Visit the Archives for U.S. Politics Online -- U.S. Politics Online . net
I don't think Netanyahu's position is completely reasonable. First, the idea that Israel is indefensible with the 1967 border is fools gold. If Israel incorporated the West Bank altogether, it would not be defensible in the way he insincerely suggests it would be. Even the current Israeli Ambassador could tell you that:
YouTube - Michael Oren on War
Nor did the 1967 borders mean Israel was indefensible. It even got the West Bank by kicking ass.
It's about the settlements and especially desires to own Jerusalem entirely as part of a religious/cultural desire. The 'indefensible' claim by him was mostly pretext for that.
As for the Arab hardliners, sure they exist. But amongst the bulk are those wanting a settlement. So long as Israel is settling and controlling the West Bank, West Bank people will take any ally they can get on their own streets or outside. It's common sense they'll do so.
Other fights once deemed intractable have gotten solved by reaching settlements deemed fair or at least fair enough. These deals alienate hardliners and even get average joes against them, fearing they'll jeopardise the deal they can now live with.
And even if that's still going to be a hard process--and it will--Israel gets no benefit without taking those steps for domestic, neighbouring and international benefits to its situation. It can either expect what's going on now to be perpetual, or it can seek to eradicate all people from the West Bank and make it's situation likely worse in reactions, or it can make a deal with them and gather more friends it needs than foes it doesn't.
And even without knowing fully what it was all about, Cain STILL came down in the same place as the administration!
For example, on my cable, to transit manually through news channels, I have to pass through religious ones. Israel is always prominent in them. On the Evangelical ones, a large number of those types are very pro-Zionist and pro-Israel in a hardline way but for a different reason: they actually want this fight there because they believe it will lead to the Second Coming. Talk about standing up for Israel's security...geez...they want it in Armaggedon and creating the conditions for that so their big JC can come down riding a white horse and stuff like that. Many Muslim hardliners would like to accommodate those desires for the same result..the alleged Second Coming of JC (Isa). IMO, it's some really scary stuff of self-fulfilling prophecies there. And then there's some Jewish hardliners also citing religious screeds for West Bank settling. I'm as likely to find American Zionists out on the West Bank settling and looking to stir shit with the locals or other stuff there as anywhere, including inside the US in policy decision favouring that in, IMO, a severe conflict of interest in what is actually in the US' best interests.
However the larger question isn't his answer, but the manner of his answer. He is an outsider. He has got to learn a good way to say "That is too important a question for an off the cuff answer. I need to learn more about it. I will get back to you on Tuesday" and then do it. The voters will accept that, if it is worded properly.
"There is no gain in arguing with a poo flinging monkey. While his
gibbering and raucous cries of victory may seem obnoxious in your ears
as you walk away, he will soon be quietly sitting behind his bars again
and licking his own feces off his fingers as you carry on with your day."
You're going for high standards of professional politics, not high standards of actual intelligence and knowledge. I've been following Cain for awhile and his intelligence and knowledge of the issues is well above average. But foreign policy is a weakness for him. But then it's a weakness for almost everyone who runs for President. The good news about foreign policy is that it's the one issue that lends itself well to instincts and moral values, as opposed to economic issues, where our instincts are usually wrong and morals have little to do with what works well.Again, though, my issue goes with the low standards existing on picking candidates. That what you said is often true is indicative to me that it's a problem.
The problem with Gingrich is that he knew plenty about the issue, but is so unself-aware he didn't have any clue what HE thought about it.
Being ill-informed on foreign policy is not acceptable and has repeatedly harmed the US. It is not just on the economics side--it's also those who 'wing it' using instincts and moral values which, to be expected, would be biased to American perspectives on that. If people do not understand the subject matter on something, they will be prone to errors in decisions they make regarding it. Since I mentioned the Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren beforehand, he'll tell you that and why in this clip as to why that approach consistently fails and especially in US Middle East policy:
YouTube - Michael Oren - America's Historical Views of the Middle East
If you wish to peruse that some more, you can find more synopsis here in brief:
Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present
It's imperative that American politicians know the areas in which they are getting involved and make decisions according to the realities of them.
I do indeed place a high standard for professional politics. In fact, regarding the question he blew, it's not like US media tests politicians, all part of the low expectations and standards of US media and voters. Just look at how politicians in other nations get cross-examined by journalists...they're expected to be grilled and perform accordingly. If they try to dodge that or fail in those grillings, then voters hold them accountable. In the US, it's the opposite and that's dumbing down the whole process here IMO.
Last edited by O'Sullivan Bere; 05-23-2011 at 12:47 AM.
Even Clinton wasn't all that knowledgeable about foreign policy issues, and in his first term he was actually impatient with the idea that he should even have to worry about foreign policy. Israel excepted of course, since peace agreements make for awesome photo ops.
As a matter of fact, the only President who came into office with extensive foreign policy knowledge got his butt kicked out after one term for.... concentrating too much on foreign policy.
As for the President, he is fairly well-informed, and I don't see how he wouldn't know about Camp David because on the spot he is very able-minded and shows a pretty strong grasp of world events.
You can complain about any number of issues you think Obama is wrong about, but it just doesn't stick if you try to call him stupid since the evidence points to the contrary far too much of the time, whether you're a liberal or a conservative.
The only problem I see with Cain's answer is that he doesn't seem to care too much about the issue. If you're going to run for President, you have to take in every question asked of you and actually show that you're interested in the issue at hand even if personally it isn't something that matters much to you.
Too bad he can't manage his sex drive...his one big downfall where he joins the ranks of so many others who can't, just thinking of Schwartzenegger, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the reason why there's a special election this week in New York for a House Representative seat that are being currently covered in the news.
But Clinton was unique. Most Presidents are more interested in politics than policy. That's also true of 99% of Congressmen. They live to be in politics and practice politics. Obama has shown little interest in the hard work of actually running an administration. There's been no indication that things in the federal government are working better than they did under Bush. Under Clinton, we saw a lot of major improvements and a lot of money was saved, and crap didn't go wrong very much. Even FEMA seemed to work okay, something which we started to take for granted despite the fact that FEMA didn't work too well under anyone before Clinton and hasn't worked well since.
Cain, if there's one thing you can count on with him, it's that he'll care about making the government he runs work properly.
During his campaign he pledged to send a peace envoy to Ireland and to help fix that problem, which he did. He remains a superstar there for having visited three times as President, which is three times more than any other President up to that point.
Ireland was a huge success for him.
In his first term he lifted the embargo on Vietnam and normalized trade-relations with them again.
His policy on North Korea was successful until it was totally abandoned by the Bush administration. When the Americans left, the North Koreans got right back to being up to no good.
Somalia was a disaster, but Bosnia and Kosovo and Haiti were huge successes.
Clinton's work in regards to Africa was also important and the following administration appreciated it enough to carry it on.
As a student, Clinton went on an exchange program to Russia. His interest in foreign affairs even in his youth is well-documented.
Bill Clinton remains the most popular American politician in the world because of his interest in the world, and although he made a misstep in Somalia, that whole situation was pretty FUBAR anyway and could have happened to any President.
More than Somalia. Bosnia and Rwanda were disastrous, although Bosnia went on long enough that he was eventually redeemed. Too late to save 200,000 souls unfortunately.
Clinton learned quickly. But he did not gain extensive foreign policy knowledge until well into his campaign, possibly well into his first term. On Haiti, he actually spoke without knowing what he was talking about. He condemned the Bush policy of returning Haitian refugees home, then had to keep that policy when his advisors showed him satellite photos of Haitians taking their houses apart to make boats in anticipation of Clinton letting them come. He was warned that thousands of Haitians would die making the attempt.
Clinton also mouthed off on China policy a lot during the campaign, but again, continued Bush's policies there.
Clinton is well liked because he's a genuinely good guy. Obama's a cold fish and quite the narcissist.