It’s what we believe, part II
Probably the most difficult task of any new president and administration is to get fully informed about foreign affairs before they actually take office. Now, I’m not talking about the kind of foreign affairs a certain unnamed individual might have engaged in while partying in Russia a while back.
I believe foreign affairs refers to our involvement, both diplomatically and physically, in what may be happening around the world. The State Department, guided by the president, is generally considered to be in charge of our diplomatic relations throughout the world. Our physical presence generally involves our military as directed by the Commander in Chief.
The moment the president takes office he must be cognizant of what countries are our friends and which countries are not. As an example, Great Britain is considered our friend while Russia is not. That’s simple, for everyone but Donald Trump. What about Sri Lanka or Uzbekistan? Foreign affairs can be difficult. There are some countries to which we will sell arms and others to which we will not. Seems easy, but you must think back to Iran/Contra.
Democrats believe we should be promoting world peace through diplomacy, but be prepared militarily to defend ourselves and our allies should the need arise. We support NATO, but, we acknowledge we bear a disproportionate financial obligation to keep it going.
Democrats believe a peaceful settlement in the Middle East will require recognition by all nations in the region that Israel has a right to exist without being constantly bombarded by bombs and that the Palestinians have a right to have their own nation. We support diplomacy as the best way to halt the development of nuclear weapons, not only by Iran, but by the rest of the world.
It should be obvious to anyone that a nuclear war is not an answer to any problem since the destruction of the universe is not in anyone’s best interest. We believe in the elimination of nuclear weapons.
We grow impatient but still support the training of Iraq and Afghanistan forces until they can defend themselves. We do not favor sending ground troops into the region to engage in another war. We believe the end to the horrific problems in Syria won’t begin until the resignation of President Assad and an end to Russian involvement. We should accept a limited number of vetted Syrian refugees. We believe unjustified fear of those of another faith shouldn’t be used as an excuse to deny anyone from a predominantly Muslim nation entry into this country.
ISIS must be eliminated. We must stop their recruitment by shutting them out of the Internet. It’s not a First Amendment issue.
Releasing classified information, which might endanger American agents, should be considered an act of treason, even if it’s Wikileaks. If our government is engaging in acts which violate the Constitution or other agreements to which we are a party, there is a way to release that information to the proper authority.
We believe our military should be the best equipped in the world, with the best naval vessels, aircraft, weapons and technology equipment. Our military personnel must be the highest paid and most highly trained in the world.
The mission of our military must be the defense of this nation, followed by the defense of our allies. War must be the last resort. We don’t believe in using our military to nation build. There should be a reduction in our military bases around the world. We don’t support the draft, but we believe every American should be willing to financially make sacrifices equal to the physical sacrifices we asked of our men and women in the military. We support women in the military, including in combat. We believe military personnel should never be ordered to carry out acts of torture. Anyone committing or ordering torture should be tried for war crimes— including President Trump. We support the Geneva Accords.
We believe the National Guard should continue to receive pay and benefits comparable to full-time military personnel. Problems exists in VA hospitals, and all efforts must be undertaken to solve them, but we do not favor the privatization of the VA. We must take care of our veterans to whom we owe much.
Other than when an urgent response is needed, or military action by the president is already authorized, we think acts of war by this country should be supported by a declaration from Congress.
It will take another column to finish. In two weeks I’ll cover national security, justice for all and many miscellaneous items.
Glen McAdoo, a Fallon resident, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.