Friday, July 27, 2007

Clinton Vs. Obama; Foreign Policy

There was a dust-up this week between the Clinton and Obama camps. Obama suggested that he would be willing to meet with Castro and other world leaders who are not our buddies. Clinton reacted to this by calling Obama irresponsible and naive. Obama responded to this by suggesting that Clinton's vote on the Iraqi War Resolution had been more irresponsible and naive.

Patrick Buchannan took this dustup as a good starting point for an article today; one which makes an uncomfortable amount of sense. He argues that Obama might be naive, but he might have a point as well.
All of these rulers wish to be seen as defying the United States, but not one of them -- not North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela or Iran -- can seriously be seeking a major war with the United States that would bring wreckage and ruin to any or all of them.

What we have in common with them is that neither of us wants a hot war. As for a cold war, does any one of these nations represent a long-term strategic or ideological threat to a United States of 300 million, with 30 percent of the world's economy, and the best air force, navy and army on earth, and a nuclear arsenal of thousands of weapons?

If Bush can bring Libya's Muammar Khadafi, who was responsible for Pan Am 103, the Lockerbie massacre of American school kids, in from the cold, why cannot we talk with Hamas and Hezbollah and Assad and Ahmadinejad?

What has any of them done to us compared to what Khadafi did?
Makes sense to me; seems like avoiding and defusing conflict might be a more successful long term strategy than encouraging and seeking conflict.

Joe Conason has also written on this conflict in an article, noting forcefully that the two aren't as far apart as they would like to appear to be. He also praises Obama's position.
Obama deserves great credit for his courageous dismissal of the conventional stupidities of Washington's conservative establishment and the Beltway media. When he said that he would be willing to meet the leaders of Cuba and several other so-called rogue nations, without preconditions, the arbiters of respectable opinion swooned and sputtered. But his urge to break with bad old habits certainly makes sense. And it is refreshing that he doesn't much care when all the brilliant people who have created or abetted our present disaster attack him.

Obama's clear-cut debate answer showed a healthy skepticism of policies that are no longer in our interest if they ever were.
He also notes that the new President will need to be both reasoned and measured (like Clinton) and innovative and willing to change (like Obama).

For my part, I'm kind of an Edward's man, but Obama is a close second. And closer after this week.

No comments: