Joseph Wilson: Why Obama's Lacking in Foreign Policy Affairs

Former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson makes some interesting points on why Barack Obama's foreign policy positions show his relative ineptitide in this area.

He also uses a past exchange between Obama and John McCain to show Obama isn't a fighter and may be one who capitulates too easily.

But will Mr. Obama fight? His brief time on the national scene gives little comfort. Consider a February 2006 exchange of letters with Mr. McCain on the subject of ethics reform. The wrathful Mr. McCain accused Mr. Obama of being "disingenuous," to which Mr. Obama meekly replied, "The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you."

Mr. McCain was insultingly dismissive but successful in intimidating his inexperienced colleague. Thus, in his one known face-to-face encounter with Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama failed to stand his ground.

Of Obama's foreign policy pronouncements, Wilson says: [More...]

What special disadvantages does Mr. Obama carry into this contest on questions of national security?

How will Mr. Obama answer Mr. McCain about his careless remark about unilaterally bombing Pakistan - perhaps blowing up an already difficult relationship with a nuclear state threatened by Islamic extremists? How will Mr. Obama respond to charges made by the Kenyan government that his campaigning activities in Kenya in support of his distant cousin running for president there made him "a stooge" and constituted interference in the politics of an important and besieged ally in the war on terror?

How will he answer charges that his desire for unstructured personal summits without preconditions with a host of America's adversaries, from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Kim Jong Il, would be little more than premature capitulation?

Wilson concludes:

Contrary to the myth of the Obama campaign, 2008 is not the year for transcendental transformation. The task for the next administration will be to repair the damage done by eight years of radical rule. And the choice for Americans is clear: four more years of corrupt Republican rule, senseless wars, evisceration of the Constitution, emptying of the national treasury - or rebuilding our government and our national reputation, piece by piece.

In order to effect practical change against a determined adversary, we do not need a would-be philosopher-king but a seasoned gladiator who understands the fight Democrats will face in the fall campaign and in governing.

As to who that seasoned gladiator is, Wilson answers: Hillary Clinton.

I'll be thinking about this tonight as the votes for Obama pour in from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Update: Obama still hearts John McCain. From the Washington Post, on Obama and McCain "Hugging it Out" on the Senate floor today:

Sen. John McCain crossed the aisle in the Senate this morning to shake hands with Sen. Barack Obama, just a couple of political foes killing time during a vote-a-rama.

The two candidates spent a few minutes in animated conversation, with McCain doing most of the talking. He spoke forcefully at times, as Obama nodded at his GOP rival, a mild look on his face. When they said their goodbyes, they shook hands again and clasped arms in a modified man hug.

< U.S. May Build Execution Chamber at Gitmo | Obama Wins Virginia >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    My sentiments !! (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:11:02 PM EST
    Good for you Mr. Wilson. Lets see how they will Krugman you.

    You want to see a Krugman (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:43:28 PM EST
    Lookit what they did to Julian Bond for demanding the FL and MI delegates be seated.  Some commenters are charging that he took cash from the Clintons.

    Absolutely despicable.  When you refuse to learn from history, you keep making history's same mistakes.

    Jeralyn put this thread right after one talking about execution chambers at Gitmo.  I think we need to keep our eye on the ball here.  Larger things are at stake, and it's the much maligned lower-class, working poor, "low-information" voter who is going to pay the heavy price.  

    When laws protecting humanity are broken, they always start at the bottom and work their way up.


    The creative class (none / 0) (#116)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:24:00 PM EST
    Now they are the most annoying. Creative class my you know what. Just because you made a web page how is that creative?

    This is the nice Joe Wilson, actually (none / 0) (#127)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:06:31 PM EST
    -- as I just got back from an evening listening to Wilson in Milwaukee . . . and you should hear him in person on this!  Wilson is touring Wisconsin tomorrow, too, to try to bring a higher profile to our international relations situation today, a debacle.  Wilson is adamant that we cannot afford to have a president so inexperienced in foreign affairs, especially vs. what Wilson saw in working overseas with Hillary Clinton, whom he sees as the one who can begin to rebuild bridges.

    And Wilson is devastating as to what he hears is in store from the Republicans for Senator Obama, if he is the nominee . . . and Wilson knows whereof he speaks about being the target of Rovian tricks.


    Cream (none / 0) (#151)
    by Kathy on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 09:10:17 AM EST
    Can you give specifics on what Wilson is saying will be so devastating?

    I remember that story... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Alvord on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:34:26 PM EST
    ...about Obama's exchange with McCain over ethics reform. Obama meekly backed down. The thought of the ship of state being guided by Obama's shaky hands is not a comforting one.

    Don' t worry. (none / 0) (#104)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:59:07 PM EST
    Kerry, Kennedy and Daschle will take care of it all.

    Somehow... (none / 0) (#134)
    by Alvord on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:39:48 PM EST
    ...that doesn't reassure me.

    A Powerful President (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by tek on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:38:37 PM EST
    obviously scares not only the Republicans, but the Democrats. I keep hearing Obama people repeat the meme that Bill Clinton ruined Gore's chances in 2000. Really, the Democrats did it themselves. If they had stood together and not caved into the Moral Majority (which gave us the Impeachment--13 Dems voted for it and gave us Joe Lieberman as VP--he's an orthodox Jew) Gore would have been president and we never would have had Dubya.

    It does make one wonder. I think if Al Gore had run, Durbin and the boys still would have found a weak candidate to promote, because they would know an Al Gore presidency would diminish their powers. So sad that this is how our national leaders are selected.

    The torch (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:42:26 PM EST
    That is why Kennedy, Kerry and company gave the torch to Obama. 3-4 year learning curve while they dork around. Meanwhile Hillary could set up a cabinet and staff the White House in no time and demand bills from Congress. She knows how they work. If Obama is the JFK they fear Hillary cause she is the LBJ. And we know who got more done.

    i dont think you will get very far (none / 0) (#37)
    by Tano on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:52:15 PM EST
    pushing an LBJ over JFK.
    Especially in a foreign policy thread.

    JFKs only foreign policy (none / 0) (#51)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:20:27 PM EST
    event: Bay of Pigs.

    gee, (none / 0) (#71)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:06:54 PM EST
    the cuban missile crisis (oct. 62) doesn't count? since i was then living on ground zero, i think it does.

    Bay of Pigs..was a Cuban thing (none / 0) (#72)
    by Richard in Jax on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:08:23 PM EST
    You omit the Cuban Missile Crisis..often thought to be the most courageous presidential act in modern times. It worked too!

    Cuban thing? (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:25:36 PM EST
    Posted on top. It was American planned and funded. JFK came in not ready and made his big blunder by going through with it. Posted up thread by mistake. Then we got the missile crisis. It was all because JFK had no experience.

    And, of course, JFK (none / 0) (#105)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:01:46 PM EST
    sent more "advisors' to Vietnam...

    Another cake walk (none / 0) (#115)
    by Prabhata on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:22:13 PM EST
    The Pentagon planned it with exiled Cubans doing the invasion, but the Pentagon believed it was going to be a cake walk.  I don't think the air power was to come in until the Cubans in Cuba had demonstrated they were backing the invasion.  But the invading forces were trapped and never made it past the bay.  No air power came and the rest is history.  The Cubans in Miami hate JFK and the Democrats.

