Video: McCain says Obama’s foreign policy is “reckless”

John McCain ratcheted up the rhetoric between himself and Barack Obama today calling Obama’s foreign policy toward Iran “reckless” and questioning his judgment to lead the nation in this area.

The video on it from ABC News:

In response, Obama criticized McCain, video from the Associated Press:

A report from AOL News:

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate John McCain accused Democratic front-runner Barack Obama on Monday of underestimating the threat posed by Iran and ridiculed his pledge to meet Iran’s leader if elected.

McCain, in a theme likely to play out in the campaign for the November election, sought to portray Obama as too inexperienced to be trusted as commander in chief.

At a speech to the National Restaurant Association in Obama’s home town of Chicago, McCain said the Democratic front-runner’s stated desire to hold direct talks with the leaders of hostile countries like Iran “betrays the depth of Senator Obama’s inexperience and reckless judgment.”

McCain said a meeting would grant Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad prestige and international legitimacy and probably would not persuade him to give up nuclear ambitions.

“It could very well convince him that those policies are succeeding in strengthening his hold on power, and embolden him to continue his very dangerous behavior. The next president ought to understand such basic realities of international relations,” McCain said.

Campaigning in Montana, Obama said President John Kennedy’s willingness to talk to the Soviet Union during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis averted a nuclear catastrophe with a country that posed a much greater threat than Iran does now.

This is fascinating to watch as it’s basically the unfolding of a general election campaign. Obama is being forced to engage in the foreign policy arena and McCain is clearly showing his hand on where he’s going to be attacking Obama.

  • Robert

    I agree with Obama.

    As Chris Matthews states on Friday, the historical tragedy of “appeasement” was to allow Hitler to take over some small countries and hope he’d take no more. “Appeasement” does not mean simply talking to your enemies.

    “Keep your enemies closer.”

  • bdjnk

    When Obama makes statements like “That’s why I made it clear, that I’ll secure all loose nuclear materials around the world, during my first term.” I shudder.

    “I will secure all loose nuclear materials around the world”

    His statement. A direct quote.

    G-d help us if this man becomes our nation’s leader.

  • Michel

    I’m not sure I follow, why is that quote a bad thing? Isn’t it good to secure nuclear threats?

  • Cmc

    Hi Bdjnk,
    All the candidates have big, unlikely, sweeping statements about what will be accomplished should they get the presidency. What do you take exception to in the intention he expressed there?
    (And why is “G-d” a word that needs to be censored?)

  • Michel

    McCain doesn’t have wo worry about the Iraq war. I’m sure G.W. Bush will solve it all before November.

    May 19th, 2008 3:55 pm
    Pentagon announces Iraq, Afghanistan troop deployments

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON – The Pentagon on Monday announced upcoming deployments of more than 42,000 troops, including 25,000 active duty Army soldiers who would be sent to Iraq beginning in the fall to replace troops scheduled to come home by year’s end.

    The deployments would maintain a level of 15 brigades in Iraq, or roughly 140,000 troops — the number military leaders expect will remain on the warfront at the end of July, once the currently planned withdrawals are finished.

    Under the new Pentagon policy effective in August, those active duty Army units will serve for 12 months, rather than the 15-month tours that units in Iraq now are serving. The bulk of the soldiers deploying later this year returned from Iraq late last year, and will have gotten about a year at home to rest and retrain.

    As part of the announcement, The Pentagon alerted four National Guard Army brigades, or about 14,000 troops, to begin preparing for deployments to Iraq beginning next spring, and one National Guard Army brigade, with about 3,100 soldiers, to prepare to deploy to Afghanistan in the spring of 2010.

    The Guard announcements, said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, are being made far in advance so that soldiers and their families can begin training and other preparations for their service.

    Guard brigades heading to Iraq will provide security, while the brigade scheduled to go to Afghanistan in 2010 would train Afghan national forces.

    Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, has said the U.S. will complete the withdrawal of the 20,000 troops that were sent to Iraq last year to tamp down the escalating violence in Baghdad. At the peak, there were 20 brigades with more than 170,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

    Beyond that, he said he wants 45 days to evaluate the security conditions in Iraq, after which he will begin to decide whether more troops can be pulled out. The plan leaves open the possibility that the U.S. could keep 15 brigades there through the end of the years — as voters go to the polls and elect a new president.

    Currently there are 155,000 troops, including 17 combat brigades, in Iraq.

    The seven Army combat brigades and one division headquarters units that would be sent to Iraq later this year are:

    • 25th Infantry Division Headquarters

    • 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, from Fort Carson, Colo.

    • 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

    • 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, from Fort Riley, Kan.

    • 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, from Fort Bragg, N.C.

    • 172nd Infantry Brigade from Schweinfurt, Germany

    • 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, from Fort Hood, Texas.

