On air: Where do Obama or McCain stand on the world?

Yesterday we heard the unbridled euphoria of black people all over the world as they celebrated Barack Obama’s defeat of Hillary Clinton. Senator Obama himself talked of a few ‘bleary eyes’ amongst his campaign team. But the party mood hasn’t lasted long and as predicted by many commentators the two nominees are already squaring up over foreign policy.

It’s not hard to argue this is what decided the last election and what will decide November’s. So what do these two men have in mind for the rest of the world? We’ll try and find out. We’re inviting two supporters of each man and you can speak them.

If you have a question or comment about their respective policies and how they’ll affect your country, head to the blog or tune in later.

The biggest issue between the candidates, is foreign policy. From Iraq to Iran, to national security and the Middle East…from the credit crunch and housing crisis to the oil shock, from climate change to America’s role in globalisation and free trade.

So far, most attention has been focused on Iraq. Senator Obama speaks of withdrawing troops within 6 months whilst Senator McCain talks about keeping American troops there for a much longer time.

Obama until yesterday seemed to have what critics thought was a “softly softly” approach towards Iran – a contrast with past American presidents and McCain used this to his fullest potential in alerting his supporters and the rest of America to this.  Is this a turn around in view to win votes?

Yesterday Obama pledged to do “everything in my power, everything,” to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.  Democrat, James Rubin said lastnight on BBC TV that Obama’s stance on Iran has always been tough, it’s just that no one was listening…

So… What would a McCain OR Obama presidency mean to the rest of the world? And what would you want from their foreign policy?

161 Responses to “On air: Where do Obama or McCain stand on the world?”

  1. 1 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 12:32

    McCain is too militant, and he has become too friendly with welath tax payers.

    Obama has proved over the years since he entered politics that he will sacrifice his positions in order to maintain political solvency. How much more centrist will he become as President?

    I still plan to investigate the possiblity of voting for Cynthia McKinney.

  2. 2 Brett
    June 5, 2008 at 12:43

    What would you want from their foreign policy?

    Peace… Call me a hippy.

    I would want a less confrontational approach to foreign policy than the gunslinging cowboy antics we currently display.

    Lets try to stay out of trouble and and stop wasting our resources to police the world in 2008.

  3. 3 CMK Malawi.
    June 5, 2008 at 12:50

    Experince took America to Iraq, Hirary lost because of the EXPERIENCE talk. There,s no stoping OBAMA change has finally come to America

  4. 4 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 13:13

    @ Shirley

    If Cynthia McKinney doesn’t win, will her father blame the Jews again? Cynthia McKinney had a problem with running off with her mouth, and hitting police officers who dared to ask her for her ID when entering congress.

  5. 5 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 13:18

    Would someone please define the slogan “change” other than the obvious physical appearance thing?

  6. 6 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 13:25

    Steve i think it is something like ‘using hope to fix the world’ or some other such BS.

    To ever vote Obama he would have to alter his stance on talking to Iran/Hamas. These people are not to be talked to, they are to be dealt with (not necessarily militarily, but be tough on them). He would also have to stop making things up in reference to Auschwitz and come out and elaborate on exactly what he plans to do.

  7. 7 ZK
    June 5, 2008 at 13:55

    From a personal standpoint I’ve always liked Senator McCain’s campaign this year.

    For Singapore itself I feel a Republican administration is likely to be better (although to be fair Senator Obama did grow up in Indonesia so is possible to have close ties with Asean), especially in terms of economic co-operation.

    The last time the U.S. had a Democrat in the Oval Office my country had a weaker relationship with the U.S. (not helped by Michael Fay) and that didn’t improve only until the current administration came into power.

    The most important thing now, with regards to Singapore and Southeast Asia (where the U.S. has to maintain strategic alliances for its security, given Jemaah Islamiyah’s al-Qaeda links, as well as the fact that Southeast Asia is home to the most populous Muslim nation in the world in Indonesia), is where the candidates stand regarding Asean, which President Bush has largely ignored for the most part.

  8. June 5, 2008 at 14:16

    Change – Foreign policy- a more open approach to diplomatic solutions. regaining the respect that the US once had. Quit propping up people with out real influence and talk with the people who do. Take the “nuclear option” off the table for everybody. Quit irrational approaches such as threatening countries and then being shocked when they take is seriously and arm themselves. Quit invading countries that have never personally had anything to do with attacking us.

    Change -security- instead of aggressive unfocused “preemptive” posture that see American lives taken for no gain in security that resemble more like throwing rocks at a hornets nest. Change represents the redeployment of resources to a more intelligence and discrete form of fighting textremist with ill intent towards America. Discrete, not secretive.

    Domestically- An understanding that most citizens get more benefit from small tax contribution then they can from being free from taxes. Balanced budgets, surpluses, and a better equip workforce is the key. change defiantly means somebody who know that supply side economics was developed over 2000 years ago and it has never worked most due to the “human” factor.

  9. 9 Julie P
    June 5, 2008 at 14:18


    I lived in the 4th Congressional district for a number of years. First, the 4th Congressional district will always have a Dem as its rep. It’s one of those districts. While she was in office she did a lot things that were illegal, like slugging a cop, or unethical, like going to her oppoents rallies and shouting the person down. She was an embarassment to say the least.

  10. 10 Alex in Nairobi
    June 5, 2008 at 14:23

    Im Kenyan and what I want may never count among McCain’s and Obama’s priority lists but aloowed to, I would welcome a change in America’s stance towards Islam.

    Over the years, it has become obvious that america will stop at nothing to convince the world that Islam and terrorism are the same thing. So much so that an American who interchanges these two will raise no eyebrows. It’s about time the us accepted that Islam is here to stay and thus planned to accomodate them. The us(this is intentional) must stop justifying the butchering of thousands of lives in the name of fighting terrorism as has happened in Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever else the us has been mentioned.

  11. 11 Diallo Bubacar
    June 5, 2008 at 14:24

    Diallo, Conakry, GUINEA
    I want a president who cares about others not only Israel and America but to think also to their supporters who do not want war any more who wna t them to understand people.I want a president who’s willing to protect Israel and Palestine, Lebanon and all the occupied and the innocently abused people around the world.I want to see a president of peace. can i see a discussion on the BBC whether being a muslim is a crime in maerica or not? or if you are supposed to be Israeli to get elected to the white house?

  12. 12 Count Iblis
    June 5, 2008 at 14:25

    About foreign policy, I have the impression that Obama will bemore pragmatic than McCain. McCain will make demand that Iran must stop their enrichment program before willing to talk to the Iranians. This has the risk that a war may start if the Iranians do not suspend their enrichment program even if they do not use this to make nuclear weapons.

    I think that Obama, by talking to the Iranians will be able to negotiate a more reasonable deal. You can imagine that Iran will be allowed to enrich uranium under some very strict inspections regime. This kind of solution cannot be reached by the curent approach by the West.

    This is a bit similar to how we changed our policy toward Libya after the Pan Am bombing. At first we insisted that the two suspects must be extradited to the US or Britain. There was a UNSC resolution that demanded this. The US and Britain saw that UN resolution as a tactical victory over Libya and they were not going to give that away.

    However, a few years later, we changed our minds and accepted Ghadaffi’s compromise to try the two suspects in a neutral country. This deal was achieved by talking to the Libyans.

    I don’t see McCain as someone who can make such deals.

  13. 13 Julie P
    June 5, 2008 at 14:26

    Just about any approach to the arrogant, dry drunk approach of Bush, Jr. will be a refreshing change of pace.

  14. 14 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 14:29

    @ Diallo

    Is being a muslim a crime in the US? Shirley, would you care to comment on the “comment”? Also Diallo, given there has never been an Israeli or Jew as the US President, why would you suggest such a thing, that you have to be Israeli to be President?

  15. 15 Nick in USA
    June 5, 2008 at 14:38

    Well, I know that this may be fairly unpopular, but I would like a president who puts more faith in the UN. As a group of United Nations, we could truly make the world a better place. It would also help out a great deal in the middle east. Right now, groups like Al Qaeda can see that they have created a divide between nations like France and the USA, so it just gives them a reason to keep doing what they’re doing. If we could all stand together against these groups as a single unit, they would undoubtedly stand down. It’s kind of a peer pressure thing, but I’m sure it would work.

  16. 16 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    June 5, 2008 at 14:59

    One thing I like about Obama is that he never associates himseslf with the continent of Africa,oppositely everybody in Africa is delighted because obama is about to clinch the powerful office on this land.Obama clearly knows that Americans voted for him.

  17. 17 Colleen D
    June 5, 2008 at 15:04

    Here is my wish list for the next administration:

    1. Eliminate Governance by Fear. Instead of demonizing other nations and creating subjective “terror alert scales”, educate Americans of the basic issues at hand on the global scale.

    2. Empower and Respect International Organizations. Re-vamp the UN. Give developing nations more significant representation. Re-evaluate the security counsel’s attempt to mirrior the post-WW2 international balance of power which does not reflect today’s global political/economic environment.

    3. Effective Diplomacy to all nations.

    4. Improve Public Education to incorporate a global-oriented curriculum. Incorporate foreign language as a requirement — the US is way behind other nations in producing bi-lingual students. Instead of fearing an overlap of Church and State, educate children about the diversity of beliefs, cultures, and (yes) religions across the globe. Education leads to tolerance; Ignorance leads to fear and hatred. The US was built on immigration and diversity — this cannot be forgotten.

    5. Acceptance of the changing US economy and the effects of globalization. The US needs to be proactive and innovative to maintain economic competitiveness. Trying to keep alive the idea of “US as sole Superpower” will lead to stagnation and failure (which we are already experiencing), while proactiveley adapting to change will prove effective. The cliche is true: The only constant in this world is change. We might as well prepare for it.

  18. 18 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 15:10

    “Over the years, it has become obvious that america will stop at nothing to convince the world that Islam and terrorism are the same thing.”

    I dont understand this nonsense. All our media and politicians do is repeat ‘religion of peace’ over and over. If the average american draws that conclusion – its probably because we see Islam behind the scenes in nearly every terror attack. It is Islam’s responsibility to break the link between violence – it is not like we woke up one day and decided to arbitrarily think that…

    “It’s about time the us accepted that Islam is here to stay and thus planned to accomodate them.”

    We shouldn’t have to accommodate anything when Islam accommodates NOTHING. In addition, we do which is why we see foot baths and prayer rooms being built. Perhaps you missed Harvard’s women’s only gym hours? Stop spouting unfounded nonsense. Maybe it is about time Islam accepted we are here to stay and accommodated us. Maybe I would like a glass of wine with dinner at Syria’s new restaurant – oh wait cannot do that. You guys need to work on tolerance – not us.

