Kerry Faces the World
July 5, 2004 10:07 PM   Subscribe

This month, in The Atlantic Monthly, Talking Points Memo's Joshua Micah Marshall writes an interesting article discussing the potential aspects of Kerry's foreign policy. The article itself is thought-provoking and erudite, and of equal if not more interest is the 3-part interview with Senator Joseph Biden (D) of Delaware, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Part One is here, with Parts Two and Three to be released later this week. Biden speaks about foreign policy in an overbearing, yet refreshingly intelligent, articulate, analytical manner.
posted by lazaruslong (2 comments total)
From the interview (emphasis added):

I think John Kerry --- I know John Kerry personally --- and I think the Democratic party generically in a new administration would be a party that was, a government that was, something along the lines that I've been arguing for, which is to have an enlightened nationalism --- to realize that force is a legitimate tool in the toolbox and able to be exercised under a series of circumstances short of all out invasion [on the part] of the United States …

So that I think that what you see is emerging, is that the world has changed, is that a Kerry administration would reflect a willingness to use force unilaterally if one of several conditions pertained: One, international conventions were being violated; they affected American interests; and the international community would not step up to the ball.

- - - -

It's not preemption. It is a new standard for when you basically forfeit your sovereignty as a nation-state. You cannot claim to be a civilized nation if you're engaged in genocide. So, every place with genocide should we intervene? No There has to be the practical capacity to do so. But where the two exist, I think you see the Kerry administration exercise power like the administration of President Clinton did in the 7th year of his [presidency]

- - -

so there's kind of a new standard that has emerged, that I think is the combination of what I refer to as this enlightened nationalism, that we operate in our national interests in every circumstance where we can under the umbrella of international rules and the international community. But where the damage and danger is irrefutable, we reserve the right to act in our own interest or in the interest of humanity, if we have the capacity. And that is a different standard than existed for the first 27 years I was a United States senator.

posted by lazaruslong at 10:14 PM on July 5, 2004

From the article in Atlantic Monthly:

Democratic foreign-policy hands tend to be less ideologically driven than Republican ones. Their strengths lean toward technocratic expertise and procedural competence rather than theories and grand visions. This lack of partisan edge is best illustrated by the fact that two of Kerry’s top advisers served on Bush’s National Security Council staff as recently as last year (Beers as senior director for counterterrorism, and Flynt Leverett as senior director for Middle East initiatives). The team that advised candidate Bush in 1999 and 2000–the so-called “Vulcans"–was practically the mirror opposite of the Kerry team. Though all its members had served at least one stint in government, most had held political appointments rather than working for decades in the security bureaucracy, as Beers did. And whereas Kerry’s team is the embodiment of the nation’s professional national-security apparatus, key members of Bush’s team, such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, had spent entire careers trying to overthrow it.

trharlan: When compared to pretty much anyone I see in the current administration's talking head box, it seems as if it is very difficult indeed.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:24 PM on July 5, 2004

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