He drew crowds of hundreds of thousands. He made the newspaper’s top fold almost daily. World leaders flocked to his side for photo shoots. If you read the front page last week, you would think both America and the world elected Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaProgressives say go big and make life hard for GOP Biden giving stiff-arm to press interviews Jill Biden campaigns for McAuliffe in Virginia MORE (D-Ill.) as their 43rd president. But if you stop and read the speeches and statements he made, you’d recognize that his foreign policy positions are quite inconsistent, something that should concern American voters. After all, it’s not the Germans he’s trying to court, but red-blooded Yanks. My debriefing would read something like this:

July 19
The Democratic nominee began his tour in Afghanistan, visiting troops and speaking with leaders. Great photo-op. But why would any potential commander in chief state his position on Afghanistan (or any country, for that matter) and then travel there to somehow affirm his preconceived beliefs? I know he’s good, but is he now invoking the gift of prophecy? Let’s not forget this is the same sitting legislator who presides over a committee in the Congress charged with the affairs of Afghanistan, yet he held not one hearing on the matter, deferring instead to the “full committee.” Not exactly what I’d call a profile in leadership. The moral of that trip? Nice place to visit, but only if your opponent dares you to …

July 21
The next stop on his trip landed him in Iraq, where he met with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (more feel-good footage), who concurred with the senator that America should withdraw her troops by 2010. Although the catalyst for withdrawal was due largely to President Bush’s troop surge, Sen. Obama repeatedly refused to acquiesce that minor detail. How does he possibly square that circle? Even the nation’s leading newspapers (Obamacons, all) acknowledge that it is the surge that lets the senator’s 16-month redeployment look even remotely plausible.

July 23
From Iraq, the now experienced world traveler moved into Israel. In order to appease Israeli leadership, he reverted from his previous statements that he would meet with antagonistic leaders in his first year as president. In my estimation, Sen. Obama’s back-and-forth on Jerusalem and this “final status” issue was his single largest misstep of this trip. He doesn’t think there’s a problem with his waffling, but there is, and it will continue to haunt him with the Jewish vote here in the States.

For Obama’s campaign, a lot of things went right on this trip optically. But for American diplomacy, there were some significant stumbles and gaffes. When voters are debriefed, they deserve the whole story — balanced and unvarnished.




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