Barack Obama has yet to visit Iraq. That is a remarkable thing to say about a major Presidential candidate this late in the election season. John McCain offered to put together a joint trip so they could both go and meet with General Petraeus and talk to some of our soldiers there, but Obama refused. He said it was a stunt. He then said he’d “consider” a trip sometime before November. How magnanimous of him.
Just so we have this straight, let me sum it up. Obama refuses to meet with General Petraeus about how our soldiers in Iraq are doing (soldiers that he, by the way, wants very much to command). ON the other hand, he’s all for traveling anywhere in the world to have a nosh with tyrants without a moment’s concern. That’s his position, regardless of how he hems and haws when he’s tacked to the wall on it.
So forget McCain and his Iraq trip. Instead, go meet with Iran, Senator. If “now is the time to pressure Iran directly”, and if you think they would be amenable to your blandishments, set it up. You can lay the groundwork for some of that important diplomacy you’ll need to do once you’re elected. Get all that awkward “wipe-Israel-off-the-map” business out of the way so you can get down to uranium tacks.
Frankly, your foreign policy campaign has mostly just been “I’m not George Bush”. Well, here’s your chance to prove it.
Do the photo-op. Do the handshake. Do the tours. Do the full Sean Penn. What have you got to lose?
So be a leader. Take the plunge. If you really believe your rhetoric, then go meet with Ahmadinejad in Iran next month. Tell him how important it is that he stop funding terrorism, and that he abandon his nuclear program.
I’m completely in favor of this. As see-dubya points out, it’ll take a lot less prep work for him to go there now then it will when he’s President. It’ll also be the perfect opportunity for him to put his money where his mouth is. If he really thinks that meeting with Mad Mahmoud will impress the world because it’ll show our kindness and leadership, then he shouldn’t hesitate. He should go there this coming week. Spend a few days getting the full tour. See if they’ll take him by the gallows where they execute gays and teenaged girls, too. What a photo-op that’d make!
Maybe he could get a meeting with the leader of Hezbollah, too, while he’s there picking up another shipment of bombs headed for Iraq or another big, fat check to buy weapons and men to kill American soldiers. Wouldn’t that be a great photo at the convention.
Okay, Senator. It’s time to put up or shut up. You want to meet with tyrants? Meet one. Meet one this week.