Wednesday, June 11, 2008

THE ISSUES: Foreign Policy


Every President has a "doctrine" that outlines their foreign policy. One of my favorite moments from a democratic debate in the primary was when Charles Gibson asked Obama what he would do if a threat was posed to America. Obama stated what he would do and Charles Gibson said "You just described the Bush Doctrine", and then Obama stuttered to try to change his position. I think foreign policy is where Obama is the weakest. He will try to juggle the far-left crowd and at the same time pretend to be tough. From his website he states:
"When I am this party's nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don't like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is ok for America to torture — because it is never ok… I will end the war in Iraq… I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century: nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, "You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.”
Fair enough. The statement implies that the current administration has been deficient on foreign aid and this is misleading. George Bush has given more foreign aid than any other President. He has forgiven more third world debt than any other President. He has given more AIDS relief than any other President.
He talks about restoring habeas corpus. Habeas Corpus has only been denied to enemy combatants. Lincoln and Ulysses S. also did it in times of war. Bringing an enemy combatant in front of a judge was not necessary. Many find it necessary to front and center terrorists in American courts instead of military tribunals. What the hell for? American citizens have never been denied the right to habeus corpus. Misleading. Obama voted against the war. Did you guys know that? John Kerry served in Viet Nam did you know that? I think he should be careful about touting the "I was right" brain child. It could crawl under his bed like a clown in a poltergeist. The "not talking to leaders we don't like" is such a dumbed-down response to a policy of not legitimizing terrorist regimes. Meeting with the leader of the world's Super power gives prestige to rogue leaders and nations. He will give them prestige and legitimize their evil regimes. President Clinton did this little ditty with Yasser Arafat and North Korea. How did that turn out again? Oh yea, suicide bombers got more bold and Saddam started financing them. North Korea lied to us. Shocker.
He also states that he will finish the fight against Al Qaeda insinuates that we have stopped going after them. Misleading. Also if he thinks that Al Qaeda is the only player in the war on terror, he is a misinformed candidate.
He offers diplomacy to Iran. Again from his website:
"Obama is the only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions. Now is the time to pressure Iran directly to change their troubling behavior. Obama would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation. Seeking this kind of comprehensive settlement with Iran is our best way to make progress."
Nice, no pre-conditions and stepped-up pressure. Too late, Bush called for that yesterday. But Obama can "strenuously" call for Iran to back down and apply Obamanator pressure. Obama offers nothing better in foreign policy except an arrogant "I can do it better" option. The Bush foreign policy is portrayed as a hyper-active war monger going crazy until he can push some nuke buttons. Talk about fear mongering. The left is far more fearful of our government than they are of Islamo-fascists who want to wipe us and Israel off the planet.
This my friends is the creepiest part of Obama's policy:
"Fight Global Poverty: Obama will embrace the Millennium Development Goal of cutting extreme poverty around the world in half by 2015, and he will double our foreign assistance to $50 billion to achieve that goal. He will help the world's weakest states to build healthy and educated communities, reduce poverty, develop markets, and generate wealth."
"HE" will do nothing of the sort. It will be TAX PAYING AMERICANS who already pay out the nose for everyday living. I fail to see how this policy is going to help out our current economic situation. I see where he is going with this. Its the entitlement and guilt syndrome. Shower the world with money from the US, which we already do, and they will like us more. And they don't and won't. Misleading.
In Asia he will:
"...forge a more effective framework in Asia that goes beyond bilateral agreements, occasional summits, and ad hoc arrangements, such as the six-party talks on North Korea. He will maintain strong ties with allies like Japan, South Korea and Australia; work to build an infrastructure with countries in East Asia that can promote stability and prosperity; and work to ensure that China plays by international rules."
"More Effective". OK. Arrogant. He calls the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to enemies arrogant. Ok Mr. More Effective, who's more arrogant?
This is where I get off the Obama train. I could write about this for ten more pages, but for the sake of not becoming someones sleeping pill I will give it a rest. Let's just let the debate take on a life of its own...after all, its what has divided our nation. The war on terror has been a dividing factor in our so called need for unification. I have often wondered had Al Gore been the President and outlined the current conflict, how would the picture look today. Liberals fighting for a tough stance on religious extremist murderers and conservatives downplaying terrorist rhetoric. If only. For an opposing opinion read The Pluribus Driver

26 comments:

DB said...

McCain has said he would talk to Syrian leaders...

You also say Obama is weakest on Foreign Policy. True, but only from a Conservative perspective. The majority of Americans are not for the war anymore and like Obama because neither is he. That makes it his strength. It can suck, but Obama is winning the crowds for his anti-war approach.

