Saturday, December 15, 2007
Huckabee confirms worst fears re his foreign policy inexperience
I'm taking a very short break from my blogging sabbatical just to express a moment of disgust:
This — from a foreign affairs white paper purportedly written by GOP presidential candidate "Michael D. Huckabee" and entitledAmerica's Priorities in the War on Terror: Islamists, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan" — is just awful:
Summary: The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. In particular, it should focus on eliminating Islamist terrorists, stabilizing Iraq, containing Iran, and toughening its stance with Pakistan.
The first two sentences (emphasis mine) are Kumbaya diplomacy at its most deplorable, and if the candidate really believes them, then he's far too naïve to become president — at least as the GOP nominee. Anyone who really thinks that the problems of the world boil down to American unwillingness to "open up [and] reach out" is an irredeemable idiot.
Unfortunately, the balance of the article after that summary is also riddled with platitudes and soft-headed mush. Some of the platitudes are nominally "conservative" in tone, and Huckabee gets a few substantive points right, but that's almost (it seems) by accident, or in contradiction to other themes. His Obamaesque policy toward Pakistan is reckless and feckless (and even if it were wise to pursue, it would not be wise to telegraph). I agree with many (but not quite all) of the criticisms of this paper leveled or quoted by Dr. James Joyner on Outside the Beltway, and I found another jaw-dropper there in this NYT quote:
At lunch, when I asked [Huckabee] who influences his thinking on foreign affairs, he mentioned Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, and Frank Gaffney, a neoconservative and the founder of a research group called the Center for Security Policy. This is like taking travel advice from Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, but the governor seemed unaware of the incongruity.
Friedman is a well-meaning crackpot who just barely manages to beat the stopped-clock accuracy rate (twice a day), and with even less profundity. I guess this means that Huckabee was one of several dozen Times Select subscribers. So is he also going to be influenced in the White House by Maureen Dowd?
I know that Huckabee is having to assemble a foreign policy platform on the fly and without any substantial experience in the field. But the fact that he's chosen to engage in mindless (and in my view, very badly unjustified) Bush-bashing in the lead sentences of his most important foreign policy statement troubles me a great deal. He literally doesn't know what he's talking about himself, and he's obviously repeating things from others who are either equally as clueless or else affirmatively hostile to at least some of the basic tenets that have characterized Republican presidential foreign policy for many decades.
I want a GOP candidate to identify with and promise to emulate Teddy Roosevelt, not Franklin. This article is enough to ensure that Huckabee won't get my vote in a GOP primary.
Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Huckabee confirms worst fears re his foreign policy inexperience and sent a trackback ping are listed here:
» Confused & Concerned About Huckabee from Flopping Aces
Tracked on Dec 15, 2007 5:17:35 PM
(1) Christoph made the following comment | Dec 15, 2007 4:24:09 PM | Permalink
Huckabee concerns me greatly especially on foreign policy where I believe he believes Jesus of Nazareth’s teachings are meant for foreign policy decisions.
It’s TOTALLY funny. He believes America should be nicer to other countries, including Iran.
He’s such a fool. I participated in the web chat and BlogTalk Radio interview where he was being interviewed by Ed Morrissey. I wanted Ed to ask Huckabee whether he could approve the release and use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. He said he’d try to, but never asked this question.
When Governor of an American state, he granted clemency (like a pardon or forgiveness) to over 700 criminals. Many went on to commit other crimes. Why did he do this? That’s what Jesus would have done.
And this man… may well win an election and be in charge of American nuclear forces. Which would leave you vulnerable to Iran. And also to Russia’s power-mad leader, Vladimir Putin.
You need a strong man and instead the party you support looks likely to elect a man who believes Jesus of Nazareth’s teachings were meant to apply to countries. Yes, that’s funny. I mean, don’t you think that’s funny?
You need a leader who isn’t so controlled by his faith he couldn’t order the use of nuclear weapons, including in a major strike role, taking out Russian strategic industrial and military assets, plus their offensive nuclear capability.
