Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Obama's Anti-Terrorism Man

Assemble a good team.

Barack Obama's ear about anti-terrorism policies, and I'm relieved to report that he is Bruce Riedel, a respected Near East expert, not some crackpot from the George Soros wing of the Democratic Party. You may disagree with Riedel, but you cannot cavalierly dismiss his views; he has impressive credentials and no perceived patriotism problem like the candidate himself. Riedel's former employer, the CIA, lined his chest with some of its most distinguished medals.

He, as president, and we will need practical people who can get the job done, and not ideologues who talk the right talk and set us up for disaster.

Riedel, who earlier advised Democratic presidential hopeful Bill Richardson, the garrulous governor of New Mexico, likely would be a key member of an Obama administration. This is evidence that the candidate, in addition to being able to attract voters, has the know-how to build a credible and effective foreign-policy team. Obama's disastrous flirtation with Jim Johnson, the man he selected to vet vice presidential candidates, prevents me from declaring that Riedel is evidence of the candidate's broader ability to construct an effective governing team.

Good points.

That Obama is listening seriously to the man shows that the candidate is not a reincarnation of some 1970s flower-power flake, as some of his foes would have you believe. Instead, he is someone who appreciates the strategic, focused application of U.S. force in the ongoing war against al Qaeda.

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