Attacks on Obama's Foreign Policy Highlights Why We Need New Leadership

The Democrat and Republican presidential candidates, plus much of the news media, are pouncing on Barack Obama  for the radical idea of achieving national security success by killing or capturing Al Qaeda terrorists like America's Most Wanted Man, Osama Bin Laden, and using direct diplomacy with our enemies, to further our interests.  My message to them....proceed at your own peril.  

The Democrat and Republican presidential candidates, plus much of the news media, are pouncing on Barack Obama  for the radical idea of achieving national security success by killing or capturing Al Qaeda terrorists like America's Most Wanted Man, Osama Bin Laden, and using direct diplomacy with our enemies, to further our interests.  My message to them....proceed at your own peril.  

"Limited Failure" and "Stay The Course" aren't the answer.

The reality is Obama has outflanked the Left and the Right on foreign policy and will capture Both (including the Middle) by proving what's missing from the other candidates in the 2008 Campaign:  Real Leadership and Ideas.

Hasn't anyone learned from Reagan yet?  Strength, Diplomacy and Optimism are not mutually exclusive entities.  Regardless of his overall policies, he was able to play those cards better than our current leaders.

Ruben Navarette of the San Diego Union Tribune makes the same case in his column this week....

"Rookie Mistake? Not So Fast" s/2007/08/rookie_mistake_not_so_fast.htm l

As a former Independent voter that felt totally abandoned by the misguided "Bush Doctrine" of the Republican Party, I've been waiting five years for our leaders to make Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden and the survival of the Afghan government a priority.  These are the reasons for 9/11, not Saddam Hussein....or even the new Al Qaeda in Iraq that followed us there.

After his August 1st foreign policy speech I was ecstatic.  For several years I supported Democrats in the hope that they would responsibly pull back from Iraq but also move toward fighting the real threat.  But I have felt that Joe Voter has been skeptical they would do both right.

Finally, Obama's speech framed the correct solution for the Democrats...and the nation.  He spoke about a strategy for success in the Middle East and Asia built on the truth, not the latest partisan talking points.  

In addition to going after terrorists, Obama effectively spoke of dealing with the anti-American madrassas in these countries to turn the tide of Islamic fundamentalist hatred of the West.  He addressed how we actually get to the root of the terrorist problem through political and economic progress.  

He was also realistic that any force would be limited.....nuclear is obviously not a tactic you would use on the Pakistan tribal areas.  That would be the kind of approach that would truly destabilize the nuclear-armed Pakistani government, not a special forces operation against the criminals of 9/11.  

Besides, Obama said he would work with the Musharraf government first and only act if they could not deliver.  

I knew the speech was a major step forward when on the same day of the remarks, my Republican-leaning father called me and finally echoed what I had been saying for years.  He was on the Obama bandwagon (at least for a day) because someone finally wants to get Bin Laden!  

The fact is, even GOP voters will bail on the failed policies in Iraq if we communicate that we will leave as carefully going out as we carelessly went in (i.e. work to avoid it becoming a regional bloodbath and terrorist safe haven) to go after Al Qaeda worldwide in order to stop another attack on our soil.  

But both Democrat and Republican candidates have ignored the intelligence behind this message....leaving our long-term national security to rot in the dust.


Many Democrats either play "Cover Your Ass" foreign policy politics by voting for a vague war authorization because of pre-election arm twisting that they can disavow later and not "telegraphing" their positions on anything they "think" OR using ignorantly negative rhetoric about how "the war is lost" or the "War on Terror is a bumper sticker" or how our troops are dying in vain.

Haven't we learned yet?  We can't look soft on defense if we're going to win the presidency again.  

John Kerry learned the lesson....when he lost an election to the worst president in U.S. history because he "voted for it, before he voted it against it."

Instead of offering a clear foreign policy vision toward overall progress, now it's apparently easier to say Iraq is bad over and over until you win the election.  But that's not going to work for the White House.  

We need a plan for success on the world stage, not for limiting failure.

Yes, there is no military solution in Iraq, but how about we talk about the best direction to achieve success....forcing some political and diplomatic results by eliminating the U.S. Army's blank check for the ineffective Iraqi government to focus primarily on border protection, Al Qaeda and phased redeployment.  

Why does Chuck Hagel have to be our best spokesperson on why we strategically need to get out of Iraq?

Obama has finally provided the progressive-minded new direction.


Meanwhile, the Republicans fell into the same trap with their "stay the course on Iraq regardless of where the real threat lives" rhetoric.  

Mitt Romney saying that Obama went from "Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove" might have entertained Rush Limbaugh, but makes him look like George W. Bush II: stubborn and weak on national security.

This from a guy who went from "Gloria Steinem" to "Pat Robertson" on abortion rights within a few years because cloning bothered him.....give me a break.

Does Mitt actually think Pakistan is our friend?  How about Saudi Arabia?  They might win "kiss ass" points, but do little else for us.  

These are the two nations that are the greatest breeding grounds for the people who want to kill us....including the 19 hijackers.  But I guess Mitt might want to admit them into NATO instead....because that's what we do with our friends.

Maybe we should keep our oil-based energy policy on track too....just to piss off the anti-global warming crowd.  As long our buddies at Halliburton gets rich, then the main source of terrorist financing can wait until the next 9/11.

Since Mitt doesn't think we should use military force inside a country to kill Bin Laden if we have actionable intelligence, I guess he didn't support our original invasion of Afghanistan either.  Was there a single American with that isolationist a view on September 12, 2001?  

I'm sorry, but we can't ask for a permission slip to stop those plotting to kill us....but unfortunately the Republicans are so focused on being right about Iraq that they forgot who the real enemy is.

So, the $64,000 question is, what does he think his Republican hero, Ronald Reagan, did with the Soviet Union?  

Reagan aggressively went at the heart of the world's biggest threat, Soviet imperialism, yet met with the leader of that empire, Mikhail Gorbachev (our enemy) because we couldn't defeat communism through saber-rattling alone.  A few years later millions of Europeans (and briefly Afghans) were free people.

Obama is providing his own brand of leadership to the problem to get results, not votes from an extremist base.


The bottom line is, Obama has the judgment to lead and his rivals should probably think twice before they scoff again....he was right on Iraq before we invaded and is right again.

We should keep in mind that he hasn't attracted 258,000 donors and 20,000 people at rallies just because he's charismatic and's because he represents a Movement toward a New Kind of Politics.

This vision is built on a foundation of Hope and Unity that is meant to inspire Real Leadership and Ideas toward a better country and world around us.

Polls show that the up and coming Millenial Generation, which will soon be a bigger voting bloc than the Baby Boomers, are hungry for this style of progressive and effective government that works for everybody.

As a candidate who grew up with a multi-cultural background, has lived overseas, studied at Harvard and worked in the inner city, Barack Obama understands the mindset of Middle America, South Chicago and beyond.  

Plus, by not accepting money from Federal lobbyists and demonstrating an ability to build consensus, he truly has become the perfect messenger to lead this Movement toward Hope at home and abroad.

As Barack would say, this is not hope for Democrat people or Republican people....this is hope for the American people.

The time for HOPE is now.

Tags: obama policy iraq afghanistan terrorism al qaeda bin laden 2008 (all tags)



Re: Attacks on Obama's Foreign Policy Highlights W

You should probably re title this Why Obama's Attacks on Foreign Policy Highlight Why We Need New Leadership. Because we NEED to get away from the Bush doctrine not to embrace it or have a Bush Doctrine on steroids.

by DoIT 2007-08-09 08:39AM | 0 recs
we agree!

in fact, hillary's support of the bush doctrine of pre-emption and her defense of presidential prerogatives are two of my biggest problems with her...

by bored now 2007-08-09 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: we agree!

Threating to invade Pakistan isn't pre emption?

At least the Bush doctrine was against alleged enemies. The Obama doctrine proposes invading Allies

by world dictator 2007-08-09 01:01PM | 0 recs
yes, a full scale invasion would be...

but that's not what he's said, is it?  he's said that musharraf cannot have a veto over the pursuit of obl into the nwt by our special forces.  best as i remember, this fits perfectly into existing international law...

by bored now 2007-08-09 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Attacks on Obama's Foreign Policy Highlights W

I am sorry I can't vote for obama or HOPE , Because I simple don't understand what the hell that means and I frankly think its hogwash.

The time for COMPETENCE is now . With all the troubles in the world Healthcare , Terrorism , Iraq Exit , Economy , Restoring our image in the world ( They are already Saying DEATH TO OBAMA DEATH TO AMERICA in Pkistan ) I cannot cast my vote on HOPE or OBAMA.

Well written diary though.

by lori 2007-08-09 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Attacks on Obama's Foreign Policy Highlights W

You know he has been backtracking on the issue too.

then ;


Implication : We will act unilaterally.

now :


Implication ; We will ask for permission.

So even he understands it was a mistake.

by lori 2007-08-09 08:45AM | 0 recs
i actually don't see the difference here...


barack was saying that we must hold musharraf accountable for the fact that the isi has not reigned in the terrorists in his country.  moreover, he promises that he won't allow musharraf to veto our operations anywhere in the world searching out and engaging al-qaeda.  if he wants to work with the u.s., that's great.  but musharraf definitely shouldn't have a veto over our operational plans...

by bored now 2007-08-09 11:11AM | 0 recs
Reagan Never Would Have Nukes Off the Table

Not for anything in the world.

by Edgar08 2007-08-09 10:09AM | 0 recs

are you too young to remember reykjavík?

by bored now 2007-08-09 11:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Attacks on Obama's Foreign

LOL@ all the attacks....I guess the Clintons are starting to see some movement for Obama in their internals.

Keep on smearing my friends and ill just laugh in your face.

by JaeHood 2007-08-09 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Attacks on Obama's Foreign

Find me a national poll where Obama isn't down by double digits and then I'll start worrying.

by world dictator 2007-08-09 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Attacks on Obama's Foreign Policy Highlights

Maybe he's just being Obama, and you're the one trying to fit him into a particular category.

by mihan 2007-08-09 10:36AM | 0 recs
They highlight why Obama isn't ready to lead.

He is inexperienced.  He is green.  He isn't well versed on issues of security and foreign policy.

Looking good in an expensive suit and giving good speeches doesn't qualify you to lead the free world.  You need knowledge and experience too.  Plus you need to be tough.  Obama is as soft as custard.

Give Barry 8 ro 12 years and I think he would be a fine candidate for the White House.

by dpANDREWS 2007-08-09 01:53PM | 0 recs


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