Obama's Speech Tonight.--

Here are the main foreign policy comments in the prepared text of Barack Obama's Minnesota speech tonight (via Drudge):

And it's not change when he [John McCain] promises to continue a policy in Iraq that asks everything of our brave men and women in uniform and nothing of Iraqi politicians — a policy where all we look for are reasons to stay in Iraq, while we spend billions of dollars a month on a war that isn't making the American people any safer.

So I'll say this — there are many words to describe John McCain's attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush's policies as bipartisan and new. But change is not one of them.

Change is a foreign policy that doesn't begin and end with a war that should've never been authorized and never been waged. I won't stand here and pretend that there are many good options left in Iraq, but what's not an option is leaving our troops in that country for the next hundred years — especially at a time when our military is overstretched, our nation is isolated, and nearly every other threat to America is being ignored.

We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in - but start leaving we must. It's time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their future. It's time to rebuild our military and give our veterans the care they need and the benefits they deserve when they come home. It's time to refocus our efforts on al Qaeda's leadership and Afghanistan, and rally the world against the common threats of the 21st century — terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. That's what change is.

Change is realizing that meeting today's threats requires not just our firepower, but the power of our diplomacy — tough, direct diplomacy where the President of the United States isn't afraid to let any petty dictator know where America stands and what we stand for. We must once again have the courage and conviction to lead the free world. That is the legacy of Roosevelt, and Truman, and Kennedy. That's what the American people want. That's what change is.

There are hints here that Obama is starting to become more responsible on Iraq ["We must be as careful getting out of Iraq . . . ."].

Also, he artfully repeats the "hundred years" criticism of McCain in a way that may be misleading but is not false (since here he ties it to manpower needs, not necessarily continuing violence).

He is also very gracious in comments about Hillary Clinton.

UPDATE: Snarky in the comments points out that the language of "careful" withdrawal doesn't mean what I thought it meant. Obama has used much the same language to refer to rapid, phased withdrawal from Iraq:

September 12, 2007

Let me be clear: there is no military solution in Iraq, and there never was. The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq's leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year - now. We should enter into talks with the Iraqi government to discuss the process of our drawdown. We must get out strategically and carefully, removing troops from secure areas first, and keeping troops in more volatile areas until later. But our drawdown should proceed at a steady pace of one or two brigades each month. If we start now, all of our combat brigades should be out of Iraq by the end of next year

January 21, 2008

"I want to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in, but I want to make sure that we get all of our combat troops out as quickly as we can safely."

March 17, 2008

What I do believe is we've got to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in. And that means, I believe, a phased redeployment, with a timetable, with a pace of about one to two brigades per month, pulling our combat troops out, but also redoubling our diplomatic strategy inside Iraq, as well as with the regional players, including Iran and Syria.

Given that Obama was wrong on the main foreign policy issue of his brief time in the Senate (whether the surge would improve the conditions in Iraq), I keep hoping that his obvious intelligence will lead him to recognize what is going on in Iraq and adjust his policies accordingly.