John Kerry on Foreign Policy

Jr Senator (MA), Democratic nominee for President

No nation will ever have a veto over us

BUSH: In our first debate Kerry proposed America pass a global test. In order to defend ourselves, we'd have to get international approval. That's one of the major differences we have about defending our country. I'll work with allies. I'll work with friends. We'll continue to build strong coalitions. But I will never turn over our national- security decisions to leaders of other countries. We'll be resolute, we'll be strong, and we'll wage a comprehensive war against the terrorists.

KERRY: I have never suggested a test where we turn over our security to any nation. In fact, I've said the opposite: I will never turn the security of the US over to any nation. No nation will ever have a veto over us. But I think it makes sense that we ought to pass a sort of truth standard. That's how you gain legitimacy with your own people, and that's how you gain legitimacy in the world. But I'll never fail to protect the United States of America.

Source: [Xref Bush] Third Bush-Kerry Debate, in Tempe Arizona Oct 13, 2004

The President deceived the people with this war

BUSH: My opponent talks about foreign policy. He proposed America pass a global test. In order to defend ourselves, we'd have to get international approval. That's one of the major differences we have. We'll continue to build strong coalitions. But I will never turn over our national-security decisions to leaders of other countries.

KERRY: The most important thing to relieve the pressure is to recognize that America is strongest when we are working with real alliances, when we are sharing the burdens of the world. I believe the president broke faith to the American people in the way he took this nation to war. I think most Americans in their guts know, that we ought to pass a sort of truth standard.

Source: [Xref Bush] Third Bush-Kerry debate, in Tempe AZ Oct 13, 2004

Missouri would be the third largest country in "coalition"

BUSH: You tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Silvio Berlusconi we're going alone. Tell Alexander Kwasniewski of Poland we're going alone. We've got 30 countries there. It denigrates an alliance to say we're going alone, to discount their sacrifices. You cannot lead an alliance if you say, you know, you're going alone. And people listen. They're sacrificing with us.

KERRY: Countries are leaving the coalition, not joining. Eight countries have left it. If Missouri, just given the number of people from Missouri who are in the military over there today, were a country, it would be the third largest country in the coalition, behind Great Britain and the United States. That's not a grand coalition. Ninety percent of the casualties are American. Ninety percent of the cost is coming out of your pockets. I could do a better job. My plan does a better job. And that's why I'll be a better commander in chief.

Source: [Xref Bush] Second Bush-Kerry Debate, in St. Louis MO Oct 8, 2004

Preemptive strike must pass a global test

The president always has the right, and always has had the right, for preemptive strike. That was a great doctrine throughout the Cold War. It was always one of the things we argued about with respect to arms control. No president, though all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the US. But if and when you do it, you have to do it in a way that passes the global test where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons. Here we have our own secretary of state who has had to apologize to the world for the presentation he made to the UN. When Pres. Kennedy in the Cuban missile crisis sent his secretary of state to Paris to meet with DeGaulle to tell them about the missiles in Cuba, he said, "Here, let me show you the photos." DeGaulle waved them off and said, "No, no, no. The word of the president of the US is good enough for me."
Source: First Bush-Kerry debate, Miami FL Sep 30, 2004

Will never take my eye off the real dangerous threats

KERRY: Iran & North Korea are now more dangerous. Whether preemption is ultimately what has to happen, I don't know yet. But as president, I'll never take my eye off that ball. I've been fighting for proliferation the entire time-anti-proliferation the entire time I've been in the Congress. And we've watched Bush actually turn away from some of the treaties that were on the table. You don't help yourself with other nations when you turn away from the global warming treaty, for instance.

BUSH: My attitude is you take preemptive action in order to protect the American people, that you act in order to make this country secure. My opponent talks about me not signing certain treaties. Let me tell you one thing I didn't sign, and I think it shows the difference of our opinion-the difference of opinions. And that is, I wouldn't join the International Criminal Court. It's a body based in The Hague where unaccountable judges and prosecutors can pull our troops or diplomats up for trial.

