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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Friday, November 07, 2008

International reaction

The first wave of international reaction to Obama's victory was expectedly pleasant, congratulatory calls from world leaders and celebrations around the world, but now we get into the second wave of reaction, the global geopolitical readjustments as foreign governments try to sound out a new President and press their interests.

(FT) Russia threatens to place missiles adjacent to Poland to try and pressure Obama over missile defense.

(NYTimes) "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran sent an unusual letter congratulating President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday...." (Trying to start dialogue.)

(NYTimes) Iraqi politics is shifting as the Iranians are less fearful Obama would attempt regime change.

(Reuters) "Israel said on Thursday U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's stated readiness to talk to Iran could be seen in the Middle East as a sign of weakness in efforts to persuade Tehran to curb its nuclear program."

(Reuters) Another US missile strike in Pakistan.

(AP) Petraeus favors trying to arm up Afghani militias and (AP) the Bush admin is likely to support increasing US troops there.

Welcome to the Presidency, Senator.


  • I'm so sick of hearing about what Israel thinks. My breaking point with them was Rachel Corrie's murder.

    By Blogger matt, at 8:41 AM  

  • "Petraeus favors trying to arm up Afghani militias..."

    Isn't this how Bin Ladin got his start? Mujahadine? I thought Petraeus was a student of history.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:03 AM  

  • Matt, I don't really wat to start an argument (please,) but just kinda as a statement, I'm always kinda mixed on Israel. They do face some serious threats, so their hypervigilance is understandable, but at the same time, they also frequently go over the line.


    EPM, yes. sort of. Part of the reason they became Al Qaeda, Taleban or whatever is not only because the US armed them, but also because they fostered (and tilted the power structure) towards Islamic fundamentalism as their motivation. The US chose the fundamentalists as their fighters.

    In theory, we could do this differently, appealing instead to the more power hungry or money driven warlords which would have a different effect. (maybe back to narco state.)

    The biggest danger is that you're arming up factions against the goverment. In theory, you bring them into the gov at some point (unlike Iraq, no Sunni Shia divide,) but you'd still have competition for power.

    That's probably why Petraeus wants to run it through Karzai, to let him hold the levers (although I'm not sure he'd be as credible as the US.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:39 AM  

  • I know it's a 3rd rail subject. I'll stop. It's that their leadership is so verbose and their actions so inflammatory.

    By Blogger matt, at 11:05 AM  

  • Yeah. It's also one of those subjects where nobody changes anybody's mind, so it just not worth fighting about.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 11:14 AM  

  • Yeah. Let's talk about abortion instead!


    By Blogger -epm, at 11:26 AM  

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