Friday, April 18, 2008

We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election - he has a vision to change America

The latest daily email from Camp McCain quotes one of the latest endorsements of Barack Obama:

We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election. He has a vision to change America. -- Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to the Hamas Prime Minister

The email from McCain's deputy campaign manager says:

During the debate, Barack Obama once again refused to condemn former President Jimmy Carter - who publicly supports Obama - for holding talks with the Hamas terrorist group, a group supported financially, politically and military by Iran.

I personally am quite supportive of president Carter's initiatives and do approve of such side-channel dialogue. But, I do not think that high-profile, publicized "talks" have anywhere near the value of low-key, back-channel "consultations" that focus on lowering animosity, seeking common ground, and slowly and gradually and incrementally exploiting any and all opportunities for building a pattern of cooperation and collaboration over time. I personally do not think that meetings of "principals" is the best route when tensions are high.

Barack gets beat up for his willingness to "talk" with Iran, but the way he phrased it in the debate leaves me wondering if maybe he is a far right-wing hawk dressed in liberal dove feathers:

I believe that that includes direct talks with the Iranians, where we are laying out very clearly for them: Here are the issues that we find unacceptable, not only development of nuclear weapons, but also funding terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as their anti-Israel rhetoric and threats toward Israel.

I believe that we can offer them carrots and sticks, but we've got to directly engage and make absolutely clear to them what our posture is. Now, my belief is that they should also know that I will take no options off the table when it comes to preventing them from using nuclear weapons or obtaining nuclear weapons.

Gee, silly me, I originally thought he really walked to talk with Iran, but now it sounds as if he simply wants to lecture them and deliver ultimatums the way Bush, Cheney, or any good Neo-conservative would. What's the real story? Hillary's response:

We are at a very dangerous point with Iran. The Bush policy has failed. Iran has not been deterred. They continue to try to not only obtain the fissile material for nuclear weapons, but they are intent upon using their efforts to intimidate the region and to have their way when it comes to the support of terrorism in Lebanon and elsewhere.

And I think that this is an opportunity, with skillful diplomacy, for the United States, to go to the region and enlist the region in a security agreement vis-a-vis Iran.

It would give us three tools we now don't have. Number one, we've got to begin diplomatic engagement with Iran. And we want the region and the world to understand how serious we are about it. I would begin those discussions at a low level. I certainly would not meet with Ahmadinejad because even again today he made light of 9/11, and said that he's not even sure it happened and that people actually died.

He's not someone who would have an opportunity to meet with me in the White House. But I would have a diplomatic process that would engage him.

To me, it is like night and day. Barack is clueless and Hillary is as practical as one could hope. A true centrist.

I actually do believe that Barack is more of a centrist than his supporters will let on, but he just isn't ready, and is simply far too willing to tolerate left-wing nuttiness, while at the same time making poorly-phrased statements such as the one quoted above during the debate when they were focused on policy. As they would say in the movie The Golden Compass, his daemon is not yet settled.

-- Jack Krupansky


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