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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Towering Challenges

by Paul Findley

© Shutterstock

Former US Congressman Hon. Paul Findley reminds American voters of key issues to consider when weighing up the candidates running in the US Presidential Election. He asks the American people to consider the implications of foreign policy issues and not just domestic issues.

US voters pondering which candidate is best prepared to be their next president should examine the foreign policy challenges he or she will face beginning January 20, 2017. The person who takes office that day must take a major role, if not lead, in mastering massive global challenges unprecedented in world history.

Voters should study how their candidate will handle the following issues:

Nuclear Warheads

Nuclear warheads are a grave but little-noted threat to all inhabitants on earth, including of course all US citizens. The peril posed by the world's inventory of 18,000 nuclear warheads is beyond comprehension. Each warhead possesses destructive power many times greater than the two primitive nuclear ones that destroyed all inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.

The stakes could not be higher. The explosion of just one warhead, whether by accident or design, could destroy most of a continent. The United States has had several accidental close calls in handling its inventory, but no president since Ronald Reagan has taken even a modest step toward disabling them.

No one in the world will be truly safe until each warhead is disabled and properly buried. Russia and the United States have about 8,000 warheads each. The rest are divided among China, Israel, Pakistan, India, Great Britain, France and North Korea.

Not to mention what we don't know about Iran's nuclear programme.

Disabling all warheads will require the next president to gain the long-term cooperation of all eight other nations. We need a president able to gain the respect and confidence of all eight nations. Doing nothing is not a serious option.

Voters should examine how well their candidate can manage this negotiating duty.

War Powers

The US Constitution gives Congress the exclusive right to declare war. Declaring war and making war are viewed as the same thing.

Several presidents have violated the constitutional restriction on occasion. President Barrack Obama has ordered unauthorized acts of war against Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Will voters choose a president who will observe constitutional restrictions on war powers?

World Policing

Doctrines announced by the George W. Bush administration in 2002 asserted the US right to counter militarily threats to world peace and accepted the obligation to maintain the US military at levels that will meet any threat worldwide. In effect, it announced the US duty to police the world, a massive responsibility no single nation should seek or accept.

Do voters believe their candidate will want the United States to police the world?

Privacy

In the wake of 9/11, Congress authorised in the Patriot Act, an enormous system that effectively spies on all US citizens in violation of the constitutionally protected right of privacy.

Do voters want the next president to continue such intrusions on privacy?

America's Israel-Centric Foreign Policy

For 45 years the US government has effectively financed Israel's subjugation of Palestinian human rights and ignored its illegal seizure of Palestinian land. This bias is the root cause of most of the conflict now raging in the Middle East. In the last 16 years, the toll in US lives tops 10,000, the cost to taxpayers over two trillion US dollars. During this same period, US military action labeled as ‘anti-terrorism’ killed more than 200,000 people, most of them innocent Muslims. Although little noted in American media, this killing infuriated over a billion Muslims worldwide as well as many millions of non-Muslims. Most of this killing can be traced to the anti-Palestinian bias in our foreign policies.

Do voters want the next president to continue this anti-bias?

Food for thought.

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