"Our paradigm now seems to be: something terrible happened to us on September 11, and that gives us the right to interpret all future events in a way that everyone else in the world must agree with us," said Clinton, who spoke at a seminar of governance organized by Conference Board (news - web sites).
"And if they don't, they can go straight to hell."
The Democratic former president, who preceded George W. Bush at the White House, said that sooner or later the United States had to find a way to cooperate with the world at large.
"We can't run," Clinton pointed out. "If you got an interdependent world, and you cannot kill, jail or occupy all your adversaries, sooner or later you have to make a deal."
He said he believed Washington overreacted to German and French opposition to US plans for military action against Iraq (news - web sites) and suggested that the current administration had trouble juggling foreign and domestic issues.
"Since September 11, it looks like we can't hold two guns at the same time," Clinton said. "If you fight terrorism, you can't make America a better place to be."
Clinton said that if he were at the White House right now he would scrap a 726-billion dollar tax cut proposal made by the president in January to stimulate the flagging economy.
Congress has since cut the proposal to 550 billion dollars in the case of the House of Representatives and 350 billion under a Senate version of the plan.