Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Obama's Foreign Policy: Offering the World Our Sincerest Apologies

Excerpted from the Wall Street Journal:
The candidacy of Barack Obama seems to have lost some of its luster of late, and I suspect this has something to do with large questions many Americans still harbor about his view of the dangerous world around us. Those questions were not stilled by the choice of Joe Biden as his running mate....

The Obama candidacy... can be reckoned as the sharpest break yet with the national consensus over American foreign policy after World War II...

The Illinois senator and his devotees are disaffected with American power. In their view, we can make our way in the world without the encumbrance of "hard" power. We would offer other nations apologies for the way we carried ourselves in the aftermath of 9/11, and the foreign world would be glad for a reprieve from the time of American certitude...

The crowds in Berlin and Paris that took to him knew their man. He had once presented his willingness to negotiate with Iran as the mark of his diplomacy, the break with the Bush years and the Bush style.. Mr. Obama truly believes that he can offer the world beyond America's shores his biography, his sympathies with strangers.

In the great debate over anti-Americanism and its sources, the two candidates couldn't be more different. Mr. Obama proceeds from the notion of American guilt: We called up the furies, he believes. Our war on terror... triggered more animus.
Yes, indeed. "America's chickens are coming home to roooost!"
He [Obama] proposes to repair for that, and offers himself as a bridge to the world.

Mr. McCain... shares the widespread attitude of broad swaths of the country that are not consumed with worries about America's standing in foreign lands...

For Mr. Obama, the race is about the claims of modernism... The Obama way is glib: It glides over the world without really taking it in. It has to it that fluency with political and economic matters that can be acquired in a hurry, an impatience with great moral and political complications. The lightning overseas trip, the quick briefing, and above all a breezy knowingness. Mr. Obama's way is the way of his peers among the liberal, professional elite.

Once every four years, ordinary Americans go out and choose the standard-bearer of their nationalism. Liberalism has run away with elite culture. Nationalism may be out of fashion in Silicon Valley. But the state -- and its citadel, the presidency -- is an altogether different calling. - Read
in full
Related post: 'Temperament and Judgment'? Or Harebrained Appeasement?

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