Sunday, June 01, 2008

On Obama's Foreign Policy Folly (Via: Oliver Kamm)

Obama's position is indeed an absurdity and not merely
an error. To be effective in diplomacy you need to be prepared to bargain, even
if tacitly, otherwise you remove the incentive of the other party to cooperate.
Diplomacy is about the attainment of ends and not merely the appearance of

It was said of the famously ineffectual Austen Chamberlain (till William Hague, the only Tory leader in the twentieth century not to become Prime Minister) that he always played the game and always lost it. America's friends abroad, and especially those of us on the Left, have grounds for worry that the Democrats may be adopting a similar approach in foreign affairs.

Update: Monday:

Quoted on Commentary's Contentions:

The trap Obama must not be caught in is one of excessive pessimism. Conditions now favor expeditious withdrawal more than they did only a few months ago. But the manner of withdrawal, its pace, and its concomitant diplomacy now require a different cast, and may require an even different one next February and March. None of this means that this war was not a mistake; it does suggest it need not in the medium term be a catastrophe. Petraeus deserves the lion’s share of the credit; luck and time and the self-defeating nihilism of the Jihadists have helped. But Bush and McCain equally merit points for pursuing the surge, even though the metrics pointed to failure. Obama needs to capitalize on these gains, not dismiss them.


At 6:46 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nancy Pelosi is crediting Iran's goodwill and good nature with improvements in Iraq.

How imbecilic is that?

Not only that but simultaneously robbing our military and state dept, of credit for their hard work in improving the Iraq situation. Indeed that is her primary motivation. The Democrat Party is invested in failure in Iraq....which means a failed state, instability, regional conflict, and empowering the Islamic Right further than Jimmy "the hand" Carter did. INSANITY!

At 2:11 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might find this interesting.

How Barack Obama learned to love Israel
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2007

From left to right, Michelle Obama, then Illinois state senator Barack Obama, Columbia University Professor Edward Said and Mariam Said at a May 1998 Arab community event in Chicago at which Edward Said gave the keynote speech. (Image from archives of Ali Abunimah)

Over the years since I first saw Obama speak I met him about half a dozen times, often at Palestinian and Arab-American community events in Chicago including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which Edward Said was the keynote speaker. In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, "Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front." He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, "Keep up the good work!"

At 5:20 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Defeatism by any other name, should smell as foul.


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