Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republican Foreign Policy

Do you have any idea what the newly-empowered Republicans think about foreign policy? Do you even believe that they care about foreign policy? They care about foreign policy in the same way they care about domestic policy: as a means to destroy President Barack Obama.

It's been clear - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made it obvious at the beginning - that the major goal of Republicans is to make sure Obama fails in whatever he tries to do. They voted against the stimulus, against healthcare (they tried to make it his "Waterloo"), against reining in financial tycoons. Through the use of the filibuster, they held up Obama's appointments for important executive positions and for judges.

Now Senator Jon Kyl is trying to hold up approval of the START treaty with Russia. The president has listened to Kyl's complaints and has offered over $80 billion in nuclear enhancements. Kyl has presented no specific reason for holding up approval of the treaty. A parade of former Republican officials have urged approval, but to no avail. Brent Scowcroft, a Republican foreign policy luminary, said this:

"It's not clear to me what it is," said Brent Scowcroft, a former national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush who noted that this START treaty is not very different from previous ones negotiated and ratified under Republican presidents. "I've got to think that it's the increasingly partisan nature and the desire for the president not to have a foreign policy victory."

A Republican is saying that Republicans now in Congress are against START because they want "the president not to have a foreign policy victory." So, Republicans are willing to destroy our relationship with Russia and ruin our influence with other countries for the sole purpose of depriving the president of the U.S. a victory. What would you call such action? If Democrats had done such a thing, what do you think Republicans would call them?

Treasonous!

With the overriding goal of getting rid of Obama, Republicans have stymied everything he tried domestically. With unemployment at almost 10%, Republicans want to repeal the healthcare law, loosen regulation of financial fatcats, reduce taxes for the rich and cut federal spending for the poor. Republicans do whatever they can to keep the economy from improving so Obama would not be able to claim credit for it.

With the same overriding goal of getting rid of Obama, Republicans are doing the same in foreign affairs. Obama wants to work with other governments to fight climate change, so Republicans say there's no such problem as climate change. Obama wants to produce peace between Israel and the Palestinians, so Republicans insist that whatever Israel does is right, regardless of how it affects peace prospects. And now, Obama has negotiated a START treaty as a start to reducing the threat of nuclear annihilation, so Republicans are holding up approaval.

What is the foreign policy position of Republicans? Kill all foreign-policy initiatives in order to kill Obama.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 29, 2010 8:39 PM
Comments
Comment #314226

Get off the Kool-Aid Paul!

Posted by: Jay St. John at November 29, 2010 9:05 PM
Comment #314228

Has anyone ever heard of, “What’s in the Treaty before we vote on it”. Yes, that’s right, let’s find out what Obama has agreed to, before we pass it. Or is this another crisis that has to be voted on right NOW.

I agree, get off the kool-aid Paul…

Posted by: Bill at November 29, 2010 9:32 PM
Comment #314233

Bill,
The treaty has already been through three Senate committees and 20 hearings. “Advice and consent” has occurred. A treaty like this takes a long time to produce, and it involves the same kind of process on the Russian side before such an agreement is reached. The Senators know full well what is in this treaty.

Opposing this bill simply to deny the president a foreign policy victory is shameful, shameful, shameful. The entire country benefits from this treaty.

But let’s face it, Bill. Let’s face it, Jay. You want the country to fail, and no price is too high, not even the ratification of a START treaty with Russia.

For shame.

Posted by: phx8 at November 29, 2010 9:47 PM
Comment #314237

Why should we trust Obama, just because he says trust me? He has lied and deceived the American people ever since his name was first announced on the news. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. I don’t blame, and in fact I encourage Republicans, to be very wary of anything he says. Senate hearings and committees don’t mean crap, since the democrats control the hearings and committees.

Let’s look at it this way phx8, how much did you trust Bush? Well, we trust Obama even less. I say wait until next year to make any decisions, if then.

The only “SHAME” is a president and congress that has continued to who-doo the American people. A loss of 63 congressioal seats and 6 or 7 senate seats is proof enough that the voters have no use for what Obama has done.

Posted by: Bill at November 29, 2010 10:12 PM
Comment #314242

Bill,
Obama did not single-handedly negotiate this treaty. A lot of people participate in putting this together, people from both parties and from many US government organizations, as well as many others in Russia. Furthermore, stopping this treaty will undermine the relatively moderate Russian president, Medvedev, and strengthen the hand of the more hardline opponent, Putin.

Stopping an arms treaty simply to make the president look bad is beyond the pale of acceptable behavior.

