Towards An Even-handed Foreign Policy in the US Congress? Rep. Dennis Kucinich leads a new trend

Dandelion Salad

Updated: 1.28.09 added the list of Congress people who have spoken out; see “Thoughtful Statements” below

by Michael Carmichael
Global Research, January 26, 2009

According to astute observers — there is a new trend in Congress in favor of a more even-handed approach to foreign policy. The bipartisan group, Council for the National Interest hails Congressman Dennis Kucinich as the leader of the new trend.

The Council for the National Interest (CNI) was founded by former Congressman Paul Findley. CNI is a bipartisan group that supports a more balanced and even-handed US foreign policy in the Middle East.

For a host of reasons from the environment to foreign policy to healthcare to banking and economic reform, Dennis Kucinich is rightfully regarded as the leader of the progressive caucus in the US House of Representatives. In recent weeks, Kucinich led the opposition to the resolution backing Israel’s war against Gaza – H. Res. 34.

In a formal statement citing Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits attacks on civilian populations, Kucinich called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to launch an independent United Nations enquiry into the recent Gaza War.

In an eloquent and perceptive letter addressed to President Barack Obama, Kucinich called for a decisive shift in US foreign policy from the Bush Era to what he described as a “rational foreign policy.” In his letter to Obama, Kucinich proposed:

  1. US aid for the reconstruction of Gaza
  2. Immediate humanitarian aid to Gaza
  3. Immediate end to the siege-blockade of Gaza that is preventing the delivery of food, water and medical supplies
  4. Immediate ceasefire
  5. A diverse group of advisors for Special Envoy George Mitchell.

In the last election cycle, the Israel Lobby targeted Dennis Kucinich by funding two opponents (one Democrat and one Republican) for his seat in Congress. But even against heavily funded opposition in his primary and the general election — Kucinich won with over 57% of the vote.

In his opposition to US support for the Gaza War, Dennis Kucinich was joined by more than two dozen members of Congress who opposed the Gaza War resolution by voting, “Nay,” “Present,” and abstaining from the vote. This growing support for an even-handed approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict is important, because it proves that there is a viable trend to reform US foreign policy vis a vis the Middle East. When 44 members of Congress representing one tenth of the membership of the House of Representatives oppose the Party Whip, there is a definite trend.

This emergent foreign policy faction is clearly bipartisan. Republican Ron Paul and his colleague from Texas, Paul Ronald, voted against the Gaza resolution, and seven more Republicans abstained from voting for the resolution that enjoyed the backing of the Bush White House in the former president’s last formal gesture as a defiant neoconservative to closing out his deeply unpopular presidency.

The growth of this important progressive foreign policy faction can largely be attributed to Kucinich’s courageous leadership and his political perseverance against the odds.

Planetary has taken note that many members of Congress who support progressive ideals in domestic policy voted in favor of the Gaza War resolution. In the future, these errant progressives will join the progressive foreign policy faction as President Obama unfolds historic changes in US policy such as those he announced last week at the State Department.

By appointing George Mitchell as Special Envoy to Israel-Palestine; supporting the cessation of the siege of Gaza and promising to be “aggressive” in his drive for a peace agreement between the Arabs and Israelis, President Obama has already taken steps proposed and supported by Kucinich to formalize a more even-handed approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the broader Middle East.

In his remarks at the State Department, President Obama said, “It will be the policy of my administration to actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as between Israel and its Arab neighbors.”

Considering President Obama’s new direction in foreign policy, it now seems seriously unlikely that next month’s elections in Israel will have any impact on US policy. President Obama has calibrated a new diplomatic trajectory that removes, rejects and repudiates the failed neoconservative policies of George Bush who never took an even-handed approach to the Middle East for even one day of his disastrous presidency.

It is equally clear that Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul will continue to lead the Congressional opposition to neoconservative foreign policy in the House of Representatives as they have for the past eight years during the rogue presidency of the partisan neocon, George W. Bush.