    Berlin Wall- airlift? (none / 0) (#77)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:22:14 PM EST

    Cuban Missile Crisis (none / 0) (#113)
    by Prabhata on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:15:54 PM EST
    The highest foreign policy decision of JFK was the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Remember that the Pentagon was itching to go to war with Russia, but it was JFK's slow and deliberate decisions that allowed the Russians to back off.

    Therefore I disagree that the only foreign policy from JFK was the Bay of Pigs. I think that as unfortunate as the Bay of Pigs experience was, I agree with JFK not to give the air support that the invading Cubans demanded.  I'm glad Cuba has kept the leader they've chosen.  We may not like Fidel, but he is Cuban, and if the Cuban people fought and were able to get rid of Batista, they should also be able to get rid of Fidel.


    attack the argument (none / 0) (#64)
    by Nasarius on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:41:59 PM EST
    Not the analogy, which are never meant to compare every single aspect of something.

    There *are* good arguments to be made against Clinton when it comes to foreign policy. Will she, for example, be listening to idiots like Kenneth Pollack?

    Ken Pollack the actor? I hope not. He was (none / 0) (#65)
    by tigercourse on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:49:30 PM EST
    terrible in Deterence. But that might have been the director's fault. All of his movies are terrible.

    Diogenes, you said (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by rosaleen on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:51:58 PM EST
    "If he [Wilson] weren't married to Valerie Plame and his only recent foreign policy experience was the yellowcake report, would this endorsement help or hurt Hillary?"

    During the first war with Iraq, when So Damn Insane was threatening our diplomats in Baghdad, Joseph Wilson stepped outside with a rope and said that they would have to hang him before they got to any of our diplomats. The man is a hero.

    Your assertion that he is no more than Valerie Plame's husband just shows how ignorant you are.

    Speaking of Joe WIlson (1.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Jgarza on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:20:31 PM EST
    he is from Virginia, he couldn't even convince his neighbors to vote for her.

    Wilson is not a candidate (none / 0) (#117)
    by Prabhata on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:24:39 PM EST
    Clinton is the candidate and she was unable to convince Virginians to vote for her.

    you are trolling (none / 0) (#118)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:26:04 PM EST
    and chattering, stop now.

    He is a Californian at heart and now (none / 0) (#128)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:08:53 PM EST
    is in New Mexico.  

    Seasoned Gladiator? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:17:13 PM EST
    Maybe, if your objective is more blood in the arena.

    Is Wilson in the War with Venezuela camp?

    So Joe Wilson wants to (none / 0) (#3)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:19:10 PM EST
    have a bloody political war in Washington.  A war that we can not be certain of victory.  Instead of building a true mandate we should engage in 4 more years of internecine warfare with Republicans.  That makes little sense to me.

    Unity, baby (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:26:19 PM EST
    You mean you'd rather see us avoid partisan warfare like we did today when democrats joined with their republican colleagues to gut the Constitution?

    Because if that's the other choice, I'll take political war, thank you very much.

    And if there's some other way to get unity with the Republican minority, then I wish Senator Hope would quit waiting for November and pull everyone together for S-CHIP expansion, no telecom immunity, and ending the war in Iraq NOW.  


    FISA (none / 0) (#12)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:32:07 PM EST
    Well, unlike Clinton he was willing to stand up and be heard on FISA, but I guess $1000 a plate fundraisers are more important than our basic rights as Americans.

    That really isn't fair (none / 0) (#18)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:36:00 PM EST
    The vote was decided whether Hillary showed up or not.  

    Neither side should be cherry picking votes that the other candidate didn't show up for, unless they mattered.


    You're Right (none / 0) (#23)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:40:45 PM EST
    I know, you're right, I'm just a bit tire of the "Obama never shows up" crap that keeps being pushed here and elewhere by Clintonistas.

    well (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by Nasarius on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:53:18 PM EST
    As BTD has pointed out, it's the thundering lack of leadership shown by both Senators that should be criticized. They had enormous megaphones even before they were Presidential candidates, and yet they've used their media power for virtually nothing important.

    I believe it is possible to unite the country behind a progressive agenda, but that can only be done by standing up and presenting your case, clearly and forcefully. That's what Edwards did beautifully this campaign, but he never got the kind of media coverage that Obama and Clinton did. That's what Republicans do on so many issues, and it works because they're never called on their lying. Obama and Clinton could do it honestly. But they don't.

    Wonder why (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:00:10 PM EST
    Obama did not use the rallies to get his followers to call their Senators, he could have inspired people to act.

    Hahaha! (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:46:26 PM EST
    Good point, Stella.  I guess he was too busy glad-handing McCain on the senate floor.  Didja see the good ol' boy pat on the back, man-shake?

    Cream is driving Joe Wilson around WI, so hopefully he will start talking up the Kenya thing and this incident quoted above.

    People need to know the facts.  I am thinking that time is actually on Clinton's side.

    Of course, I am an avowed supporter, so I am seeing things the way I want to see them.  (Also, I thought that ABC was very fair tonight in their coverage, so I am taking that as a good sign, too.  George Snuffuluffugus said after tonight, "Obama can no longer credibly claim his underdog status.")


    Fear of two things (none / 0) (#114)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:21:43 PM EST
    1. His learning curve= nothing of dem agenda gets done 2. His followers = dictatorship If we cannot criticize the candidate, what will happen when he is president. I hope time is on our side.

    Hey, Kathy, see my quick report upthread (none / 0) (#129)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:12:41 PM EST
    and I've got to ponder more on what Wilson said about what the Republicans are readying for Obama. . . .

    For now, I've got to catch up on my TL fix!


    Cream (none / 0) (#150)
    by Kathy on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 09:08:08 AM EST
    I saw that!  Keep fighting the good fight.  I think Clinton as underdog might actually be good for her because she can start talking about some of these things that are worrisome.

    Meanwhile, I saw something on MyDD this morning where someone was telling Hillary supporters that, because obviously Obama was getting the nom, we need to stop circulating hard questions about his fitness to serve because it's unseemly to attack him.

    To quote Bill Clinton:  Give me a break.


    Clinton not absent for vote (none / 0) (#119)
    by Prabhata on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:26:40 PM EST
    Her vote would not have made a difference.  I think if it was close she would have been there.  And yes, 1000 dollar at that point is more important if it makes the difference between Obama and Hillary as president.

    I did not say unity (none / 0) (#13)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:32:08 PM EST
    I said mandate.  You get a mandate by getting 60 Senators in Congress and a President in the White House.  You KEEP a mandate by not stampeding over the opposition party for fun and sport.  

    You fight when you have to.  You don't fight out of some sense of retribution for the past 8 years.


    But the only mandate he's asking for (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:58:20 PM EST
    is for unity.  And change.

    That's not going to last beyond January 21.

    If he were running a campaign seeking some sort of mandate for liberal ideas, then he'd have a mandate and very probably my vote.  But he's the one who has attacked social security from the right, he the one who has attacked universal healthcare from the right, and he's the one who has said that democrats are just as responsible for partisanship and rancor in DC as republicans, even though that is demonstrably not true.  

    So what exactly will he be able to claim a mandate for, specifically?  


    I disagree (none / 0) (#70)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:03:51 PM EST
    A mandate is built by having a strong Congress.  FDR ran on a centrist policy platform in 1932.  But he had a overwhelming Congress to work with an creating the New Deal, Supreme Court denied items excepted.

    How is Obama attacking Social Security from the Right?  Please explain.  

    I hadn't realized he was attacking health care.  What did health care do to him?


