Margaret Thatcher

Starting with old line journalism advice--"there's no better way to clarify your thoughts than to try to explain yourself to someone else"--former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher presented a dolefully optimistic world view to a sold out NPC luncheon on June 26, 1995. "There will never be a New World Order," she proclaimed. "It is only by staying united that the West, that is America and Europe together, can ensure that we are the dominant influences in global affairs. Nevertheless", she said, "in spite of the problems and uncertainties, this is an exciting time to be alive." Thatcher's law of politics is, in her words , "the unexpected happens." Thatcher labeled the current state of international affairs "the New world disorder" and urged the creation of a North Atlantic free trade area covering North America and the European Community which she said, "would underpin NATO and reverse European protectionism." Asked directly for an evaluation of President Clinton's foreign policy, Thatcher was stunned into a momentary, prolonged silence before indicating her disappointment with the President for his not complying more fully with a campaign statement that more ought to be done about Bosnia and that the Bosnians should be armed. "That hasn't come about," she said. "You must allow the Bosnians to have weapons". Then give the Serbs an ultimatum to get out and stop fighting or then you use your airpower heavily to take out every military installation and supply line." She said defense has been cut back too far in the Western countries and that combined with a lack of resolution among Western leaders "is giving the wrong sign to dubious political figures in the ex-Communist world and dangerous exponents of forces in the Islamic world." Looking at domestic policies, Thatcher said a "social malaise is affecting out countries, a dangerous cultural dependency is being created. A society which puts a higher value on state handouts to its able-bodied citizens than on measures to protect those citizens from internal crime and external threats is one which risks becoming decadent." She urged a renewal in our faith in free market economies. "Today's Republicans," she said, "are trying to build on Reaganism and not bury it." She said historians will judge the '80s in the U.S. and Britain very favorably and, referring to herself, said: "The old girl can still shout things from the sidelines." National Press Club Record, Volume XLV, No. 25. June 29, 1995.

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