Joe Biden's recent remarks that after Obama is elected, there will be a manufactured crisis somewhere in the world to test him brings up some interesting points. When a nation chooses a young and inexperienced leader, especially one that has a history of opposing armed conflict, it is only natural for America's enemies to choose this time to test us.
This has happened historically many times, not just to America but also throughout history. It happened when we elected John Kennedy and Khrushchev decided to test us with the Cuban missile crisis. It happened when England chose Margaret Thatcher as prime minister and Argentina decided that was the right time to test England. Margaret Thatcher was not young and inexperienced, but in the male-dominated macho world of Argentina, it was just assumed that a woman would not be a strong leader. If they had done their research they would have found out that she wasn't called the Iron Lady for nothing.
Part of this is of no fault of Obama himself. He can't control how old he is or how much experience he has. But part of it is the fact that he ran his whole campaign on the premise that we need to get out of Iraq quickly as possible. This could cause extremist groups all over the world that oppose our presence anywhere to attack us and hope that we leave. He will have no choice but to fight back, and fight back hard, to prove himself and prevent future tests. There is a very strong possibility that this could lead to another war that we don't really have the troops and the manpower to effectively fight right now.
Of course, Obama's supporters will point out that that he is almost exactly the same age and has almost exactly the same years of experience in government as Sarah Palin. Of course, there are two major differences, one she's running for vice president, not president and two she has a reputation for being a very tough fighter.
Although McCain's critics a point out that he might be a little erratic and have a bad temper, that is just the kind of leader that no one really wants to test. Nixon sought to convince the North Vietnamese that he was just a little crazy to improve his bargaining position. Somehow I can't help but think about Richard Pryor's attempt to convince his cellmates, in one of his movies, that he was insane so they would leave him alone.
One of the reasons that virtually everyone in the rest of the world wants America to elect Obama is they think that he will not be assertive on the world stage, and America's power and influence will diminish. And of course each of those countries hopes that partially they will be there to replace that influence. But I believe it is in interest of the United States that we choose a leader like McCain, who no one will dare test. An international crisis and possibly a third war are something we just cannot afford at this moment in our history.