kerry offers little more than a cry of opposition. Whether his campaign succumbs to the same vitriol that consumed Mr. Dean’s remains to be seen. — Stephen F. Manfredi is a political reporter for The Ripon Forum
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
The New Slavery The dark underside of globalization By Sara M. Kupfer here are about 27 million slaves living today — almost three times as many as were captured in Africa during two and a half centuries of the transatlantic slave trade. The word “slavery,” of course, is rarely being used these days. The modern term for the practice of buying people like objects and luring them into forced labor situations is the more euphemistic phrase “human trafficking.” The United Nations Protocol on Trafficking in Persons, however, has officially recognized human trafficking as a modern form of slavery — and so has the U.S. government. Indeed, in his September 2003 U.N. General Assembly address, President Bush mentioned human trafficking, alongside with HIV/AIDS, as one of the great humanitarian crises facing the international community today. He thereby aptly referred to the cruel practice as “an underground of brutality and fear.” According to the U.S. State Department, between one and two million Andy Rain/Getty Images
people a year are being trafficked worldwide. Generating an estimated 7 to 10 billion dollars in yearly revenue, human trafficking has become the fastest growing international criminal activity today. According to USAID, “unlike the trade in drugs and guns, the trade in women and children is virtually cost-free, and thus extraordinarily lucrative.” A slave today can be had for about $1,000 — which, in today’s currency, is about 40 times less than a slave used to cost at the height of the transatlantic slave trade. Once acquired, human traffickers can force their victims to work to pay off their purchasing price and transportation expenses; hence, the traffickers’ initial investment usually translates into immense profits. Human trafficking networks are highly sophisticated criminal operations. Many traffickers moved into the business from the drug or illegal weapons trade; other trafficking organizations have just recently
Chum Voon sits with his family August 27, 2001 in Sambo village, a poor rural area of Battambang province, Cambodia. Voon’s two daughters have been missing for two years. Over 600,000 children are working as prostitutes, beggars or as child labourers in Cambodia. Many of them are trafficked and sold as slaves after being promised good jobs in Phnom Penh or Thailand.
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
been established for the sole purpose of trading in humans. Individual human trafficking operations differ from place to place, depending on the cultural and political system in which they are operating. They can be organized along family lines — such as the Chinese trafficking networks — or they can operate as small, loosely connected criminal bands such as those prevalent in the former Soviet Union. Human trafficking truly is a global problem, affecting almost every region of the world. Common source countries for modern slaves are the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, as well as povertystricken areas in Central and South East Asia, Africa and Latin America. Modernday slaves are either enslaved in their own country or are trafficked abroad. An increasingly large number of modern-day slaves end up in the wealthy West — particularly Western Europe and North America. In fact, the State Department estimates that about 20,000 people per year are being trafficked into the United States alone. Most trafficking victims in the United States have been lured into servitude by the promise of finding a well-paid job. False Promises Rosa, a 14-year old girl, was living with her parents and siblings under impoverished circumstances in Vera Cruz, Mexico. At the time, she was supplementing the family income by working as a cleaning woman. One day, a man came to visit her and promised to get her a decent job as a hotel employee in the United States. After a group of men smuggled her through Texas to Orlando, Florida, she was told that she had to pay back her travel expenses by working as a prostitute. She was raped into submission and then kept in a heavily guarded trailer, where she had to “service” customers all day, seven days a week. Living in constant fear, she was unable to escape because her guards carried guns. When she became pregnant, she was forced to have an abortion. “I was a decent girl in Mexico. I used to go to church with my family,” Rosa said after she was finally liberated. “I only wish none of this had ever happened.” Rosa’s story is just one typical example of involuntary enslavement. Other examples abound. Children in South East Asia and Africa are sometimes sold to human traffickers by their parents — with or without their parents’ knowledge of the gruesome future that awaits them. In some instances, parents are being promised by traffickers that their children would receive a good education and learn a trade if they went with them. In other instances, parents give away their children because they lack
Politics: The New Slavery the money to care for them, can’t afford to pay for their daughters’ dowry, or are themselves indebted to their landlord and feel that they have no other choice but to “sell” their children. Although modern-day slavery affects women and children disproportionately, men can also fall victim to human traffickers. For example, there have been documented cases of men from Central American countries who were trafficked to Florida for a fee of $1,000 and then made to earn back their transportation expenses by working under dehumanizing conditions for a dubious orange picking crew in Lake Placid. Usually, trafficking victims never get to see the money they are “earning,” since most of it goes toward food, shelter and the repayment of their alleged “debt.” Once they have paid off their debt, many victims are re-sold to a new “owner,” who then again asks them to earn back their purchasing price. Victims of human trafficking are helpless, particularly if they are being enslaved in a foreign country. Because trafficked persons often reside in their new host countries illegally, they are unable to contact local law enforcement for fear of facing arrest and deportation. Moreover, the fact that they usually don’t speak the language of their new host country poses another complicating factor. A 21st-Century Phenomenon The rise of modern-day slavery is a distinct phenomenon of the 21st century. To be sure, slavery has never completely disappeared from the face of the planet even after the abolition of the slave trade in the 19th century. Nevertheless, the trade in humans — especially the transport of slaves across international borders — has been quite successfully contained throughout most of the 20th century. International crises such as the two World Wars, the Great Depression and the advent of the Cold War largely prevented transnational criminal networks from trafficking humans across vast regions of the world. Indeed, the Cold War virtually sealed off the borders between East and West, making it difficult for traffickers to smuggle slaves from Asia and the Soviet Union to the West. This, of course, all changed with the collapse of the Soviet empire. The transition from socialism to capitalism in former communist states has left a lot of people destitute and with no prospects for employment. In fact, the post-socialist transition has hit women particularly hard. The privatization of state property left many women propertyless and without the option of turning to their government for support. When jobs become available, they usually go to men first. Hence, women from the
former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have become particularly susceptible to offers from human traffickers to find them interesting jobs in Western Europe or the United States. It is no coincidence that of all the countries in the world, the former communist states of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have experienced the fastest growth in human trafficking in recent years. However, impoverished women from more “traditional” developing countries continue to fall victim to the sex trade in large numbers.
Generating an estimated 7 to 10 billion dollars in yearly revenue, human trafficking has become the fastest growing international criminal activity today. Twenty-first century human traffickers also benefit from improvements in global technology linked to globalization. Cheap and abundant transportation across borders has facilitated the smuggling of humans to other countries. Also, the Internet has become a powerful tool for “employers” of modern-day slaves to advertise their services. For example, mail-order bride businesses, child pornographers, and sex tourism tour operators (who make abundant use of enslaved women and children) go online to advertise their services and thereby often avoid being caught. Hence, the International Labor Organization has quite rightly called the proliferation of human trafficking in the post-Cold War world the dark “underside of globalization.” Lack of Law Enforcement Moreover, local law enforcement agents in source countries often lack the will or proper mandate to crack down on human traffickers. Sometimes, police officers even collaborate with the traffickers. The fact that the majority of trafficking victims are women and children, who typically come from impoverished rural provinces or belong to discriminated ethnic minorities, doesn’t make it any easier for the victims either. Indeed, potential victims often fail to get adequate state protection because they do not enjoy high social standing in their home countries to begin with. In some cases, governments are downright complicit in the human slave trade. One example is Cuba’s state-run tourism industry, which “employs” women and chilwww.riponsoc.org
dren from rural areas who have been forced into prostitution by domestic human traffickers. Human trafficking could not be a profitable business if there did not exist a high demand for cheap labor and sexual services in the developed world. Thus, it is absolutely necessary that governments in North America and Western Europe become more aggressive in cracking down on commercial sexual exploitation. A first step would be to outlaw prostitution as a profession. One bold step in this direction has been taken by the EU’s new President Bertie Ahern, who wants to propose an EUwide ban on prostitution. Another good start is Mr. Bush’s signing of the Protect Act in April 2003, which allows U.S. law enforcement to prosecute any individual in the United States who has participated in sex tourism involving children. But the passing of laws alone is not enough. What is needed is a forceful public campaign to alert sex tourists that they can be legally prosecuted when returning or traveling to the United States. The same holds for America’s much-lauded Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, which entered into force in 2000. The act allows victims of human trafficking to seek legal immigration status if they testify against their owners. Unfortunately, however, many trafficking victims in the United States do not know about the law, and local police officers in return often fail to let suspected victims know about their rights. In the end, it is important to recognize that besides hurting individual victims, the continued practice of modern-day slavery has broader socio-economic implications. Not only does human trafficking disrupt traditional communities in source countries, but the existence of slavery in the developing world also is a serious impediment to economic development. For one, children who are forced into slavery fail to acquire the necessary education to become part of a productive labor force later on in their lives. For another, the availability of cheap slave labor in developing countries depresses wages on the job market, thus preventing impoverished wage laborers from ever being able to improve their standards of living. Last but not least, human trafficking constitutes the most serious global human rights violation in the early 21st century. Purely from a humanitarian standpoint, therefore, we all have a moral obligation to help eradicate this modernday evil. — Sara M. Kupfer is a foreign affairs reporter for The Ripon Forum
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
Bush’s Just War Saddam endangered U.S. security By Grace Vuoto
Bush’s Justifications for War Republicans will be wise to refuse to allow the Democrats and the media to exaggerate the emphasis that the president placed on eliminating weapons of mass destruction as the primary justification for war. These statements are now being blown Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
out of proportion. Indeed, Mr. Bush and many leading members of the administration such as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell used this argument as a rallying point to win support for the war. But it was by no means the only reason that was presented to the public. One need only review the president’s State of the Union Address of 2003. This was perhaps his most thorough explanation AP/Wide World Photos
imilar to the “Kennedy curse,” the Bush family may also be plagued by a recurring menace. In their case - as manifest by the presidency of both the elder George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush - the curse consists of administrations that are crowned by spectacular foreign policy victories only to subsequently incur disdain and contempt from the American people: in other words, the Bushes appear to have the unique ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The pattern is repeating itself as President Bush fails to mount a vigorous media campaign in response to the political storm that is brewing due to the inability to locate large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. His political enemies are pouncing on the testimony that David Kay, the former head of the Iraq Survey Group, presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee in January, 2004. Dr. Kay stated that it is likely that large stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons will not be found. Mr. Bush’s opponents, therefore, believe that the president overstated the case for going to war in Iraq - in fact, they argue that he deliberately manipulated the American people and Congress. Leading Democrats are casting doubt on Operation Iraqi Freedom and are insisting that the president is no longer credible. These attacks are having an impact on the electorate’s perception of Mr. Bush - as is evident by his declining approval ratings. The president must immediately launch a media counteroffensive to these charges. While Operation Iraqi Freedom has been won on the battlefield, it must be fought once again in the arena of public opinion. The campaign in Iraq was indeed a just war; it can be supported on moral, legal, humanitarian and strategic grounds. Moreover, Mr. Bush has demonstrated that he is a man of his word: his actions are in every instance commensurate with his public statements. He may even be sincere to a fault.
