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Thursday, March 13, 2008       Free Headline Alerts

'Houston, we have a problem': Strobe Talbott and George Soros are pleased with all the candidates

By Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media

It’s not the kind of endorsement that a Republican presidential candidate should welcome. But former Clinton State Department official and alleged Russian dupe Strobe Talbott says that Senator John McCain and Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are all “moderate pragmatists” in foreign policy “with the demonstrated ability to reach across party lines.”

This is “good news,” says Talbott, who is an advocate of world government.

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Can our media stop talking about race, sex and gender long enough to examine whether the American people will be given a choice or an echo on foreign policy issues this November?

The praise of McCain and the Democratic candidates is included in a Washington Examiner “power profile” of Talbott by Patty Reinert, who was apparently unaware that Talbott’s improper dealings with Russian officials while he was in the Clinton Administration are detailed in the explosive new book, Comrade J. Based on the revelations of a top Russian spy, Sergei Tretyakov, the book charges that Talbott was a trusted contact of the Russian intelligence service and that his close relationship with a Russian official alarmed the FBI.

The major media’s failure to report on Tretyakov’s blockbuster charges against Talbott is why the Reinert puff piece could be published in the first place. This disgraceful piece of journalism quotes a close Talbott friend, New York Times reporter Steven Weisman, as saying, “There’s just a sweetness about him. Strobe is sweet.”

This is what passes for scrutiny into someone who is at the center of one of the biggest State Department scandals in history and continues to have a major influence on the development of U.S. foreign policy.

Another of Talbott’s close friends, named in the article, is Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute and formerly of Time magazine. It was at Time that Talbott penned a column promoting world government as the solution to mankind’s problems. Talbott and his parents were members of the World Federalist Movement. They believe U.S. sovereignty should be submerged into a world federation. It is shocking that someone with these views could become a top State Department official. But Talbott and Bill Clinton were close friends and Rhodes Scholars together. Talbott’s main booster in the U.S. Senate was Republican Senator Richard Lugar, another Rhodes Scholar.

Talbott, now head of the liberal Brookings Institution, “expects Brookings’ scholars to play a significant role in shaping America’s next move on the world stage, whether the next president is Republican or Democrat,” the Examiner article reveals.

If John McCain wants to reassure conservatives about his candidacy, he should issue a statement saying he will have nothing to do with Talbott if or when he becomes president. To his credit, McCain voted against Talbott when he was up for high-level positions in the Clinton State Department and called his views on the old Soviet Union naïve and foolish. But Talbott has apparently forgotten about all of this and now wants and expects to have major influence on a McCain presidency.

Talbott has written his own book, The Great Experiment, outlining his vision of a New World Order in which the authority of global institutions like the United Nations is greatly enhanced and expanded. For his part, McCain has proposed a new “Global Order of Peace,” enforced by a “global League of Democracies.” Both visions should be examined in detail.

Talbott, a foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton who has praised Barack Obama’s views on global issues, has an obvious disagreement with McCain about how long to stay in Iraq. But their views on other international matters seem to converge.

Talbott’s Brookings Institution has sponsored appearances by Talbott’s good friend, Senator Lugar, in order to promote Senate ratification of the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty. McCain had supported the treaty before he told conservative bloggers last year, when he was running for president and trying to garner conservative support, that he was against it. Since then, his Senate office has told constituents that he supports the pact but will approach ratification with an open mind.

The Washington Times reports that, during recent remarks to the conservative Council for National Policy (CNP), McCain was again ambiguous. According to the Times, in its account of his CNP remarks, “On the proposed Law of the Seas [sic] Treaty that President Bush supports and that conservatives generally oppose, Mr. McCain split the difference, saying the treaty as proposed surrenders ‘way too much’ of America’s sovereignty, but it needs to be renegotiated because international law needs ‘coherence’ in this area.”

You can listen to McCain’s remarks here. The transcript shows that McCain was asked for his clear and unequivocal position and that he replied: “I think it has to be renegotiated. I think there’s some vulnerabilities associated with it. I think all of us would like to see coherence as some countries claim three miles [as a territorial limit], some 200 miles, some etc. Clearly, there has to be some coherence. But I’m afraid that this treaty gives up too much of America’s sovereignty…”

Interrupted by applause at this point, McCain said, “I’m glad to hear your response but I think you would agree that some coherence concerning the use of the oceans, the seas, etc. is a good thing. It’s just that this isn’t the right solution to it.”

His latest position seems to be that he wants the treaty changed. It leaves him some wiggle room to vote for the pact if it is amended in some way. This won’t be enough to satisfy security-minded conservatives, who want it rejected outright. The pact turns oil, gas and mineral resources over to a U.N. body known as the International Seabed Authority and would subject the actions of the U.S. Navy to second-guessing by nations filing claims before an International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

On another critical issue, McCain has emerged as a vocal proponent of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), despite the fact that one of its major supporters, Robert A. Pastor, admits that, in one key respect, it has been a colossal failure.

Pastor, a Democrat who runs the Center for North American Studies at American University, says that NAFTA has resulted in economic integration and increased trade but has “fueled immigration by encouraging foreign investment near the U.S.-Mexican border, which in turn serves as a magnet for workers in central and southern Mexico.” He says that many of the Mexicans who don’t find jobs in northern Mexico are coming into the U.S. Hence, he admits, our illegal immigration problem is being exacerbated by NAFTA.

