[Guest post by DRJ]
Jake Tapper reports that ABC aired tonight a previously unreleased Nightline interview of Barack Obama after his impressive speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, and Obama had this to say about Iraq:
“Asked Koppel: “Well, how does electing John Kerry resolve that dilemma for America?”
Obama said, “If you look at what has happened over the last several months, I think there is a convergence. Basically, the Bush administration has moved in the direction of its critics in trying to internationalize the reconstruction process. So, I am not sure that, on paper, the differences between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration would be significant.”
Obama continued, “All of us assume that when we make that commitment, that we have to finish the job, we owe it not only to the troops who sacrificed their lives, but also the Iraqi people. The question is, who can execute. Who has the credibility to gather its allies together and to make sure that they are willing to expand their political capital, domestically, to invest into Iraq, to send their own troops into Iraq, to pressure countries, like Iran, to deal with issues of proliferation?
“And I think that there is a strong impression that the Bush administration has squandered its will on the international stage, and that John Kerry would come in with a broader vision and the possibility of bringing people onboard in a way that is necessary for our long-term success,” Obama said.
Koppel said, “Presidents often talk about the importance of their personal relations with other leaders, but essentially that is a lot of hooey. You know, nations do things because of national interest.”
“Absolutely,” agreed Obama.”
You need to read the link to get the full context of Obama’s point but I think this is representative and, needless to say, ironic.