Lincoln Chafee on Foreign Policy
Democratic presidential challenger; Independent RI Governor; Republican Senator (1999-2007)
President Obama knows that wars are not to be entered into lightly; he knows that overseas conflicts don't only do damage in the land in which they are fought, but in the land of those who fight them, as well.
In the course of conversation, President Chavez allowed as how, unlike some of his neighboring heads of state, he had never been afforded an Oval Office photo opportunity. I sometimes wondered if this blow to his ego had played a part in escalating his fiery rhetoric [against President Bush].
I never got the feeling that Chavez enjoys being our enemy. Fidel Castro has made a living off playing David to the US' Goliath, but Castro is the past. Chavez is up-and-coming. It would make sense for him to forge the best possible relationship with us, and us with him. Of course, the clashists who came to power with President Bush would have none of that; they need every nation labeled and driven into one of two camps: all good or all bad.
When the clashists fanned the flames of enmity with Chavez, he ran with it, applying his talent for anti-American rhetoric in extravagant ways.
Every action we take in this Muslim nation tends to push Pakistanis to one side or the other of our roster of friends and enemies. In my time in Washington, I saw the Bush administration doing things that were virtually certain to promote extremism in this strategic country between the Middle East and the subcontinent [especially on the topic of getting] tougher on Afghan fighters taking sanctuary in Pakistan.
He dodged my question and zoomed off on a tangent that I no longer recall. But I was satisfied; by not answering my question, he had answered it.
I was a strong supporter of the land-for-peace principle, which amounts to Palestinians gaining a homeland in exchange for recognizing the legitimacy of the state of Israel.
The president and I had battled over many issues but if he meant what he said about a Palestinian state, I would be one of his most vocal allies on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. I was in a key position now, as chairman of the subcommittee that has jurisdiction over our policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Trade with China is the single most important measure Congress has faced this year,” Chafee said. “To date, China has largely been a closed market to American -- and Rhode Island -- factories, workers, and goods.
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