Is Mike Huckabee such a man? I don’t think so. Yet the Republicans — the strong on defense party — seem to want this man to be their leader. A lot of Republicans are disgusted and if he wins your nomination, they will vote for a third party candidate or a Democrat instead of this man.
When you had the weak President, Jimmy Carter, in office, the Russians had the foolish blowhard, Leonid Breshnev, in power. He was selfish and he cared more about his own skin than anything else. Which is good.
Now they have Putin. Hard as nails KGB, rules like a Czar, willing to kill his political opponents for power, physically fit and self-disciplined. And against Vladimir Putin you would put in power a weak man who follows Jesus’ teachings when applied to countries? I couldn’t imagine such a thing. But apparently, that’s what Republicans plan on doing… many of them.
Why would you put up such a weak foolish man against Putin? I have no idea. I just don’t understand it. You must maintain the capability and willingness for war if there is to be peace and security.
Russia has massive oil revenue and their power mad, cult-like leader Putin, with his pro-Putin youth movements, intends on replenishing their forces. Fine. But you need someone willing, at least, to use force if necessary to contain them. But Mike Huckabee is a fanatic Jesus-believing Baptist minister. Not a President.
But, by God, he’s leading the Republican primary and he just might become President.
So it’s in the foreign policy sense I refer to hims as a Democrat. And since he’s from Arkansas, who knows? Maybe he’ll give Willy Jeff a go of it on the Supreme Court bench.
I’m kidding because Mike Huckabee is a decent man personally in many respects and is pro-life, something I admire.
Cross posted from a different thread at Patterico.com: "Bleccch."
Teddy handed Korea over to Japan even though America had sworn to defend it from Japanese aggression.
(3) Carol Herman made the following comment | Dec 15, 2007 6:12:34 PM | Permalink
Huckabee, like Obama, doesn't stand a chance of getting elected!
One of the things about a national campaign is that it has to reach OUT, across the board.
Right now, the republican party is lost in the thicket. Their best candidate, in terms of reaching out to mainstream voters, is Guiliani. And, he's been damaged by all the bending going on to appease the right wing.
Do you really think Americans will be tossing the Supreme Court into the lap of a man who has promised to appoint guaranteed judges who will vote against Roe?
Just in case you thought the democratic party is a dead party; they actually are not.
Hillary may even be benefitting, here. Because Obama rouses the fears most democrats have, of their party having been taken over UNPROFESSIONALLY, by fringe groups.
Doesn't matter if you're a republican. You wouldn't vote for a democract.
You might, however, vote for a "ross perot." Someone, ahead, loaded for bear, who makes a run for it. But how? The Larry King Show doesn't work, anymore.
But you can just spend so much time frustrating mainstream people, that I sometimes wonder on what foundation this fanatical stuff has been built?
Oh, and Bush won't come out a winnah, either. Not after he leaves office. And, the mess will be worse than the one done by Ken Lay.
(4) GeorgeH made the following comment | Dec 15, 2007 6:20:48 PM | Permalink
Why don't we just re-elect Jimmy Carter?
Two governors of small Southern States with indistinguishable foreign policies.
Obama actually stands a chance of getting elected -- of nominated.
Huckabee is a ten-car pile-up on the I-5.
(6) JRM made the following comment | Dec 16, 2007 2:24:54 AM | Permalink
*This* is the worst thing you can find out about Huckabee?
A soft-on-crime big-spending theocracy wasn't enough for you? Oh, and the fact that he's lying scum. That's not good either.
If you poke Huckabee on *any* issue, he's wrong, and deeply wrong.
If it ends up being Hillary v. Huckabee, a third-party candidate would have a better shot than Huckabee. Bleccch.
I agree on the TR!
Unfortunately there are those that have forgotten what he did and lead the party elsewhere. And they have forgotten the wisdom of "It is not the critic who counts..." given those many decades back. I see very few in TR's mold in the Republican party - who knew that standing up to big powers in society was so that the average man could gain good benefit without being beholden to such power. My guess is that he would lump the monopolists, large unions and transnational corporations together, so that the common man could find good, hard work to do for an honest day's wages. But then citizenship is a duty to those who see much in TR... not something that needs 'entitlement programs'.
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