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Campaign Memo:
"Barack Obama Was Right"

Has Sen. Barack Obama had a bad few weeks on foreign policy? Or is his a new approach representing "change"?

His campaign is naturally arguing the latter. After causing an uproar by ruling out using nuclear weapons against terrorists in Pakistan or Afghanistan -- a view that other Democrats dismissed as a sign of inexperience and naivete -- his campaign issued the following memo. Their hope is to tie together the threads of the last few weeks -- his spat with Sen. Hillary Clinton over rogue leaders; his speech on Pakistan; his nukes comment -- into a coherent campaign message.

Find the full memo penned by Samantha Power, a former journalist and Harvard professor who is advising the campaign below:

August 3, 2007
To: Interested Parties
From: Samantha Power -- Founding Executive Director, Harvard University Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Re: Conventional Washington versus the Change We Need

It was Washington's conventional wisdom that led us into the worst strategic blunder in the history of US foreign policy. The rush to invade Iraq was a position advocated by not only the Bush Administration, but also by editorial pages, the foreign policy establishment of both parties, and majorities in both houses of Congress. Those who opposed the war were often labeled weak, inexperienced, and even naïve.

Barack Obama defied conventional wisdom and opposed invading Iraq. He did so at a time when some told him that doing so would doom his political future. He took that risk because he thought it essential that the United States "finish the fight with bin Laden and al Qaeda." He warned that a "dumb war, a rash war" in Iraq would result in an "occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences."

Barack Obama was right; the conventional wisdom was wrong. And today, we see the consequences. Iraq is in chaos. According to the National Intelligence Estimate, the threat to our homeland from terrorist groups is "persistent and evolving." Al-Qaeda has a safe-haven in Pakistan. Iran has only grown stronger and bolder. The American people are less safe because of a rash war.

Over the last few weeks, Barack Obama has once again taken positions that challenge Washington's conventional wisdom on foreign policy. And once again, pundits and politicians have leveled charges that are now bankrupt of credibility and devoid of the new ideas that the American people desperately want.

On each point in the last few weeks, Barack Obama has called for a break from a broken way of doing things. On each point, he has brought fresh strategic thinking and common sense that break with the very conventional wisdom that has led us into Iraq.

Diplomacy: For years, conventional wisdom in Washington has said that the United States cannot talk to its adversaries because it would reward them. Here is the result:

The United States has not talked directly to Iran at a high level, and they have continued to build their nuclear weapons program, wreak havoc in Iraq, and support terror.
The United States has not talked directly to Syria at a high level, and they have continued to meddle in Lebanon and support terror.
The United States did not talk to North Korea for years, and they were able to produce enough material for 6 to 8 more nuclear bombs.

By any measure, not talking has not worked. Conventional wisdom would have us continue this policy; Barack Obama would turn the page. He knows that not talking has made us look weak and stubborn in the world; that skillful diplomacy can drive wedges between your adversaries; that the only way to know your enemy is to take his measure; and that tough talk is of little use if you're not willing to do it directly to your adversary. Barack Obama is not afraid of losing a PR battle to a dictator - he's ready to tell them what they don't want to hear because that's how tough, smart diplomacy works, and that's how American leaders have scored some of the greatest strategic successes in US history.

Barack Obama's judgment is right; the conventional wisdom is wrong. We need a new era of tough, principled and engaged American diplomacy to deal with 21st century challenges.

Terrorist Sanctuaries: For years, we have given President Musharraf hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid, while deferring to his cautious judgment on how to take out high-level al Qaeda targets - including, most likely, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Here is the result:

Bin Laden and Zawahiri - two men with direct responsibility for 9/11- remain at large.
Al Qaeda has trained and deployed hundreds of fighters worldwide from its sanctuary in northwest Pakistan.
Afghanistan is far less secure because the Taliban can strike across the border, and then return to safety in Pakistan.

By any measure, this strategy has not worked. Conventional wisdom would have us defer to Musharraf in perpetuity. Barack Obama wants to turn the page. If Musharraf is willing to go after the terrorists and stop the Taliban from using Pakistan as a base of operations, Obama would give him all of the support he needs. But Obama made clear that as President, if he had actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan - and the Pakistanis continued to refuse to act against terrorists known to be behind attacks on American civilians - then he will use highly targeted force to do so.

Barack Obama's judgment is right; the conventional wisdom is wrong. We need a new era that moves beyond the conventional wisdom that has brought us over-reliance on an unreliable dictator in Pakistan and an occupation of Iraq.

Nuclear Attacks on Terrorist Targets: For years, Washington's conventional wisdom has held that candidates for President are judged not by their wisdom, but rather by their adherence to hackneyed rhetoric that make little sense beyond the Beltway. When asked whether he would use nuclear weapons to take out terrorist targets in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Barack Obama gave the sensible answer that nuclear force was not necessary, and would kill too many civilians. Conventional wisdom held this up as a sign of inexperience. But if experience leads you to make gratuitous threats about nuclear use - inflaming fears at home and abroad, and signaling nuclear powers and nuclear aspirants that using nuclear weapons is acceptable behavior, it is experience that should not be relied upon.

Barack Obama's judgment is right. Conventional wisdom is wrong. It is wrong to propose that we would drop nuclear bombs on terrorist training camps in Pakistan, potentially killing tens of thousands of people and sending America's prestige in the world to a level that not even George Bush could take it. We should judge presidential candidates on their judgment and their plans, not on their ability to recite platitudes.

Vision: American foreign policy is broken. It has been broken by people who supported the Iraq War, opposed talking to our adversaries, failed to finish the job with al Qaeda, and alienated the world with our belligerence. Yet conventional wisdom holds that people whose experience includes taking these positions are held up as examples of what America needs in times of trouble.

Barack Obama says we have to turn the page. We cannot afford any more of this kind of bankrupt conventional wisdom. He has laid out a foreign policy that is bold, clear, principled, and tailored for the 21st century. End a war we should never have fought, concentrate our resources against terrorists who threaten America. End the counter-productive policy of lumping together our adversaries and avoiding talking to our foes. End the era of politics that is all sound-bites and no substance, and offer the American people the change that they need.

Barack Obama's judgment is right. It is conventional wisdom that has to change.

