« Andrew Bostom on the Dennis Prager Show |
Blog Home Page
| That New Yorker cover »
July 21, 2008
Obama talks the talk of Foreign Affairs
Senator Barack Obama is beginning his glory tour of Europe and the Mideast, two areas of the world that would be natural for him to visit as he is chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on European Affairs.
According to Fact Check this subcommittee
"...deals with all matters concerning U.S. relations with the countries on the continent of Europe (except the states of Central Asia that are within the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs), and with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
This subcommittee's responsibilities include all matters within the geographic region relating to: (1) terrorism and non-proliferation; (2) crime and illicit narcotics; (3) U.S. foreign assistance programs; and (4) the promotion of U.S. trade and exports.
As subcommittee chairman, Obama could have held hearings pertaining to the role of NATO in the war in Afghanistan, but he has not. At a Democratic debate in February, he said he "became chairman of this committee at the beginning of this campaign," so the committee hadn't held such hearings.
Good try Senator Obama but no cigar because he has
"...presided over subcommittee hearings to consider the nominations of ambassadors to several nations and the U.S. permanent representative to the NATO council. He also has previously spoken out about the role of NATO in Afghanistan, saying that he supports a greater presence of troops in the country.
In other words, once again he talks the talks but he doesn't walk the walk, doing nothing of substance. So despite his fine speeches and his 300 foreign policy advisors, his unusual international upbringing and his alleged post partisanship Obama does not seem to have much knowledge of foreign affairs. Is this why Obama, unlike McCain, generally snubs the foreign press? Christoph von Marschall, Washington bureau chief of a Berlin, Germany newspaper, writing in the Washington Post seems to think so.
Perhaps Obama considers members of the foreign media a risk rather than an opportunity. His campaign learned the hard way how comments to foreigners can resonate at home -- recall adviser Austan Goolsbee's hints to a Canadian diplomat that Obama's critique of NAFTA was just campaign rhetoric, or former aide Samantha Power's "monster" remark about Hillary Clinton to the Scotsman. Or perhaps we're witnessing the arrogance that comes from being so close to power. One of his campaign advisers told me recently: "Why should we take the time for foreign media, since there is Obamania around the world?"
But even maniacs have many moments of lucidity; slowly, slowly when Obamania wears off Obama's nakedness will be exposed. And then the maniacs will be restored to scary normalcy.