Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tonight's Debate - Finally Some Foreign Policy?

I've been waiting for this to happen for weeks. So far it's been all social issues and political rhetoric. Clinton and Obama talk about heath care, education and the middle class. McCain and Huckabee talk about the war on terror, who is more conservative and occasionally border control. Ugggh. A fine collection of calculated, safe pandering to the voters. The reality, at this point in the process, is that the candidates all sound like the teacher in a Charlie Brown TV special, wa, wa, wah, wah. Most people already have there opinions fixed in their minds.

So what have I been waiting for? Do any of the candidates have any grasp of foreign policy? Musharraf's loss in Pakistan elections. Castro passing a token torch to his brother. Kosovo declared independence and now there is a riotous backlash in Serbia. In previous election years, the Russians or China would have used this as a prime opportunity to invade some small country, conduct questionable weapons test, or implement a new "crackdown". Especially if the U.S. was already up to its necks in another war. A lame duck president and a bunch of candidates afraid to take a stance in unfamiliar territory usually have many questionable foreign leaders licking their chops at the opportunities. Perhaps they are waiting until the race is down to two, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong-il see how far they can push the envelope at some point.

Either way, I would really like to see the moderator put the "screws" to Clinton and Obama with some serious foreign policy quesitons. In any case, we may still get catch phrases like "create an open dialogue" and "consult with our allies." Solutions that are a bit late when it's already hit the fan.

My Zimbio

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