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So who's the naive and dangerous one?

John McCain has repeatedly disparaged Barack Obama's foreign policy beliefs, calling him "naive" and "dangerous" for insisting that we need to first use diplomacy and direct talks in dealing with hostile enemies such as Iran and the Taliban. McCain also regularly cites his admiration for General David Petraeus' judgment and capabilities. Which made me quite delighted to read this item, as noted by Think Progress:

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS -- GEN. PETRAEUS SAYS 'YOU HAVE TO TALK TO ENEMIES': The Bush administration has long scorned talking to geopolitical enemies, notoriously referring to such diplomatic engagement as "appeasement." But speaking yesterday at the Heritage Foundation, CentCom chief Gen. David Petraeus, encouraged diplomacy. Citing his Iraq experience, Petraeus said, "You have to talk to enemies." "He added that it was necessary to have a particular goal for discussion and to perform advance work to understand the motivations of his interlocutors," according to the Washington Independent. A draft version of the new National Intelligence Estimate concludes that Afghanistan is in a "downward spiral" and casts serious doubt on the ability of the Afghan government to stem the rise in the Taliban's influence there. Petraeus encouraged diplomacy to tackle the violence. "Negotiations with some members of the Taliban could provide a way to reduce violence in sections of Afghanistan gripped by an intensifying insurgency," he said. He noted how Britain had helped reduce violence in Iraq through negotiations, stating, "They've sat down with thugs throughout their history, including us in our early days."

So even though his hero Petraeus thinks diplomacy comes first, I highly doubt McCain will change his hardline rhetoric.

October 9, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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