Jeb Bush on Foreign Policy
Republican FL Governor; V.P. prospect
KASICH: First of all -- yes. We have to make it clear to Russia what we expect. We don't have to declare an enemy or threaten, but we need to make clear what we expect. Number one is we will arm the folks in Ukraine who are fighting for their freedom. Secondly, an attack on NATO is an attack on us.
TRUMP: We're going to have to learn who our allies are [against ISIS]. We have allies, we have no idea who they are in Syria. Do we want to stay that route, or do we want to go and make something with Russia?
BUSH: The very basic fact is that Vladimir Putin is not going to be an ally of the United States. The whole world knows this. It's a simple basic fact.
The president talks talks about ISIS being the JV team, they form a caliphate the size of Indiana with 35,000 to 40,000 battle-tested terrorists. He's missing the whole point, that America's leadership in the world is required for peace and stability.
BUSH: Donald's absolutely wrong on this. We're not going to be the world's policeman, but we sure as heck better be the world's leader. That's a huge difference where, without us leading, voids are filled, and the idea that it's a good idea for Putin to be in Syria, let ISIS take out Assad, and then Putin will take out ISIS? I mean, that's like a board game, that's like playing Monopoly or something. That's not how the real world works. We have to lead, we have to be involved. We should have a no fly zone in Syria. They are barrel bombing the innocents in that country. If you're a Christian, increasingly in Lebanon, or Iraq, or Syria, you're going to be beheaded. And, if you're a moderate Islamist, you're not going to be able to survive either.
Vladimir Putin is a "bully," Bush told reporters during his European trip in June, arguing that the U.S. needs to send a tangible sign that it is on the side of Poland, the Baltics and other nearby states. The White House hopeful said the U.S. ought to "consider putting troops there" and mentioned expanded military exercises as an example of how American forces might be used.
I have doubts whether this administration believes American power is such a force. Under this administration, we are inconsistent and indecisive. We have lost the trust & the confidence of our friends. We definitely no longer inspire fear in our enemies.
The great irony of the Obama Presidency is this: Someone who came to office promising greater engagement with the world has left America less influential in the world.
The United States has an undiminished ability to shape events and build alliances of free people. We can project power and enforce peaceful stability in far-off areas of the globe. To do so, I believe we need to root our foreign policy in a set of priorities and principles.
|Where George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, and George Bush Sr. agree on Foreign issues
|Where they disagree:
|George W. Bush
|George Bush Sr.
|Focus on guest workers
|Focus on comprehensive reform
|Focus on voluntary action
|Wary of isolationism
|Eventually embraced U.N.
|Wary of China
|Cooperate with China
|Skeptical on Kyoto
In calling for a foreign policy laced with "humility," Bush echoed his brother's call in 2000 to have a "humble" foreign policy. A year later, the US became far more interventionist after the 9/11 attacks, which ultimately helped lead the nation into invading Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bush said Obama failed to accomplish any of these goals: "It undermines our credibility in the world. Our allies don't trust us. And our enemies don't fear us. There is no situation worse for stability and peace than that," Bush said. "The iron rule of superpower deterrent is 'mean it when you say it.' And it has been broken by this president."
Bush also blamed Obama for "gutting the military and our intelligence capabilities in a world where these asymmetric threats are real." Bush concluded that "in every one of those four or five principles of foreign policy I would say that the president's let us down." In explaining Obama's failures, Bush noted, "you need to lead, and reacting is not leadership."
Back in 2012, [one pundit wrote in] Foreign Policy: "The next Republican nominee will need distance both from George W. Bush's foreign policy and from Mitt Romney's campaign. Even Jeb Bush--particularly Jeb Bush--would have to look like he was taking a very different approach to foreign policy than his brother."
Even as he sharply criticized President Obama for his handling of foreign affairs and health care, Bush made clear that he would run against the style of politics that has characterized recent Republican nominating contests.
He was more willing to criticize Obama, naturally. "Leading from behind is so odd to me," he said of the president's foreign policy. And he said it was absurd for Obama to be "doing a victory dance" over the enrollment of seven million people in his new health care program given what Bush considers its deep structural flaws.
"He showed a lot of knowledge about foreign policy that he must have been working hard to acquire," said Ari Fleischer, the former White House Press Secretary and a board member of the RJC, noting Bush discussed diplomatic challenges presented by countries like Ukraine, Russia and Moldova. "He was very rough on the president in terms of his handling of foreign policy, referring to the dangers of 'American passivity.'"
