Monday, May 19, 2008

Giant killing over, Obama shows true statesmanship

The Observer now carries a little supplement of articles from the New York Times. Last weekend I manage to read it, which I consider quite an achievement.

The supplement this week carried an essay from Mark Leibovich on the lessons which Obama has learnt in the long battle against Clinton.

Leibovich argues that Clinton has turned Obama into a "giant killer", made him angry (that's good, apparently), spurred him to address his potential working class deficit, get the Rev Wright fight behind him and helped to prepare him as a "better prepared and better defined candidate , and no doubt a stronger one than he would have been without his rival".

Also in the Observer, a report said that the Republicans are fearing Obama after the by-election shock in Mississippi. The article quotes Professor Cary Covington, a political scientist at the University of Iowa, as saying:

If Obama can convince the American people he can protect them, then he cannot lose. But it is a tough job. And if he can't convince them, then I don't think he can win.

Right on cue, McCain is today attacking Obama for a "reckless" foreign policy because he (Obama) has, in McCain's view, downplayed the Iran threat. Let's remember that McCain once publicly sang "Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann". Obama had said:

Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union...They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us, and yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying we're going to wipe you off the planet...We should use that position of strength that we have to be bold enough to go ahead and listen. We might not compromise on any issue, but at least we should find out are there areas of potential common interest, and we can reduce some of the tensions that have caused us so many problems around the world.

McCain said Obama's willingness to sit down with the Iranian president demonstrates Obama's lack of understanding of international relations.

Au contraire. McCain is showing that he would, in high probability, do a Bush on Iran. He certainly would not entertain the "jaw jaw" with the USA's enemies which Churchill once advocated on a visit to the White House. And while we're on quotes from statesmen of the past, how about the African saying oft repeated by Teddy Roosevelt?:

Speak softly and carry a big stick.

...It seems Obama has distilled great wisdom into his foreign policy pronouncements.

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