Thursday, August 23, 2007
Lately Obama has gotten himself in trouble for questioning tried and true foreign policy givens. You don't commit to meeting with world leaders, meetings with the American president are a privilege, a reward given for good behavior. You don't rule out any possible response to a situation, regardless of how remote or irresponsible it is. And you don't offer controversial opinions on intransigent issues like Cuba. Creativity is a big no-no in a presidential election. Apparently, challenging the mindset that allowed for a travesty like Iraq is also a no-no. Iraq isn't a fiasco because we used military force, or because the Middle East is a vortex of policy failure, it's a fiasco because our leaders were arrogant and unprepared and stuck to assumptions regarding America's place in the world and the way in which other countries should respond to America. Obama might be naive, and I think his Iraq policy is mistaken, as is every other democrat's (to start with 'we have to get out and now' is to replace strategic reality and long term policy repercussions with popular discomfort as driving forces for policy). Obama has shown himself to be as willing to challenge the norm as any candidate with a realistic chance of being elected. That Hillary and the others pounce on him for these 'indiscretions' is not in the least surprising, it's what they are expected to do. It's why Hillary is a stronger presidential candidate. It may be why Obama would make a better president.