Liz Cheney on Foreign Policy



1988: Nobody listens to divestment protests on apartheid

In a 1988 op-ed for her college newspaper, Liz Cheney had a stern message for anti-apartheid activists campaigning for freedom in South Africa: "frankly, nobody's listening." Cheney has not spoken publicly on Mandela since his death last week.

In the 1980s, when Cheney was attending Colorado College, a campus group called the Colorado College Community Against Apartheid led regular demonstrations to push the college to adopt a policy of divestment--an economic protest in which the college would agree not to invest in companies that had business interests in South Africa. The group, as did protesters on other campuses, constructed a "shanty town" on the quad, and it organized an on-stage demonstration at the school's 1987 graduation ceremony. That year's commencement speaker: Liz Cheney's mother, Lynne.

Ultimately, Cheney's argument won out on her campus. Colorado College was not one of the 167 American educational institutions to divest its financial resources from South Africa in the 1980s.

Source: Mother Jones magazine on 2014 Wyoming Senate race , Dec 10, 2013

1988: Help South African blacks, but not by empty protests

In her 1988 op-ed in the Colorado College Catalyst student newspaper, Liz Cheney referred to the white South African regime as a "racist government" that had "oppressed South African blacks." But she argued against punitive economic action--and dismissed the entire divestment movement. "South Africa is indeed a moral cesspool," she wrote. But divestment, she argued, would amount to an empty gesture: "It is fulfilling to express our moral outrage, but no responsible person would do so at the expense of the thousands of black workers employed in US firms in South Africa."

"We can choose to make ourselves feel better by proclaiming our outrage and walking away or we can take the more difficult route of committing ourselves to bringing down the pillars of Apartheid by providing jobs, education and training for South African blacks," she wrote.

The African National Congress and their supporters around the world backed divestment as a means to bring about the end of the apartheid regime.

Source: Mother Jones magazine on 2014 Wyoming Senate race , Dec 10, 2013

Isolationism is a mistake; ignoring threats is dangerous

Q: The Republican Party is turning away from the brand of foreign policy that you and your father have long espoused. Is that a danger for the Republican Party?

A: I think that yes, it is dangerous. I think isolationism is a mistake, no matter what party you see it in. We have to remember that there are two threats to our freedom: there's a threat that comes from the federal government, from the Obama Administration policies, but there's also a huge and significant threat from al-Qaeda. The war on terror is still underway. Al-Qaeda is stronger today than it's been in many years. We have to be able to protect our freedom from both of those threats.

Source: Time Magazine interview on 2014 Wyoming Senate race , Nov 21, 2013

Individuals are calling for reform across the Mideast

There is something very real and historic and significant happening across the region in terms of individuals calling for reform, calling for change, calling for the ability to have more of a voice in determining their own destiny.

In Egypt, the presidential elections--as imperfect as they were, the spell is broken. And I think that that encapsulates a lot of what you're seeing across the region. The curtain of fear is lifting. It is a process that will be difficult. It's a process that may take a long time. But in many ways, once people begin to have a voice and once people recognize that they can demand that voice, it becomes much harder for governments who want to silence them to use the traditional tools to do that. And when they know that the world is watching, it holds those governments to account in a way that they may not have been held to account before.

Source: Briefing at Forum for the Future in Manama, Bahrain , Nov 11, 2005

Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Egypt; cannot get elected

Q: I wonder about religious groups like Muslim Brotherhood running for the election with big number of candidates. What if they won a majority? Will you accept to deal with religious groups in the Middle East if they accepted the rules of democracy?

A: I would just say that the Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Egypt, as you know, and I think it's very important, both with the Muslim Brotherhood and with other Islamist groups to ask the question of whether they would protect the rights of others if they were elected. And in many countries today it is the Islamist groups who are most well organized as opposition groups and that reflects a problem for the people in those countries. It reflects the fact that they don't have a full choice. I don't believe that if people had a truly free and fair and open system, they would choose extremists. I don't think people in the Middle East would choose to be ruled by extremists. I don't think people anywhere would choose that.

