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According to a recent Washington Post poll  75% of  American voters believe that John McCain would be a good commander in chief, while only 45% believed Barack Obama would be.  That same poll revealed that by a 30% margin that Barack Obama is better suited to restore our relations with our European allies. The Obama camp knew three term senator, with no military experience, would not win the foreign-policy issue with the decorated military experienced Senator Jon McCain. I am not so sure that is a given.

Out of nowhere, Iraq's Prime Minister Maliki said Obama’s 16 month timeline was reasonable plus or minus a few months, according to a German magazine.  The Bush administration went into a full disclaimer mode, saying the prime minister was misquoted.  The New York Times printed the exact quote, showing Maliki was not misquoted.  Another news organization showed a clip with the Maliki translator repeating the timeline quote.  The Bush administration countered with a “general time horizon.” Translation: Time line spelled differently, leaving John McCain out in the cold, with his long-term commitment.  Andrea Mitchell of NBC news is reporting that General Petraeus and Barack Obama (or someone from his delegation) having a shouting match on the timeline issue.  To be continued.

The McCain camp first urged and goaded Obama to go to Iraq, but John McCain wanted to be to be the tour guide.  Obama politely declined, because he wanted Senator Jack Reed and Chuck Hagel to be his advisers on this trip.  So far this trip has backfired for John McCain, because he was greeted warmly by the military and the unexpected gifts by the Iraqi prime minister and the Bush administration.

 

The media have given the foreign-policy guru award to John McCain, because he's had so many trips overseas, and has voted on so many foreign-policy matters. I'll accept that, but I would offer sports analogy to describe my skepticism.  Sometimes that 48th round draft pick will beat out that all-American higher-priced first-round pick, when they are put on the same field, with nothing but talent separating them.  It was not Obama who recently said Iraq borders Pakistan, It was not Obama who confused the Sunni and Shia, or that thinks Czechoslovakia is still a country.

 

Those on the right like to call Barack Obama a naïve idealist when it comes to foreign policy, but it was Obama who put the importance of Afghanistan and Al Qaeda in Pakistan over year ago? It was not John McCain. The McCain followers like to say that Obama’s recent trip to Iraq would not have been possible if it not for John McCain’s surge.  They are quick to point out that Obama voted against the surge.  Barack Obama voted against escalation of the war, and he had the judgment against this war in the first place.  He voted against more money and more lives being lost in this mission.  The surge did help bring down the violence in Baghdad but so did a lot of other factors.

 

1) The 2006 elections allowed George Bush to throw Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld under the bus.

2) The administration's back was against the wall, and had to change course.

3) Iraqi Shi'ite leader Sayed Moqtada al-Sadar exited to Iran as US troops started coming in.

4) Ethnic cleansing caused over 2 million Iraqis to flee the country.

5) The Iraqi Sunnis finally woke up to the fact that Al Qaeda was not their friend.

 

Barack Obama may just be that true realist when it comes to foreign policy.