President George W. Bush arrives on the South Lawn of the White House September 7th, 2003. Later he addressed the nation in a televised speech to give an update on the war on terrorism and the situation in Iraq.
to the American people for taking military action against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. In that speech, Mr. Bush promised that he would not “pass along” contemporary problems “to other generations.” The president then listed eight reasons for potentially resuming hostilities against the Iraqi leader: 1) Saddam was a tyrant with a history of aggression in a vital region; 2) Saddam violated the treaty he had signed in 1991 following the Gulf War and in which one of the primary conditions for ceasing hostilities was his promise to disarm; 3) Saddam repeatedly flouted international law by failing to cooperate with U.N. inspectors, by being deceptive and secretive, and failing to render an account of his weapons; 4) Saddam likely had weapons of www.riponsoc.org
mass destruction (and had demonstrated that he would use them even on his own people); 5) Saddam had ties to terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda and could potentially either give them weapons or help them to develop WMD; 6) the doctrine of pre-emption: Saddam did not appear to be sane and therefore the U.S. government could not wait for him to attack first; 7) international human rights groups had repeatedly chronicled his human rights abuses, including the use of torture chambers; and 8) Saddam oppressed the Iraqi people. In summary, in reference to Saddam’s regime, Mr. Bush eloquently stated: “If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning.” Whether one agrees or disagrees with the arguments that the president presented in his State of the Union Address in 2003, it is clear that he did not rest his case solely on one point; instead, he outlined multiple reasons for undertaking military action. Any one of the above-mentioned arguments could have served as sufficient grounds for war - let alone all eight. The case was overwhelming. In few instances in the last decade has there been such a harmonious marriage of both moral and strategic motives for toppling a dictator from power. The President’s Credibility Dr. Kay’s “Interim Progress Report on the Activities of the Iraq Survey Group,” produced in October, 2003 and his testimony to the Senate in January, 2004, contains vital facts that, on the whole, serve to buttress rather than to diminish the administration’s actions. Democrats such as Howard Dean, Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, and Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan are using Dr. Kay’s comments in a selective manner. Those who question the president’s actions in Iraq refer to Dr. Kay as a reliable source when it suits their interest and yet fail to give him the same respect when he makes statements that do not support their prejudgments and political agenda. One cannot have it both ways: If Dr. Kay is to be referred to as an authority, then the statements that he made in support of the president’s actions must be given equal weight. Dr. Kay repeatedly declared that he wholeheartedly and unequivocally agrees with the president’s decision to overthrow Saddam. The former weapons inspector came to the conclusion that, despite the failure to find large stockpiles of WMD, the situation in Iraq “was even more dangerous than we thought.” This is because before Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Saddam’s regime was crumbling and Iraqi society was “totally corrupt.” It was therefore highly
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld offers a gesture of thanks as members of Iraq’s new police force cheer him during his visit to Baghdad Police Academy.
likely that independent sellers of existing weapons or those who had knowledge of how to build them would find willing buyers. Thus, it would be increasingly difficult to prevent the proliferation of WMD. Dr. Kay even wonders if it is not already too late. The former head of ISG also testified that he has not discovered any proof that Mr. Bush deliberately manufactured or manipulated evidence in support of his campaign to wage war or that he ever coerced intelligence analysts into exaggerating or fabricating facts. According to the former inspector, in instances where the president presented evidence that may have later been proven to be inaccurate, Mr. Bush was simply relying on information that the intelligence community gave him. This was the same information that was used by the Clinton administration and that was also either given to or that the U.S. obtained from the United Nations and other nations such as Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Israel. Even the leaders of neighboring countries and Saddam’s very own generals believed he had large stockpiles of WMD. Ironically, Mr. Bush’s opponents are usually quick to caricature him as an inarticulate C-student who barely graduated from Yale, yet they now wish to present him as a master manipulator who swayed among the most sophisticated and highly educated people within both domestic and international organizations to accept his interpretation of intelligence data. It is grossly unfair and a vast oversimplification of a complicated problem to pin any errors that may have arisen in assessing Saddam’s weapons program exclusively on the Bush administration.
AP/Wide World Photos
AP/Wide World Photos
Cover Story: Bush’s Just War
U.S. soldiers help with security in front of a police station which was the site of a car bomb attack in Kirkuk, northern Iraq.
The Quest for WMD As regards the so-called “failure” to find large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, a number of points have to be kept firmly in mind. First, there are still several pending investigations. Dr. Kay admitted that it is premature to draw definite conclusions. During his Senate testimony, at first he said “we were almost all wrong” regarding the assumption that Saddam had large stockpiles of WMD, but upon more persistent questioning by Sen. John W. Warner, Virginia Republican, he acknowledged that weapons may still be found and that he overstated the case. He qualified his initial statement by saying only that it is “highly unlikely” that they will be found. Second, even if large stockpiles are never found, this does not necessarily mean that they did not previously exist. There are weapons - at least small stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons - that we know existed and that still remain unaccounted for. These may have been destroyed - as much of the evidence pertaining to Saddam’s programs was deliberately destroyed either before the war or in the looting that followed the war - or they may have been smuggled to a neighboring country such as Syria. It is a pressing concern for the administration to locate these as quickly as possible. Third, despite the areas of “unresolved ambiguity” that may never be clarified, the ISG found overwhelming evidence that Saddam was conducting a wide range of activities that violated U.N. conventions. He was indeed producing weapons that could pose a threat to his neighbors or possibly to American citizens. The investigation found the following: 1) evidence of Saddam’s intent to pursue WMD programs; 2) the existence of chemical and biowww.riponsoc.org
logical research programs (including research into the use of the deadly chemical Ricin as a weapon); 3) a missile program that would likely incorporate in the warheads the possibility of weapons of mass destruction; and 4) evidence that in 2001, Saddam was attempting to reconstitute his nuclear program. Thus, the headlines following Dr. Kay’s interim report and his Senate testimony should have blared: “We were right!” Republicans should not hesitate to announce that much of what has been discovered corroborates rather than diminishes the justice of the cause that was undertaken. Even if the administration may have overestimated the size of the WMD stockpiles they would find, in some instances, the American government underestimated the power of the armaments that Saddam possessed. For example, Dr. Kay stated that U.S. officials vastly underestimated Saddam’s missile program which could have been used to disseminate WMD in their warheads. During the hearing, Sen. James Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, asked a key question: “In January of last year we found rockets that could carry 140 liters of VX, which all the professional people in discussing this said could kill a million people. Why is that not considered a weapon of mass destruction?” He subsequently answered his own question: “I consider that to be a weapon of mass destruction. Anything that can potentially kill a million people is a weapon of mass destruction.” Which brings us to ponder a few questions that are usually ignored in this discussion. How do we define what constitutes an immediate threat? How do we define what is a weapon of mass destruction? How do we assess the degree of harm that can be Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
inflicted by a “large” stockpile vs. a “small” stockpile of deadly chemicals or biological weapons? Even a “small” stockpile of a deadly chemical agent can kill the people in the Pentagon, the White House and Capitol Hill - essentially decapitating the political and military nexus of the world’s sole superpower - with unimaginable consequences to follow. To the lay person who reads all the evidence that has indeed been discovered, it appears as though the experts are splitting hairs. It is well to note that the very same liberals who tremble at the prospect of a lawabiding American citizen possessing a minuscule gun locked in a safe in his bedroom closet are unresponsive to common sense when it comes to making a judgment about a barbaric man who has already killed between 300,000 and one million of his own people and has even attempted to assassinate an American president (it is these very individuals, by the way, who wish to pass the most stringent of anti-gun laws predicated on the notion that these weapons may lead to harm - notice the pre-emptive doctrine at work). As the Republican consultant Allan Hoffenblum wittily remarked: “We found the weapon of mass destruction: Saddam Hussein.”