Source: First Bush-Kerry debate, Miami FL Sep 30, 2004

Bush is sending mixed messages to South Korea

BUSH: We signed an agreement with North Korea that my administration found out that was not being honored by the North Koreans. And so I decided that a better way to approach the issue was to get other nations involved, just besides us. And China's a got a lot of influence over North Korea, some ways more than we do. As well, we included South Korea, Japan and Russia. So now there are five voices speaking to Kim Jong Il, not just one.

KERRY: We had inspectors and television cameras in the nuclear reactor in North Korea. Secretary Bill Perry negotiated that under Clinton. And we knew where the fuel rods were. And we knew the limits on their nuclear power. Colin Powell announced one day that we were going to continue the dialog of working with the North Koreans. Bush reversed it publicly while the president of South Korea was here. And the president of South Korea went back to South Korea bewildered and embarrassed because it went against his policy.

Source: [X-ref Bush] First Bush-Kerry debate, Miami FL Sep 30, 2004

Want both bilateral and multinational talks with North Korea

KERRY: I want both bilateral and multinational talks which put all of the issues, from the armistice of 1952, the economic issues, the human rights issues, the artillery disposal issues, the DMZ issues and the nuclear issues on the table.

BUSH: The minute we have bilateral talks, the six-party talks will unwind. That's exactly what Kim Jong Il wants. And by the way, the breach on the agreement was not through plutonium. The breach on the agreement is highly enriched uranium. That's what we caught him doing. That's where he was breaking the agreement. Secondly, Kerry said where he worked to put sanctions on Iran-we've already sanctioned Iran. Finally, we were a party to the convention-to working with Germany, France and Great Britain to send their foreign ministers into Iran.

KERRY: In order for the sanctions to be effective, we should have been working with the British, French and Germans and other countries. That's the difference between Bush and me. Again, Bush sort of slid by the question.

Source: First Bush-Kerry debate, Miami FL Sep 30, 2004

Take notice of political oppression in Russia

BUSH: I look forward to discussing it more with Putin, as time goes on. Russia is a country in transition. Vladimir is going to have to make some hard choices. And I think it's very important for the American president, as well as other Western leaders, to remind him of the great benefits of democracy, that democracy will best help the people realize their hopes and aspirations and dreams. And I will continue working with him over the next four years.

KERRY: I've had an extraordinary experience of watching up close and personal that transition in Russia, because I was there right after the transformation. I regret what's happened in these past months. And I think it goes beyond just the response to terror. Mr. Putin now controls all the television stations. His political opposition is being put in jail. It's very important to the US, obviously, to have a working relationship that is good. This is a very important country to us. We want a partnership. But we always have to stand up for democracy.

Source: [X-ref Bush] First Bush-Kerry debate, Miami FL Sep 30, 2004

China is involved with North Korea no matter what

BUSH: I can't tell you how big a mistake I think that is, to have bilateral talks with North Korea. It's precisely what Kim Jong Il wants. It will cause the six-party talks to evaporate. It will mean that China no longer is involved in convincing, along with us, for Kim Jong Il to get rid of his weapons. It's a big mistake to do that. We must have China's leverage on Kim Jong Il, besides ourselves. If you enter bilateral talks, they'll be happy to walk away from the table. I don't think that'll work.

KERRY: Just because Bush says it can't be done, that you'd lose China, doesn't mean it can't be done. I mean, this is Bush who said "There were weapons of mass destruction," said "Mission accomplished," said we could fight the war on the cheap -none of which were true. We could have bilateral talks with Kim Jong Il. And we can get those weapons at the same time as we get China. Because China has an interest in the outcome, too.