    For a short course on both (none / 0) (#99)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:24:14 PM EST
    social security and healthcare with R talkingpoints as assessed by Paul Krugman just google ... Krugman Obama social security healthcare ... and have at it.

    This is wrong (none / 0) (#89)
    by Virginian on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:53:34 PM EST
    You KEEP a mandate by enacting the mandate upon which you were elected...if that means bowling over opposition, so be it...you are elected to do the public (your constituents) business...if there are those that oppose that, then they SHOULD be run over...think about it...you're advocating capitulation in the name of congeniality...who gets to decide when to not capitulate...who gets to decide what is worth fighting for and what isn't? The perfect example is the Telecom caving today...

    I'm begining to get very worried (none / 0) (#86)
    by Virginian on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:49:50 PM EST
    about this unity stuff...it sounds like everything we've fought for the past 8 years, and the 20 before that will go down the tubes in the name of unity...throwing out the baby with the bathwater...

    sounds to me that maybe (none / 0) (#123)
    by Tano on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:59:30 PM EST
    you are just afraid of actually winning.

    You do recall, dont you, that the only democrat to win the WH in the past quarter century did so by running against the standard talking points of the Democratic party at the time?

    I did not support Clinton in the '92 primaries. He was widely considered to be on the right of the party. He explicitly proclaimed to be a new type of Democrat (subtext - one who learned the lessons of the defeats of the 80s).

    Obama is building a coalition behind progressive ideas by making it clear to average people that he wants them in our coalition. He does not present them with an angry face, a "you are with us or against us" alternative. He seeks to enlist their support. Beleive it or not, the average person DOES NOT KNOW what the best answers are - unlike all of us bigmouths here who think we do. The average person is willing to give the new guy a chance, if he shows that he resepcts them, and speaks in a manner consistent with their core beleifs - not neccessarily their ideological beliefs, since they dont really have that many of them.


    Well we got our first taste of (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:27:30 PM EST
    Bipartisanship today with FISA.  At least Obama voted for the ammendment.  Republicans Idea of bipartisanship is you cede to us and we block any progressive agenda you bring up.  I would think people would have learned this in the last 7 years.

    The Republicans will not compromise (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Molly Bloom on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:30:33 PM EST
    You do understand that, I hope. The rank and file can be decent. The elected Republican officials with maybe two exceptions will not compromise.

    How (none / 0) (#22)
    by tek on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:39:44 PM EST
    did you get that out of this article? Blinders.

    good article and he is certainly (none / 0) (#4)
    by athyrio on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:22:08 PM EST
    knowledgeable...I read this AM that one of Obamas advisors was headed to damascus for some high level talks...wonder what that is about...

    I <3 Joe Wilson (none / 0) (#6)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:26:44 PM EST
    That is exactly a large part of the reason Ms. Clinton gets my vote tonight. While Obama may have more liberal/progressive instincts - he has alwas backed down. While he avoided being cast as a DLC guy - they love him. The DLC got rid of Edwards and will be happy with either of the survivors.
    Obama has even said that he is counting on a big Dem Congress to get things done.
    Seeing how the Senate caved again today, does that even matter? I want an experienced fighter in charge. Hillary is tougher and has seen it all. She also has some pretty progressive instincts behind her practicality.

    Hillary Tough? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:30:09 PM EST
    See, I agree that Hillary's tough in a political fight, but I keep hearing that she's tough on policy, and frankly, I just don't see any evidence to back that up. Please give me an example of Hillary being tough and forcing legislation through, or hell being tough and fighting for legislation that ultimately failed (the only thing I can think of is Health Care in 1993, and that's not exactly the type of example that would lead one to believe she'll be an effective advocate for change).

    Well she did take those big chances (none / 0) (#17)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:34:38 PM EST
    when she pushed through those highly contentious child protection laws.  

    Seriously, if Senate Dems show no spine it really doesn't matter who the President is.


    Good Point (none / 0) (#25)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:42:16 PM EST
    Good Point Flyer! She also pushed through some controversial Post Office naming legislation-- take that Republican Attack Machine!

    Don't Remember (none / 0) (#26)
    by tek on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:42:25 PM EST
    the 90s, do you? Hillary's healthcare got defeated by the same vicious talking points that are dogging her now. If you think you're going to get universal healthcare from the Boy Wonder, dream on. He isn't going to fight for it because he doesn't even want it. He believes in the private sector handling everything if people would listen to what he says. He's Clarence Thomas conservative.

    What? (none / 0) (#33)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:47:51 PM EST
    He's Clarence Thomas conservative?  Please do elaborate on how he is similar to Clarence Thomas.  

    Hillary held no political office in the 90s.  


    I'd say she did hold (none / 0) (#102)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:33:20 PM EST
    a political office in the 90s...First Lady is a political office...unless you meant elective office.

    In which case, Joe Wilson didn't hold elective office either and neither has Wes Clark.

    So what?


    there are many examples (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:59:57 PM EST
    of substantive legislation she sponsored, introduced and pushed through. Do some research. Here's just one:

    Veteran's benefits signed into law by Bush


    Vet. Benefits aren't hard to pass (I hope) (none / 0) (#97)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:07:33 PM EST
     I wasn't trying to say the she didn't sponsor any legislation, the question that the poster above raised is that she would fight to get things through, and I hardly see how Veterans benefits would be controversial.

    Vet benefits aren't hard to what? (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:01:56 PM EST
    Having had to go to Washington to fight for those benefits.  And having seen them cut time after time by both Democratic and Republican (more so under the Republicans) Since my discharge in 1972 I beg to differ.  It is easy to say you back the troops when you sent them to war but go ask those veterans who came back with PTSD and other conditions if they are being given their worth.  Veterans who come back from Afghanistan and Iraq are going through hell to get the benefits they earned.  I worked for the VA for  20 years and my wife still works for the VA I beg to differ from your perspective.

    Bless you both for fighting for vets (none / 0) (#130)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:21:21 PM EST
    and working for decades for them.  I look at the situation today for so many of them, and I keep thinking of the courage of Coxey's Army. . . .

    I thought we had turned that around with the GI Bill, one of the most deserved and generous acts in this country's history -- but I fear that is another legacy that this administration has destroyed.  We need a president with proven experience in fighting for you -- and for the flood of horribly wounded from this war who are fighting for recovery now in VA hospitals across the country . . . and will be with us for decades to come.  But their burdens and ours will only be worse if we don't act for them fast.


    You should read the full bill (none / 0) (#98)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:12:08 PM EST
    and see exactly what benefits she got.  She fought for benefits for National Guardsmen, which was an uphill struggle.  If you think that this president has been a champion of taking care of veterans, then you haven't been paying attention.  She has done so many things for the state of New York and for service member's families.

    I would provide links, but frankly I am sick of giving proof to folks who don't bother to read it.


    The SCHIP (none / 0) (#120)
    by Prabhata on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:29:30 PM EST
    The SCHIP is an example of a legislation that was passed in a Republican Congress because Hillary (as first lady) worked with Congress to pass the bill after she failed to get her health care bill.

    Just one of many on her resume (none / 0) (#131)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:24:22 PM EST
    for children and families across this country.  So many recipients of her work, I find, really don't realize her role in improving their lives.  I have family whose disabled children would not be mainstreamed in schools today without the work of Clinton and others in a small group of leaders who have fought that long, hard battle for those families.

