One of John Kerry's biggest criticisms of the President regarding the Iraq war has been Bush's failure to build a multi-lateral effort before proceeding into Iraq. For the record, I would certainly have preferred that we had the support, in name, capital and military, of Germany, France and Russia.
Kerry says that he will work with the nations of the world so that they will share the burden. He said this last night:
I know what we have to do in Iraq. We need a president who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side and share the burden, reduce the cost to American taxpayers, and reduce the risk to American soldiers. That's the right way to get the job done and bring our troops home.
That's wonderful. No one could argue with that. Kerry will have a lot of difficulty fulfilling this promise. George Will agrees here:
Like Bush, Kerry says that success in Iraq is necessary, and he defines success as Bush does — Iraq secure, prosperous and democratic. The drama of a Kerry presidency would not be in his attempts to enlist ``the world'' in helping to achieve that, but in his reaction to his failure to do so.
The problem is that other countries just don't care as much as we would like them to. They criticize us for being bullies with self-interested foreign policy.
Every country has a self-interested foreign policy; it would be crazy not to. At the same time, however, I simply don't think we're as bad as we are painted to be.
Let's look, for example at the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. According to Reuters:
At least 30,000 civilians have been killed in Sudan's western region of Darfur, 1 million have been driven from their villages into barren camps and 2 million need food and medicine in what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis and the U.S. Congress has branded as genocide.
The problem is that the Sudanese government is doing very little to ameliorate the problem. As a matter of fact, many suggest that the government is funding the Arab militias who have driven the above million citizens from their homes.