engaging, witty and charming spokespersons who can deflect political controversies with ease and grace. Consider how swiftly President Ronald Reagan would have punctured this false media balloon with a humorous, pithy statement that would illustrate the ludicrous nature of the arguments of his opponents. On the other hand, Mr. Bush also needs to appoint more in-your-face, no-holds-barred communicators - such as a Republican version of James Carville, for example, who can rebut every charge with vehemence and passion. Also, rather than being defensive and passive, as Mr. Bush was in his February 8th interview with Tim Russert on “Meet the Press,” the president must remember AP/Wide World Photos to respond to every attack with a counter-attack. In politics, as in sports, the best defense is a good offense. In this instance, the Clinton administration can serve as a model: President Clinton was able to convince the public that adultery, deceit, preying on a young intern, perjury and obstruction of justice should not only be tolerated - but that the Republicans were ultimately to blame for his political troubles! How appalling is the contrast when one ponders that Mr. Bush cannot exercise the same imaginative flair in an instance where he acted in a patriotic Links Between and selfless manner in the service of Iraqi police cadets march together during training at the Saddam and Al Qaeda noble ends. main police academy in Baghdad. More than 300 people There is also mounting evidence mostly Iraqis - have been killed in suicide bombings against Despite all of his attempts to that Saddam’s regime did indeed have Iraqi security forces this year. appear folksy and accessible, there is a ties with al Qaeda. In an article pubdanger that Mr. Bush is in some lished in The Weekly Standard on Sept. 8, Fatal Patrician Attitude respects replicating the disastrous patrician 2003, Stephen Hayes insists that the Bush In conclusion, there is more evidence attitude of his father: the president believes administration possesses much evidence now than when the war began that proves he can retain his dignity in the media wars confirming the links between Saddam and the president was right. He confronted a and that the American people will nonetheal Qaeda but does not yet want to publicize fundamental question in 2003: to act or less recognize the contributions and sacrithese facts: government officials are waiting not to act in order to be or not to be. fices he has made. for more information in order to produce a Unlike the indecisive Hamlet, the president Unfortunately, the idea advanced by thorough report. made what increasingly appears to be a the 19th century liberal philosopher, John According to The Weekly Standard, heroic decision. Mr. Bush took a stand Stuart Mill, that the truth will eventually thus far we have the following evidence: 1) before it was too late - before, as he said, we prevail in a free society, is a fantasy. As crita camp found at Salman Park, south of finally found WMD in the form of “a ics of democracy from ancient to modern Baghdad, where terrorists were being mushroom cloud above our heads.” times have noticed: factionalism and dematrained (possibly members of al Qaeda); 2) So why then are Democrats making goguery are often more powerful than telephone records obtained by Philippine such progress in undermining the prestige truth. Thus, if the Republicans want to intelligence that Hisham al Hussein, the of the president and in casting doubt on retain the presidency, they must articulate a secretary of the Iraq Embassy in Manila, some of the most outstanding achievements defense of the war that has the same tenachad frequent contact with two leaders of of his administration? In this case, it is Mr. ity, ferocity, courage and brilliance that was Abu Sayyaf, an al Qaeda affiliated terrorist Bush himself who is to blame. displayed by our troops on the battlefield. organization in South Asia, before and after Know thy weakness! This is the first Let us therefore boldly fire our weapons in they detonated a bomb in Zamboanaga rule of effective government. While the Round Two of Operation Iraqi Freedom City; 3) Czech officials have confirmed that president is a man of good character and this one to be fought on American soil. Mohammed Atta, the lead September 11 good judgment, he is a poor communicahijacker, met with Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim tor. Mr. Bush has not yet made adequate — Grace Vuoto is a professor of history at al-Ani, an intelligence officer working at amends for his Achilles heel. He ought to Howard University and a columnist the Iraq Embassy in Prague, five months appoint more effective “good cop” commufor The Ripon Forum before the hijacking; 4) reports of meetings nicators and more “bad cop” communicabetween Farouk Hijazi, former Iraqi ambas- tors. On the one hand, he needs more Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
sador to Turkey, and senior al Qaeda members in 1994 and 1997; and 5) a memo written by Saddam’s intelligence service that contains details of an upcoming meeting with a representative of Osama bin Laden traveling to Baghdad; the memo also contained plans to increase contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda. Mr. Hayes points out that American soldiers have discovered other documents of this nature. He suggests that a team is needed on the ground to further investigate these linkages. Thus, it appears that once again, the president’s justifications for undertaking the Iraqi military campaign are being supported by fresh discoveries.
Ripon Forum Interview AP/Wide World Photos
What Happened to Saddam’s WMD? An exclusive interview with U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, Kansas Republican By Jeffrey T. Kuhner fourth generation Kansan from Dodge City, Sen. Pat Roberts’ service to the people of Kansas spans more than two decades. First as an eight-term congressman from Kansas’ First District and now in his second term as United States Senator, Mr. Roberts has built a reputation as a leader in national security and defense issues, agriculture and health care. He is an advocate of a strong education system, free and fair trade policies, increased investment in science and technology, focused foreign policy and a strong military. As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the 108th Congress, Mr. Roberts is leading the effort to improve the country’s intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities at a critical time in our nation’s history. It was Mr. Roberts who cautioned the country that an attack on America’s homeland was possible. In fact, after the September 11 attacks, columnist David Broder wrote in The Washington Post, “In words that now appear to be eerily prescient, Roberts warned [in 1999] that there was a ‘real opportunity for a handful of zealots to wreck havoc on a scale that hitherto only armies could attain.’” Mr. Roberts has pledged his committee will work to make the intelligence community stronger and our nation safer in the post-September 11 world. Directly complementing his work on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Roberts is also a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, chairing the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. His subcommittee oversees the military’s contribution to homeland security as well as efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Mr. Roberts agreed to a telephone interview with The Ripon Forum to discuss the Senate Intelligence Committee’s upcoming report on the handling of U.S. intelligence in the pre-war buildup to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
RF: Senator Roberts, do you have a rough time frame when the report is expected to be released to the public? And can you explain for our readers the basic purpose and objectives of this report? Senator Roberts: Yes. Basically, we hope to have the report completed by late March or early April [of this year]. … The mission that we have in the Senate is to take a look specifically at the pre-war intelligence in reference to weapons of mass destruction – what are referred to as WMD – as well as the activity of terrorists, and examine whether there was a connection between Saddam Hussein’s regime and that of terrorist groups such as al Qaeda. Furthermore, we expect to have a second phase of this report look at other key questions such as whether the administration or administration officials pressured, coerced or manipulated members of the intelligence community to exaggerate or hype up the threat posed by Saddam’s regime or his weapons of mass destruction program. The report will also address pre-war intelligence regarding regional stability, and then the atrocities that were committed in regards to what Saddam Hussein did. … Now, what I believe is that there were intelligence failures, in regards to both sources of information that we received and to the lack of human intelligence on the ground. We also need better analysis. There were, in my opinion, a whole series of things that went wrong, but I’m not going to get specific in regards to our report. All I will say is that there were some troubling instances of bad intelligence, such as intelligence sources that told the Iraqi National Congress one thing, but then members of the board of the Iraqi National Congress turned around and told us something very different from what they were told. These types of mistakes need to be looked at and corrected so we don’t repeat them in the future. But the report will be probably the most thorough look at intelligence in the last decade.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
RF: Did you find evidence that administration officials exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam or that administration officials pressured individuals in the intelligence community to “sex up” Saddam’s WMD program? Senator Roberts: No, none whatsoever so far. We have so far interviewed about 200 officials and analysts from the intelligence community and other relevant agencies and none – not one – has said they were pressured or told by the administration to exaggerate or change the data regarding Saddam’s WMD. What is important to remember here is that the evidence that was given to the president was largely much of the same evidence that we had in the Senate and that was given to the United Nations. … I was convinced that Saddam had WMD; most of my Senate colleagues were convinced that he had WMD; and the United Nations through numerous resolutions going back over a decade was convinced that he had WMD. So the intelligence that the president received and acted on was similar to much of the intelligence that other foreign governments had as well. Also, it is important to point out that intelligence and intelligence gathering is not an exact science or profession. In baseball, if you bat .400 – meaning you get it right four out of every ten times – you are considered a great player; however, in the intelligence business if you bat .900 – in which nine out of ten times you are right – that is considered very poor because one mistake can have very serious consequences. But I don’t want to undermine the morale of Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
many of our fine men and women in the intelligence community by saying this; most of them do excellent work and do the best job they can under very difficult circumstances.
Senator Roberts: This is a decision for the president to make. It is his call, and not mine. The legislative branch of government does not pick or decide who leads the CIA. That is the president’s prerogative.
RF: Knowing what you know now, senator, would you still have voted to topple Saddam from power?
RF: There have been recent revelations regarding Pakistan that the country’s top nuclear scientist, A.Q. Khan, the man credited with developing the nation’s nuclear bomb, sold sensitive nuclear secrets to rogue states such as Libya, Iran and North Korea. How much damage do you think that Khan has done and what about reports that say he had close ties with many members of the Pakistani intelligence services and with the al Qaeda terrorist network? Is it conceivable that Khan may have given al Qaeda or other radical Islamist groups the means by which to detonate a “dirty” nuclear bomb on American soil? Senator Roberts: That is certainly a conceivable nightmare scenario that worries me and many of my colleagues in the Senate. A.Q. Khan did considerable damage. He is the godfather of proliferation. The good news is that we had some good intelligence on that. … I know that President Musharraf has been criticized by many for his decision to pardon Khan. But I think that was a very pragmatic and political decision on his part. Khan is a hero to many of his people. The point about President Musharraf is that he has shown himself to be a good ally of the United States. He has reasserted control
—Jeffrey T. Kuhner is the editor of The Ripon Forum
Ripon Forum Watch upcoming issues of The Ripon Forum for an interview with:
Florida’s Governor Jeb Bush
Senator Roberts: Yes, absolutely. He was someone whom we know had connections with terrorists. For example, we know that he sent money to Palestinian suicide bombers. Also, he was a brutal dictator who terrorized his own people and had used weapons of mass destruction on his own people in the past. … It is important to note that we don’t know what happened to Saddam’s arsenal of WMD. Did he destroy it or hide it in some backyard in Iraq? We unfortunately may never know. There is some strong indication that large amounts of equipment – what they were we don’t know - was shipped to Syria during and after the war. Also, David Kay, who previously led the Iraq Survey Group, said in his testimony to the Senate that Iraq, in many ways, was an even more dangerous situation than we had previously believed, given the brutal nature of Saddam’s regime. Mr. Kay said there was a breakdown in the chain of command of the weapons of mass destruction; and that the situation was in chaos and the looting that ensued presented a serious possible risk to our national security. … Dr. Duelfer, the new director of the Iraq Survey Group, is still looking for those WMD. And that’s important to point out, that they’re still looking. So we don’t know what they will find. Iraq is a very big country and WMD or WMD-related components can be hidden in the size of the hole that Saddam was found in. I don’t know whether their work is 85 percent done or 75 percent done. But I do know that there are 17,000 boxes of documents that still have to be exploited. And I know that they’re finding things almost every day. I don’t know if it will be the smoking WMD or not, but I wouldn’t discount that. So there is still considerable work to be done and we should wait before passing any final judgment. But there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we did the right thing in removing Saddam from power.