Voting – “Nay” – 6 / 4 Democrats and 2 Republicans

Dennis Kucinich (D, OH) Maxine Waters (D, CA) Paul Ronald (R, TX) Nick Rahall (D, WV) Ron Paul (R, TX) Gwen Moore (D, WI)

Voting – “Present” – 22 Democrats

Raul Grijalva (D, AZ) Lynn Woolsey (D, CA) George Miller (D, CA) Barbara Lee (D, CA) Fortney Stark (D, CA) Sam Farr, (D, CA) Diane Watson (D, CA) Loretta Sanchez (D, CA) Henry Johnson (D, CA) Neil Abercrombi (D, HI) Donna Edwards (D. MD) John Oliver (D, MA) Carolyn Kilpatrick (D, MI) John Dingell (D, MI) Betty McCollum (D, MN) Keith Ellison (D, MN) Donald Payne (D, NJ) Maurice Hinchey (D, NY) Earl Blumenauer (D, OR) Peter Defazion (D, OR) James Moran (D, VI) James McDermott (D, WA)

Not Voting-Abstention – 16 / 9 Democrats and 7 Republicans

John Shadegg (R, AZ) Robert Berry (D, AZ) Victor Snyder (D, AZ) Elton Gallegly (D, CA) Hilda Solis (D, CA) Todd Tiahrt (R, KS) William Delahunt (D, MA) Samuel Graves (R, MO) Walter Jones (R, NC) Henry Brown (R, SC) Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D, SD) Jeb Hensarling (R, TX) Kay Granger (R, TX) Frederick Boucher (D, VI) Brian Baird (D, WA) Steve Kagan (D, WI)

© Copyright Michael Carmichael,, 2009

The url address of this article is:


Thoughtful Statements from Congress

J Street

J Street : Thoughtful Statements from Congress

The following Members of Congress have issued thoughtful statements on the crisis between Israel and Hamas supporting Israel’s right to self-defense; the interests of the United States, Israel, and others in region by calling for Israeli-Hamas Ceasefire; and / or renewed United States Engagement in the Middle East peace process. Click here to download a PDF version of the below statements.


Kucinich to Obama: Change Failed Bush Policies in Middle East

Banned from the BBC – Gaza Aid Appeal Video + George Galloway at Protest for Gaza

Kucinich: Were Israel’s Security Needs Influenced By The U.S. Calendar?

Kucinich Cites Arms Export and Control Act in Decision to Vote Against House Measure Supporting Israeli Offensive

Dennis Kucinich States His Intention To Put The Federal Reserve Under Government Control


Gaza Crisis Appeal

33 thoughts on “Towards An Even-handed Foreign Policy in the US Congress? Rep. Dennis Kucinich leads a new trend

  1. Pingback: Armed and Dangerous: Weapons Transfers to Israel during the Bush Administration « Dandelion Salad

  2. Great post, thanks DS.

    Dennis Kucinich should be Speaker of the House, instead of Nancy Pelosi, since he speaks for all of us. If Josiahe thinks Dennis is a joke, the joke’s on Josiahe. I don’t know who said it, but “No good deed goes unpunished,” applies to Dennis’s fight for justice, while being demonized for telling the truth and standing up for the people. I love that man, for he is the epitome of brotherly love.

  3. Pingback: Controversial scholar slams Israeli ‘massacre’ of Gaza civilians (must-see) « Dandelion Salad

  4. I still say that Josiahe is posting boilerplate Zionist argument, none of which hasn’t already been hashed over. As for my emotional state, of course I’m angry. Genocide does that to me.

    We can debate the dropping of leaflets by Israel – to me, I thought of it as terrorism, in light of the fact that those poor people had no where to run to. I can also make the point that a democracy does not block the voting rights of any of its citizens, especially for reasons of religion or ethnicity.

    dandelionsalad, thank you for your suggestion. I am reading them all. I continue to have hope. By the way, I am a Muslim, but my views on Israel and Palestine did not originate from religion. I converted four years ago, but have been following the saga of the Palestinians since the 1967 war (when I was 10 years old). Asalam alaikum.

  5. OK; I won’t. Others have said they couldn’t find mine. I’ve invited them instead to put their replies on my blog so as to not complicate yours, but no problem, either way.

  6. And I can’t resist this one – josiahe, HAMAS is an acronym for the resistance movement. In Arabic it means “Zeal.” Only in Hebrew does it mean “violence.” Zionists certainly know the definition of violence, after all, they’ve been perfecting it since 1947.

    Your xenophobia is showing.

  7. Mary, you’re right about most people only voting for their chicken in their pot – ‘selfish is as selfish does’.

    So you opposed the U.N. and the allowing Jews return to their homeland?

