Thursday, 16 October 2008

Two endorsements with caveats

From Oliver Kamm:
I am no admirer of Barack Obama, whose grasp of foreign policy is worryingly confused (in particular, his willingness to meet leaders of rogue states without preconditions shows a man unversed in the exercise of diplomatic leverage).
And from Americans for Bosnia:
His record does not suggest that he naturally leans towards the cause of liberal intervention.
Bob has a roundup of other opinions as the US elections get closer and closer.


bob said...

I would add caveats, but I have definately come around to the position of endorsing Obama.

kellie said...

I sympathise strongly with Roland.

It would be nice to imagine that a McCain-Palin defeat would lead to Republicans taking away the lesson that appealing to the culture wars base won't win the country, but then look at how many defeats and party leaders the Conservatives here in the UK had to go through before they got that message.

As for Obama, I hope it's Hitchens' Obama that wins, not the other one. Biden doesn't reassure me at all.

Roland Dodds said...

Thanks for the plug Kellie. I have found that since the economic crisis, I have been defending Obama and his economic plans, and since Iraq seems to have turned the corner and will be stable regardless of who takes the Whitehouse, I am a bit more inclined to give an Obama presidency a chance.

But I do fear that his foreign policy will be staunchly “realist” in its outlook, and that does scare me.

Not that I think it matters at this point: Obama will be the next President of the United States.

kellie said...

If the reported agreement is signed, envisaging withdrawal of US troops from Iraq in just over three years with an option for an extension at the request of the Iraqi government, it will hopefully be politically impossible for Obama to keep his '16 months' promise. The question of his judgement in making that promise remains.

I've been trying to convince myself of the notion that Obama will be good at rallying the rest of Nato behind an increased commitment in Aghanistan, but the Iraq policy history still makes me doubt whether the necessary comprehension and conviction is really there.

The most promising notion I've seen is that as president Obama might try to keep Gates as Defense Secretary, but I don't expect it will happen.

Here's a partisan Tom Barnett post on Gates and on how the candidates might handle military spending, and an LA Times story also on the candidates and military spending that comes to a slightly different conclusion.