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.
The National Press Club Luncheons are brought to you by the
Internet Multicasting Service and our
sponsors under an agreement with the
National Press Club
Board of Governors.