    So tired of Islam trying to make us feel bad for associating them with violence – I am pretty sure you guys did that. Then you come here and demand special treatment, when we cannot even: set foot in mecca, people cannot worship freely in your countries, and we cannot bring our customs over on travel there (but are expected to provide for yours). Sorry, two way street or you have no room to talk.

  19. 19 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 15:16

    “educate children about the diversity of beliefs, cultures, and (yes) religions across the globe.”

    Ridiculous, public school is about secular education – leave religion to religious schools. They need to learn: math, science, grammar, spelling, history. Not here’s what this group decided their imaginary friend is.

    “The US was built on immigration and diversity — this cannot be forgotten.”

    The US was also built on ADAPTING TO THE HOST CULTURE. My grandfather left Italy once Mussolini came to power. He couldn’t speak english well at first but you better believe he learned (in his first job unloading stuff at a warehouse). He did not try to be an Italian living in america – he was an Italian becoming an American. I am tired of going to Miami and getting spoken to in Spanish and treated like crap because I am not fluent. I would never move to another country and not change to their ways. I love immigrants – when they come here expecting a good life and work to fit in. Keep your food, your own language (at home), and your religion but adapt to our culture or you should have never come in the first place.

  20. June 5, 2008 at 15:16

    I’d love to see a future American president who’s fully ready to play the role of the balanced (not the obviously biased !) and fair peace mediator in the Middle East… I’d love to see a future American president who’s not at all shy or afraid of criticising firmly ANY side of the conflict in the Middle East when that side does something wrong… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna..

  21. 21 Katharina in Ghent
    June 5, 2008 at 15:22

    @ Nick:

    Thank you for suggesting that the next president should get more friendly with the UN. As a European, weary of the US attitude of not bothering about the UN unless it’s on their side anyway, I really would appreciate if the next president could be more of a team player. That way, we also don’t have to worry about another senseless war eg. against Iran. The US could never succeed with that (they are already hopelessly involved in Iraq!)

  22. 22 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 15:24

    The UN is the same organization that seems to want to focus on criticizing Israel with special scrutiny while, I don’t know, ignoring things like Burma, Darfur, Chechnya.. I think there’s a reason the US thinks the UN is a joke.. Because it is one.

  23. 23 Colleen D
    June 5, 2008 at 15:24

    @ Tino

    Agreed that enforcing a certain set of religious beliefs should not occur in public schools. However, religion is a reality of the world. Children should receive a secular, unbiased education of what the major world religions are. This is a much better alternative than letting them (and adults) get this information from stereotypes portrayed in a sensationalized media culture.

  24. 24 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 15:27

    @ Colleen

    You can’t do that Colleen. Liberals go nuts, because they would have to cover christianity also. I was born Jewish, and knew nothing about christianity until I took a comparative history course in 11th grade, but it was controversial even in 1992 because it covered christianity. Meanwhile these same liberals will take kids to mosques, have them dress up in islamic clothing, say muslim prayers, as a “diversity” thing, but if they did it was christianity, they would raise holy hell.

  25. June 5, 2008 at 15:45

    Whatever the results in November 2008, Morocco and the USA will geographically remain the Atlantic Ocean apart when it comes to how the Moroccans view the USA.

    Policies between the two countries usually take care of themselves because of historical relationships dating to the 18th century. The governments of the two countries are close allies. Morocco has been given the status of non-NATO ally by Washington, which has praised its support for the US-led war on terror. There is a free trade agreement between the two countries. The US is also a strong ally of Morocco on the issue of Western Sahara. http://www.map.ma/eng/sections/sahara/washington_deems__un/view

    At the public level, the USA administration is always seen with suspicion. Morocco is still one of the countries whose citizens meet great difficulties to get a visa to enter it, because it considers it as a home of terrorists following the terrorist attacks in Morocco On May 16th, 2003 and after three suspected militants blew themselves up during a police raid on April 7th, 2007. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6544163.stm

    The fact that Obama has pledged support for Israel: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7435883.stm will make him look no different from John McCain. They can make a difference at home. But inherited foreign policies will make it hard for them to change things overnight, especially policies which are the core of any decision-making like those towards Cuba, Iran and the Middle-East.

  26. 26 Magoola Moses
    June 5, 2008 at 15:51

    Hi Ross,

    Moses Magoola is my name. Am African (Ugandan)in Kampala and of course delighted like the rest over Obama’s triumphant victory in the democrats primary. But my worry is that he is such a great speaker and am afraid whether the time he will spend in the White House incase elected will be enough for him to effect the change he is promising. Can Obama’s supporters convince the world on this?

  27. June 5, 2008 at 15:52

    Can Obama and McCain make a difference for Africa? Surly Africans must first realize their dream of a United Africa without too much foreign interference. Locking to the USA as big brother through Obama I likely to leave them decades behind as the US at best can help them if they can help themselves.

    Africa has got the attention of the current administration through the recent tour of the continent by George Bush, during which he pledged economic support. But the USA can’t go beyond what its economic interests will allow in the face o Chinese competition there.
    The Africans have to wake up. They’ve had only very few successful black leaders. If not how comes that Africa is the poorest continent in the world despite its vast riches. Many Africans leaders filled their people with great hopes during colonialism. After independence, Africa became ruled by undemocratic leaders. Africa has leaders it can be proud of like Nelson Mandela. But currently it has Robert Mugabe who is considered as a disgrace to his country and continent.

    They will be wrong if they depend solely on Obama. Africa needs to create its own role models for the present instead of continuing to idealize past ones like Mandela. Obama, before being black, is American. His environment is different. He has to keep the power of his country, contrary to current African leaders who are desperately trying to empower their continent. He doesn’t have the same worries as Africans do in their countries where there are shameful corruption, mismanagement and limitless loss of opportunities. In other words, Obama as well as McCain think American. Africans should think in an African way. It isn’t enough to celebrate the others’ victories. They should find their own victories to celebrate.

  28. 28 Nick in USA
    June 5, 2008 at 15:57

    Steve said:

    “The UN is the same organization that seems to want to focus on criticizing Israel with special scrutiny while, I don’t know, ignoring things like Burma, Darfur, Chechnya.. I think there’s a reason the US thinks the UN is a joke.. Because it is one.”

    The UN is not perfect, but it is certainly no joke. Not sharing your priorities doesn’t make them a joke. The UN was put in place to do good in the world and Unite it’s most powerful nations under a common cause. Whether or not you agree with everything they do is not the deciding factor in their worth.

  29. 29 Lubna
    June 5, 2008 at 15:59

    My Precious Ros : Hello… Please, please, please, I want you to ask the two camps about what their future plans might be concerning my Iraq’s cause… I do live in Baghdad, Iraq, and tonight I want to listen on the radio to each of the two camps making its case and trying to convince me as a Baghdadi citizen that its future plans concerning my Iraq’s cause are the best… BTW, your daily emails are getter shorter with time, why ?? :-)… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  30. 30 Mohammed Bin Ali Gaber
    June 5, 2008 at 15:59

    i think both stand on the israel security so nothing will be new in the world the violence will go on in middle east but at least they can spread the peace in yemen and change the regime there..

  31. 31 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 16:00

    Agree with Steve on both and would add the the OIC basically passed a resolution essentially trying to limit free speech, another good reason not to bother with the UN.

  32. 32 Will Rhodes
    June 5, 2008 at 16:00

    For anyone who has read my blog over the last few months will know I, even though English, support Obama.

    Obama has had to put up with some disparaging comments – one that he is, in fact, Muslim rather than the Christian that he is. Israel has been worried because they were thinking that he would withdraw his support for Israel, again quite wrong. He has said that he supports Israel but what he wants to do is use diplomacy – and if that diplomacy has to be hard-talk he will. He doesn’t want to keep troops in the Middle-East for a very long time (speculation 100 years or more) – he wants to bring them home and deploy them to Afghanistan when and if they are needed. Afghanistan is UN mandated if people have forgotten.

    Where the US has failed in the Middle-East is rather than using such diplomacy they have used bullets and bombs – that is one change that he wants!

    On the US economy – it is obvious to any (other than Bush/McCain supporters) that the war in Iraq is costing so much the US has had to borrow money from China – he wants to change that policy where money will be diverted to the US infrastructure rather than giving it to foreign governments. By bring jobs back to the US he looks to reinvigorating the US economy so you don’t have to send out cheques that the country cannot really afford.

    He wants a minimum wage that goes up annually rather than every ten years. He wants to change the ‘Bush’ tax cuts for those who really don’t need them and give them to the middle and working class in the US.

    He wants to change the view that Americans have about using gas-guzzlers to using more economical vehicles both saving the oil stocks and helping with environmental issues. He also wants to change the way that the US looks at renewable energy in comparison to using fossil fuels – and also to invest in it heavily.

    That is the change he is talking about – what you then have to look at is how he wants to change the way that Washington is run – he wants to give power back to Congress rather than lobbyists. He wants to change the healthcare system so that all Americans are insured (even I disagree with Obama on that one – he should, at least, adopt John Edwards approach).

    For all that read that John McCain doesn’t want to do any of the above.

    That is the change that Obama wants.

  33. June 5, 2008 at 16:02

    It amazes me, the notion that because Obama is black that he will have a different world view. American Presidents are there to protect “American Interests”. Usually, those interests are corporate.

    Obama, since he will be first term president, will be more strident to convince the powers that propped him up. Remember American political cycles, whatever he does, will be to preserve his reelection, and since he will have a marginal win and a win that panders to the right, he will be to the right.

    In fact, he in my opinion will be more to the right than Hillary because he has to prove his credentials to AIPAC etc. Now lets remember, the war in Iraq was brought to us by two African Americans, Condie and Powell.

    To be honest, nothing will happen with Iraq. Hillary was going to start pulling troops the first month, she had a more aggressive plan. America, in these times will not let go of the Iraqi oil reserves. Lets get real, global politics is all about oil. McCain frankly was being honest, America will have a presence in the Middle East, because of the oil.

    So, maybe he looks different, and speaks nicer words, but “American Interests” always come first to the powers that be. You may not notice as much, cause our Corporatists decided the Bush packaging was not good for PR.

  34. 34 Andrew
    June 5, 2008 at 16:06

    Regardless of whether it be McCain or Obama and shovelling through all the rhetoric and hype it comes down to this – they are both politicians and they have the mindset of politicians. The world over politicians are the same, driven by self-importance and a sense of entitlement, not to mention power and self-interest. They are all cut from the same cloth and as such should be considered in that light.

