April 6, 2008


Obama's illusions on foreign policy (Joseph C. Wilson IV, 4/06/08, Philadelphia Inquirer)

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. [...]

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.

...anyone who didn't realize W was going to take Saddam out, even when he was running for president in 2000, has such bad judgment they oughtn't be trusted with a position where they're expected to understand other leaders.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 6, 2008 10:00 AM
Comments for this post are closed.