over the Pakistani intelligence services. He has arrested many key members of al Qaeda such as Khalid Sheik Mohammed. We’re working very closely with him [Musharraf ] from an intelligence standpoint. This is how we will get other al Qaeda leaders and determine I think, where Osama bin Laden is. We know he is hiding somewhere in the mountainous region on the AfghanistanPakistan border, which is dominated by medieval tribes and al Qaeda sympathizers. This is a region that has not seen a white Caucasian male since Alexander the Great. So the Pakistani military forces that are searching the area and placing it under government control are helping us immensely in trying to find Osama bin Laden.
RF: CIA Director George J. Tenet has come under fire for some of the mistakes that occurred in the U.S. intelligence community prior to the war in Iraq. Do you think he should be replaced? Sen. Pat Roberts addresses students in his office.
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
p Capitol Forum
The Endangered Species Act Turns 30 The case for environmental regulatory reform By Michael De Alessi n December 28, 2003, the Endangered Species Act turned 30. But before celebrating the grand anniversary of this landmark federal legislation, we should ask ourselves a sobering question: What has the ESA really accomplished in the past three decades? The answer gives little cause for celebration. Since the Act’s passage, seven American species have gone extinct. Meanwhile, over 1,260 species have been listed as “endangered” or “threatened,” while only 10 North American species have “recovered,” often due to efforts unrelated to the ESA. Proponents claim that the small number of extinctions is reason enough to celebrate the effectiveness of the ESA, but we can do better — much better. The first place to start is in better defining how we measure success, and that must include species recovery, not just keeping them from falling over the brink. We must also recognize that the ESA has often backfired, prompting needless destruction of wildlife habitat as the law expanded from its initial mission of helping endangered species to blocking economic activity across the country. Based on the assumption that species are threatened as “a consequence of economic growth and development,” the ESA gives the authority to limit activities on both public and private land. This loggerheaded notion — that conservation and commerce are incompatible — has dominated the application of ESA since it was passed in 1973. Indeed, in the ESA’s first year, a tiny fish called the snail darter was discovered in an area that would be flooded by a dam being built on the Little Tennessee River. A lawsuit was promptly filed, halting construction. Eventually, a special congressional dispensation let the nearly completed dam go forward, but the case left little doubt about the strict-enforcement power of the ESA. ESA restrictions create a perverse incentive which has led landowners to destroy habitat that might one day provide an attractive home for endangered species. For example, a study by economists Dean Lueck and Jeffrey Michael found that owners of forests that would evolve into endan-
gered red-cockaded woodThe ESA must be reformed, and legislators pecker habitat (they prefer old-growth trees) tend to should look to the remarkable successes of the cut their trees ahead of schedule to avoid attracting private sector, most importantly of all, for the the birds. premium they put on performance. Since over 700 endangered or threatened species are found on private land, meaningful con- have also been remarkable experiments servation will clearly require the coopera- showing that private individuals are not, by tion of private landowners. The ESA has nature, the scourge of endangered animals. finally recognized the problems it creates The non-profit Peregrine Fund has with the establishment of the Safe Harbor shown how privately run organizations can program, which indemnifies landowners work harmoniously with government agenwho don’t already have endangered species cies. The fund reintroduced the California on their land from further restrictions. In condor to Arizona in cooperation with the fact, the red-cockaded woodpecker was the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the first species to benefit from this program Bureau of Land Management, among othwhen it began in 1995. ers. In addition, the Safe Harbor program The Safe Harbor program is significant has enabled the Peregrine Fund to release because it finally recognizes and begins to hundreds of Aplomado Falcons on private address the fact that endangered species on property that would have been inaccessible private land are a liability. But reducing lia- otherwise. bility isn’t enough, and the Safe Harbor Natural market forces, whether the program should be just the start of reform. profit motives of a rancher or the performTo really turn around endangered species ance mandates of a non-profit like the conservation, landowners need to view Peregrine Fund, produce results. endangered species as assets. Unfortunately, over the last 30 years, the Over the past 30 years, there have been ESA has produced far more lawsuits and many successful examples of private and headaches than species recoveries. public-private efforts to save wildlife. A The ESA must be reformed, and legisreformed Endangered Species Act could be lators should look to the remarkable sucmodeled — at least partially — on any cesses of the private sector, most importantnumber of them. ly of all, for the premium they put on perOne particularly successful example is formance. After all, if Earth Sanctuaries Ltd Earth Sanctuaries Ltd. (ESL), an eco- doesn’t have endangered species on its proptourism company in Australia. ESL was erties, its stock will be worthless, and if the founded in 1988 by Dr. John Wamsley, Peregrine Fund fails to recover its target who was alarmed by Australia’s high num- species, it will lose donations. U.S. Fish and ber of animal extinctions. Under Dr. Wildlife, however, soldiers on no matter its Wamsley’s guidance, ESL bought land and track record. The law should better define built fences to protect threatened animals. how to measure the success of any endanESL has since successfully brought gered species legislation, and contain harsh back numerous populations of native penalties if success is not achieved. species — including wombats, bandicoots, It is time to reform the ESA; to build kangaroos and platypuses. An essential part on and expand the success of the Safe of their efforts to raise the capital they need Harbor program; and above all to begin to to save species is a new accounting rule in tap into private sector initiatives. If we Australia that makes it possible to report don’t, are we really ready to accept a meager wildlife as regenerating financial assets. ESL ten recoveries and seven extinctions over is also the first publicly traded conservation the next 30 years? company in the world. The ESL example shows that commit— Michael De Alessi is director of natural ted and informed landowners, often in resource policy for the Reason Foundation their own interests, can help restore threatand a fellow in environmental studies ened species. In the United States, there at the Pacific Research Institute.
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
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p Capitol Forum
Saving Social Security Bush’s historic reform opportunity By Peter Ferrara n his State of the Union address in January, President Bush stated his strong support for a personal account option for Social Security. The president said, “younger workers should have the opportunity to build a nest egg by saving part of their Social Security taxes in a personal retirement account.” You will see the president raise this issue in the election campaign this year. He definitely wants such historic reform to be part of his legacy. He has been saying that to close associates, inside and outside of the administration, for the past three years. I can report that Mr. Bush knows how important this issue is. Still, many reformers are discouraged that Mr. Bush didn’t say more. Press reports in the week before the speech indicated he would make it a much bigger part of his presentation. My judgment, based on what I have heard in bits and pieces from a wide range of sources, is that the speech did originally highlight Social Security personal accounts much more, with a major theme of building an ownership society. But Republicans on Capitol Hill still scared of the issue implored him to cut it way back, and spare them from having to deal with Social Security in this election. They and many others still fail to recognize how enormous this initiative can be, with powerfully beneficial effects reverberating throughout our economy and society. Just what this initiative can involve was shown in a recent proposal I developed for the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, Texas, which has now been officially scored by the Chief Actuary of Social Security. The main components of the reform plan are as follows:
• Out of the 12.4% Social Security payroll tax, workers would be free to choose to shift to personally owned, individual accounts, 10 percentage points on the first $10,000 in wages each year, and 5 percentage points on all wages above that, to the maximum
Social Security taxable ($87,000 this year).
• Benefits payable from the tax free accounts would substitute for a portion of Social Security benefits based on the degree to which workers exercised the account option over their careers.
A uniformly positive and populist reform along these lines is what is needed to calm nerves on Capitol Hill. Indeed, most Hill Republicans will ultimately conclude they don’t want to be left out of such a positive and historic reform effort. • Workers choose investments by picking a fund managed by a major private investment firm, from a list officially approved for this purpose and regulated for safety and soundness, similarly to the system adopted in Chile 25 years ago, and the operation of the Federal Employee Thrift Retirement System. • The personal accounts are backed up by a safety net providing a federal government guarantee that workers with personal accounts would receive at least as much as promised by Social Security under current law. • There would be no change in currently promised Social Security benefits of any sort, for those retired today www.riponsoc.org
or in the future. Survivors and disability benefits would continue as under the current system without change. The official score by the Chief Actuary of Social Security shows the following: • The reform plan achieves full solvency in Social Security by 2029, with permanent and growing surpluses thereafter, all without any benefit cuts or tax increases. • Indeed, the Chief Actuary actually scored that the permanent surpluses in Social Security thereafter are so large the payroll tax rate can be reduced from 12.4% down to 3.5%, with 6.4 percentage points again going into the accounts on average. Under the current system, the Chief Actuary has also scored that under intermediate assumptions the payroll tax rate would have to rise to over 20%. Bottom line: the plan involves the largest tax cut in world history. • At the same time, the accounts in the plan are large enough that at standard market investment returns they would provide workers across the board with higher benefits than Social Security even promises, let alone what it can pay. The study I did for the Institute for Policy Innovation shows that with the accounts invested half in stocks and half in bonds, workers at all income levels would enjoy about 60 percent more from the accounts. With a higher proportion invested in stocks, the improvement in benefits would be even higher. • As a result, through the large personal accounts, the long term financing crisis of the program would be eliminated without raising taxes or cutting benefits. Also, the reform would actually solve the financing criRipon Forum • Spring 2004
The reform plan achieves full solvency in Social Security by 2029, with permanent and growing surpluses thereafter, all without any benefit cuts or tax increases.
sis while cutting taxes and increasing benefits. That should not be a surprise. That is what happened in Chile as well. That results because the accounts produce a large increase in national wealth and income, through increased savings and investment, and lower taxes.
1. Devote the short term Social Security surpluses now projected until 2018 to the reform plan.
• In addition, the Chief Actuary also estimated that under the reform plan the personal wealth of working people is increased by over $7 trillion in present value dollars through the accounts. This would greatly broaden the ownership of wealth, which should appeal to both conservatives and liberals.
2. Reduce the rate of growth of federal spending by one percentage point each year for eight years, with the savings devoted to the reform plan. The proposal would consequently involve a federal spending limitation measure providing for this reasonable and moderate spending restraint. The proposal, therefore, provides a vehicle for beginning to get runaway federal spending under control. This is actually another big benefit of the reform plan for conservatives and libertarians.
• Moreover, in the process of shifting reliance to the personal accounts, the unfunded liability of Social Security, currently officially estimated at $10.5 trillion, would be eliminated. This is three times the current reported national debt.
3. The reform produces increased corporate tax revenues due to new corporate income resulting from corporate investment of the growing personal account savings. These funds would also be devoted to financing the transition.
Bottom line: this would be the largest reduction in effective government debt in world history.
4. To the extent needed each year, excess Social Security trust fund bonds would be sold to the public with the funds used to ensure payment of full Social Security benefits. This is what those trust fund bonds are for. Under the current system, those bonds are just going to be redeemed for cash from the federal government anyway after 2018, until the trust fund is exhausted in 2042.
With workers shifting a major portion of the payroll tax to personal accounts, transition financing is needed to cover Social Security benefit obligations to seniors while the new accounts are phasing in. The Chief Actuary of Social Security scored the following four transition financing mechanisms as sufficient to cover this transition financing burden for the reform plan.
Bottom line: this would be the largest reduction in effective government debt in world history. Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
Moreover, after Social Security achieves solvency, the surpluses produced by the reform are sufficient to pay off this debt sold by the public within the next 15 years. So the net effect of the reform on debt held by the public is zero. With the elimination of Social Security’s unfunded liability, this reform does more to reduce effective government debt than fiscal conservatives ever dreamed were possible up until now. Bottom line: the official score of the Chief Actuary of Social Security shows that the transition is economically feasible. A uniformly positive and populist reform along these lines is what is needed to calm nerves on Capitol Hill. Indeed, most Hill Republicans will ultimately conclude they don’t want to be left out of such a positive and historic reform effort. By contrast, they are always going to be scared away from personal account reform plans that include large cuts in future, promised Social Security benefits as well. The official score of the reform plan by the Chief Actuary of Social Security shows that with larger personal accounts of this magnitude, future benefit reductions are not needed. What is the point of arguing about cuts in future Social Security benefits when with the large personal accounts, workers won’t even be drawing those benefits, but will be drawing much higher benefits than Social Security even promises through the personal accounts? Reform plans with benefit cuts also just invite Democrats to offer counterproposals with tax increases. Now is the time for conservatives, libertarians and progressives to join together to push such historic reform over the top. We have the power now to accomplish this if we work together. — Peter Ferrara is a senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Innovation and director of the Social Security Project for the Club for Growth.
Courtesy of Mr. Schwarzenegger’s office
The Terminator Takes Charge Arnold pushes major reforms By Adrian Moore and George Passantino
t’s no surprise that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first state budget package combines entertainment and some interesting proposals - including at least one that is sure to shake up discussions nationwide about privatization. In his State of the State speech in January, the former Hollywood star had some great lines, like (roughly) “If I can sell movies like ‘Red Sonja’ and ‘Last Action Hero,’ I can sell California.” And “The executive branch of this government is a mastodon frozen in time and about as responsive.” To break the ice around California’s agencies and the state budget Mr. Schwarzenegger is going to need all of those selling skills. He likened the state to a family that has run up an impossible debt on its credit cards. Now California faces the really tough step that those families must also tackle: changing the behavior that resulted in the run-up credit card bills in the first place. Otherwise, the debt is bound to come back. While too much of the governor’s first budget is business as usual with fund shifts, borrowing and fee increases, it still departs from the norm in many ways and offers some of the most refreshing elements of reform to come out of the state capital in years. It was refreshing to see direct references to specific reforms that will confront the state government’s spending mismatch, many of which were consistent with the “Citizens’ Budget” produced by the Reason Foundation and Performance Institute last spring. Mr. Schwarzenegger argued that the state suffers, not a tax revenue crisis, but a crisis of spending. No solution to the state’s fiscal challenges exists without this recognition. He made it clear he was going to take
on the fiefdom-driven politics of California state government to consolidate duplicate and overlapping state programs. Not content to just “move the boxes around,” Mr. Schwarzenegger intends to “blow them up.” Mr. Schwarzenegger’s proposal for a Performance Review Commission to systematically audit state programs to ensure that they are worthwhile investments will be an important step moving California toward a system that bases budget decisions on performance rather than preference and politics. While he is at it, we would strongly encourage the governor to look into the state’s massive portfolio of real estate holdings. The state owns 194 million square feet of structural space in 22,000 buildings on 2.5 million acres of land. We calculated that selling even a fraction of this list could generate more than $1 billion, while also reducing the size and scope of government — getting it out of the land baron business. He also touched on the third-rail of politics — school funding. Mr. Schwarzenegger should be applauded for confronting this challenge and offering school districts more flexibility in how they spend categorical funds for education. We should recall that in his January budget last year, then-Gov. Gray Davis proposed a similar consolidation plan for these highly restricted pots of money, which Sacramento doles out to schools. It will be intriguing to see if Mr. Schwarzenegger sticks to his guns. Similarly, the governor called for the repeal of the bill, SB 1419, which severely restricted the ability of local schools to competitively contract for non-instructional support services. In doing so, Mr. Schwarzenegger will give schools more purchasing power by allowing them to shop around for the best services. This will help them confront the painful budget realities. In an even bolder move, his budget www.riponsoc.org
states “A Constitutional amendment to allow for competition in government through outsourcing opportunities will provide one of the necessary tools for reform.” It adds: “The Administration will be pursuing a new Constitutional amendment to . . . permit the State to contract with non-State entities for ministerial function whenever doing so will reduce costs, improve efficiency, or improve services.” If Mr. Schwarzenegger follows through on his promise, he will be opening a muchneeded discussion in California, and nationwide, about the wisdom of laws that ban competition and privatization, rather than letting these policy tools sink or swim on their own merits. It will be an uphill battle, but we think it will be worth the struggle. Mr. Schwarzenegger also wielded very publicly what may become his policy weapon of choice: taking his agenda straight to the public in the form of ballot measures. The state Legislature must know that he possesses the wherewithal to do this — perhaps surpassing the ability of any modern governor, given his tremendous personal fortune and Olympian public appeal. And it seems unlikely that the Legislature would want a contentious worker’s comp. fight on the ballot in November — particularly one marketed as a response to their own inability to act. Will the Legislature follow his lead and enact significant reforms? The battle will be exciting to watch but our guess is that yes, they will. Clearly, California will offer an exciting year ahead as these forces come together on the battlefield of the state’s future. — Adrian Moore is vice president and George Passantino is director of Government Affairs at the Reason Foundation in Los Angeles. Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
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Teaching America Abroad The importance of American Studies programs By Gary Wasserman utting aside the real policy differences we have with most of the world nowadays, our country confronts a persisting dilemma: America is both as familiar to the world as the neighborhood movie theater and as much of a mystery as a distant planet. A report last year by a government panel on public diplomacy was a reminder that it is possible to be both globally dominant and globally misunderstood. The United States Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy for the Arab and Muslim World focused on the inadequacies of American image making in those regions and called for more and better public relations. It seems almost unpatriotic to suggest that a new spin, a different ad agency or a novel marketing campaign won’t do the job. Nonetheless, one can hope that the effort would go a bit beyond Madison Avenue. In speaking to foreigners, this nation’s explanations of itself - its history, politics and policies - often meet with resistance, apathy and incomprehension. The problem is that in our era of CNN news, Hollywood tabloids and DVD players, foreign audiences believe that they already know America. Unfortunately this familiarity with our international image courtesy of our own mass media - has outdistanced any grasp of American realities and history. While TV programs and movies may entertain they are not designed to educate. Worse, they may distort and drown out serious discussions overseas. Dismissing President Bush as a Texas cowboy is an easily understood image without any reference to the national consensus behind hardline foreign policy stances (including Iraq before it started unraveling) that followed the September 11 attacks. This disconnect between America’s international media image and its political and economic realities is not going to be bridged by throwing a few more bucks at spinmeisters to create striking images and compelling storylines. As they say, that’s above their paygrade. Take, for example, the difficulty in explaining American politics to a foreign audience. Understanding how we operate is complicated because often foreign political institutions (Congress, president, party, courts) seem to resemble those in America.