    Seasoned Hawk (none / 0) (#7)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:27:15 PM EST
    You would think that such a "seasoned Gladiator" would have learned from Iraq and not repeated the mistake (this time with Iran) by voting for Kyl-Lieberman (before anyone comments of Obama voting for 970, please read the text of the bill, which puts it more in line with the Levin Amendment on Iraq than the AUMF clone that was Kyl-Lieberman).  
     Regarding the Mccain letter, Obama is in a bit of a bind in terms of disagreement with Mccain, or anyone else for that matter, if he appears angry he's not just forsaking the style of politics that he champions, he's also comitting political suicide-- much like Hillary may have had to vote for the AUMF to prevent the women are weak argument from popping up, Obama can't disagree with too much fervor or the "Angry Black Man" crap will appear.  

    Wilson is a commited Clinton supporter (none / 0) (#8)
    by Tano on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:27:29 PM EST
    and this is a pretty hacky set of charges.

    Obama campaigning for his relative in Kenya? Is this some sort of a joke?

    His "irresponsible" comments about Pakistan? That everyone else, including Hillary, would subscribe to, the moment it were not a potential argument in a food fight wiht Obama?

    And his desire for unstructred summits without preconditions? This is just ridiculous nonsense.

    "Contrary to the myth of the Obama campaign, 2008 is not the year for transcendental transformation."

    Right, it is the year of the restoration, with perhaps a nice little sinecure for Mr. Wilson.

    Patently transparant stuff.

    Kenya (none / 0) (#10)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:27:48 PM EST
    I've seen several references to that Kenya thing.  Anyone know a reputable expert on Africa who has explained it on the intertubes?  Preferably someone not in the tank for Clinton or Obama.  Thanks.  

    Agence France Presse, 8/31/06 (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:38:18 PM EST
    Here's the article (available on lexis.com)

    Critical Obama loses 'favorite son' status in Kenya Agence France Presse -- English August 31, 2006

    Kenya on Thursday stepped up criticism of US Senator Barack Obama, accusing him of insulting the Kenyan people and trivializing their achievements during a visit to his father's homeland.

    Two days after abruptly changing its tone on Obama, who had been welcomed as a returning hero but incurred official wrath with blistering criticism of corruption and ethnic divisions, Nairobi launched a new attack on the lawmaker.

    Less than 24 hours after the rising US political star left Kenya to continue an African tour, government spokesman Alfred Mutua blasted Obama for choosing "to dwell on non-issues" in a nationally televised speech on Monday.

    "Senator Obama made extremely disturbing statements on issues which it is clear, he was very poorly informed, and on which he chose to lecture the government and the people on how they should manage their country," he said.

    Mutua said the government would write a formal protest to the junior senator from Illinois who he suggested had falsely claimed his trip to Africa was intended to "nuture relations between the continent and the United States."

    Noting the government had "spared no effort in making his stay and travel ... enjoyable and fulfilling," Mutua said Obama's criticism of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki's administration was unfair, unwarranted and unjustified by facts.

    He said Obama was wrong in asserting that Rwandan genocide fugitive Felicien Kabuga had bought protection in Kenya, that graft had plunged the country into "crisis" and that dangerous tribal divisions were on the rise.

    Obama's comment about Kabuga "is an insult to the people of this country," Mutua said, adding he had "ignored" accomplishments in fighting corruption and boosting economic growth from near zero to six percent in three years.

    "This cannot be achieved in a country, which Senator Obama says, is experiencing a corruption crisis," he said, before slamming the lawmaker for allegedly "trivializing" Kenya's ethnic harmony and "magnifying tribalism."

    "Senator Obama enjoyed the vibrant freedom of expression and wide democratic space in this country during his tour," Mutua said. "Instead of acknowledging this... he chose to dwell on non-issues."

    A day after Obama's stinging speech at the University of Nairobi, Mutua dismissed the lone African-American in the US Senate and potential Democratic Party presidential nominee as "immature" and an opposition stooge.

    But his harsh comments on Thursday marked a new escalation in animosity between the government and Obama, who left Kenya late Wednesday after a five-day visit during which he was accorded a rock star reception.

    The son of a Kenyan goat herder-turned-government economist had been greeted by cheering crowds of thousands at each of his stops here, including a visit to his paternal grandmother in his late father's home village. In his speech, Obama rebuked Kibaki's government for failing to address corruption and said Kenya's democractic progress "is in jeopardy... being threatened by corruption."

    "Here in Kenya, it is a crisis, a crisis that is robbing an honest people of the opportunities that they have fought for, the opportunity they deserve," he said, urging the citizenry to demand accountability from Kibaki's government. His blunt criticism made front-page news and drew praise from some commentators.

    On Thurday Obama made a lighting trip to a US military camp in Djibouti before proceeding to the eastern Ethiopian town of Dire Dawa, where floods killed hundreds of people and displaced at least 10,000 others, officials said. In Djibouti, he praise the tiny country on the shores of the Red Sea as an ally of Washington.

    "In Dire Dawa, the senator visited a displaced people camp and called for rapid help," an official travelling with Obama told AFP. On Friday, he is scheduled to visit eastern Chad, where hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced by the Darfur conflict in western Sudan have sought refuge.

    So the government (none / 0) (#28)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:44:31 PM EST
    wasn't too keen on being criticized.  Shocking really.

    It's a little disheartening to see Democrats use the "Don't criticize them because they are an ally in the GWOT" argument.  


    No.... (none / 0) (#34)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:48:32 PM EST
    There are ways to criticize and there are ways to be a bully. This is definitely something an amateur would do.

    Got that from your 5 minutes (2.00 / 1) (#36)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:51:33 PM EST
    of reading up on Kenyan politics?  Be honest, prior to this article did you know a thing about Kenyan politics?  I sure didn't.  

    Do you think it might be possible that Obama knows more about Kenyan politics than anyone posting on this site?


    Actually, I have visited Kenya (none / 0) (#88)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:53:06 PM EST
    Three times in my life.  Beautiful country, politically precarious even in the best of times. I follow the news there often as my best friend's father is currently missing over there--has been for two weeks.  No one can travel there now, of course.  They don't particular cotton to white men coming in and telling them how to rule their country, which is exactly what one of Obama's emissaries did.

    The greater point here is: Obama is not president of the United States. Like it or not, he does not speak for the American people.  I said the same thing when John Edwards, whom I respect, called Musharaff to try to persuade him on the Bhutto matter.  Don't stick your nose where it does not belong.  You do not speak for America.

    If you want to call yourself a uniter and a bringer of hope and change, and your one attempt to do this in another country failed...I think that failure should be examined.


    Kenya (none / 0) (#109)
    by CHDmom on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:12:19 PM EST
    Larry Johnson (yes a Hillary supporter) has done a few articles about Kenya and Obama http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/01/31/obamas-african-hubris-2/
    (sorry I don't know how to make links smaller)

    Larry Johnson has no legitimacy (none / 0) (#124)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:59:53 PM EST
    I'm sorry but he has been BEYOND ridiculous in his bias.

    Don't attack people for no reason (none / 0) (#91)
    by Virginian on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:55:57 PM EST
    Got that from your 5 minutes of reading up on Kenyan politics?

    Really unacceptable...be civil or go home.


    Did you even read my comment? (none / 0) (#100)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:26:28 PM EST
    Or just the title?

    Everyone becomes an expert on Kenya because of some Baltimore Sun article.  I don't claim to know a thing.  


    Hi (none / 0) (#101)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:29:30 PM EST
    Did you read my comment?

    I did Kathy (none / 0) (#103)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:47:56 PM EST
    And I thank you for your input.  

    I think you are being pretty harsh on Obama.  Obama obviously has close ties with Kenya and I don't think it is fair to pass judgment on his comments when we only know snippets about them.

    Kenya is an ugly place right now and I think that Obama wants to see an end to that.  And while I don't know much about Kenya I suspect that he probably wasn't far off in his views of the government.  

    I know almost nothing about Kenya or what Obama was trying to do there.  But this is a pretty big issue for him.  I don't think he is being flippant.  I believe he is very sincere.


    As someone who feels (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:08:34 PM EST
    close ties to Africa, and who has seen the damage long done by missionaries and westerners interfering where they have little or no knowledge of tribal allegiances, and making things worse by trying to fix them, I do not believe I was being harsh.  Africa has been almost completely destroyed by westerners interfering in politics.

    I will grant you that I do not think that Obama went into this meaning to cause harm; I do not think that he is a bad person, nor do I think by any stretch that he wanted the violence to erupt, but our country has a very recent history of a very naive president going into situation where he knows nothing (or ignores all evidence to the contrary) about tribal allegiances and creates havoc and violence in his wake.

    Obama sent an emissary from his staff, a white man, to go in and negotiate a settlement between the two factions.  This was seen as a slap in the face by both sides.  This showed a complete lack of understanding of the situation on the ground as well as a naivete that just by telling people they should have "unity" that they will have it.   Being photographed with the opposition leader was basically seen as a call to war.  Years of diplomacy was ruined, all because of one photo op (can you imagine what a photo op in N Korea or Cuba would do?  Because that is how his "negotiations" and sitting down "face-to-face" with rulers like Castro will be seen.)

    If Obama is campaigning on bringing unity and peace, the Kenya issue needs to be examined. He touts his time abroad as counting for experience.  I am not asking that he be smeared; I am asking that he be vetted for the position of leader of the free world.  We didn't worry too much about that last time and look where it got us.


    Fair enough Kathy (none / 0) (#122)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:58:41 PM EST
    I will need to get more information regarding this matter.  

    Your framing suggests that Obama was pivotal to the violence occurring.  That seems very unlikely, although I understand I may be misreading you.

    Reading this article doesn't sound like he has been rash in his actions.  

    Then there is this  apparently Condilezza Rice ASKED Obama to speak on Voice of America and here was the message he gave...

    "Despite irregularities in the vote tabulation, now is not the time to throw that strong democracy away. Now is a time for President Kibaki, opposition leader Odinga, and all of Kenya's leaders to call for calm, to come together, and to start a political process to address peacefully the controversies that divide them. Now is the time for this terrible violence to end.
    Kenya's long democratic journey has at times been difficult. But at critical moments, Kenyans have chosen unity and progress over division and disaster. The way forward is not through violence - it is through democracy, and the rule of law. To all of Kenya's people, I ask you to renew Kenya's democratic tradition, and to seek your dreams in peace."

    So I would like a little more information about  the irresponsibility of Barack Obama in Kenya.


    if you want to know (none / 0) (#149)
    by Kathy on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 08:32:43 AM EST
    the opinion of people who are locking their doors and praying they do not get attacked by a machete-wielding mob, then I can tell you they do not blame Obama for starting it, but they DO blame him for exacerbating it.

    Again, the greater issue is that his argument is that his travels equal credentials in foreign policy.  If Kenya is one of the examples he uses to bolster it, then we need to look at what happened in Kenya and why a United States senator is being called a "stooge."

    I have heard the rumor about Rice asking him to intervene, but not seen a true confirmation.  If that is the case, then why did Obama then send one of his white advisors to negotiate peace?  Why didn't the state department use one of their diplomats or negotiators?

    This does not pass the smell test for me.  And I will say it again: if this is what he uses for foreign policy experience, it needs to be vetted.


    Again (none / 0) (#106)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:02:36 PM EST
    Censoring any and all criticism of Obama. Allowing all benefit of the doubt to him. Not considering at all that it was not appropriated to interject himself. Obviously he over stepped his bounds, and particularly since he has ties in that country he has to be very careful. This is dangerous. As was his statement about Pakistan.

    You may not know this (none / 0) (#107)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:07:59 PM EST
    But I don't have the ability to censor anyone.  

    Just so I know why is he not allowed to speak about country of his father?


    Because (none / 0) (#111)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:14:26 PM EST
    it's not about him, read Kathy's new post. It explains his mistakes.

    Kathy has been to Kenya more times (none / 0) (#132)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:28:42 PM EST
    than Obama, apparently.  You might give her a hearing.  And Wilson has had many years in Africa.  You might listen more to what he has to say, too.

    sorry, but if he were (none / 0) (#138)
    by Tano on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:25:49 PM EST
    to be a neutral foreign policy expert, then I would take his thoughts under consideration. But he is a fervent Clinton supporter, and is out trying to make the case for her, not an objective case. I think that needs to be taken into account.

    When you go to Kenya (none / 0) (#39)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:55:15 PM EST
    make sure to pack your machete.

    The government didn't like Obama. Then there's an election that people believe are fixed. Now there's a civil war.

    Which side is Hillary and Joe on?

    Meanwhile, Kyl-Lieberman isn't bullying?


    Chicago Sun Times, 8/29/06 (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:40:52 PM EST
    Available on Lexis.com


    Obama appeared with opposition leader Raila Odinga -- a Luo running for president -- at stops on Saturday in his father's native district.

    Mutua, in the CBS2 interview, said Obama may have been caught up in ethnic politics with Odinga "using Sen. Obama as his stooge, as his puppet.''

    "cousin" (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:00:13 PM EST
    is used broadly over there as a term of endearment, like "brother" or "auntie" in other cultures.  I think that at one point Obama admitted a blood tie--when it was useful.  Now, not so much.

    Of course, what we've had happen here again is we've moved the focus away from Obama's foreign negotiation failure to a "who's on first" narrative.  But, he's not his cousin!  But, that's only one article--you need sixty more for it to be true!  But, he's so nice!

    The fact is that Obama claims foreign relations experience based on time he spent in Kenya.  And, in case you are wondering, his stump speech is looked upon a bit more dubiously over there:

    "Now is the time" Obama said, on a Nairobi's FM station, "for Kenya's leaders to rise above party affiliation and past divisions for the sake of peace."


    I think it's a bit late to be calling for "rising above" when people are literally being hacked to pieces by machetes, don't you?


    actually no (none / 0) (#126)
    by Tano on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:03:04 PM EST
    I think it desparatly important for people to rise above such divisions precisely because they are hacking eachother apart.

    What do you propose, sinking further into division?


    So who is the good guy? (none / 0) (#38)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:54:17 PM EST
    Honestly Jeralyn who are we supposed to support?  

    Ah! (none / 0) (#79)
    by bordenl on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:28:33 PM EST
    This explains why he was not treated as an honest broker.

    OTOH we can reasonably discount anything this "Kenyan government" says because it is illegitimate.


    WIlson's point could even be broader (none / 0) (#82)
    by bordenl on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:31:15 PM EST
    If Obama is perceived as being on one side in Kenya, does this affect his influence in places such as Ethiopia and Somalia? I don't know if anyone here knows the answer.

    Good article (none / 0) (#14)
    by PlayInPeoria on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:32:37 PM EST
    Last December (2007) his visits to the Europe while on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on European Affairs were also questioned.

    Barack Obama's foreign policy credentials

    There was a tread on this site about this one.

    This is why I worry about the GE should he be the nominee. He will be vetted on this one. Will those electibility % remain above McCain.

    Wouldn't Hillary Suffer Here too? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:44:37 PM EST
    While HRC certainly has stronger foreign policy credentials than Barak does, its not like she's a wonk in this area, I mean if we wanted that we should have united behind Biden or Richardson.

    Obama has not (none / 0) (#44)
    by PlayInPeoria on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:03:02 PM EST
    been vetted yet!! Hillary has (and on many more subjects as well). As 1st Lady, she made an unprecidented tour of Africa in 1997. She has been involved in foreign policy issue through her membership on the Senate Armed Service Commitee. This is why she is perceived as more exeperience in this area.

    Add that to Joseph Wilson's comments that Jeralyn has supplied.... It's my opinion Sen Obama will has problems with his foreign policy.


    So all of BIlls (none / 0) (#48)
    by Jgarza on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:14:39 PM EST
    business dealings have been vetted? Dubai Ports scandal?

    Bill's not running. (none / 0) (#61)
    by echinopsia on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:30:23 PM EST
    Nor was there a scandal (none / 0) (#92)
    by Virginian on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:58:18 PM EST
    just because you wish it so, doesn't make it so

    Here's how Obama will beat McCain (none / 0) (#15)
    by IndependantThinker on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:33:10 PM EST
    Axelrod special (none / 0) (#20)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:38:30 PM EST
    like the 1984 Hillary commercial. Using uTube. Clever, but meaningless.

    1984 Hillary (none / 0) (#30)
    by Socraticsilence on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:45:18 PM EST
    That Ad wasn't a product of the Obama campaign.

    Oops, an accident (none / 0) (#40)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:56:54 PM EST
    it was an accident. Yes..Axelrod had nothing to do with it. But how lucky for them? My mistake, it was not intentional, like Bills comment about Jessie Jackson, now that was intentional. I keep getting motive and intent wrong.
    Close to two million people watched the ad in two weeks, and it moved the Obama message in ways Axelrod hadn't planned. (It later emerged that the ad's creator worked for a company that contracted for the Obama campaign, though the campaign itself wasn't involved.

    Bill's comment (none / 0) (#45)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:06:41 PM EST
    Was okay?! Are you serious on that?

    Yes, (none / 0) (#47)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:11:21 PM EST
    but then again...when a Clinton speaks, demonic motive, when Obama speaks, sugar, honey and progressive light. I did not buy the twisting of Clinton's words for one minute. The blogosphere, MSM and Axlerlod played the race card to the hilt.

    Oh? (none / 0) (#55)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:22:50 PM EST
    I don't think I was "twisted" into believing Pres. Clinton was comparing Sen. Obama to Rev. Jesse Jackson and attempting to marginalize Sen. Obama by playing on divisions between the races. When are such comments all of a sudden okay?

    I will not argue this again (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:29:51 PM EST
    I liked Jessie Jackson as did Bill, only whites did not like Jessie Jackson and think he is marginal. So get over it. Jessie Jackson won primaries. Jessie Jackson was black. If you get all worked up about it, that is twisted. Jessie Jackson inspired. BO does not. I think it's an insult to a great man like JJ for a bunch of people to say that association with him is marginalizing and degrading. Enough said.

    Oh please (none / 0) (#152)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 11:30:53 AM EST
    It's insulting to my intelligence to assume that Bill Clinton just happened to imply one black candidate is just like another and that they'll inevitably win the states with majority-black electorates. You think it's an insult to Jackson?

    It was and still is, but he has been consistently marginalized and degraded and the implication from the Clinton campaign through Bill Clinton was that Obama should be done the same way because he is black and catered only to black people.

    Don't argue it again if you don't want to, but you're wrong.


    Should be (none / 0) (#57)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:23:38 PM EST
    When did such comments become okay?

    This is an assumption (none / 0) (#94)
    by Virginian on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:00:43 PM EST
    and attempting to marginalize Sen. Obama by playing on divisions between the races.

    That even Jesse Jackson said is incorrect...when did it become a put down to be compared to Jesse Jackson anyway? Jackson is a hero...


    And? (none / 0) (#153)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 11:34:23 AM EST
    I would not expect Jesse Jackson himself to say it's hideous to try to marginalize Obama the way the media and many people of all colors have done to Jesse. I wouldn't say that myself, if I were Rev. Jackson, so I don't think that really justifies your point.

    It's marginalizing to try to typecast Obama as the "black candidate" like Jesse was typecast, instead of commenting on how Obama won South Carolina and just congratulating him and moving on. What's so hard to understand about that?


    Nothing is hard to understand about it (none / 0) (#154)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 12:54:53 PM EST
    But calling it fact rather than projection IS inaccurate...

    Dailykos was saying the Clinton Campaign was going to try to "type cast Obama" after a SC win, days before BC made that remark...you are trying to force a puzzle piece into place...there is no proof that his intent was malice or political rather than what the face value is...a compliment to Obama and Jesse...you're arguing that despite appearances and a lack of proof other wise, it was a comment intended to relegate BO to be "the black candidate"...your argument doesn't hold water when it is held to logical scrutiny


    So... (none / 0) (#155)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 04:53:39 PM EST
    Are you saying that because Bill Clinton didn't say he intended to make Barack Obama out to be the "black candidate" that it's illogical to argue that Clinton was DOING just that? If I don't know a person's INTENT, I can't logically judge what they DO?

    While I will admit that it's probably impossible to know with complete certainty what Clinton or most anyone is trying to say at any given time, there's more than ample reason to come to the conclusion I came to and to be offended at others' dismissive attitudes toward such a conclusion without even an attempt at justification.


    Some reasons... (none / 0) (#156)
    by BlueLakeMichigan on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 05:15:21 PM EST
    The somewhat more factual reasons I would give are three-fold:
    -Obama, unlike Jackson, won Iowa, a heavily majority-white state, but Clinton's conflation of the Jackson and Obama campaigns disregarded this.
    -Jackson was not mentioned by the reporter in the question
    -Other people have won South Carolina, like white male John Edwards, but Obama's campaign was like that of the black candidate who won South Carolina?

    That to my eyes shows a clear racial angle and infuriates me. Just as McLurkin and Obama chumming it up together, spitting in the face of GLBTQA people all over America pissed and pisses me off even today, Clinton's comments in South Carolina deeply and meaningfully hurt because of reasons like these that show me he meant "don't forget...he's black", and the implications in the campaign season are huge for historical precedent and American race relations. It was stupid and if not racist, at least unnecessarily racial.


    It wasn't racist, and yes (none / 0) (#157)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 06:32:32 PM EST
    because there is no evidence to support your guess as to his intent, opposed to taking the words at face value, you cannot arrive at a logically sound opinion...you can refute it all you would like, however you won't be able to refute that fact with any more logic than the opinion itself holds...

    It is only racial for those that want to see it as a racial comment. The last three democratic candidates for the nomination who won South Carolin, but lost the nomination were John Edwards (who was still running at the time) and Jesse Jackson...one was a "home stater" and the other won outright...one was a current competitor (don't give foder to the other side) and one was not...what you are basically saying that at any time someone mentions another african american in comparison to Barak Obama that does not build Obama up, is a racist comparison solely on the fact that they both have the same skin color...however, any time someone compares Obama positively in terms of race (such as the horribly erroneous MLK comparisons...which I find high offensive) it is not a racist/racial comparison.

    I actually just spent the last ten minutes of my response drafting a logic proof, but after finishing I deleted it...you're not going to agree with me, so its really not worth trying, or risk sounding condescending...lets just agree that we see it differently


    True the video is awful, but (none / 0) (#32)
    by IndependantThinker on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:46:26 PM EST
    it will reach Obama's supporters. And the main point is that Obama will play the 100 year war threat by McCain to the hilt as will Clinton if she is the nominee.

    A question about Joe Wilson (none / 0) (#35)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:51:12 PM EST
    Joe Wilson was happy serving the first George Bush. So because the Bush Administration exposed his wife as a CIA agent we're supposed to presume that he is a super liberal who will guide us to a decent foreign policy.

    The guy is a cold warrior. He's on Clinton's team (see Zune's piece at Common Dreams). Does anyone think that he'll be praising Obama's foreign policy? He's better than Richard Holbrooke, who was in deep with folks like Suharto, but that means what?

    Wilson also (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by standingup on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:29:07 PM EST
    served under the Reagan and Clinton administrations.  I think many of our foreign service diplomats have served under both Democratic and Republican administrations.  He did endorse Kerry in 2004.  

    Joe Wilson will now be demonized (none / 0) (#41)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 05:58:14 PM EST
    No (none / 0) (#49)
    by andrewwm on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:16:51 PM EST
    It's just noted that he's hardly a impartial observer in the primary - he's got a candidate in the fight, and is noted.

    So all Clinton supporters (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:19:39 PM EST
    Are not allowed to have opinions. Let's make a list Krugman, Wilson any others? Of course Bill is not allowed to speak at all. Whereas, all Obama supporters are free to move around the cabin.

    Joe Wilson (none / 0) (#54)
    by Steve M on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:22:18 PM EST
    is a foreign policy moderate who was probably quite happy with Bush I's decisions, but he bows to no man in his hatred for the neocons.  So yes, he's not Dennis Kucinich, but in the current foreign policy alignment he's definitely on the side of the good guys.

    I think Obama has some interesting views on foreign policy and I admire his willingness to defend them on the merits instead of weaseling and backing down like John Kerry did.  I have no idea whether people will buy the new paradigm he offers or not, but I'd certainly be happy to give it a try.  Frankly, I'd expect better things from Obama on foreign policy than on domestic.


    SO if Clinton (none / 0) (#46)
    by Jgarza on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:08:46 PM EST
    has so much foreign policy gravitas, why does she have to use Joseph Wilson to make her case?  Shocker though Clinton backer criticizes Obama, jeez must be serious.

    Why? I dunno (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by echinopsia on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:36:57 PM EST
    If Obama's so great on women's issues, why does he have Oprah, Caroline, Maria and Michelle making his case?

    If he's so great on everything, why does he have people who endorse him making his case?

    You think only people who are Obama supporters are qualified to criticize him?

    Honestly, these are Clinton Rules. Everything she does is suspect, everything he does is fine.


    Haven't we heard about lack (none / 0) (#53)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:21:06 PM EST
    of foreign policy experience? Like in 1999? And George said not to worry because he was going to concentrate on the home front and not be a nation builder?  

    Glad to see the McCain/Obama dust up from the (none / 0) (#56)
    by my opinion on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 06:23:01 PM EST
    past brought to light. I had mentioned this in the comments several days ago and didn't see much response to it, but it a situation where he and McCain had a confrontation and I think Obama's response at that time speaks volumes of how he will act in the GE and as President.

    Why (none / 0) (#68)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:01:46 PM EST
    The Senate takes seniority very seriously.  A very junior Senator does not get into wars with a very senior Senator.  

    That's a weak excuse for someone that (none / 0) (#76)
    by my opinion on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:21:53 PM EST
    claims to be an outsider.

    I still like your site (none / 0) (#69)
    by Afofur on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:03:05 PM EST
    Please stop the anti-Obama screed and do what you do best:  brining us intelligent and informative coverage of current issues in criminal justice/law.

    Afofur, (none / 0) (#75)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:19:35 PM EST
    perhaps you should look up the definition of "screed" before you make baseless accusations. if reprinting and commenting on a column by someone else is now considered a "screed" against sen. obama, then all hope for sanity from his supporters is lost.

    i like sen. obama, i just don't think he's ready for the oval office. i am beginning to heartily dislike his incredibly arrogant, self-righteous supporters.

    the cult of personality is not a pretty sight.


    What I meant to post (none / 0) (#74)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:16:55 PM EST
    KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Mythic. It's a construction. It's all the things we'd like to remember it to be if we're a Republican on one side, if we're a Democrat on the other. The inconvenient parts are being factored back. We're forgetting Bay of Pigs. We're forgetting-- BILL MOYERS: Which John F. Kennedy executed within the first few months of his administration. KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: And which had been planned other-- Republicans. BILL MOYERS: You could say he wasn't ready on day one. KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Well, and that's part of the problem with the analogy back to John Kennedy from Edward Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy. Because the Presidency was tragically cut short before John Kennedy had been able to get enacted most of his legislative agenda. And as a result, you don't have many specific accomplishments that you can turn to. And you have Bay of Pigs, an admitted mistake. And you have a campaign that was predicated in 1960 on a missile gap that didn't exist. BILL MOYERS: But it-- but what they were doing it seems to me is invoking the buoyancy, the ebullience, the sense of optimism that, you know, Obama is said to represent without having the experience to back it up. Isn't that what they were invoking? KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: And that's why-- BILL MOYERS: The charisma. KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: That's why I say mythic. It is because on both sides, they move back and they select the pieces that they want you to remember. And they feature those pieces. And to some extent, people who haven't lived through those times, and a large part of the electorate hasn't lived through those times, are now being invited to see a part of the past without seeing in its full historical context. At a certain point, we're substantially misrepresenting the historical whole.

    in kennedy's defense, (none / 0) (#80)
    by cpinva on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:28:36 PM EST
    "the bay of pigs" invasion was begun during the last days of the eisenhower administration, kennedy inherited it. while he was never particularly enthusiastic about it (he didn't trust the cia), he felt he had to continue it. he did, lukewarmly. when it was obviously going south, he cut it off at the knees by refusing to provide air support for it. the cia and the florida cubans never forgave him.

    that it was a half-assed plan to begin with (sound familiar?) didn't stop the cia and the american-cuban community from railing against kennedy, and blaming him for its failure.

    to kennedy's credit, he learned his lesson, which he applied during the cuban missile crisis, averting a nuclear wwIII.


    Inexperienced (none / 0) (#85)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:47:05 PM EST
    It's my understanding (none / 0) (#110)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:13:47 PM EST
    that all the experienced hands on deck during the Cuban missle crisis brought us to the brink of WWIII.  Only the inexperienced brother of the inexperienced president had an idea to thwart the escalation.  As I recall, he suggested they back up one step...answer the first Kremlin connumique and ignore the more belligerant second message...and that is what they did.

    Kennedy wasn't alone...he had a trusted advisor in Bobby and it was possibly their finest hour.


    Yes, it's a great (and true) story -- (none / 0) (#133)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:34:49 PM EST
    -- and one I have found instructive to recall in a few of my own tussles in life.