Pastor, who has advised every Democratic presidential candidate since 1976, proposes to “fix” NAFTA through a $200-billion North American Investment Fund “to close the income gap between Mexico and its northern neighbors, because that is the only way to stop immigration and establish a community.” In other words, we pay them to stay home. Pastor opposes a border fence to keep them out.

Pastor’s “community” is the “North American Community,” in which the three countries have a common security perimeter, a common external tariff, and “North American institutions” to work on such issues as transportation, infrastructure and education. Critics think that, with good reason, this amounts to a proposed North American Union. The Bush Administration’s secretive Security & Prosperity Partnership (SPP) is facilitating this process and Mexican trucks are now traveling over U.S. highways, supposedly in compliance with NAFTA, despite a Congressional vote against such a program.

McCain has not spoken out against any of this. What’s more, the use of Dr. Juan Hernandez as his Hispanic outreach director speaks volumes. Hernandez ran the Office for Mexicans Abroad in the Mexican government of Vicente Fox. His book, The New American Pioneers: Why Are We Afraid of Mexican Immigrants?, praises Pastor’s financial bailout plan for Mexico.

The Democrats’ threat to withdraw from the pact is designed to force changes in the agreement so that it covers matters involving environmental protection and worker rights. This would, of course, lead to the specter of Pastor’s “North American institutions” interfering in even more of the domestic and social affairs of the three NAFTA nations.

For his part, McCain’s blanket support of NAFTA is consistent with his previous advocacy of accommodating the demands of illegal aliens through what is called “comprehensive immigration reform.” His foreign policy spokesman, Randy Scheunemann, has even been quoted as saying that Democratic calls to renegotiate NAFTA are “protectionist” and “unilateralist” and that it’s “cowboy diplomacy” to talk about “reopening an agreement that was passed over a decade ago with strong bipartisan support...”

But that is the point—it was an agreement, not a treaty, because President Clinton didn’t have the two-thirds necessary to get it passed in the Senate. He circumvented the constitutional process. As such, Congress can repeal it with simple majorities. That’s the issue the media should be covering.

The Democrats are correct that the U.S. can withdraw from it. Article 2205 of the agreement, “Withdrawal,” declares, “A Party may withdraw from this Agreement six months after it provides written notice of withdrawal to the other Parties. If a Party withdraws, the Agreement shall remain in force for the remaining Parties.”

But McCain is now insisting that NAFTA cannot be rejected because it is necessary to win the global war on terror. At a campaign event at the headquarters of the Dell computer company in Round Rock, Texas, McCain said that we need the agreement so Canada will keep its troops in Afghanistan.

McCain said, “We need our Canadian friends and we need their continued support in Afghanistan. So what do we do? The two Democratic candidates for president say that they’re going to unilaterally abrogate the North America Free Trade Agreement. Our biggest trading partner, they made a solemn agreement with, they’re going to unilaterally abrogate that. Now how do you think the Canadian people are going to react to that?’’

But the notion of this agreement, which was passed in 1993, being in any way “solemn” or connected to the war in Afghanistan is quite a stretch.

McCain makes the valid point that national security and trade issues are “interconnected with each other.” But the obvious connection between trade and security, in regard to NAFTA, lies in the fact that illegal aliens, including possible terrorists, are crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S.

Another Clinton initiative that McCain embraces is NATO expansion. Clinton transformed NATO from a defensive alliance against the Soviet empire into an offensive military force without submitting a new NATO treaty for ratification to the Senate. Nevertheless, McCain voted for Clinton’s war through NATO in the former Yugoslavia and now favors independence for Kosovo, a Serbian province, as an outcome of this illegal war. The war became illegal when the House refused to authorize it under the War Powers Act.

“The future of NATO lies not only in expanding its membership, transforming its mission, and deepening its commitments. It lies also in cooperating with states far from our shores,” says McCain. In a recent statement urging a new “Global Order of Peace,” McCain has called for a new “global League of Democracies—one that would have NATO members at its core—dedicated to the defense and advancement of global democratic principles.” McCain made his first pitch for such a new international organization in 2007 before the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in Stanford, California.

“It could act where the UN fails to act, to relieve human suffering in places like Darfur,” McCain says. “This League of Democracies would not supplant the United Nations or other international organizations. It would complement them,” he explains.

While it may sound good in theory, a “Democracy Coalition Project” was actually started in June of 2002 and it has been run by the political left, most of them former Clinton officials. Seed money and original sponsorship were provided by the George Soros-funded Open Society Institute. Key officials include Morton Halperin, the director of Soros’s Open Society Institute Washington office, and former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who served as Strobe Talbott’s boss. Halperin also worked under Albright at State.

If McCain is promoting a Soros-funded project or idea, it would not be the first time. World Net Daily and others have noted evidence that McCain’s “Reform Institute” also received funds from Soros. Hernandez is a senior fellow there.

Could Soros, the billionaire financial manipulator, be in a position to call the shots no matter who is elected in the fall?

It is certainly relevant and significant that Talbott’s book The Great Experiment identifies Soros, one of the “visitors to my office” when he was in the Clinton State Department, as one of his advisers on issues like NATO. Talbott also thanks Soros in the acknowledgements section of his book.

Soros wrote Toward a New World Order: The Future of NATO, back in 1993. He figured that NATO could take on the military responsibilities of the New World Order until the U.N. was ready to do the job. It sounds a lot like the McCain plan.

No wonder Talbott is pleased with our “choices” this fall.

Cliff Kincaid is Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at

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