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Dennis Kucinich on Foreign Policy

Democratic Representative (OH-10)


My most favored nation is America; no MFN for China

Q: Is China an ally or an adversary?

A: The time to worry about China trade was really when some of my friends up here on the stage actually voted for most favored nation. Now, as president, my most favored nation is America. And I want to say, you know, there was a myth when I was growing up in Cleveland that if you dig a hole deep enough, you’ll get to China. We’re there, and we need to have a president that understands that and is ready to take a whole new direction in trade with China.

Source: 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum , Aug 8, 2007

If Darfur had oil, we’d be occupying Sudan

Q: Darfur is the second time that our nation has had a chance to do something about genocide in Africa. The first came in Rwanda in 1994, when we did nothing.

A: It’s time for the United States to stop looking at Africa as a place where our corporations can exploit the people. Let’s face it, if Darfur had a large supply of oil, this administration would be occupying it right now. We need to stop giving Sudan a pass. They’re looking the other way.

Source: 2007 Democratic Primary Debate at Howard University , Jun 28, 2007

Reject war as an instrument of foreign policy

Our nation is waiting for a grand vision which connects us with a deeper sense of who we are as a people. Our nation is waiting for a grand vision which is propelled by a sense of joy and optimism. Our nation’s waiting for a grand vision which sees the world as one, which understands that the world is interconnected and interdependent, and that it is indeed our job to heal this planet, to bring this planet together as one people.

I see peace as being the central issue and concern of our time. I see all of the issues that we’re speaking about connected to peace, with peace at the center. And in a Kucinich administration, we would begin with an understanding of the centrality of peace to life in the United States and to life on our planet. We would begin with policies which reject war as an instrument of policy.

Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference , Jun 20, 2007

Americans have been misled about the Iraqi war

Q: Would you ever reject broad international consensus if you thought it was in the best long-term interest of the US?

A: We have a right to defend our country, but surely a president must know the difference between defense and offense. We went on the offense against Iraq and now we find from Secretary O’Neill that Bush was planning on attacking Iraq before 9/11 and that the American people, in effect, have been misled about this. Everybody ought to be talking about this.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum , Jan 11, 2004

Affirm intention to work with the world community

Q: Why do you have so much confidence in the UN?

A: For many years, the UN was having trouble getting funding. And the inability to get funding had a material impact, an adverse impact, on the ability of the UN to do its job around the world. And the only way that we could be safe as a nation is to reach out and to engage with the world community in the cause of international security. So the UN going in would mean the UN would handle the oil, with no privatization of the oil assets.

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

Promote international treaties but reject global corporatism

Our country and all nations must review and modify all treaties which reject national sovereignty in the cause of a global corporate ethic which does not respect human rights, workers rights and environmental quality standards. This means reviewing the practices and the practical impact of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.
Source: 2004 House campaign website, Kucinich.us, “On The Issues” , Aug 1, 2003

Lead world to sustainable energy production

As a peace advocate, I will launch a major renewables effort so Middle East oil fields will not loom so large as strategic or military targets. As an environmentalist, my view is always holistic and global: I will launch a “Global Green Deal”--to use our country’s leadership in sustainable energy production to provide jobs to Americans, to reduce energy use here at home, and to partner with developing nations to provide their people with inexpensive, local renewable energy technologies.
Source: 2004 House campaign website, Kucinich.us, “On The Issues” , Aug 1, 2003

Foreign aid for peace incentives, not conflict

Economic Aid should be used as an incentive to peaceful and fruitful relations, rather than costly and potentially life-threatening conflict. Foreign Aid should be used to protect our interests in terms of diplomacy, human rights, isolation of disease, environmental destruction, and prevention of increased refugees to US.
Source: 1996 Congressional National Political Awareness Test , Jul 2, 1996

Voted NO on supporting democratic institutions in Pakistan.

Congressional Summary:Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act (PEACE Act): Authorizes the President to provide assistance for Pakistan to support democratic institutions; economic development; human rights; health care; and public diplomacy.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. IKE SKELTON (D, MO-4): Pakistan is important to the Middle East and our intentions there. Their cooperation, of course, is so very, very important. This legislation gives economic and democratic development assistance to that country.

Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): We can't allow al Qaeda or any other terrorist group that threatens our national security to operate with impunity in the tribal regions or any other part of Pakistan. Nor can we permit the Pakistani state and its nuclear arsenal to be taken over by the Taliban. To help prevent this nightmare scenario, we need to forge a true strategic partnership with Pakistan and its people, strengthen Pakistan's democrat government, and work to make Pakistan a source of stability in a volatile region.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN (R, FL-18): This bill focuses on past actions and failures attributed to the Pakistani Government, punishing the new leadership for the sins of its predecessors. While the authors of H.R. 1886 may have sought to empower our Pakistani partners to undertake the formidable task of fighting and winning against violent extremists, it does the opposite. We have gone down this road before. I recall during the Iraq debate, Members sought to prejudge the surge strategy before it could even be implemented. Let us hope that this will not be repeated with respect to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Reference: The PEACE Act; Bill H.R.1886 ; vote number 2009-H333 on Jun 11, 2009

Voted NO on cooperating with India as a nuclear power.

Congressional Summary:US-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Nonproliferation Enhancement Act:

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. HOWARD BERMAN (D, CA-28): Integrating India into a global nonproliferation regime is a positive step. Before anyone gets too sanctimonious about India's nuclear weapons program, we should acknowledge that the five recognized nuclear weapons states have not done nearly enough to fulfill their commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, including making serious reductions in their own arsenals, nor in the case of the US in ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. BARBARA LEE (D, CA-9): In withholding my approval, I seek not to penalize the people of India but, rather, to affirm the principle of nuclear nonproliferation. Jettisoning adherence to the international nuclear nonproliferation framework that has served the world so well for more than 30 years, as approval of the agreement before us would do, is just simply unwise. It is also reckless.

Approval of this agreement undermines our efforts to dissuade countries like Iran and North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. By approving this agreement, all we are doing is creating incentives for other countries to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Reference: US-India Nuclear Agreement; Bill HR.7081 ; vote number 2008-H662 on Sep 27, 2008

Voted YES on deterring foreign arms transfers to China.

To authorize measures to deter arms transfers by foreign countries to the People's Republic of China, A YES vote would grant the President the ability to place sanctions on any individual or country that violates the arms embargo, including:
Reference: East Asia Security Act; Bill HR 3100 ; vote number 2005-374 on Jul 14, 2005

Voted NO on reforming the UN by restricting US funding.

To reform the United Nations, by limiting the US contribution to the UN by up to one-half by the year 2007, if the following reforms are not made:
Reference: United Nations Reform Act; Bill HR 2745 ; vote number 2005-282 on Jun 17, 2005

Voted YES on keeping Cuba travel ban until political prisoners released.

Stop enforcing travel restrictions on US citizens to Cuba, only after the president has certified that Cuba has released all political prisoners, and extradited all individuals sought by the US on charges of air piracy, drug trafficking and murder.
Bill HR 2590 ; vote number 2001-270 on Jul 25, 2001

Voted NO on withholding $244M in UN Back Payments until US seat restored.

Vote to adopt an amendment that would require that the United States be restored to its seat on the UN Human Rights Commission before the payment of $244 million in funds already designated to pay UN back dues.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Hyde, R-IL; Bill HR 1646 ; vote number 2001-107 on May 10, 2001

Voted NO on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction.

Vote on an amendment that would transfer $156 million from foreign military financing to the Highly Indebted Poor Countries [HIPC] Trust Fund. The HIPC Trust fund is designed to help debtor countries pay off the money they owe to multilateral agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Reference: Amendment sponsored by Waters, D-CA; Bill HR 4811 ; vote number 2000-397 on Jul 13, 2000

Voted NO on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China.

Vote to give permanent Normal Trade Relations [NTR] status to China. Currently, NTR status for China is debated and voted on annually. The measure contains provisions designed to protect the United States from Chinese import surges and the administration would have to report annually on China's compliance with the trade agreement. The bill establishes a commission to monitor human rights, labor standards and religious freedom in China.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Archer, R-TX; Bill HR 4444 ; vote number 2000-228 on May 24, 2000

Voted YES on $15.2 billion for foreign operations.

