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January 4, 2008
The 9/10 Caucuses
FrontPage.Com has an editorial up this morning pointing out the deficiencies of both of the Iowa winners last night; Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee:
Last night, Iowa caucus-goers had the opportunity to vote for a wide variety of candidates who possessed foreign policy sagacity, an aggressive plan to fight sponsors of terrorism, and the competence and breadth of experience to lead the nation during the War on Terror – and the plurality of neither party chose to do so.It is frightening to consider the idea that a man who thinks his living abroad as a child gives him suitable foreign policy experience to be president is now the front runner for the Democratic nomination. And Republicans didn't do any better in choosing a candidate last night:
Instead, they selected affable and charismatic figures who appeal to portions of the party’s base but who lack credibility on national security – an unsettling reality in a post-9/11 world.
Today, he’s running to become commander-in-chief of the forces fighting that "dumb war," a description certain to erode morale. While always careful to note the troops’ courage and valor, he also talks down their grand accomplishments at defeating al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia. On his website currently, Obama writes during the present surge, "our troops have helped reduce violence in some areas of Iraq, but even those reductions do not get us below the unsustainable levels of violence of mid-2006."
This is both disspiriting and false. The New York Times reported late last month that "violent attacks in the country had fallen by 60 percent since June." Rather than the surge, which has driven al-Qaeda out of Anbar Province, Obama would have removed all U.S. troops by this March. The Obama Plan offers "at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries." But thanks to the Bush surge, in October alone, 110,000 refugees returned to the newly pacified Iraq. Nor has our present military success taught him anything.
He now pledges to "have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months." Who will take America’s place in newly destabilized Baghdad? Phantom troops and bearded mullahs.
Huckabee believes Bush has been far too demanding. "Instead of asking if someone is for us, instead of demanding that every ally be at the level of Great Britain, I will ask if we should be for them, if they can be useful in any way, however limited, however temporary."But that was exactly the plea President Bush made when he uttered that phrase. One, a dangerously naive neophyte the other a feckless dunce. Let's hope both parties can do better down the road.
Huckabee demonstrates exactly how he is willing to go slumming for support, noting in his Iraq policy, "I support a regional summit so that Iraq's neighbors become militarily and financially committed to stabilizing Iraq." Iraq’s "neighbors" include Iran and Syria. His feckless goodwill extends to Western Hemisphere dictators, as well. In 2002, the then-Arkansas governor signed a letter asking President Bush to lift the embargo against Castro’s Cuba.
After receiving Cuban-American support in Florida, presidential candidate Huckabee reversed himself. What changed? Huckabee’s reply betrayed an impolitic sense of opportunism: "Well, what changed was I’m running for president."