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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 09:09 AM
Original message
Sell me your candidate on Foreign Relations.
That's it--define it as broadly as you want. I'm a citizen of the world and what happens over there matters to me.

So sell me on your candidate's skills/experience/wisdom. Bonus points for NOT slamming, even naming, another candidate's name in your reply.

Your candidate needs my undecided vote and there's hundreds more like me on DU and millions more elsewhere.

Sharpen your skills--touch gloves and come out debating. Foreign Relations.


(Let's see how fast this one sinks--it's no fun to play fair, but that's what your candidate has to do to get my vote.)
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jean627 Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. My candidate, Joe Biden
said that if Bush tries to attack Iran, that he, Joe Biden, will move for IMPEACHMENT!!
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. All 8 of our candidates would replace Condoleezza Rice with an effective
and respectable Secretary of State.

For me, that's a huge one right there. The woman is a disgrace. We need a return to respectful, effective diplomacy.

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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. I stepped on an ant yesterday that would be more qualified than Rice
Let's here it for smushed insects for Secretary of State

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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. No argument from me on that one, LynneSin.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. Even if I'm not happy with the candidate we may choose,
I'll be happy with the vast improvement in the Cabinet and SCOTUS.

That alone gives me hope.
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mac2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. Is there anything the Neo Con\Republicans can do right
let alone foreign relations?
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
4. Shared Security Through Shared Prosperity
Obama, who I've sort of settled on, seems to feel strongly that we'll all get along much better if we all share in prosperity. And, that open dialog is important.

That seems fundamentally correct. Look at Germany and Japan after WWII. I'm sure they hated us with all of their hearts at the times they surrendered. But we did good deeds, helped them prosper, and now they are friends and good citizens in the world community.
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Steely_Dan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
5. Just Based On Experience...
There is little doubt that Joe Biden possesses the most extensive experience in Foreign Affairs. He is well respected by leaders world-wide. They have even called him first before Bush when issues would come up. I am of the opinion that the most important priority we face as a nation is in the arena of Foreign Affairs. I cannot imagine another candidate with the depth of background that Biden has. We are a member of the global community and this president has made us out to be the bully in the neighborhood. Joe Biden is the most qualified to repair the extensive damage done by this administration.

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1corona4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
6. Well, here is what I said on my topic...I think he sells himself.
Seriously. Given that Joe Biden already has the respect of leaders around the world, IF he were to be the nominee, and IF he became the president, think how much faster we could get our credibility and reputaion back. I mean, think about it. Does anyone not think that these leaders of the rest of the world, wouldn't say to the people of their countries; "this is a man we can trust"..

I think they all would. Which would expedite mending/repairing our relationships around the world. They all know him well. They all know he is of upstanding moral fiber. They know he's a man of his word. I think this is a very important asset Joe has over all of the other candidates.

Just my thoughts on it....

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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
7. A nation among nations, not a nation above nations...

All the other politician went to Israel after the summer of '06, one person went to Lebanon in addition to Israel. Unless a candidate sees all people as having value, rights and worth it will be hard to dictate what they should do or not do. You cannot try and broker peace if you begin with a biased position.

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LynneSin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
9. With no disrespect to the other candidates - none of them can touch Biden
and it's only because Biden has been doing foreign affair work longer than the rest of them combined.

Mind you, Bill Clinton had no experience in foreign relations and excelled at it as President. I think if a candidate comes in with an open mind, diplomacy, the willingless to be open to others and surround themselves with knowledge people - any of the 8 candidates could excel at Foreign Relations. Clearly Bush did none of these things since obviously the asshole refuses to keep an open mind, not open to others has no diplomacy and surrounded by nut jobs and warmongers.

But overall experience is Joe Biden in a nutshell. This man already has the respect of world leaders around this globe and knows foreign policy better than just about anyone else in DC regardless of political party.
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MethuenProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
10. Bill Richardson: "First and Foremost, We Must Repair Our Alliances"
Edited on Wed Dec-05-07 10:21 AM by MethuenProgressive
A New Realism in Foreign Policy
This administrations lack of realism has led us to a dangerous place. We need to take a different path. A path based on reality, not unilateralist illusions. A path that understands that the gravest dangers that threaten us today do not threaten only us and that therefore to pursue our national interest and meet these challenges we must work with our friends, our enemies, and everyone in between. This is a path not of hard words, but of hard work. A path of moral strength, not pious judgments. A path of strong diplomacy, backed up by a strong military and strong alliances. This is the path of American leadership.

First and Foremost, We Must Repair Our Alliances
This means restoring respect and appreciation for our allies, and for the democratic values which unite us.

