Friday, March 21, 2008

Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand?

Ambassador Wilson, I have great respect for you, and your hair. And what was done to your wife was wrong. You have many friends in the bloggersphere, but tonight, you have one less, because of this from HuffPost:
In 1998, as Senior Director for Africa in President Clinton's National Security Council, I helped orchestrate six phone calls, some late at night, directly from President Clinton, three each to Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles, and Eritrean President Afwerki, to stop the air war between the two countries. Two of Barack Obama's senior advisers, Tony Lake and Susan Rice, were also involved in that effort, and could attest to the importance of presidential involvement if they would choose not to remain silent as a ploy to protect their candidate's slender credentials.

. . . In former Yugoslavia, President Clinton played a similar role, reaching out to friends and allies, to adversaries and belligerents, in order to reach agreements that permitted the deployment of an international peacekeeping force.

. . . Contrast the above examples with the last seven plus years of George W. Bush and the conclusion is inescapable: presidential leadership is critical and should be tempered with experience and capability.

No problem so far, we can all agree that the last 7 years were really bad.

But then to go here:
Senator Obama is clearly a gifted politician and orator. I disagree profoundly with his transparently political efforts to turn George Bush's war into Hillary Clinton's responsibility. I was present in that debate, in Washington, from beginning to end, and Obama was nowhere to be seen. His current campaign aides in foreign policy, Tony Lake and Susan Rice, were also in Washington, but they chose to remain silent during that debate, when it mattered.

Claims of superior intuitive judgment by his campaign and by him are self-evidently disingenuous, especially in light of disclosures about his long associations with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko. But his assertions of advanced judgment are also ludicrous when the question of what Obama has accomplished in his four years in the Senate is considered.

Joe, you've jumped the shark. Time to pack the show up, and start a second career in directing, because this writing won't sell. I won't even bother with the Wright & Rezko cheap shots; you should be ashamed. I'm glad you passionately support Sen. Clinton, but her past is filled with shady characters whose misdeeds shouldn't be used to attack her. Comes to mind James Blair and Robert L. "Red" Bone:
Hillary Rodham Clinton was allowed to order 10 cattle futures contracts, normally a $12,000 investment, in her first commodity trade in 1978 although she had only $1,000 in her account at the time, according to trade records the White House released yesterday.

The computerized records of her trades, which the White House obtained from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, show for the first time how she was able to turn her initial investment into $6,300 overnight. In about 10 months of trading, she made nearly $100,000, relying heavily on advice from her friend James B. Blair, an experienced futures trader.

. . . A close examination of her individual trades underscores Blair's pivotal role. It also shows that Robert L. "Red" Bone, who ran the Springdale, Ark., office of Ray E. Friedman and Co. (Refco), allowed Clinton to initiate and maintain many trading positions – besides the first – when she did not have enough money in her account to cover them.

Innuendo? Yes. Criminal acts? Who knows. Let he who has not sinned sail down the Whitewater rapids.

The more important point is that Bill Clinton, praised above as acting responsibly in a crisis, was a Governor of a small Southern state with plenty of internal problems, and virtually no foreign policy implications. While his terms as Governor were neither disastrous nor glorious, his election to the Presidency was based on charm, charisma, and national dislike for George H. W Bush, who had vast foreign policy experience.

To continue:
Obama has stated that he will rely upon his advisers. But how will he know which ones to depend upon and how will he be able to evaluate what they say?

Yes, how will he know who to listen to? I re-cap from earlier in the Wilson piece:
Two of Barack Obama's senior advisers, Tony Lake and Susan Rice, were also involved in that effort, and could attest to the importance of presidential involvement if they would choose not to remain silent as a ploy to protect their candidate's slender credentials.

So Lake & Rice were invaluable as counselors to Clinton, yet untrustworthy as aides to Obama? Sorry, pal, can't have it both ways.
Which of his shifting coterie of volatile advisers would he turn to? Will it be the one who repudiated his withdrawal plan, exposing his real intention, prior to being forced to resign? Or will it be those advisers who remained silent until politically convenient -- several years and several thousand lives after the shock and awe invasion, conquest and disastrous occupation of Iraq?

Oh just stop it! Support your candidate, that's fine. But this argument is specious, especially when your candidate has her own credibility issues. Face it, the bulk of Hillary's Foreign Policy experience is from being First Lady. And while that's a fine thing, it's no better than the experience of a Senator from Illinois, or New York. She may have met many foreign leaders, yet her interaction with them was ceremonial, not substantive.

Sorry Joe, this season is over.