Will we see a change in US foreign policy ?

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Challenger78, May 20, 2008.

  1. Challenger78 Valued Senior Member

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    I just watched my first obama speech.

    "I have been adamant about not negotiating with HAMAS".

    Despite it's use of terrorist tactics, it was still elected democratically, The question is not whether we should talk to them or not, the question should be why were they democratically elected ?.

    Likewise with Iran, Denying Iran energy independence based on paranoia will not win you any more hearts. Deny Iran nukes while it's neighbour sits with 200 of them isn't going to make you safer. Keeping them under sanctions will only make them determined to acquire nukes.

    So will we see a change in foreign US policy if Obama is elected ? (Other than the obvious Iraq withdrawal ?)
     
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  3. oreodont I am God Registered Senior Member

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    You fail to understand the complexity of Bush's foreign policy. It's "I wear an American flag pin." 'Terrorists' are that way because they are evil. Don't talk with countries that are considered the enemy even though they have never attacked us. Never hesitate to bomb them if given the chance (or if one can be made up..ie WMDs)".

    It's a complex foreign policy and very few can understand the ins and outs of it. George Bush and John McCain are two of the gifted ones who can. The rest of us are just 'regular' people who just don't get it even after 7 years.
     
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  5. otheadp Banned Banned

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    Nothing will change.

    What Obama pitches as his own brand new idea has already been in progress for years. There were contacts and negotiations with Iran for at least a year - through the appropriate channels. That's how things get done. And those were broken off by the Iranians.

    If anything, the next president will be much much tougher on Iran than Bush has been, only because Iran has been getting more and more aggressive, and because it will probably become a nuclear power (or be on the brink) in the next 1-2 years.

    All you antiwar posters will be longing for the days of Bush's sitting-on-your-hands approach of offering "grand bargains" and letting the EU and UN offer extortion packages to this terrorist regime.
     
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  7. John99 Banned Banned

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    Well i am predicting big changes. For one Obama is doing much better than i expected and John McCain will most likely sell the White House to China. So based on that Obama has a good shot. But yes, there will be monumental changes.

    My predictions are significant because i predicted what happened the last time.
     
  8. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    The Bush policy has been one of public isolation, calling them Axis of Evil, not involving them in solutions to regional problems like the Baker-Hamilton Commission recommended. I think Obama would take a different approach, one that the entire world can support.
     
  9. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    So your statistical prowess is 1 in 1??? That's what I call a trackrecord!

    I predict nothing will change, because nothing ever changes in American politics. Unless there is a revolution....
     
  10. oreodont I am God Registered Senior Member

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    Just the fact it' 'not Bush' will bring about much more international cooperation. In Canada we have a 'Conservative' government and that government's principal risk of losing power is too close a relationship with Bush. There is a similar dynamic in Germany, etc. Any association with the 'Bush-Cheney' duo is toxic.
     
  11. otheadp Banned Banned

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    They were called "Axis of Evil" on September or October of 2001. Bush hasn't called them that in at least the last 5 years. Furthermore, the US diplomatic corps + military in Iraq have been actively engaging Iran, directly, over regional issues. Iran broke these talks off recently.

    Obama will try to do the same, or act based on the lessons learned from these encounters. His deceptively "friendly" message is only for domestic consumption. What he actually will do will be based on smart and capable experienced people who don't have to cater to any voters, but only give recommendations based on what's happening on the ground, and to based on time-honoured diplomatic customs.

    That is why it doesn't -really- matter who's president, as far as foreign policy is concerned.

    What I see happening though, now that Bush's policy (or should I say, the actions of the generals and troops and diplomatic corps in Iraq) is yielding real fruits (AQI almost done for, Iraq's central government is more inclusive, reconciliation is moving forward, etc.), when a Democrat president comes in and presides over the troop withdrawal, and then takes the credit for everything working out, s/he'll say it's exactly because of the troops being withdrawn. (By the way, McCain said he wants to have all combat troops back in the US by 2013, thereby officially declaring a "timetable" for withdrawal. Even Democrats haven't gone this far).

    I don't even care. I just want the job to be done. The [D] and the [R] can bicker over the credit for eternity, for all I care.
     
  12. otheadp Banned Banned

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    But Sarkozy and Merkel are 10x as friendly towards Bush than their predecessors (Harper too, by the way). That is inexplicable really...
     
  13. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    So basically, this is all political theater.

    By the way, McCain's timetable is a flip-flop.
     
  14. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    Of course there will be change in US foreign policy, but we don't know if reason or fear will drive it. The neoconservatives made reckless decisions, and the blowback is already apparent, which is why they're exiting Stage Right. What we can't know for sure is whether Barack (who's sane) will be upstaged by a military-industrial complex that isn't.
     
  15. otheadp Banned Banned

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    EXACTLY!
    That's all there is to American politics, really

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    Politicians try to create dichotomies and set themselves up as saviours just to keep themselves relevant. They really aren't - just like CNN and all those other networks. The slogan "the need to know" is just a marketing ploy to get viewership. My dad follows politics very very closely and gets very upset when something happens that he doesn't like. It just hit me - it's all so irrelevant. I mean, it sort of affects you in a very distant way, but not to such an extent that your time is well spent on following all the talking heads and blogs so closely.

    Do you mean his "100 years in Iraq" comment? As you know, the only troops in Germany, Japan and Korea are non-combat. And whatever infrastructure that exists there that is ready for active combat is only at the invitation of the governments, and are not doing any fighting (though they can be converted to such). That's what McCain means (and I'm sure you know this too).


    Let me remind you that back in 2001 through to early 2003 there was wide bi-partisan support for both the Afghanistan and (to a slightly lesser extent) the Iraq invasions in the Senate and Congress. That includes Kerry and Clinton. It wasn't a unilateral adventure by the Bush admin, as people keep framing it. Obama has the luxury of saying he was never for it, because he wasn't in office at the time. That's a huge political asset right now, given the war's unpopularity in many circles. But don't say it was all Bush's idea. Hypocrisy never did anyone any good

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  16. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    Otheadp: "Obama has the luxury of saying he was never for it, because he wasn't in office at the time."

    No, he has that luxury because he stood up publicly and unequivocally against the war before it began, which required a level of awareness and courage that was in woefully short supply at the time:

    "don't say it was all Bush's fault."

    I've seen no such case ever made. GW Bush has never demonstrated remarkable intellect or leadership, and he certainly did not orchestrate the stampede into Iraq. That misguided plan was hatched before 9-11 by the Project for the New American Century, and many of us saw right through it when the nation's 9-11 outrage was manipulated into selling an unrelated misadventure. The greatest failing over Iraq in the USA was due to general ignorance about the origins of Bin Laden's organization that was exploited by the neoconservatives. This is fairly common knowledge today, but your diversionary accusations of hypocrisy compel the reiteration of basic facts.
     
  17. otheadp Banned Banned

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    OK - so Obama was against the war before 2003. But he was almost alone. The "Project for the New American Century" may have had such a plan (I'm going along with your conspiracy theory... citing "if american knew"? give me a break

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    ), but it became popular and mainstream in both parties. Remember Kerry's "I was for it before I was against it" comment?

    Go find the rollcall to the resolution that authorized Bush to declare war on Iraq. No body in their right mind would vote to give him such powers if they didn't feel that it would have come to that.

    Hypocrisy never helped anyone, hype

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    .
     
  18. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    otheadp: "Hypocrisy never helped anyone, hype."

    What specific hypocrisy, and by whom are you alluding to?
     
  19. otheadp Banned Banned

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    Many condemn the invasion of Iraq, and dismiss it as a mere "Bush junta" trick, so they talk shit. The reality is that it was widely supported by almost everyone. The hypocrisy lies in the condemnation of the invasion.

    In fact, today's darling of the left, St. Gore himself was a very very strong proponent of invading Iraq several years before 2001. That's why this bullshit of "I was for it before I was against it" coming from Kerry is so, SO hypocritical. But at least he admits that he was for it... some won't even do that.
     
  20. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    otheadp: "The reality is that [war on Iraq] was widely supported by almost everyone."

    Today's reality is that the fabricated incitements for invading Iraq (which never fooled a large proportion of USAmericans) have since utterly fallen apart. I don't see the relevance of John Kerry and Al Gore to the future of US foreign policy. They did not weather the media storm as has the candidate who actually does have a likely bearing on the future: So why not directly consider Barack (who's sane) Obama.
     
  21. otheadp Banned Banned

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    What you are suggesting is practically impossible. You are saying that a political regime with 2 almost constantly polarized and partisan parties all "fell" for the "Bush junta's" "fabrications" without looking it over for even 5 minutes, despite the enormous implications (multi year occupation, billions in cost, loss of American lives, the potential effect on oil prices, etc.), or taking an opportunity to spin this into something that would be used to get more political capital for the Democratic party. They all just merrily went along like hypnotized mice.

    Not the press, not the big players in the DP, not the rank n file, almost nobody had half of a dissenting opinion. Only a few did, one of which was Obama. Most didn't. Not because they were tricked or fooled, but because of their individual intelligent judgements.

    As for the myth that the Israeli government put pressure on Bush (and on Senate and Congress!) to go for Iraq, that's bullshit too. While Saddam was annoying to Israel, Iran was a MUCH much bigger threat. Israelis in fact were very pessimistic about the Iraq project because it would have removed the counter-force to Iran, the bigger threat, but did not want to object to the USA (especially on such a popular issue) in public.

    It was an entirely American decision. Live up to your responsibility, hype. (There is every reason to believe, given your hypocrisy, that you too were "for it before you were against it".)
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Dozens of legislators in the House and the Senate voted to deny W the power to invade Iraq.

    That was in the face of an enormous propaganda campaign, with false stories planted in the cooperative media and rigged intelligence presented to Congress, loud and free publicity given to the case for war, and the public assertion by W that he merely wanted the powers as a threat, that invasion was a last resort and only after negotiations.

    And that was in the face of political pressures and threats from an administration that was not shy about using its then enormous popularity and already consolidating media influence to strongarm local politicians and news outlets coast to coast. 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 - - remember that shit, 24/7 ?

    Despite all of that, the hollowness and contrived dishonesty of the effort, and the illegitimacy as well as danger of any actual invasion of Iraq, was visible to almost everyone outside the US propaganda bubble, and millions of people inside it.

    Obama was not alone. A lot of people even in the US had W's war pegged from the beginning, and said so at the time.

    There were large public demonstrations in the US and in countries all over the globe. There was much discussion among the US left and libertarian crowd over what W was really up to, and how this propaganda campaign was being run. There was intelligent and accurate public analysis of an invasion's prospects and the likely results of W's behaviors.

    And there was one consistent evaluation of the political situation in Washington: it was gut check time. An intelligent Dem vote on W's war powers (the Reps were dismissed with contempt in advance) was not a test of one's beliefs in their justifications, which were inadequate at best, but a test of one's political courage and willingness to back principles and honest evaluation against calculated political risks.

    And in all of that, I don't recall hearing anyone predict the ridiculous possibility that W&Co and their Republican posse would ever be able to palm off responsibility for the invasion of Iraq on anyone else. The whole scene was their idea entirely, and the votes in favor of it obtained by them through persuasion and threat. They owned that war, completely. Iraq was and is W&Co's Republican baby.

    And anyone who thinks their choice of President doesn't affect foreign policy can look at what they've done.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
  23. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    Otheadp: "You are saying that a political regime with 2 almost constantly polarized and partisan parties all "fell" for the "Bush junta's" "fabrications" without looking it over for even 5 minutes, despite the enormous implications (multi year occupation, billions in cost, loss of American lives, the potential effect on oil prices, etc.), or taking an opportunity to spin this into something that would be used to get more political capital for the Democratic party."

    Yes, that's a close approximation.

    "Most didn't. Not because they were tricked, but because of their intelligent individual judgements."

    US entanglement in Iraq was initiated with emotional, not rational appeals. We were tricked, and USAmericans overwhelmingly understand today that we were tricked. There was hardly any rational debate, and no rational, reality-based justification during the stampede to war. But now there clearly is more reasonable change afoot, because USAmerican perceptions are clearly changing, and are aligning with the not-insignificant proportion of us who opposed the invasion of Iraq since before it started:

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    source: Pew Research

    I'd like to have an update of this graph, because it has reached full symmetry/reversal of opinion now. But even with this encouraging rational trend, I am deeply concerned that terrorists may endeavor to reverse this trend toward rationality with a new round of fear and rage. US foreign policy is certain to take a new direction with the next Administration, and I fervently hope we have a peaceful, thoughtful transition without a new provocation into recklessness.
     

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