Look, lets get something out of the way up front. I'm voting for McCain, mainly because I agree with him on foreign policy and appreciate his integrity and relative lack of partisanship. But I'm in no way anti-Obama; I don't fear for the world or the US if Obama is elected. On some issues, I like him better than McCain. But this is a foreign policy time, and the flaw in Obama's general theory of dialog is apparent in his default to it in response to the situation in Lebanon. Here's what he said:
[QUOTE]Hezbollah's power grab in Beirut has once more plunged that city into violence and chaos. This effort to undermine Lebanon's elected government needs to stop, and all those who have influence with Hezbollah must press them to stand down immediately. [B]It's time to engage in diplomatic efforts to help build a new Lebanese consensus that focuses on electoral reform, an end to the current corrupt patronage system, and the development of the economy that provides for a fair distribution of services, opportunities and employment.[/B] We must support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions that reinforce Lebanon's sovereignty, especially resolution 1701 banning the provision of arms to Hezbollah, which is violated by Iran and Syria. [B]As we push for this national consensus[/B], we should continue to support the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Siniora, strengthen the Lebanese army, and insist on the disarming of Hezbollah before it drags Lebanon into another unnecessary war. As we do this, it is vital that the United States continues to work with the international community and the private sector to rebuild Lebanon and get its economy back on its feet.[/QUOTE]
The emphasis was added by Abu Kais of Beirut To the Beltway, who had this to say in response:
[QUOTE]Oh the time we wasted by fighting Hizbullah all those years with rockets, invasions of their homes and shutting down their media outlets. If only we had engaged them and their masters in diplomacy, instead of just sitting with them around discussion tables, welcoming them into our parliament, and letting them veto cabinet decisions. If only Obama had shared his wisdom with us before, back when he was rallying with some of our former friends at pro-Palestinian rallies in Chicago. How stupid we were when, instead of developing [I]national consensus[/I] with them, we organized media campaigns against Israel on behalf of the impoverished people who voted for them.
During that time when we bought into the cause against Israel, treating resistance fighters like our brothers, we really should have been [I]building consensus [/I]with them. Because what we did back in 1982, 1993, 1996, 2000 and 2006 – all that was plain betrayal and unnecessary antagonism, a product of [I]a corrupt patronage system and unfair distribution of wealth[/I].
We stand today regretting the wasted time that could have been wisely spent [I]talking[/I] to them, to the Syrian occupiers who brought them into our system, and the Iranian revolutionary guards who trained them.
Yes, this is change we believe in. Get me a time machine.
As Abu Kais points out in not so gently eviscerating Obama, there's been nothing but "dialog" with Hezbollah, nothing but an attempt to integrate them into the political process, for more than 20 years.
Yet Obama's immediate reaction to a [I]coup d'etat [/I]is to suggest that the problem is a lack of dialog.
Aside from the obvious ignorance of the actual situation in Lebanon and the fact that Obama was willing to pontificate about it despite that ignorance, what really worries me about this is the apparent underlying assumption that dialog always works, that there's always a worthwhile interlocutor across the table, which, as far as I can tell, explains why Obama felt secure enough to implicitly suggest that there had not already been more than sufficient dialog with Hezbollah: he assumed that if there had been, the current situation would not have arisen, since dialog would have worked.
And that typifies the foreign policy naivety that swings my vote to McCain come November.
Or can anyone defend Obama's comment on this issue?
Hezbollah is so entrenched into every facet of Shi'a Lebanese life, they recently took over West Beirut in a show of force and continue to receive arms and supplies from Iran and Syria. To pursue a strategy of disarmament through "dialog" would be more of the same. Maybe if Obama had pulled his head out of his ass at any point between April 13, 1975 and now he would realize how strident the religious, social, and ethnic division is in Lebanon.
Hezbollah has been an absolute cancer to the Lebanese people. While talks may not hurt, im not sure how much progress can be made without including Iran and Syria on the talks. building up the opposition to make Hezbollah less attractive is the ultimate solution. This is what should have been done. If Lebanon was helped out financially the way some of our other allies have, and built into a somewhat prosperous nation with the aid and benefits we have provided some of its neighbors, perhaps the model western style democracy we are failing to build in Iraq, will have been built in Lebanon. The frame work for democracy was already there. The Lebanese had already embraced democracy. Now it may be too late.
I find it funny that you mention this error made by Obama yet then say you trust McCain more on foreign affairs , even after confusing the sunnis and shia in Iraq and who is siding with whom at least 5 times.... continuing to make this error even after being corrected.
