14 July, 2008

Obama on foreign policy

There's an interesting one-on-one with Fareed Zakaria on the CNN website. Comments?

2 comments:

subadei said...

The guy's got some brilliant rhetoric on foreign policy. The question that remains is, can he deliver in even a partial measure based upon the ideals put forth in this interview. Particularly enlightening was this snippet:

"And again, this is -- you know this better than I do, Fareed -- the assumption that, because many in Iraq are Shia, that they automatically are going to align themselves with Iran, ignores the fact that you've got Arab and Persian cultures that are very different."

The conflation of sectarianism without regard to either fairly recent history (the Iran/Iraq war) or the cultural/ethnic differences is rampant in both American politics and media. The assumption that an American withdrawal will lead to Iran's de facto "inheritance" of Iraq because of sectarian sympathies is painfully shortsighted.

Daniel McIntosh said...

At least he knows the situation is a little more complicated than "us versus the terrorists." That's encouraging. Honestly, I expect a President Obama to make some serious mistakes in foreign policy. For that matter, a President McCain is also likely to make some serious mistakes. The situation is still too new, too transitional, for anyone who has to cope with it. The critical questions for me are becoming (1) who will learn from their mistakes, and (2) what will they learn?

These are both smart men, but I think the campaign shows Obama learns fast. It's probably the best thing about him.

(Then again, I may be overcompensating after an administration that seems incapable of learning anything.)