Obamas foreign policy What foreign policy?
When it comes to foreign policy I must admit that I am a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt.
I loved the "speak softly and carry a big stick" policy.
I love the show of force he used when he decided to sail the U.S. Navy around the world in a show of dominance.
I also liked it when the Congress told him they wouldn’t provide for the funding for the trip and they only had the fuel to go halfway around the globe.
He said that was fine...he could, as Commander in Chief, send the military anywhere in the world and he would just send them anyway.
If Congress wanted the ships back they needed to come up with the funding...and then he ordered the ships to sail.
Most Americans do not become involved in the research or study of American foreign policy.
Most of us just read whatever the paper or the internet says about how hated we are for our foreign policy and think nothing more of it.
In fact, our positions on foreign policy have had a great impact on our international relations since our beginning.
Foreign policy is a delicate process requiring not only skill, but a deep understanding into our history with other nations.
Barack Obama has no such understanding and has proven it with the statement that he would meet with foreign leaders of Iran, Cuba and North Korea, without preconditions. ("Part I: CNN/Youtube Democratic presidential debate transcript," CNN.com/politics, July 24, 2007.)
Everyone immediately knew this was a big mistake on his part.
Even those within his party had a hard time accepting this level of inexperience in political matters of foreign policy.
Hillary Clinton was excited to see such an opportunity handed to her on a silver platter.
What sort of candidate would make such a statement? A highly inexperienced and unqualified candidate, that’s who.
Hillary stated she would not meet with the leaders of these countries during her first year.
She didn’t want to be used for propaganda purposes.
She did not want to make a bad situation worse. (Ibid)
She did not believe it wise to meet with Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, or the nutbar leaders from North Korea, Iran and Syria until there were conditions setting up the parameters for the meeting.
For her there had to be some preconditions or the meeting would not be in the best interest of the United States.
How did Obama respond to this mistake?
Did he say he only meant that he would meet with them and the part about preconditions was an oversight?
The answer is no.
He was sticking by this mistake; embracing it; repeating it.
I don’t understand his strong position on this issue.
I mean it’s not like he hasn’t changed his position before.
After all, it wasn’t difficult for him to reverse his position on normalizing relations with communist Cuba.
He had once written in a 2004 questionnaire that he wanted to do just that, but later changed his mind after he entered the campaign for president. (IVO-IPO 2004 US Senate Questionnaire, available at http://www.iviipo.org/2004queries_primary/Obama-response.pdf.)
Well, that didn’t last too long.
When the behavior and rhetoric of Iranian President Ahmadinejad became increasingly hostile during 2007 the Republicans began to pile on Obama for agreeing to meet with him. (The Case Against Barack Obama, Regnery Publishing, Inc.2008, David Freddoso).
This caused Obama’s senior foreign policy advisor, Susan Rice, to do what politicians do best, deny in early 2008 that Obama had ever said he would meet with Ahmadinejad.
She stated "He said he’d meet with the appropriate Iranian leader, and not necessarily Ahmadinejad. (CNN Situation Room, May 19, 2008.)
But in fact he had stated that he would meet with him.
In the fall of 2007, a reporter specifically asked him whether he would meet with Ahmadinejad, Obama answered: "Nothing has changed with respect to my belief that strong countries and strong presidents talk to their enemies and talk to their adversaries."(MSNBC, Race for the Whitehouse with David Gregory, May27, 2008).
Hillary Clinton once called Obama "naive" about foreign policy.
His own writings offered up in over several pages of The Audacity of Hope, has a glaring blind spot for those who choose to find it.
There is a pervasive misunderstanding of foreign policy spread throughout the book.
His complete lack of vision and understanding to each of the steps taken by Ronald Reagan took to end Soviet domination of eastern Europe is shown in his statements regarding our actions in Latin America; the invasion of Grenada; and the "Star Wars" missile defense program, which has today evolved into a working missile defense system that passes test after test. (Navy: Missile defense test a success," ABC7, June 6, 2008, http://abclocal.go.com/kabc’story?section=news/national_world&id=6189438).
In short, Barack Obama has no firm grasp on foreign policy.
Problem is he is either too arrogant, or simple, to see his own folly.