7.23.2008

Another 3 position pivot

This is just additional context to the discussion in the previous post moved here per Ben's request.

Position 1:
Hawkish rhetoric recognizing the threat of Iran and the ongoing need from troops in Iraq:

A reduced but active presence will also send a clear message to hostile countries like Iran and Syria that we intend to remain a key player in this region…Make no mistake, if the Iranians and Syrians think they can use Iraq as another Afghanistan or a staging area from which to attack Israel or other countries, they are badly mistaken. It is in our national interest to prevent this from happening.

But what about the withdrawal?


Position 2:
Campaign commercial intended to subtly attack Hillary for supporting the Kyl-Lieberman amendment; a bipartisan measure that urged the U.S. government to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. This allowed the US greater ability to apply sanctions and tighten restrictions through the global financial system.

It passed this spring 76-22. Obama strongly opposed it with his signature rhetorical restraint:

Obama today also penned an op-ed in The Manchester Union-Leader warning that Congress -- including, notably, rival Hillary Clinton -- has given Bush the pretense to invade Iran by approving a recent Senate amendment. "When you give this president a blank check, you can't be surprised when he cashes it," Obama writes. "I strongly differ with Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was the only Democratic presidential candidate to support this reckless amendment.

But perhaps aware of his fickleness he again opted not to record this position and just didn’t vote because he couldn’t make it.

Position 3
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/07/23/1218024.aspx
It was remarkable in terms of the strong language Obama used repeatedly to demonstrate the depth of his support for Israel, saying at one point that he had an "unshakeable commitment to Israel's security." His message appeared to be directed at American Jewish voters, an important voting bloc and one that has been wary of Obama's commitment to Israel.
On Iran, Obama said he would take no options off the table in dealing with the potential Iranian threat.
"A nuclear Iran would be a game changing situation not just in the Middle East but around the world," he said. "Whatever is- remains of our nuclear non-proliferation framework, I think would begin to disintegrate."
The senator argued that as other Middle Eastern countries, some with ties to terrorist organizations, sought nuclear weapons of their own that would increase the likelihood that loose nuclear materials could falling into the hands of terrorists.

"That is our single most important threat to Israel but also to the United States of America. So this is something that we're going to spend a lot of time working on," he said.
Obama said his goal was to mobilize the international community to offer big sticks and big carrots to Iran to end its nuclear program, urging the country to take advantage of what he called "the shift" in Bush administration's approach to direct talks.

Obama made a mistake when he began to list legislation he's supported to show that "vote after vote" he had been a friend to Israel.
"This past week we passed out of the US Senate Banking committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon," Obama said


There are lots more of these: FISA, NAFTA, Gun Control....

3 comments:

Joe said...

I don't have the energy to get into this. I'm confident that I know more or less what general policies and priorities Obama wants to pursue, and I've watched him speak more than the average American, I'd say.

I don't really think the details of their positions mean diddly squat.

Big shifts matter: Obama's shift of public financing disappointed me. McCain's shift on tax policy was big too (see next post).

Note: you misread my previous comments about soundness.

Andrew said...

Yes I should put consistent vs. sound but I think it’s clear that neither apply to Obama’s Iraq position. That bastion of rightwing thought the WashPost describe his Iraq positions as.foolish and irrational.

These are not subtle shifts however much you wish to minimize them and they remain important issues however disinterested you may be. How the US intends to exit Iraq and how seriously the US takes a nuclear Iran will have a profound impact on global security for decades to come.

Yes McCain panders but he’s also exposed himself to considerable political risk. Can you identify the equivalent in Obama? I can’t.

Andrew said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/15/AR2008071502531.html