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John Edwards on Foreign Policy

Democratic Nominee for Vice President; NC Jr Senator


The Israelis do not have a partner for peace right now

Q: Is the US absent in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

EDWARDS: We've been largely absent, though not entirely absent, from the peace-making process over the last 4 years. The Israeli people not only have the right to defend themselves, they should defend themselves. They have an obligation to defend themselves. We know that the prime minister has made a decision, an historic decision, to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza. It's important for America to participate in helping with that process. Now, if Gaza's being used as a platform for attacking the Israeli people, that has to be stopped. They don't have a partner for peace right now. They certainly don't have a partner in Arafat, and they need a legitimate partner for peace. It is very important for America to crack down on the Saudis who have not had a public prosecution for financing terrorism since 9/11. And it's important for America to confront the situation in Iran, because Iran is an enormous threat to Israel and to the Israeli people.

Source: Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential Oct 5, 2004

Strengthen the sanctions on Iran

CHENEY: One of the great by-products of what we did in Iraq & Afghanistan is that five days after we captured Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gadhafi in Libya came forward and announced that he was going to surrender all of his nuclear materials to the US, which he has done. This was one of the biggest sources of proliferation in the world today in terms of the threat that was represented by that. The suppliers' network that provided that, headed by Mr. Khan, has been shut down.

EDWARDS: Cheney talks about there being a member, or someone associated with Al Qaida, in Iraq. There are 60 countries who have members of Al Qaida in them. How many of those countries are we going to invade? Not only that, he talks about Iran. The reality is that Iran has moved forward with their nuclear weapons program on their watch. They ceded responsibility to dealing with it to the Europeans. We need to strengthen the sanctions on Iran, including closing the loophole that allows companies to do business with Iran.

Source: [Xref Cheney] Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential Oct 5, 2004

America should lead by extending a hand, not a fist

For more than a century, America has spared no effort to defend, encourage, and promote that idea around the world. Over and over, we have done it by exercising American leadership to forge powerful alliances-with longtime allies and reluctant friends, with nations already living in the light of democracy and with peoples struggling to join them. The might of those alliances has been a driving force in the survival & success of freedom-in two World Wars, in the Cold War, in the Gulf War, and in Kosovo. America led instead of going it alone. We extended a hand, not a fist. We respected the world - and the world respected us. Today, there is a powerful yearning around the world for an America that listens and leads again. An America that is respected, no
Source: [X-ref Kerry] Our Plan For America , p. 8 Aug 10, 2004

America led by extending a hand, not a fist

America led instead of going it alone. We extended a hand, not a fist. We respected the world - and the world respected us. Today, there is a powerful yearning around the world for an America that listens and leads again. An America that is respected, no
Source: [X-ref Kerry] Our Plan For America , p. 8 Aug 10, 2004

Reorient US aid to support open societies

I will reorient U.S. assitance toward supporting open societies, giving more aid to nongovernmental bodies, and cutting assistance to dictators uninterested in democracy and upholding human rights.
Source: 2004 Presidential National Political Awareness Test Mar 3, 2004

UN-led peacekeeping, but US forces under US command

I support reforms that would allow the UN to be better prepared to support - and where appropriate, lead - peacekeeping efforts. While the U.S. should support and cooperate with UN peacekeeping, U.S. soldiers should always be under American command.
Source: 2004 Presidential National Political Awareness Test Mar 3, 2004

Target Castro's regime but help people of Cuba

I support sanctions that target Castro's regime but helps the innocent Cuban people.
Source: 2004 Presidential National Political Awareness Test Mar 3, 2004

More funds for AIDS prevention in Africa

I support greater funding for AIDS prevention in Africa, using the most effective means available.
Source: 2004 Presidential National Political Awareness Test Mar 3, 2004

Haiti is in crisis because Bush stayed disengaged

Q: Do you support the Caribbean nations announcement today of a multi-national force for Haiti?

EDWARDS: Yes. That's exactly what should happen. What I would do as president is pick two or three respected world leaders, like President Clinton did back in the '90. Send them to the region. Work on a political solution.

Q: It might be too late.

EDWARDS: Maybe. We are in this situation because this is so typical of this president's disengagement in this entire hemisphere. In fact, he's done it all over the world. But this is a perfect example.

Q: Are you saying he could have prevented this?

EDWARDS: I'm saying, if we had stayed involved, we would have seen this coming a lot sooner, and we could have gotten involved and engaged.

Q: Would you take them in at the US border?

EDWARDS: Those who were fleeing for political asylum, yes.

Source: Democratic 2004 primary debate at USC Feb 26, 2004

Bring UN, allies and friends to Iraq

Q: How would you get allies to work with the US?

A: I would put the Iraqi Civilian Authority under the control of the United Nations today. That should have been done a long time ago. Use that to create the kind of energy we need to bring allies and friends to this effort, to help relieve the burden on American troops, relieve the burden on American taxpayers. And also put a stop to these sweetheart deals for Halliburton, the president's friends.

Source: CNN "Rock The Vote" Democratic Debate Nov 5, 2003

Need multilateral solutions for world's problems

Q: How do you view this effort to internationalize the war?

EDWARDS: Unfortunately what we see happening on the ground in Iraq right now is part of a long-term pattern by this president. He stubbornly continues to fight an effort to bring others in, to relinquish some responsibility, some control in order to bring our friends and allies into this effort.

This started a long time ago. It began with his unilateral disengagement from Kyoto, unilateral disengagement from the biological weapons convention, a whole series of nuclear nonproliferation agreements.

I will lead in a way that shows that America is strong, but at the same time that we will solve the world's problems with the rest of the world in a multilateral, coalition-building way, because that is the most effective way to create respect for America. And at the end of the day, the American people are safer and more secure in a world where America is looked up to and respected.

Source: Democratic Primary Debate, Albuquerque New Mexico Sep 4, 2003

Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe.

H.R. 3167; Gerald B. H. Solomon Freedom Consolidation Act of 2001, To endorse the vision of further enlargement of the NATO Alliance. Vote to pass a bill that would support further expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, authorize military assistance to several eastern European countries and lift assistance restrictions on Slovakia.
Bill HR.3167 ; vote number 2002-116 on May 17, 2002

Voted YES on killing a bill for trade sanctions if China sells weapons.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would require sanctions against China or other countries if they were found to be selling illicit weapons of mass destruction.
Bill HR.4444 ; vote number 2000-242 on Sep 13, 2000

Voted NO on cap foreign aid at only $12.7 billion.

Adoption of the conference report on the 2000 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill provided $12.7 billion for foreign aid programs in 2000.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)51; N)49
Reference: H.R. 2606 Conference Report; Bill H.R. 2606 ; vote number 1999-312 on Oct 6, 1999

Other candidates on Foreign Policy: John Edwards on other issues:
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