Posted by: phx8 at November 29, 2010 11:16 PM
Comment #314257

Paul,
Why I agree if the shoe was on the other foot the Republican Talking Machine would be going nuts; nevertheless, I wonder if Senator Kyl would like to see America get into another Arms Race which signing the Start Treaty is against?

No, from Missile Defense Systems to rebuilding nuke test facilities I do believe the Republican Leadership is more into putting America deeper in debt by creating the conditions necessary to exploit the issue. Besides are you aware that nukes are outdated and Americas’ Defense Funds can be better spent on building the weapon platforms which will secure our future? And though Common Sense prevents me from linking to the sites, check out Lasers and Magnetic Weapons just to point out a few.

Bill and Jay,
Can you tell me how much money America can save by reducing the nukes and not rebuilding their facilities? $200 million plus a year in 5 years equals a trillion dollars plus so why does the Republicans want to stop the Start Treaty except for the fact it helps feeds the War Machine of the 20th Century.

No, Paul maybe drinking Kool-Aid; however, IMHO Senator Kyl and the Republican Leadership in Washington is drinking the same Kool-Aid, but adding a few shots to the glass. Thus, I wonder what you will say when the lose nukes in Russia form a mushroom cloud over your home because the hate for President Obama has blinded you to the danger?

BYW, the fact our generals and the leading Republican of foreign intell is not calling for the Start Treaty to die should put the answer not under National Security, but the Political Game being played by some drunk Old Men.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 30, 2010 3:33 AM
Comment #314274

The text of the treaty has been availible since April. There’s no trust invovled.

Posted by: Warped Reality at November 30, 2010 10:46 AM
Comment #314277

Warped,

It doesn’t matter to these guys that the text has been available to read for months because they don’t really care. They see any hint of negotiation as a sign of weakness. It doesn’t matter that between the US and the Russians we are capable of destroying all life on this planet many times over. They believe a nuclear war is winnable.

Sadly their “my or the highway” attitude has been stoked by the likes of Herr’s Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck, pitchmen who’s very existence depends on the fear of any boogieman that doesn’t adhere to their narrow view of reality.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 30, 2010 11:48 AM
Comment #314278

Paul,

Your article resurects the same old ‘Incorrect-statement-Ad-Hominum-argument-unfalsifiable-hypothesis-single-cause-fallacy-appeal-to-motive-argument-ad-metum-argument-ad-naseum-straw-man-argument as I’ve ever heard.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 30, 2010 12:19 PM
Comment #314279

Kevin wow that is good, but can you explain why you think that is so?

Posted by: j2t2 at November 30, 2010 2:59 PM
Comment #314282


Their talking heads tell them that no one knows what is in this secret agreement between Obama and the Russians, and that is all they need to know.

Pax Americana does not negotiate, it dictates. World peace can only be achieved by Americas domination of the world.

Posted by: jlw at November 30, 2010 4:39 PM
Comment #314283

j2t2 said:

Kevin wow that is good, but can you explain why you think that is so?

Sorry, I don’t wish to waste any more white space here.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at November 30, 2010 5:07 PM
Comment #314291

j2t2,

Sorry, I don’t wish to waste any more white space here.

Which, of course, translated means that he doesn’t have a clue, just felt the need to blow!

Posted by: jane doe at November 30, 2010 7:54 PM
Comment #314302

Kevin,


“Your article resurects the same old ‘Incorrect-statement-Ad-Hominum-argument-unfalsifiable-hypothesis-single-cause-fallacy-appeal-to-motive-argument-ad-metum-argument-ad-naseum-straw-man-argument as I’ve ever heard.”

So what you’re saying is instead of any proof to the contrary all you have is the same old conservative bu*&$#it answer.

Speaking of strawmen, is it just me or are you people incapable of any original thought?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 30, 2010 10:42 PM
Comment #314304

Can anyone explain the agreements made between Putin and Obama on the missle defense system?

Yes, phx8, I said Putin; because he is calling the shots and not Medvedev. In fact I heard today that Medvedev is stepping aside so Putin can run again.

So what do we know about the missle defense system? What restrictions are placed upon America?

Posted by: Conservativethinker at November 30, 2010 10:52 PM
Comment #314307

CT,

Are you incapable of following the link Warped Reality provided?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 30, 2010 11:06 PM
Comment #314319

CT,
The link leads to a concise summary. If you want to know, you will need to read it.

History is full of examples of proteges who push aside their mentors.

Posted by: phx8 at December 1, 2010 10:47 AM
Comment #314320

Apparently, those here who are right thinkers, are actually wrong thinkers. They think these Nuke Treaties just spring up out of a President’s brain housing group, without anyone else ever seeing ‘em.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 1, 2010 11:27 AM
Comment #314321

So here we have it. Not one word of substance justifying the Republican position. Just uniform opposition from the gut - the country be damned.