The son and brother of presidents, Bush cautioned the Republican party against "neo-isolationism," a line universally understood as a shot at Rand Paul. Bush also pushed back on Democratic attacks that whenever a Republican calls for a more activist foreign policy that they are "warmongering."
Fast forward. Over 62 years, not that long in historical terms, Korea now is a first-world country. Korea has the highest literacy rate of all the countries in the world. Korean moms and dads, some of them, save everything they have, to assure that their children get tutorial help. When Pres. Obama was in Korea a year ago, he asked, "What is the big challenge that you face in Korea today?" it's that parents want to start English in 4th grade instead of 5th grade, and it's creating enormous political pressure on the system. But If you make a command-focused commitment to education, you can change the course of a country's future.
For his part, Bush said that he will continue making contributions to the development of bilateral ties and economic cooperation between the two nations.
Just about every structure was off of its foundation. There were people literally walking through the street with very little clothes on and starving. "With tears in his eyes, the son of President-elect George Bush presented candy and gifts today to brighten the Christmas of children injured in Armenia's earthquake," read the article. "This is probably the greatest Christmas gift I could give myself or my own," Jeb was quoted.
"The best thing about that was Gorbachev telling me afterwards that when Jeb went to church in Armenia and shed a tear there, it did more for the US-Russia relationship than anything I could possibly imagine," Dad recalled.
"I didn't get paid for the Nigerian business," Bush told the Palm Beach Post in 1994. "I have not made a dime on business with Nigeria." But by checking tax records, the Post found that the Bush partnership company paid Jeb at least $300,000 for his participation in a second pump-marketing venture.
BUSH: No, they shouldn't. And I believe that Puerto Rico ought to have the right of self-determination. If I was a Puerto Rican, I'd vote for statehood so that they have full citizenship. They serve in the military. They would have to pay federal taxes. They would accept the responsibilities of full U.S. citizenship. But they should have the right of self-determination. Before you get to that, though, Puerto Rico is going to have to deal with the structural problems they face. The federal government can play a role in allowing them to do that, but the process of statehood or the status of Puerto Rico won't be solved until we get to the bigger issue of how you deal with the structural economic problems they're facing right now.
Jeb Bush sought to arrange a meeting between his father and exile leaders. He called for economic sanctions that would "tighten the noose on Castro." And he questioned the Justice Department's prosecution of a Cuban militant who had already been incarcerated in "Castro's jail for 23 years."
Jeb Bush also sought a promotion for an Army colonel who he noted could become the first United States general of Cuban origin. The president's staff thought better of acting on that request. "Armed Services promotion board reacts very negatively to any sort of political pressure, perceived or otherwise," wrote one of his father's top aides.
In the fall of 1970, he enrolled in a class called Man and Society, which featured seminars on "poverty, conflicts (violence) and power structure." At the conclusion of the course, students were given the option of spending the winter trimester either in South Boston or central Mexico. Bush chose the warmer locale. It was a decision that would change his life.
The trip to Mexico was designed to introduce a small group of students to another world, a village with an indigenous population where Andover boys would help build a cinder-block schoolhouse. Bush said at the time that he went to Mexico to learn Spanish and study the culture [but the 17-year-old Bush also met his future wife on that same trip].
"I would argue that instead of lifting the embargo we should consider strengthening it again to put pressure on the Cuban regime," Bush told cheering supporters at a gathering of the US Cuba Democracy PAC, a pro-embargo advocacy group.
Bush did not spell out proposals for strengthening the embargo. But he implied that he wanted to reverse travel rules made by President Obama that allow Cuban-Americans to make unlimited trips to visit relatives. "Thousands of people travel to Cuba from the US , spending billions of dollars," Bush said. "Would lifting the embargo change the fact that the government receives almost all of the money that comes from these well-intended people that travel to the island?"
In Miami, when the exile community speaks, Jeb listens. For years, he has listened--and then acted.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the city was the nexus of anticommunist activism in Central America. Jeb, who spoke their language fluently. Jeb, who accepted without reservation their need to overthrow leftist governments and hunt down and kill leftist rebels. Jeb, who would show up in a guayabera shirt at rallies, chanting "Libre! Libre!" with everyone else.
Jeb, in contrast, not only majored in Latin American studies but actually lived for the better part of two years in Venezuela without the accoutrements of officialdom. Whether this results in a different overall direction or merely a more competent version of the same old story cannot be known.
Overall, though, it is hard to imagine that the basic thrust of American diplomacy would be terribly different. Jeb would have far more knowledge of this hemisphere, but countries in South and Central America need to understand that this is not necessarily a good thing. It's not enough, for example, to be a democratic nation. You must also then vote for pro-capitalist leaders.
