We have always known that a Gore presidency would continue the flawed foreign policy of the Clinton administration; but now we know that—unlikely as it may sound—things may be even worse if the Vice President wins in November. On the last day of April, Al Gore gave his first major foreign policy speech of the campaign. Speaking to journalists in Boston, he outlined his global vision and also warned against the “risky” policies of his Republican rival, Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

hi the key part of his address, Gore singled out the economic prosperity of foreign nations as a vital security interest of the United States. “I believe that now we have a profound responsibility to open the gates of opportunity for all the world’s people,” he said. “Let me be clear: Promoting prosperity throughout the world is a crucial form of forward engagement.”

Old habits of mind die hard, and the distorted trinitarian reflex lingers among Christophobes, too. That’s why secular ideologues and social engineers like to work under tripartite slogans—”liberté, egalité, fraternité,” “ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Führer.” Perhaps for that reason, to the globalist-interventionists’ mantra of “democracy” and “human rights,” Mr. Gore has now added the third part of the slogan: “prosperity.”

If promoting prosperity in, say, Outer Mongolia or Moldova is deemed to be a vital interest of the United States, then any item of economic policy by their governments that Gore’s globalist-interventionists deem detrimental to that prosperity will provide an instant casus belli. Accordingly, in Gore’s world, America’s “vital interests” will keep multiplying at a breathtaking rate. The new challenges will include the existence of customs barriers and protective tariffs in faraway countries —those relics of sovereign nationhood detrimental to “free trade.” Many more doors to free trade will have to be kicked open under Gore. The craters from ordnance manufactured by McDonnell will become the foundations for new McDonalds. Any reluctance of foreigners to “privatize” their key economic assets (say by selling them to Wall Street Journal subscribers) will warrant airstrikes.

And so, in addition to Clinton’s wars for other peoples’ “human rights,” America will have Gore’s wars for other peoples’ prosperity. Interventions not connected to any clear and imminent threat to U.S. security will continue; indeed, they are part of Gore’s strategy. “Our national security interests can be defined by our values,” he said. From that premise, he even attacked Bush for his lukewarm support of last year’s bombing of Serbia. One could argue that Bush should have attacked Gore on the administration’s record on the Balkans. This was an issue that could have given Bush some mileage with the millions of Americans who feel uneasy about last year’s bombing of Serbia. But since Bush has chosen to pay lip service to the mainstream orthodoxy. Gore can now accuse Bush of being indecisive and “dangerously fixated on the Cold War past” in his views on the use of force:

[Bush] suggests that he would not intervene to relieve even the brutal repression of ethnic cleansing and genocide. No wonder it took him six weeks to say anything about our action against the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Is that the right message for America to send to people around the globe struggling for freedom?

In view of his explicit support for further expansion of NATO, it is interesting that Gore attacked Bush for wrongly viewing Russia and China as U.S. enemies. “While we must remain vigilant against any deterioration in our relationships, the reality of the Global Age is that Russia and China are indeed competitors, but also vital partners in our efforts to tackle problems menacing to us all,” Gore said.

In fact, it is the Clinton-Gore White House that turned Russia into an enemy. Gore is apparently unable to grasp the fact that it is impossible to maintain friendship with Russia and at the same time to advocate further NATO enlargement and to bask in the glory of NAT’O’s victory over the Serbs. Predictably, however, the Beltway establishment welcomed his speech. The Washington Post editorial on May 2 expressed pleasure that:

Mr. Gore embraced engagement of China and Russia, claimed victory for the Clinton-Gore intervention in Kosovo and promised that he, like Mr. Clinton, would seek an agreement with Moscow to permit development of a limited U.S. missile-defense system against North Korea without sacrificing the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

This is an impossible proposition, but Gore is as oblivious of its incoherence as the Post‘s editorialist. The administration threatens to abrogate the ABM treaty unless the Russians agree to amend it as desired by Washington. But it is naive, or else deliberately provocative, to expect Vladimir Putin to perform an act of submission that is contrary to his country’s interests and that would make him look weak in the crucial early days of his presidency. If the United States goes ahead with its national missile defense system, abandoning the 1972 treaty, then all bets with Russia may be off. Clinton and Gore claim they can have it both ways. They are wrong. NMD is a bad idea based on unsound science and flawed strategic doctrine.

What we need to make American cities more secure is not a misnamed anti-ballistic shield that may or may not work, but a foreign policy that will not prompt the assorted “rogues” around the world to consider attacking America in the first place. Al Gore is not the man for the job. Temperamentally and intellectually, he is a Clintonite, but—to make things worse—he believes his own propaganda, unlike his present boss. Gore’s “doctrine,” as outlined on April 30, will entangle America in more wars, more interventions, and more lies, all unconnected to this country’s interests, at odds with its tradition, and contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of its people.