Not another Clinton crisis, please

HEADLINES suggesting that the Clinton White House is now seriously embroiled in the Whitewater affair ... have caused groans in many foreign ministries. Not that ... Bill Clinton's administration is universally admired abroad....

But the main charges against it were inexperience and lack of sustained attention to foreign-policy issues. The former defect is now beginning to be healed by the passage of time. The latter may not be wholly curable but there have lately been signs of improvement.

Nothing could be more certain to cause a relapse than for the president to get bogged down in a prolonged scandal. The heartiest wish of all those foreigners who depend on or have to deal with the US must be that the affair could be got quickly out of the way. Alas, that is one thing that will certainly not happen.

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