The first Bush, that is. Fareed has an excellent and detailed interview with Obama on foreign affairs. Obama's historical mentors? Drum roll ...:
One of the things that I want to do, if I have the honor of being president, is to try to bring back the kind of foreign policy that characterized the Truman administration with Marshall and Acheson and Kennan.
But also characterized to a large degree -- the first President Bush -- with people like Scowcroft and Powell and Baker, who I think had a fairly clear-eyed view of how the world works, and recognized that it is always in our interests to engage, to listen, to build alliances -- to understand what our interests are, and to be fierce in protecting those interests, but to make sure that we understand it's very difficult for us to, as powerful as we are, to deal all these issues by ourselves.
Here's his reply on the question of how to deal with rising Islamic fundamentalism:
We have to hunt down those who would resort to violence to move their agenda, their ideology forward.
We should be going after al Qaeda and those networks fiercely and effectively.
But what we also want to do is to shrink the pool of potential recruits. And that involves engaging the Islamic world rather than vilifying it, and making sure that we understand that not only are those in Islam who would resort to violence a tiny fraction of the Islamic world, but that also, the Islamic world itself is diverse.
And that lumping together Shia extremists with Sunni extremists, assuming that Persian culture is the same as Arab culture, that those kinds of errors in lumping Islam together result in us not only being less effective in hunting down and isolating terrorists, but also in alienating what need to be our long-term allies on a whole host of issues.
Nuance. Remember that?
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