You mentioned the taxes...the war will continue to cost the tax payers billions more than any crackpot "save the world from poverty" plan that Obama can come up with. The war is clearly not helping out our economic situation if that is your argument. Not saying Obama's plan is better, just that the tax payer or economic arguments won't fly when put up against this war.

And I love to hear Conservatives talk big about Iran being terrorists, but why not attack then? Democrats holding Bush back? Lack of evidence? Would not attacking terrorists imply we aren't being strong enough on the war on terror? Should be stay the course? It's working so far, right? Iran has stopped all nuclear developments, right? No.

What is McCain's plan again? How is McCain going to handle NoKorea, Iran, Syria? "World pressure?" Talk about a plan that isn't working...

That should rile you up bright and early in the morning! ;-)

Nikki said...

Hey DB, I feel as though I could have written your comment for you! HA! The way americans feel about the war can be divided into 3 groups. 1. against it from the beginning. 2. for it and now against it and 3. for it but thinks it was mishandled. The majority of Americans 67% to be exact according to gallup, I can post the graphic if need be, think the troops should stay in Iraq and finish the job correctly...so no, conservatives aren't the only ones thinking Obama's tactics for the war are misguided. Also, last I heard every arab nation is not considered a rogue state. I've been to Syria it was lovely. talk away. Obama has to juggle his policies depending on what group he is pandering to at the moment. And if most of America is behind Obama's foreign policy why get his girdle in a knot when Bush called him out in front of Israel. He had to quickly defend his position of "appeasement". No need to defend if we are all behind him. The majority of Americans still believe terrorism is a threat and are uncomfortable with his legitimizing our enemies. And as far as McCains position...well that is a different post that is coming...this one was long enough as it is! :)N

namaste said...

*sigh* no comment.

aren't we due for a chat girlie? i know since jake's home you guys are running around.

;)

~m

Mike said...

Nikki, of course you've got it all wrong. :) That's why I had to have a post on my blog that correctly analyzes the situation. (Shameless self-promotion.)

If I'm not mistaken, Syria is on the State Department's list of rogue nations.

I applauded Bush's Africa AIDS money, until I read that the stipulation was that they could only buy name-brand drugs from American companies.

If your argument is that Bush's foreign policy has been great, then I wholeheartedly encourage McCain to run on that and see how far he gets.

Nikki said...

Mike...I linked you up and thanks for the quick write up! Axis of Evil is 3 and remember not everything you read is true...no stipulations attached to aids funding, I found several articles refuting that claim. I don't think Bush's foreign policy has beed great but it has been good and keep thinking the polls are in Obama's favor. I like a false sense of security in the opposition. Americans can decifer between what has kept them safe and what is tested waters...woohoo thanks Mike...:)N

Kevin said...

How do you feel about McCain saying he'd close Gitmo and move the terrorists to Ft. Leavenworth so they could have their cases tried in our civilian courts? Essentially, he agrees with the awful SCOTUS ruling from today.

Nikki said...

Kevin I tried to read the link but it was too little to read...I'll head to your blog to see if there is something posted there. I am so happy you came over to visit!..:)N

Nikki said...

Kevin, still can't read it but I would probably say he is pandering like all politicians do. Its a game. And he's all I got. :)N

Nikki said...

Got it...I think the greenhouse gases disturbed me more than gitmo. Sounds like the Hillary voters are gettin' some love from the old man. There is a reason liberals love or loved McCain, he'll show it now and then pick a conserative for Vice. That's my prediction. Its a hard voting year, but I can't see voting for someone else and letting Obama win. thats just me...thanks. Its a great and depressing point. :)N

Kevin said...

You're dreaming if you think you'll get anything conservative from McCain. But I'll be there to pat you on the shoulder and tell you it'll be okay after he betrays you. Jindal/Palin 2012! :-)

Nikki said...

Kevin, I have a better chance with McCain than I do with Obama...I know that for sure. My support may be consillatory but a third party candidate means nothing to me if they can't win. Jindal and who is Palin? :)N

Kevin said...

Sarah Palin is governor of Alaska.

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." ~ John Quincy Adams

Nikki said...

And then its 4 years of Obama...I am standing on principle. I am voting against Obama and his radicalism. Nothing against John Quincy, but he didn't have to fight terrorism and no thanks to the warm fuzzies of a vote that allows a socialist in office. It isn't sweet its quite sour. :)N

Kevin said...

I certainly hope you get what you think you'll get from McCain. But if his record and his words (as late as tonight) are any indication, other than staying in Iraq you won't be able to tell the difference between them.

Kevin said...

Sorry. I'm like a dog with a raw-hide toy; especially when I'm right! :-)

Nikki said...

