President Bush should be re-elected because he advocates a
multilateral foreign policy and follows the vital principle of not
making national interests subject to the approval of international
organizations. This foreign policy approach has been successful in
bringing together members of the international community to handle
issues of global concern.

Prior to going to war with Iraq, the president sought approval
from the United Nations, and unfortunately was rebuffed by China,
France, Germany and other countries. However, the president carried
on and acted with what he thought was in the best interest of
American security. He put together a coalition including Australia,
Great Britain, Italy, Japan, South Korea and yes, Poland. During
the debates the president’s insistence that John Kerry
recognize Polish contributions to the war in Iraq drew a lot of
laughs from the late night shows and those trying to denigrate the
contributions of our allies to the international coalition.
Thankfully, the president understands that America should be happy
to have as many allies as possible and has given them the
recognition they deserve in contributing to the coalition. The
president’s detractors say that the president can only act
with approval from the United Nations Security Council, but if
having Poland at our side isn’t enough, how can having the
approval of Algeria, Angola and Benin make the situation in Iraq
any better?

No one should consider that the United Nations is a panacea to
the world’s problems. There are various scandals at the
United Nations., the most egregious of which is that many U.N.
officials, as well as diplomats from France and Russia are now
being implicated in the U.N. oil-for-food scam in which Saddam
Hussein ripped off the United Nations for over $10.1 billion.
Hussein then used this money to buy off political allies on the
world stage, while trying to make the claim that the sanctions
placed on him, not himself, made life for his people more
difficult.

The United States isn’t perfect, but to become a viable
organization that has its authority and resolutions respected
again, it must reform itself and clean up its act. By providing
funding for a quarter of the U.N. budget the United States has
remained committed to the ideals that the United Nations can be
capable of. Critics will say that the president has no respect for
the United Nations and are proven wrong by the fact that the
president has addressed the U.N. General Assembly three times
during his term about the challenges the international community
must face together.

Multilateralism is the unified actions of more than two
countries and is not something that is defined strictly by U.N.
approval. The president realizes that the United Nations
isn’t perfect and therefore has chosen not to give the body
veto power over our national security. By bringing together a
coalition of 34 countries, the president has created a multilateral
force that is now working toward peace in Iraq and replacing a
dictatorship with a democratic government.

The president has also engaged in multilateralism on a variety
of issues. The United States is now working with China, Japan,
Russia and South Korea to negotiate a resolution to the nuclear
dilemmas that North Korea now poses. This is a departure from the
bilateral negotiations of the past decade that the North Koreans
did not honor and that aided in the development of their nuclear
program. Kerry has been critical of the multilateral approach in
North Korea, claiming instead that the United States should work
with North Korea bilaterally to negotiate not only a solution to
the nuclear problems, but also re-open talks about the 1952
armistice and the de-militarized zone between the North and South
Korea. First, the top priority of talks with North Korea must be
ending the development of its nuclear capabilities. Second, it is
incomprehensible how excluding South Korea from negotiations about
the 1952 armistice and the DMZ would make the region or the world a
safer place. Third, it’s hypocritical to criticize the
President for not bringing countries together and then promote
excluding other countries from discussing issues that directly
affect them.

The North Korea situation should be handled with a multilateral
approach. By having China, Japan, Russia and South Korea involved,
the U.S. generates international cooperation and gets regional
powers involved in a dialogue to solve a common problem.

In Libya, the effects of the president’s foreign policy
have resulted in the end of a developing weapons program and the
end of defiance from brutal dictator and terrorist, Moammar
Gadhafi, to the world community. Now Libya is becoming a
cooperative member of the world community. This terrific result is
due to the fact that the president was able to bring countries
together and show dictators that the world would not tolerate them
developing weapons programs.

The president has been a leader in the international community.
His foreign policy is based on multilateralism and the important
principle of not making national security interests beholden to the
United Nations or other organizations. Whether he is working with
leaders in Europe, the Middle East or East Asia, the president has
shown he is a capable leader on the international stage who brings
countries together for common goals. A new term will bring new
challenges, and the President has the experience, knowledge and
leadership skills to protect American interests at home and abroad
for the next four years. Re-elect George W. Bush President of the
United States.

 

— Russell is an LSA freshman and a member of the Daily
editorial board.

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