We must accept today’s international realities. We must set aside our dependence on arms to implement our foreign policy, stop being arrogant, and embrace cooperation. Threats accomplish nothing so we must act as a nation like we do as individuals when faced with dangers such as natural disasters and disease, we must cooperate to overcome them.
We must give notice to the world of our intentions by announcing that the Bush Doctrine will no longer be part of the foreign relations policy of the United States.
We must fully support the United Nations as the best discussion and action body available. Forming alliances such as the “coaltion of the willing,” to act when the U.N. will not, only furthers differences and encourages rivalries.
We need to revive the Anti-Ballistic Missle Treaty, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and all other measures to reduce and eliminate the possibility of nuclear holocaust.
We must reexamine our lack of support for the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.
We need to promote, sign, ratify and support a successor to the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gases and begin the process of preventing catastrophic climate change.
We must join 143 other nations in signing the 1997 Ottawa Treaty banning landmines.
We must accept the International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights, known as the “International Bill of Rights,” which 149 other countries already have done.
Along with all nations, we must look into the planet’s distrubution of wealth, to say nothing of basic human needs. Just one percent of our 2007 military spending would pay for two high-energy meals a day for 98 million children for one year.
We need to maintain a defense capability that actually protects our land, shores and airspace. We should partner with all nations to deal with terrorism or rogue leaders. We do not need bases, fleets and airfield spread imperialistically around the world.
We must join Jim Baker III and Warren Christopher, who served as secretaries of state for George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, in supporting new legislation requiring the president to inform Congress of any plans to engage in significant armed conflict.
As a nation we must realize that we cannot run the whole world’s show. Our foreign policy must put cooperation ahead of competition. As we ought to know by now, the imposition of military might does not succeed and only leads to more strife. And so much can be acccomplished with a change in the way our resources are directed.
With the last national election, the people of the United States of America had the chance to change the failed foreign policies of interference, competition and domination. We must hold the executive branch to its promises and expect that the president will replace fear and force with reason and diplomacy. We must continue to elect members of Congress who realize that the foreign policy must be changed and who accept their responsibility in the process.
Our peace and prosperity, to say nothing of our survival, depend on it—Berkley Bedell.