Hope is not what I am voting on if I were it would be the other way...haha. McCain has a conservative rating of 85% and Obama has one of 6%...who would I rather have? Its obvious. I can only trust that he will continue the Bush foreign policy which I think is solid. He may not make permanent the Bush tax cuts, I can only go by his word. Those are the 2 biggies for me...Immigration is not a big issue for me like it is for most conservatives. I lived in AZ for 5 years and I see it the way Bush and McCain do...there goes my official conservative status. I can't worry about what McCain might or might not do, but I do worry about what Obama will do and that is something I am unwilling to allow. McCain scares me far less than Obama. :)N

Nikki said...

YES and you are soooo far right...haha I love your passion! I think that is admirable indeed! :)N

Kevin said...

With a politician, trust and a penny is worth... well, nothing. Because you can't trust them and they'll steal your penny.

DB said...

Nikki, I like your new/quasi-old friends...they make Mike and my job of being the token opposition easy!

Nikki said...

touche! it is true, like I have always said I am really only looking for the one that will screw up the country the least! and take the least amount of my money...lol :)N

Nikki said...

DB, Kevins an old friend, imagine me disagreeing with a conservative! HA...you guys go easy on me I know it! :)N

DB said...

I go waaay easy on you as you are one of the few reasons I don't go so bored during the day...

Nikki said...

DB, your flattery will get you everywhere...haha :)N

John Maszka said...

I think it's naive to believe that any candidate will stick to their campaign platform. The most obvious and recent example, of course, is Bush. The Bush II administration began with a foreign policy based on realism and selective engagement. Bush advocated selective engagement early on, while Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld were all realists in the early days of the administration (Purdum, 2003). Rice summarized the administration’s position in a concise article that clearly prioritized “national interest” over “humanitarian interests.” Rice asserted that “the Clinton administration has often been so anxious to find multilateral solutions to problems that it has signed agreements that are not in America’s interest.” Rice specifically noted treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Comprehensive Test ban Treaty as “instructive.” The Bush II administration would focus on “power politics, great powers and power balances.” It would have no need of the recent foreign policy tradition of multilateralism (Rice, 2000, 47-8).
The Bush administration broke with its realist policies to pursue a neoconservative agenda of Wilsonian-style nation-building. In his 2000 presidential campaign, Bush “scorned ‘nation-building’ as a woolly-headed ambition that risked diluting America’s priorities and diverting its military into insoluble conflicts around the world” (Purdum, 2003, 11). Yet by August 2002, “the tone of the Bush administration’s rhetoric changed sharply.” Republican realists were deeply concerned with the administration’s break with the realist tradition. Individuals such as Scowcroft and Baker spoke out in disagreement with the administration. They saw Powell as their only remaining ally inside the inner circle. Scowcroft warned that a war with Iraq “could turn the whole region into a cauldron.” Retired General Anthony Zinni was present when Cheney gave a speech in Nashville on August 26, 2002. As he listened to the vice president state that “there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Zinni “nearly fell off his chair.” Zinni “had seen nothing to support Cheney’s certitude” (Ricks, 2006, 46-7, 49-50). Still, in spite of nearly universal opposition, President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq. He argued that the United States had to intervene in Iraq in order to prevent terrorists from training in Iraq, to prevent terrorists from obtaining and using weapons of mass destruction against America, and to bring democracy and freedom to the Iraqi people (The White House, 2003).
The administration's most important break with its own realist policies came with the Bush administration’s push toward the “imperial presidency.” This transition was marked by a myriad of developments including the passage of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) otherwise known as the Patriot Act (The White House, 2006). The passage of the Patriot Act both reflected and contributed to a significant shift in the balance of power away from Congress and in favor of the executive office. The USA PATRIOT Act was passed by Congress within weeks and signed by President Bush on October 26, 2001, just fifteen days after the attacks. While the reach of this act is unprecedented, overriding some 48 state laws regarding civil liberties, the USA PATRIOT Act was just one of many developments that significantly increased the power of the executive office.
The Bush administration’s shift to the “imperial presidency” has been marked by a number of developments from an intensification of secrecy to the rejection of international treaties requiring Senate ratification to the doctrine of preventive war giving the president the power to unilaterally decide to go to war. This power was used to wage war in Afghanistan and to secretly plan and wage the war in Iraq.

DB said...

/sigh

Looks like someone is trying to sell books. If anyone is to buy a book, I would recommend something on blog commenting etiquette. ;-)

Nikki said...

DB, LOL...yea this was like a tranquilizer. John feel free to leave exerpts of your book on my blog but please put exerpts from my blog in your book...that would be great and only fair. :)N