  35. 35 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 16:12

    @ Andrew

    You must be nuts, are you daring to suggest the politicians are narcissists? I find it hilarious that people get all excited over politicians, particular candidates, when they are all personality disorder types who you wouldn’t even want to associate with or know in person, yet people will make these people our leaders.. The people we need to be leaders don’t even want to be! To run for office you have to be mentally ill!

  36. 36 Bob in Queensland
    June 5, 2008 at 16:13

    I’d love to think that an Obama presidency would have a more outward-looking foreign policy and a more collegiate style of relations with the rest of the world. Alas, I fear that, for the most part, American foreign policy is determined much more by what “plays in Peoria” for business interests and the conservative right than any consideration of what is best for the world. Obama “talks the talk” but I’m cynical enough to doubt he will be able to “walk the walk”.

  37. 37 Rufaa in Mandera
    June 5, 2008 at 16:16

    The question of how Obama is going to deal with Iran doesn’t worry me much. As a Muslim I feel Obama or Mc Cain, whoever is elected in November has a huge challenge to make a polite diplomatic chat with the Muslim world. The U.S foriegn policy in the last eight years was never lenient on Muslims. It aggrievd rather than healing anything. A great presidential genial at its best is highly needed. One that is capable of making the world a better place for all. Americans should vote wisely.

  38. 38 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 16:20

    “Israel has been worried because they were thinking that he would withdraw his support for Israel, again quite wrong.”

    He didn’t always take that stance:

    “”Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people,” Obama told voters”

    “During his interview on “Meet the Press,” Nader said that Sen. Obama had reversed his positions on Israel. Nader said Sen. Obama’s “better instincts and his knowledge have been censored by himself” and that Sen. Obama was “pro-Palestinian when he was in Illinois before he ran for the state Senate” and “during the state Senate.” ”

    His recent switch seems to be just that – a recent switch.

    As for your other remarks, I am pretty sure every politician wants to bring jobs to the US not just Obama. His foreign policy stance of hold everyones hand and sing kumbayah is not a new approach merely a stupid one. Obama is a terrible choice for President.

  39. 39 Mohammed Ali
    June 5, 2008 at 16:31

    Well both may have the foreign relative to the most contentious issue in the middle east. Obama has made it clear in unequivocal terms that he will support a two state solution with Israel and Palestine existing as two separate and peaceful states. But I see it failing because hs said that Jerusalem will be the undivided capital of Israel and this is the core of the matter. Obama may take a moderate stance on issues like the environment.
    McCain will be no different from Bush in his foreign policy. There will be war all over the place.

  40. June 5, 2008 at 16:32

    Really like Obama’s youth and he is smart. But he does not understand yet that it is not the United States who wishes to war with the world.

    Bush although not respected or liked by most of the American public did come up with an approach that finally did something about viscous, blood thirsty bad guys who invaded other nations, as states, sponsored non state terrorists, and basically caused the crazies to line up to die, and kill fairly innocent American soldiers rather than innocent American citizens.

    While the weak and fairly inane couch potatoes in America and the world are quick to believe this is all America’s fault, many Muslim leaders are beginning to think it is the butchery of Jihadists that are proving to be the real enemies of Allah, and it is in fact inhumane to cause so many Muslims to die, becauses they don’t simply side with the truly crazy idiots who think God wants them to kill all who are not Muslim and all Muslim who do not see it their way.

    Bush has been fairly right about all of this. He just made a lot of mistakes in his learning cycle, as did virtually all states who have to confront evil and really bad enemies.

    Obama will learn the hard way that if we become wishy-washy and run for our boarders the next series of attacks by the crazies will be even more difficult to rally against.

    Obama has some domestic agendas going right, but really not at all prepared or able to deal with people who think quite differently than Americans do.

    McCain has already learned the fortunes of war and the types who deal in such matters.

    McCains weakness is in realizing we really do need a national health plan. Not an expensive one, but one that is simplified and invests only what we now spend on health care in order to make it work for everyone. That is more possible than free health care, which does not work.


    Nehalem, Oregon

  41. June 5, 2008 at 16:47

    For the first time in my long living memory, we have two candidates for the presidency whom I respect. McCain is an honourable, measured man of good will, but he thinks in terms of the war we are engaged in as one that will inevitably last for years. Have Americans forgotten that years of struggle in Vietnam ended in defeat, because they were fighting an ideological war they could not win? It’s sad that McCain, so bravely involved with that defeat, has not learned the lesson. No more young soldiers should be dispatched to kill civilians: that’s a disgrace. And the economic cost for all concerned will affect us for generations.

    Obama inspires me as a youngish man with excellent values, intelligence, vigour and integrity. His autobiography ‘Dreams of My Father’ written when he was only 33, spelt out his admirable values and social awareness, even though a political career at that stage in his life was not on his radar; all the more convincing for that. His first choice of work after graduating was to lobby for the poor and disadvantaged in extremely practical ways, for very little pay but with much dedication. If you want to understand Barack Obama, read this stylish book. It’s a page-turner.

    Obama has a world view, so much more valuable than a simple American grasp of issues. Breaching the divide between black and white, he was blessed by his family with acceptance in both cultures. Yet he is aware of the issues and life experience on both sides, surely a valuable and healing insight in a multicultural society.

    To engage one’s potential enemies in dialogue as a first resort is more intelligent than bullying from a distance. The Cold War lasted for decades, largely a product of misunderstanding and paranoia on both sides. Peace in Ireland after thirty years of modern troubles only emerged after dialogue: nothing was achieved by violence on either side.

    The world faces more pressing problems for the future in the form of environment and climate change, and this is one of Obama’s priorities also. There will be no world fit to live in if we do not address this issue urgently.

    Obama makes me more hopeful for the future than McCain, who is admirable and worthy, but at 72, lacks the energy for this unprecedented and enormous challenge.

  42. 42 Henry
    June 5, 2008 at 16:54

    Anyway back to the issue,OBAMA stands for PEACE IN THE WORLD and McCAIN for CHOATIC WORLD.



  43. 43 Mohammed Ali
    June 5, 2008 at 16:58

    @ Steve, why wouldn’t the UN critize Israel when it does wrong. You think the UN is a joke, ask Bush when he went against the advice of the UN and waged war in Iraq, what is the result today. The US economy lies in tatters. He beg the UN on his knees to intervene in Iraq. That shows the strength of the UN.

  44. 44 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 17:00

    @ Mohammed Ali

    I didn’t say they wouldn’t or shouldn’t criticize Israel. They voted to single out Israel for extra scrutiny, at the expense of other more serious things, like Darfur, becuase they don’t like Israel. It was so bad that even Canada of all countries walked out of the vote becuase it was so biased. There are many worse things going on on earth, and the UN decided that Israel deserved all the scrutiny. Hence, the UN is a joke.

  45. June 5, 2008 at 17:06

    I have to take issue with the statement that “foreign policy is the biggest difference between the two.” When it comes to the economy, Obama has a plan and McCain said that “The Issue of economics is Not Something I’ve understood as well as I should”.

  46. June 5, 2008 at 17:10

    McCain will be a repetion of Bush.So let us give us a chance to Obama.If he will keep to his policy of talking with his so called enimies in the word,the world will be a better place to live.
    As he is from a minority community he may able to understand the problems in Asia in general and Sri LANKA in particular.

  47. 47 Colleen D
    June 5, 2008 at 17:15

    It is definitely debatable whether or not the UN, in its current state, is or is not an effective organization.

    However, it should be an effective organization — it is in the best interest of the world at large to have effective international organizations that mediate and govern international relations among countries.

    The only way for it to be an effective organization is if the member nations empower and respect it. And this will require reorganization and a willingness of member nations to act above political and economic self-interest.

    Is it possible for member nations to rise above self-interest? — also debatable. In a perfect world — yes. In our imperfect world effective leadership is the only way it has a chance of happening.

  48. 48 David
    June 5, 2008 at 17:40

    I like this Colleen

    “Colleen D
    June 5, 2008 at 3:04 pm
    Here is my wish list for the next administration:

    1. Eliminate Governance by Fear. Instead of demonizing other nations and creating subjective “terror alert scales”, educate Americans of the basic issues at hand on the global scale.

    2. Empower and Respect International Organizations. Re-vamp the UN. Give developing nations more significant representation. Re-evaluate the security counsel’s attempt to mirrior the post-WW2 international balance of power which does not reflect today’s global political/economic environment.

    3. Effective Diplomacy to all nations.

    4. Improve Public Education to incorporate a global-oriented curriculum. Incorporate foreign language as a requirement — the US is way behind other nations in producing bi-lingual students. Instead of fearing an overlap of Church and State, educate children about the diversity of beliefs, cultures, and (yes) religions across the globe. Education leads to tolerance; Ignorance leads to fear and hatred. The US was built on immigration and diversity — this cannot be forgotten.

    5. Acceptance of the changing US economy and the effects of globalization. The US needs to be proactive and innovative to maintain economic competitiveness. Trying to keep alive the idea of “US as sole Superpower” will lead to stagnation and failure (which we are already experiencing), while proactiveley adapting to change will prove effective. The cliche is true: The only constant in this world is change. We might as well prepare for it”

    This sounds like something Obama ould do better

  49. 49 CarlosK
    June 5, 2008 at 17:41

    Good day All

    The bottomline difference between McBush and Obama is:

    Re McBush

    If he is elected president, world tension intra and inter country will markly increase (covertly orchestrated by the republicans thru the CIA) because they only feel good when everywhere else is in a state of total pandemonium (see Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur etc)

    Re Obama

    If he is elected president, the blood pressure of 5 billion people worldwide will reduce markly. A republican administration makes all well thinking people worldwide literally sick in the stomach. Republicans seem to be devoid of human compassion/empathy. When Obama is in charge we can rest assure that fairplay will reenter world politics. Those who want to keep the status quo intact are shaking in their boots and trying to come up with a way to eliminate Obama, I am sure but they will be defeated as the Clintonian monarchial dinesty was defeated.

    The world awaits with bated breathe the advent of President Barack Obama term of office.

    Carlos, Kingston-Jamaica.

  50. 50 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 17:41

    Does Obama plan to ave an even-handed approach to the Middle East, or will he continue to show an unwaveringly biased favouritism towards Israel? Lubna worded it perfectly when she asked that the future President condemn wrongs as they occur, regardless of who who committed them. Also, does Obama have any plans to deal with the world food crisis? Has he been paying attention to the UNFAO summit in Italy? And would he kindly consider un-privatising public health care and incorporating some of Hillary’s ideas regarding health care?

    Has he been in touch with Ellen about walking her down the aisle? On the serious side, can you explain his connections with various lobbyists? And what would he do to reduce the amount of racism and discrimination that remains in our society?

  51. 51 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 5, 2008 at 17:42

    @ eileen in virginia — spot on, yes, precisely right, great analysis.

    @ Colleen D. — good except for the UN. The US does not have the influence on UN that you imply; it can’t straighten out the UN. And the UN is an entity that looks better from a great distance, and really horrible the closer one gets to it, and the more one knows about its workings.

  52. 52 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 17:46

    @ CarlosK

    “Republicans seem to be devoid of human compassion/empathy”

    Classic Stuff. I nearly choked on my soup reading your post. Wouldn’t you think Hillary Clinton would make a good republican then, since she’s devoid of compassion empathy and only cares about herself? If you think about it, on Saturday she’s only suspending her campaign, not ending it, for hope that Obama dies or something, so she can jump right back in.

  53. 53 Dennis
    June 5, 2008 at 17:46

    McCain stands to the world like George Bush (Current president of the U.S.A.) in his policies and etc.

    Obama, wants to make changes for the country!

    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  54. 54 Colleen D
    June 5, 2008 at 17:48

    @ Jonathan

    I am saying that currently the UN is not working properly, but in theory it is a good, if not necessary, concept for today’s world.

    It will take the leaders of powerful nations (the US and the like) to set precedents of reform and empowerment of international organizations. And the UN is arguably the first place to start.

  55. 55 Zak
    June 5, 2008 at 17:48

    With respect in all honesty I’d love to know what you’d rather see in your home country: a sustained withdrawal in 6 months time from the new administration (that would be about a year from now). Or would you like to see America stay in Iraq for another 10 years minimum as is McCain’s plan.

    One more factor in that equation: if the US forces withdraw from Iraq at the start of next year we stand a chance of getting out with the anticipated overall allocation of 3 trillion more dollars after spending the same amount initially. In that money is funding for Iraq, not America, to rebuild their country. Alternatively with McCain’s plan it would be America, marshaling and rebuilding, Iraq. There’s no possibility of doing that with just 3 trillion; however much more money congress might give would still be in America’s control to pay for our presence by majority and allocate to Iraq at will beyond that.

  56. 56 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 17:48

    @ Shirley

    Not all racism is black and white. If you look at the coming elections, you’ll see that Hispanics will overwhelmingly vote for Mccain, because though it’s not PC to say anyone other than whites are racist, Blacks and Hispanics pretty much hate each other, a lot. There is immense amounts of racism between those two groups, but it is completely ignored by the PC people, who seem to think only whites are racist.

  57. 57 eric
    June 5, 2008 at 17:55

    i was not able to post yesterday so here is the truth about obama. i would never vote for him because he is a charletan. His race has nothing to do with it. I would happily vote for Colin Powell or Condelisa Rice for the presidency.

    Just like a majority of the editorialists who write about obama, you seem to have The first thing that struck me about obama’s campaign speaches were his claims of a desire to bring america together thru change. This is a wonderful sentiment. It is also standard rhetoric that has been employed by almost every previous american presidential candidate. I can remember hearing kennedy, nixon, carter, reagan, bush, mondale, clinton, etc make the same claims. However; once elected these politicians have reverted back to their true selves or have been slapped back by the congress which support the oppostion political establishment. So it is not only relevant, but esential to inspect a candidate’s past performance and to disect his words carefully.

    Obama‘s claim of wanting to bring the country together loses all credibility even before he finishes his standard speech because he demonizes the bush administration with unabashed vitreol. By denigrating the 30-40% of the american public that support bush and his policies, obama is destroying any chance of being able to bring people together.

    Again, if we inspect Obama’s Senate record it also belies his ability to be able to bring people together. He has never reached across the isle the way McCain, or even Hilary Clinton, has. Obama’s senate record is also one of the most far left of any of the current senators. If one uses his past record as a guide to how his presidency would be, we would expect increased acrimony and polarization, not less.

    His claims of wanting to be an instrument of change is also very deceptive. Has anyone inspected the people who are endorsing him. Can anyone believe that Ted Kennedy, Pat Leahy and John Kerry are agents for change? What is quite obvious to any thinking human being is that Obama will institute the largest shift to the left that this country has ever seen and all of the far-left relics in the Senate and the House of Representatives will happily vote for all of his socialist programs.

    The national media has given up any degree of fairness in their reporting of Obama’s campaign. NBC’s Lee Cowen recently admitted of the media’s reporting of Obama’s prediential campaign: “it’s almost hard to remain objective because it’s infectious, the energy, I think. It sort of goes against your core to say that as a reporter, but the crowds have gotten so much bigger, his energy has gotten stronger. He feeds off that.” And this is just the tip of the media’s cheerleading. They have all been quick to put him in the same category as John F. Kennedy (JFK), but have any of them spent one moment comparing
    JFK’s positions and Obama’s.

    Isn’t it interesting that the single sentiment that defined JFK’s presidency was, “ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” He told us all to strive for excellence. Obama turns that completely upside down. he is selling himself by telling the people to ask not what you can do for yourself, but what the government can do for you! He is basically buying votes by offering to give every type of free government assistance that can be imagined: free health care, free college education, etc. He is telling us that he will pay for it by playing the tired, old class warfare card: tax the rich. This is a prescription for failure. Rob the only productive people still left in America and subsidize those who have absolutely no ability or desire to work hard and excel!

    As to giving Obama a pass on his 20 year relationship with the anti-Christian hate monger, Jerimiah Wright, we are a direct reflection of those we embrace. To blithely brush this relationship aside is ridiculous. To sit in a pew and hear this irrational hatred from a person who claims to be an agent of a loving Christ is an obscenity. Any real Christian would stand up and leave immediately.

    Obama could have easily found a church that preached the true gospel of a loving Jesus Christ. The point is he and his wife agree with the rantings of Jerimiah Wright.

    Some say that Obama will not change into Malcolm X, Huey Newton or Stokley Carmichael. Obama does not need to change. He has never hidden his true nature or allegence to these men. His favorite book is, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X.” Obama will change America to fit the agendas of these radicals, and he will do it by proving that the “pen is mightier than the sword,” with the help of non-analytical proxies who give him a pass just because he is black. that is the worst form of irresponsibe citizenry.

  58. 58 Justin in Iowa
    June 5, 2008 at 18:04

    Skipped over quite a bit, answering on the “What is Change” point. I believe several points include:

    Change in tax system
    Change in Social welfare and health care
    Change in the government’s dealings with lobbyists and special interests.
    Change on foreign policy

    Also, on Obama becoming more centrist… the best presidents have been engineers of compromise. If Obama doesn’t give on some points he won’t win on others. The important point in seeing how successful he will be in staying true to his platform and constituency is how much he has to give, to get. Too much and he will have failed on delivering “the dream”.

  59. 59 Shadi Bargouti
    June 5, 2008 at 18:05

    I am hoping that common sense and pragmatism will triumph over ideology and lack of long-term vision as we have seen over the past 8 years under the Bush administration.

    Obama seems to say the right things. I am crossing my fingers that he will follow through with action.

  60. 60 Jim by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:05

    Both Obama and McCain follow some basic foreign policy ideas of those who have been president, at least for the last 100+ years; despite any public rhetoric about wanting to support democracy and human rights in the world, the ethic in play really is more about maintaining (or regaining) some lead in world power, be it economic or military. The behind-the-scenes position papers of both the Democrats and the Republicans (granted, even more the latter than the former) show this to be true, through various administrations and conflicts. Neither leader will critique the ideal of empire in any real way, nor denounce empire building as inherently anti-democratic, and bad for over 90% of the people of the world, namely the poor.

    San Francisco, CA USA

  61. 61 Will Rhodes
    June 5, 2008 at 18:06

    To the McCain supporter:

    How does John McCain say that the US will win the war in Iraq? Even after ‘up to’ 100 years in the country, not as peace-keepers but as combatants, and how can the failing US economy fund this ‘victory’?

    When will John McCain roll out his domestic economic policy?

  62. June 5, 2008 at 18:09

    My questions to WHYS guests are:

    1) Why is Israel so important to the USA? Does this mean it’s the only state it can trust in the Middle East?

    2) Is it true that the Jewish lobby is the strongest in the USA, without which no US administration can take any decision?

    3) Does any of the candidate have a plan to expand US military basis around the world, especially in Africa?

    4) Which of these countries does the USA fear most to topple it from its current power, Russia, China or India?

    Abdelilah Boukili,
    Marrakesh, Morocco

  63. 63 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    June 5, 2008 at 18:09

    Good Day Ross,
    I am one American who has not made up my mind on which I will vote for. Now that the race has been set, I would like to ask; what is the stance on exporting jobs?
    At to follow up, do you not believe that exporting jobs leaves America exposed to more attacks on our country? Not via bombs but other forms of attack (computer and alike).
    Thank you,

  64. 64 Nan VanSandt
    June 5, 2008 at 18:15

    Obama is MUCH more experienced than McCain because he actually LIVED overseas and also has family in Africa. This gives him better insight and understanding in dealing with foreign cultures… He’s been doing it since he was a little kid! I’d trust him much more than McCain on foreign policy issues….

  65. 65 Sulayman Dauda
    June 5, 2008 at 18:18

    They stand on the American soil and nothing more.

  66. 66 Emran
    June 5, 2008 at 18:19

    I thought Obama’s speech at AIPAC yesterday was very predictable and very telling. ‘Our support for Israel is unshakable’ etc. For a member of the rest of the human race (that’s a ‘non-american’ for all you Americans) having a Republican or a Democrat in the White House is very much the other side of the same coin, nothing really has changed.

    What irritates me is how candidate after candidate never bothers to connect the Israel-Palestine issue with the greivances of the entire Muslim world. It is simply a microcosm of the larger problem that every US administration has actively decided to avoid.

    So you can vote in anyone you like from any race other than white if it makes you feel better, but at the end of the day it’s just a token gesture and it won’t change the fact that the United States is very insulated from the happenings in the rest of the world.

    Obama like the many candidates/presidents before him will do what they’ve always done: appease whichever audience that they’re talking to without understanding the sheer hypocracy of the very act.

    So if you think you like him now, let him get into power and then ask yourself the same question.

  67. 67 Bob by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:21

    Hello World Have Your Say,

    My question for each of the U.S. Presidential hopefuls would be “how are you going to help resolve the Israeli/Palestine conflict and do you have a plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state?”

    I think this one issue is at the root of so many of the current world problems. Were I to be the President I would sacrifice my entire term in order to work tirelessly on solving this conflict.

    Thank you and keep up the good work!



    Northern California, US

  68. 68 Zak by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:22

    How would McCain justify the funding for continued operations in Iraq if a democratic congress wouldn’t allocate it – what would he do if congress wouldn’t approve more than the amount estimated to get out in the next year?