    • 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, from Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

    The four National Guard brigades being alerted for Iraq duty are:

    • 72nd Brigade Combat Team, Texas National Guard

    • 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard

    • 256th Brigade Combat Team, Louisiana National Guard

    • 278th Brigade Combat Team, Tennessee National Guard

    The unit told to prepare for deployment to Afghanistan was the 86th Brigade Combat Team from the Vermont National Guard. There are currently 33,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, including 15,000 serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, and 18,000 in the U.S.-led effort to train the Afghan Army and conduct counterinsurgency operations.

    I’m sure that’ll work. I’m sure it will, I trust in our president… because, of course, I have obviously forgotten this:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/23/bush.iraq/index.html

  • bdjnk

    About halfway through this video, Obama says the following: “That’s why I made it clear, that I’ll secure all loose nuclear materials around the world, during my first term.”

    It seems as though the reason I was scared by this quote is not clear to Michel and Cmc, so let me elaborate.

    There can be one of two things going on when Obama makes a statement like that. Either he is lying, or he is prepared and actually believes he has the right and the power to do as he says.

    If he is lying then I have no real complaint against him. Aside from a blatant disregard for the intelligence of his constituency, and a easy relationship with the truth.

    However, if he actually hopes to accomplish his stated goal, he is an absolute lunatic.

    One, how will he do it? Will he forcibly enter a country on the suspicion that they have nuclear materials. (why does that sound familiar?) Or maybe he will wait for confirmation from the country itself before invading.

    No wait, Obama doesn’t believe in those type of cowboy tactics. Well, he could always have one of his often touted meetings with those holding said materials. Ask them nicely to put their toys away.

    Two, even if he could do as he says, what gives him the right? Suddenly Obama (as president of the USA) will become the world’s policeman? Taking the ‘securing’ of these materials his prerogative, and making sure we are all doing as he wants? This hardly sound democratic.

    I have said enough.

  • Michel

    Securing nuclear rogue material is beneficial for every country out there. That’s what nuclear non-proliferation treatys are for. I believe too that those goals are pretty lofty, but I highly doubt his stance speaks of any kind of military intervention. Everybody knows Obama. Military intervention is the least of his words.

    So, I have to agree with you, I don’t think he actually believes it.

  • Babs

    bdjnk, I agree with you. Obama, in this case, is either a liar or a lunatic. Or a throwback to his statement a while back that he actually knows more about foriegn policy than either Clinton or McCain. Which brings us back to either he’s a liar or a lunatic.

  • Melvin

    BDJNK, Having served in our military for 8 years (part of which doing “disposal” work). It is easier than you might imagine for the president to have things we consider dangerous in this world eliminated without general knowledge, and having loose nuclear material disposed of is very easy. The reason we have those things scattered everywhere now is because to be honest no president has ever felt a need to get rid of the threat.

    If they claim they are making progress then they have something to run on a 2nd term with, but if they get rid of the threat completely they can’t make a case for their party as still needing to be in office for “The safety of our citizens”.

    I think Obama’s promise is more than a little lofty, but if he uses the real assets of our military he can have it done without an invasion.

    I am more surprised McCain hasn’t proposed pulling out our battle forces and using intelligent clandestine operations. He of all people should know they are far more effective than blunt battle forces.

  • Babs

    Melvin, I think McCain was smart in a statement I heard him make in an interview a while back – “The first thing I’ll do is not tell them what I’m going to do”. To me, that’s the best strategy.

  • bdjnk, correct me if I am wrong, but I think you might be misunderstanding the meaning of “loose nuclear material.” Although I think that Obama’s statement is a very lofty and obviously impossible to accomplish in four years, if ever, it is not impossible with the help of allies in Europe and Asia to secure a considerable amount of loose nuclear material making it even less likely that a terrorist group could get their hands on the combination of materials and know-how to make a weapon.

    It is difficult to stop a developed nation from building a nuclear weapons program, but it is not unrealistic to make it nearly impossible for rogue nations and terrorists groups to acquire nuclear technology.

    Most nuclear countries, even those with tenuous political environments, such as Pakistan, have their nuclear material “secured” by military personal and overseen by international agencies. From my understanding most loose nuclear material (which includes nuclear technology and corrupt scientists) comes from former Soviet Block countries, and tracking it down is half the battle. If you don’t know a nuclear missile is missing (Russia’s official stance is that they haven’t lost any missiles) then how can you even know if you have found “all” of the loose material?

    If we assume that finding it all is basically impossible, then obviously Obama’s plan to secure “all” of this material would be impossible, and any attempt to do so would require a lot of military action and international cooperation throughout Eastern Europe and Asia, which I highly doubt any US administration, or other country could pull off any time in the near future.

  • Oh please win Obama!!!