    Your use of the term “Zionist”, the way you use the term, shows your anger.

    In violation of the Logan act, President Elect (then)Obama sent his envoy to the Middle East to talk with Hamas representatives even before the election. Let’s keep this honest. So you’re saying President Obama has gone back on his word to talk with ALL parties?

    Tell me why Israel drops leaflets and makes cell phone calls and text messages to Gaza residents warning them of areas about to be attacked because of terrorists operating there?

    Does that sound like a nation that does NOT want peace? Then answer why Palestians teach their children to hate!

    Israel is a JEWISH nation! Why should it let non-Jews vote? That would be like allowing visiting student / terrorists to vote in America. Palestinians have multiple wives and numerous children – their numbers would soon be the majority. If allowed to vote, do you think Palestinians would allow Jews to stay in Israel? You’re not thinking rationally, or at least with only myopic foresight!

    Please take a look at my post – “GAZA WAR – PALESTINIAN CHILDREN” and then “VIDEOS PALESTINIAN SUPPORTERS WON’T WATCH”. They’re both at I’ve tried to post that before but it’s been edited out.

    • Please don’t use this blog to advertise your blog, Josiahe. You’ve done this several times already. Like everyone else, you can put your website/blog’s address on the comment form and if anyone is so inclined to click your name and visit it, fine.

  8. Thanks, dandelionsalad. I’m in the midst of “cramming” Ilan’s work into my brain. I am doing an article on him and his books for publication. Mr. Pappe has done an amazing job of recovering the “lost” history of Palestine.

    Really, no one should try to discuss the situation without having some knowledge. Simply accepting the misinformation doled out by the mainstream media is, especially in this instance, quite dangerous. I applaud Dennis Kucinich for his courage, but have you noticed how little coverage he gets? He was re-elected by the citizens of Ohio last November, which means at least his constituents know what a gem he is. But the rest of the country doesn’t. I firmly believe that were it not for the heavy hitting corporate interests, Kucinich could have been elected president if only his message had been heard. But as always, he was drowned out by the big money candidates. Anyway, you can’t even find an article on him and in any major newspaper. It’s scary.

  9. Also, josiahe, your arguments are boilerplate Zionist nonsense which does not hold up under close scrutiny. Face it – it is the beginning of the end of Zionist brutality. The world is waking up to it. Your latest Gaza enterprise, justifiably, has blown up in your faces. Israel will face world scrutiny. More than 300 human rights organizations around the world have petitioned the World Court to charge Israel with crimes against humanity. Fighting homemade rockets with F16’s and white phosphorus is more than a little bit of overkill, don’t you think?

  10. All people who wish to debate the history of Palestine (including you, josiahe) should read Ilan Pappe’s book, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.” Maybe you will understand just how the Arabs were “supposed to leave” – and you will understand the Nakba. Jewish troops, beginning in 1947, methodically massacred, imprisoned and drove out tens of thousands of indigenous Palestinians, and completely destroyed hundreds of villages.

    You need to stop being so defensive of Israel’s tyranny and learn the truth. Israel is built upon the blood and bones of dead Palestinians. Your hero, David Ben-Gurion, was the mastermind of this genocide, which continues even today.

    • Thanks, Mary, very good suggestion on the book and to learn more about the Nakba. I would say that most Americans have no idea the history of the beginnings of the state of Israel, all they know is what the corporate media spews and most of that is Israeli propaganda.

  11. It is obvious that the Israel lobby is still controlling the shots in Washington because of George Mitchell’s refusal to talk to Hamas. Now, really, does it make any sense to claim to try to negotiate peace without talking to Hamas? They are the elected government of Gaza and hold a majority of seats in the Fatah government in the West Bank. As usual, Israel blocks any progress because it does not want peace; it wants the Arabs gone or completely subdued. It wants a purely Jewish state, as evidenced by its recent outlawing of Arab political parties (some democracy, eh?).

  12. The problem is, Americans have been immersed in a culture of self-interest. Most of them don’t really give a damn about what happens anywhere outside of their own backyards. Most of the people I know don’t have the faintest idea of what is happening in the middle east; what got Obama elected was not his stance on foreign policy, but his promises to fix the economy. I have had many discussions with people and the consensus is that people will back a candidate who promises them that they can hold onto what they’ve got.

