Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More on Obama and the Hawks

Max Boot, a foreign policy adviser and writer for Commentary, is also impressed with Obama’s cabinet picks thus far. He writes:
As someone who was skeptical of Obama’s moderate posturing during the campaign, I have to admit that I am gobsmacked by these appointments , most of which could just as easily have come from a President McCain. (Jim Jones is an old friend of McCain’s, and McCain almost certainly would have asked Gates to stay on as well.) This all but puts an end to the 16-month timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, the unconditional summits with dictators, and other foolishness that once emanated from the Obama campaign.”
ED Kain disagrees with my assessment over Obama’s potential hawkishness. He writes:
Obama does seem committed in Afghanistan, though finishing a war is hardly the mark of a hawk. At this point, any other course of action would be dangerous.”
I do think that his commitment to not only continue our mission in Afghanistan, but deepen and broaden it, is a hawkish position. Leaving Afghanistan would be hazardous, but so would leaving Iraq back in 2006, something several pundits and analysts supported (including Obama). The fact that the entire Iraq debate had been conducted within such an extreme partisan realm gave many Democrats who held interventionist views, the rationality to come out against the mission, if not its premise. It showed callousness on the part of our elected liberal officials, but it surely didn’t mean they had stepped away from the basic premise behind American military intervention.

Obama initially positioned himself on the left of his party on this issue, but I would have a hard time believing anyone deduces that he continues to hold those foolish positions after looking at his appointments.

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