Alas, ours have their own home-grown peculiarities: • America’s political parties are middle-of-the-road, decentralized, voluntary and weak, and usually less important in policymaking than their foreign counterparts. • A virtually autonomous Congress (or used to be) protected by constitutional checks and balances controls government finances, and may rip apart the programs of the president even when he is their party’s leader. • An independent judiciary enforcing constitutional liberties and able to cancel the actions of elected officials is both unique and hard to explain. Communicating American exceptionalism abroad is a challenge beyond a quick PR fix. One answer lies in more teaching, more studying and more research on America in overseas universities. Certainly the students and faculty populating the campuses of the Arab and developing world are among our most important audiences. Yet there appears to be surprisingly little study of our history and politics by the rest of the world. Nor much support by us for them. A check of the internet shows that, outside of universities in Europe, there are few American Studies programs at graduate or undergraduate levels. Of course, universities abroad teach courses on American economics, history or politics under those disciplines. But integrated approaches at foreign universities for students who wish to concentrate on teaching or researching American Studies appear surprisingly limited. This dearth of academic involvement was reinforced recently when a Washington, DC university was approached by the national university of a small Asian nation that wanted to start an American Studies program. Concrete help was hard to find. Questions without ready answers included: Where could resources be found to support such a program abroad? Who had experience setting up similar programs? What government agenwww.riponsoc.org
cies or private non-profits were interested in being involved in American Studies? Nowhere in the federal government did there appear to be an agency with the mandate to encourage the study of America at universities abroad. The closest our government gets are university partnership programs run out of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the former U.S. Information Agency. These provide relatively small grants for American universities to partner with overseas institutions on a range of subjects, allowing for faculty exchanges and purchases of equipment like computers. The money is very limited. With average grants in the $150,000 range spread over 3 to 5 years. The concept of channeling funds through American universities to partner with overseas institutions in mentoring their studies is probably a fruitful one. But it needs a serious commitment of funds and attention. This would include a multi-year involvement in setting up American Studies centers in the universities of developing countries to teach and research issues of democracy and U.S. relations with the world. It is a concept needing the kind of political leadership that Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas gave to the international scholar exchanges after World War II that now bear his name. In our post-September 11 world making the case for foreign study of America ought not to require a great leap of imagination. Beyond a wider understanding of American history and society, foreign universities can gain resources and institutional ties with their American counterparts. Foreign faculty and students can acquire a global perspective, as well as learn from our history of democratizing political and economic systems. These programs should encourage both appreciation and informed criticism of American democracy. Nor should America’s famous parochialism obscure the advantages to us from observations by others. The study of America by foreigners has a distinguished parentage, ranging from the French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville’s analysis of 19th century local politics to Gunnar Myrdal, the Swedish sociologist who illuminated our racial challenges in the 20th century. If we can reach out to foreign universities in the 21st century by encouraging their studies of us we might improve on a public relations approach yet again, benefiting this time from the insights of our audience. — Gary Wasserman is adjunct professor of government at Georgetown University and the author of “The Basics of American Politics,” now in its 11th edition. Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
People depend on us. And we like that. BusinessWeek named Exelon one of last year’s 50 best performers. We were ranked 33rd in the S&P 500 and designated the top utility company in the country for the second year in a row. That’s good news, and we’re proud of it. But we’re prouder of the promises we’ve made, and are keeping, to our 5.1 million customers and approximately 20,000 employees. We’re also proud of our diversified portfolio of generation capacity. It’s more than enough to meet the needs of our Northern Illinois and Philadelphia customers. These are real assets backed by real operations, service and people who drive our goals: Live up to our commitments. Perform at world-class levels. Build value through disciplined financial management. These goals drive us to achieve our vision: To build exceptional value—by becoming the best and most consistently profitable electricity and gas company in the United States. Every day we remind ourselves that we have these commitments to keep to our customers, shareholders, communities and employees. And we intend to deliver on our promises.
exeloncorp.com Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
Real Arms Control The Proliferation Security Initiative By Jeffrey T. Kuhner he Bush administration has forged a bold, new multilateralism that is vital to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. President Bush was roundly criticized by critics both at home and abroad for his decision to lead a military coalition against Iraq without United Nations approval. Prominent Democrats such as Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, along with the leaders of Germany, France and Russia, argued that U.S. military action to topple Saddam Hussein from power was illegitimate because it had failed to receive U.N. authorization. The Iraq war, however, highlighted the political obstructionism and bureaucratic paralysis that plagues the United Nations. It is not an ideal institution to deal with the major global threats of our age – terrorism, rogue states and the prevalence of WMD. Had the international body been allowed to control policy regarding Iraq, Saddam would still be in power. Created last year at the behest of the United States and the brainchild of Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton, the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) is an attempt by the administration to implement a policy of flexible multilateralism in confronting the grave problem of WMD proliferation. Moreover, in just the first few months of its existence the PSI has been more successful than the United Nations in curbing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The PSI is predicated upon the principle that ad hoc coalitions and cooperative partnerships among member nations are the most effective way to stop rogue states from acquiring dangerous weapons. It is also based on another realistic premise: Traditional arms control has become obsolete in a world where transnational terrorist organizations can operate independently of national borders, and their links to outlaw states is often murky at best. This is where the PSI comes in. Originally composed of 11 members, the PSI nations have agreed to interdict the shipments of materials that could be used for nuclear, biological and chemical arms at sea, the air and on the ground. The original 11 — the United States, Australia, Italy, Portugal, Britain, Japan, Spain, France, the
Netherlands, Germany, Poland — now have been joined by countries such as Canada, Norway, Denmark, Turkey and Singapore in offering military support. Also, over 50 nations have pledged to uphold the PSI’s principles and can be called upon to offer intelligence and military assistance. “We’re preparing to search planes and ships and trains and trucks carrying suspected cargo, to seize weapons or missile shipments that raise proliferation concerns,” Mr. Bush told the Australian Parliament in a major speech last year. “The wrong weapons, the wrong technology, in the wrong hands has never been so great a danger.” The Wall Street Journal noted that a recent example of the PSI’s success was that of Libya. In a dramatic move, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has agreed to open his weapons sites to international inspectors, vowing to dismantle his WMD program. Prior to his announcement, however, the United States and its PSI supporters intercepted an illegal shipment of uraniumenrichment equipment to Libya. The operation was a stunning success. The United States and Britain provided the intelligence about the illicit shipment, learning in late September that a freighter was headed for Libya containing thousands of parts for centrifuges, a major component in the manufacture of nuclear bombs. After being tipped off by the German government and the German firm that owned the ship, Washington was able to get the freighter diverted to Italy, where it was boarded and the illegal cargo captured. It was only after Gadhafi realized that his nuclear ambitions were unattainable (and that he could suffer the fate of Saddam) that he decided to abandon his WMD program. The great strength of the PSI is that, unlike the United Nations, it is not an international institution in the traditional sense. It has no official president, massive bureaucratic apparatus or a Security Council requiring unanimity before action is taken. The organization’s primary advantage is that it is able to rapidly deploy forces anywhere around the globe to interdict WMD-related materials before they fall into the hands of rogue nations. Call this the policy of pre-emptive interdiction. Opponents of the PSI counter that the best way to prevent rogue states from www.riponsoc.org
acquiring WMD is by bolstering the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The new proposal being floated calls for U.N. inspectors to permanently oversee and control nuclear weapons programs. The problem with that approach is that meaningful arms control can only occur through an effective enforcement mechanism. Hence, more stringent NPT standards are meaningless for one simple reason: the United Nations has shown itself to be unable to act decisively against Saddam’s brutal regime, North Korea and Iran. The track record of the United Nations has not been a good one. During the Cold War, it often became a hostage to the Soviet bloc and Third World autocracies that espoused a virulent hatred of the West. In the past decade, the U.N. stood by in the face of genocide in Bosnia, Rwanda and Chechnya. It has also failed to curb arms-technology sales from Russia and China to dangerous regimes in Pyongyang, Tehran and Damascus. In fact, U.N. arms inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were oblivious about Libya’s secret weapons program until Gadhafi’s announcement. They also failed to detect those of North Korea and Iran. Yet the IAEA’s greatest failure is that of Pakistan. Recently, Islamabad admitted that the “godfather” of its nuclear bomb, scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, had sold nuclear secrets on the international black market to Libya and North Korea. For much of the 1990s and until at least June 2002, Khan very likely gave terrorist organizations sensitive information on nuclear programs. He is a radical Islamist with ties to Lashkare-Toiba, the fundamentalist terrorist group at the core of the al Qaeda network. Khan and his surrogates may have already provided al Qaeda with the means to detonate a “dirty” nuclear weapon on American soil. Hence, the administration is wise to seek a viable alternative to traditional U.Nbased arms control. The choice is not one of American unilateralism or international multilateralism. The United States will need numerous allies to win the war on terrorism. The proliferation of WMD is by far the most serious threat to world civilization. The PSI is a fundamental pillar of the administration’s new pre-emptive foreign policy. The formula of flexible multilateralism, which combines American global leadership with close cooperation from reliable allies, is precisely what is needed to stop the spread of WMD. This is an idea whose time has finally come. — Jeffrey T. Kuhner is the editor of The Ripon Forum Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
g Affairs Foreign
A United States of Europe? The EU is changing — and why we should care By Sara M. Kupfer
Toward a More Centralized Union The draft constitution was meant to make the EU more democratic. Unfortunately, it does not. Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the EU draft constitution fails to clearly set out the fundamental rights of EU citizens and describe the strucRipon Forum • Spring 2004
Established EU Nations New members
Established European Union Members Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Italy Luxembourg Portugal Spain Sweden The Netherlands United Kingdom New European Union Members (to join on May 1, 2004) Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Hungary Latvia Lithuania Malta Poland Slovakia Slovenia
Illustration by John Boone
ast December, European Union member states failed to agree on a common constitution — and for good reason. The final negotiations broke down mainly because Spain and Poland refused to submit to a new voting system that would have given more power to states with larger populations. Divisions among EU members remain so significant that the union’s current President Bertie Ahern does not expect ratification of a common constitution until early 2005. Meanwhile, Germany and France, eager to integrate at a faster pace, are threatening to forge ahead with their plan of a “two-speed” Europe, whereby a “pioneer group” would pave the way for an ever closer European political entity. The future direction of EU integration remains uncertain indeed. One thing, however, is clear: It’s about time that the United States pay more attention to the historic changes Europe is undergoing. A well thought-out European policy is in America’s national self-interest if it wants to ensure the continuation of a close relationship between the United States and Europe. The primary goal of the European draft constitution is to combine a series of EU treaties into a single document. The document, however, goes far beyond just formalizing what is already in place. EU ratification of the constitution would be a big step toward full European integration by turning the union into a quasi-federal state. The document gives the EU full legal personality under international law, thus enabling Brussels to ratify international treaties that become automatically binding on member states. Furthermore, the constitution provides for the new post of an EU minister of foreign affairs with the mandate of representing the EU abroad and implementing a common European foreign policy. Moreover, it calls for a common European defense pact.