Posted by: Schwamp at December 1, 2010 12:07 PM
Comment #314328

Schwamp, That is all the Rep party has been doing since 2006. the rhetoric coming out of Washington these days is ridiculous. Come 2012 this crap is going to come back and bite em in the ass. Lead follow or get the F… out of the way.

Posted by: JOHN IN NAPA at December 1, 2010 3:18 PM
Comment #314377

Following is a link to an article appearing in today’s NY Times. While it doesn’t address the treaty, it does give some valuable insights into what Russian politics are like today and gives good reasons for some distrust.

Below Surface, U.S. Has Dim View of Putin and Russia

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/world/europe/02wikileaks-russia.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a2

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 2, 2010 11:48 AM
Comment #314385

The way I understand it, if we sign the START agreement, and Russia reneges, we will only have about 1500 armed missiles left. Jeeez, we’d be at the mercy of everyone else in the world if we could only destroy every man, woman and child a hundred times over. Bet mine’s bigger than yours! Nyanyanyanananya….

Posted by: Marysdude at December 2, 2010 3:23 PM
Comment #314387

dude, on the surface your comment makes sense. However, one should not only consider numbers but quality.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 2, 2010 4:24 PM
Comment #314388

Are you indicating that you think the Rooskees made higher quality nukes than us?

Posted by: Marysdude at December 2, 2010 4:52 PM
Comment #314389

Not at all dude, just want to be certain that we have the very best to ensure their deterrent effect. I’m a “walk softly, carry a big stick” believer.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 2, 2010 5:37 PM
Comment #314391

Well, you’ve picked a pretty big stick. I’m not sure, but I heard it would only take twenty of them to do the ‘end game’ thingee. Fifteen hundred seems like a bigger stick than we need. If parity were what would save us, I’d believe holding out on START would be a good thing. Parity means NOTHING in a nuclear war, so there is really no reason to not sign on.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 2, 2010 5:53 PM
Comment #314392

dude, that may true if a nuclear exchange took place. Having better, more accurate, and a faster delivery system is the deterrent I want to prevent some moron from launching in the first place.

We must remember that our nuclear shield is what keeps the world from exploding and many of our allies rely upon that protection. Should the world ever doubt our nuclear capacity it would be a much different place.

Every world dictator in history has one thing in common. They too want to live.

Favorable negotiation and compromise are much more easily reached if one has the power position.

I wish to negotiate from a position of overwhelming military strength. There is little else some world leaders respect.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 2, 2010 6:05 PM
Comment #314397

You act like this treaty has not been in the works for years, and been negotiated in good faith by multitudes of people. You act as if this is President Obama’s little pet, and he wrote it, negotiated it, and wants to sign it all as just one of his (to Republicans) bad idea. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Each major nuke treaty along the way initiates the beginning of the next negotiation. There has been no real stop to the goal of zero nukes. Zero will never be achieved, of course, but President Obama did not come up with the idea, nor did he carry it on his back, nor did he attempt to fool the American people into believing a bad thing was good. You people need to get a grip. The entire treaty has been open for public review since early this Spring. No one, who has a brain in his head, has said a damned thing bad about it. You and I both know what is behind this hold up, and you and yours should be ashamed. You are playing stupid games with nuclear weapons…bad…bad…bad.

You have said one of the problems with our President is his inexperience…well, nuclear proliferation is one area in which he has plenty of it. He and Senator Luger worked across the aisle and hand in hand on the problem, and Luger said there was no one better qualified to speak on the issue. You ask folks to believe you have American interest uppermost in mind, then act like a spoiled child when facts stare you in the face.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 2, 2010 7:13 PM
Comment #314402

Proposed by President Ronald Reagan in Geneva on 29 June 1982
The treaty was signed on 31 July 1991 and entered into force on 5 December 1994

On 8 April 2010, the new START treaty was signed in Prague by U.S. President Obama and Russian President Medvedev. It will enter into force after its ratification through the parliaments of Russia and USA congress.

the Republicans in congress i guess really didn’t/don’t trust Reagen nor his policies.

come on all you poo pooing the treaty…did you even look it up and read it? did you wiki it to see its history? my guess is that no you didn’t no you haven’t as demonstrated by your support of the current R congress doing everything they can to bring the US govt. to a complete standstill unless things are done by their beckoning

Posted by: JOHN IN NAPA at December 2, 2010 7:49 PM
Comment #314403

“I wish to negotiate from a position of overwhelming military strength. There is little else some world leaders respect.”

Please, 1,500 nuclear weapons deliverable by the most numerous and sophisticated triad of weapon systems in the world is not “overwhelming” military strength? Considering that the Obama administration is moving forward on a program of nuclear weapons modernization and enhanced security should put to rest any concern about the ability of the US to respond overwhelmingly to any future nuclear threat by Russia or by anyone else.

Reducing the number of obsolete and unnecessary nuclear weapons (overkill) is just common sense. It was the type of common sense that Ronald Reagan recognized in initiating the START treaties in the first place. It was the common sense that motivated former Congressman, Sam Nunn, to dedicate his post political career to the reduction of nuclear weapons worldwide and securing obsolete weapons. Neither Reagan or Nunn could ever be considered doves by any stretch of the imagination.

The current obstruction by the Republicans of the recent START treaty can only characterized as political posturing. The majority of Republican in Congress are in agreement in principal with the proposed treaty. They have had more than adequate time to review the details of the treaty. Yet, their opposition seems to be based exclusively on “we need to have more time to review the details.” Nonsense, if they have an objection, state it. If not, vote to put the treaty into effect. There are more complicated matters to consider.


Posted by: Rich at December 2, 2010 7:52 PM
Comment #314404

The START I treaty expired 5 December 2009. On 8 April 2010, the new START treaty was signed in Prague by U.S. President Obama

its 12 December 2010 how long do they need to…“we need to have more time to review the details.” ????

my 10 yr old could have read it and looked up all the words she didn’t understand at least half a dozen times by now. That’s 238 days for petes sake

Posted by: JOHN IN NAPA at December 2, 2010 8:06 PM
Comment #314405

excuse me that is 264 days.

Posted by: JOHN IN NAPA at December 2, 2010 8:07 PM
Comment #314408

“I wish to negotiate from a position of overwhelming military strength. There is little else some world leaders respect.”

Please, 1,500 nuclear weapons deliverable by the most numerous and sophisticated triad of weapon systems in the world is not “overwhelming” military strength? Considering that the Obama administration is moving forward on a program of nuclear weapons modernization and enhanced security should put to rest any concern about the ability of the US to respond overwhelmingly to any future nuclear threat by Russia or by anyone else.

Reducing the number of obsolete and unnecessary nuclear weapons (overkill) is just common sense. It was the type of common sense that Ronald Reagan recognized in initiating the START treaties in the first place. It was the common sense that motivated former Congressman, Sam Nunn, to dedicate his post political career to the reduction of nuclear weapons worldwide and securing obsolete weapons. Neither Reagan or Nunn could ever be considered doves by any stretch of the imagination.

The current obstruction by the Republicans of the recent START treaty can only characterized as political posturing. The majority of Republican in Congress are in agreement in principal with the proposed treaty. They have had more than adequate time to review the details of the treaty. Yet, their opposition seems to be based exclusively on “we need to have more time to review the details.” Nonsense, if they have an objection, state it. If not, vote to put the treaty into effect. There are more complicated matters to consider.


Posted by: Rich at December 2, 2010 8:43 PM
Comment #314415

If Republicans don’t soon get their collective heads out of their collective arses, we are on our way down to zero double time. It’s a damned charade…a parody of governance.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 2, 2010 10:31 PM
Comment #314418

Paul, right in line with the only plausible explanation for Sen. McCain’s abject refusal to get rid of DADT.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 2, 2010 10:39 PM
Comment #314435

Royal Flush said: “I wish to negotiate from a position of overwhelming military strength. “

Spoken like a true lobbyist for waste, fraud, and abuse in the military spending, given this position that no amount of military strength can be too great, even unto collapsing the economy. Great reasoning, there, RF. Life carries risk. The rational and intelligent approach is to maximize international security without compromising other priorities for a free, prosperous, and peaceful domestic future. Balance, RF, is the key to sound economic policy. Pursuing the nth degree of anything in society results in inordinate and negatively consequential increasing expenditures with rapidly diminishing returns.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 3, 2010 9:42 AM
Comment #314454

The subject of this thread had to do with the lack of substance in Republican foreign policy. That is true enough. They can find fault, but cannot articulate substantive policy themselves. Hell, they can’t articulate policy on ANY subject, foreign OR domestic. The only things I’ve heard so far are, “give more tax breaks to wealthy individuals and multinational corporations, even if they are relocating themselves and American jobs overseas”, and “get rid of entitlements, and America will be great again, for the very wealthy and multinational corporations that relocate themselves and American jobs overseas”.

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Comment #348990

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