Quotable

From Mohammed, at Iraq the Model, on the Status of Forces agreement:

I don’t dare suggest that Obama wanted to obstruct the treaty because it threatens Iran and other despots in the Middle East; I’m sure his purpose is different. The thing is that his purpose is also different from that of the U.S. or of Iraq — two friendly states looking forward to building long-lasting cooperation based on shared interests and mutual respect. We want victory in the war; Obama wants victory in elections — this is the problem.

I’m not sure how or if people here think the treaty might affect the presidential race, but in Iraq and the Middle East people think that signing the treaty before elections would be regarded as a victory for Republicans that could propel McCain to the White House. Again Iran and many in the Middle East don’t want McCain to be in the White House. I guess that’s one thing they have in common with Obama. [emphasis mine]

There are many voices from abroad I take seriously about our politics, but this still surprised me. A friend has suggested that someone knows how to say the right things, but I don’t know – there are plenty of good reasons to favor Obama if you think Iraq can handle its own security. What is stunning is the ability to conceive of the Presidency as a foreign-policy position primarily – given how notably absent that is from our day-to-day discussions here, part of me wants to hand citizenship out like it was candy. We could use some voters that are yearning less for free-market or anarcho-socialist utopias, and realize the full truth of Madison’s dictum: “compact is the essence of free government.”

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