News / USA

    Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Votersi
    X
    Aru Pande
    February 09, 2016 4:14 PM
    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Aru Pande

    Talk at a pro-Palestinian rally in downtown Manchester is not about the weather or the primary, but why President Barack Obama has not yet shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison.

    “He’s been wanting to close Guantanamo from the start. [Some say] ‘Oh, he broke his promise,'" a man at the rally said.

    Former Peace Corps member Tom Coffman is here to stand up to what he calls a fascist Donald Trump and a fascist Israel.

    “I watched fascism be destroyed in South Africa, it’s time to destroy fascism in the Middle East,” Coffman said while holding a sign asking “Got Democracy?”

    Protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb. 8, 2016. (Photo: A. Pande / VOA)
    Protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb. 8, 2016. (Photo: A. Pande / VOA)

    At this small, silent protest, it’s not national security or the economy that will determine Mary Wilson’s vote – but the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is rarely mentioned by American politicians.

    “Anyone who looks at what’s happening in the Middle East in the last few years better care about foreign policy. We think this issue is central to our position in the world, and the safety of our troops and the safety of our people,” the Orford, New Hampshire resident said.

    The small group of silent protesters includes Veterans for Peace member Art Desmarais, who questions U.S. policy overseas, whether it is the war in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    “Every soldier wants to defend his homeland and their country, but they want to do it under the right ideas, ideas that we were founded on, not ideas that the government says we need to go here and do this or that,” Desmarais said while wearing his U.S. Army uniform.

    When it comes to casting his ballot in the presidential election, Desmarais said he will be thinking beyond his backyard.

    “I guess its about finding someone who is going to make choices, not just for us, but the rest of the world, so they have some sense of humanity,” he said.

    Protester who is against the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen in Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb. 8, 2016. (Photo. A. Pande / VOA)
    Protester who is against the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen in Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb. 8, 2016. (Photo. A. Pande / VOA)

    The sentiment is shared among many here, who say they are skeptical any presidential candidate, whether Democrat or Republican, will be able to make a truly positive difference when it comes to U.S. policy overseas.

    “We have wackos like Ted Cruz and fascists like Donald Trump. We have capitalist apologists like Hillary Clinton, we have a progressive like Bernie,” Coffman said. “But what are they going to do to liberate American foreign policy so that it supports and not destroys people all over the planet?”

    Protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb. 8, 2016. (Photo: A. Pande / VOA)
    Protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, Feb. 8, 2016. (Photo: A. Pande / VOA)

    You May Like

    Multimedia US Observes Memorial Day With Wreath-laying, National Concert

    Obama lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Ricardo from: Brazil
    February 09, 2016 1:13 PM
    I know there is no perfect country, but the people who are protesting are right.

    The saddest part of this matter is that Israel will receive 3.1 billion dollars from the U.S.in 2016 as a foreign aid
    .
    Could someone, please, explain to me what is the real reason funding Israel to kill Palestinians, besides take their land and homes? Why the U. S. is being so kind helping the refugees in Syria, and at the same time causing so much suffering to Palestinians?
    In Response

    by: Alice from: Canada
    February 10, 2016 11:39 AM
    While I believe Israel should give up on its settlements in the west bank because its better for Israel I do not believe it will make much difference to the Palestinians if they do. Israel is the whipping boy for what is really a Muslim assault on western values and institutions. No amount of concessions to the Palestinians will ever get them to give up their stated [Hamas] goals of murdering every Jew on the planet and when they are done with that to go on and kill every other 'infidel' on earth. I can not explain why so called 'progressives' have made common cause with Muslims who are openly misogynists, and support pedophilia, slavery, imperialism and genocide.
    In Response

    by: Al Breeck
    February 10, 2016 1:32 AM
    These "progressives" use a phony made up "War" with Syria to justify demanding America turn its back on Syria.
    The Obama Admin. never proposed any "War" with Syria - even in 2013 after the Damascus Gassing Massacre.

    Despite the horrors of Assad prisons - see U.N. Report accusing Assad of "extermination of detainees" just released - and monstrous bombing and starvation tactics, no one is proposing a "War" or even a "Cold War" confronting Russia - Putin and Assad over Syria at least.

    IF the man pictured had done any research he would know the US desires to build up the Defenses of Europe against the rogue unpredictable belligerent War Monger Vladimir Putin.
    Which actually is a Cold War started by Putin.
    In Response

    by: Will Thomas from: New Hampshire
    February 09, 2016 11:15 PM
    Ricardo is absolutely correct! US taxpayers help to fund a nearly 50-year old ugly and brutal Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and of Gaza (world's largest outdoor prison). US says the Israeli colonial settlements built on stolen Palestinian lands are illegal, but the US does nothing to stop this theft which is supported by a fascist and racist Israeli government.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora