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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Is John Kerry the One?

Should Massachusetts nominate John Kerry as the Democratic hopeful to replace George W. Bush as the next president? Let’s examine the question in the framework of a subject Republicans claim they have the advantage–U.S. foreign policy; especially as it pertains to deals with anti-terrorism. Even in a minimal examination of the subject, much can be revealed.

An elementary component of John Kerry’s plan to combat terrorism is to locate and confiscate terrorist funding. The Bush administration is doing a mediocre effort in this area, at best. Instead of excuses, Kerry will address the problem comprehensively and persistently, and will refrain from letting bureaucracy get in the way of progress. Senator Kerry wrote the international anti-money laundering legislation that is now the law of the land. That legislation permits the executive branch to impose financial sanctions against nations or banks that fail to cooperate in the war on money laundering operations serving terrorists. As president, he would launch a “name and shame” campaign against individuals, banks and foreign governments that are financing terrorists around the world. Those who fail to respond will be shut out of American financial markets.

Another cornerstone of Kerry’s foreign affairs platform is to target the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He told the American public he wants to “elevate non-proliferation to the top of the global agenda and create a new framework with tough, accountable and enforceable standards.” George Bush on the other hand, is posed to set of a new nuclear arms race by building smaller, and arguably, more usable, bunker-busting tactical nuclear weapons. John Kerry believes that the gravest threat posed by terrorists is their ever-present potential to gain access to this type of ordinance.

Senator Kerry is also concerned about the way President Bush managed to divide the United Nations. Bush has refused to vest real responsibility in the hands of the United Nations. Also, he has jeopardized the world coalition against terrorism. The coalition is now in tatters, and thanks to his unilateralism, Bush forfeited the chance to unite the international community. Conversely, John Kerry wishes to use values and principles (such as multilateralism), to guide American power and decision-making. He wishes to substitute diplomacy for military action and to make going to war in the future a last resort.

Due to the path we have chosen in foreign relations, America is not any safer than it was four years ago. Perhaps, in a long-term perspective, it is even less safe. The United States needs to follow a path that is well conceived and has its foundation in common sense. John Kerry’s conspicuously superior model for our foreign policy makes me convinced that he ought to be the one for America.

Patrick DeFelixCPCS ’05