Friday, September 5, 2008

Foreign policy achievements: Palin Vs Obama

One week before McCain selected Palin to be his VP, I did some research on Sarah Palin. I blogged:
I don't think this is going to fly . . . The problem, of course, is that Palin appears to have had no foreign policy experience whatsoever. "Makes her no less qualified than George W.," supporters might retort. Which is to say she is hardly a credible candidate for your standby-president in the world of 2008.
No new information about Palin has come to light that has caused me to change my own initial assessment of the candidate.

Nevertheless, I may have missed something. Therefore, I have invited anyone to submit to Jotman any foreign policy accomplishments of Palin for inclusion in my Palin timeline. As I blogged here, I will be open minded about it: "Even a vacation in Mexico, or, say, a French language course -- I will be sure to add the event to the timeline."

One thoughtful Jotman reader responded: "Maybe you could outline Obama foreign policy achievements as well. We could make good comparsion between the two of them."

I did make an effort to look into Senator Obama's foreign policy experience earlier in the year. I noted that he had been a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the US Senate. On the streets of Jakarta, I made a firsthand inquiry into Obama's early life experiences in Indonesia -- a time of life that would have helped to shape his world view.

One episode sticks out in my mind concerning Obama's foray into US foreign policy. In February 2008 I blogged: "Obama's most important legislative achievement concerns the issue that prompted my first jot at Jotman." In his short time as a senator, Obama had the good sense to promote one the most important pieces of foreign policy legislation signed into law during the Bush administration. I am referring to the Lugar-Obama bill, otherwise known as "The Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act." I noted at the time: "Lugar-Obama was partly about keeping shoulder-fire missile launchers out of terrorists' hands -- the fear being that someone will try to take out an airliner."

McCain may not survive even one month should he be elected to office; it is appropriate for us all to inquire whether Palin has any foreign policy experience. The last time Americans elected such a president, he started a war without taking into consideration any of the obvious risks.

The Zoo reports that of the 570 bills Senator Obama introduced into the United States Senate, 10 addressed Foreign Policy:
  • Iraq war de-escalation (313)
  • US policy for Iraq (433),
  • Divestiture from Iran (1430)
  • Sudan divestment authorization (831)
  • Millennium Development Goals (2433)
  • Multilateral debt relief (1320)
  • Development bank reform (1129)
  • Nuclear nonproliferation (3131,977,2224).


  1. On this list are some great sounding ideas. Of course we've heard them before and they didn't work the first time(s) so that hardly adds up to change. My neice was highly involved in "Nuclear Non-proliferation about 20 years ago, and it basically was the nice guys telling the bad guys to drop their guns and we'll stop our energy programs. The first of which was agreed to but not done, the second done and now regretted, while our enemies blithely carry off our fortunes, selling our kids drugs, getting bucoo dollars that way, and holding us hostage at the pump "over the barrel" quite literally while we throw up our hands and argue loudly against any real solution, like reforming our rotten moral stance. There are probably enough citizens sick enough of hype and double dealing to elect anyone who, while not necessarily knowing it all, still has gumption enough to stand up to gross negligence and giving away our nation to terrorists.

  2. Thank you, Jotman, for the opportunity and venue. We have been trained to live in certain camps and just throw darts at the other camp. Unhappily, our nation, though built on freedoms many are trying to discard or legislate selective use of, allows dissent(this is not bad)which has turned to the advantage of our enemies as they crept in and have planned and profited upon attacks on our weaknesses. However, someone like Sarah has higher principles than many of our bad business as usual people on both sides of the aisle. Not that she has been perfect of perfectly informed about what to do. (Anyone who has been in a position of authority knows we at times have to rely on advice of others and perhaps limited information.) Regarding all that, she has cleaned up on both R and D parties in Alaska and been very successful as reflected in extremely high ratings. She believes in God, as do most of us in this country, which still has "In God We Trust" on our money and though a few--very few are trying to change this, and sneak in judges and change other things like marriage, upon which all societies that survive are based, and kill our weaker citizens, contrary to our claim to uphold "LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." I believe what we do with these essentials will make or break us as a nation. After 9-11 we was lots about God Bless America. Mostly God fearing people are still reaching our to help victims all over. Is that a bad thing? Let's get back to basics, or what will it take to bowl us over? More and worse? God help us, let's let HIM!


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