    But who is Barack's Bobby?


    Kerry, Kennedy & Daschle. (none / 0) (#139)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:26:57 PM EST
    ...he's at the mercy of 3 losers plus Durbin and Kaine...

    But what about the vote? (none / 0) (#87)
    by dc2008 on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:52:12 PM EST
    Aren't any and all of the points here completely trumped by Hillary's vote to authorize the war in Iraq -- a war that many foreign policy thinkers view as the worst foreign policy blunder in US history?

    Compared to what? (none / 0) (#95)
    by Stellaaa on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:04:03 PM EST
    An opinion and a speech?

    Lets be honest (none / 0) (#161)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 06:51:06 PM EST
    regardless of initiating the war...the execution is what made it a blunder...not the initiation...

    Of course, that doesn't discount the fact that it was morally wrong in the first place (or that if we never went to war, we would not have have a "tactical blunder"...both are valid points), but in a purely X and Os, tactics and strategy point of view, the "tactical blunder" of the war was not the authorization to use force if diplomacy failed (lets not over simplify the bill either), but the execution of the war itself when illegally initiated against the will of Congress (the war is illegal...I think most of us agree on that...so we can't call it illegal and then blame Hillary for authorizing it...that would be a contradiction).


    So ... (none / 0) (#90)
    by chemoelectric on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 07:54:56 PM EST
    ... is Joe Wilson suggesting that Hillary Clinton will smash political enemies with big rocks if they cross the aisle for a handshake?

    I must say, I think Wilson is just making excuses for supporting a person whom he personally knows and likes.

    I should hope that he knows and likes her (none / 0) (#96)
    by Kathy on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 08:04:50 PM EST
    Otherwise, why would he be telling people to vote for her as president?

    If you're the president (none / 0) (#112)
    by oldpro on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:15:36 PM EST
    you don't need big rocks.

    Just a little tiny veto pen.


    Joseph Wilson's credibility (none / 0) (#121)
    by diogenes on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 09:43:44 PM EST
    If he weren't married to Valerie Plame and his only recent foreign policy experience was the yellowcake report, would this endorsement help or hurt Hillary?

    He has huge cred with liberals (none / 0) (#136)
    by Cream City on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:40:01 PM EST
    and the anti-Iraq War public.

    And I don't get the hypothetical.  He does have decades of experience in our international relations.  So just what are you asking/saying?


    Not for long (none / 0) (#160)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 06:43:57 PM EST
    the same people that roared with support for him a year ago, will roar with hate for him this year...so long to the blog support Joe Wilson...

    What is going to happend when (none / 0) (#159)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 06:42:25 PM EST
    we've marginalized all the Democrats because they don't agree with Obama on one issue or another, or they don't support Obama on one issue or another...Obama is playing a dangerous game with the party for his own advancement...I for one resent it, but I doubt there is anything that can be done...since the establishment is much more Anti-Clinton than rational

    For all the jabbing Obama is making about Dem losses during Clinton's presidency, I have a sinking suspicion that under a president Obama, we'll wander back into the wilderness...


    Nahhhhh (none / 0) (#135)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:39:51 PM EST
    forget it

    Don't take Obama's measured attitude for weakness (none / 0) (#137)
    by AdrianLesher on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:09:03 PM EST
    Contrary to Joe Wilson's interpretation, I took Obama's reaction to McCain's blowup as a strength.

    There's an idea in some eastern disciplines (Tai Chi, for instance), that you can gain an advantage by knowing how to gently and deftly turn your adversary's blows against that person.

    This is what Obama did with McCain. His reaction to McCain made McCain's crazy anger stand out for what it was.

    Incidentally, it's Kevin Pollack who is the actor. Kenneth Pollack is the one who wrote the book subtitled "The Case For Invading Iraq," and who was a member of Bill Clinton's National Security Council.

    Obama is up to the task. As Harvard Law Constitutional Law Professor Lawrence Tribe has stated, "He is obviously a serious intellectual as well as a fantastic campaigner who can reach across boundaries. He will make an extraordinarily fine president."

    Wow, then Tom Daschle must have (none / 0) (#140)
    by MarkL on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:39:49 PM EST
    been the strongest politician ever!!

    cpinva, you said (none / 0) (#141)
    by rosaleen on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:48:53 PM EST
    ""the bay of pigs" invasion was begun during the last days of the eisenhower administration, kennedy inherited it. while he was never particularly enthusiastic about it (he didn't trust the cia), he felt he had to continue it. he did, lukewarmly. when it was obviously going south, he cut it off at the knees by refusing to provide air support for it. the cia and the florida cubans never forgave him.

    that it was a half-assed plan to begin with (sound familiar?) didn't stop the cia and the american-cuban community from railing against kennedy, and blaming him for its failure."

    For crying out loud! He was the POTUS! He screwed up! Are you practicing making excuses for B.O. when he screws up because he doesn't have a clue? Talk about seeing what you want to see.

    I can't understand why (none / 0) (#143)
    by rosaleen on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:54:43 PM EST
    B.O.'s supporters are talking about Kyle-Lieberman. B.O. didn't oppose it. He let it pass without even bothering to vote. I'd say you can't really use that bill.

    B.O. snubs HRC (none / 0) (#144)
    by rosaleen on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 11:57:40 PM EST
     and won't shake her hand on the Senate floor but he embraces John McCain.

    He must have been thinking of when Chelsea Clinton was an innocent high school student and John McCain asked a roomful of people:

    Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?

    Because Janet Reno is her father.

    Birds of a feather.

    Hillary's Strange Bedfellows (none / 0) (#146)
    by AdrianLesher on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 12:42:11 AM EST
    Hillary has been friendly with congressional opponents as well, as noted in a recent Mother Jones article:

    "Through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship. Her collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) grow in part from that connection. 'A lot of evangelicals would see that as just cynical exploitation,' says the Reverend Rob Schenck, a former leader of the militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue who now ministers to decision makers in Washington. 'I don't....there is a real good that is infected in people when they are around Jesus talk, and open Bibles, and prayer.'"

    I don't think that Bible study with Rick Santorum makes Hillary a traitor. It's part of her religious upbringing. I don't think being cordial to John McCain makes Obama a quisling or a weakling.

    Cordial? (none / 0) (#147)
    by rosaleen on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 03:52:59 AM EST
    He was hugging John McCain after he refused to shake hands with a member of his own party.

    Apples and oranges.

    To be fair (none / 0) (#158)
    by Virginian on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 06:36:01 PM EST
    I think "the snub" was Obama throwing some red meat to his supporters...I think that was purely political, and HRC knew it...she had some fun with it, but she wasn't the one pushing that storyline, her supporters were...thats probably the only reason it got SOME traction...lord knows anything Clinton tried to get traction on the media makes sure she doesn't

    This is obvious (none / 0) (#148)
    by SandyK on Wed Feb 13, 2008 at 05:14:12 AM EST
    Didn't take anything brainy even to state Obama's inexperience in international relations.

    And how will he fair with China and Japan? He has nearly none of those American ethnic groups on his staff to even brief him (didn't help he was giving "but..." answers with appointing Asians in his government, too).

    Obama's too much the dreamer. Dreams are nice, but working internationally, he'll need the network of many of the very people he isn't representing.

    It's also one of the main reasons the AA community (remember Asian Americans?!) aren't voting for Obama. That community, for those interested, is 8% of the entire California vote, too. Nothing to sneeze at in these close elections.