Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama's foreign policy judgment

In light of Sarah Palin's interview with Gibson last night and this a.m., everyone is talking foreign policy. One pressing question may be: How can Obama address our international concerns when Illinois can't see a single foreign country from any of its borders?

Andrew Sullivan today offers a run-down on the foreign policy judgments Obama has offered over the last year. Each one had been "smacked down" as being misguided... until Bush decided to adopt them himself.
The Bush administration - when guided by the saner forces within it such as Gates and Rice - eventually follows Obama's advice. In that sense, Obama has been president for quite a while already. And proving he could be a shrewd, pragmatic and prescient one.
Read it all. Discussing foreign policy is not a quiz to see if you know the right policy answers based on your party's established viewpoint. It's a question of keen interest, thoughtful reflection, investigation into the dynamics of each region and how they impact each other and our national security, filtered through superior and sober judgment. One reason I'm an Obama fan.

6 comments:

Drew said...

I just posted a bit on this actually... Part of what I say is this in response to her interview with Gibson...

"Ms. Palin makes the assumption that the condition of the world is that attack is a first option otherwise she would not have said that the current condition of the world is one of first or pre-emptive strike. Thus, in order to go back to a situation in which war is waged with just grounds, we must see the policy of “war as first option” through. She therefore assumes that the war as first option is just while at the same time holding to the principle that war is a last resort. Both of her propositions cancel each other out and it is therefore a fundamentally irrational set of assumptions."

She simply has no sense of what a just war is or why it is important. Obama on the other hand has both been very clear and consistent on the doctrine that war is always a final option when everything else has been exhausted. The contrast is palpable and I cannto see why all Catholics would not jump on board with Obama based on this clear contradiction with both St. Augustine and St. Thomas regarding war.

Dancingirl said...

Give me a break...

Robert Gates and C. Rice are not following Obama's advice, though it might be vice versa. Obama may be taking cues from them. They are part of Bush's administration, not Obama's.

Dancingirl said...

Obama certainly didn't recommend the surge in Iraq.

julieunplugged said...

Right, he opposed the surge and said so, and then conceded that it worked better than he thought it would. That is not a policy Sullivan credits to Obama. Here's the list he did credit to him:

On one of the most critical decisions of the war, Obama staked out a position a while back that the Bush camp and neocons assailed as naive, disastrous, and revealing of his unfitness to be president. But like almost everything else Obama has said about the war, he was right and Bush was wrong. Obama was ahead of Bush in proposing to shift troops to Afghanistan, ahead of Bush in suggesting a timetable for Iraq withdrawal (subsequently embraced by Maliki), ahead of Bush in arguing we should talk directly to Iran, and, of course, right about not fighting the war in the first place.

Kansas Bob said...

This election is certainly one about judgment.

Debo said...

Obama seems to be passing all the tests but the bar is continually raised

I'm becoming more and more convinced that this election is a test for Americans to overcome their biases.

There is a post today in The Salon about how small town America views Obama and I'm convinced that it just euphemism for what they don't want to come out and say: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/09/12/obama_doubts/

My beef is with the "Values Voters". I want to see if they will be true to their values and not the culture wars this time around