By Post Editor  |  August 3, 2007; 2:18 PM ET
 
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Comments

Hey, President Obama, when you talk to Osama, and his opening statement is "convert or die", what's your counteroffer?

Posted by: ritrow | August 15, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey, President Obama, when you talk to Osama, and his opening statement is "convert or die", what's your counteroffer?

Posted by: ritrow | August 10, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Democratic Politicians are a joke! God forbids if any became President, we all have to wait for them to sit down and kiss Bin Laden's butt all day to negotiate the freedom that many have died to protect. That is the kind of tough foreign policy and diplomacy that they all are talking about. The same group of people that make decisions based on popularity surveys and skewed polling stats. Don't mistake me for a Republican, I'm too smart to be cajoled by either party. I'm independent to make up my own opinions without the political spins.

Posted by: pro_act | August 9, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it odd. Isn't it weird. Presdident Obama will talk to our adversaries. So why hasn't he been asked if he would talk to our biggest adversary: Osama? Hey, President Obama, when you talk to Osama, and his opening statement is "convert or die", what's your counteroffer? Isn't that odd? No one asked.

Posted by: ritrow | August 6, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Wake up Washington! Good morning media! Get real, Hillary, Mitt and John. After screwing up our national security big time and gutting our relations with the rest of the world, you have no grounds to criticize Obama for telling America like it is. It is time for a change, and not the headline-grabbing media spin that passes for politics in Washington. It is refreshing to have an authentic leader who doesn't lie to the voters or say what he thinks they want to hear.

Posted by: wizinit1 | August 6, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

After all of the hoopla this week, I am extremely glad to finally have read the entire transcript of Obama's speech instead of just one little snippet that has been blown way out of proportion by the media and other politicians.

It is a sad world we live in that the ENTIRE truth is so often twisted and obscured, and it's even sadder that most of the time it's the media doing it just to stir things up and find sensationalism; they really like vultures sometime. And what's saddest of all is that the majority of the population actually will not take the time to read the entire speech as I decided to do.

I'm not even going to comment on the few sentences that are getting all of the press (since the entire quote was about 64 words in a 5463 word speech that said many other things).
I was most impressed by Obama wanting to actually change the world (not just America), and speaking directly of helping those of other countries who are raised in poverty and without hope and who consequently become part of terrorist organizations because of it. As usual, an inspiring message.

The biggest thing I'm impressed about with Obama is that he is as hopeful as many of us really are that the world could actually be changed and he's willing to face all of the gaffe from the pundits, press and Washington to speak of that kind of hope for all of us. He presented a great deal of detail in his speech about what he would do if elected (although no one mentioned that this directly addresses accusations of being all talk and no substance). Personally, I think everything he talks about he'll do to help uplift humanity is an awful lot to bite off, and it's likely it won't all succeed, but at least he's moving in the right direction.

Yes, Obama may definitely be inexperienced and untested on the national and international scene, but he has good instincts (he called it right on the war, during a time when it was extremely unpopular to speak out against it) and he seems very smart (a law professor at Harvard with 35 years experience said he was one of two of the brightest student's he'd ever known). I believe he has a very good grasp on the nature of human beings and what is needed to change the course of many who are without hope.

It is little known (except by historians) that Abraham Lincoln was viciously criticized and often scorned during his campaign by the press and other politicians. They ridiculed him as being crude, gangly and barely able to even utter an articulate sentence. His only experience was one term in the Illinois State House of Representatives, and two failed campaigns to get re-elected. Yet his humanity and his compassion were what made him be remembered as the greatest president in his century.

I've never donated to a poltiical campaign before in my entire life, but I think the world, not just America needs a leader like Obama, and if elected he may actually surprise his critics. My money's on him and he has my support.

Posted by: graciousinco | August 6, 2007 2:25 AM | Report abuse

samantha is right on the money.

the military junta in pakistan (which unpopular in that country), has lost control of parts of pakistan to al-queda. if he (musharraf) refuses to act against the cancerous infiltration of al-queda into pakistan which has nuclear capabilties, i really would like to know what the other candidates would do if there were actionable intelligence of osama's whereabout?
osama's son and his militias were circled by pakistani troops sometime last year, and he still escaped, need i say more...
obama did not endorse invading pakistan by sending troops to camp in pakistan without permission, he said military strikes, much like the strikes by the isreali army against hamas weapons sites after attacks, endorsed by (hypocritical) obama critics.

i guess obama has shaken off some extreme pacificists who have run to a war-mongering hillary. he is beginning to attract the admiration of the intelligent ones among the conservatives. i think he is making the right moves, he has laid down his plans for a way forward, no other candidate has.

Posted by: perching_eagle | August 5, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

A lot of commenters seem to be throwing around the word "invade" quite liberally. Words have meanings, folks, time to go back and actually read the post.

Posted by: rhicks | August 5, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Thank you folks for the comments. I have chased down the comments from the leading Democrats, and you are right.

They all think it is OK to invade Pakistan.

Conclusion:

They have all lost their @#$@#$ minds. They are all f@#$@#$ crazy. It really, really, gives me the same feeling I had in 2002 when I heard Bush etc talking about the 'necessity' of invading Iraq.

A third party is the only way this nation will survive. We have literally lost our minds, and become insane at the top levels.

Thank you Washington Post for these comment boards.

Posted by: turmeric | August 5, 2007 2:57 AM | Report abuse

>I am and 95% other Pakistani are against and literally hate Afghan Taliban and Osama Bin Ladan but we all are clear in our minds, we will definitely fight and will die for my country>

Obama didn't say he'd invade Pakistan. He said that IF THERE WAS ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE that could be used to kill Osama and his Taliban friends, that he'd TAKE action on that intelligence and try to kill THAT group of people.

If there was a fundamentalist Christian group in Idaho that had a history of killing of Pakistanis and plans on killing tens of thousands more for the sake of showing Jesus just how much they loved him, Pakistanis would expect that the US government would make an effort to capture and prosecute these people. IF the US instead offered their protection to the nuts, the way that the Pakistani government has with AQ, then I'd have absolutely NO FRIGGIN PROBLEM with an operation from your government in taking them out. Unfortunately, the American aspect of that scenario is just a hypothetical, while the Pakistan element is an actual fact. You say you and your neighbors despise Osama and friends? Then put pressure on your government to DO something about it. If you don't, someone else will.

