Today on Blogcritics
Home » Will Obama “Change” U.S. Foreign Policy? Part II

Will Obama “Change” U.S. Foreign Policy? Part II

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

As noted in this column on November 9, Barack Obama’s first two presidential acts were not encouraging for those who believed him during the campaign when he said his administration would bring “Change We Can Believe In”. The appointment of Democratic neocons, Joe Biden as vice-president and Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff raised serious questions as to Obama’s commitment to “change” U.S. foreign policy. But, even this writer was willing to give the president-elect the benefit of the doubt until such time as he made more appointments. Well, that time has come. Obama has made three more foreign policy appointments. Each of those appointments indicates no change in direction, but a continuance of failed past policies.

First of all, Robert Gates will stay on as Secretary of Defense. Gates, a career CIA guy has been a vocal critic of Obama’s Iraq withdrawal plan. He supported the invasion of Iraq and bought into the fraudulent excuses for attacking. Additionally, at a time when Russo-American relations need repairing, Obama is keeping a veteran Cold Warrior as head of defense. Lastly, Gates is no Rumsfeld, but he still is connected with the Bush regime and its reign of terror around the world. At the end of the day, Gates is nothing more than an establishment choice for the important position at Defense.

Another Obama appointment was Marine general James Jones as national security advisor. Jones is a good friend of John McCain’s and served as an outside advisor to him on national security issues. As a matter of fact, McCain would have appointed Jones to a similar post. in his administration. Clearly the two are like minded, which calls into question why Obama would want Jones around.

Lastly, there is the appointment of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. During the campaign, the biggest and perhaps only substantive issue that she and Obama differed on was Iraq policy. She voted to give the president the authority to invade and was slow to call for withdraw. This was not the first time her hawkish inclination reared its ugly head. In a 1999 interview with Talk magazine, the former first lady was quoted as saying she urged her husband to use NATO to bomb Serb targets to halt ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. “I urged him to bomb….What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?” The actions and verbiage of Mrs. Clinton seem more like those of a Bush appointee, which doesn’t bode well for the idea that there will be change in foreign policy from the new administration.

No, it is clear from Obama’s appointments that U.S. foreign policy will not change much from the Bush years. It is telling that not a single top official of Obama's foreign policy/national security team opposed the war with Iraq — or the fraudulent claims leading up to it. He has chosen establishment figures that have the approval of the ruling elite. Recently, Senator Lieberman, a big supporter of McCain during the campaign was quoted as saying, "Everything that President-elect Obama has done since election night has been just about perfect, both in terms of a tone and also in terms of the strength of the names that have either been announced or are being discussed to fill his administration". With an endorsement like that we can be assured that on the last Election Day the American people voted to replace one belligerent administration with another.

Powered by

About Kenn Jacobine

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    You missed Obama’s reprehensible choice for Attorney General.

    But I do take exception to your use of the term ‘neocon’ to apply to Biden and Clinton. It’s a real stretch of the term. Not everyone who supported the Iraq war is automatically a neocon. There’s a lot more to the term than just supporting military action. There’s a whole philosophy behind it which we have no reason to think they subscribe to. Hell, even most Republicans who supported invading Iraq are far from being neocons.

    In a similar vein you harp pointlessly on the fraudulent nature of the evidence. That’s so irrelevant at this point that it seems self-defeating to even bring it up. It makes you sound like an irrational ideologue. At this point we’re not in Iraq because of any of the original arguments, and if Obama wants to wrap things up at the pace which most agree will produce the best result for Iraqis, why is that a mistake? It’s way too late to oppose the war itself. At this point you’re opposing peace.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dave, Dave, he also missed Obama’s scandal-ridden pick for White House janitor!

    Come on – Kenn is talking about foreign policy, which the Attorney-General is only peripherally involved with.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    True, but I find myself particularly worried about my civil rights in the next few years – way more than I’m worried about foreign policy.

    Dave

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dave, on reply #1 –

    Good reply. I was ambivalent about us invading Iraq, but I was trusting our president as most citizens will do when the leader of a country says that the country is in clear and present danger of attack…especially after we had suffered 9/11.

    I didn’t know – as Hillary and as the Senate President and President pro tem Republican Dick Armey (the #3 guy in the country) didn’t know – that Bush and Cheney had already decided that we were going to invade regardless of whether Iraq had WMD’s or not…and they were willing to lie about it – even Dick Armey (who initially opposed the invasion) has said how furious he is at Cheney having lied to him.

    Even day before yesterday, Cheney stated that the reason for the invasion wasn’t that Saddam had WMD’s, but that he still had the capability to produce WMD’s…which is analogous to finding a certain felon who had been convicted and had finished his prison term, and arresting and executing him – not because he had committed any other crime, but because he still had the capability to commit another crime (references for all of the above available upon request).

    Dave, we were lied into a war…and most of us, being the patriots that we are, believed the lies.

    But this entire reply backs up what you said above, that initial support for the Iraq war doesn’t mean that one is a neo-con. It only means that we didn’t see through the lies that got us into that war.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    And on your reply to #3, you’ve already given up your right to habeus corpus, to protection from search and seizure without a warrant, to a speedy trial, to legal representation, to protection from imprisonment without a trial, even to freedom of speech.

    But I forget – the Second Amendment is more important than all of that put together, huh?

