Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Double Talk in the Mideast

After what must have been awkward conversations in Kabul with President Hamid Karzai, who he last week said "has not gotten out of the bunker and helped organize Afghanistan and government, the judiciary, police forces, in ways that would give people confidence," Barack Obama has arrived in Baghdad to consult with Nouri al-Maliki, who agrees with his timetable for American troop withdrawal--sort of, maybe, depending.

The Iraqi Prime Minister turned into a tower of jello this weekend at first publicly backing Obama's proposal and then, after a call from the US Embassy "to express concern and seek clarification," said he had been misinterpreted.

What Obama is learning first-hand on this trip will surely have less to do with Mideast policy than the serpentine course of politics in that part of the world, where friends, allies and enemies are subject to variable definitions at a moment's notice.

The national leaders he's meeting have to walk a line between six more months of dependence on the Bush Administration and the prospect that the money and military aid crucial to their political survival may depend on Obama's totally different mindset next year.

If Karzai and al-Maliki, to say nothing of American diplomats and military commanders, are running true to form, the potential new Commander-in-Chief is hearing a lot about how well we're doing now along with promises to do even better under policies 180 degrees from those now in place.

The chief benefit from Obama's "fact-finding" trip may be a glimmer of who in the cast of characters will give him some semblance of frankness amid all the double talk he will be hearing. It's a safe bet that there won't be much.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a sister next to him on one photo on the cnn main page.. I thought OK, then I click on the article and there is another sister on the next article's photo... Are there only blacks fighting in the middle east wars?
Since we know that the race issue is not an issue for him.
If he is elected, he won't replace half the cabinet with blacks just to get better %, like many companies -have to - right??

This is the 3rd election what the Americans mess up. People are getting dumb by the year.(watch Idiocracy) First Florida, second the voting machines, and now the Celebrity Afro guy... Who has good ideas, here and there has a decent speech, saw him once he couldn't spit out a full sentence though, but the republicans knew one thing, they have better chance to win against Obama than Clinton. Now those who voted for her either will stay home or vote for the other guy. Nice job from the Dem. party. Clinton should have been president and Obama VP, then the next election he could run and with a little (actual) experience without a decent rep candidate he could easily won.
Well, greed and ego were bigger.
We'll see who will pay for that...