The Discerning Texan
All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Krauthammer Skewers Obama
I believe that the people are beginning to see just how vapid Barack Obama is; and--if we needed any help to see what a horrible wartime leader Obama would be--Charles Krauthammer is right there to expose Obama's naiveté:
For Barack Obama, it was strike two. And this one was a right-down-the-middle question from a YouTuber in Monday night’s South Carolina debate: “Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?”Read the whole thing here.
“I would,” responded Obama.
His explanation dug him even deeper: “The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous.”
From The Nation’s David Corn to super-blogger Mickey Kaus, a near audible gasp. For Hillary Clinton, next in line at the debate, an unmissable opportunity. She pounced: “I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year.” And she then proceeded to give the reasons any graduate student could tick off: You don’t want to be used for their propaganda. You need to know their intentions. Such meetings can make the situation worse.
Moreover, summits can also be traps if they’re not wired in advance for success, such as Nixon’s trip to China, for which Henry Kissinger had already largely hammered out the famous Shanghai communique. You don’t go hoping for the best, as Hillary’s husband learned at the 2000 Camp David summit, when Yasser Arafat’s refusal of Israel’s peace offer brought Arafat worldwide opprobrium — from which he sought (successfully, as it turned out) to escape by launching the second intifada. Such can be the consequences of ill-prepared summits.
Obama enthusiasts might want to write this off as a solitary slip. Except that this was the second time. The first occurred in another unscripted moment. During the April 26 South Carolina candidates’ debate, Brian Williams asked what kind of change in the U.S. military posture abroad Obama would order in response to a hypothetical al Qaeda strike on two American cities.
Obama’s answer: “Well, the first thing we would have to do is make sure that we’ve got an effective emergency response — something that this administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans.”
Asked to be commander-in-chief, Obama could only play first-responder-in-chief. Caught off guard, and without his advisers, he simply slipped into two automatic talking points: emergency response and its corollary — the obligatory Katrina Bush-bash.
When the same question came to Hillary, she again pounced: “I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate.” Retaliatory attack did not come up in Obama’s 200-word meander into multilateralism and intelligence gathering.
These gaffes lead to one of two conclusions: (1) Obama is inexplicably unable to think on his feet while standing on South Carolina soil, or (2) Obama is not ready to be a wartime president.
During our 1990s holiday from history, being a national-security amateur was not an issue. Between the 1991 death of the Soviet Union and the terror attacks of 2001, foreign policy played almost no part in our presidential campaigns. But post-9/11, as during the Cold War, the country demands a serious commander -in-chief. It is hard to imagine that with all the electoral tides running in their favor, the Democrats would risk it all by nominating a novice for a wartime presidency.