  69. 69 Allan by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:22

    It would be great to see a President who can find help in deciding, rather than deciding then looking for help. As a superpower nation, I can understand we need to set an example for the world, but at least hear the world before making the decision. I think it’s very ignorant to push away world leaders because we are not popular with them. I think McCain will be great with having a military background and understand what it takes to go into a conflict.

    Allan, Ohio

  70. 70 Banks by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:24

    There is no-one, but No-One, on the world stage these days who offers any progressive vision, or any hint of an alternative to endless struggle and fight on any major issue. It seems Obama is the only hope left for the U.S., and by extension the rest of us. Let’s hope they let him live long enough to get something done.

    Banks, Amsterdam

  71. 71 Mamisoa by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:24

    We have to give credit to the Bush administration for exponentially raising the funding flows
    targeted at reducing the spread and impact of HIV.

    What will an Obama presidency mean for the international HIV/AIDS response?

    Should we expect a decrease in the level of US political attention to HIV?

    Mamisoa, London

  72. June 5, 2008 at 18:26

    Obama will listen. Bush did not and nor will Mcain. Israel and ‘carte blanche’ is the reason for Arab hatred. Some are in denial. Sledgehammer to crack a nut comes to mind. UN does great things around the world and only US belittle them. It is no more than isolationism. Obama will change that . Steve and Tino types will no longer be the force and the right. Change is good if only for that.

  73. 73 Roland by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:26

    Obama at the American Israel Political Action Committee yesterday revealed that he will move to the “right” to support the hardline side in Israel and the U.S. (e.g. the annexation of all of Jerusalem by Israel). The “everything in my power” pledge to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons (citing a few hundred pounds of low enriched uranium as a threat, even though Israel has the weapons and Iran is a long way from 98% enrichment for weapons use). Obama is moving to the hardline side.

  74. 74 Scott - New York
    June 5, 2008 at 18:27

    What is wrong with Obama meeting with leaders of countries such as Iran or North Korea. The current way of dealing with both of these countries clearly is having a minimal effect and face to face conversation with leaders could have beneficial results. I feel like people are afraid that the President holding meetings with leaders such as Ahmadinejad mean that he is sympathetic with their beliefs.

  75. 75 Brenton
    June 5, 2008 at 18:27

    McCain has shifted a lot on his policies in the last 8 years from being an outspoken opponent of many of the current administration’s positions to now being very much aligned with them.

    His positions are no longer his personal opinions but that of his party from whom he is trying to seek their nomination.

    Politics as usual.

  76. 76 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 18:28

    Steve, thank you for bringing up other aspects of the racism question. The friction between the Latino & African-American communities is often ignored.

  77. 77 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 18:29

    @ Patrick

    “Israel and ‘carte blanche’ is the reason for Arab hatred.” Yes, if all the Israelis died, the Arabs would love us. Let’s go do that now! It’s time the arabs stop blaming every single problem they have on Israel. They are failed states not because of Israel.

  78. June 5, 2008 at 18:30

    Israel IS the root alright and the cause of 9/11 but the word is that they hate our freedom. What a ‘crock’ that is. Stop vetoing in favor of the money machine. Let us see how they are treating the Palestinians? See ‘Hamas’ and ‘Hezbollah’ as a kind of ‘Free French’. Examine why Saudi Students would give of their lives?

  79. 79 Justin in Iowa
    June 5, 2008 at 18:30

    I would like to hear more talk about US – Israel relations… why are we such strong supporters of Israel?

  80. June 5, 2008 at 18:32

    Who said Israeli’s have to die?…….it was a mistake placing them there but now we just ‘biblically’ allow them ‘carte blanche’……it is ordained say many here “So it is written, so it shall be done” Rubbish

  81. 81 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 18:34

    @ Patrick

    Israel is the cause of 9/11??? You mean perhaps the insane islamic terrorists are the cause of 9/11 perhaps. I know it’s easy to blame Israel for every prolbem you see in the world, but perhaps you should put the blame on the people who committed the act? You know, the insane islamic terrorists who murdered 3k people becuase they thought it would make a fictional book character happy? That’s the cause, not your hatred of Israel.

  82. 82 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 18:35

    @ Justin

    Because they don’t hate the US, and don’t burn american flags and don’t shout “death to America”. just maybe. They are also a liberal, democratic nation, not a theocratic state where homosexuals get executed.

  83. 83 murdoc
    June 5, 2008 at 18:35

    John McCain in a speech mixed up the sects saying that the Sunni came from Iran, that makes me laugh every time he is mentioned as more qualified for the job.
    Obama wanting to have dialog with Iran just follows with the old saying of keep your friends close and your enemy’s closer.

  84. June 5, 2008 at 18:38

    Steve…”your so predicable it’s unbelievable’ they say at Arsenal. Thats a load of right wing rubbish. It is grass roots ‘brutality’ that motivates people just as Abu Ghraib motivated erstwhile contented Asians in English towns to violence.

  85. 85 Oumou
    June 5, 2008 at 18:40

    How will the selection of a running mate influence international opinion of each candidate?

  86. 86 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 18:40

    @ Patrick

    Is Israel to blame for the “Asians” in English town to commit acts of violence, or just Abu Graib? You said that Israel is to blame for 9/11, so they must be at fault for Pakistanis trying to blow up some airports and the underground, right? Or maybe you should hold insane terrorists responsible for thei ractions instead of blaming someone else? There are many things I don’t like that other countries do and I don’t go out trying ot kill people because of it.

  87. 87 rob
    June 5, 2008 at 18:40

    all the combined EXPERIENCE of the current administration has destroyed our reputation in the world (and incited hatred from many who used to aspire to be like us), undermined our economy, and left us occupying a foreign country under false pretenses. why is EXPERIENCE looked to as our great hope for the future? that EXPERIENCE we can do without. and enough about Sadam Hussein being a bad guy – he was – but let’s not forget that our EXPERIENCED leaders armed and supported him for years.

  88. June 5, 2008 at 18:40

    @ Tony,

    Obama isn’t a Muslim, he was never a Muslim, and he never “converted” from being a Muslim. It is lies like these that make the internet so dangerous. The question one has to ask themselves when they find out they have been deceived is, “what else have I got wrong?”

  89. 89 Tim by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:41

    Clearly the 5th grade, black & white, sound bite approach to foriegn policy will continue with the McCain supporters. Anything that can’t be said in 15 seconds is “too hard to understand” for the American people.

    Please, the world is a complicated place and the only hope for survival of humans on it are going to take a bit more understanding and yes talking with “enemies”.

    No conflict in modern history has ever been resolved without discussions and negotiations (remember Kissinger talking to the North Vietnamese).

    Tim in San Francisco listening on KALW

  90. 90 andrew
    June 5, 2008 at 18:42

    Although this comment lost him the presidency, John Kerrys statement that Americas foreign policy must “pass a global test” is true. Travel outside the US, and theres a saying that ‘everyone in the world should get to vote for the President of the United States, because who is elected effects them all.

    The rest of the world will be happier with Obama because he is a more rational sensible, peaceful person, and he doest buy into the absurd notion that Arabs or Muslim are evil.

    If the rest of the world is happier, Americans will be safer.

    McCaina like Obama, is also much more knowledgable that Bush(which isnt difficult), hes a very aggressive militaristic person. Thats not what the US or the world needs as their most powerful leader.

  91. 91 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 18:43

    @ Mohammed’s on air comments

    During his rant about Israel, he of course mentioned the 60 year “nakba” but ignored that Jordan and EGypt occupied the Palestinian territories from 1948-1967 and didn’t give them independence. But of course, it’s ALL israel’s fault..

  92. 92 Jason by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:43

    One major point that factors in my decision to Barack Obama, especially in regards to foreign policy, is John McCain’s age and temperament. At 72 years old, he is clearly out of touch with the way the world has changed since the cold war and the progressively intelligent nature of the modern youth of the world. His temperament has been an issue in the past, and although I admire a bit of fire in the belly, there is no place for a presidential bull in the china shop when it comes to dealing with nations opposed to his preconceived notions of American ideals.

    Seattle, USA

  93. 93 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 5, 2008 at 18:44

    It’s only in foreign countries that it appears “the biggest issue between the two candidates is foreign policy.” For Americans, domestic matters are “bigger issues.”

    Foreign policy is only critical during some horrible crisis like Iraq. After a crisis, our attention returns inward, I daresay to the benefit of all concerned, in view of our dismal history of meddling.

    In foreign policy, Obama is obviously more enlightened and vastly preferable to the continued chest-thumping of McCain, who in turn would be miles ahead of Bush. McCain is committed by his party ties and personal prediliction to defend the indefensible policies of George W. Bush, perhaps less so after his election than during the campaign.

    Like it or not, and I like it, America will remain a staunch ally of Israel no matter who becomes president.

    We have all endured eight years of rule by an intellectual cipher with stupefyingly bad judgment, who cannot utter a complete sentence or form an original, coherent thought or policy, who thinks he talks to Jesus. If Bush has not reduced the world to a smoking cinder in the next six months, either a president of average intelligence (McCain) or stellar intelligence (Obama) will be a vast improvement at home and abroad.

    San Francisco

  94. June 5, 2008 at 18:48

    Did the guy from politco blog say that the Israel/ Palestinian conflict has been going on for “hundreds of years?” Israel just celebrated it’s 60th birthday.

  95. 95 Justin in Iowa
    June 5, 2008 at 18:48

    Your guests should listen to a few of the Podcasts from the BBC on the israel – palestine question. Israel has made as many mistakes, and has been just as unwilling to compromise, as palestinians.

  96. June 5, 2008 at 18:49

    Saudi’s perpetrated 9/11. Asians in England could NOT have been recruited at that time. It took an illegal invasion and occupation and the stupid confidence of brutalizing Muslims openly on the Internet to seduce the brit/asians to action. Your president and the revengeful mindset of the mighty righty take that blame.

  97. 97 Derek
    June 5, 2008 at 18:49

    I think we need to put all of our energy into ending our use of petroleum based fuels, particularly our trade and defense involvement in the Middle East. I think Obama will most vigorously pursue this goal. Though I will vote for him, I worry about his failure to appreciate the moral –to democratic institutions–and demographic threat of Islam. As a descendant of Middle Eastern Christians, I do not believe that Islam, whether openly militant or merely relying on population growth, seeks to impose its religion and population on others, viz. Iran, Turkey, N. Cyprus, Shia & Sunni Lebanon, Christian Palestine, Syria, non-Coptic Egypt, etc.

