Thursday, July 31, 2008

Barack Obama and Foreign Policy – a Republican Perspective

Senator McCain touts “experience” in foreign policy, while continually making massive informational errors. He mixed up Sunni and Shiite on several occasions, talked about the “border of Iraq and Pakistan,” and even referred to a country that no longer exists (he referred to Czechoslovakia twice in 2 days, even though it split into The Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993). Senator Obama, on the other hand, has shown tremendous knowledge of the world.

The question is whether “experience,” which in McCain's case is 24 years as one of 100 Senators (which is NOT international executive experience) versus judgment, which Obama has shown over and over with his opposition to the Iraq war, and recently his time line to leave Iraq that the Prime Minister of Iraq endorsed. John McCain even agreed on July 25th that Senator Obama's 16 month timetable for withdrawal from Iraq is "a pretty good timetable," showing Obama ahead of the curve as McCain tries to catch up.

The current administration's policy of “punishing” enemies by not talking to them is new and completely ridiculous. McCain has stated he will continue this “head in the sand” policy. As President Kennedy said, "We should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate." Ronald Reagan dealt with “the evil empire” directly. Richard Nixon normalized relations with Communist China. Dwight D. Eisenhower met with North Korea. Only until this administration has that become defined as “appeasement.” Here is an excellent history of “appeasement” by Republican and Democratic presidents:

Senator Obama's European popularity is seen as a bad thing amongst the "God Bless America and no one else" crowd, with one pundit saying he's "popular with socialist Europeans" and FoxNews actually claiming that European people liking Barack Obama is a “red flag” against him. I am not sure at what point it became good for our allies to hate us. Is EVERYONE our enemy now? I only know that free trade will only work if we're trading with friends, and the world hating us for our arrogance does not help our bottom line. We are supposed to be world leaders, not bullies.

The true Republican principles of foreign policy are to engage our enemies, support our friends, only use military might if necessary for our safety, and do not try to build nations. We also believe we should never spend money we don't have, right? So borrowing a trillion dollars from Communist China to fund the Iraq war seems quite unRepublican to me.

The world is excited about Barack Obama's presidency. That is a good thing. With Barack's massively successful Middle Eastern and European tour, showing he can stand with world leaders as any president could, the choice is clear for the best president to manage our foreign policy. That choice is Barack Obama.

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