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Saturday, December 15, 2007

A "Hucked Up" Foreign Policy

Mike Huckabee: Not ready for prime time!

Until recently, I was prepared to like GOP Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. His folksy, humorous way in the presidential debates was refreshing. But he is the first to admit that he has little foreign policy experience. He recently joked: "I may not be the expert that some people are on foreign policy, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

Sorry Mike, but we are not electing a Quipper in Chief, but a Commander in Chief charged with the most serious life and death responsibilities. And from the piece below, it's clear I'd say Huckabee hasn't done much deep thinking on the issue either.
America's Priorities in the War on Terror
Islamists, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan
By Michael D. Huckabee
Foreign Affairs , January/February 2008

Summary: The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. In particular, it should focus on eliminating Islamist terrorists, stabilizing Iraq, containing Iran, and toughening its stance with Pakistan.
Read the whole thing. Huckabee goes on to describe how we need to take the Islamist threat seriously, but also reach out to moderate Muslims and foster democracy. What did he do? Visit the White House web site, pick out one of President Bush's strategy papers, scratch Bush's name off the plan and write his own at the top?

But Huckabee doesn't just parrot Bush Administration talking points. He's all for making nice with Iran and invading Pakistan. Hmmm... heard that before too haven't we? (here and here). If GOP voters were so keen on voting for Obama's naive, weak and dangerous foreign policy they still have time to re-register and vote in the Democrat primaries.

Not content to parrot Bush or Obama, Huckabee also steals a page from the McCain playbook by re-running the "not enough troops in Iraq" bit and saying we should have supported the plan by General Eric Shinseki, the former army chief of staff who recommended sending hundreds of thousands more troops into Iraq from the beginning. Hindsight may be wonderful, but it's not leadership.

But what makes me even madder is how Huckabee's article is being reported:
Huckabee Sees WH 'Bunker Mentality'
By LIBBY QUAID

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Mike Huckabee, who has joked about his lack of foreign policy experience, is criticizing the Bush administration's efforts, denouncing a go-it-alone "arrogant bunker mentality" and questioning decisions on Iraq.

Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor now running for the Republican presidential nomination, lays out a policy plan that is long on optimism but short on details in the January-February issue of the journal Foreign Affairs, which is published by the Council on Foreign Relations. A copy of his article was released Friday.

"American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out," Huckabee said. "The Bush administration's arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. My administration will recognize that the United States' main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists."

In one specific criticism, Huckabee said Bush did not send enough troops to invade Iraq. And he accused the president of marginalizing Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, who said at the outset of the war that it might take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to control Iraq after the invasion. "I would have met with Shinseki privately and carefully weighed his advice," Huckabee said.
I can't tell you how mad this made me. President Bush has undertaken one of the most difficult and boldest national security programs in the last 50 years. At every step along the way his efforts have been obstructed by blind Democrat oppostion to nearly every policy that has been so successful in keeping this nation safe during the years since the September 11th attacks.

Huckabee's words are a personal insult to those of us who have poured both heart and soul into support for President Bush and stood by him on the road to VICTORY when others were abandoning him for political gain.

Besides, as pointed out above, we already have one candidate in the GOP race who has been on the record with many of these points for years: John McCain. And at least McCain's got solid national security experience. We don't need another Bush critic in the GOP race.

When it comes to Huckabee: JUST SAY NO!

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