Saturday, March 08, 2008

If Marty Peretz reads Obama correctly, then I like that man, Obama, I mean ....

Here are important excerpts:

So what are Mr. Obama's inclinations in foreign policy? Listening to him carefully, I find ... he is as tough as he is reasonable. *

"This is the wild frontier of our globalized world," Mr. Obama has said of ... Pakistan and Afghanistan. "There are tribes that see borders as nothing more than lines on a map, and governments as forces that come and go. There are blood ties deeper than alliances of convenience, and pockets of extremism that follow religion to violence."

No naïveté there.

... No one should grow up thinking that terror is normal, as many now do. This is one reason Mr. Obama insisted that, whatever Mr. Musharraf might think, the U.S. could not be inhibited from striking wherever terror was hiding.

... I do not doubt that a military response to al Qaeda's new entrenchments in northwest Pakistan may one day demand something larger than a drone and its missiles. And I have no reason to believe that a President Obama would be inhibited from meeting the demands of that day.

What about the conflict between Israel and Palestine?

Many Americans in the policy and opinion elites blindly believe Israel is at fault. This does not appear to be Mr. Obama's belief.

He has made clear again and again that it is not diplomatic ingenuity or American pressure on the Jewish state that is needed to temper the conflict and end it. It is, rather, a transformation in the tempestuous minds of the Palestinian polity, to accept finally the Jewish presence and sovereignty in the land. The Israeli body politic long ago acceded to the idea of a Palestinian state, as Mr. Obama points out again and again.

...like any believer in the peace process and the two-state solution, I imagine that he will insist also upon Israeli concessions, which anyway are inevitable.

There are people in his entourage ... who devote most of their thinking about Israeli-Palestinian peace to the devising of axioms and formulas on how to bring the Israelis to heel... But it is the president who counts.

.... I have no doubt that this idée fixe of the Democrats -- their ardent faith in the salvific power of diplomacy -- will be tried and found wanting. ... A case can be made for sitting down with our enemies -- as long as we understand that they are our enemies.

... Unlike the isolationists in the guise of idealists, or the cheerleaders for violence who pretend to be pacifists and populists, Mr. Obama is a patriot of the old cadence and the old convictions, and not easily pushed around. If he is elected president, he will disappoint many of his supporters, and surprise many of his detractors.

Nobody needs to worry that Zbigniew Brzezinski will be made secretary of state. I would even hazard the guess that the chief at Foggy Bottom will be the clear-thinking Dennis Ross, once an avid "peace processor," who has learned with the rest of us that processing peace is not an easy task.

____________

* Still, I have to wonder... Is Obama aware what the Iranian Regime-- with whom he plans to have talks with no preconditions -- is really like?

He should take a look at Kamangir's blog:

“The ceremony will focus on designating rewards for the assassination of three Israeli top officials”. This is how the close-to-state website Farda describes an event to be held in Tehran. The three officials are Ehud Barack, Meir Dagan, and Amos Yadlin. The amount will be awarded for the “revolutionary execution” of these three individuals. The executive committee, which calls itself the “justice-seeking movements of students”, also registers people who would donate their kidney to help increases the reward [Persian].

Unfortunately, it is not Iranians like Kamangir or Elinor he will be talking to.

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