The Axis of Evil Endorsement

“You shall judge of a man by his foes as well as by his friends.” – Joseph Conrad in the novel Lord Jim.

Months after John Kerry boasted of having received secret endorsements from anonymous foreign leaders around the world, many of the gaps have been filled in. The leaders of the world have weighed in on the 2004 presidential election. Let’s run down the list of nations supporting each candidate:

John Kerry

North Korea: Although north Asia’s gulag archipelago has not formally endorsed a candidate, official Communist organs have shown a pronounced affinity for John Kerry. In March, the Financial Times noted, “John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic candidate, is also getting good play in Pyongyang.” North Korean radio has aired several of Kerry’s anti-Bush speeches, and the Korean Central News Agency has given the Democratic candidate “glowing” coverage. Kerry has publicly called for bilateral discussions with North Korea, such as those conducted by Jimmy Carter on behalf of the Clinton administration in 1994, although analysts agree these would be counterproductive.

Iran: A June editorial in the Tehran Times stated, “Kerry is exactly what the U.S. needs right now.” It is undisputed that Kerry has promised to give Iran exactly what it needs right now: nuclear fuel. Kerry pledged to supply Iran with nuclear fuel, just as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton did to North Korea as it revved up its nuclear program during the 1990s.

Communist China: The state-controlled People’s Daily “news” website formally endorsed John Kerry in July. An unsigned editorial averred:

Comparatively speaking, Kerry is noted for being friendly with China. He was once firmly against linking the most-favored-nation status to China with human rights. From a long-term view, a Democratic administration, which stresses international cooperation, pursues “multilateralism” and stands for a policy of contacts, will be better for both world peace and Sino-U.S. relations.

The editorial also noted John Kerry opposes “containment of China.”

Palestinian Authority: PA foreign minister Nabil Shaath has said in a Kerry presidency, “it would be likely that several staff members during Clinton’s administration would return,” adding, “that would be a good thing.” Kerry has vowed to name Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter as Middle East envoy. The state-controlled Palestine Media Center bashed “Bush’s refusal to deal with Arafat.” President Bush has said Yasser Arafat is not a worthy “partner” working for Mideast peace. Conversely, in his 1997 book The New War, John Kerry referred to Yasser Arafat as a “statesman.”

Malaysia: In a letter dated last Friday, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad exhorted fellow Muslims to vote for John F. Kerry “in the name of Islam.” Mohamad said his co-religionists “have a duty to ensure that Bush will not be able to determine our fate for four more years…There is an obvious connection between the sufferings of the Muslims and the policies and thinking of Bush.” This is not Mohamad’s first foray into international controversy. As he prepared to step down from his 22-year-long reign as prime minister last year, he famously told the 10th Islamic Summit in Kuala Lumpur, “Jews rule the world by proxy.” (To counteract this, he has instructed Muslims to vote for John Kerry, the only ethnically Jewish candidate in the presidential race.)

Socialist Spain: As early as March, Spain’s appeasenik prime minister and Socialist Party member Jose Luis Zapatero said, “I want Kerry to win.” Zapatero told the International Herald Tribune Spain’s Socialists – the party of unilateral surrender elected after the Madrid train bombing on March 11 – were “aligning ourselves with Kerry” to build an “alliance” for “peace, against war.” Zapatero, who said he favors “a dialogue between the government of Spain and the new Kerry administration,” vowed the Kerry-Socialist axis would assure there will be “no more deaths for oil.”

France: According to all reports, John Kerry is wildly popular in the land of Gaul. A recent Le Monde poll found the Francs backing John Kerry over President Bush by more than three-to-one (72 percent to 19 percent). The Financial Times quotes an unnamed “French government official” pining for the return of the Democrats to Washington and the Ba’athists to Baghdad, saying, “A lot depends on who is in power in both Washington and Baghdad. If there’s change in both countries then it’s possible we would re-examine our position.” (Emphasis added.) The chairman of Democrats Abroad gave the “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech of the 2004 campaign, gushing Kerry “is the closest thing that you will have to a French politician.”

Germany: The Financial Times quotes Gert Weisskirchen, the foreign policy expert for Germany’s ruling Social Democratic Party, as analyzing the presidential race thus:

I cannot imagine that there will be any change in our decision not to send troops, whoever becomes president. That said, Mr. Kerry seems genuinely committed to multilateralism and as president he would find it easier than Mr. Bush to secure the German government’s backing in other matters.

Vietnam: An unnamed “Vietnamese diplomat” told the international press, “I think Vietnam would support Kerry because he has travelled many times to Vietnam and he understands better the situation here than Bush, who is a war-mongering president.” Why not? Kerry has 30 years experience negotiating with Vietnamese Communists and is immortalized in Ho Chi Minh City’s War Remnants Museum.

Others: International polls indicate the vast majority of Pakistanis, Jordanians, and Moroccans disapprove of President Bush and may be assumed to support Sen. Kerry by default.

Meanwhile, those engaged in the War on Terrorism have supported President George W. Bush.

George W. Bush

Russia: On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Russia’s RIA news agency Iraqi terrorism “aims at causing maximum damage to President Bush and to forestall his second term re-election.” He warned, “If they succeed, they would celebrate a victory against America and the anti-terror coalition, and this could lead to more acts of international terrorism.” Although Putin pledged to “respect any choice of the American people,” his comments were seen as a muted endorsement of President Bush. It seems, since mourning the tragedy of Beslan, he has discovered the wisdom of pre-emption.

Israel: Although Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority favors John Kerry, the Israelis favor George W. Bush. Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major-General Aharon Ze’evi told the Israeli Cabinet he feared, “Arafat is now waiting for the month of November in the hope that President Bush will be defeated in the presidential election and turned out of his office.” Israeli citizens seem to agree. In a poll taken by the newspaper Haaretz, Israelis preferred Bush over Kerry by two-to-one. (In all, one may expect an improvement in domestic Jewish support for the president, but many American Jews remain steadfastly loyal to the Democratic Party.)

Japan: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi divulged his support for the president last week. “I don’t want to interfere in another country’s election,” he said, “but I am close to President Bush, so I want him to do well.” The Secretary-General of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, Tsutomu Takebe, told the media, “I think there would be trouble if it’s not President Bush.” Takebe said Kerry’s plan for bilateral U.S.-North Korean negotiations “would be exactly what North Korea wants.”

The Philippines: Filipinos also support President Bush. “Filipinos…have a frontline appreciation of the threat posed by international terrorism,” according to political science professor Alex Magno, an adviser to President Gloria Arroyo. Over the past two decades, hundreds of Filipinos – and some Americans – have died at the hands of such al-Qaeda affiliates as Abu Sayyaf and Jamaaat Islamiya. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Magno states, “If Filipinos were voting for the American president, George W. Bush would have this election in the bag.”

South Korea: South Koreans, who have been tending toward anti-Americanism for years, remain split on the election. However, polls show the most anti-Communist segments of South Korea favor President Bush.

Two More Important Endorsements

Finally, two non-state actors have made their preferences known: al-Jazeera Television and the Communist Party USA.

Osama bin Laden’s chosen media outlet, al-Jazeera – which regularly refers to suicide bombers as “martyrs” and may have direct ties to terrorism – now hopes to refer to John Kerry as “Mr. President.” The pro-terror Mideastern network referred to John Kerry as “a popular mainstream Democrat with liberal tendencies” and noted the junior senator from Massachusetts “has suggested Bush’s handling of [Iraq] is ‘f****ed up.’” Although the National Journal named Kerry the Senate’s most liberal member, al-Jazeera claimed “Kerry is well placed politically between his party’s radical left and arch conservatives.” (“Arch-conservative” Democrats?) After all, the Democratic Party gave al-Jazeera a skybox at its national convention this summer.

The Communist Party USA is not foreign, although it illegally received Soviet money for decades. It, too, has cast its lot with John Kerry. The CPUSA lists as election priority number one that Communists do their “utmost to help defeat Bush.” The communist website dedicates an entire page of internal articles to anti-Bush propaganda. Echoing John Kerry (or is it the other way around?), the Communist Party USA decries the “well-financed campaign to weaken and destroy the impact of the African-American vote.” Similarly, on September 11th of this year, Kerry told the Congressional Black Caucus, “We are not going to stand by and allow another million African-American votes to go uncounted in this election.” The rhetorical similarities no doubt account for the CPUSA’s silent endorsement.

Conclusions

In all, it appears those nations most opposed to the War on Terrorism – including the remaining two members of the Axis of Evil – endorse the foreign policies of the Left, which they see embodied in the person of John Kerry. On the other hand, those nations historically friendly to the United States back President George W. Bush. It is significant that those nations under the greatest terrorist threat – Russia, the Philippines, Israel and (if one counts nuclear threats from North Korea) Japan – all favor the aggressive policy of taking the war to the terrorists pursued by the Bush administration. If we do not wish to share their peril, we would do well to heed their advice to reject the discredited, defeatist foreign policies of the Left.

Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and author of the book 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Charitable Giving.

This article originally ran as the weekend lead story on Friday, October 22, 2004, on FrontPage Magazine.