Source: [X-ref Bush] First Bush-Kerry debate, Miami FL Sep 30, 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: Our Plan For America, p. 8 Aug 10, 2004

American power comes from respect, not weapons

Our leaders in WWII understood that America drew its power not only from the might of weapons, but also from the trust and respect of nations around the globe. There was a time, not so long ago, when the might of our alliances was a driving force in the survival and success of freedom-in two World Wars, in the long years of the Cold War-then from the Gulf War to Bosnia & Kosovo. America led instead of going it alone. We extended a hand, not a fist. We respected the world-and the world respected us.
Source: Speech on Iraq and foreign policy, Seattle WA May 27, 2004

Bush undermines generations of American leadership

More than a century ago, Teddy Roosevelt defined American leadership in foreign policy. He said America should walk softly and carry a big stick. Time and again, this Administration has violated the fundamental tenet of Roosevelt's approach, as he described it: "If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble."

But that is precisely what this Administration has done. They looked to force before exhausting diplomacy. They bullied when they should have persuaded.

They have gone it alone when they should have assembled a team. They have hoped for the best when they should have prepared for the worst. In short, they have undermined the legacy of generations of American leadership. And that is what we must restore.

I'm running for president because, abroad as well as at home, it's time to let America be America again. By doing so, we can restore our place in the world and make America safer.

Source: Speech on Iraq and foreign policy, Seattle WA May 27, 2004

Haiti is in crisis because Bush hates Aristide

Q: What about Haiti?

KERRY: The president himself, wasn't engaged, but his administration has been. And his administration has been engaged in a very manipulative and wrongful way. This administration set up an equation. They have a theological and an ideological hatred for Aristide. They always have. And they approach this so that the insurgents were empowered by this administration, because they said to the insurgents, "Until you reach an agreement with Aristide and the government about sharing power, we're not going to provide aid and assistance." So we empowered them to simply veto any agreement, which is what they're still doing with respect to a power-sharing in another government. What this president ought to have done is to have given them an ultimatum: Either we're going to have full democracy in the region -- notwithstanding that I think Aristide has some problems -- but our engagement should have been to try to restore the democracy, to bring those people together.

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

Excluding other nations in rebuilding Iraq is dumb

Q:What about excluding France & Germany from rebuilding Iraq?

A:I can't think of anything dumber or more insulting or more inviting to the disdain and potential failure--disdain of countries and potential failure of our policy. This policy is not about Halliburton. It's about Iraq. It's about the Iraqi people. It's about America's role in the war on terror. What Bush is doing is actually putting America at greater risk, putting our soldiers at greater risk, and making the chances of success more remote.

Source: Democratic 2004 Primary Presidential Debate in Durham NH Dec 9, 2003

John Kerry on Voting Record

Supports multilateral cooperative internationalism

In contrast to the dangerous mix of isolationism and unilateralism that characterizes the Republicans, [I support] speaking from a position of strength on international issues-the multilateral cooperative tradition of democratic internationalism forged in the course of two world wars and the cold war. It acknowledges that multilateral organizations are vehicles for the promotion of our ideals and the protection of our interests around the world. And it recognizes that those ideals and interests in this globalized world are consistent with the peace, prosperity, and self-determination of every country on earth.

Democratic internationalists understand that there are times when America must challenge the UN, NATO, and our allies to stand up for their own preferred values. And they also realize that there are times when America must be challenged to live up to its values as well. America has taken a rare step in human history in arguing that its interests and the world's are one.

Source: A Call to Service, by John Kerry, p. 19-20 Oct 1, 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

Voted YES on limiting the President's power to impose economic sanctions.

To kill a proposal limiting President Clinton's ability to impose economic sanctions on foreign nations.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)53; N)46; NV)1
Reference: Motion to table the Lugar Amdt #3156.; Bill S. 2159 ; vote number 1998-201 on Jul 15, 1998

Voted NO on limiting NATO expansion to only Poland, Hungary & Czech.

This amendment would have limited NATO Expansion to only include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Status: Amdt Rejected Y)41; N)59
Reference: NATO Expansion limit-Warner Amdt. #2322; Bill NATO Expansion Treaty #105-36 ; vote number 1998-112 on Apr 30, 1998

Voted YES on $17.9 billion to IMF.

Would provide $17.9 billion for the International Monetary Fund.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)84; N)16
Reference: McConnell Amdt #2100; Bill S. 1768 ; vote number 1998-44 on Mar 26, 1998

Voted NO on Strengthening of the trade embargo against Cuba.

Strengthening of the trade embargo against Cuba.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)74; N)22; NV)4
Reference: Conference Report on H.R. 927; Bill H.R. 927 ; vote number 1996-22 on Mar 5, 1996

Voted YES on ending Vietnam embargo.

Ending U.S. trade embargos on the country of Vietnam.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)62; N)38
Reference: For. Reltns. Auth. Act FY 94 & 95; Bill S. 1281 ; vote number 1994-5 on Jan 27, 1994

Progressive Internationalism: globalize with US pre-eminence.

Kerry signed the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Build a Public Consensus Supporting US Global Leadership
The internationalist outlook that served America and the world so well during the second half of the 20th century is under attack from both ends of the political spectrum. As the left has gravitated toward protectionism, many on the right have reverted to “America First” isolationism.

Our leaders should articulate a progressive internationalism based on the new realities of the Information Age: globalization, democracy, American pre-eminence, and the rise of a new array of threats ranging from regional and ethnic conflicts to the spread of missiles and biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. This approach recognizes the need to revamp, while continuing to rely on, multilateral alliances that advance U.S. values and interests.

A strong, technologically superior defense is the foundation for US global leadership. Yet the US continues to employ defense strategies, military missions, and force structures left over from the Cold War, creating a defense establishment that is ill-prepared to meet new threats to our security. The US must speed up the “revolution in military affairs” that uses our technological advantage to project force in many different contingencies involving uncertain and rapidly changing security threats -- including terrorism and information warfare.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC12 on Aug 1, 2000

Multi-year commitment to Africa for food & medicine.

Kerry sponsored the Hunger to Harvest bill:

    In an effort to reduce hunger in sub-Saharan Africa, urges the President to:

  1. set forth five-year and ten-year strategies to achieve a reversal of current levels of hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, including a commitment to contribute an appropriate U.S. share of increased bilateral and multilateral poverty-focused resources for sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on health (including HIV-AIDS prevention and treatment), education, agriculture, private sector and free market development, democratic institutions and the rule of law, micro-finance development, and debt relief; and

  2. work with the heads of other donor countries and sub-Saharan African countries and with private and voluntary organizations and other civic organizations to implement such strategies; and calls for

  3. Congress to undertake a multi-year commitment to provide the resources to implement those strategies; and

  4. the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development to report on such implementation.
Source: House Resolution Sponsorship 01-HCR102 on Apr 4, 2001

Monitor human rights in Uganada-Sudan crisis.

Kerry sponsored the Northern Uganda Crisis Response Act

    Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should:
  1. support efforts for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in northern and eastern Uganda;
  2. work with the Government of Uganda and the international community to make available sufficient resources to meet the relief and development needs of the towns and cities that are supporting large numbers of displaced people;
  3. urge the leaders and members of the Lord's Resistance Army to stop the abduction of children, and urge all armed forces in Uganda to stop the use of child soldiers, and seek the release of all individuals who have been abducted;
  4. urge the Government of Uganda to improve the professionalism of Ugandan military personnel currently stationed in northern and eastern Uganda, with an emphasis on respect for human rights and civilian protection;
  5. work with the international community to assist and increase the capacity of Ugandan civil institutions to monitor the human rights situation in northern Uganda;
  6. make clear that the relationship between Sudan and the United States cannot improve unless no credible evidence indicates that authorities of the Government of Sudan are providing support to the Lord's Resistance Army.
Became Public Law No: 108-283.
Source: Bill sponsored by 9 Senators 04-S2264 on Mar 31, 2004

Other candidates on Foreign Policy: John Kerry on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts