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9.20.2004

John Kerry and the United Nations

I remember when I was about 13 years old seeing a painted plywood sign next to the gate of a farm just outside my hometown. It struck me as odd, as it said simply "Get US out of the UN". This was around the time of the first Gulf War, and I could not understand why anyone would have this opinion of an organization that had just played a major role in fighting tyranny and aggression in the Middle East. I wrote the residents of that farm off as crazy, and did not really give much credence to anyone else who took that same position.

Now, 13 years later not only do I understand the position, but I am slowly moving towards it myself.

I would have found this position absurd just a few years ago. I have always followed the news and world politics closely, and I was sometimes frustrated by the UN actions, but more often by their inaction. However I felt that an international organization was a good idea in principle and that it could be a real force for good in this world. The oil for food corruption rumors, the resolution after resolution after resolution against Saddam Hussein without any action, the miserably run weapons inspection programs, and the unbelievably disproportionate load of funding that the US carries all bothered me, but the principle was sound. I still thought the existence of the organization and the US' participation in it was a good idea.

However, in the last few months among the various statements and positions on the War on Terror coming from the Kerry campaign I have heard two things which have really bothered me. First, the use of force only as a "reaction" to terrorism and second, the desire for UN approval of US military operations and the opposition to "unilateral" action. I will leave discussion of the first position for another time, so I can address the second here.
sov·er·eign adj.
    Self-governing; independent. Having supreme rank or power. Paramount; supreme: Of superlative strength or efficacy. Unmitigated.
The United States of America was founded by men who were deeply troubled by a government that ruled over them without their representation or input. In the times leading up to the American Revolution the anger against the British crown was funneled into a movement of democracy, a call for a republican form of government. With the cessation of hostilities at the end of the Revolution the United Kingdom recognized the United States of America as a fully independent and sovereign nation. Recognition by the Dutch, the French and other European states soon followed.
It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.

President George Washington
Farewell Address
The prevailing wisdom among America's first generation, as expressed above by President Washington, was to stay away from permanent entangling foreign alliances. This policy was successfully followed for many years, and for this reason America prospered in it self-imposed isolationism. However, as history moved on, the world has changed and our country was called upon, twice, to stand with its friends and save the world from oppression, fascism, and evil. From these important and deeply formative experiences we gained many allies that have stood with us to this day.

Recently some of these alliances have been strained. With the rise of socialism in Europe, and the blind eye many world governments have turned to terrorism-sponsoring states, the support of all of our allies has not been there for recent actions in Iraq. While I am saddened that some of our traditional allies will not stand with us in our nation's defense as we did for theirs, every sovereign nation, regardless of alliances, has a duty to its citizens to act in their own best interest and defense. However, the reaction to this by some in this country is troubling to me.

Within weeks of being inaugurated, I will return to the U.N. and I will literally, formally rejoin the community of nations and turn over a proud new chapter in America's relationship with the word,"

Senator John Kerry
4/19/2004
www.foxnews.com
What has really bothered me is John Kerry's implication that he would seek permission to use force in further actions in the War on Terror. While not explicitly stated it has been implied by his campaign over and over, and as Dick Morris stated, "Kerry doesn't even answer the other two charges: That he would weaken the Patriot Act and await United Nations approval before acting against terrorism". He has never responded, to me this confirms the implication. This is a direct contradiction of this nation's sovereignty and self-interest. To subjugate our defense to the wishes of an international body composed of member states who actively wish us harm is not only dangerous it is treason.

Kerry's campaign will back away from this and, with the media's help, try to spin the message, but in the end I believe, in the long run, that John Kerry stands as a threat to our nation's sovereignty.

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