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:
The emphasis was added by Abu Kais of Beirut To the Beltway, who had this to say in response: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. 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. 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. As we push for this national consensus, 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.
http://www.beirutbeltway.com/beirutb...time-to-e.htmlOh 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 national consensus 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 building consensus 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 a corrupt patronage system and unfair distribution of wealth.
We stand today regretting the wasted time that could have been wisely spent talking 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 coup d'etat 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?