Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern adopted President Bush's "new world order" phrase as his theme during a speech Wednesday night at Snow College.
McGovern talked about the irony involved in this year's Desert Storm War and Nebuchadnezzar's overrunning of the same area 2,500 years ago, pointing out a need for a new world order if the world is somehow going to solve its problems without war."We are glad that we prevailed and for the small number of our casualties," McGovern said. "Desert Storm reinforced the status and authority of the United States as a world power; it demonstrated our technological superiority, and it enabled us to overcome our Vietnam syndrome."
But the war had other consequences, he said - perhaps as many as 500,000 killed, the economies and infrastructures of Iraq and Kuwait left in shambles and other immeasurable losses sustained.
While McGovern applauded Bush's success in gaining collective action in the opposition to Iraq's military aggression and in obtaining United Nations approval in the use of force against Iraq, he criticized the president for not giving sanctions more time to work.
"Is this the true way to a new world order? This war was unnecessary and unwise. It represents the failures of diplomacy and patience. These failures did not meet the criteria of those who wanted the military power of Iraq destroyed."
The United States has not always taken the high ground in opposing military aggression, McGovern said. "If we are to take the high ground we cannot vacillate in our actions. In the case of Iraq, we did not give sanctions a chance to work. We seem to know more about war than peace."
For the United States, McGovern said, the urgent problems are ones of peace - the development of our resources, the protections of our environments, the rehabilitation of our infrastructure and the education of our people.
"A new world order requires that we direct education more to the understanding of the politics, cultures and institutions of the world. We need to shape the curriculum so that we become educated citizens of this world."
McGovern questioned spending $300 billion on the military as he asked, "What is the purpose? Where is the threat?" The United States should direct its resources to what he said were urgent problems at home.