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More headlines: George W. Bush on Foreign Policy

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


America must keep its word

In Afghanistan, terrorists have done everything they can to intimidate people yet more than 10 million citizens have registered to vote in the October presidential election a resounding endorsement of democracy. Despite ongoing acts of violence, Iraq now has a strong Prime Minister, a national council, and national elections are scheduled for January. Our Nation is standing with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, because when America gives its word, America must keep its word.
Source: 2004 Republican Convention Acceptance Speech Sep 2, 2004

Bush says get out of Haiti; we’re already out

Bush said we should pull our troops out of Haiti, but there are not a lot of troops in Haiti--a scant 34 soldiers by the Pentagon’s last count. He called Nigeria an important “continent.” And he may have created a minor international incident by accusing former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin of pocketing IMF loans, without any solid evidence. Gore let it go, but Chernomyrdin didn’t. He warned that “Mr. Bush Jr. should be getting ready for a trial.”
Source: Time, p. 62, “Double Standard” at Wake Forest debate Oct 19, 2000

Calls on Arafat to pull back and make peace with Israel

Q: What is the U.S. role in the Mideast conflict?

BUSH: I think during the campaign, particularly now during this difficult period, we ought to be speaking with one voice. I appreciate the way the administration has worked hard to calm the tensions. I call on Chairman Arafat to have his people pull back to make the peace. I think credibility is going to be very important in the Middle East. I want everybody to know, Israel’s going to be our friend. I’m going to stand by Israel. Credibility is formed by being strong with your friends and resolute in your determination. It’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important for this nation to develop an anti-ballistic missile system that we can share with our allies in the Middle East, if need be, to keep the peace. To be able to say to the Saddam Husseins of the world or the Iranians, don’t dare threaten our friends. It’s also important to keep strong ties in the Middle East because of the energy crisis we’re in.

Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000

Rwandan genocide: Training troops OK; intervening not OK

Q: What about Rwanda, where 600,000 people died in 1994. Was that a mistake not to intervene?

BUSH: I think the administration did the right thing in that case. I do. It was a horrible situation. No one liked to see it on our TV screens, but it’s a case where we need to make sure we’ve got an early warning system in places where there could be a ethnic cleansing and genocide the way we saw it there in Rwanda. And that’s a case were we need to use our influence to have countries in Africa come together and help deal with the situation. The administration made the right decision on training Nigerian troops for situations just such as this in Rwanda. And so I thought they made the right decision not to send U.S. troops into Rwanda.

Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000

Keep tradition of showing opposition to Castro

George W. Bush says he would have tried to avoid a handshake with Cuban President Fidel Castro, unlike President Clinton at a United Nations summit last week. “It broke a long tradition of signaling opposition to Castro. It’s just a tradition. The president did what he did. I would have tried to avoid the handshake.”
Source: AP story, NY Times Sep 11, 2000

More trade with India; help out in East Timor

Source: GeorgeWBush.com: ‘Issues: Policy Points Overview’ Apr 2, 2000

Cuba: maintain sanctions until elections

Supports keeping the current sanctions on Cuba until there are free elections, free speech and freedom for political prisoners
Source: GeorgeWBush.com: ‘Issues: Policy Points Overview’ Apr 2, 2000

Cuba: No trade, since investments prop up Castro regime

Capital that goes into Cuba will be used by the Castro government to prop itself up. Dollars invested will end up supporting this totalitarian regime. It’s in our best interests for us to promote freedom in the island right off the coast of Florida. It’s in our best interest to keep the pressure on Castro until he allows free elections, free press and free the prisoners. Those that believe that trade with Cuba will cause Castro to become less totalitarian, in my judgment are na‹ve and wrong.
Source: GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

Honor Panama Canal treaty, but keep canal open

BAUER[to Bush]: We transferred the Panama Canal back to Panama [recently]. I believe our national security is at stake in Panama. The Chinese [own] the land on both ends of the canal. If I’m president, I’m going to look at how I can reassert American military forces there. Are you willing to take the steps necessary, including putting our military back in Panama in order to stop the Chinese from taking over influence there?

BUSH: In 1978 I opposed the Panama Canal Treaty. Now, our country has signed the treaty. I believe we ought to honor the treaty. But when I’m the president, if I find in any way, shape or form the canal is closed to world interests, I will do whatever it takes to keep the canal open. It is in our national strategic interests to have a peaceful hemisphere in which trade can flow freely. And I’ll liberate the canal if I have to.

BAUER: Do you see a threat from China in the canal?

BUSH. We’ll just wait & see.

Source: Republican Debate in West Columbia, SC Jan 7, 2000

Texas governorship provides foreign policy experience

To be a good president when it comes to foreign policy, it requires someone with vision, judgment and leadership. I’ve been the governor of the 2nd biggest state. If it were a nation, it would be the 11th largest economy in the world. I have had foreign policy as the governor of Texas, with Mexico. My goal, should I become the President, is to keep the peace. I intend to do so by promoting free trade; by strengthening alliances; and by strengthening the military to make sure that the world is peaceful.
Source: New Hampshire GOP Debates Dec 3, 1999

Cuba: Increased trade would help Castro

Says economic sanctions on the regime of longtime Cuban strongman Fidel Castro should remain in place. “I really think we should keep the pressure on,” Bush said. “I’m worried that increased trade would only enhance a totalitarian regime.”
Source: Av Harris, Reuters Aug 1, 1999

Cuba: Maintain sanctions

Supports keeping the current sanctions on Cuba until there are free elections, free speech and freedom for political prisoners.
Source: georgewbush.com/Message/75.htm “Specific Issues” Jul 23, 1999

Cox Report: Should have done something immediately

[Bush said] the White House failed to take the Cox Report seriously and was slow to react. “I’d do something about it immediately,” he said. Bush acknowledged that the problem has been going on for years, but he doesn’t believe that gives Clinton an excuse. “It’s unfortunate that China has been stealing secrets during Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. But there is only one administration that has been given the news; only one administration knew, and that’s the Clinton administration.” he said.
Source: Associated Press, “Republicans on China”, by K. Srinivasan May 26, 1999

Chinese nuclear spying will shift balance of power

Bush also called for a congressional investigation into “what went wrong and why.”

“I think the balance of power is going to shift as a result of this,” Bush said. “I think it’s going to accelerate China’s emergence as a nuclear power. And the next president and presidents after that are going to have to deal with that.”

Source: Associated Press, “Republicans on China”, by K. Srinivasan May 26, 1999

China is a competitor; put allies ahead of them

The current administration calls China a “strategic partner.” China is not America’s strategic partner. China is a competitor, a competitor which does not share our values but now, unfortunately, shares many of our nuclear secrets. The US relationship with China is complex and difficult. Today’s news [on the Cox Report] highlights the need for the President to be realistic about China and to understand the importance of putting America’s friends and allies in the Far East first.
Source: GeorgeWBush.com/News/ “Cox Report” May 25, 1999

I just know how this world works

You cannot lead if you send mixed messages. Mixed messages send the wrong signals to our troops and our allies. Mixed messages send the wrong signals to the Iraqi citizens. And that's my biggest concern about Kerry. I admire his service. But I just know how this world works, and that in the councils of government, there must be certainty from the US president. We change tactics when need to, but we never change our beliefs, the strategic beliefs that are necessary to protect this country in the world.
Source: First Bush-Kerry debate, Miami FL Sep 30, 2004

Aid should encourage markets & reform; unlike Russian IMF

Q: Is the US obligated to assist poor countries?

A: We ought to have foreign aid. Foreign aid needs to be used to encourage markets and reform. Often we just spend aid and we feel better but it ends up being spent the wrong way. An egregious example is Russia where IMF loans ended up in the pockets of powerful people and didn’t help the the nation. I don’t want to see the IMF as a [means to bail out bad loans]. It needs to be available for emergency situations. I want to make sure the return is good.

Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000

Chernomyrdin Commission: Gore ignored corruption

[Numerous agreements with Russia were discussed via] a channel known as the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission, which was established in 1993 and which met twice a year until 1998. Gore has cited the work of the commission as among his signal achievements as vice president and an important part of his r‚sum‚ for the presidency. Some critics in Congress, as well as Governor Bush, say that Gore placed too much faith in his close personal relationship with Chernomyrdin, and that this led Gore to turn a blind eye to strong evidence of corruption. They say that Gore’s eagerness to pile up agreements led, in some cases, to bad deals. Bush touched on this criticism during the Oct. 11 debate, saying: “We went into Russia, we said here’s some IMF money. It ended up in Viktor Chernomyrdin’s pocket, and others’.” Chernomyrdin had been out of office several months when the funds from the IMF reached Moscow, and an IMF investigation found no conclusive evidence that he personally profited from the loans.
Source: Analysis of Wake Forest debate, John Broder, NY Times Oct 13, 2000

Chernomyrdin threatens to sue Bush for slander re corruption

Bush’s accusation that aid money from the IMF lined the pockets of former Russian prime minister Chernomyrdin as denied today by Chernomyrdin and the IMF. The comments about misused aid reflect growing skepticism among many Congressional Republicans about the role of the IMF, which some critics have accused of wasting billions and supporting corrupt governments. Bush’s debate barb was clearly aimed at Gore, who has reached numerous agreements with Chernomyrdin.

The IMF has repeatedly denied that aid money was siphoned off, and offered independent audits as evidence. Mr. Chernomyrdin issued a statement in Moscow today denying the accusations and threatening to sue Bush for slander. “I think Mr. Bush Jr. should be getting ready for a court hearing on the issue,” Chernomyrdin said. Bush stood by his statement, but softened his tone today, saying it was “general knowledge” that people in Russia had taken IMF aid, but “it might not have been [IMF money]; it might have been another aid.”

Source: Analysis of Wake Forest debate, Joseph Kahn, NY Times Oct 13, 2000

Hopes Putin will stay committed to reform & democracy

I hope the election of Vladimir Putin will lead to Russia’s return to the path of reform, and that Putin will root out the corruption that has impoverished the Russian people. I also hope Putin demonstrates a real commitment to democracy, the rule of law, a market economy, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. I am troubled that Putin gained his popularity as a result of the war in Chechnya. Moscow will discover that it cannot build a stable and unified nation on the ruins of human rights.
Source: Press Release Mar 27, 2000

Russia: Work together to dismantle nuclear weapons

Q: What is your opinion on nuclear weapons?
A: I do believe there’s an area where we can work with Russia in the post-Cold War era. And that’s to work with them to dismantle strategic and tactical nuclear warheads. I’d continue to fund [the process], to make sure that we work with the Russians to bring certainty into that part of the world. The post-Cold War era is one where we need to cooperate to bring peace. And, we must convince [the Russians] not to spread weapons of mass destruction.
Source: GOP Debate on the Larry King Show Feb 15, 2000

Russia: Troubling that Putin gained from Chechnya

Bush was asked by reporters what he thought about Russia’s acting President Vladimir Putin, who got the job after the surprise New Year’s resignation of Boris Yeltsin. Putin has gained support in Russia by promoting Moscow’s military offensive in Chechnya, a breakaway region. “I’m troubled by the fact that Mr. Putin has gained popularity as a result of Chechnya,” Bush said. “I’m hopeful that he will lead his country to substantive and real reforms.”
Source: Associated Press, in The Enterprise (Brockton MA), p. A9 Jan 4, 2000

Other candidates on Foreign Policy: George W. Bush on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
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Civil Rights
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Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
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Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts