July 2, 2008


Obama camp signals robust approach on Iran (Daniel Dombey and Edward Luce, July 1 2008, Financial Times)

[Anthony Lake, a former US national security adviser who has worked with Mr Obama since the start of his campaign] depicted the ­Democratic candidate as a tough-minded realist rather than an anti-war politician. “When I joined the campaign, I remember asking someone at the very beginning: ‘Is this a protest campaign or a presidential campaign?’” he said, before insisting that the answer was clearly the latter.

He stressed that Mr Obama, even after withdrawing troops from Iraq over 16 months as he has promised, would maintain “a residual presence for clearly defined missions”. These would include military training, and “preparedness to go back in if there are specific acts of genocidal violence”.

“That is not ‘cut and run and let’s just see what happens’,” Mr Lake said. “It seems to me a very responsible strategy.”

Highlighting a parallel with his first posting as assistant to Henry Cabot Lodge, a US ambassador in 1960s Saigon, he said: “It is common sense that we could not leave Vietnam successfully unless we left behind a government in Saigon that could govern successfully.

“It seems obvious in retrospect; it was not obvious enough to too many politicians at the time. In Iraq it’s the same problem.”

So Senator Obama knows so little about foreign affairs that he's listening to a guy who was in on a murderous coup against an American ally who was governing South Vietnam successfully
Zemanta Pixie
until JFK, Lodge and company chivved him in the back? And who, not content having done this much damage, went on to further Realist glory:
Vietnam remained Lake's obsession. He provided a revealing glimpse of his views in a lengthy March 19, 1975, Washington Post op-ed titled "AT STAKE IN CAMBODIA: EXTENDING AID WILL ONLY PROLONG THE KILLING." The article, which was entered several times into the Congressional Record, was directed at Lake's old boss, Kissinger. It began by reciting the standard liberal line that Vietnam was not a war of aggression by the North against the South. It was, Lake wrote, a civil war. The distinction was fundamental. Since Vietnam was a civil war, and both sides were nationalists, the U.S. should view the struggle with equanimity. The North might even be morally superior to the South.

Developing the idea, Lake applied this logic to Cambodia. "Cambodia," he explained, "must be recognized as a civil war, not an international war, as Vietnam should have been so long ago." Lake went on to hail the Khmer Rouge, despite the common knowledge that they were slaughtering innocents: "A further measure of damage-limitation would involve adopting a diplomatic and rhetorical position which eschewed bitter attacks on Lon Nol's enemies. They are indeed supported by Hanoi, Peking, and Moscow. But, to the extent we know much about them, they include many Khmer nationalists, Communist and non-Communist. Once they gain power, we must hope for as much nationalism on their part as possible." Indeed, Lake called for "an immediate, peaceful turning over of power" to the Khmer Rouge. "This," he concluded, "would stop the final, useless killing."

Uh-huh, we really need a president who thinks this a wise man.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 2, 2008 3:57 PM

You got through this entire post without mentioning that another of Obama's advisors is Zibgnew Brzinski's, Jimmy Carter's top foreign policy maven.

Ahem. Let me repeat that.... JIMMY CARTER'S top foreign policy guy?!?!?!

Nothing else need be said.

Posted by: Andrew X at July 2, 2008 5:14 PM

Rodger that. The enormity of this poltroon's counsel almost beggars the imagination. Surrender quickly, he says, and avoid all the fuss.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 3, 2008 4:44 AM
blog comments powered by Disqus