Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Barak Obama: Preemptive Warrior?

There was something particularly interesting in Senator Obama's Houston speech tonight (Feb. 19, 2008). In it he addressed the responsibilities of the Commander-in Chief. He said, and I quote, "As your Commander-in-Chief my job will be to keep you safe.... And I WILL not hesitate to strike ANY who WOULD do us harm." (emphasis added).

This is very interesting language. The last sentence is the operative one. It is declarative and unambiguously states that he "WILL ... strike ANY who WOULD do us harm." Read that again. I made straight C's in English but "would" is used here to express intent. Said another way, any who INTEND to do us harm, he WILL not hesitiate to STRIKE. Am I crazy or does this not express, or at minimum imply, preemptive action to thwart violence planned (but not initiated) against us? I can't find anything on his website that supports the idea of pre-emptive action but this speech seems to indicate assent. I submitted a question at his website. We'll see if I get a response.

I don't know what this means. Is Obama more of a hawk than he appears? Is he beginning the process of moving his security position more to the middle as he appears more and more likely to get the nomination? I'd say no to the former and probably to the latter. He seems to take positions that are both hawkish and dovish. He wants to begin removing troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008 but wants to increase the size of the army and marines to fight the global war on terror. I've noticed this tendency to be sympathetic to both sides of an issue in several areas while reading parts of his book, "The Audacity of Hope".

One thing is certain, it was obvious from the relatively tepid applause that this was not as well received as the numerous rhetorical flourishes that followed which emphasized the need to end the war and bring our troops home.

I welcome some serious scrutiny of Mr. Obama. I believe we'll see more and more details coming out that will cast some doubt on his worthiness for this high office. But don't look for the mainstream press to bring light to his radical ideas. He will be portrayed by them as mainstream. Look to the blogosphere to break the big news. If big enough, the traditional press will have no choice but to run with it.

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