    I am fed up of hearing the whining of Palestinians and Moslem Arabs, when they propagate violence against all others, be they Christians, Kurds, Nubians, Shia, etc. Let those who practice justice have justice. Democracy in Moslem contries will bring a democratic vote for war. I would like the speakers to specifically comment on what they thought a democratic vote in 1.) Egypt, 2.) Jordan, 3.) Syria, 4.) Lebanon, and 5.) Saudi Arabia, would mean for peace between Christians/Jews and Moslems. Only strongmen keep peace, viz. Iraq.

  98. 98 Vedran by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:50

    If people in America want higher living costs across the board and no help in sight, then please by all means vote for McCain. Just remember that many of our own are starving but we continue to spend billions on wars that have no outcomes. People should be outraged at what is occurring at the moment. Instead they allow these figures to ruin life throughout the world.


    Tempe, Arizona

  99. 99 Achal
    June 5, 2008 at 18:50

    Due to his social background I feel Barrack Obama will feel more the pain of people of 3rd world country and take more acts to develop these 3rd world countries.


  100. 100 Wil by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:51

    The only real experience John McCain brings to the table is a military mentality and attitude, experience at being a POW(and god love him for that), and experience at the same old corrupt, bullheaded, partisan political, war-mongering, stalemating, that we have all come to know and distrust.
    Obama brings a fresh look, a new look and probably a better look, at the reasons and policies that have gotten us no-where, and new ideas that might help us evolve and get right with the world again. A younger less experienced man may not throw us into a dirty little war so readily.
    Traverse City, Mich.(usa)

  101. 101 Ben te Molder
    June 5, 2008 at 18:52

    According to me Obama has better communication skills than Mc Cain; so it might be wise for him to talk with bad leaders where it is not wise for Mc Cain to do so.

  102. 102 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 18:52

    @ Patrick:

    “Your president and the revengeful mindset of the mighty righty take that blame.”

    Wait, you’re saying the the US President and the right are to blame for insane islamic fanatics blowing up the subway in London? Not the people who did it, but the Us President? Could you explain your logic a little more for us to make a better judgment about your views?

  103. 103 Will Rhodes
    June 5, 2008 at 18:53

    How do the guests see the friendship between Europe and the US going?

  104. 104 vijay
    June 5, 2008 at 18:55

    What ever they say and do right now is for domestic consumption,foreign policy won’t matter till one of them has their feet under the desk in the oval office next January.
    The question is slightly presumptive there is quite a bit of time between now and the Democratic Convention for the Obama campaign to falter.
    If it doesn’t look as if Obama is going to win the super delegates can choose Hillary Clinton .
    Wasn’t Obamas cheif campaign fundraiser in Chicago indicted today.
    Are there some Obama babymamas in a Chicago project that will now come forth to tell all.
    The Republican smear machine must be working overtime to dig something up on Obama.
    The Clintons are prestressed,will the Obamas be able to take the starin?

  105. 105 Andrew by email
    June 5, 2008 at 18:56

    Although this comment lost him the presidency, John Kerrys statement that Americas foreign policy must “pass a global test” is true. Travel outside the US, and theres a saying that ‘everyone in the world should get to vote for the President of the United States, because who is elected effects them all.

    The rest of the world will be happier with Obama because he is a more rational sensible, peaceful person, and he doest buy into the absurd notion that Arabs or Muslim are evil.

    If the rest of the world is happier, Americans will be safer.

    McCain, like Obama, is also much more knowledgable that Bush(which isnt difficult), but hes a very aggressive militaristic person. Thats not what the US or the world needs as their most powerful leader.

  106. June 5, 2008 at 18:57

    I think that the larger point at issue here is the difference in approach to foreign policy between Obama and McCain. While McCain is simply closed to the notion of a broader engagement with leaders that the U.S. is not fond of, be it Iran or Cuba, or others, Obama is open. This represents a potential dramatic departure and the consequence of Obama’s openness cannot fully be predicted until it is put into place. Obama’s openness brings about a strong potential to shift the manner in which the U.S. engages in the world. John McCain represents a pure continuation of the Bush policy.

  107. 107 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 18:57

    I cannot understand why Diallo Bubacar asked whether being Muslim is a crime in the US – he never stated any background for that question. I know that there have been instances of actions against Muslims that lacked a valid basis, such as the rounding up of Iranian Americans in California shortly after 9-11. I also know that there seems to have been an increase in acts of racism against Muslims in the U.S. over the past few years. However, Diallo posed his question in the context of U.S. relations with Middle Eastern countries and countered that quesiton with the question of whether one must be Israeli to be elected President here. And as you said, no Israeli or even Jewish person has been elected President here in the U.S. I can only guess that Diallo wanted to know whether it is criminal for a U.S. President to show any favour to a Muslim-dominated country, or whether all Presidents must be pro-Zionist.

    As for the legality of being a Muslim in the U.S., I know that we Americans do have many rights when it comes to freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination. Whatever racism might exist at the administrative level in any particular region, it is not backed by American law.

    Steve, are you concerned that I also shared Diallo’s views? Let me know if there was something more to your question that I missed.

  108. 108 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 18:58

    @ Andrew

    That’s silly. That’s like saying I should be able to vote for elections in Canada because I go there often, so I’m affected by who is in power there… And yes, you are right, that global test thing made Kerry lose. I hear the same thing in thte UK about resenting losing sovereignty to the EU.

  109. 109 Mark by text
    June 5, 2008 at 18:59

    Why is it assumed that a so-called black president will foster a more peaceful social world order? Africans have not been very successful to date in their respective nations, and the list of failed black leaders is endless. I for one would be worried of a president who is seen primarily as a champion of Africans across the world.

    Mark, southport, england

  110. 110 Ben by email
    June 5, 2008 at 19:01

    There is a level of weakness indicated in a leader who stakes a position that he or she categorically cannot or must not talk with the leader of another country, friend or foe. Failure to do so seems to be an admission of weakness in diplomacy. Speaking with others gives a leader a better chance to show true leadership, rather than mere reliance on surrogates. We need a leader who is be able to take a stand, and speak for us.

    You should also be sure to contrast Obama’s grasp of world affairs with McCain’s public statements in which he confuses groups like Al Qaida and Iran — not an insignificant error which he made more than once.

    ** Africa is another vital hotspot in the world that will need to be addressed by the next president, after having been [relatively] ignored for many years, expect for exploitation. Military interventionism does not look like the best approach there, so Obama’s work within communities to overcome adversity in the aftermath of exploitation and abandonment of the steel companies, would be valuable. Why not discuss which candidate might garner more respect in regions other than in a few countries in the Mideast?

    By the way, without such comparisons your selection of speakers is sounding very much like a hatchet job on Obama.


  111. June 5, 2008 at 19:01

    I could gulp with emotion at the American responses here. (Steve & Tito aside) I have been out on a limb for eight years as someone who cares for the underdog coming here aged 58 and NOT feeling revengeful. As someone on a Pensacola Beach when the Blue Angels flew above 100,000 people swooning and sighing and my being one of the few who wondered what it might be like to be under attack in a dust bowl existence after ten years of sanctions without early warning system or bomb shelters as I had in London in 43. Without the air force and army and navy defending them. I write for American Chronicle and my local Times-Union and get pilloried for wanting restraint and fairness. To see utube of pilots attacking walking civilians and retorting …’sweet’ ‘oh man’ ‘night night’ and how should I respond? On the Sun Blog site I am facing only righties and abuse. I am directing Brits to this platform to hear from Americans who are out of the fog of shock and revenge. There is hope. Hope for change. Hope for me, like Michelle to be really proud of where I chose to retire to?

  112. 112 Pangolin
    June 5, 2008 at 19:01

    I think Barack Obama’s foreign policy will be anyone’s guess as at the moment he must get his ticket punched by AIPAC and all the other powerful lobbies in order to get elected. Without a track record he will be unable to challenge the conventional wisdom in his candidacy.

    John McCain will be Bush Administration light with some floral displays and follies placed around it for distraction.

    The reality is that the US economy is in very real trouble and the citizens at home are more than a little weary of expensive overseas adventures. Hopefully our next president can pay a little attention on the home front.

  113. 113 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 19:02

    @ Shirley

    no. I wanted you to tell him that being a muslim isn’t a crime here, (and preferably that it was silly for him to even suggest such a thing).. He said not that the president must be pro-zionist, but instead “Israeli”…

    His comments were silly as in the way people accuse americans of being ignorant because some cannot point to Kampala on a map.

  114. 114 Ben by email
    June 5, 2008 at 19:04

    According to me Obama has better communication skills than Mc Cain; so it might be wise for him to talk with bad leaders where it is not wise for Mc Cain to do so.
    The Netherlands

  115. June 5, 2008 at 19:09


    John McCain’s age is NOT a problem! I know John McCain, I dare ANYONE to attempt to try to keep up with him. McCain is NOT out of touch; in fact John McCain is MUCH more aware of what’s happening because HE has BEEN there! Experience matters. POTUS is not a ‘learn as you go’ job!

    Thank You to Rus Atkins & his staff for inviting me on the show today. You have an EXCELLENT Program!

  116. 116 Stefan by email
    June 5, 2008 at 19:19

    stefan in prague says,

    i am an obama supporter that was greatly disappointed yesterday when he stated his utmost support for the state of israel, its right to overwhelming military superiority, including nuclear weapons, it’s massive financial suport from the US, it’s jewish majority and an israeli only jerusalem. this is the exact same rhetoric that inflames the muslim world and many others. this unwavering support for israel is exactly what makes america and the world much less safe.

  117. 117 Will Rhodes
    June 5, 2008 at 19:20

    @ Tony

    John McCain’s age is NOT a problem! I know John McCain, I dare ANYONE to attempt to try to keep up with him.

    His age is a problem – one that he cannot get over either. His speech yesterday – in front of a green screen?! OK, that wasn’t his problem that was his camps problem.

    I’ll take your dare about keeping up with him!

    He is out of touch because of the idiotic views he has about many of his policies – which we know are just an extension of Bush’s!

  118. 118 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 19:21

    @ stefan

    WE HAVE A WINNER! He has a problem with Israel being a Jewish majority country. Nothing else need be said. It’s okay for there to be 50+ muslim nations, but one Jewish one is too much. For an Israeli only Jerusalem, there sure are lots of Arabs in Jerusalem. Maybe they are Israelis in disguise?

  119. 119 Will Rhodes
    June 5, 2008 at 19:23

    I think we all should petition the BBC for a two hour show!!

  120. 120 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 19:23

    @ Will

    So let me get this straight. Since I didn’t vote for Obama I was racist. Since I didn’t vote for Clinton, I was sexist. I didn’t vote for Mccain either, but say if I hadn’t, becuase of his age, that’s okay?

    I’ve heard of polls showing that more people will discriinate based upon age than they will about race or gender, yet this is okay????

