While Senator Barack Obama flawlessly wrapped up a highly successful tour of the Mideast and Europe last week and helped to raise up respect for the United States after the frictional foreign policy of George Bush with many states in Europe, John McCain managed to make two very bad decisions on foreign policy matters on Friday that should alarm every American.
John McCain announced that he intended to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in Israel if elected. This is explosively dangerous and could trigger a huge conflict with Israel in the Mideast and tear apart any peace efforts by Israel and the Palestinians.
While it is certainly historically correct that Jerusalem was always the genuine and true capital of the ancient Jewish kingdoms of Judea and Samaria and that the Palestinians really have no legitimate historic role as claiming this city as their own, still the effect would be so explosive to establish Jerusalem as the capital city, that it would only explode the Mideast.
In ancient times, the Jewish states of Judea and Samaria were overrun by Babylon and the Romans as well as other invaders. Yet historically, the Jewish people may be correct in many wanting to confer a capital status on Jerusalem, but for political reasons, the far less politically controversial city of Tel Aviv is instead used. Jerusalem features the vital al-Asqa Mosque, central to the Muslim faith, which holds a special connection to Muhammad himself.
John McCain would only throw a match into an explosion of Muslim anger if he would choose to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the U.S. would lose all clout among all Muslims worldwide and the level of anger this could generate could be incredible. If McCain claims to be a wise or experienced leader, then this certainly proves the opposite to be true. McCain was attempting to pander for the votes of a few very orthodox Jews who want to make Jerusalem the capital city of their state, regardless of the serious political risks of this, and if the U.S. moves it's embassy, then it would only help to fuel this capital shift which will almost certainly create a worldwide Muslim conflict with Israel. Nothing could be more dangerous than this. McCain just doesn't understand this issue at all.
Earlier Friday, McCain also met with the Dalai Lama. Again this sends another foreign policy signal that is not very helpful either. As important as the support for religious freedom is, and expressing support for all religious leaders, McCain simply cannot lose sight that the cooperation of the U.S. and China is so vital in the talks to disarm North Korea as well as to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and many other issues.
China is far more cooperative with the U.S. than Russia, largely due to so much trade between the two nations. And with the 2008 Summer Olympic Games only a few days away, McCain sends a signal that could only encourage disruptive protests and other problems that could damage or overshadow these games or the ability of China to control violence or terrorism during the games. McCain sends a signal not helpful to maintaining good public order at this critical time with so many important security arrangement related to the games.
While critics of China's policy towards Tibet may think that using the Olympics to make their case for Tibet is their best bet. In some ways it is. But in many other ways, the U.S. can better continue to constructively engage China on this issue while working hard to keep Chinese cooperation on so many other important matters. But McCain sent another confusing signal about foreign policy, if he is elected, and with so many of his "Cold Warrior" leanings, one cannot but be alarmed that McCain just might be willing to sacrifice good relations with China for side issues such as Tibet. This presents a serious danger if it's so.
And McCain is certainly known to be more pro war with Iran, taking a much tougher stand than even Bush on this serious foreign policy situation. This should in itself be alarming enough to keep McCain out of the White House, as McCain could very easily make Iran the next big war. a vote for McCain could literally be a vote in favor of a new and big war with Iran. Iran has already proven that it would sponsor terrorism to kill American civilians right here at home in response to any such war with their nation, which raises very serious stakes for any such war with Iran. A cycle of violence over in Iran, and against Americans here in this country similar to 9/11, would only feed on itself with deadly results.
Last week, Obama proved that he could work well with foreign leaders, and favors a return to a more centrist foreign policy compared to the hard right turn under Bush that has only resulted in political isolation for the U.S., few major foreign policy results, and the major mistake of Iraq, as well as political conditions to set into motion the largest worldwide inflation in oil prices ever witnessed. Obama looks to be able to bring American foreign policy back towards both reasonableness and moderation.
Some say that pilots often make very poor presidential candidates. They are used to flying alone and don't always work very well with others, instead usually only trusting in their own judgment.
George McGovern and John McCain are both living proof of that as both of these pilots have made plenty of bad political decisions for their disastrous campaigns, and Friday was yet another bad day in the McCain campaign, with two serious examples of how the John McCain Administration's foreign policy could actually be far worse than the awful George Bush Administration's foreign policy. McCain certainly didn't display either the judgement or wisdom to be president this past Friday.
Some in the public simply need to get way past the heroic life story of John McCain being shot down in a plane as a pilot and being captured as a POW, and realize that this simply does not make McCain any sort of foreign policy expert or the very best man for the presidency. You can admire the life story of John McCain. But that simply doesn't mean that he has the best judgment to understand many vital issues. There was plenty to alarm anyone in what John McCain did this last Friday.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!