    I don’t think Obama is going to rock the boat with the Israel lobby. He threw them a big victory by appointing Hillary Clinton and he has made it clear that the US’ relationship with Israel is “sacrosanct.” This nonsense goes all the way back to Harry Truman, who allowed the Zionist lobby to persuade him not to vote in the UN against the partition of Palestine, even though it was clear it would become what came to be called “the nakba.” Ever since then, the lobby has controlled the US foreign policy in the middle east. Except for true mavericks such as Kucinich, all of Washington has been unfailingly pro-Zionist, which is increasingly becoming disastrous, as this latest slaughter committed by Israel proves.

    • Thanks, Mary.

      Did you see the second story in this post, “Thoughtful Statements from Congress”? I’ve updated it and added the links to those in Congress who have issued statements.

      To anyone who has their Congressperson listed, please email them a thank-you.

  13. Dennis is the bravest and most honest member of Congress. Imagine the country and world that would have been possible were he elected POTUS. Perhaps the American people will awake from their slumber and follow Kucinich’s lead pushing the Obama administration to make the tough and right choices to correct the wrongs that have long held this country in the grip of ignorance and propaganda.

  14. If Kuchinich has exposed the corruption, I’ve been unaware of his selfless work there, and more power to him, but he’s off base re: Israel. So are you!

    Why should a nation give back land captured in a war? Especially land that was once theirs? It was before the diaspora, but it WAS theirs!

    Hamas has reasonable terms? Tell me; what terms? Oh; you mean we’re to be doing nothing while you kidnap soldiers and send rockets into our land . . . . while you send suicide bombers to kill non-combatants, women and children . . . in our land . . . while you teach your tiny children to hate us . . . .

    Like it or not, and you won’t, but Jerusalem, by definition: city of peace, was part of Israel.

    Israel was established by your people – the U.N., for a homeland for Jews! Palestinians were to go to Jordan. Those in Gaza didn’t!

    All those not swearing loyalty to Israel ought to be deported to Jordan, as was intended! Those who swear loyalty and are not found so, should be imprisoned or deported.

    That is a solution; it will never be accepted by the Palestinians, but it is the only political solution!

    Do you know what the word HAMAS means?

    It means “VIOLENCE”. That in itself, is telling!

  15. If we had more people like Kucinich in politics, the whole world would be a better place. He is one of the few politicians who does not operate out of self interest or at the behest of lobbyists. if that makes him less than credible to some people, then so be it.
    Kucinich has taken it upon himself to make public records out of the misdeeds of American politicians, so even if they aren’t punished for their crimes, the facts are there, for all of history.

    Mr. Kucinich knows what everyone else in Washington knows but is too cowardly to say – that Israel should not be given carte blanche to continue its brutality against Palestine and that they must return to their pre-1967 borders and stay there. It is actually very simple; only the politicians make it appear to be a conundrum. Hamas has presented very reasonable terms to Israel, but of course the Zionists won’t consider them because their goal is to take over the whole enchilada, including Jerusalem in its entirety.

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  18. Rocket’s statement is mixed . . . . not metaphors, but for instance, just when did Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Linberg become “founding fathers”? Maybe I’m wrong; did they live to be 200 years old?

    I understand isolationism and agree with some facets of it; but we are the big boys on the block and as such, we are obligated to free people who are oppressed, protect those who are weak and stand for justice and equality.

    We should have gone to war with Germany sooner and Israel is surrounded by people that follow Hitler and teach their children to hate.

    There are lies and statistics that lie; either read both sides and try hard to find the truth or quit spreading hate and BS; so far this site has done failed. Feel free to visit my blog and we can talk.

  19. we need to go back to the America first movement of the 30’s with charles Linberg and frank loyd wright . call me an isolationist . Madison said ” america should not go chasing monsters around the globe ”.
    the founding fathers were real clear about this .

  20. Pingback: Israeli troops killed Gaza children carrying white flag, witnesses say + Obama and global power « Dandelion Salad

  21. Pingback: “You Can’t Talk About The Reality Of Israel” « Dandelion Salad

  22. It is great that Dennis is finally getting traction. It’s a shame that it took the disaster in Gaza for everyone to finally start realizing the sanity and humanity of his views.

  23. Astute observers don’t bother observing Kucinich! He’s a joke! So is Ron Paul! If that’s your arsenal, you’d better reload!

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