Renew Our Commitment to International Law and Multilateral Cooperation
This means expanding the Security Council to reflect international realities, and it means ethical reform at the UN, so that this vital institution can meet the challenges of the 21st century. It means more third world debt relief, and a World Bank focused on poverty-reduction. It means shifting aid from loans to grants for the poorest countries. It means reviving the Doha round of trade talks and seeking agreements which seriously address wage disparities, worker rights, and the environment. It means more resources for the IMF, so that it can protect the international economy from financial panics and shocks. And it means respecting the Geneva Conventions and joining the International Criminal Court.

Lead Global Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
We must join the Kyoto protocol on global warming, and then go well beyond it. We must lead the world with a man-on-the-moon effort to improve efficiency and to commercialize clean, alternative technologies. We must cut our fossil fuel consumption dramatically and rapidly, and get others, including China and India, to follow us to a sustainable energy future.

Use Tough, Patient Diplomacy
We need to stop treating diplomatic engagement with others like a reward for good behavior. The Bush administrations refusal to engage obnoxious regimes has only encouraged and strengthened these nations' paranoid and hard-line tendencies. The futility of this policy is most tragically obvious in regard to Iran and North Korea, who responded to Washingtons snubs and threats with intensification of their nuclear programs.

Focus on the Real Security Threats, From Which Iraq Has So Dangerously Diverted Our Attention
We must do the hard work to build strong coalitions to fight terrorists and to stop nuclear proliferation. Most urgently, we need to lock down ALL of the worlds fissionable material. Quickly. Before terrorists get their hands on a nuclear bomb. To accomplish this, we must increase funding for the Nunn-Lugar program to secure former Soviet nuclear weapons. And we must work aggressively with our Pakistani allies to make sure that, no matter what happens in the future, Pakistans nuclear arsenal cannot fall into the hands of Jihadists.

Click here for "A Grand Strategy on Terrorism"

Pay attention to the Americas
To our own back yard. Illegal trafficking of drugs and persons across the Mexican border threaten our national security. We need both better border security and comprehensive immigration reform reform that provides for a guest worker program with a realistic and earned path to legalization. And we must abandon this notion of building a fence along the border. No fence ever built has stopped history and this one wouldnt either. It just wont work. Lets use that money for real border enforcement -- and I have proposed doubling the number of border guards to do just that.

Lead the global fight against poverty which is the basis of so much violence
We must promote equitable trade agreements, to create more jobs in all countries. And through our example and our diplomacy we must encourage all rich countries honor their UN Millennium goal commitments. A Commission on Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, composed of world leaders and prominent experts, should be created to recommend ways of meeting Millennium commitments.
specifics on his promise to get us out of Iraq by 2009:
We need Bill Richardson.
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MethuenProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
11. Holy crap - this has been up over an hour with no recs??
Here's rec #1, blondeatlast
and :kick:
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MethuenProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
14. kick
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
15. Interesting whose supporters HAVEN'T responded.
Mostly, I like what you are all showing me, but the silence from some is troubling...
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
16. C;mon, DUers--this is the stuff that actually matters...
So far, one is clearly leading with some decent contenders.

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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
17. Kick before I have to leave for awhile. nt
Edited on Wed Dec-05-07 01:42 PM by blondeatlast
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 06:11 PM
Response to Original message
18. Kick for the swing shift--still waiting for reports from some of you... nt
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seasat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
19. Richardson has the experience, skills, and policy that is best for Foreign relations.
Edited on Wed Dec-05-07 07:13 PM by seasat
This CS Monitor article details his approach to negotiations and gives some background on his life with quotes from those that worked with him.

His skills in negotiation and his experience as UN ambassador and diplomat will help repair the damage to our foreign relations caused by the current administration. He has served as the Organization of American States special envoy on immigration. He has expertise he can bring to solving immigration issues between Mexico and the US. He has a Master's degree in international relations from Tuft's university, has taught on the subject at Harvard's School of Government, and has published foreign policy papers in the Harvard Review. Richardson has the academic background preparing him for work on foreign relations. Bill Richardson grew up speaking both English and Spanish. He also is fluent in French. He can communicate with foreign leaders in South America in their native tongue.

Here's a story about how he negotiates from the CS Monitor article above.

When he returned later, Hussein learned that Richardson had asked to go to Mass with Mr. Aziz, also a Catholic.

"I understand the Mass is much longer in this country," the congressman said.

"Saddam said, 'That's because you Americans don't confess all your sins,' " recalled Humphrey in a phone interview. "Without missing a beat, Richardson replied, 'Mr. President, I thought it was because you Iraqis have so much more to confess.' "

The quick-witted retort actually made Hussein smile. "He obviously had been testing Richardson," Humphrey says. "That kind of broke the ice.... The look was like, 'You got me on that.' " By the end of the discussion, Hussein agreed to release the two American prisoners.