Source: Briefing at Forum for the Future in Manama, Bahrain , Nov 11, 2005

Support Arab Spring, but set some standard red lines

President Bush has put the US on the side of people fighting for democracy in the Arab world. But it isn't a situation where the US is setting the agenda or timetable.

It's important to look at Islamists as we would other political parties. There are some standard red lines that the international community applies to political groups. Groups that use violence or advocate the use of violence clearly put themselves outside democratic political processes, whether they're Islamist or not.

Regarding non-violent Islamist groups, it's important to look at their platforms and what they would be likely to do once elected. You can't lump all Islamist groups together. Would they respect the rights of others, including women, minorities, and non-Muslims? I don't see it as Islamist versus secular parties, but rather of applying standard guidelines and rules about securing a democracy and making sure that violence isn't part of the political process.

Source: State Dept. Interview with Carnegie Endowment , Apr 25, 2005

Vast majority of people in the Arab world are not extremists

Q: Some groups, for example, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, have not been involved in violence in many years and have said they would respect a democratic process, yet they remain illegal.

A: For a long time in many countries, the only two voices that have been heard have been the government or extremist groups. I am confident that the vast majority of people in the Arab world, as everywhere, are not extremists. What's important is to open up these systems so that other voices can be heard and people have a real choice to make. People need to have access to media and an ability to campaign and get their messages out. It's very difficult to judge the true strength of these groups in the current environment.

Source: State Dept. Interview with Carnegie Endowment , Apr 25, 2005

Address Palestinian reform before Palestinian state exists

Q: The United States in recent years has put more emphasis on Palestinian reform than on restarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Is it possible to reform a Palestinian state that does not yet exist?

A: It's very possible and very important to do. The most effective time to address issues such as corruption and transparency, for example, is while the institutions of a state are being developed. Polls show that Palestinians want a judicial system that will set the rules of the game and protect the participants. We've seen ministers dedicated to doing that. The President has said that the Palestinian people need to be represented by a government that serves them well and lives up to the standards they deserve. Obviously reform has to include security issues as well to guarantee the safety of the state of Israel. You cannot talk about the establishment of a Palestinian state, or two states living side by side in peace and security, without the necessary reforms.

Source: State Dept. Interview with Carnegie Endowment , Apr 25, 2005

Cut World Bank funding to enforce against terrorism.

Cheney voted YEA The World Bank Accountability Act

Congressional Summary: HR 3326: World Bank Accountability Act: Requires withholding 15% of appropriation if countries borrowing from the World Bank's International Development Association are not implementing the UN Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on North Korea. Withholds an additional 15% if the World Bank approved a loan to a country designated by the US as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Statement in support by Rep. French Hill (R-AR-2): The World Bank's extravagant and unaccountable spending practices have been in conflict with the values of Americans for far too long. This bill helps put an end to sending hard-earned American dollars to despots and corrupt regimes. [We should instead] see these funds used how they were truly intended, which is to help lift individuals out of poverty and put them on the pathway to success.

Statement in opposition by IssueVoter.org: Opponents say that withholding funds may undercut the credibility and leverage the World Bank has to get reforms enacted and implemented. "America's leadership at the World Bank is 'one of the major tools in our soft power arsenal'". If the U.S. cuts obligations too much, it will cede that power.

Statement in opposition by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA-6) on Medium.comJan 22, 2018: H.R. 3326 is taking a hammer approach to a multilateral organization that provides support for millions of people in the world's most impoverished countries. It is also concerning that this legislation is being considered at a time when the Trump Administration is actively seeking to back away from any and all international organizations. Additionally, the World Bank is already implementing a series of reforms.

Legislative outcome: Jan. 17, 2018 House Bill Passed 237-184 (Roll no. 24); bill died in Senate committee.

Source: Congressional vote 17-HR3326 on Jul 20, 2017

Voted YES to monitor forced Uyghur labor in Xinjiang.

Cheney voted YEA Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

Legislative summary: The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act: