Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Obama: The Next American President?

It's official. "Barack Obama effectively clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, becoming the first black candidate to lead a major party into a campaign for the White House." ("AP tally: Obama effectively clinches nomination" Associated Press (June 3, 2008))

Or is it? "It's kind of exciting, right? Our first black party candidate! The next step in the 2008 election! A gloriously upstart campaign that broke all the rules! Except it's totally not over yet. The AP headline 'Obama effectively clinches nomination' (emphasis ours) includes a hedge that is not reflected in the tone of the article." ("The Associated Press Hands Obama the Nomination" (New York Magazine, June 3, 2008))

Again: This isn't a political blog, but America selects its leaders through a political process - so like it or not, politics will show up here.

Barring some colossal revelation, I won't vote for Barack Obama. It's not because of where some of his ancestors came from. It's what his perception of the world seems to be, and his abilities.

Barack Obama is a masterful orator, when he's had time to rehearse. When he hasn't, we find out what his beliefs are about aboriginal affairs are. An example is the time he tried to explain the natives of inner Pennsylvania to a group of sophisticated San Franciscans ("America is Picking a Wartime President: Please be Careful! (April 14, 2008)).

I'm not convinced that Barack Obama understands what sort a world we live in. He seems to think that talks - unconditional talks - with leaders of countries like Iran would be a good idea.

Talking is a good idea. I'm a great believer in communication and negotiation: whether it's a matter of last month's credit card bill, or controlling the spread of nuclear weapons.

But I don't think it's a good idea to start talking, officially, with a head of state who describes America as 'Satan,' without setting up a few rules first. Aside from wasting time, there's too much of a chance - as I see it - of the other government introducing a topic, or making a claim, that can't be addressed: and then stating, with a little truth, that America 'refused' to settle the issue.

Here's how I see it:
  • Talk: Good idea
  • Unconditionally: Really bad idea
Wait a minute! Obama's people says he didn't really say "unconditionally!

Reality Check: Obama and Unconditional Talks

The following appeared in a correction to a New York Times article ("On McCain, Obama and a Hamas Link" (May 10, 2008)):
"Correction: May 16, 2008
"An article on Saturday about Senator John McCain’s criticism of Senator Barack Obama’s Middle East policy incompletely described Mr. Obama’s position on negotiating with the leaders of countries, including Iran, with which the United States currently has little contact. While Mr. Obama and his aides have indeed described various conditions and limitations on such negotiations, Mr. Obama himself, in a Democratic debate in July 2007, also said he would be willing "to meet separately, without precondition" with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea."

This article surfaced while I was writing this post:

" Lawmakers: Clinton says she's ready to be Obama's VP"
CNN (June 3, 2008)

"Sen. Hillary Clinton on Tuesday told New York lawmakers she is open to being the running mate of Sen. Barack Obama, her rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, two of the lawmakers told CNN."

It's more likely, now, that Obama will be the Democratic Party's candidate.

And, with the still rather adulatory attitude that traditional American news media has toward him, I think the odds favor his being the next president of the United States.

An Obama presidency, no matter how it turns out, promised to be memorable and exciting.


Anonymous said...

McCain makes me wonder about his own foreign policy abilities. For instance, on a few different occasions he seems to have been unable to distinguish between Shiites and Sunnis. His willingness to jump on the Bush bandwagon with foolish appeasement rhetoric is also questionable, since talking is not where Chamberlain's appeasement. lay.

Brian H. Gill said...


Thanks for your comment.

The phrase "jump on the Bush bandwagon" seems to be out of the Democratic Party talking points.

You must have read some of my other posts, to know what I think in general about accommodating the international equivalent of criminals and thugs.

Oddly, I didn't use the term "appeasement" in this post.

About the major candidates: I'm not a McCaine fan, either.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.