Friday, July 25, 2008

Obama Succeeding Brilliantly on Foreign Policy Trip Compared to McCain

Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, it seems to me, is making all of the right foreign policy moves his trip overseas. I take particular note of the following passage, found at Yahoo News:

PARIS - Democrat Barack Obama said Friday that Iran should promptly accept an international call to freeze its uranium enrichment program, which some nations see as a potential step toward obtaining nuclear weapons, and not wait for the next U.S. president.

The presidential candidate met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris, where they discussed Iran, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, climate change and other issues.

Speaking later at a news conference, Obama said Iran should accept the proposals made by Sarkozy and other Western leaders. He urged Iran's leaders not to wait for the next U.S. president to push them "because the pressure, I think, is only going to build." Yahoo News

Recently, John McCain and other anti-Obama forces (e.g. here) were able to convince the mainstream media to report that European leaders were afraid that Obama would not pursue an Iran diplomacy consistently strict with what Europe has been doing.

By meeting with Sarkozy and promising that "the pressure, I think ,is only going to increase", Obama is promising to apply even more pressure than the Bush Administration has, but within the framework set out by the Europeans, which does not include going to war with Iran.

francislholland :: Obama Succeeding Billiantly on Foreign Policy

Yahoo News continues,

The two men recalled their 2006 meeting in Washington, when Sarkozy was the French interior minister. Obama said the only other U.S. senator who Sarkozy visited then was McCain, now the presumed Republican nominee for president.

Obama urged U.S. political reporters to seek Sarkozy's insight because "he seems to have a good nose for how things play out." Yahoo News

Obama is promising and demonstrating through his diplomacy that he is going to pursue a strategy consistent with that of our allies. Meanwhile, McCain is insisting that a war that all of Europe opposed (Iraq) is still necessary, and McCain promises to attack Iran militarily, which is utterly inconsistent and counter to the European approach.

The following is from the Truth About McCain blog, citing the Financial Times:

Would John McCain's election result in perpetual war in Iraq and elsewhere? Well, just look at what John McCain's chief adviser has to say about that. John McCain's chief policy adviser is Douglas Holz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, heads the Greenberg Centre for Geoeconomic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and here's what he says about the loss of Americans lives and the economic cost of the war:
[T]he current and future budget cost and loss of life and health probably give the right magnitude. If so, the annual war bill represents only about one cent of the $12,000bn of national income each year, and the total military cost at most, a nickel. And that is the right lesson: the foundation of US international influence is its large, powerful economy which can absorb the narrow, resource costs of war and free the US to pursue strategic [WAR, WAR, WAR] and security goals. FinancialTimes.Com (emphasis added)
John McCain is always wrong about Iraq, and his errors are very dangerous. As when,
. . . he said the war would be "brief" and be paid for by Iraqi oil revenues. Or as he was in the 1990s, when he championed extravagant State Department funding for the war instigator Ahmad Chalabi, who'd already been branded untrustworthy by the C.I.A. (The relationship between Mr. Chalabi and the former lobbyist Charles Black, now a chief McCain campaign strategist, is explored in a new book, "The Man Who Pushed America to War," by Aram Roston.) NYTimes
Read the whole article. With McCain's chief adviser's reasoning, we can expect even more wars like the one in Iraq under a McCain Administration, since the Iraq War continues to be such a great bargain for America, both in terms of loss of life and expense to the US Treasury.

Meanwhile, Obama also knocked down on of McCain's (and all Republicans') chief criticisms of Democrats, as being pacifists unwilling to fight wars that are necessary for American security. Basically, the only thing a Democratic candidate has to do to win on this count is point out a country where he IS determined to fight a war, and show determination about it. Obama met the test.


Obama told reporters that "Afghanistan is a war we have to win." The Taliban and terrorist groups it supports, he said, pose an unacceptable threat to the U.S., France and other nations.

"We've got to finish the job," said Obama, who often has said the Iraq war was an unwise move that distracted the United States from efforts to find Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders and to root out the Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Yahoo News
In fact, there are very good alternatives to most wars the US might be called upon to fight, but most of the public wants to know that a president will be willing to fight a war if the need arises, and some actually want a war just for the fun or the lucre of it. The best way for a candidate to show that he has a war in him is to point out a place where he believes a war should be fought, and that's precisely what Obama did.

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