Naive and dangerous
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.”