Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Preconditions for talks with Iran

Barack Obama, when asked during a debate whether he would talk with the leader of Iran "without preconditions," famously answered that he would talk to Iran without preconditions. (He backtracked later, after his Democratic Party primary election opponents pointed out how naive he was to promise such a thing.)

Well, Obama, now that you claim that you would, of course, engage in diplomatic "preparations" before holding presidential-level talks, what is your position on the preconditions announced by the government of Iran?

This would be a good question to pose in the final presidential debate, since our news media appear to be ignoring this development:

Will you agree to withdraw entirely from the Middle East no matter what the effect on our vital interests and on the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, and to abandon our allies, the people of Israel, to whatever fate awaits them at the hands of their enemies?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Obama advocates anticipatory self defense

Obama began rambling incoherently at one point in tonight's debate at about 7:22 pm (PDT).

Immediately after claiming that the U.S. had been "reactive" rather than anticipating threats to our interests in the "last eight years," he apparently realized that he was advocating anticipatory self defense--you know, preemptory attacks like Iraq which he has opposed and thereby built his national political image as the guy who said don't do it.

I've inserted "[brain freeze]" at the point when I think he realized he was painting himself into a corner. Look what he said immediately after: it "made us more safe." Then, try to follow his ramble after that blunder. In trying to regroup, he claimed that going into Iraq was part of this "reactive" way of handling things.

How can it be "reactive" and still be anticipatory self defense or a preemptory attack? He is contradicting himself.

Obama is advocating preemptory attacks when he says we have to "anticipate" rather than be "reactive," isn't he?

Here is an excerpt from the transcript provided by CNN. The question was: "How can we apply pressure to Russia for humanitarian issues in an effective manner without starting another Cold War?"

The other thing we have to do, though, is we've got to see around the corners. We've got to anticipate some of these problems ahead of time. You know, back in April, I put out a statement saying that the situation in Georgia was unsustainable because you had Russian peacekeepers in these territories that were under dispute.

And you knew that if the Russians themselves were trying to obtain some of these territories or push back against Georgia, that that was not a stable situation. So part of the job of the next commander-in-chief, in keeping all of you safe, is making sure that we can see some of the 21st Century challenges and anticipate them before they happen.

We haven't been doing enough of that. We tend to be reactive. That's what we've been doing over the last eight years [brain freeze] and that has actually made us more safe. That's part of what happened in Afghanistan, where we rushed into Iraq and Sen. McCain and President Bush suggested that it wasn't that important to catch bin Laden right now and that we could muddle through, and that has cost us dearly.

We've got to be much more strategic if we're going to be able to deal with all of the challenges that we face out there.

And one last point I want to make about Russia. Energy is going to be key in dealing with Russia. If we can reduce our energy consumption, that reduces the amount of petro dollars that they have to make mischief around the world. That will strengthen us and weaken them when it comes to issues like Georgia.

Will anyone in the major news media notice and comment?