Friday, September 12, 2008

the Obamafication of Republican foreign policy: the Sully edition

Andrew Sullivan sees it, too:
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.

In case you don't know Sully very well, he's a very famous pundit. A famously conservative pundit.

And here's Radley Balko from Reason, a libertarian rag:
Last year, Barack Obama had the right smirking with glee when he made the sensible suggestion that if the U.S. gets intelligence that there are Al Qaeda cells operating in Pakistan, we should go in and get them, with or without permission of the Pakistani government. If Pakistan won't root out Al Qaeda, Obama said, his administration would. I never quite understood the controversy in that statement, which by the way, is the position of many in the U.S. military.

Nevertheless, Obama was roundly ridiculed. John McCain said the statement showed Obama's naivete. Mitt Romney called him "Dr. Strangelove." Conservative blogs mischaracterized his position as wanting to "invade" or "bomb" Pakistan. Obama's critics at the time apparently believed that it's fine to invade an occupy a country whose government had virtually no ties to Al Qaeda, but suggesting we cross the border into a country whose government may be actively or passively harboring large numbers of Al Qaeda and Taliban forces is foolish.

It looks like the Bush administration didn't find Obama's position all that naive, because they've adopted it to the letter...

He later argues that Obama should be pressing this point hard, and he's obviously right. Then again, this did only come out yesterday, so I'm sure he will (or even better, Joe Biden will!).

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