Here's his rules for negotiating that he outlines in his book, "Between Worlds":

  • Politics and diplomacy are team sports. Acknowledge it.
  • Be discreet and don't volunteer too much information.
  • Your style can be informal, but you must show proper respect.
  • Remember who your friends were when things weren't going so well.
  • Aim big. Always try to achieve more than you have to.
  • When you're about to make a major change, cover your bases.
  • It helps to be in good shape. You never know when you're going to be called to the negotiating table.
  • Deliver a strong message with dignity and without insults.
  • Never lie when negotiating, because lies catch up with you. Be direct.
  • Use the media if you need to, but keep your negotiations private.
  • Have others deliver bad news; it keeps you viable as a future negotiator.
  • In most meetings, the law of diminishing returns kicks in after five minutes.

In addition to the speeches linked by MethuenProgressive, Richardson has a fantastic policy proposal on global sustainability. Here are his major points:

  • Create a partnership with the UN, nonprofits, and the private sector to address these problems
  • Meet our UN Millennium goal commitments
  • International commission of experts on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals
  • US lead on international debt relief, shift loans to grants, and depoliticize the World Bank
  • US lead in primary health care and vaccines for devloping countries
  • Microcredit in developing countries
  • Promote education in developing countries
  • Double development assistance to 2% of US budget
  • Support goals of the One Campaign
  • Clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction
  • Prepare to aid displacement of folks due to climate change
  • Cost effective methods for harvesting fresh water and restoring polluted waterways
  • Promote reforestation
  • Develop crops resistant to heat and drought for regions affected by global warming
  • International treaties to prevent over fishing and species loss
  • Fight cross border crime
  • Combat all forms of smuggling
  • Combat human trafficking.

I posted yesterday on his policy regarding Iran where he denounces "saber rattling" and calls for negotiations without preconditions.

Here's his policy speech on Latin America. He focuses on ways that we can build better relationships with them. Richardson makes the point that we can't talk seriously to some of these countries about human rights until we improve our own by closing Guantanamo and secret prisons.

Finally last, but certainly not least, he calls for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq leaving no residual forces in less than a year. He'd use the leverage of our withdrawal to force the Iraq government to forge a political settlement with all the factions. He'd replace US forces with a majority Muslim international peace keeping force.

Added on edit: I left off his policy speech on Asia. He discusses how we need to include environmental, human rights, and labor protections in our trade agreement. Richardson also talks about how to deal with the growth of China. It's a pretty good wonky speech.
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
20. Some points for Barack Obama
Edited on Wed Dec-05-07 07:21 PM by zulchzulu
Note that he's on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Homeland Security Committee, the Veterans Affairs Committee and has been to the Iraq region, Palestine/Israel, Europe, Asia and many parts of Africa.

Here are some critical points about how he would conduct foreign policy:

Senator Obama believes that candidates for President owe it to the American people to say what they think about the fundamental challenges we face in this country. And he also believes that our policies are stronger when they benefit from the input, values and commonsense of the American people. Thats why a few days ago in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Obama discussed his foreign policy vision with voters and some of his top advisors in an open, participatory format.

Barack Obama believes that leadership means being open and honest with the American people about the challenges we face, and how were going to meet them. We know what happens when old Washington hands like Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld say, trust us, we know what were doing. From going to war with Iraq to saber rattling at Iran, their experience has not led to good judgment.

Barack Obama opposed the war in Iraq and has a clear plan to end it; and he opposed the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that opened the door to an attack on Iran, and has a plan to pursue tough and direct diplomacy with Iran. In this election, the American people will have to look at all of the candidates for President and ask who is offering clear answers and clear direction about how to turn the page. Because when you elect our next President, you will choose someone to make those judgments on Iraq, and Iran and how to restore Americas standing and you have to be able to trust that he or she has the judgment to lead.

When Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, his Republican opponent will not be able to say that he voted for the war in Iraq; or that he gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that he supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don't like. And his opponent will not be able to say that he wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is ok for America to torture - because it is never ok.

Senator Obamas smart, tough, and principled foreign policy vision is being supported by leading foreign policy and national security experts, including scholars like Pulitzer Prize-winner Samantha Power; retired Generals like Tony McPeak; former Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski; and former top officials in the Clinton administration like Tony Lake, Susan Rice, and Richard Danzig. Senator Obama is building such strong support among experts because hes the one candidate with the judgment and courage to turn the page on the Bush-Cheney foreign policy.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
21. Still waiting for a report from the Clinton Study Group. The Obama group
just managed to eke it in under the wire--Clinton fans--you are ahead so she must have something to offer on the issue, yes?
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