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
  • Error

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

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 on Thursdays during the regular academic year.