State of Illinois Archives: on Foreign Policy

Mark Curran: Some Islamic nations not ripe for democracy

The United States attempts to promote democracy around the world have failed. The United States has spent too much money and lost too many lives from war. Some Islamic Nations are not ripe for democracy because of their interpretation of the Koran. The best way for the United States to spread democracy around the world is by being a good example. As Ronald Reagan described "a shining city on a hill" illustrating the marvels of capitalism, democratic elections and a pluralistic society.
Source: Chicago Sun Times on 2020 Illinois Senate race Jan 22, 2020

Chris Kennedy: Borrow the best ideas from around the world

We are living in global times; we can borrow ideas from our neighbors across the world. We have the mantle of leadership, and it is our duty to continue the idea of the Great American Experiment--the notion that we can create a better city and state by adopting the best ideas from every country around the world. The world continues to look to us, and we have a chance to show them the way by simply embracing their best ideas.
Source: 2018 Gubernatorial campaign website, Jan 31, 2017

Raja Krishnamoorthi: Promote our exceptional standing with active diplomacy

As we protect and promote our own American interests, Raja believes we must also remember to protect and promote our exceptional standing among nations as a beacon of hope, opportunity, and personal liberty throughout the world. This means engaging in active diplomacy-- both to strengthen our longstanding alliances and to search for areas of potential agreement with those nations whose interests conflict with ours.

The United States must remain engaged on a global scale by contributing to military operations aimed at destroying ISIS and other terrorist organizations. U.S. soldiers should not be leading those operations, but rather supporting the efforts of those who live in the region through training, logistical help and coordinated air strikes.

Source: 2016 Illinois House campaign website Nov 8, 2016

Napoleon Harris: Shift focus of foreign aid from Mideast back to the Americas

In responding to reporters' questions about international events, Harris at times appeared ill-prepared. While his campaign issued a handout in which Harris voiced support for "shifting the focus of our foreign aid from the Middle East back to the Americas," the candidate did not directly respond to a question about how that position would affect U.S. aid to Israel.

"Right now, we're still developing all of our policies in regards to foreign policy. But I think what's important is to realize we have a lot of work to do at home, and the intent is to make sure that first we take care of home and our neighboring countries," he said.

When asked about Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's Monday call to temporarily stop accepting Syrian refugees in Illinois, Harris said, "I haven't heard about Gov. Rauner's comments on that" and said the governor should "get a balanced budget."

Source: Chicago Tribune on 2016 Illinois Senate race Sep 9, 2015

Jim Oberweis: Obama's results are ok, but too often he does nothing

Oberweis clarified his stance on President Obama's foreign policy: "I think where we are today, we've gotten there in some very strange ways," Oberweis said. "This president has been too willing to draw a line in the sand, and then people cross over it and he does nothing."

"While I am satisfied where we have gotten, how we have gotten here is not too good."

Source: WUIS 91.9 FM on 2014 Illinois GOP Senate primary debate Mar 3, 2014

Doug Truax: End Obama's "lead from behind" approach to foreign policy

Truax emerged [from his debate with Jim Oberweis] as the candidate more closely aligned with the tea party. He blasted President Barack Obama for a "leadership from behind" approach to foreign policy, asserted that the president could not be trusted to implement comprehensive immigration reform and said he would have opposed the bipartisan two-year budget compromise late last year that staved off another government shutdown.

"We need principled leadership, not just somebody who's going to go to Washington, D.C., and just toe the line and get along," Truax said. "We've got to have people who stand up and say this is the wrong thing and I'm not going to vote for it."

Trua Obama showed weakness on the world stage, particularly in declining to establish a no-fly zone over Syria. "All this weakness leads to conflict down the road, and I think it's dangerous," Truax said.

Source: Chicago Tribune on 2014 Illinois GOP Senate primary debate Feb 11, 2014

Richard Durbin: Ukraine should ally with European Union, not former Soviets

Q: Should the US be involved in this situation in Kiev?

DURBIN: Ukraine has been in a struggle internally since the fall of the Soviet Union. There are ethnic, cultural and religious connections with Russia and Moscow. And then there are those in Ukraine looking to the West for their future. Yanukovych is caught in the middle. And at this point, he has to decide. What Putin has offered him is an alliance with Belarus, which is ruled by the last dictator in Europe, Lukashenko, and Kazakhstan. The alternative is an alliance with the European Union. It's fairly clear to all of us in the West where the future lies. And I certainly hope the people in the streets of Kiev will get the message clearly through to Yanukovych.

Source: Face the Nation 2013 interview: 2014 Illinois Senate race Dec 15, 2013

Jim Oberweis: To understand China, read the 5-year plans

Q: In China, how do you know what the political winds are? Somebody connected today could be on the outs tomorrow.

Oberweis: That's true. Although it tends to move slowly. What we look for is--read the five year plans. In the 2012 five year plan, we see money being funded for environmental cleanups, so we're investing in companies that clean up waste water. It isn't rocket science, it just requires some detail thinking. For most of the companies we're investing in, they're needles in haystacks. They're unlikely to--

Q: Get the wrath of the government?

Oberweis: Yeah, exactly. It tends to be more in some of the larger companies, where it is a little bit more important. They're also entrepreneurially owned, which helps to eliminate some of the political influence. If I was investing in a bank in China, I would be concerned because if the government says, "Loan," you loan. There's no opportunity to take shareholder value as a reason to disobey the government.

Source: Forbes Magazine interview on 2014 Illinois Senate race Jan 5, 2012

Alexi Giannoulias: Remain unwavering partner with Israel in shared struggle

Our first commitment in the Middle East must be the security of Israel, our strongest ally in the region. Our governments are similarly based on beliefs in democracy and freedom--values that continue to be threatened by extremism and hate. The US and Israel must remain unwavering partners in the shared struggle against terrorism and violence.

The United States must actively support Israel in our shared goal of creating peace with its Arab neighbors. Alexi supports a two-state solution, with the Jewish State of Israel and a moderate Palestinian State living side-by-side in peace. These efforts are crucial to securing Israel's safety and provide an important step towards diffusing radicalism in the Middle East. The international communit should continue to isolate Hamas while supporting moderate Palestinian leadership.

Alexi supports foreign aid to Israel and will fight for the requisite appropriations defined in the Memorandum of Understanding agreed upon by the US and Israel.

Source: 2010 Senate campaign website,, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

Alexi Giannoulias: Reunify Cyprus; bring religious freedom to Istanbul

To further stability in Southeastern Europe, Alexi believes that the U.S. must encourage (a) an end to the 35 year Turkish occupation of Cyprus and its reunification as a bi-zonal, bicommunal federation; (b) the restoration of full religious freedom and legal rights to the Ecumenical Patriarchate--the home of the world's second largest Christian church--in Istanbul, Turkey; and (c) advances in Greco-Turkish relations and the relationship between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website,, "Issues" Dec 25, 2009

Alan Keyes: Work with indigenous elements in Iran

In order to defend Americans from death, you do what you have to do. In the meantime, you take advantage of those mechanisms that will allow you to address the problem without necessarily committing the nation to war. And that includes, by the way, a strategy that will work with indigenous elements in Iran in order to promote an alternative to the government there that would be more compatible with international and regional peace and security, more respectful of human rights.
Source: IL Senate Debate, Illinois Radio Network Oct 12, 2004

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