Posted by: minnow | October 12, 2008

McCain vs Obama: Foreign Policy

I like too many Americans thought at the time that we should go into Iraq, find the weapons of mass destruction, and depose Saddam Hussein.  I did not think through what the ramifications of a preemptive war would be and I am sorry I did not. Six years later I realize going in was a bad decision.  Having no plan once we got there was an even worse decision.  That said, what should America do now?  Clearly Senator Obama and Senator McCain differ strongly on this issue. 


Senator Obama says he would begin immediately to withdraw our troops and they would all be out within sixteen months.  The war in Iraq from an American point of view would be over.  He also says he would commit more troops to Afghanistan and finding Osama Bin laden.  He has indicated that Iran must not be allowed to get nuclear weapons and does not take the military option off the table.  And, he is willing to explore what the United States should do in situations like Darfur, including possible military action.  That any kind of humanitarian military action would be acceptable to Congress however, is questionable.  Still it is the right thing to say and is echoed by his opponent.


John McCain insists he will not telegraph his exit strategy for Iraq.  He maintains it is vitally important for the stability of the region to leave a stable Iraq.  He vows not to leave until the generals on the ground deam the situation stable and he is willing to commit to a long term (diplomatic) presence  in the country.  He is not as clear about his plans for Afghanistan but swears that he will find Osama Bin laden and bring him to justice.  He too believes Iran must not be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons.  In addition to warnings about Iran Senator McCain believes we must keep a check on Russia and its apparent desire to rebuild the old empire as evidenced by its aggression toward Georgia.


Perhaps even more than the different ways in which these two men see various foreign policy issues is the attitude they take toward foreign policy altogether.  While Senator Obama believes America has a poor reputation that needs to be restored and thinks admitting our mistakes and making nice will cause the rest of the world to have a better opinion of the United Stated and thus play fair, Senator McCain had a different approach.  He already sees America as one of the strongest humanitarian forces in the world and given our response of aid to various parts of the world facing natural disasters this may be a fair assessment.  Senator McCain also seems to believe that speaking softly and carrying a big stick is more effective that big words and little action.  He understands that we need to work with our allies as much as possible to restore trust but is leery of signing treaties that limit our options as a sovereign nation.  He is equally aware of Russia’s and China’s veto power in the UN Security Council.


Both candidates have talked about world hunger, international debt reduction, fair trade, immigration and global warming.  These are only some of the issues our world faces as we try to determine which of these two men will make the better next president of the United States.  In his primary campaign Senator McCain often called attention to the ONE Campaign during his town hall meetings and his wife, Cindy, has used her influence to draw even more attention to ONE Campaign efforts, traveling to various places in Africa on several occasions.  A strong proponent of Free Trade, Senator McCain has voted against trade barriers 88 percent of the time and for incentives 80 percent of the time.  Meanwhile, Senator Obama promises to double our commitment to fight HIV/AIDS, fully fund debt cancellation, and cut extreme poverty in half by 2015.  In all, Senator Obama’s foreign aid proposals will cost more than $100 billion dollars. 


My plea to voters across this nation is to please know where the person you decide to vote for plans to take this country.  Do not pick one issue and think nothing else matters.  Do not throw your hands up in the air and say they are both the same, or politicians never tell the truth, or only money ever gets a voice.  Do not let the media scare you or bully you or suggest you are doing something you know you are not—like voting for McCain because you are racist or voting for Obama because he is black.  With regard to foreign policy, these two men are a stark contrast to one another. 


I may have to eat my words from my last post when I was so angry that I said I would not  vote for either of these candidates.  I am still angry that Senator McCain voted for the bailout.  I am still angry that he did not denounce the bill as full of pork.  I wish he had sought a more creative and less costly solution even more now then when I first wrote about the bailout.  But, as I continue to study out the issues I am more and more aware of what could be at stake.  I do not believe Big Brother knows best.  So, I would choose not to fund massive government programs, run by heartless buercrats, who are often no where near the situations they are trying to manage.  Instead I prefer to give my money to Compassion International or The John 3:16 House, a local group home for homeless men who are an inch away from being in trouble with the law, which provides not only a bed but education and job training opportunities for the men this ministry serves.    I would rather give my money to para-Church organizations motivated by a desire to serve God and love His creation than trust politicians who use the things they do to get votes.  Where do you stand?



  1. I appreciate so much this information. I didn’t know a lot of these facts. It’s just hard to find concrete, un biased facts isn’t it?

    I hope you have a great rest of your weekend. Appreciate you!

  2. When will we stop helping others to be frank America needs help to stand on its legs. Hopefully Whoever wins this election should take steps to boost US economy and support its owns citizens first

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