The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, April 26, 2004

Kerry foreign policy. Anyone?

To recap: the Plawg has kinda-sorta endorsed Kerry on the basis that
  1. his victory would punish a president who waged pre-emptive war (my overwhelming priority for the election); and

  2. Bush, in his person or policies, offers no countervailing reasons not to punish him for waging such war: he flunked affirmative action, has the fiscal discipline of a Big Government liberal and has toxic social policies (on abortion and censorship, to name but two).

In this reasoning, Kerry's positive attributes don't really play much of a role: he's the only Not-Bush with the possibility of becoming president, so beggars can't be choosers.

However, curiosity leads me to consider just what he might do if elected - first of all, in the field of foreign policy.

One or two initial thoughts:

I'm not clear there is any equivalent in the development of Kerry's foreign policy to the September 2000 PNAC paper which foreshadowed Bush's National Security Strategy and much else.

As to Kerry's own positions, my initial impression, having started to look out stuff on the subject, is that, on substantive policy, he's pretty close to Bush, except that he has the temperament and inclination to play the diplomatic game [1].

On Israel, as I noted on April 21, he falls in with Bush's unexpected generosity to Sharon without batting an eyelid.

I looked on April 4 at the foreign policy page of Kerry's website . I wasn't impressed then; and the page seems to have been embalmed in its then state. (No mention of that Israel thing, for instance.)

Kerry's foreign policy is evidently developing (to coin a phrase). My understanding of it certainly is!

  1. His OnTheIssues page on foreign policy; left-wingers fearing Kerry as business as usual in the area here, based as much on the advisers he's chosen as on policy pronouncements he's made: here and here; a questionnaire from Peace Action asks about Kerry's views on pre-emptive war: He didn't say yes, he didn't say no...

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