Barack Obama’s campaign released his latest ad, which true to form, says almost nothing about Obama’s policies. It does mention a few hot-button issues in foreign policy, such as nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and oil prices, and manages to work in one legislative accomplishment — and wildly overstates it. Otherwise, it’s little more than a laundry list of issues without any hint as to how Obama would address them:
Announcer: 40 years ago it was missile silos and the Cold War. Today, it’s cyber attacks…loose nukes…oil money funding terrorism.
Barack Obama understands our changing world.
On the Foreign Relations Committee, he co-sponsored a law to lock down loose nuclear weapons. As president, he’ll rebuild our alliances to take out terrorist networks… And fast-track alternatives so we stop spending billions on oil from hostile nations.
New leadership for a changing world.
Obama VO: I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message.
He understands our changing world? Obama doesn’t even acknowledge the change in Iraq since his last visit there in January 2006. How exactly does Obama explain his lack of acknowledgment of that change? So far, the only explanation we’ve seen is the Orwellian re-write of history on his website.
Obama did co-sponsor the bill he references in this ad — along with 25 other Senators. It gives no indication that Obama did any work other than attaching his name to it. Further, despite what Obama’s website states, it was not called the Lugar-Obama Bill. And, in fact, it never even came to a vote; the bill died in 2006 after being reported out of committee. If that’s the only work to which Obama can point on foreign policy, it’s so thin as to suggest anorexia.
This ad says nothing, and even for a notoriously ambiguous campaign manages to make no commitments at all. Obama promises new leadership, but the only example he gives us is one of a follower on a failed project. And on the one hot issue of the moment — oil prices funding hostile regimes — Obama wants to block the US from producing its own oil, a solution that would actually address the issue. It’s a complete swing and a miss, and more than a touch vapid even for the Hope and Change Campaign. (via Political Machine)
Update: There was another version of the “Lugar-Obama bill” that did make it into law, but it addressed conventional weapons, mostly either shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and IEDs. It piggybacked onto the Lugar-Nunn initiative of the early 90s. Even Obama’s press release emphasizes that this bill focused on conventional weapons:
The Lugar-Obama initiative would energize the U.S. program against unsecured, lightweight anti-aircraft missiles and other conventional weapons. There may be as many as 750,000 man-portable air defense systems in arsenals worldwide, and the State Department estimates that more than 40 civilian aircraft have been hit by such weapons since the 1970s. In addition, loose stocks of small arms and other weapons help fuel civil wars in Africa and elsewhere and provide the means for attacks on peacekeepers and aid workers seeking to stabilize war-torn societies. In Iraq, unsecured stockpiles of artillery shells and ammunition have been reconfigured into improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that have become an effective weapon for insurgents.
S.2566 went nowhere, as a Thomas search will reveal (the URLs are dynamic and don’t provide good links). Calling this version a “loose nukes” bill overstates it significantly.