News

Foreign policy issues take center stage at Presidential Debate

As UM prepares to host the first 2004 Presidential Debate, debate over which candidate is best for the country is flourishing on campus. Since the debate at the University will be focusing on foreign policy, issues such as Iraq and the War on Terror will inevitably surface as students, faculty, and eventually the presidential candidates exchange points of view.

Although foreign policy encompasses several countries and regions, including Russia, North Korea and the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Iraq and the War on Terror are the prevalent topics due to the focus both campaigns have given to these issues.

Students, for the most part, think of foreign policy issues as less important than domestic policy issues; domestic policy seems to have a greater effect on what many students consider their home country.

However, the students who do feel strongly about foreign affairs make it clear who they think is the better candidate.

“I believe that Kerry would be more proficient in building alliances instead of tearing down walls” Cassandra Avenatti, junior, said.

Ryan Mason, freshman, differs in opinion.

“[Bush] puts America first,” Mason said. “I don’t agree with the Iraq war, but he was acting on the intelligence that he had, so I don’t fault him for it.”

Mason nevertheless plans to vote for Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian candidate. Kristen Feldman, sophomore, isn’t quite sure either way.

“I don’t really like Bush’s handling of foreign policy,” Feldman said. “But I don’t know what to say about Kerry because he hasn’t said anything.”

International students also offer diverse opinions.

Nitin Aggarwal, a sophomore from Tanzania, thinks Kerry is the better choice.

“Bush really needs to learn how to formulate foreign policy-he shouldn’t isolate the U.S. from the rest of the world,” Aggarwal said. “We need global cooperation. That’s why I’d vote Kerry if I were an American citizen.”

Jaspinder Sachdev, a sophomore from India, offers some dissent.

“India and Pakistan are only starting to enjoy better relations because of the U.S.,” Sachdev said. “Bush has put pressure on [Pakistani President] Musharraf to crack down on terrorism, which helps both the U.S. and India.”

Knowledgeable faculty members are also voicing their opinions, and they’re also clear as to what stance they take.

Dr. Ira Sheskin, a professor of Geography, doesn’t believe it matters much who wins.

“John Kerry is trying to make himself look different,” Sheskin said. “But the reality is, no matter who gets into office, what we need to do in Iraq is clear – neither will pull the troops back, Kerry will do exactly what Bush will do, and we need to stay until the Iraqi government is fully set up.”

Political Science professor Dr. Louise Davidson-Schmich offered a European perspective.

“[Kerry] said multiple times he doesn’t want the U.S. to make decisions alone, and wants to consult with allies, which is what Europe wants,” Davidson-Schmich said. “For the sake of the world, it’s best that we work together.”

The candidates haven’t emphasized foreign policy as much as other issues in their campaigns. As far as Iraq is concerned, they lay down what they believe should be done, but lack specifics.

When it comes to North Korea, both candidates have merely denounced North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il’s nuclear weapons program; neither presents a plan on how to deal with it, and Ralph Nader barely even mentions it.

What remains to be seen is who can convince the student body, and voters in general, that he is the better choice.

Jay Rooney can be contacted at j.rooney@umiami.edu.

September 30, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

In 2016, the Miami Hurricanes had tight end David Njoku, who went in the first round of the 2017 NFL ...

Four days had passed since his University of Miami basketball team squandered a 13-point second half ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ search for offensive line help is set to continue on the weekend of Jan. 26, w ...

It looks like Chad Thomas will have another opportunity to show NFL scouts that he is ready to play ...

Hurricanes fans, get out your pencils, calendars and a list of your favorite hotels. The Atlantic Co ...

Presidents at three higher education institutions in Miami "lend our unified voices” to the cal ...

Thirty high school English teachers from Brazil are spending six weeks at UM in a new skill-building ...

Global and local efforts needed to respond to biological threats, UM President Julio Frenk warned at ...

As artificial Intelligence takes hold, tech visionary David Kenny stresses keeping human values in t ...

UM’s First Black Graduates Project committee visits an iconic D.C. museum for inspiration to create ...

The Canes won four events against FGCU on Saturday while also recording a total of 11 top-three fini ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team (1-1) opened the spring portion of its 2017-18 schedu ...

The Miami women's basketball resumes play Sunday at 1 p.m., at Boston College with its northern ...

The University of Miami track and field team starred in the Lone Star State, as the Hurricanes shone ...

The Miami women's tennis team dominated play on its home court Friday to open the 2018 spring s ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.