  121. 121 Shirley
    June 5, 2008 at 19:23

    Thank you, Steve.

  122. 122 Andrew Atuhaire
    June 5, 2008 at 19:24

    America, this is your time. its not a time for Africans, african americans, hispanics, americans of no color, etc…… it is your time to make what is wrong right, ,to head down a path of healing. Vote Obama. (Kampala Uganda)

  123. 123 Will Rhodes
    June 5, 2008 at 19:29

    As I have always said, Steve, vote for who you think represents you – whether it is because of race, sex, gender or the colour of the hat they wear – but vote!

    I point out that John McCain is ageing, 72 if he should win and take office. I also look at him on the stumps – you may have noticed my blog is a bit politically motivated, his speech Tuesday was a disgrace!

    My wife couldn’t believe it – she just looked on in shock at him. “That is who the republicans are voting for?”

    I predict a land-slide to Obama on my blog – and I believe it will be once Obama and McCain get debating.

  124. 124 Richard by email
    June 5, 2008 at 19:29

    Yes, experience matters; considering our experience with 7 years of consistent and colossal failure by Bush and his lieutenant, McCain, which put the United States and the world in a state of perpetual confrontation. I’ll take a fresh new approach over McCain’s stubborn adherence to utter failure, thank you.


    Portland, OR

  125. 125 Mustapha by text
    June 5, 2008 at 19:34

    I condemn any form of terrorism against any people be them Americans,Palestinians,Israelis or any body, But i think the U.S needs to change its foreing policy about the Middle east to match with its values.Not to be one sided.

    Mustapha, Sokoto, Nigeria.

  126. 126 Chiya by text
    June 5, 2008 at 19:34

    Experience brings bias with it.A fresh approach will b welcomed by those wit frayed relations wit the US.

    Chiya, Zambia

  127. 127 Seth by text
    June 5, 2008 at 19:36

    What are advisers and a cabinet for if experience matters so much? Henry Ford built great cars with the help of experts! So will Obama lead USA thru reason! Seth.

  128. 128 Abdi by text
    June 5, 2008 at 19:37

    The best foreign policy obama should adopt is to increase foreign aid to the poorest continent on earth,& help to rebuild IRAQ.


  129. 129 Umar by text
    June 5, 2008 at 19:37

    Let say if Obama and McCain should be voted by the rest of the world, Obama will give him a knockout, no two ways about it.

    Umar from Yola Nigeria

  130. 130 Mathew by email
    June 5, 2008 at 19:39

    Obama is no match for the veteran politician and war-hero McCain. I do not want a President who wants to talk to terrorists government like Iran and communist dictators like Castro. Obama is charming and charismatic, but he cannot lead our country at this present stage.


  131. 131 Hope by text
    June 5, 2008 at 19:48

    It is very shocking in this modern times to hear someone suggest that a man freely elected will not be accepted in some parts of the world. Appalling, is it due to skin colour?.

    Hope from Nigeria.

  132. 132 George by text
    June 5, 2008 at 19:49

    In much of our African culture not talking to enemies is a form of aggression. We believe that talking to them sort of disarms them. So for Obama saying he would like to talk to US enemies it could be a cultural instinct.

    George in Zambia.

  133. 133 Dempster by text
    June 5, 2008 at 19:56

    Hi, Mr Obama will only succeed to bring calm in the Middle East or anywhere else if he do away with favoritism. Favoritism breeds resentment.

    Regards, Dempster

  134. 134 Chiya by text
    June 5, 2008 at 19:57

    George Bush didn t know the capital of India if I m not mistaken. Obama is more experienced than Bush was then. Chiya in Zambia

  135. June 5, 2008 at 20:10

    They both stink!!
    That America will be held in the highest place if Obama was elected because he is black!! Not because he deserves to be the President or because he earns it. So the rest of the people will say we are not racists!
    Who cares! I do not care what the rest of the world will say, I will not vote for the phony Obama who does not deserve to be even a senator.
    The phony Obama is just a phony flaky person and a deceiving one. He cannot even speak well, and he will never win.
    McCain is not conservative enough and a disappointment!

  136. 136 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 5, 2008 at 20:21

    @ Mathew — Good point. Obama is “no match” for McCain and his promise to continue our current policy toward Cuba and Iran, et alia, that has been so dazzlingly successful over the last 50 years or so. Wouldn’t want to imperil that record by something so dangerous as “talking.” Thank you for your penetrating vision, undistracted by Obama’s cheap, flashy “charm” and “charisma,” or his education, intelligence, or imagination. Too bad we can’t give Bush a third term. Maybe he and Cheney will cobble up some crisis that precludes the election. We can only hope.

  137. 137 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 5, 2008 at 20:24

    O dear; Richard in Portland already said it all, and arguably better than I. Never mind….

  138. June 5, 2008 at 20:29

    @ Tony GOP

    Yeah, I’ll take your dare too. I would think that if it were the other way where he had to keep up with me, by his 4th night without sleep he would probably have irreversible flashbacks from his days in captivity. lol, of course dealing with some of the people I have to work with would make him think he was in captivity again.

    I agree his age is the least of his problems. It is his debt to lobbyists, his self admitted ignorance about the economy, his belief that invading Iraq was necessary, his support for an administration that has been revealed as corrupt by ex-insiders, and his changing view on everything from amnesty to tax breaks for the wealthy that are the problems. In the grand scheme of things his age is way down on the list. Just above the fact he looks like a turtle about to pull his head into it’s shell.

    I think we should have a cut off age of about 60 for presidential candidates. It can take up to 10 years before the full weight of bad decisions by a president or legislator can be fully realized. They should be young enough to have to live through the world they created. They should have to see the damage or benefit their policies have become.

  139. 139 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 5, 2008 at 21:10

    Beside who win & loose USA need drastice changes in public satisfaction sector, a little briefing is available for kind perusal of both;-
    1. Approach of law enforcement agencies need detailed scrutiney, to gain public trust & restoration of dignity being a part of US society.
    2.Job crises need detailed investigation;-
    (a) Because of China land US investment.
    (b) Because of enviremental structural changes.
    (c) Policy with small business ownership.
    3.Elemination of double standard of Citizenship/ residency in USA;-
    (a) Immediate efforts towards colour & racial issues.
    (b) Fixing religious diversity by way of providing proper guideline to media specially Christine & Jewish coordenation against bible original version, just to achieve the goals without knowing the damages to US & Humanity, along with detailed scrutiney of funding.
    4, Level of emotional damages need to be figuirout by an independant agency.

  140. 140 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 21:13

    @ Syed

    What is the double standard of citizenship/residency in the US?

    You think the media should be sensitive to various versions of religious books of all religions? Kind of like how they should be with other works of fiction as there are different editions of books?

  141. 141 Jens
    June 5, 2008 at 21:17


    what has Christine to do with the jewish people. it is unfair to single out one single name or even person. i have a friend called Christine and she is a really really nice person and does not need media guidliness.

  142. 142 Jonathan Rasmussen
    June 5, 2008 at 21:38

    Really this topic is quite touching. I hate to disllusion anyone, but Americans don’t care a whit about foreign policy. They care only about domestic policy, squealing like spoiled children when anything gets at all uncomfortable in the richest, fattest country in history. We didn’t lift a finger to help the UK or anyone else in WW II until the Japanese attacked us. We didn’t take much interest in the Middle East until the heart of our biggest city was destroyed, and then we whimsically reacted by destroying an irrelevant country, apparently chosen at random.

    At the moment, gasoline prices have risen, and an hour of exposure to any US news medium will reveal that the citizenry is obsessed with this above all else. The next election will be won or lost on the basis of who can credibly promise to lower them. Yes, not only do we actually believe that the President controls gasoline prices somehow, but we think that is the most important function of the Presidency. Running a distant second, our massively inflated house prices have slightly declined. Eeek! The sky is falling!

    Forgive us, but we simply haven’t got time for foreign policy. It’s so, well, foreign.

  143. 143 steve
    June 5, 2008 at 21:42

    @ Jonathan

    That’s completely untrue. The US provided arms to the British before the Us entered the war. US pilots would volunteer in the RAF. If you remember, the US isn’t located in europe, so why would the US enter a war in europe if it wasn’t attacked? Canada only entered because Canada was basically a colony and wasn’t as independent as it was today, and the British were famous for using colonials to do the dirty work for them on difficult missions, such as Dieppe and Gallipoli in WW1.

  144. 144 CJ McAuley
    June 5, 2008 at 21:48

    Even for someone who was formerly VP, I cannot see how anyone could be “prepared” to be the President of the USA; the most powerful position on this planet. No doubt there will be “swift-boat” and “flag-pin” type ads against Obama in the real stuff of the campaign through the fall. If this program is about foreign policy I daresay that someone who has actually lived abroad, as a civilian, is much further ahead than a military man who was a prisoner in Vietnam, 30-plus years ago. I do not mean to denigrate McCain; just to say that his view may be jaded by personal experience while serving his country in the military in a widely accepted “wrong” war.
    What does “talking without pre-conditions” really mean anyway? Talking is always better than fighting or deciding, based on incomplete “intelligence”, that some kind of military strike must be made! This phrase is nothing but a canard that the Republicans will beat to death in the upcoming general election!
    I am looking forward to hearing what each candidate ACTUALLY SAYS in the coming campaign, instead of hearing these mouthpieces spout what they THINK each man thinks!!!

  145. 145 Tino
    June 5, 2008 at 22:02

    “1) Why is Israel so important to the USA? Does this mean it’s the only state it can trust in the Middle East?
    2) Is it true that the Jewish lobby is the strongest in the USA, without which no US administration can take any decision?
    3) Does any of the candidate have a plan to expand US military basis around the world, especially in Africa?
    4) Which of these countries does the USA fear most to topple it from its current power, Russia, China or India?”

    1.) Because they are the only true friendly country in the whole region. Yes it is.
    2.) Do not know or care, I am not Jewish and fully support Israel anyway.
    3.) Do not know.
    4.) I would like to be friends with all of them. All of our problems with each are solvable as they are secular in nature and very concrete.

    “Steve and Tino types will no longer be the force and the right.”

    I sure hope I do not need to give up my country to the Patrick types. Though if it did go that way it wouldn’t last long – the people you try to Koombayah with will certainly take care of that.

    PS: I still love how you guys know what motivates them better than they do: ““Israel and ‘carte blanche’ is the reason for Arab hatred.” Sure, they come out and say they attack us because we do not believe in Allah. But Patrick knows better than they right? Read the Hamas and Hezbollah charters and stop being ignorant of the truth. See where I go and see what they ACTUALLY say you just make up whatever suits you best.

    @ Shirley:

    “I also know that there seems to have been an increase in acts of racism against Muslims in the U.S. over the past few years.”

