Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009

An Imprint on Foreign Affairs

Kennedy's sphere of influence reached far beyond America's shores. His imprimatur on world affairs was felt most strongly in Northern Ireland, where, as early as 1970, the Massachusetts Senator injected himself into the conflict by dubbing it "Britain's Vietnam." A harsh critic of that nation's repressive policies, he later became a voice of moderation, urging IRA militants to renounce violence during the bloodshed of the '70s and '80s and helping to lay the groundwork within the U.S. for the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that secured a lasting peace. He also worked to combat injustice in such places as South Africa, where he introduced a 1985 anti-apartheid bill that led to government sanctions, and South America, where he opposed the brutal military dictatorships that held sway over Chile and Argentina during the 1970s.