DES MOINES, IA -- Governor Bill Richardson gave a speech at the Des Moines Embassy Club today, putting forward his vision for a New Realism in American foreign policy and slamming the Bush Administration's record of failure.
"This administration's lack of realism has led us to a dangerous place," said Governor Richardson. "In an era of terrorism, they have squandered our military power, undermined our diplomatic leverage, and depleted our treasury. They have emboldened our enemies and isolated us from our friends. They have confused our moral compass and compromised our national security."
President Bush doesn't understand that success in foreign policy requires both a strong military and smart diplomacy. Because diplomacy without power is weak, and power without diplomacy is blind."
Governor Richardson presented a sweeping vision on how the United States can take the right and righteous path forward in the conduct of its foreign affairs.
"We need to take a different path. A path based on reality, not unilateralist illusions. A path that understands that the gravest dangers that threaten us today do not threaten only us -- and that therefore to pursue our national interest and meet these challenges we must work with our friends, our enemies, and everyone in between.”
To restore American leadership, we need to reject dogma, and to embrace a New Realism in our foreign policy. An enlightened and ethical Realism for the 21st century. A Realism that looks at the world through cool eyes, but that is also inspired by ardent principles. With courage and strength to act when necessary."
Governor Richardson also detailed his long and successful experience in foreign policy -- experience that makes him the best choice for President.
"I have continued my overseas missions, negotiating with the North Koreans three times, and Sudanese President al-Bashir twice. In North Korea I secured the release of the remains of American servicemen who lost their lives in the Korean War and I helped push the North Koreans towards a nuclear deal to shut down the Yongbyon reactor.”
And in Sudan, I secured the release of American journalist Paul Salopek and his Chadian crew. And I negotiated a fragile cease fire in Darfur. I've been called the only Governor with a foreign policy. So I've got the experience and record of accomplishment to make real changes."
Despite the challenges facing America, Governor Richardson struck a hopeful note for the future of the United States and its leadership of the world.
"Our remarkable military and our prosperous economy gave us the power to lead. But our commitment to human dignity -- including our willingness to struggle against our own prejudices -- inspired others to follow."
The challenges facing America today are great. But so are the opportunities. To capitalize, the country will need an executive with demonstrated leadership and proven experience," said Governor Richardson.