Barack Obama @ Fareed Zakaria GPS

(photo via Paper Cuts @ NYTimes)

Just finished watching Barack Obama’s interview on Fareed Zakaria GPS. If you want to have a more in-depth understanding of Obama’s foreign policy then this interview is worth watching. In case you missed it, the video will be up soon online. In the meantime, you can check out a quick rundown here, and/or wait for the transcripts to be posted here.

Based on the interview Obama’s foreign policy is generally in alignment with Zakaria’s foreign policy proposals on his latest book, The Post-American World. No surprise there since Obama reads Zakaria (and Zakaria is sympathetic to Obama’s identity). But all in all Obama exhibited his deep knowledge of foreign affairs and his preference for diplomacy.

To me, Obama’s foreign policy makes more sense than McCain’s hardball politics. Case in point: Iraqi leaders calling for a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Zakaria had requested for an interview with McCain on the program, but the McCain camp had yet to respond to the request. I wonder how John McCain would respond to the same questions. Looking forward to it so I can compare Obama and McCain using their own words, sans the campaign spin from both camps. Hopefully, McCain doesn’t commit another slip (e.g. confusing Sunnis with Shiites).

UPDATE: The transcript of the Obama interview is now posted on Ben Smith @

ZAKARIA: Tell me, what is your first memory of a foreign policy event that shaped you, shaped your life?

OBAMA: A first memory. Well, you know, it wasn’t so much an event.

I mean, my first memory was my mother coming to me and saying, “I’ve
remarried this man from Indonesia, and we’re moving to Jakarta on the
other side of the world.”

And that’s, I think, my first memory of understanding how big the world
was. And then, flying there and landing. This was only maybe a year, or
even less than a year, after an enormous coup, the military coup in
which we learned later that over half-a-million people had probably

But it was for me, as a young boy, a magical place. And I think that
probably is when it first enters into my consciousness that this is a
big world. There are a lot of countries, a lot of cultures. It’s a
complicated place.” [read more]