Monday, October 18, 2004

Foreign leaders on the US election

Russian President Vladimir Putin

“I consider the activities of terrorists in Iraq are not as much aimed at
coalition forces but more personally against President Bush. International
terrorism has as its goal to prevent the election of President Bush to a second
term. If they achieve that goal, then that will give international
terrorism a new impulse and extra power.”

The Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath

The Palestinian Authority made its first open statement Monday expressing
support for US democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Shaath
said that the future of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is unsure if
George W. Bush is re-elected to office.

Meanwhile, New Republic owner Martin Peretz is wondering,

By now, to be sure, Kerry thinks that Arafat’s “support” for terrorism has
already rendered him unfit as a partner for peace. And his votes in the Senate
(like all but a handful of senators) have been routinely friendly to
Israel.

So why am I still exercised about John Kerry?

It’s the ramifications of his foreign policy in general, especially his
fixation on the United Nations as the arbiter of international legitimacy,
proctor of that “global test.”

I’ve searched to find one time when Kerry — even candidate Kerry —
criticized a U.N. action or statement against Israel. I’ve come up empty. Nor
has he defended Israel against the European Union’s continuous hectoring.
Another thing that bothers me about Kerry is the deus ex machina he has up his
sleeve: the appointment of a presidential envoy. It’s hard to count how many
special emissaries have been dispatched from Washington to the Middle East to
solve the Arab-Israeli conflict. What’s easy to see is that none of them has
gotten to “yes.”


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