Monday, March 24, 2008

Obama's foreign policy plan

By Libby

If you read nothing else today, this is the one piece you should read in full. Spencer Ackerman interviews Barak Obama's foreign policy team and comes away very impressed. Obama of course has staked out an anti-occupation platform for some time now but no one has dug into the specifics of what Obama has in mind when he says he doesn't want to just end the occupation. He wants to end the mindset that allowed us to get into this mess in the first place. Spencer does the digging.
But to understand what Obama is proposing, it's important to ask: What, exactly, is the mind-set that led to the war? What will it mean to end it? And what will take its place?

To answer these questions, I spoke at length with Obama's foreign-policy brain trust, the advisers who will craft and implement a new global strategy if he wins the nomination and the general election. They envision a doctrine that first ends the politics of fear and then moves beyond a hollow, sloganeering "democracy promotion" agenda in favor of "dignity promotion," to fix the conditions of misery that breed anti-Americanism and prevent liberty, justice, and prosperity from taking root. An inextricable part of that doctrine is a relentless and thorough destruction of al-Qaeda. Is this hawkish? Is this dovish? It's both and neither -- an overhaul not just of our foreign policy but of how we think about foreign policy. And it might just be the future of American global leadership.
Read the rest for the particulars. I was as impressed as Spencer seems to be. The idea that we reject that the only choices are to be strong and wrong, as embodied by the White House policy of the last seven years, or be meek and right, resonates with me. We can, and we must, be strong and right but after all these years of neocon propaganda that has promoted the opposite view, it seems to me that it takes great courage to stake your success on that claim.

Obama has embraced that view and defended it, even against the advice of his more politically cautious advisors. For all the talk about empty rhetoric, it appears that just maybe Obama really is willing to gamble it all on the belief that the electorate has smartened up enough to actually embrace the change behind the words.

Of course, no one can truly predict what any candidate will do once they gain that 1600 Penn Ave address, but I can't deny I'm now more hopeful that he means what he says. Obama may not have won my affection yet, but after reading this piece, he's certainly won some major respect. [via]

[cross-posted to The Reaction]

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12 Comments:

Blogger rockync said...

Obama's website lays out his platform and plans on a variety of issues which can be found here:
http://www.barackobama.com/index.php
Go to this site and click on the "Issues" tab at the top. The drop down has clickable issues where you can find what Obama sees as the problems and how he plans on addressing him and his past record regarding the issues. I don't agree with him 100%, but, right now, I see him as our one best hope.

4:04:00 PM  
Blogger lester said...

I'm sorry, they sound like a bunch of nuts to me. who's gonna pay for all this shit? darfur. we want to get mixed up in ANOTHER oil rich muslim country? this is clintons foreign policy and that sucked just about as badly as bushes and layed the groundwork for it in many respects.

4:21:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Rocky, I'm getting there myself. He's far from perfect but given the choices, I'm leaning more to him every day.

Lester, it's still a hell of lot better than the Bush Doctrine.

4:26:00 PM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

...it's still a hell of lot better than the Bush Doctrine.

Ironically, when I've used exactly this line on Nader supporters--sometimes to complain about what happened in 2000, sometimes to encourage departure from a man I consider to be an arrogant distraction--I get my ass handed to me. Go figure.

As the presumptive nominee, I guess I'm now gonna have to stop complaining and start paying attention to Obama. Enlightenment here I come! [riiii-gggghhht]

8:52:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL Kvatch. Our candidates suck. These were two were my last choices but we're going to have to live with one of them.

I have to say, a year ago I was saying Obama was too early, too young and too slick. He's winning me over by degrees but I doubt if I'm ever going to feel the rapture. I wish I could be excited by either of them. It would be a lot more fun.

9:24:00 PM  
Blogger repsac3 said...

Kvatch:

As one of those Nader supporters (in the past... I'm far from making up my mind for this one), I think you're well within your scope to choose your candidate using whatever criterea you see fit... ...as are all those who chose (or even choose, this time) Nader.

I promise not to hand you your ass for not choosing the same candidate I did, if you don't try to convince me that my not choosing the same candidates you did make me responsible for all mr Bush has managed to screw up in the last eight years... Deal?

But were I a loyal Democrat, Obama's the candidate I would be paying the most attention to & likely supporting... I appreciate that he was right about Iraq from the beginning...

1:54:00 AM  
Blogger lester said...

I'm not interested in anyone's ideas abuot foreign policy. i want to hear about cuts, not additions. china is kicking our ass. fore the foreign policy team. let's not have a foreign policy. It's back to my booker t and the mg's theory of government.

i was just reading about the panic of 1819. it was our nations first real economic crisis. one side proposed one thing, got a bit of momentum, then the other sidewuold get the other hand. when the dust cleared the crisis was over and the government had done exactly nothing.

9:31:00 AM  
Blogger lester said...

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=12585

liberals and neo cons all set on pissing off china

9:39:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

LOL Lester. The best thing we can hope usually is that the politicians will battle to a draw and let the universe work things out.

7:24:00 PM  
Blogger lester said...

"national greatness" liberal, conservative, communist, libertarian, or green, will be the death of this nation.

do the illegal aliens who come here want to save the world? or do they just want prosperity and and the freedom to pursue hapiness? we should all have this wise perspective, our ancestors did

10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

The idea that mankind left alone to its own devices will achieve some kind of peace and prosperity is perhaps the stupidest bit of delusional 18th century fantasy since religion was invented. If you think the ascendancy of the strong and ruthless will bring about anything more for humans than it has for animals, you're wrong. Baboons don't have ethics or a social agenda or any interest in protecting individuals - perhaps they're happy, but it takes more than picking lice in the hot sun and eating grubs and doing what the alpha ape says to make me happy - sorry.

After all you're selling a whole basket of unnamed isms yourself, all of which have unending and unintentional and hidden consequences. Is isolationism really the key to peace? Gimme a break. We don't have to reduce everything to a binary choice and doing that is only good as a way for missionaries to sell subjugation to the natives. I'm not buying.

My ancestors came here to avoid being killed - That's not enough of a motivation to create a nation.

10:55:00 AM  
Blogger lester said...

"The idea that mankind left alone to its own devices will achieve some kind of peace and prosperity is perhaps the stupidest"

so you think some huge monkey god should tell us what to do? man IS left alone to his own devices. we are free.

" Baboons don't have ethics or a social agenda or any interest in protecting individuals - perhaps they're happy, but it takes more than picking lice in the hot sun and eating grubs and doing what the alpha ape says to make me happy - sorry."

so you want to be a slave? have your meals and housing taken care of and sacrafise your dignity for it? obama, ron paul, reagan, clinton: those are your alpha apes and I'm nto intersted in doing what they tell me to either.

"s isolationism really the key to peace?"

yes. obviously if we aren't in a war we are at peace. von mises "if trade of goods over borders stops, tanks will soon follow"

so military isolation is the key to peace yes. the best way to not have wars is to not declare wars on people.

"My ancestors came here to avoid being killed - That's not enough of a motivation to create a nation."

but it did create a nation. you think the founding fathers finished the revolutionary war and said "lets police the world in a leftist sort of way as opposed to imperialism". no. WE are free. the world is a big place and we are lucky we are here. we have no identity or purpose beyond that.

there is no "nation" as you see it. we are ourselves, our families and our communities.

4:23:00 PM  

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