At the beginning of the column, after reading Sen. Obama's campaign statements he's comparing Sen. Obama to Noam Chomsky:
Hezbollah is one of the world’s most radical terrorist organizations. Over the last week or so, it has staged an armed assault on the democratic government of Lebanon.After being granted an interview with the Hon. Obama, with a few statements about H.W. Bush and "realism", Brooks forgets completely about what the campaign said earlier, and Sen. Obama is now Jim Baker:
Barack Obama issued a statement in response. He called on “all those who have influence with Hezbollah” to “press them to stand down.” Then he declared, “It’s time to engage in diplomatic efforts to help build a new Lebanese consensus that focuses on electoral reform, an end to the current corrupt patronage system, and the development of the economy that provides for a fair distribution of services, opportunities and employment.”
That sentence has the whiff of what President Bush described yesterday as appeasement. Is Obama naïve enough to think that an extremist ideological organization like Hezbollah can be mollified with a less corrupt patronage system and some electoral reform? Does he really believe that Hezbollah is a normal social welfare agency seeking more government services for its followers? Does Obama believe that even the most intractable enemies can be pacified with diplomacy? What “Lebanese consensus” can Hezbollah possibly be a part of?
If Obama believes all this, he’s not just a Jimmy Carter-style liberal. He’s off in Noam Chomskyland.
“This is not an argument between Democrats and Republicans,” he [Obama] concluded. “It’s an argument between ideology and foreign policy realism. I have enormous sympathy for the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush. I don’t have a lot of complaints about their handling of Desert Storm. I don’t have a lot of complaints with their handling of the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
In the early 1990s, the Democrats and the first Bush administration had a series of arguments — about humanitarian interventions, whether to get involved in the former Yugoslavia, and so on. In his heart, Obama talks like the Democrats of that era, viewing foreign policy from the ground up. But in his head, he aligns himself with the realist dealmaking of the first Bush. Apparently, he’s part Harry Hopkins and part James Baker.
I think the Obama campaign thinks they can fool the American people with this one-two punch (super liberal/appeasement-type statements from the campaign... moderate/realist/soothing statements from St. Obama), and no one will be the wiser. David, I thought you were better than that...