reemerging as a world power. By the time simplemindedrnAnieriean power brokers are finished counting the Russiansrnout, it will be time for them to go back to warning the worldrnagainst tiie menace of the next Russian empire.rnTocqueville’s comparison of Russia with the United Statesrnhas passed through so many hands that the details have beenrnrubbed off along with the shine. There is one important difference,rnhowever. While the Russians were content, for the mostrnpart, with subduing the Tartars and limiting their capacity forrnviolence, we short-tempered Anglo-Saxons thoroughly and permanentlyrneliminated the national existence of most of our ownrn”native American” Mongols. The Russians cracked down hardrnin the Caucasus, but no harder than we did in the once-MexicanrnSouthwest, and whatever else can be said of AmericanrnManifest Destiny, it left comparatively few Indians or Mexicansrnbehind to take revenge. Chechens are still causing trouble today,rnand not simply because they can mobilize the most violentrncriminal mob operating in and out of the former Soviet Union.rnAmericans can afford to lecture the Russians on the treatmentrnof their conquered minorities because we have, forrnthe most part, eliminated ours. The Russians, however, are lessrninterested in our conquest of the North American continenteventsrnof long ago and far away, so far as they are concerned —rnthan they are with our recent conquest of Kosovo. The Russiansrnare very clear on American aims in [{astern Europe.rnParanoid or not, they can trace the probable trajectory of thernscimitar that NATO has aimed at the Russian heart: from Kosovornto Sanjak to Bosnia to Chechnya. The NATO border nowrnreaches to Poland and Hungary, and it is no accident that NATOrnjets are now skimming along Russia’s western frontier. Accordingrnto an Itar-Tass report, the Baltic Fleet’s anti-aircraft defensernservice in Kaliningrad has “detected 1100 foreign aircraftrnflying in the vicinity of this northwestern part of the Russianrnstate border.”rnNATO leaders are reluctant to give overt support to thernChechen rebels, though Bill Clinton has said that the Chechenrnpeople should not have to suffer simply because their leadersrnhave staged a rebellion. President Clinton has apparentiv quitrngloating over the photographs of dead and maimed civilians inrnSerbia long enough to distinguish people from their governments.rnRepresentatives of this humanitarian administration sayrnthey want to help the Chechen people without supporting theirrnbid for independence.rnTo determine how far the President is willing to go, somerncrusading member of the Washington press corps ought to askrnMr. Clinton about the 15 tons of NATO uniforms seized byrnRussian customs. Labeled “men’s suits,” the uniforms werernsupposedly going to the U.S. military attache in Georgia—anrnoperation with 15 employees. At 3,000 uniforms, that wouldrnmean 200 uniforms per person. Either Georgia’s winters arerncolder than we have been led to believe, or the uniforms werernmeant for the Chechen rebels who have been photographedrn(according to a story on wearing identicalrnoutfits.rnThe Russians have only one recourse, and that is to constructrnan anti-NATO alliance with China and perhaps even India.rnBoris Yeltsin, in a drunken fit of candor this past December,rnwarned Bill Clinton that Russia was still a nuclear power, suggestingrntactlessly that he and his Chinese friends were able tornhandle their part of the planet without the help of the world’srnonly remaining superpower. Mr. Clinton had been soundingrnoff on one of the topics—the list is endless —about which hernknows next to nothing, namely the Russian army’s campaign tornsuppress the rebellion in Chechnya.rnAccording to Clinton, and to other leaders of the humanernand democratic NATO alliance, the Russians are guilty of usingrnexcessive force against the Chechens. Most conservatives, asrnusual, agree with Clinton, and Sen. John McCain is only repeatingrnthe conventional wisdom of the past 20 years when herncalls for a pro-Islamic strategy to undermine the Russian federationrnand prevent it from recovering its status as a world power.rnThe American strategy, however, is as naive as it is immoral.rnP’orever fighting the last war, the American leaders are determinedrnto use Islamic insurgencies against Russia the way wernused Muslims in Bosnia and Albanians in Ko.sovo. The precedentrnis Afghanistan, and the terrifying consequences of ourrnAfghan policy—which installed a green ersion of the KhmerrnRouge in a strategically important region —are lost upon thernState Department planners and intelligence experts. “Whatrnelse were we supposed to do?” is their plaintive response to civiliansrnwho have the bad taste to introduce the subject.rnMany Europeans know the score by now. Pretending to bernshocked by the evidence that there was no genocide in Kosovornand no mass graves, journalists and politicians have denouncedrnClinton and Blair for their duplicity and recklessness. E.U.rnleaders have finally followed through on their threat to establishrna separate defense force, independent of NATO, and they didrnnot cave in to American pressure to grant NATO a sort of primaernnoctis right of first refusal on the use of force in Europe.rnHere is the box score on the Clinton-VV”t’c4’/y Standard foreignrnpolicy pursued by the United States throughout the 90’s;rn• Israelis—angry at American pressure to trade land forrnpeace.rn• Arabs—angry over America’s support for Israel and therncontinued air attacks and embargo that have killed overrna million Iraqi civilians since the end of the Gulf War.rn• United Europe —determined to shake off the Americanrnmilitary yoke and protect the last shreds of Europeanrneconontic independence.rn• India —leaders openly saying they need nuclearrnweapons to protect their people from American attack.rn• China —justifiably furious with what it knows (if onlyrnfrom the British press) to be the deliberate bombing ofrnits embass)’ in Belgrade.rn• Russia—grimly determined to upgrade its armed forcesrnand to rebuild an empire that includes Belarus andrnprobably Ukraine.rnThe recent anti-Clinton riots in Greece, Turkey, and Bulgariarnmay be just tiie beginning, because the “Clinton Doctrine,”rnas our foreign affairs editor has dubbed it, has inflicted far morerndamage to American prestige than to the Yugoslav militarv’.rnLess than ten years after winning the Cold War, the UnitedrnStates is dreaded in Europe as a kind of overgrown village idiotrnwho takes delight in smashing up the porcelain at the vicar’s tearnparty: Our leaders in both parties are incapable of finding Europeanrncapitals on a map; they speak no foreign languages, andrntheir knowledge of history is even less substantial than the eruditionrndisplayed by CNN talking-heads (say, Al Hunt orrnE.leanor Clift) when their staff has failed to check out thernGroliers online encyclopedia.rnHowever, the greatest blow has been to America’s moral rep-rnMARCH 2000/11rnrnrn