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| | |-+  Changing presidency will not alter foreign policy
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Author Topic: Changing presidency will not alter foreign policy  (Read 7760 times)
Posts: 13

« on: March 21, 2004, 06:07:38 AM »

More Than a Dime's Worth of Difference...in Spain
Zapatero to Kerry: Back Off, Senator, Our Troops Are Coming Home

At the precise moment Bush's Iraq coalition began to show signs of some fatal fissures, John Kerry strode forth to do the president's bidding for him.

After the newly-elected Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, announced his intentions to pull out Spanish troops from Iraq, Kerry, anxious to prove that he can manhandle world leaders into compliance with US imperial objections with more efficiency than Bush, rushed in front of the cameras to demand that Zapatero reverse himself. Withdrawing Spanish troops now, Kerry chided, would send the wrong signal.

Wrong signal? And what signal is that? That there is more than a dime's worth of difference between Aznar and Zapatero on Iraq as opposed to the bloody harmony between Kerry and Bush? That politicians should keep their promises for at least a week?

Fortunately, Zapatero, who had previously said that he'd like to see Kerry elected president, was having none of it. He swiftly rebuked the senator's meddling. "My commitment is my commitment," Zapatero said. "Maybe John Kerry does not know--but I am happy to explain it to him--that my commitment to withdraw the troops goes back before the tragic, dramatic terrorist attack. If the United Nations does not take over the situation and there is not a rethinking of this chaotic occupation we are living through, in which there are more dead in the occupation than in the war phase, the Spanish troops are going to return to Spain."

Zapatero called the occupation of Iraq a fiasco that will lead only to more violence and hatred of the US-led forces. "There have been more deaths since the end of the war than during the invasion itself," Zapatero said. "Our allegiance will be for peace and against war. No more deaths for oil."

The feisty socialist also lashed out at the Bush administration's war on Afghanistan, which Kerry also backed without regret. "Fighting terrorism with bombs and Tomahawk cruise missiles isn't the way to defeat it," he said. "Terrorism must be combatted by a state of law. That's what I think Europe and the international community must debate."

Kerry could learn much from Zapatero's firm and sensible stand. But don't expect the senator to take any signals from abroad. The US presidential election is shaping up as a battle over manliness, a kind of political bodybuilding contest. Kerry wants to run as senator machismo. He doesn't want to pull out US forces. He wants to top Bush by calling up 40,000 more troops and inserting more European forces to join in the bloodbath. No wonder Kerry has a hard time naming the European leaders that want him in the White House.

Watch the death count soar from now to November.

Note: This article was obtained from counterpunch.org
Junior Member
Posts: 592

Higher Reasoning

« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2004, 08:14:32 AM »

well someone has to clear the world of the barriers to a free trade platos' republic . . . i would like to see Europe give up its position of supremacy in the world if it is so liberal and opposed to US policies.
Junior Member
Posts: 592

Higher Reasoning

« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2004, 01:49:54 PM »


Power & Duty: U.S. Action is Crucial to Maintaining World Order

Gary Schmitt
Los Angeles Times
March 23, 2003

As the war in Iraq unfolds, the awesome military power of the United States is on exhibit for the whole world to see. Despite the real but mostly tacit support of friends and allies around the world, America is exercising its power in the face of world opinion decidedly opposed to the war. In some respects, the very fact that the United States can do so is even more confirmation to its critics around the world that American power seemingly unhinged from all restraints -- be it the United Nations or world opinion -- is as much a danger to world order as perhaps Saddam Hussein himself.

Critics of America’s preeminent role in the world, like France’s president, are quick to see the supposed problems related to a unipolar world. What they are far slower to offer is a realistic alternative. For example, for all the huffing and puffing about the need to have this war sanctioned by the United Nations, it goes without saying that neither Paris nor Beijing is especially eager to constrain its national security decisions because of U.N. mandates. Indeed, in the continuing case of North Korea’s violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, France and China have actively sought to push the matter away from U.N. consideration.

The fact is, the U.N. can only operate by majority consensus, and this means that its decisions will be governed by the particular interests of the individual member states of the Security Council -- not some disembodied, benign voice of the “international community.” As the failure to back up its own resolutions on Iraq and to act decisively in the cases of Rwanda and Kosovo in the 1990s shows, the U.N. cannot be trusted to be the sole arbiter of these matters.

No. The unavoidable reality is that the exercise of American power is key to maintaining what peace and order there is in the world today. Imagine a world in which the U.S. didn’t exercise this power. Who would handle a nuclear-armed North Korea? Who would prevent the one-party state of China from acting on its pledge to gather democratic Taiwan into its fold? Who would be left to hunt down Islamic terrorists increasingly interested in getting their hands on weapons of mass destruction? Who could have contained, let alone defeated, a tyrant like Hussein, preventing him from becoming the dominant power in the Middle East? Who can prevent the Balkans from slipping back into chaos? Who is going to confront regimes like those of Iran, Syria and Libya as they rush to get their own weapons of mass destruction? Given how little most of our allies and critics spend on defense, certainly not them.

As Robert Kagan notes in “Of Paradise and Power,” his seminal examination of the growing distance between the strategic perspectives of America and Europe, the United States today is in much the same position as Marshal Will Kane, played by Gary Cooper in the movie “High Noon.” The townspeople are more than happy to live in the peace brought by his law enforcement but are nervous and resentful when the bad guys come back to town looking for him, to enact their revenge. The residents shortsightedly believe that if the marshal would just leave town, there would be no trouble. Of course, the reverse is true. Without Kane to protect them, the town would quickly fall into an anarchic state, paralyzed by ruthless gunslingers.

The simple but fundamental point is that it matters more what purposes our power serves than that we have power. President Bush made it clear in his address to the nation last week that removing Hussein was necessary not only because of the threat he poses but also because it could begin a process of reform in a region long in need of it. Cutting the nexus between weapons of mass destruction and terrorists requires transforming regimes that possess these weapons and cooperate with or spawn terrorists.

Like the townsfolk in “High Noon,” this naturally makes many in the world anxious. Change always brings risk and instability. But the danger in doing nothing -- of pretending that the volatile Middle East mix of failing regimes, rogue states, weapons of mass destruction and terrorism can be contained safely if we only let it alone -- is far greater. As British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on the floor of Parliament during a debate over Iraq last week, “What was shocking about 11 September was not just the slaughter of the innocent, but the knowledge that had the terrorists been able to, there would have been not 3,000 innocent dead, but 30,000 or 300,000, and the more the suffering, the greater the terrorists’ rejoicing.”

But change also brings opportunity. The president’s decision to remove Hussein from power and his work to create a viable, democratic Iraq has already led to a number of positive steps in the region. In Iran, moderates, emboldened by the possibility of a democratic Iraq, are again pushing to reform that cleric-dominated state. In Saudi Arabia, the homeland of 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the attacks on the United States, the royal family has for the first time begun serious deliberations with reformers on how to transform and democratize the country. In the Palestinian territories, Yasser Arafat reluctantly agreed to give up much of his day-to-day control over the Palestinian Authority to a new prime minister. And in Egypt, the government has just released its most vocal human-rights advocate.

None of these steps amounts to a revolution in the region. Nor do they mean that positive political transformation throughout the Islamic world will happen easily or without fits, starts and dead ends. However, the early signs suggest that the president is right to believe that the instinct for liberty is not missing from Middle East genes.

Finally, and lest we forget, America is employing its power in this war to free a people who have suffered under one of history’s most terrible tyrants. As New York Times correspondent John Burns reported from Baghdad on the eve of the start of the war, “Iraqis have suffered beyond, I think, the common understanding of the United States from the repression of the past 30 years here. And many, many Iraqis are telling us now, not always in the whispers we have heard in the past but now in quite candid conversations, that they are waiting for America to come and bring them liberty.” And, he said on PBS, “while they are very, very fearful of course of the bombing, of damage to Iraq’s infrastructure ... there is also no doubt -- no doubt -- that there are many, many Iraqis who see what is about to happen here as the moment of liberation.”

That’s a dream only American power can inspire.
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