ture of the EU government in a straightforward fashion. Instead, it is a long-winded, highly ambiguous legal document that will remain unintelligible to the ordinary European. Written by a 105-member European convention, the 600-page document tries to please everybody and is deliberately vague on important matters. For example, even constitutional experts are divided among themselves as to whether the document permits the EU government to levy taxes. Because of its ambiguity, the document inevitably places a lot of power into the hands of EU bureaucrats and judges who will ultimately have to interpret the text. An effective way of having EU citizens more involved in the creation of public policy would have been to decentralize power. The EU draft constitution, however, does the opposite: It strengthens the center. The European Union’s failure to address its “democratic deficit” is not simply an internal European matter but will have negative implications for U.S.www.riponsoc.org
European relations. As Brussels becomes more and more remote from ordinary Europeans, there is a danger that EU politicians will increasingly turn to populist demagoguery to win over alienated voters. As Frank Vibert, director of the European Policy Forum, warns: “This fragility of top down Europe will in turn offer a perpetual temptation to politicians to play the populist card in foreign policy as well as trade, regulatory and environmental policies. That populist card is anti-Americanism. As a result, Europe will become a less and less reliable ally of the United States.” Common Foreign Policy: Questionable Goal Moreover, a unified European foreign policy, as envisioned by the draft constitution, will not turn Europe into a more dependable U.S. ally. The idea that Europe can act more decisively in times of crisis if it had a common diplomatic approach is wishful thinking. The negotiations leading
Foreign Affairs: A United States of Europe?
Protecting American Interests What, then, can Washington do about the EU’s potential drift toward a selfabsorbed, anti-American superstate? First and foremost, it is crucial that the United States does not convey the impression that it is seeking to obstruct any EU efforts toward increased European cooperation. Such a policy of opposition would almost certainly backfire. Remember that the Iraq crisis and the strong anti-American sentiments it triggered not only kept the momentum toward creating a EU constitution alive, it also made the French vision of building a European counterweight to the United States all the more attractive. Instead of downright opposition to the EU project, the United States should adopt a policy of “constructive engagement” with
individual member states. By cultivating strong bilateral relationships with key EU members, Washington can let Europeans know that while it is in favor of close interEuropean cooperation in some areas of public policy — such as trade and international crime prosecution — the United States is highly skeptical toward the creation of a single European political entity. For example, the United States can continue to cultivate its strong relationship with Britain and encourage its closest European ally to keep its defense policy independent from the European Union. Moreover, America should maintain strong military and economic ties with new Eastern European member states such as Poland and Hungary. If these countries can find a strong and reliable ally in the United States, they will be less dependent on EU economic and military aid; hence, they will feel less pressure to conform to the integrationist vision of France and Germany. As Ed Sullivan recently suggested in a New Republic editorial, the United States might also take a tougher stance toward EU agricultural subsidies. Agricultural subsidies currently provide a huge incentive for Eastern European countries with largely rural economies to go along with integration. If this particular economic incentive was removed, Eastern European member states - whose populations are wary of compromising their country’s sovereignty for EU membership - are likely to become more forceful advocates of a looser union. Indeed, if Germany and France face ten strong, self-confident new member states from Central and Eastern Europe this spring, they will hardly be able to impose their vision of a unified political entity without risking the disintegration of the European Union. “A Europe of more fluid, issue-focused alliances” is exactly the kind of model the United States would want its European counterparts to adopt. The phrase has been coined by the Centre for European Reform (CER), a London-based think tank critical of full European integration. According to CER’s Deputy Director Heather Grabble, “these [loose] coalitions will have to be based on policies, not particular countries. What is dangerous is the idea of a permanent, exclusive hard core.” CER’s vision of a “competitive, outward-looking Europe” with strong ties to North America is an attractive one indeed. It is a model of a new Europe the United States could not only live with but also benefit from — both from an economic and a strategic point of view. In fact, the United States must be able to convince Brussels that there is much to www.riponsoc.org
gain from close economic collaboration between the world’s two most powerful trading blocs. Together, they could provide important leadership in international economic forums such as the G7 and propose economic policies with far-reaching global implications. For example, the two trading blocs could devise effective policies aimed at addressing poverty in developing countries — a concern often mentioned on both sides of the Atlantic, and a problem that President Bush has linked to providing a potential breeding ground for terrorists. If successful, close transatlantic cooperation in the economic sphere may automatically lead to better U.S.-EU cooperation in other areas affecting American interests, particularly those related to security. It is crucial for Washington to come up with a well thought-out European policy if it wants to ensure the continuation of a close relationship between the United States and Europe. Neither U.S. passivity nor downright opposition to European integration will do. — Sara M. Kupfer is a foreign affairs reporter for The Ripon Forum
Illustration by John Boone
up to the EU summit in December demonstrated that member countries remain deeply divided on basic geopolitical issues. First, neutral member states — particularly Austria, Sweden, Finland and Ireland — have so far refused to give up their neutral status and thus are unable to fully commit to a mutual defense pact. Their refusal to do so only illustrates the extent to which European countries continue to hold on to their national identities - a deep-rooted sense of national purpose that inevitably shapes their individual foreign policy preferences. Second, there exist important ideological differences within the EU as to the purpose of a common defense policy. On one hand, the British envision the EU as cooperating closely with the United States. London argues that stronger and better coordinated European defense capabilities would be useful in helping the United States address potential threats to international peace. On the other hand, France wants the European defense force to act as a counterweight to the United States — in and of itself an inherently anti-American posture. Third, the Iraq crisis last year illustrated how deeply divided Europeans can be on questions of geopolitics. Imagine EU members had been forced to come up with a common policy toward Iraq last winter — Brussels would have been so paralyzed that it could not have acted at all. Even more important from a U.S. standpoint, those EU countries that wanted to contribute troops to assist the U.S. war effort could not have done so under the provisions of the constitution. Considering that EU membership will increase to 25 nations this spring, it is hard to imagine that the EU will ever be able to have an effective and decisive common foreign policy.
