Obama Adviser: ‘Last Chance’ for Peace

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The New York Sun


A senior foreign policy adviser to Senator Obama, Gregory Craig, is arguing that the next four years may offer a final opportunity to achieve peace in the Middle East. “This is, maybe, a last chance this next term,” Mr. Craig said at a foreign policy forum in Denver yesterday morning. “Not only a last chance for a president of the United States to be relevant … but for the people in the region to reach an accommodation. … It’s one of these strange situations where we know what the answer is and the idea is getting people to it.” Mr. Craig’s comments suggest that if the presumptive Democratic nominee, Mr. Obama, wins in November, he would press quickly for talks among Israel, the Palestinian Arabs, and others in the region, such as Syria and Lebanon. President Bush and President Clinton both made their most assertive drives for a peace deal in the waning months or days of their presidency.


Two New York congresswomen addressed the Democratic National Convention last night, championing Senator Obama’s plans to end the Iraq war and enact universal health care. Rep. Nita Lowey of Long Island read aloud a letter from a Georgia woman who wrote about the difficulty of the extended deployment of her husband in Iraq. “We must end the stress and heartache the war in Iraq has caused our military families,” Ms. Lowey said. “Barack Obama will guarantee our troops equal time at home for length of their deployments. John McCain opposes it.” Rep. Louise Slaughter of upstate New York criticized Mr. McCain on health care, saying his plan for expanded access represents “more of the same.” Both lawmakers spoke around 7:30 p.m. Eastern, shortly after another New Yorker, Senator Schumer.


When Senators Obama and Biden campaign by bus in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio after wrapping up the Democratic National Convention, they’ll be following a familiar route. Republicans George Bush and Dick Cheney took a whistlestop tour by train of Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois after leaving their national convention in 2000. And Democrats Bill Clinton and Al Gore launched a 1,000-mile post-convention bus tour in 1992 that took them to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. Theodore Roosevelt campaigned from a train during his 1903 run for the presidency, and Harry S. Truman did the same in his successful 1948 presidential campaign. At the time, flying around the country wasn’t the easy option it is today. But candidates still turn to bus and train tours as a colorful way to continue the momentum fom their national conventions. Messrs. Obama and Biden, senators from Illinois and Delaware, will be accompanied by their wives, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.


An anti-war concert headlined by the reunited Rage Against the Machine drew thousands of fans to the Denver Coliseum, many with tattoos, body piercings, or “Iraq Veterans Against the War” T-shirts. The mood was both laid-back and political as the show got under way yesterday morning. A juggler performed on the sidewalk near a replica of a Guantanamo Bay prison cell. The band State Radio opened while activists met backstage to plan a march once the show was over. About 8,000 free tickets were handed out by lottery for the show, sponsored by Tent State University and Iraq Veterans Against the War. Rage Against the Machine also plans a concert September 3 in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention, which takes place just across the Mississippi river in St. Paul.

The New York Sun

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