Clinton calls U.S. `poised' for nations to emulate

President says America leads global increase in freedom, opportunity

January 02, 2000|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON -- In an upbeat New Year's Day message, President Clinton said yesterday that America is "well poised" to serve as the world's "guiding light" in the new millennium.

"Never has the openness and dynamism of our society been more emulated by other countries," he said in his weekly radio address, which was nationally televised from the Oval Office. "Never have our values of freedom, democracy and opportunity been more ascendant in the world."

Clinton expressed relief that global celebrations were peaceful and marveled at how "the growing interconnectedness of the world" allowed billions of people to share "the feelings of goodwill and hope that overcame us all."

The unprecedented manifestation of a global village, the president added, underscores how much "our fate in America increasingly will be tied to the fate of other nations and other people around the world."

Using the occasion to push his trade policies and argue against isolationism, Clinton said, "We must have prosperous partners to trade with, secure democracies to share the burdens of peacekeeping, and mutual efforts to combat challenges that know no borders, from terrorism to environmental destruction."

"To advance our interests and protect our values in this new interconnected world, America clearly must remain engaged. We must help to shape events and not be shaped by them," Clinton said.

Hillary Rodham Clinton joined in the address, wishing for world peace and a better life and education for the disadvantaged.

"And if we can build one America and make our diversity our greatest strength, then perhaps other nations will see the advantage of working to overcome their own ethnic and religious tensions," she said.

The Clintons spent much of Friday racing from one New Year's event to another. After a black-tie dinner for about 300 guests, they attended an event on the National Mall, then celebrated at the White House until 3: 30 a.m.

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