Naive and dan­ger­ous

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Bring on the for­eign-pol­icy de­bates be­tween Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, urges for­mer U.S. Am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions John R. Bolton in the Wall Street Jour­nal on May 19.

“The Obama view of ne­go­ti­a­tions as the al­pha and the omega of U.S. for­eign pol­icy high­lights a fun­da­men­tal con­cep­tual di­vide be­tween the ma­jor par­ties and their pu­ta­tive pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nees. This di­vide also opened in 2004, when John Kerry in­sisted that our for­eign pol­icy pass a ‘global test’ to be con­sid­ered le­git­i­mate.

“At first glance, the idea of sit­ting down with ad­ver­saries seems hard to quarrel with. In our daily lives, we meet with com­peti­tors, op­po­nents and un­pleas­ant peo­ple all the time. Mr. Obama hopes to char­ac­ter­ize the de­bate about in­ter­na­tional ne­go­ti­a­tions as one be­tween his rea­son­able­ness and the hard­line at­ti­tude of a group of uni­lat­er­al­ist GOP cow­boys.

“The real de­bate is rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent. On one side are those who be­lieve that ne­go­ti­a­tions should be used to re­solve in­ter­na­tional dis­putes 99 per­cent of the time. That is where I am, and where I think Mr. McCain is. On the other side are those like Mr. Obama, who ap­par­ently want to use ne­go­ti­a­tions 100 per­cent of the time. It is the 100 per­cent-ers who suf­fer from an ob­ses­sion that is naive and dan­ger­ous.”

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