Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Obama Would Return to Foreign Policy of Bush I!!!

OK - I just could not believe my eyes when I read this piece by Joseph Wilson in the Philadelphia Inquirer (thanks and Apparently, Obama said recently that he would return to the model set forth by George H.W. Bush. Are you KIDDING ME?!?! As I recall, people were none too thrilled with Bush One, which is why he was a ONE TERM PRESIDENT. And, um, I thought Obama was running as a DEMOCRAT!!!!! HOW ARE PEOPLE SUPPORTING THIS GUY?

Frankly, I am pretty sick and tired of him trashing the Clinton presidency, too. Clinton is the only two-term Democrat we have had for AGES, and Obama keeps talking about REPUBLICAN presidents and all they did. I have been saying this all along - he is another George Bush, and this is just more evidence of it.

Here is Wilson's excellent piece:

Posted on Sun, Apr. 6, 2008

Obama's illusions on foreign policy

Joseph C. Wilson IV
is a retired career diplomat, a former U.S. ambassador, presidential foreign-policy adviser, and author of "The Politics of Truth"

Sen. Barack Obama declared in Pennsylvania on March 27 that his foreign policy would "return" to that of George H.W. Bush and that Sens. John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton both had strayed from that model. Having served in the first Bush administration, as acting U.S. ambassador to Iraq in the run-up to the first Gulf War, and subsequently as ambassador to two African nations, I cannot fathom what Obama is asserting.

His entire foreign-policy claim that he would be a better president than Hillary Clinton rests on the slender reed that he possesses intuitively superior judgment, which would have led him to vote against the Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq had he been in the U.S. Senate in October 2002.

The first President Bush (Bush 41), of course, has publicly supported his son (Bush 43) throughout the second conflict in Iraq.

When Saddam Hussein's troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990, I was in charge of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, responsible for the safe release of Americans held hostage, and I personally confronted Saddam to persuade him to depart Kuwait peacefully. It was axiomatic in our approach that the only way to influence Iraqi behavior would be to threaten military action in the event Saddam did not respond to diplomatic demands. If we were going to make those threats credible, we would have to be prepared to act on them, which we were, and which we did, with full international backing.

What would Obama have done differently in the first gulf war from what he claims he would have done in 2002 had he been in the Senate at that time? In 1990, Saddam was deemed a threat by the first Bush administration. Senior administration officials threatened military action while working toward a diplomatic solution. Congress was ultimately faced with a vote to support the president's approach. Some Democrats, including then-Sen. Al Gore, voted with the administration, while a majority voted against.

Obama claims that an antiwar speech he made while running for state Senate in the most liberal district in Illinois is proof of his superior intuitive judgment. But if Obama had been in Washington at that time, participating in the national debate, he would have come face to face with Secretary of State Colin Powell, the same Colin Powell who, as Gen. Powell, was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the first Bush administration, the one Obama wishes to emulate.

Powell would have told him, as he told the other senators he briefed at that time, including Sen. Clinton, that the president wanted to use the Authorization for the Use of Military Force resolution not to go to war but, rather, as leverage to go to the United Nations to secure intrusive inspections. George W. Bush repeated this claim publicly.

Would Obama's intuitive judgment have led him to defy Powell while still remaining faithful to his fantasy of the "wisdom" of the Bush 41 foreign policy? Perhaps Obama would have urged a summit with Saddam Hussein, with no preconditions, as he has since proposed as a means to "transcend" traditional foreign-policy methods with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. Secretary of State Jim Baker did meet with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz before the launch of Desert Storm, but this meeting was for the express purpose of conveying to the Iraqis the military consequences of not departing from Kuwait before the Jan. 15, 1991, deadline. There was never any question of demeaning the presidency by an unconditional summit for the simple reason that presidents don't haggle. That's why presidents have secretaries of state.

In fact, Obama's understanding of foreign policy is extraordinarily limited. He has had one job in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: chairman of the Europe and NATO subcommittee. He has not held a single policy hearing in that capacity because, as he said in a debate, he has been too busy running for president. He has not even taken a fact-finding trip or provided any other oversight.

As to Obama's self-promoted "judgment," which judgment would that be? Would it be to follow the path of Bush 41: tough diplomacy backed by the threat of military action, as in the first gulf war? Would it be to ignore the rationale put forward by Colin Powell in the debate on the second gulf war? Would it be to vote exactly the same way Sen. Clinton did on war-related issues since he became a U.S. senator, which he has? Or is it simply to criticize from the sidelines with the benefit of never having had to face tough decisions with real consequences?

The next president will be presented with two difficult wars, U.S. moral authority at low ebb, and unprecedented complexity of our relations with the rest of the world. Obama has no record whatsoever, only his utter absence from his committee responsibility. His claim to be the one true heir to George H.W. Bush is a misguided illusion and no substitute for offering more about what foreign policies he would actually follow.

Joseph C. Wilson was involved in the controversy over the purported "Niger uranium connection" with Saddam Hussein. His wife is Valerie Plame, whose identity as a covert CIA officer was leaked by members of the Bush administration, leading to the conviction of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice; he was later pardoned by President Bush. Wilson has endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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