Mona Charen

What does it mean to say that the security of Americans is "inextricably linked" to the security of everyone on the planet? In practice, what guidance does this insight offer in dealing with, for example, our interest in a secure and non-extremist Pakistan as against the interests of al-Qaida in promoting an Islamic Republic of Pakistan? How does a president of the United States take into account the security needs of Russians, Iranians,and Chinese? Should he? Mrs. Clinton should be taking notes.

Clinton and Obama have already clashed on the question of talking with Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-Il. Obama feels strongly that President Bush's failure to meet these leaders face to face was a "disgrace."

What would they talk about if they did meet? Perhaps they'd discuss Obama's plan to eliminate the world's nuclear weapons. He has said, "Here's what I'll say as president: 'America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons.'"

It is undeniable that Obama is a dignified, intelligent man of great self-possession. His appeal is understandable. But his foreign policy posture is utterly flaccid, squishy and European.

Clinton hasn't exactly been Curtis LeMay herself. And surely she voted for the war only to inoculate herself against what happened to John Kerry in 2004. Still, she cannot change that now. Might as well make a virtue of necessity and exploit the opening to Obama's right -- the opening labeled patriotism.

Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
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