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?
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.
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