Posted by: splooie | August 4, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Its a hopeful sign with (the above) public debate at this level. The traditional news media has been transformed into half-wits and dancing bears; no brains, no balls, and thus, no respect. We're on our own.

Stay focused on what the CANDIDATES are saying -- Obama DID step out and state the basis for a distinctive new policy. Samantha helped contextualize that. Not a bad idea given the mess we're in, losing blood and lives in a fight we don't want. When things have gone wrong, consistency is the hallmark of small minds.

BTW, who the hell really thinks we would EVER drop a nuclear bomb on ANYONE? Consider what that world would look like. Right. So why would any insecure Beltway nit-wit or wannabe ever IMPLY that? Hillary? Enough of the tin-horn cowboy BS out of Washington -- that job's taken.

Posted by: smersereau | August 4, 2007 9:56 PM | Report abuse

RE: Samantha Power: A superb, hardcore chess maneuver there. Bravo! :-))

Posted by: kingpigeon | August 4, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Bravo Samantha!

All those who opposed Senator Barack Obama last week were projecting that dreaded "Cold War" mentality. We have to move on. Barack Obama is turning the page. Barack Obama was right.

Enku

Posted by: neilhewitfrancis | August 4, 2007 6:56 PM | Report abuse

PAKISTAN HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS... REAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS. THE US DARE NOT INVADE PAKISTAN.

THIS IS JUST EMPTY RHETORIC FROM PRESEDENTIAL HOPEFULS.

Clinton and Obama are in a pissing contest.

The US media is the biggest enemy of the United States....hands down. look how they play this non-story so long as it gets them some ratings....US media is all about ratings, not facts, news or the truth.

Ratings.

Posted by: mildbrew | August 4, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

This is just election time sloganeering upmanship. Both Clinton and Obama are locked in a struggle to look snart, strong and presidential.

Obama said what Bush has said, well obviously if the US provides actionable intel to Pakistan, why would'nt Pakistan move on it, its in their own interest.

This is so much ado about nothing, which is what US politicians are about - Nothing.

Do you really think the US can just waltz into Pakistan's rugged mountain frontier region, with half a million professional Military and 20 million tribals backed by 160 million Pakistani's? Do you really think the US has the guts or the foolishness to start a war with a Nuclear Weapons nation?

Gimme a break, this is just good cop, bad cop by the US and want to pressure Musharraf into action, because they know that invading Pakistan is not an option, they are getting their hides skinned by a few militants in Iraq, let alone wage war against 20 Million hardened Pakistani tribals.

Killing Osama is not a problem, just have to find him, now thats the real problem.

Instead of threatening Pakistan and bullying muslims, try to support education and economy in Pakistan, so people can move away from poverty, otherwise they have a less of a reason than you to live for, and in such a situation, you cannot win, because life for them has little meaning, while death brings purpose, heroism and martyerdom.

If Pakistan gets Nuked by anyone, then you can be assured that India gets Nuked by Pakistan.

I'm sure that is no one's interest.

Posted by: mildbrew | August 4, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I think American wont be happy until we elect an anti-american government

Posted by: yessir1 | August 4, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I think American wont be happy until we elect an anti-american government

Posted by: yessir1 | August 4, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Wow so Americans are basically telling me that they are going to come into my country, kill innocent people,possibly even nukes, for one man. Ok so lets see you're going to kill 1 million to find a few bad guys hiding in some caves, do you people think we want them there, no. But you act like you are the only victims, Obama, Bush .etc they are no different than the terrorist that they say they are fighting. You people make me sick, you only justify the dislike the WORLD has of you.

Posted by: yessir1 | August 4, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

typical american behavior

Posted by: yessir1 | August 4, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

First there is far too much name calling. Terms like 'naive and irresponsible' used to characterize considered candidate views take away from due deliberation and appear petulant. Its was improper to apply these terms to Sen. Obama and equally wrong for him to apply them back to Sen. Clinton. Although most can agree its kind of fun to watch them fight.

As for Mr. Obama's foreign policy pitch say what you will its getting traction. Conservative pundit, Podhertz said, 'Thank
God for Mr Obama' for 'bringing the debate to matters of substance'.
On Larry Kudlow's show today he went from Barrack bashing, to saying "I'm with Obama!" after JOHN MCINTYRE of RCP laid out some fair objective facts, basically pointing out the points that Ms. Powers is making above and rejecting the political spin. Kudlow's thing was that he really dug the idea of turning up the hard heat on the terrorist sanctuaries and not being handcuffed by Musereff's ego problems or issues of chump diplomacy. With US being the saps. He railed 'America is the strong horse', to use Bin Ladens phrase, and must be seen as such. Ludlow, in a real time epiphany, pointed out what we know, these are largely 'stateless regions' claimed by Pakistan but marginally ruled. The fact is they are more like unincorporated territories in the original UN sense, thus open to wider enforcement under international law, particularly if they become a problem.
Maybe they are so poor and loosely mismanaged by local authorities that they are hiding Bin Laden as a desperate cry for help from the US and the international community.
In the modern age there more to governance than sticking a flag in the soil and making a flowery claim. Governance is real work.

Posted by: empireport | August 4, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

What a simplistic world view. It reminds me of Bush's if your not with us your against us. For Obama to label any one who disagrees with him as bush like is exactly the type of politics I was hoping he would avoid.

Posted by: bparrish | August 4, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

IF YOU HONESTLY BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ANY REAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DEMOCRATS AND THE REPUBLICANS, YOU HAVE UNDERSTOOD NOTHING. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO GETS INTO THE WHITE HOUSE IN 2008.........IT WILL STILL BE THE SAME GOV'T TO DEAL WITH. THAT IS A FACT, WHETHER YOU CAN COMPREHEND IT OR NOT.

Posted by: grumpiestoldman | August 4, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I have read the entire transcript via the link provided by bklynsam - thanks very much- rather than form opinions based on snippets from everyone else. I have even had to change my original comment after I read it.

Originally, I believed that this article, while eloquently written, was the words of someone else and not Obama himself - I now see that these were his words, the author was just trying to sum up his transcript....and I applaud it.

How can anyone not see that the past diplomacy has not worked? We see, read and hear about problems around the world - and usually from the countries that we try the hardest to make our enemy.

