Sunday, September 21, 2008

Taheri's Last Word

Amir Taheri takes two steps back to explain how Senator Obama's extraordinary private foreign policy fits into the bigger historical picture (or more accurately, is without precedent). He relates how figures from Edward Kennedy to Ronald Reagan to Hillary Clinton have refused even to comment on the status of their government's negotiations with a foreign power, citing the long-standing political tradition that a loyal opposition does not undermine the standing government's foreign policy diplomatically, but uses the appropriate legislative channels.
Every agreement and every treaty contains mechanisms for its suspension or abrogation. Therefore, even supposing Bush was negotiating an absolutely terrible agreement with the Iraqis in which he would be selling the family silver, Obama should have waited until he saw the text, and then demanded the cancellation of the accord through the constitutional channels.

One key feature of all mature powers, at least since the Congress of Vienna, is the reliability of their international commitments. Even putschists who seize power in a military coup make sure that their first pronunciamento includes this key sentence: We shall honor all of our country’s international obligations and commitments.
Senator Obama is the leader of a loyal opposition in the United States, not the chief of an insurrection or a revolutionary uprising. What we are witnessing in the U.S. is an election, not an insurrection or a coronation, even less a regime change.
Obama and his followers seem not to recognize the difference.

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