Vote on a bill to provide $15.2 billion for foreign operations in FY 2000. Among other provisions, the bill would provide $1.82 billion over three years for implementation of the Wye River peace accord in the Middle East. In addition, the measure would provide $123 million in multilateral debt relief and would contribute $25 million to the United National Population Fund.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Callahan, R-AL; Bill HR 3196 ; vote number 1999-572 on Nov 5, 1999

Allow Americans to travel to Cuba.

Kucinich co-sponsored allowing Americans to travel to Cuba

OnTheIssues.org explanation: The US government has forbidden US citizens from traveling to Cuba since the 1960s. Try booking a trip from Mexico City to Havana on travelocity.com (or any travel website) and it says, "Due to a U.S. government travel restriction we are unable to book this reservation." You can, however, purchase that same ticket while in Mexico City, or anywhere else in the world. Sanford's bill attempts to undo this long-standing situation.

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:

EXCERPTS FROM BILL:

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on the Western Hemisphere; never called for a House vote.

Source: Cuba travel bill (H.R.4471) 00-HR4471 on May 16, 2000

Member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

Kucinich is a member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus

The Congressional Human Rights Caucus (CHRC) is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in the United States House of Representatives that works to raise awareness about and combat human rights abuses throughout the world.

The caucus keeps members and their staff informed of opportunities to help through briefings on human rights topics and letter initiatives.

Source: Congressional Caucus Web site 01-CHRC0 on Jan 8, 2001

Rated +4 by AAI, indicating pro-Arab pro-Palestine voting record.

Kucinich scores +4 by AAI on Arab-Israeli issues

The Arab American Institute has compiled a Scorecard to catalogue the voting record of the 112th Congress on issues of importance to the Arab American community. For the House, we included 15 items: two bills on the Arab Spring, five bills and one letter on Palestine, two bills on Lebanon, three bills and a letter regarding civil liberties, and two bills on immigration.

  1. H.Res. 88 (+): supporting democratic aspirations in Egypt
  2. H.R. 2643 (+): penalizing the Bahraini government for attacking medical personnel
  3. H.R. 1006 (-): the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act
  4. H.R. 1501 (-): withholding US contributions until the UN retracts accusations of Israeli war crimes.
  5. H.Res. 268 (-): opposing any unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state
  6. H.R. 2457 (-): prohibiting any US government document from referring to "Palestine"
  7. H.R. 2829 (-): defunding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The bill's 141 co-sponsors receive a (-).
  8. 8. (+). Rep. David Price (D-NC) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) issued a letter titled "Support Palestinian Aid and Israel's Security," in which they call upon Congress to continue aid to the Palestinian Authority.
  9. H.R. 2215 (*) "to ensure that United States taxpayer dollars are not used to fund terrorist entities in Lebanon
  10. H.R. 996 (+): to raise awareness of the use of cluster munitions where civilians are present
  11. H.R. 140 (-): the "Birthright Citizenship Act, to eliminate "anchor babies" by changing the 14th Amendment.
  12. H. Res. 283 (+): to counter violence and discrimination against Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities
  13. H.R. 1805 (-): authorizing an extension of the USA PATRIOT Act until 2013, and amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)
  14. H.R. 1842 (+): the DREAM Act to protect undocumented minors pursuing higher education.
  15. H.R. 1932 (-): the Keep our Communities Safe Act for greater power to detain undocumented immigrants.
Source: AAI website 12-AAI-H on May 2, 2012

Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s.

Kucinich co-sponsored acknowledging the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s

Sen. DURBIN: The definition of "genocide" is "the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group." Scholars agree that what the Armenian people suffered in 1915 to 1917 fits the definition of genocide. To date, 19 countries and 37 US states recognize the Armenian Genocide. Genocide is wrong. It is evil. It is evil whether its victims are Armenians, Sudanese, Rwandan Tutsis, Cambodians or European Jews. Not to acknowledge genocide for what it is denigrates the memory of its victims. Recognition of genocide is part of the healing process. Official recognition will reaffirm our tradition of protecting the vulnerable and inspire us to not stand by and watch as genocide occurs in our time.
Source: Armenian Genocide Resolution (S.RES.106/H.RES.106) 2007-SR106 on Mar 14, 2007

Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, as official US policy.

Kucinich signed Affirmation of US Record on Armenian Genocide