Clinton and McCain Offer Foreign Policy Views
In paired articles published this month in Foreign Affairs magazine, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton argues that President Bush has chosen "to ignore bad behavior" by Iran, while Sen. John McCain criticizes Democratic presidential candidates for their plans to withdraw troops from Iraq.
Both Clinton and McCain, contenders in the 2008 presidential race, outlined relatively familiar plans for conducting foreign policy if elected next November. Clinton's article, entitled "Security and Opportunity for the 21st Century," pledges that she would help restore American standing around the world. She singles out Iran - and in particular the Iranian nuclear program - as a failure by Bush to conduct statesmanship effectively.
Although Clinton has recently taken a hard line on Iran, voting in the Senate to count its Islamic Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist entity, she says in her piece that if Iran is willing to end its nuclear weapons program incentive measures should be consiered. "The Bush administration refuses to talk to Iran about its nuclear program, preferring to ignore bad behavior rather than challenge it," Clinton writes. Offering rewards for compliance, she writes, "will let the Iranian people know that our quarrel is not with them but with their government and show the world that the United States is prepared to pursue every diplomatic option."
The two candidates harshly assess the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq. McCain writes that recent events in Iraq have shown "that America should go to war only with sufficient troop levels and with a realistic and comprehensive plan for success." But he holds firm in his view that the war is worth continuing to wage.
"So long as we can succeed in Iraq - and I believe that we can - we must succeed," McCain writes. "Democratic candidates have promised to withdraw US troops and 'end the war' by fiat, regardless of the consequences. To make such decisions based on the political winds at home, rather than on the realities in the theater, is to court disaster. The war in Iraq cannot be wished away, and it is a miscalculation of historic magnitude to believe that the consequences of failure will be limited to one administration or one party. This is an American war, and its outcome will touch every one of our citizens for years to come."
McCain continues: "That is why I support our continuing efforts to win in Iraq. It is also why I oppose a preemptive withdrawal strategy that has no Plan B for the aftermath of its inevitable failure and the greater problems that would ensue."
--Anne E. Kornblut
October 15, 2007; 5:45 PM ET
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