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October 09, 2004

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Wayne

Unfortunately the only real worth of Kerry getting in, is that all the irrational Bush hatred that's been used to justify anti-Americanism will lose a lot of its energy. That, and at least some of the American-European relations wil be repaired (but not entirely).

And as much as Bush has irked me on free trade, fiscal discipline and other economic matters, Kerry may be worse on several (barring the atrocious budget deficit). He was actively rallying against outsourcing (which has been aiding third world nations and has seen South Africa experiencing a mini international call centre boom in Cape Town), calling American companies that do so "Benedict Arnold's". He's also no Clinton when it comes to economic matters - promising to gun after nations like China because of Americans appetite for debt financed consumption.

Edwards in turn is highly protectionist and would Zoelliger still be at the table trying to keep the Doha WTO talks alive if the Democrats win? Somehow I fear he won't. Nor will a Democrat administration cut the bloated agricultural subsidies denigrating poorer countires. Then again, neither will the EU and Bush himself did in fact increase them.

One can't help believe then that it's a case of supporting the lesser evil.

Abiola Lapite

I'm under no illusions that Kerry's a free-trader, but the hope is that a Republican Senate and Congress will instinctively refuse to give him anything he asks for; the last four years have not been the best of arguments for undivided Republican rule.

As for Zoellick, I have to say I'm deeply underwhelmed by what he's accomplished during his term, and he won't be missed should he go. It mustn't be forgotten that all those tariffs and the disgusting farm bill were passed under his and his Boss's watch, not that of the Democrats.

Finally, if there's one thing Bush's electoral promises and his subsequent tenure have proven, it's not to take at face value anything candidates say on the campaign trail. If Kerry wants his much-ballyhooed multilateralism to work out in practice, there are going to be firm limits on how much he's going to be willing to deliver to his anti-trade constituency, much firmer than what a "unilateralist cowboy" would have to worry about.

Kenji


One thing that continues to baffle me about Kerry's foreign policy (because I am Japanese after all) is that he insists that the United States should resort to bilateral talks in dealing with North Korea. Can someone provide me with an intelligent defense of this view?

Abiola Lapite

"Can someone provide me with an intelligent defense of this view?"

I'm not going to even try, as it's clearly nonsensical. I think he's saying it to appease the "peace at any price" wing of the Democratic Party, but I sure as hell hope he doesn't actually mean what he's saying here. Then again, he's only recently refused to rule out the possibility of pre-emptive strikes on North Korea, so at this point it isn't clear which way Kerry will go should he win.

Considering that a second Kerry administration is likely to see the return of a lot of the same old folks who put in the last worthless agreement, I'm willing to grant that there is some cause for worry, though.

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