Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Obama's Foreign Policy

Daniel Larison cautions Obama supporters about thinking their candidate has any fresh ideas when it comes to foreign policy. He was commenting on commentary (what else do bloggers do anyway?) by syndicated columnist Rich Lowry. The big finish:

What Lowry's column does is to remind us of just how conventional and established Obama's sort of foreign policy is, and why it is going to represent very little in the way of change from the status quo. Far from being the first transnational President, Obama will simply be continuing the bipartisan foreign policy consensus according to which the sovereignty of other states can be compromised at any time in the name of "global norms" and hegemonic interests.
Larison makes a good point. Obama may have proposed the 16 month timetable that Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki has indirectly endorsed and that Bush has tried to co-opt, and Obama may have promoted direct talks with Iran that Bush is now emulating by sending his #3 man in the State Department. However, he's also voted for the FISA bill that strips the 4th Amendment of any significance, and has tacitly acknowledged the effectiveness of the Surge. When it all comes down it, Obama and McSame don't look that different from each other on foreign policy. And when it all comes down to it, Obama's lofty rhetoric about working together will look like so much tissue paper blowing in the breeze when he'll be faced with decisions that affect national security or national "interests." I may be a fan of his, but something tells me that Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Big Auto will wield a lot of influence over any presidential administration for the time being.

I'd very much like to be proven wrong, which is one reason why he'll get my vote in November.

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