Lost in all the ridiculous talk about appeasement (a political charge lobbed by a few, vocal Bush foreign policy dead-enders including, unfortunately, McCain), is a true understanding of Barack Obama’s foreign policy philosophy. Take it from the man himself:
“Obama would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation.”
“Obama will launch the most aggressive diplomatic effort in recent American history to reach a new compact on the stability of Iraq and the Middle East. This effort will include all of Iraq’s neighbors – including Iran and Syria. This compact will aim to secure Iraq’s borders; keep neighboring countries from meddling inside Iraq; isolate al Qaeda; support reconciliation among Iraq’s sectarian groups; and provide financial support for Iraq’s reconstruction.”
“Obama would insulate the Director of National Intelligence from political pressure by giving the DNI a fixed term, like the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Obama will seek consistency and integrity at the top of our intelligence community – not just a political ally.”
“Obama will reverse President Bush’s policy of secrecy. He will institute a National Declassification Center to make declassification secure but routine, efficient, and cost-effective.”
“Obama will bring foreign policy decisions directly to the people by requiring his national security officials to have periodic national broadband town hall meetings to discuss foreign policy. He will personally deliver occasional fireside chats via webcast.”
“When I am this party’s nominee, my opponent will not be able to say that I voted for the war in Iraq; or that I gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; or that I supported Bush-Cheney policies of not talking to leaders that we don’t like. And he will not be able to say that I wavered on something as fundamental as whether or not it is ok for America to torture — because it is never ok… I will end the war in Iraq… I will close Guantanamo. I will restore habeas corpus. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. [Emphasis added] And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century: nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. And I will send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, “You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now.”
Barack Obama is a foreign policy realist with a strong, confident understanding of the world and America’s role in it. His philosophy is in the mold of T.R. Obama will speak softly and, always, because we are America, carry a big stick. Best of all, he will not continue the hysterical, fear-inspired, foreign policy failures of the Bush-McCain-Lieberman axis.
Under Obama, America will get it’s groove back.