So are we getting that “change” we had “hope” for, yet?
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
In electing Barack Obama, the country traded the foreign policy of the second President Bush for the foreign policy of the first President Bush.
That is the meaning of Obama’s apparent decision to keep Robert Gates on as defense secretary and also to select Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
With strong ties to the military and a carefully cultivated image of tough-mindedness, Clinton will protect the incoming president’s back from those on the right ready to pounce at any sign of what they see as weakness.
As for Gates, Obama has found the ideal figure to help him organize his planned withdrawal from Iraq, and to bless it.
What’s most striking about Obama’s approach to foreign policy is that he is less an idealist than a realist who would advance American interests by diplomacy, by working to improve the country’s image abroad, and by using military force prudently and cautiously.
This sounds a lot like the foreign policy of George H.W. Bush, and it makes perfect sense that Obama has had conversations with the senior Bush’s closest foreign policy adviser, Brent Scowcroft. Obama has drawn counsel from many in Scowcroft’s circle, and Gates himself was deputy national security adviser under Scowcroft.
The truth about Obama’s worldview was hidden in plain sight in his most politically consequential foreign policy speech. Antiwar Democrats cheered Obama for addressing a rally against the Iraq war in Chicago’s Federal Plaza on Oct. 2, 2002. His opposition to the war was a major asset in his nomination struggle with Clinton…
There was nothing “hidden in plain sight”. It was out in the open, all along (which gives Obama the right to say he didn’t lie). But there was a huge group pf people who were so anti-Iraq war that they were willing to listen to the anti-Iraq War rhetoric Obama used to defeat Clinton in the Primary and somehow close their ears and minds to the real militaristic agenda that Obama wants to continue.
And this isn’t just about pitting the “anti-war” folks against the “war” folks. I am not anti-war, but I am anti-criminal activity especially when it the criminals are the ones that control this country. I cannot stand the hypocrisy of it and even less, I cannot condone killing and maiming so many other people for these criminal reasons.
…In fact, Obama sounded a great deal like — Brent Scowcroft. In a widely noted 2002 op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, published six weeks before Obama gave his speech, Scowcroft warned that an invasion of Iraq “very likely would have to be followed by a large-scale, long-term military occupation.” Going to Iraq, Scowcroft said, would “divert us for some indefinite period from our war on terrorism,” and it could “destabilize Arab regimes in the region,” “stifle any cooperation on terrorism” and “even swell the ranks of the terrorists.” Clinton, who once said that “we have to be both internationalists and realists,” is a natural fit with the new Obama-Scowcroft-Gates establishment. In explaining the appeal of Clinton, a senior Obama adviser recently spoke several times of the president-elect’s respect for her “toughness” and described the practical reasons for choosing a figure who would have instant credibility around the world…
And yes, militarily, President Clinton was basically a continuance of Papa Bush’s policy. The big difference is that Papa Bush and Willy knew not to be as brazen about their actions. They had differing styles, but the policy continued and even got worse under Clinton. When Baby Bush createdfound his opportunity (911) to become brazen (harboring an astonishing 90%+ Approval rating… I can say I was part of those pesky 10%ers) he went fucking nuts.
…Obama’s national security choices are already causing grumbling from parts of the antiwar left, even if Obama made clear six years ago that while he was with them on Iraq, he was not one of them.
Ironically, Obama is likely to show more fidelity to George H.W. Bush’s approach to foreign affairs than did the former president’s own son. That’s change, maybe even change we can believe in, but it’s not the change so many expected
I agree, not many “expected” this kind of “change”, but that simply shows their blindness and readiness to follow any perceived Savior without even listening to what their Messiah is saying.
I knew that Barack Obama was not on the up in up when he flip-flopped on his Palestinian stance and became the Zionist regime’s bag man. The day I saw for myself that AIPAC owned him, I knew he had been bought. Since then, there have been countless issues in which the illusion was forced into the light, yet reality was never absorbed by his followers… the “Progressives”.