Taking action out of fear, or sometimes the fabrication of fear DOES NOT WORK! Sure, it may satisfy an immediate attempt at creating a superfluous American Policy based on that fear but it does not resolve longer term goals.

Communication creates security - not fear! I am less afraid of a person after I talk to them, I find. I am always amazed to find out that we have something in common! Why shouldn't it be the same with our leaders around the world? Now some may say this is a somewhat naive or idealogic view that cannot work in the "real world", but I disagree - I live in the Real World and I believe what I am saying, why not someone else?

As far as I am concerned, it is time for a change; and if Obama has the courage to, at the very least, express his own opinion about tough issues and admit they are his own (it will remain to be seen whether or not he would be able to make this policy a reality) - he has my vote to at least try because I agree wholeheartedly that we must try something different.

Posted by: owleaglespirits | August 4, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

This guy has guts to say what he said and he is getting cheap-shotted by gutless media elites, cowardly democrats, and republican authors of a failed policy. With every buck of the system, he wins me over more. Go Barack. Be yourself and let the chips fall where they may. If people can't see you for the authentic article that you are, then maybe this is the kind of country that deserves to have a fraud like Hilary Clinton be its president.

Posted by: buhjesus | August 4, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama also has an excellent health care plan, which will not increase taxes on any American. Giulian's plan is unrealistic and is predicated upon in increase in government debt which will destroy the value of the dollar. Foreign nations will not want to buy American bonds.

Posted by: RealTalk1 | August 4, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

But it's not "gratuitous warmongering" when Clinton (or Edwards) says the same thing? On Wed. Clinton said: 'If we had actionable intelligence that Osama bin Laden or other high-value targets were in Pakistan I would ensure that they were targeted and killed or captured. And that will be my highest priority because they pose the highest threat to America." How is this different?
FAMUNASMD: Please read the entire speech rather than biased media blurbs before you dismiss Obama's comments as foolish.

Posted by: literate1 | August 4, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama lost me and maybe a third of his core support base when he threatened to invade Pakistan. However much Samantha Power or Obama's other sycophants try to spin it, that is exactly what he implied: sending foreign troops into a sovereign country is called an invasion. This type of gratuitous warmongering is foolish and lethal for our world's future.

Posted by: famunasmd | August 4, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

You know, I am SO sick of the media framing things and having an oh so gullible population continue to fall for it.

The media, along with Obama's political opponents, have taken a couple of sentences out of context of the entire speech and framed the whole message. Shame on all of you who continue to let them.

How about looking at the transcript of the entire speech. This is not only a smart, insightful and comprehensive foreign policy, it shows without a doubt that Obama is neither naive nor irresponsible. It does indeed show how very well he sees and understands the world, its challenges, and solutions that benefit all decent people in the world.

The media has been an accomplice in pushing a deceitful and disastrous war, ignoring serious issues for the likes of ParisHilton/Brittany/adnauseum, and making the decisions for YOU on who is electable in this country.

Every day I see lazy and irresponsible commentators and so-called journalists build entire stories around distorted sound-bites and political spin-setters.

Read the entire transcript for yourself:
http://www.barackobama.com/2007/08/01/the_war_we_need_to_win.php

Then make your own decisions based on facts, not what the media tells you you should know.

Posted by: bklynsam | August 4, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

SO MR OBAMA THINKS ITS OK TO MEET AHMADINIJAD, CASTRO, HUGO CHAVEZ, KIM JONG ETC AND ATTACK A FRIENDLY ALLY PAKISTAN?

What message does this send? Stand up to the US and get a audience from a US president, be a friendly ally and get ready to be used and disposed by the US at will.

As a Pakistani, we never found the US to be a dependable ally. Right again....

Posted by: mildbrew | August 4, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree more.

Amen, brother.

Posted by: bfutscher | August 4, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I had read several articles that gave the impression that the implication of Barack's statement on military action inside Pakistan amounted to a threat of invasion with the broader implication of a territorial occupation, effectively an act of war against the government and people of Pakistan.
When I actually read the statement in the context of the speech it seemed more as if he was saying that he would rather have US forces commit to targeted missions based on "actionable intelligence", which his anti-war stance on the Iraq invasion indicates him to be a better judge on than some others, than demand that Pakistani forces commit to actions which are not widely popular within Pakistan. It seems reasonable to read it this way and unreasonable to read it as expressly threatening to commit to actions which Musharraf or the Pakistani's may expressly oppose.
First the media twist his words to make sensational news with some accusing him of being "dangerous", on top of being "inexperienced and naive", and then he is further lambasted for his statement that he would not use a nuclear bomb against terrorists.
The really unfortunate reality is that the war in Iraq was too easily bought and sold by the media and if Barack should be the president he will have to come to terms with the fact that the war that he adjudged wrong to start off with has now also become unpopular, but ending it summarily may be an unacceptable risk, the greater rather than the lesser of two evils.
Hopefully some of the intricacies of the scenario evaluations will begin to get clearer in September and by the time 2009 comes around the impact of diplomatic and political efforts will be producing results.

Posted by: david7 | August 4, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

His inconsistency in the positions he takes this speech and other recent ones indicates that he is beginning to react to the issue of the moment. On one hand he states that he will meet with bad actor worked leaders with no pre-conditions, and on the other he threatens unilateral action against Pakistan if it doesn't clean up its act. In the first instance, he is showing maturity, and in the second he is immaturely trying to out *cowboy* George W. Speaking of that, as the campaign goes on, it seems as if more candidates are trying to out macho him. Today I read that Newt Gingrich has stated that the *war* on terrorism is phony. If we seek and gain energy independence, it will quickly come to an end. How right he is. This is in line with Washington*s and Jefferson*s imprecations on foreign entanglements and old truisms such as *when you lie down with dogs, you get fleas*. Terrorism is not new. What is different is terrorists can quickly to the homeland of their enemies. Waziristan is a problem? It has been for centuries. Much British blood was spilt trying to pacify the Northwest Frontier. The demise of the Soviet Union was hastened by it becoming mired in the morass of Afghanistan. Over the centuries may changes have taken place in the world, with a major exception being in the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan that are inhabited by warriors who would rather fight than make love. They seriously live by the creed expressed so hollowly by George W., *bring it on!* They are the Crips and Bloods of the neighborhood. Life for Musharaff is not easy. In a recent movie, a reproter, played by Meryl Streep implies to the politician, played by Tom Cruise, that it is easy to commit to an unending war in the hell of a far off desert when one is in an air conditioned office. I am sure Musharaff vividly remembers the faith of Anwar Sadat when we encourage him to be tough on the hill tribesmen. Obama has risen in the eyes of the electorate because, so far, he has been different. This week he blinked, and Hillary has pounced. Likely he would be a good choice for Vice President on her ticket, though, unless they tear each other apart in internecine warfare.

Posted by: csintala79 | August 4, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The bigger issue for us is definitely a reassessment of US foreign policies. Talking about Pakistan, the ONLY reason US supported it was because of the cold war. India seemed non-aligned or marginally inclined towards Russia and so it was natural that US supported Pakistan. But the cold war was decades ago and the scenario has considerably changed. We need someone who can at least question the "conventional wisdom," either Obama or any another candidate.

Posted by: basic.visual8 | August 4, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Senator Obama has the grit to raise the question that none of the Politically Correct wus candidates dare. Nuke...the magic word for which America has mortgaged at least the next 8 generations of taxpayers. It took about a week and 2 bombs to end WWII.. no enemy would ask for any more of that. we have a military superiority that no country can approach. use it and stop this slaughter of American men and women...Turn the mideast into a glass parking lot if we have to ''it won't hurt the oil but get the hell out.Obama is right and we all know it.

Posted by: jstratt2 | August 4, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton has just announced she is willing to nuke Pakistan. Obama has shaken her to the core, she is becoming unstable. The best thing for Hillary to do is withdraw from the race.

Posted by: vamonticello | August 4, 2007 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Such courage, such independence. Finally a Washington leader who is willing to TALK about dropping bombs on a nuclear state. Talk means so much, and we don't get enough of it. Finally a democratic candidate who isn't afraid to say irresponsible things to appease the hawkish, the ignorant, and the sociopathic. Responding to the tingle of testosterone surging from the depths of his being WAS important enough to justify threatening and alienating our one ally in the region. Good one. There is no such thing as the element of surprise. Nope, it's clearly better to announce our intention now and to allow the citizenry of Pakistan to churn into a frothy, enraged torrent of anti-American bile. Talk, talk, talk.

The real story would be the leader crazy enough NOT to act on "actionable intelligence." Or the one crazy enough to have the hypothetical nuclear option debate out loud, over an open mike. ha ha ha

Posted by: ismism | August 4, 2007 6:21 AM | Report abuse

Pakistan, where 80% are under poverty line ,,if you go and ask them do u know what a rocket launcher is ? they would not know...all they know is whether they ll be able to manage their bread this week with their salary or not..its totally unfair to attack a country where majority of Muslims are against taliban and terrorism,,, ask us, we know how painful it is for us to wake up every morning and go to our schools with this thing in our minds that some terrorist is gng to attack our school...or govt is gng to start some operation against some terrorist who might be hiding some where,,,,.and now we should add another name ? US attack?...we cant eliminate terrorism by fighting,,,its only going to increase it ,,,we need to spread education,jobs and and peace accross the world,,,it is a long process ,,,US has been fighting for many years now,,,did it work ? why does US want to kill his soldiers ? as evident from history there had been already enough chaos in previous wars,,,no...its not going to work this way,,,its quite obvious,,,in my country people dont even ve food all they have is land and their home,,,,they dont have any hopes but they have love for ther land and tehir people...and in this case if some one attacks their homes what do u expect ? they ll fight to save their homes,,,
and yes i hate taliban ,,,i hate terrorism,,,islam is not what they projected,,,it tells us to love all,,,,and live in peace....thats what i want ,,,i want peace,,,,just like any student in US wants,,,,,let me go to school the same way you let your kids to go...but if some one attacks my home i ll fight and die to save my home,,i love it and i cant let any one destroy it,,,,may be my death will stop killing of another million of people !!!

Posted by: zahida_bashir | August 4, 2007 5:05 AM | Report abuse

Pakistan has paid enough prices in supporting USA in its war against terror. I always wonder how people sitting in Mountains in Afghanistan/Pakistan border can attack on US, which is thousands miles away. What US security forces are doing in US, instead of improving the security systems they are spreading provocation and shifting their responsibilities to others? Instead of locking the door of his home and taking security measures, Obama wants to go miles away and kill that people who are "thinking" to attack his home. That would be the last day of this world, when people like Obama will start killing people on assumptions. Are people like Obama confessing that they are incapable of defending their country? What intelligence reports they are referring to, the same CIA which failed in identifying 911 attacks, the same intelligence people who presented a case in UNO that Iraq has weapons of mass destructions; there are so many failures of CIA. It wouldn't be wrong to say that CIA and other US Intelligence agencies have lots credibility. No one can stop hating nor loving anyone. Likewise, no one can stop people who believe in extremism and killing people but the point is how to handle the mental condition of such people. Winning a war is not everything, either it is Afghanistan (20 million people) or Iraq (60 million people) US had badly failed in post war state. People like Obma who are immature and inexperience can believe and can attack Pakistan but would they like to address what would be their strategy to handle 160 million people. I am and 95% other Pakistani are against and literally hate Afghan Taliban and Osama Bin Ladan but we all are clear in our minds, we will definitely fight and will die for my country. A simple suggestion, if Obama and other US policy makers can think: I personally have been in US number of times, found its systems very effective and in general its people are very friendly and cooperative. But its foreign policy is really a mess. Can people like Obama define US foreign policy in single sentence? Every one knows that US foreign policy is based on single point: save Israel at any cost. Everything they are doing in Middle East is a clear proof of my point. They can't win war against terror without wining the hearts of people. US have to change their perception. They should tell the Muslims that they are not against Islam but against those people who are against humanity.

Posted by: arooj_asghar | August 4, 2007 2:37 AM | Report abuse

How can it be a "bad week" when Obama has set the agenda and everyone is taking about HIM?

Come to http://www.barackobama.com and join us.

It's time for the dream to be realized. Let politics evolve.

Posted by: tates1a | August 4, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Obama is coming unglued. Campaign press releases shouldn't be given this kind of press coverage. Is it such a shock that Obama's advisors think he's the best thing since sliced bread?

This was a particulary bad week for him, no matter how often they deny it.

Posted by: clawrence35 | August 3, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama says he would not drop a nuclear weapon on the territory of an ally, which has its own nuclear weapons...and other Democrats accuse him of naivete?

America is completely insane.

Posted by: Bud0 | August 3, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

im willing to bet that the people who are calling him naive and inexperienced, or wanting to invade pakistan, havent even read or watched/listened to his speech

or they're just in denial and want to believe everything that the MSM (mainly CNN) is talking about and only like to refer to national polls because they don like th fact that Obama is very strong, and getting stronger in early states.

Posted by: SeanFoots | August 3, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

The left is fickle (and I am part of the left). We see Darfur and say, we have to do something. Talking isn't working. We have to do something. We have to stop the murders. And so now the UN will send soldiers into Darfur and the left will be happy.

But then the left will say no we can't do a strategic strike against Al Qaeda in Pakistan. (Obama did not say invade, the media twisted his words to say that). Of course all the other candidates except Kucinich would agree with Obama on a strategic strike if needed. And Obama makes the point that he first would give Pakistan ample assistance to invest in the education and economic development of the extremely poor tribal lands to change their minds about hiding Al Qaeda, making force less necessary. (The media did not tell us that either).

Back to my first point, why are soldiers good in Darfur and not good in stopping Al Qaeda in Pakistan? If you are against war, then don't make exceptions. If you are against military force then let the people in Darfur die and let Al Qaeda have a safe haven in Pakistan.

Posted by: goldie2 | August 3, 2007 7:12 PM | Report abuse

I am so tired of the way media has projected the views of Obama so far. When will this country ever get it :-(. Sad but this country is not ready (neither does it deserve) a leader like him who can erase all the Bush year damage on American standing.

Posted by: badjate | August 3, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Samantha Power has given a new dimension to the ongoing spat on the foreign policy issue between the two leading contenders for the democratic nomination.Using a N option is the ultimate weapon leaders threaten to use when all other conventional options fail to work.While it may have helped Obama in establishing his 'Peace' credentials amongst the world community ,I wonder it can work on the voters in the country.

Posted by: arun1 | August 3, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama rightly lost allot of votes with his crass political use of "tough talk" on Pakistan for political purposes. Most of the candidates would take a shot at Osama if they got a chance, but that's no substitute for a sustained intelligent campaign in Waziristan, something that was just made harder to get cooperation on by Obama's grandstanding

Posted by: sfmandrew | August 3, 2007 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Those who wrongly claim that Senator Obama's willingness to meet for talks with leaders of rogue nations is a sign of "weakness" or "naivete", seem to have forgotten their history. President Kennedy, who held the highest office in the land at a time when the world (like today) was a very dangerous place, said of our enemies: "We must never negotiate out of fear. But we must never fear to negotiate." Ted Sorensen, President's Kennedy's aide and speechwriter, has come out in support of Senator Obama in his quest to become the next President of the United States. Sorenson-- who was at JFK's side when the President's calm, cool wisdom and judgment saved this country from nuclear conflagration during the Cuban Missile Crisis-- believes that Senator Obama has all the right skills, judgment, and experiece to make a great President of the United States. Sorensen knows that Senator Obama has "the right stuff", and so do I.

Posted by: Cutebunion | August 3, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

To the ignorant people who keep repeating the 'his not experienced' rhetoric ,please go and read his well thought out plan on keeping terrorist at bay before coming here to display your ignorance. I live amongst you and I know majority of you do not even have passports just incase you might have to see the real world .Calling Obama naive, is like saying Bush is intelligent.Atleast he has studied about the world enough not to stick to one source of information. He schooled in Indonesia and like many of us who got the privilege of living in the developing world, he knows not all Muslims are radicals. Lets get back to Pakistan, a nation with 70% moderate Muslims, like most majority Muslim countries is hijacked by radical extremist minorities. Senator Obama said he is willing to work with Musharaff to take out Al- Qaeda and 9-11 mastermind Bin laden ,reining in control of the dispersed autonomous northern tribes who are harboring terrorist .This will also help Afghanistan take care of the insurgence by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda remnants hiding in the mountainous borders of the Pakistan Afghan border. The pragmatic thing after 9-11 which Bush ignored was to pressure Pakistan to allow special forces in those regions to hunt down Al-Qaeda remnants, this current administration failed to do this because it did not benefit corporate profiteering ; making Afghanistan and Pakistan's volatile northern regions safe for the World in general. With the support of Hillary Clinton ,who with clearly laid out false intelligence, knowledge of the history of the middle east and experience in being first lady during her husbands two year term voted to give Mr. Bush the mandate to invade Iraq. Thus living Afghanistan and Pakistan which should have been our main focus to Bin laden and his cohorts to taunt the world with their periodical release of videos reminding us of their invincibility.

It is clear CNN and the Clinton spin media are doing all they can to smear Obama, the mostly ignorant and gullible Americans who can't read for themselves but take everything the media puts out as the truth, get on the internet to spew their pitiful sagacity with a few sentences they write because they have nothing else to hit the most promising Leader America will be lucky to have as president in a while. I'm glad there some Americans who see the need for a new leader to bring America back to its glory days, where it was feared and respected by friends and enemies alike.

Nuclear arms is here to stay but the will to use it has been curtailed by humanity. Until these inhumane terrorist started killing innocent people, it was a deterrent to keep the world safe from power hungry dictators and regimes from take over the free world. America has advance technology to counter and neutralize any Nuclear attack on its ally how much more on it's self. For those who don't know there has been so much money spent not on building nuclear pile but defense against nuclear attacks as well. Its the reason the cold war ended because no sane human being was to go end the world by starting a nuclear war which can never be won by any nation. This can't be said of the terrorist who wants to expedite their journey to heaven to be with their beautiful virgins. The US is still strong and a force to reckon with in the world. The world is changing and the US is in the dire need of a president who will be embraced by world . Once again the US have the chance to lead the world, the pacesetters it has always been and Barrack Obama is the one to take it there. Taking the fight on terrorism back to the real terrorist Al-Qaeda which is residing in northern Pakistan presently is not a bad idea. With the support of the UN , allies and corporation with the Pakistan people who wouldn't want to be associated with Bin-Laden and his cohorts, the true fight on terrorism will begin with the safety of the Pakistani and Afghan people at heart.
Feel free to argue constructively after thoroughly reading my post.Thank you .

PS: CNN is deleting comments because we are "keeping them honest" by calling them Clinton spin doctors.We all know who is been paid by the candidates now.I'm starting a campaign against CNN for taking away our right to debate and call on the unfairness of the media towards Barack Obama.Join me.

Excuse my grammatical errors I speak and write 5 languages and english is not my first language so bare with me.

Posted by: benny_oops | August 3, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech, if anyone in the media bothered to read more than one line, was about more than just terrorism and Pakistan. It was about changing the way we interact with the world. His counterterrorism policy program was about much more than armed strikes. It was about fighting poverty, one of the root causes of terrorism. It was about responsible world leadership. It was about living up to our ideals by closing Guantanamo Bay and not resorting to torture in desperation. It was about training more Americans in the languages and cultures of other countries, thereby improving our capacity to understand what is actually going on outside of our borders.

It was a powerful and bold speech, and it would be better if the media tried to report on the entire thing, instead of focusing on "war war war."

Posted by: makuke5 | August 3, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The will of the American people is to get out of Iraq, fund children's health care, start to cut back on green house gases,and rejoin the world community in a positive way. Barack may not win, but I am glad a major candidate is speaking sensibly.

Posted by: printthis | August 3, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Professor Powers is admirable, although as a foreign policy outsider and key Obama advisor it is certainly self serving of her to declare "his" judgment to be right and convention wrong.

Let's not mistake this memo for the scholarship of which she is capable. This is a purely partisan screed.

And it is misguided in at least one respect. GWB did not follow, but IGNORED conventional wisdom in the run-up to Iraq. Dozens of foreign policy experts and practitioners from Harvard, MIT and previous administrations, along with not a few retired and pushed-out generals, figuratively screamed "STOP, you don't know what you're getting into!" Their warnings were ignored by an inexperienced president, a draft-evading chicken-hawk VP, and their neo-con enablers.

The debacle that is post-9/11 foreign policy was caused not by conventional wisdom, but by the inexperienced substituting their theories for tested diplomatic savvy. We should all hope for better in the next administration.

Posted by: mshimazu | August 3, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I guess when Barack Obama made his announcement back in January, and emphasized that his campaign was about "fundamental change" and "changing how we do business" and "turning the page", the media must not have been listening.
He is now showing that he meant it, and the pundits and the Clinton media machine are aghast and now attacking him. I love how CNN rushed to seek out Hillary Clinton on Wednesday to get a comment from her on Obama's "no nukes to strike Al Qaeda within Afghanistan or Pakistan" comment. Why was it so important for CNN to ask Clinton what she thought about Obama's position? Why didn't CNN ask Hillary what HER position was on the subject? Why didn't the CNN reporter ask Hillary "well...so are you saying you WOULD use nukes to strike at Al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan and Afghanistan?" I guess that's too much to ask....

The media wants Hillary so badly, mainly because an Obama presidency will be devoid of the Clinton scandals, baggage and constant bickering with the Right, which means CNN would be reduced to being a real NEWS source....God forbid.

Posted by: naijaman | August 3, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

America is the leader of the World. George Washiongton exemplified this in his work in framing the new government and two terms as President. "America the Light on the Hill". Later Lincoln spoke of a "new nation" concieved in Liberty with the proposition that all men are created equal. Roosevelts' "the only thing to fear is fear itself", and Kennedys' "don't ask what your Nation can do for you, ask what you can do for your Nation;" all speak of providing an atmospher (Nation)where the goodness of the individual can be realized for the benifit of the whole. Obama is becomming more and more the man (Mind) of the hour in speaking taking a stand on tough (truthful)issues. This has won him the admiration of some, the curiousity of others and the well deserved hate of cowards.

Posted by: dmscontractor | August 3, 2007 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Samantha Power didn't just win the Pulitzer Prize for nothing- she is right and so is Obama. When will these old fuddy duddies realize this is a new age of unconventional warfare and the old methods no longer apply? I don't think camouflage works well in Fallujah and I don't think waiting for Bin Laden to pop his head out of Pakistan, or waiting for Castro to die is the course of action. We need leaders that will face our enemies head on with either diplomacy or action.

-Adam Schifter
Waltham, MA

Posted by: adam1974s | August 3, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama's approach to this situation is right, straightforward and understandable by our friends and our enemies. The old saying that goes "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer" (I think this was from the movie Godfather II), could not better represent the right position on this issue. We have to talk to our enemies to understand them and the only prerequisite should be - knowing the phone number.

As far as the nuclear option goes, we have nuclear weapons and everyone (our enemies) knows it is always an option. Saying that we won't use them where our interests could adequately be served with conventional weapons makes sense particularly if the goal is not to throw another log on the fire fueling the flames of hatred in the Muslim world.

I think Hilary's position of always wanting to keep the nuclear option on the table is totally wrong headed. Does she really think that people who walk into a crowded market and blow themselves up care about whether they die with a suicide bomb strapped to themselves vs. getting nuked when both paths lead to martyrdom? If so, this is clearly a new level of nativity that I would never guessed her capable of. I have to give her credit though, as she seems to be able to say what the pundits want to hear.

Posted by: sewardm | August 3, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Samantha Power's assessment of Barack Obama is one of the best I've seen. She is correct about Obama's leadership for change and likewise, Obama.

Obama's sense of moral conscience and measured judgment have been missing in Washington. He brings fresh ideas to the table that stand for change, not naiveté.

Obama has it right about taking nuclear force out of the picture. To consider using nuclear weapons against another country has moral implications. Moreover it gives incentive for other nations to build a nuclear arsenal as means of deterrence.

He is right about talking to adversaries and allies both.

Without communication how can we expect to resolve our differences? Our personal relationships suffer until we work through our disagreements; it is no different between world leaders. Refusing to talk to our so-called enemies as a form of "punishment" is absurd and immature. Moreover it is disrespectful.

The backbone and strength of our nation are the ideals and values cherished by all Americans. Reinstating freedom, liberty, human dignity, the rule of law with respect for the rest of the world would go a long way in restoring faith that one day America can reclaim its place as a beacon of light for the world. In the interim America has a long way to go to re-establish trust, confidence and credibility. Notwithstanding it can be achieved in the years to come under the leadership of a wise president who emulates hope, yet is grounded in a pragmatic approach to the world.

Setting aside our differences, using our minds and hearts -- rather than bullets and bombs -- will bridge today with peaceful tomorrows ...

Striving to achieve higher goals and aspirations for a better future depends on a leader whose wisdom will guide the world forward on the wings of justice and compassion and
restore a sense of hope in the nation.

Obama just might be that person.

Waking up to a new day filled with hope for peace and justice has been long in coming.

Posted by: serena1313 | August 3, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

mark,

But who controls the echo chamber? If the media had merely reported that one "controversial" line in Senator Obama's speech without their biased interpretations, most reasonable minded people would not have inferred in any shape or fashion that Senator Obama was threatening to invade Pakistan or send in ground troops. I'm sure most Americans were like me in thinking that we were engaging in strategical strikes along the Afghanistan and Pakistan border to weed out Al Qaeda. I had know idea that we had effectively ceded that authority to a quasi-dictator desparately trying to avoid assassination. It sure doesn't make me feel more secure to know that the only thing standing between us and Al Qaeda is a bullet to Mushareff's brain. But reporting Senator Obama's statement without parsinor or interpretation would have been too fair and balanced for the 4th branch of government that is as fearful of change as the other 3. As long as the media is resistant to change, they will continue to work in concert with the Washington political establishment in destroying the candidacy of foreward thinking politicians. The only thing naive about Senator Obama is allowing himself to believe that the media wasn't building him up for the spectacle of bringing him down.

Posted by: NMP1 | August 3, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Two Observations --

First, these are Guerilla Ops in Pakistan by local inhabitants with local, longstanding and deep political discontent.

Invading, attacking someone else's native country is to invite Fierce and Lethal Resistance, which in Vietnam and Somalia, in Iraq and Afghanistan WE COULD NOT, WE HAVE NOT OVERCOME.

Second, unless we have a Sucessful POLITCAL Ops along side of our Military Option, we guarantee ourselves Mission Failure.

Just remember Vietnam, my war, where we suffered the LOSS of over 58,000 U.S. Combat Soldiers and Marines, (in addition to the 350,000 wounded American Soldiers and Marines), before we finally called it quits.

We had vast Military Superiority, and we used it -- including Napalm, Carpet Bombing, and Agent Orange chemical warfare as part of OUR arsenal of WMD.

But we had a difficult time telling the difference between our Vietnamese "allies" during the day from our deadly VietCong enemy as night fell.

We are in the SAME MESS again in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the Red Zone, (which is EVERYTHING outside our little Green Zone), we have a tough time telling the difference between the White towel heads and the Black towel heads

The Congressional Budget Office estimates a monthly cost of $12 Billion per Month for the war in Iraq for 2007.

Some of that is being used to manufacture "IED proof" vehicles at a cost a Five Hundred Thou per vehicle.

That's compared to the cost of a string of increasingly sophisticated and powerful IED's hidden under roadways as remotely controlled TRAPS against our Combat Soldiers and Marines.

BTW, Iraq is one of the most heavily mined nations in the world. As of early 2003, it was estimated that there were over 10 Million Mines already in the ground -- 8 Million Antipersonnel (AP) and 2 Million Antitank (AT), with Iraq both a producer and exporter of AP mines.

So when our Presidential Politicians "Talk Tough" on TV about Attacking this country or that, in pursuit of this Terrorist group or that, they are just blowing smoke up your butt.

They don't know what they are talking about. Their Expensive Consultants don't know what they're talking about either.

And judging from our Experience in Vietnam and Somalia, in Iraq and Afghanistan, neither do our Pentagon Planners, unfortunately.

I swear -- sometimes I believe that we are Addicted to War!!

When you are Addicted to War, you never get enough -- regardless of the consequences.

Peace is just a word to you -- nothing more -- in your Naked Ambition to seize the White House.

Posted by: leochen24551 | August 3, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

A candidate that wants to go after Al Qaeda where they live instead of wasting our time in Baghdad (and American lives and billions of dollars every week)?

Who does this guy think he is? FDR? Churchill? Jack Kennedy?

Washington does not work this way anymore. What he's talking about is common sense. He wants us to be smart. We have not been smart since 1963. This is too much to ask for.

Just who does he think he is?!

I guess he has not been here long enough to know.

Posted by: thehawk7777 | August 3, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama still doesn't get it. He pandered to the left by saying he would meet enemy leaders unconditionally in his first year in office. Now, to compensate for the aura of irresponsibility surrounding him for that comment, he is pandering (in his mind) to the middle and right by saying he will likely see the need to invade Pakistan to go after Bin Ladin. To have made either of these statement as a candidate was wrong. If Obama can't reassure the electorate as to his credentials without making pronouncements as to specific and far reaching steps he would take in the foreign (as opposed to domestic) policy realm, he is not ready to run for this job. As it stands, he has now ticked off Pakistan and the entire Islamic world, all to score a few points in a campaign. That's exactly the kind of amateur leadership we have suffered these last 7 years and which we have to leave behind.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | August 3, 2007 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Hillary cannot even admit she made a mistake with her vote or should have read the National Intelligence Estimate prior to giving Bush carte blanche. How can she suggest that anyone has been naive, irresponsible, or careless? Her vote brought us 3000+ dead American soldiers, a civil war in Iraq, a resurgent al Qaeda and a new generation of enemies. How in the world does she pretend to have a superior understanding of the world and foreign policy? It is time for a new path.

Posted by: cg_tgt | August 3, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Mr. President

Posted by: ron1bo | August 3, 2007 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama's views are very reasonable and are straightforward -- he is saying what he thinks, not what presidential candidates "should say", or will prevent him from being open to criticism by other candidates. His is is just the kind of thinking we need to make progress in foreign affairs.

Posted by: mark | August 3, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

DEMOCRATS STILL REFUSE TO REPRESENT THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE:

There is a news conference on right now on CSPAN. Mike Pence just said that the republicans had won the vote to deny benefits to illegal aliens, but then the Dems broke the House rules to change the vote.

Watch it now! On CSPAN

Posted by: calumonit | August 3, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

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