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
g Affairs Foreign
vinced most Chechens to abandon their dreams of national sovereignty; many now would gladly accept some form of autonomy. Yet Mr. Putin refuses to even consider the idea. He demands world leaders accept the notion that every Chechen leader is a terrorist. Therefore, Russia’s hawks argue peaceful compromise is impossible, and the By Jeffrey T. Kuhner only viable solution is all-out military victory — regardless of the humanitarian cons the media remains fixated on Iraq Sadly, Chechnya’s plight is not new. In sequences. and the next outlandish comment to terms of proportionate losses and victims of The Kremlin’s line is not completely come out of the mouth of Howard genocide, three peoples suffered the most without merit. During the past several Dean, there is a major news story receiving during the 20th century: Jews, Gypsies and years, Chechnya has attracted international very little attention: the slow, creeping Chechens. In 1944, Soviet dictator Josef Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia, genocide in Chechnya. Stalin deported most of the Chechen Afghanistan and other Arab states. The goal Russian President Vladimir Putin of the militants is to forge a fundaIllustration by John Boone insists his troops are conducting a milmentalist Muslim republic. However, itary campaign aimed at wiping out most of the Chechen rebels are not “Islamic international terrorism” from Islamic extremists, but romantic the war-torn southern province. nationalists seeking to defend Using the global war on terrorism as a Chechen rights against an increasingpretext to consolidate Moscow’s iron ly authoritarian Russia. grip over the breakaway republic, the The savage war in Chechnya is Russian army has been waging a war simply one component in Russia’s of extermination against the Chechen evolution from a fledgling democracy people. into a repressive corporate state. Yet the West has been silent in Rather than a pro-European the face of Russia’s genocidal camWesternizer, Mr. Putin has shown paign. Instead of demanding the himself to be a Russian Francisco Kremlin withdraw its forces and negoFranco or Augusto Pinochet: a righttiate a peace settlement with Chechen wing strongman who champions Grozny leaders, the Bush administration consocial order and market-driven ecotinues its shameful policy of neglect. nomic growth. Under his leadership, President Bush is convinced that, Moscow has begun flexing its muscles after looking into “the soul” of Mr. against neighboring countries, leading Putin, the former KGB apparatchik is dissidents such as tycoon Mikhail an important ally in the war on terKhodorkovsky have been arrested on rorism. Washington has accepted trumped-up charges and basic press Moscow’s line that the issue of freedoms and civil rights have come Chechnya is a Russian “internal matunder assault. ter.” Mr. Bush would be better served The West’s appeasement of Russia if he looked at Mr. Putin’s actions. risks emboldening the Kremlin to Before the conflict began nearly a continue its anti-democratic and decade ago, there were approximately expansionist policies. 1 million Chechens in the small mountain- nation to the icy far east to punish them for Moreover, failure to condemn Mr. ous republic in the Caucusus. Since then, their staunch opposition to communism. Putin’s genocidal rampage in Chechnya human-rights activists estimate hundreds of More than half of all Chechens died during threatens to open Western governments to thousands have been displaced, thousands the murderous operation, many of them charges of hypocrisy. Although it took decimore have simply “disappeared” and more freezing to death or simply butchered by sive action to stop the Serbs’ ethnic cleansthan one-fourth of the population is Red Army troops. ing campaigns in Kosovo and Bosnia, the believed to have died. Following the implosion of the Soviet West refuses to lift a finger to help prevent A report last year by the Council of Union in 1991, the surviving Chechens the tragedy unfolding in the Russian Europe documented extensive human- returned to their native land. From 1994 province. rights violations by Russian forces, includ- until 1996, they fought a courageous war Yet unlike the discovery of the Nazi ing widespread torture of Chechens. for independence against Russian imperial death camps after the Second World War, Also, the Russian army has launched a rule. An intense guerrilla campaign by this time the civilized world cannot claim scorched-earth campaign, seeking not only Chechen tribal clans forced Russian troops the excuse of lacking knowledge of the horto cripple the Chechen nation, but its econ- to retreat. rors occurring in Chechnya. We know. We omy and physical environment as well. Its But in 1999 Moscow sought to reassert just don’t care. capital, Grozny, is in ruins. Most of its authority in another invasion. The conChechnya’s land has been devastated by flict continues to this day, with Chechen — Jeffrey T. Kuhner is the defoliants. The remainder of the popula- civilians the primary victims (about 5,000 editor of The Ripon Forum. tion is slowly dying through a combination Russian soldiers also have died). of war, disease and sky-rocketing suicide. Moscow’s brutal occupation has con-
West is silent in the face of genocide
Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
g Affairs Foreign
Free Trade for the Americas The benefits of CAFTA By Donald Lambro merica has taken a giant step toward free trade expansion in the Western Hemisphere, setting the stage for a political battle in this year’s elections over imports, exports and jobs. The agreement reached late last year by the Bush administration and four Central American countries — Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras — is a major step toward President Ronald Reagan’s vision of a free trade zone stretching from Canada to the tip of South America. Under the agreement worked out by U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick, more than 80 percent of American consumer and industrial products would immediately be allowed into the four countries tariff-free as soon as the agreement is approved by Congress. Everything would be duty-free within 10 years, except for U.S. farm products. They would take 18 years to achieve full freetrade status. The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) will no doubt be compared by protectionists to the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. But CAFTA is a great deal smaller in terms of its economic impact. The four Central American countries produced more than $100 billion in goods and services last year — a relative pittance compared to Mexico’s $900 billion. Even so, CAFTA will open up a juicy new target for the labor unions and other Luddite forces of trade protectionism who warn that it will exploit the world’s impoverished nations and eliminate millions of jobs here at home. “It’s a very big issue for us,” said Thea M. Lee, chief international economist for the AFL-CIO. “This represents the cutting edge of the flawed Bush trade policy.” In fact, such free-trade agreements will strengthen impoverished Central and Latin American economies by creating desperately needed, better-paying jobs, reducing poverty and, over time, reducing outmigration to prosperous countries like the United States. Remember the gloom and doom forecasts we heard during the early 1990s after President Clinton pushed NAFTA through Congress. Ross Perot warned of “a giant sucking sound” that would send millions of jobs into Mexico and irreparably hurt the
U.S. economy. Pat Buchanan and others outside and inside the trade union movement said the issue would be one of the central campaign battles of our times. But it barely drew half a percent of the vote for the former Nixon aide. The big story of the 1990s was not U.S. job losses, as these people wrongly predicted, but of jobs becoming so abundant that America’s No. 1 economic problem turned out to be finding enough workers, skilled and unskilled, to fill them all.
CAFTA is a major step toward President Ronald Reagan’s vision of a free trade zone stretching from Canada to the tip of South America. Unemployment did not rise as Mexican imports and exports rose under NAFTA; rather, it fell to 4 percent or less, a level that all economists consider full employment. Our economy was not hamstrung by expanding trade with Mexico, it was given a new burst of market-opening freedom that boosted exports, lowered business and consumer costs and put the U.S. economy on an upward trajectory. The economy began to slow and unemployment started to fall at the end of the last decade - not as a result of too much trade but because of too little trade. Economies in Europe and Asia weakened and thus U.S. export sales fell. U.S. manufacturing went into a slump and was forced to cut jobs and find other ways to reduce costs. One of the ways to cut costs was to raise productivity and thus reduce the per unit cost of manufacturing. Some manufacturers moved businesses abroad to slash labor costs but many more eventually found mechanized, high tech ways to manufacture their new products faster, cheaper, better and with fewer workers. Those jobs are not coming back and shouldn’t. www.riponsoc.org
These investment-led improvements will not result in fewer jobs. They will boost supply which over time will lead to higher demand. Consumers benefit from less expensive products because they have more money left over to buy other things. America has a larger employment force than it did a decade ago. It will have a larger work force by the end of this decade. The jobs will no doubt be different. The level of technical skills needed to do them will rise as well. America’s economy is undergoing structural changes to remain competitive in a rapidly expanding global economy. If we are to keep up with the rest of the world, we are going to have to find new markets for our products and those markets are overseas and, of course, here in our own hemisphere. The administration’s plan to reduce and ultimately eliminate trade tariffs in Central and South America - which is, let’s face it, nothing more than another government tax on businesses and consumers - is opening up these markets to increased trade that, like NAFTA, is a win-win game for all of us. The election year debate over CAFTA will be full of hyperbolic forecasts of lost jobs. The answer to this dubious charge is simply this: Go back and look at the glut of good-paying jobs Americans had in the NAFTA trade expansion years of the 1990s and which we will no doubt have again. — Donald Lambro is a nationally syndicated columnist
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The Just Cause
Remembering Red Victims Building a memorial to the victims of communism By Jeffrey T. Kuhner he 20th century will be remembered as the bloodiest century in history. A major reason was the 1917 establishment by Vladimir Lenin and his Bolsheviks of a Marxist regime in Russia. The Soviet Union was the epicenter of a communist empire that, until its disintegration in 1991, spread doctrines of economic collectivism and class struggle to almost every part of the globe. From Eastern Europe to Africa to Latin America to Asia, hundreds of millions suffered the brutality of Marxist-Leninist dictatorships. Now, if some in Washington have their way, the memories of the countless victims of communism will be remembered. Led by its courageous president, Jay Katzen, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (www.victimsofcommunism.org) is seeking to erect a monument in D.C. dedicated to those who perished under Marxism’s murderous reign. Their goal is to have the Memorial Monument built by October of this year. A monument is desperately needed because, sadly, commu© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS
nism’s crimes risk being forgotten. Lenin’s project resulted not only in unprecedented economic and ecological destruction, but more importantly the greatest system of mass murder ever invented: More than 100 million individuals were killed at the hands of communist regimes. Yet many Western academics continue to deny or downplay the full extent of communist atrocities. It is common on many campuses in the United States to hear that MarxismLeninism, unlike its totalitarian twin, fascism, was a benevolent ideology that sought to impose universal peace and social justice — that it was a good idea gone bad. Nothing could be further from the truth. From its inception, communism sought to forge a new order based on genocide and mass murder. Lenin set the precedent, followed by subsequent Marxist regimes, that to establish a revolutionary proletarian state, entire categories of humans needed to be systematically wiped out: the bourgeoisie, kulaks, counterrevolu-
Communist Rally in Berlin in 1918 A huge crowd turns out for a Communist rally in Berlin. One person holds a large star-shaped placard emblazoned with a hammer and sickle.
tionaries and intellectuals who refused to follow the Bolshevik line. The totalitarian essence of Lenin’s vision was that it sought to erect the perfect society by imposing one-party rule and smashing all dissent and opposition. Recent history has been littered with Lenin’s evil offspring — Josef Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Josip Broz Tito, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Nicolae Ceausescu, Fidel Castro. The atrocities committed by these dictators need to be remembered not only to honor the dead, but because they reveal the seminal lesson of the past century: Utopianism leads to totalitarianism; the road to Utopia goes through Golgotha. The millions slaughtered by communist regimes were not accidental byproducts of misguided policies, but central to the Marxist project. For example, during the 1933 terror famine, Soviet leader Josef Stalin systematically starved to death about 10 million Ukrainian peasants. His genocidal goal was to eviscerate the Ukrainian peasantry, hoping to crush the heart of the Ukraine nation and consolidate his iron grip on power. Stalin’s victims also included other captive peoples: the Poles, Slovaks, Czechs, Hungarians, Romanians, Chechens, Latvians, Estonians, Lithuanians and the Crimean Tatars (who were literally wiped off the map after World War II). The same pattern repeated itself in Asia. The withdrawal of U.S. power from Southeast Asia in 1973 resulted in unimaginable horrors for those living in the region. Communist regimes were installed in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Millions of Cambodians were slaughtered by Pol Pot, while countless South Vietnamese risked their lives on the high seas to flee the rampaging North Vietnamese army. However, the most brutal communist tyrant was Mao. In 1959, “the Red Emperor” launched his crash collectivization program, his so-called “Great Leap Forward,” which was supposed to bring China into modernity. Instead, it led to the deaths of more than 20 million Chinese. Many of the victims were children who were eaten by starving peasants. Yet while the crimes of fascism are rightly remembered by Western academics and journalists, the ghastly crimes of communism remain largely ignored. This is wrong. The lives of those who were murdered by Hitler’s thugs are not worth more than those who died at the hands of Stalin. The victims of communism deserve better. And if Mr. Katzen has his way, they will finally get the recognition that has been denied to them for so long. —Jeffrey T. Kuhner is the editor of The Ripon Forum Ripon Forum • Spring 2004
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