Filling In The Gap: The Non-Existant Democratic Foreign Policy

This blog entry doesn’t mean very much for anyone who doesn’t agree with the ontological assumptions upon which its based. Assertions are cute, but if you don’t “impact” out your arguments then they don’t really mean much to me. For example, yes Obama is calling for supplemental money for Afghanistan. And this is bad because…(But that’s just a pet peeve of mine. You know thinking people should back up their arguments, yep, me being anal again.) That being said, this article highlights the biggest problem with the country’s foreign policy decisions.

As most of you know, I’m a democrat whose worked in democratic politics for a couple of years, so I’m hardly spouting off biased right wing bullshit. But it seems pretty clear that the democratic party doesn’t have and never really had a foreign policy strategy.

Yup, I said it.

Sure, we have very valid criticisms of Bush adminstration policy and arguments why the United States should do less of A and/or more of B. But at the core of the discussion, democrats have yet to supply a real world strategy outlining their goals in the Middle East and actions they should take to achieve them. Even the vocal and outspoken liberal wing of the party has yet to codify an alternative strategy, choosing to rely instead on constant calls of withdrawl of our military troops anytime they’re deployed, wherever they’re deployed.*

 * There’s nothing wrong with withdrawl per se, though I personally disagree with the idea. The problem lies in the fact that withdrawl is a tactic not a strategy. Same goes for diplomacy.


The Lack of Double Standards

Andrew says:

What remains to be seen is whether or not President Obama will be butchered by the public for military adventurism as they did to President Bush.

This argument has been coming up a lot lately as conservatives try to push the “double standard” talking point. Essentially everyone worships Obama but he really is “teh suck”. Everyone hates Bush’s, and conservatives, foreign policy but Obama is just like him, etc, etc.

But what gets overlooked is that President Bush was hailed for 6 years before the public finally became fed up with the war. Foreign policy was the area that President Bush destroyed John Kerry with. Remember “We shouldn;t have to ask the world for a permission ship to defend America” or the national review putting Howard Dean on the front page with the title “Please Nominate This Man” because Dean was a major anti-war candidate and the war was still popular.

The American people tend to be supportive or unconcerned about foreign policy issues until it directly effects them or there’s massive American causalities. After being bogged down with a lack of progress for 6 years in Iraq and Afghanistan the American people finally got fed up. Had the Surge come earlier then there probably would’ve been a big difference in the way we view the war and Bush foreign policy.

NYT: Obama To Withdraw Troops in Iraq By 2010

So it begins:

President Obama is nearing a decision that would order American combat forces out of Iraq by August 2010 as he seeks to finally end a war that has consumed and polarized the United States for nearly six years, senior administration officials said Tuesday.

The timetable would give the military three months more to withdraw than the 16-month pullout Mr. Obama promised last year on the campaign trail. Officials said he was prepared to make that shift because he agreed with the concerns of ground commanders who wanted more time to cement security gains, strengthen political institutions and make sure Iraq did not become more unstable again.

Even with the withdrawal order, Mr. Obama plans to leave behind a “residual force” of tens of thousands of troops to continue training Iraqi security forces, hunt down foreign terrorist cells and guard American institutions, as he said he would during last year’s campaign.

I don’t have much to add to this news. We all knew troop withdrawal was coming and we all knew that residual forces would be left there, even when Obama and Edwards were slamming Clinton for supporting residual troops during the early primary. Still, the President’s plan seems to be avoiding the politicization of Iraq that plagued the Bush admistration and domination the democratic primaries this time last year.

Live Blogging: McCain vs Obama II


7:04: I’ve got a cure for Insomnia …

Obama Supports the Invasion of Iraq?

7:05: Obama shows his naviete on foreign policy when he lays out his “Obama doctrine”. If we should intervene any time our morals are at stake, how then can you justify not supporting the invasion of Iraq, on humanitarian grounds alone?

Moreover, Obama says “we can’t go everywhere thats why we have to work with our allies”. THAT MISSES THE POINT. The problem is that far too often our allies are profiting from, or ignorant, to the pain going on in these danger zones. How many Sudanese died while the UN and our allies debated over whether the situation was genocide or “sort of genocide”

foolish foolish foolish

Invading Pakistan

7:13 Obama: I don’t want to invade Pakistan, I just want to invade Pakistan if they don’t do what i tell them to.

Attacking Iran?

7:28 Whoa whoa whoa. Barack Obama just said, “We can not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons”, “I’ll do whatever it takes to stop that” and “I’m not taking military options off the table.”


Sorta Live Blogging II: Defeat in Iraq?

A good retort from Obama about also receiving a bracelet from a mother of a killed veteran who asked him to prevent another mother from going through the pain she’s going through.

It always struck me a bit perverse to say that another solider’s life should be put in danger simply because another solider died.

Obama is right. No solider ever dies in vain when serving the United States. Troops should only be deployed to defend and protect America, not because of an emotion based decision.

Obama, and Democrats in general, need to start talking about Iraq/Iran/Foreign policy with a vision of the future instead of just what the Republicans did wrong. Narrative is an important tool in communicating your message.