[QUOTE=kennyo7;2534174]you trust McCain more on foreign affairs , even after confusing the sunnis and shia in Iraq and who is siding with whom at least 5 times.... continuing to make this error even after being corrected.[/QUOTE]
Perhaps McSame will make Lieberman as his VP and he can stand there and whisper corrections in his hairy old man ears...:D
Or can anyone defend Obama's comment on this issue?[/QUOTE]
Number one he said a very specific dialogue was not needed not just any "dialogue" will do
Number two what is the alternative? Invasion? Anyone got any better ideas?
Yeah i also have to ask what about McCain's foreign policy appeals to you? have you been ignoring the last 8 years of Bush foreign policy? Or are you one of the 21% in this nation who actually approve of the President?
Number one he said a very specific dialogue was not needed not just any "dialogue" will do[/quote]
Uh, what?? Bit, lets be honest for a second here - what do you know about Lebanon?
Number two what is the alternative? Invasion? Anyone got any better ideas?
The alternative is further sanctions on Syria, increasing the size and mandate of the UN force in Lebanon and revising the rules of engagement to allow them to interdict arms shipments to Hezbollah and protect civilians targeted by Hezbollah. It also involves rallying broader support in Europe for sanctions against Hezbollah's main financier and arms supplier (Iran). Finally, it involves announcing that unless Hezbollah retreats immediately the UN will convene the tribunal on the Hariri murder with or without authorization from the Lebanese government.
[quote]Yeah i also have to ask what about McCain's foreign policy appeals to you? have you been ignoring the last 8 years of Bush foreign policy? Or are you one of the 21% in this nation who actually approve of the President?[/quote]
The idea that McCain's foreign policy would look like Bush's makes for a good bumper sticker but a pretty horrible example of intelligent political analysis
Dude, is that seriously th best you can come up with to knock Obama on foreign policy? There must be something better than saying he stuck his foot in his mouth by saying that there needs to be more dialog and less fighting in Lebanon? I mean, after 8 years of repeated misquotes, Bushisms, and foreign policy disasters stemming from a complete and total lack of dialog, I find it hard to get particularly worked up about this issue. I think one of the few things we HAVE learned in the past 8 years is that war, especially war conducted with little dialog anywhere, is hardly an answer...
Obama, McCain, who cares as long as they can figure out a way to stop getting people killed and spreading hate--against the US, Middle East, or wherever. Is that such a bad thing?
Bit, You nothing about the Middle East! Talking to Iran, Syria does nothing they consider a weakness. The only thing that scares them is strength, they are basically cowards. You do not carry on a conversation with someone who wants you dead, you give them the finger and show strength. Like a big military presence in the Persian Gulf and off the coast of Syria. You tell them backoff or else!
[quote=SDJETS;2535571]Dude, is that seriously th best you can come up with to knock Obama on foreign policy? There must be something better than saying he stuck his foot in his mouth by saying that there needs to be more dialog and less fighting in Lebanon? I mean, after 8 years of repeated misquotes, Bushisms, and foreign policy disasters stemming from a complete and total lack of dialog, I find it hard to get particularly worked up about this issue. I think one of the few things we HAVE learned in the past 8 years is that war, especially war conducted with little dialog anywhere, is hardly an answer...
Obama, McCain, who cares as long as they can figure out a way to stop getting people killed and spreading hate--against the US, Middle East, or wherever. Is that such a bad thing?[/quote]
Dude, you are missing the point. [B]There has been nothing but dialog in Lebanon for years.[/B] Hezbollah has been [B]"engaged"[/B] in an attempt to bring them into the [B]"political process"[/B] for years.
It would be sort of like someone from another country saying "you know what would help the U.S. right now? Giving George W. Bush a chance to put his policies in place"
Or "you know what would help the Jets? Giving Adrien Clarke a chance at left guard"
What would you think of anyone who made those suggestions?
[QUOTE=jetstream23;2535536]I just don't want anyone to feel left out.....you know, while we're not only stereotyping but associating people with some of the more horrific institutions in history.[/QUOTE]
You don't fell left out now, do you? Comparing the right wing to "reich" is too much...but calling Obama "Osama" is perfectly OK?
The situation in Lebanon is too complex and changes so rapidly that no comment by any Presidential candidate has any real meaning. We know Obama hopes to engage in dialog -- which he has a better chance at doing simply because of who he is then Bush or McCain -- the situation on the ground may dictate otherwise. We know McCain will do whatever Joe Lie-berman tells him to do regardless of where that might lead.
The only thing you need to know on foreign policy about these two candidates from an [I]electoral[/I] perspective is that McCain was wrong and is wrong (in the view of the majority)on Iraq while Obama was right and is right on Iraq. Unless little Iraqi children are dancing in short-pants in the streets with US flag-pins and begging the troops to teach them to play baseball by October McCain is dead in the water. End of story.