At the time George H. W. Bush was CIA director. The US sanctioned terrorism against Cuba and routinely trained commandos to infiltrate the island. Jeb, who planned to run for governor of Florida, represented a rabid anti-Castro constituency, a voting bloc that held his father's anti-Castro actions at the CIA in the highest esteem. Jeb's public support for paroling Bosch further enhanced his standing in the Cuban community, which considered Bosch a patriot in exile and honored him for his murderous bombings around the globe. At this son's behest, George Bush intervened to obtain the release of the Cuban terrorist from prison and later granted Bosch US residency.
TRUMP: No. Look, we have to stop with political correctness. We have to find out what's going on. I said temporarily. I didn't say permanently.
BUSH: Donald, I hope you reconsider this, because this policy makes it impossible to build the coalition necessary to take out ISIS. The Kurds are our strongest allies. They're Muslim. You're not going to even allow them to come to our country? The other Arab countries have a role to play in this. We cannot be the world's policeman. We can't do this unilaterally. We have to do this in unison with the Arab world. And sending that signal makes it impossible for us to be serious about taking out ISIS and restoring democracy in Syria. So I hope you'll reconsider. We don't have to have refugees come to our country, but all Muslims, seriously? What kind of signal does that send to the rest of the world?
BUSH: I don't think we will. I have great doubts whether Russia would make that big kind of sea change. But we always should be in dialogue with Russia. My problem is, talking to Russia from a position of weakness only enables their objectives. It has nothing to do with ours. If we were stronger, we would be in a better position to deal with them.
BUSH: Look, it is already in the law that there is a requirement to screen for religion. This is the practice of our country. There was a bipartisan bill that of course didn't pass in Congress this year to provide preference for Christians who are being slaughtered in the Middle East, persecuted based on their faith. Religious minorities, I think, should have some preference. I think we ought to do what we can to provide support for the refugees. The best means to do it are safe havens inside of Syria. That is ultimately what we need to do, and this president hasn't led in that regard.
BUSH: It's both. And I think Governor O`Malley probably agrees with me that we need to lead. We cannot lead from behind. We have to take a leadership role to inspire our Arab partners and the European countries, NATO allies, all of them together, create a strategy, act on it, unleash a strategy on ISIS and we'll be successful.
CARSON: Their true desire is to be resettled in Syria. But, you know, they are satisfied to be in the refugee camps if the refugee camps are adequately funded.˙Recognize that, in these camps, they have schools. They have recreational facilities that are really quite nice. And they are putting in all kinds of things that make life more tolerable.˙Would it be better integrate them into the society?˙ Yes, I certainly talked to some people about that. But you have to make progress as you go.
(VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE W. BUSH: The face of terror is not the truth faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.
Q: Is Islam peace?˙
JEB BUSH: I know what Islamic terrorism is. And that's what we are fighting with ISIS, al Qaeda, all of the other groups. And that's what our focus should be on.˙This is not a question of religion. This is a political ideology that has co-opted a religion. And I think it's more than acceptable just to call it for what it is and then organize an effort to destroy it.˙The simple fact is that these are Islamic terrorists that has have co-opted a faith that is peaceful. But, nevertheless, this is something we need to fight.
A: I'd say it is Islamic terrorism, and, sadly, this president does not believe in American leadership. We should have a no fly zone in Syria. If you want to deal with the four million refugees that are leaving Syria, we ought to create safe zones for them to stay in the region rather than go to Europe. It is tragic that you see Iraq and other countries talking to Russia. It wasn't that long ago that Russia had no influence in the region at all.
Consider American policy towards Iran, a nation that has waged a relentless campaign of terror and war-by-proxy against US troops and American allies for more than three decades. The administration believes Iran will become a responsible partner for peace once it signs up to a deal that largely leaves in place its nuclear infrastructure. In a region that is in a near-constant state of conflict--with Iran as a primary instigator--this approach is foolish. It is clear that nothing will deter President Obama from a potentially risky agreement that may well allow Iran to intimidate the entire Middle East, menace Israel, and, most of all, threaten America. Instead of projecting American determination and leadership, Obama has either withdrawn from the stage or chosen to trust our enemies.
President Bush endorsed Sharon's offer to withdraw from Gaza and parts of the West Bank in exchange for concessions on settlements. Palestinians criticized the plan. Gov. Bush said, "This new US policy, I think, will bring about the chance of lasting peace far better than the current status quo. And if there's any attempt to impose a different vision, the US is committed to intervene and provide support to the state of Israel."
American foreign policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategi
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