    1.) Muslims are a religious group not a race.
    2.) Take a look at these: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2006/victims.html

    FBI Hate Crime stats for 2006 (most recent year available):
    #1 65.4 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
    #2 11.9 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.

    #3 4.9 percent were victims of an anti-Catholic bias.
    #4 3.7 percent were victims of an anti-Protestant bias.

    Wow you guys are certainly targeted more than those Jews eh? Both Christian groups add up to 8.6% which is fairly close to Islam anyway. No big problem here, except the one made up by all of you with your ‘Islamaphobia’ nonsense. Maybe we should have a Jewphobia instead?

    “I can only guess that Diallo wanted to know whether it is criminal for a U.S. President to show any favour to a Muslim-dominated country”

    We have helped numerous Muslim countries in the past. Kuwait and Kosovo come to mind instantly. I am sorry our support of Israel, the only country in the region to ever be truly friendly to us, offends you so much.

    “Hope for me, like Michelle to be really proud of where I chose to retire to?”

    If you do not like it here in the US, feel free to leave and take her with you. Go live in one of the Muslim countries you seem to like so much.

    “He is out of touch because of the idiotic views he has about many of his policies – which we know are just an extension of Bush’s!”

    He butts heads regularly with his own party and is far more of a centrist than Obama is, which is why he is going to get my Independent vote.

  146. 146 Venessa
    June 5, 2008 at 22:02

    Richard in Portland – that’s what I’ve been thinking all day but haven’t found the best way to articulate it. You said it!

  147. 147 Roberto
    June 5, 2008 at 23:41

    Yes, experience matters; considering our experience with 7 years of consistent and colossal failure by Bush and his lieutenant, McCain, which….

    ——— which reveals more about your intractable bias than it does about the presidential contest.

    McCain was famously victimized by a grossly racial PAC attack on his character which cost him the South Carolina primary in 2000 to Bush, forcing him to withdraw his candidency shortly after.

    McCain has opposed Bush enough in his role as senator that he is equally victimized by far right media icons such as Limbaugh who have gone on record as advising Reps to vote Dem rather than vote McCain.

    I don’t care who you chose to support since a decent case can be made for most candidates.

    Ham handed insinuations and direct mischaracterizations have been the speciality of Bush’s true lieutenant, Rove, who you may have studied for application purpose.

    Now, if you need a further lesson on insinuations and mischaracterizations, just wait until Rep PACs chew up Obama with their ads. Your buttons may well pop in pride at the professional quality produced ads.

    I would say you have just made a good case for a benign dictatorship or monarchy. The priniciples of democracy seem to have escaped you.

  148. 148 Catalina
    June 5, 2008 at 23:59

    Tino- I think you stopped saying anything productive after your first post. What does adapting to the host culture have to do with whether or not Senator Obama or Senator McCain should be chosen? I know you were responding to someone’s earlier post, but really you’re not saying anything worthwhile. Although I’m essentially doing the same thing, but you probably don’t hear this enough: calm down and stop talking gibberish.
    I do agree with you in one point- most people who live in this country must adapt in order to survive, because unfortunately that is the mindset that people in power created and enforced in the early days of this country. To gain easy access to great opportunities and succeed here it helps to be of a certain race, gender, economic status etc. When you don’t fit into any category- keep it to yourself, and as you say either adapt or leave. I believe that Senator Obama will work in a more positive direction where people will have an equal playing field and be judged by their skills and merits not their physical appearances or socio-economic status because he (unlike other candidates) has not be enveloped in the political machine that babies corporate interest instead of working for the people who voted for them.
    I would be interested in learning what kind of experiences you’ve had to fill you with so much animosity towards bi-lingual people in the US, but my experience is that people who hold on to such convictions with that much anger are set in their ways. Still you should think about how the US is not like other countries, where there is NO one official language, religion etc. It was formed by diverse communities and cultures and unfortunately when you try to ram the “American way” down people’s throat you isolate yourself from the reality of the “American” people. Try and listen to others experiences and if their angry try to understand why. It’s not because you’re not fluent. It’s because you force your mainstream American way on them (when that’s not who they are) when you express things like, “Keep your food, your own language (at home), and your religion but adapt to our culture or you should have never come in the first place”.

  149. 149 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 01:32

    “I would be interested in learning what kind of experiences you’ve had to fill you with so much animosity towards bi-lingual people in the US, but my experience is that people who hold on to such convictions with that much anger are set in their ways.”

    I do not have animosity towards bi-lingual people. My own grandmother was Ecuadorian and she spoke spanish as her first language. I have a problem with people who feel they can come to the US and not speak English (ever, as in wont learn). I also do not see what is wrong with that stance. I also do not see what is wrong with my statement. I feel immigrants can completely keep their culture/identity except for where it conflicts with ours. I like having a variety of food choices, I do not mind hearing other languages either – I do mind going to Miami international and having everyone there assume I speak spanish fluently. If Americans went to another country and did not learn their language and such what would they say? I am sure it would be something like: “Typical American, trying to force their way on us”, no? Why does that not work both ways.

    To bring things somewhat back on topic as you did, McCain thinks it is very important for immigrants to learn English: http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/John_McCain_Immigration.htm

    Which, obviously, I agree with. He is also not anti-immigration which I again agree with. He balances on this issue in a way I like much better than obama. I do not even care about making English the ‘official language’ I just want to go anywhere in the country and have everyone start in English first. As I said, in Miami, that does not happen. The airport broadcasts messages in Spanish first and many signs start with Spanish as well. The people who work there assume you speak it and proceed as such (lost my luggage, everyone who walked up to me immediately spoke Spanish until I stopped them and told them I do not speak it fluently). If we both speak Spanish – great go for it. If you are at home – same deal.

  150. 150 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 03:41

    Am I the only one who feels Obama is a bit too quick to switch his views: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1212659672984&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

    Not the first time either.

  151. 151 Tino
    June 6, 2008 at 03:57


    He either needs to get to know the people he hangs out with better (Wright, Rezko) or he is a flat out liar.

    “Rezko has known Obama since he entered politics, raised money for his Illinois campaigns and was involved in a 2005 real estate deal with him. Obama has donated $150,000 in Rezko-related contributions to charity.”

    “Obama issued a statement saying he was “saddened,” adding, “This isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew, but now he has been convicted by a jury on multiple charges that once again shine a spotlight on the need for reform.””

  152. 152 Abi
    June 6, 2008 at 06:12

    I have heard many of Mr Bush speaches and I do not recall him calling Moslems terrorists, therfore I am rather surprised to read the anti-Bush brigade accusing him of being anti-Moslems. Mr Obama lacks experience . I fell Mr McCain will make a great president of the USA due to his vast experience.

  153. June 6, 2008 at 06:24

    Sorry, I will not play your game and I will not tell your lies. No Politician has any power to do anything. The Pentagon runs the United States. The rest is propaganda.

  154. 154 Julie P
    June 6, 2008 at 13:05


    I think it was right after 9/11, or at least early in his presidency, when I listened to a press conference where I heard him attempting to discourage people from xenophobia of people of middle eastern descent. As time wore on, and so did the war in Iraq, he began to sound more like his supporters. Finally, some of his press conferences were peppered with the term “Islamofascist”. That is a very a derogatory term.

  155. 155 Ogola Benard
    June 6, 2008 at 13:06

    To stand the world means to be an orator. Obama and mccain are people who have thought themselves to be just for the cause of the world.
    just like one would go to the radio and make him or herself heard.The present situation, now is governance!
    who would mess it up? Its it Obama or Mccain?

  156. 156 Syed Hasan Turab
    June 6, 2008 at 17:51

    Dteve & Jens,
    Double Standard of Citizenship/residency is purely practical problem with bias interpretation of constitution, law, city managements rules & related enforcement in a crocut way. This behaviour produce an ignorant behaviour careless about status, quality of life & law to live in a society, we may observe criminal society from generation to generation as a chain link to criminal records, probations, without any chance, hope, wish & will to get the citizenship status living in same country, society as most of them born & raised in USA.
    As far as interpretation of Bible is concerned please check after 1948 how many new version’s been added & how many channels are projecting these addition’s.
    Please dont forget who provide finances to publish & project these versions, these finances are part of Tax surpluses, if a company & corporation dont spend these funds in religious (exemption’s) accounts may be collected as tax by IRS.
    On the top of that all these versions are an effort to buildup a unity between Jewish & Christine’s beside that commentry of this united front always provide ground of hate for Muslims.
    I wish I have more time, thanks for question’s, may god bless you.

  157. 157 Sohail
    June 7, 2008 at 08:23

    I think there are alot of differences between Obama and McCain on foreign policy. Obama sees the real terrorist threats in Afghanistan and Pakistan while McCain sees it in Iraq. In this regard and in many others, I think Obama’s position is totally right since many intelligence agencies including CIA, FBI and others have claimed that the tribal areas of Pakistan is the hideout and sanctuary of the Al-Qaida.

    The other differences include: Obama wants the troops to carefully withdraw from Iraq but instead wants to reinforce further troops and economic assistance to Afghansitan. and attack terrorist hideouts in Paksitan without permision of the Pakistani government in order to uproot the terrorist elements.

    Obama wants to use diciplined and strong diplomacy with America’s foes such as Iran and North Korea while McCain may go to war with them. I think Obama is right in this aspect as well. Let us talk!!

    Overall, I think Obama is the best choice!

  158. 158 Bamine Charlie Boye
    June 7, 2008 at 08:40

    Obama is portray to the World as the next US President who will restore the US image back to the world after it has been mess by the most unpopular President ever since in US Moder History.
    McSame (Mccain) the boy of Bush will still follow the footstep of his boss.
    Obama has the most approved Foreign policy proposal whilst McSame foreign Policy are all of the same as his boss Bush
    The world is tired of those policy now they need Obama’s policy

  159. 159 arshams
    June 7, 2008 at 11:52

    Neither of the two is not very well known to the world yet we hope Ameriacan would elect the next president who would be peace loving, not a lover of wars and massacres.

  160. 160 arshams
    June 8, 2008 at 11:19


    Neither of the two is very well known to the world yet we hope the Americans would elect their next president who would be peace loving, not a lover of wars and massacres.

  161. 161 David
    June 9, 2008 at 19:25

    The question is “Where do Obama and McCain stand on the World Stage”?

    The answer is:

    Barack Obama is in his 40 tees. McCain is in his 70 tees. Does this answer your question?

    Or do you want to know the IQ differences and what the world thinks? I do not think you want to because you will have a shock!!

    But any way I will tell you.

    Obama will be the next President of America and make a huge difference in this world we live in. You may like it or you may hate it. It is up to you.

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