Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Ask and ye shall receive

Yesterday I put up a post asking whether Dean should get specific on foreign policy. This was specifically in response to a post by the Tough Democrat in which TD suggest that Dean should call for sending troops to Liberia to demonstrate that he is not a pacifist. Look what we have out from the Governor today!
STATEMENT FROM HOWARD DEAN ON WORSENING CRISIS IN LIBERIA Wednesday July 2, 2003 Dubuque, IA - "Today, the world community looks to the United States for leadership in addressing the worsening crisis in Liberia. One week ago, I called for a foreign policy under which our nation reclaimed its role as the inspirational leader of the world and the beacon of hope and justice in the interests of humankind. I said that American military force should be committed only when American security interests are imminently threatened or in the face of imminent humanitarian catastrophe. And I argued that, in such cases, we must always strive to act multilaterally not unilaterally. "Currently, we face a challenge to our long-term security interests in West Africa, and the world faces an emerging humanitarian crisis. The situation in Liberia is unfolding in the context of increasing instability throughout West Africa - Sierra Leone is still going through a difficult transition, and more recently Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) collapsed into conflict. We can ill afford a swath of instability stretching across that region. There are also credible reports that terrorist networks, including Al Qaeda, have begun to exploit that instability by, for example, trading in illegal "conflict diamonds" to finance their operations. "As a member of the international community, and the world's leading power, we share responsibility for helping to resolve such conflicts throughout the world. Our British allies stepped up to the plate when they intervened in Sierra Leone three years ago to stabilize that situation. The French have gone into Cote d'Ivoire; and French and British troops are now doing duty in the eastern Congo. African governments have sent peacekeepers into Burundi, and West African leaders have pledged to again send thousands of peacekeepers to Liberia. Now, the British, French, UN Secretary General and our West African partners are all calling on the U.S. to assist Liberia. I believe that the US must do its share. "We must do this not only to defend our interests, but to act as force for good in a country that has been an ally to the US for decades. The Bush administration claims to prize "moral clarity" in their conduct of foreign policy. I can think of no better way for the Administration to demonstrate this quality than to step in to assist the people of Liberia, which have long been oppressed by vicious dictators, most recently Charles Taylor. We have the power to help the people of Liberia put themselves on a path to security and eventual democracy by helping resolve a crisis. We must never again stand idly by as we did in Rwanda in the face of humanitarian crisis. That inaction remains a terrible stain on our record. "For all of these reasons, I urge the President to act by sending U.S. troops to be a part of a multinational peacekeeping force under U.S. command to enforce a cease-fire and ensure the safety of the civilian population. ...
How's that for responsiveness!

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