Cal  Thomas

Does Obama have such qualities and should a political neophyte, a former state senator from Illinois, with just two years of experience in the U.S. Senate, be hired for the world's most important job? Should voters exert blind faith that he is up to the challenge?

What is Obama's view about the threat from terrorists from without and within our country? He says the United States should never have gone to war in Iraq, that invading the country was a bad strategic blunder, but that having gone, we must make sure that Iraq is stable. Does he consider a stable Iraq with an elected and functioning government important enough to finish the job?

If not, would he accept responsibility for what would likely follow a withdrawal of U.S. troops, a withdrawal he proposed in November, such as a terror state that might launch attacks against its neighbors and recruit suicide bombers for missions inside the United States?

"Only through this phased redeployment can we send a clear message to the Iraqi factions that the U.S. is not going to hold together this country indefinitely - that it will be up to them to form a viable government that can effectively run and secure Iraq," Obama said. "It is time to give Iraqis their country back, and it is time to refocus America's efforts on the wider struggle yet to be won."

But what if, for whatever reason, Iraqis are not yet ready to bear full responsibility for their country and for the insurgency that seeks to permanently occupy it? Would he accept responsibility for such a gigantic policy failure? When you're president, you don't get to pass the buck.

These are the questions that need answering. We have a right to know what manner of individual aspires to the Oval Office, before we give him, or her, the honor, privilege and responsibility of the office.

In short, it's time to start writing on that blank slate and to seriously contemplate what's written there.

Cal Thomas

Get Cal Thomas' new book, What Works, at Amazon.

Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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