Obama Leads In Foreign Policy, Bush Follows

Obamahirokomasuikegetty

In some ways, Obama has been a shadow president for a while. Even JPod now concedes that Obama has been right about the terror war:

I was among many people who ridiculed the Obama proposal at the time, on the grounds that a) no nation violates the territorial integrity of an ally, even if that ally is problematic, and b) Obama’s bellicosity seemed entirely unbelievable, given that he spoke in the wake of his remarks about meeting with the leaders of the world’s worst regimes “without preconditions.” On the latter point, he was and remains wrong and foolish.

On the former point, though, he was, apparently, precognitive, and may be due an apology.

Ya think? Radley Balko adds:

Will McCain now condemn the Bush administration's decision to go into Pakistan?  Or was this idea only naive ten months ago?  Was it only naive because it came from Obama? The Obama campaign should be making a much bigger deal about this.

Yes, they should. On one of the most critical decisions of the war, Obama staked out a position a while back that the Bush camp and neocons assailed as naive, disastrous, and revealing of his unfitness to be president. But like almost everything else Obama has said about the war, he was right and Bush was wrong. Obama was ahead of Bush in proposing to shift troops to Afghanistan, ahead of Bush in suggesting a timetable for Iraq withdrawal (subsequently embraced by Maliki), ahead of Bush in arguing we should talk directly to Iran, and, of course, right about not fighting the war in the first place.

The Bush administration - when guided by the saner forces within it such as Gates and Rice - eventually follows Obama's advice. In that sense, Obama has been president for quite a while already. And proving he could be a shrewd, pragmatic and prescient one.

(Photo: Hiroko Masuike/Getty.)

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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