Thursday, September 06, 2007

The incredible wonkiness of Bill Richardson

By Libby
Udated in text

Michael van der Galien unearths an essay on foreign policy done by presidential candidate Bill Richardson that I would agree deserves a lot more attention. The essay is long and wonky and so is Michael's summary, so I'll just give you the really short summary of the summary and let you read the long versions for yourself.

[Update: Apologies to our readers for the repeat on this one. I hadn't remembered Cernig's excellent analysis of the Richardson essay from only a couple of weeks ago. But mine's still shorter so I'm leaving it up.]

It's a well thought out and substantive position paper that basically advises the obvious and sane solutions. More diplomacy with our adversaries and less confrontation. More outreach to our allies with a focus on international consensus instead of undertaking gratutious acts of aggression. Taking a leadership role in international relations generally and working towards strengthening the UN instead of destroying it. Joining the international court and signing on to Kyoto, plus taking a leadership role in combating climate change. Taking human rights seriously and ending abominable practices like "alternate interrogation."

Most importantly, and this is where Michael and I diverge, Richardson calls for withdrawing from Iraq. Michael, is still convinced by the central front on terror argument and finds this one suggestion appalling. Needless to say, I think it's the single best point Richardson makes and he justifies it well. But that aside, I'd agree with Michael, after reading this, that it's a shame Richardson doesn't have a chance at the nomination. Often the smartest guys are the worst public speakers but whoever wins the White House should strongly consider tapping him for a high level foreign policy position within the new administration.

No comments: