February 20, 2008

Green Technology and Diplomacy

There was an article by Mona Charen posted a few days ago on townhall.com about Barack Obama called "Old Wine, New Bottle." It made a lot of false claims about his policies and intentions, so I posted the following comment to refute a couple of the most troubling misstatements.
First of all, Obama isn't advocating subsidizing environmentally friendly or "green" products. You're right, if there's a market for them, there's no need for subsidies. He's advocating investing in researching and developing alternative energy sources and technologies, and countering the recent influence of big oil. Big difference. When oil companies put all their considerable resources behind eliminating competition--as they did in the early 20th century by encouraging cities to get rid of streetcars and use buses instead--it can have a significant effect, and Obama wants to make sure we stop being so dependent on fossil fuels.

Also, I would say that the war on terrorists has been sorely neglected by President Bush, who stopped focusing on Afghanistan and the border areas of Pakistan, where Al Qaeda is actually based, in order to invade a country previously entirely unconnected with Bin Laden. Obama's stated goal is to refocus on finding Bin Laden, and eradicating his organization.

You also imply that Obama is unwilling to use military force in any situation, and will instead rely exclusively on diplomacy, the way that you claim Jimmy Carter did. First of all, Obama has said that he's not categorically opposed to all use of military force or all wars--just "dumb wars" and "rash wars...based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics." If you will remember, Carter hardly had a "diplomacy-only" approach. But his attempt to use military force to rescue the hostages in Iran was disastrous. It was his skill in diplomacy that finally secured their release.

Try telling the families of the 4,000 American dead and 29,000 wounded that the rush to invade Iraq was a good idea and that diplomacy is "misguided" and "senile."

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