Thursday, November 13, 2008

World Leaders Quick to Press Obama on Foreign Policy

President-elect Obama's telephone has been ringing. A lot.

The Russians want him to hold off installation of a missile defense shield in Poland. The Europeans want him to renounce the idea of “regime change” when it comes to Iran, while the Israelis want to be sure he doesn’t give Iran a pass when it comes to nuclear weapons.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Taliban, which issued a statement this week urging him to “put an end to all the policies being followed by his Opposition Party, the Republicans, and pull out U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.”

There’s a world of advice out there for President-elect Barack Obama. Within minutes of his election on Nov. 4, the calls from foreign governments began, Obama aides say, and they haven’t stopped.

Hey, guys, Bush is still President.

While the first telephone exchanges between Mr. Obama and foreign leaders were limited to pledges of future cooperation and invitations to visit, those leaders and their underlings have also been contacting Mr. Obama’s advisers and their surrogates with suggestions for how an Obama administration should conduct, and change, American foreign policy.

Suggestions? Can't a president-elect make up his own mind?

British and French officials are urging the Obama team to work on the atmospherics before sitting down to talk with Iran, out of concern that Mr. Obama’s pledge to open talks with Iran without preconditions won’t work unless it is delicately plotted.

Just how naive do they think he is?

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