    “I can’t say what I think, the government can imprison me and my family indefinitely without evidence, without trial, just like in the Soviet Gulag and Communist China…but the government better stay away from my guns like Australia did!”

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dave @ #3:

    Well, get back to me in December 2012 and we’ll see if you were right to be worried. If your concerns turn out to have been viable, I’ll misspell the word ‘glorious’ in my comment ‘All hail to our golrious leader!’ so that you’ll know. Wink wink.

  • Baronius

    Kenn, based on Obama’s appointments and statements since the election, I get the feeling that he just isn’t interested in foreign policy. In fact, if you go back in time and take his opposition to the Iraq War as a standard left-of-center position that he rode into popularity as the war became unpopular, you could argue that he’s never shown interest in foreign policy. Remember, he cast the war in terms of cost, and lumped foreign policy in with matters of energy usage.

    He’s using the slots in international affairs for his “payback” appointments, fulfilling his promise to appoint Republicans and (I suspect) giving Clinton the high-level position he promised in exchange for a peaceful convention. He’s not appointing any Republicans to positions in health care, education, and the environment. Those are probably going to be his “go-to” people.

    This could represent a big change for foreign policy, though. If I’m reading him correctly, he’ll be less likely to get involved overseas.

    Kenn, do you consider Homeland Security to be a foreign policy post? Do you have any read on Napolitano?

  • Zedd

    Dave and the rest of you “Conservatives (major chuckle)”,

    Can you stop embarrassing yourselves? Obama’s tenor hasn’t begun. Your soap opera interpretation of matters of significant historical consequence is getting tiresome. Look you tried it the dumb way. Let’s all agree in unison, it’s stupid. Now sit down, take notes and watch how people who value and utilize brain cells do it. It’s really cool.

    You couldn’t (I’m being generous) have thought that the change that this guy was talking about had to do with putting newbies in important positions. Just couldn’t. You did didn’t you? You simple can’t have not understood that he was talking about methodology? You can’t have not clued in that the way he is introducing his “henchmen” right now is NEW and different, strategic, and well calculated (a la it’s effect on the stock market). Now sit down…. New, different = what? Hint, it starts with a “C”.

    However, try to think (novel idea) and have an argument with yourself, argue against your position then see if your point of view still stands. If it does, then maybe its rational. But this rush to spout, whether regardless as to whether you are informed enough, is a REALLY bad idea. Yes it worked for talk radio personalities but all they were after is making a name for themselves. They took a page from Howard Stern and added politics in the mix and got rich. It is however vacuous. It’s not good enough for meaningful discourse. Oh I forget… I have to remember my audience. It is dumb. Dumb ain’t cute no matter what RUSH tells you. Dumb is just dumb. Now stop embarrassing yourself and the nation. There are millions of thinking people out there who are cringing. And no, not all of them are Liberals or whatever truck stop, AM radio, bad guy word may be en-vogue among the dense set.

  • Baronius

    Zedd, you must be right about conservatives being dumb, because I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius, see, that’s just it. Since conservatives are often (perhaps even usually) empathically-challenged, when they look at another someone they don’t trust, so often instead of actually trying to understand that person’s motives and goals, the conservatives only see reflections of themselves.

    In other words, they see someone about to do what they themselves would do in the same place.

  • Baronius

    See, Glenn, this is where you lose me. I can’t keep track of which great merit you’re attributing to yourself. Are you more objective, and better able to understand things, or more empathetic, and better able to understand others? And how do conservatives manage to even feed themselves when they’re so inferior to you that they barely even count as human? Or, is that how conservatives feed themselves: because the only thing they care about is themselves? It couldn’t be that Zedd’s comment was just incoherent.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dave, we were lied into a war…and most of us, being the patriots that we are, believed the lies.

    I never thought those particular justifications were relevant. I’ve always taken a different view of the middle east and saw plenty of justifications for action against Iraq without the WMD argument being included. But from the start it was also clear that an invasion was not necessarily the best response to the situation regardless of whether there were or were not WMDs.

    I absolutely EXPECT my government to make arguments to render their policies more appealing, including a certain amount of shading the truth. If you want to make an informed decision you have to look at the evidence they are looking at and at other sources, and doing that it was impossible to deny that Saddam had the intent to have WMDs and to use them and that the potential threat was substantial in the long term if not immediately. Bush’s real transgression was not in presenting a deceptive argument, but in not considering the much more reasonable alternatives, especially just buying Saddam off.

    how do conservatives manage to even feed themselves when they’re so inferior to you that they barely even count as human

    Don’t they eat the infant children of the poor roasted on spits over primitive fire pits? In Louisiana I believe they call that Enfant du Lait.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    ew, different = what? Hint, it starts with a “C”.

    Oh yeah, Communism. Thanks for reminding us, Zedd.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Zedd: Obama’s tenor hasn’t begun.

    No, not yet anyway. He’s still a baritone. Just wait till he gets behind the Oval Office desk and starts finding some things out that make his scrotum start to shrink. That should raise his pitch an octave or two.

    Ever wondered why US presidents don’t tend to have deep gravelly voices? Now you know!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Ouch, Doc, that was way off bass. I guess we will all have to continually B-sharp or we’ll continue to C-minor puns from you bassed on the misspellings of others. What would Tony and Carmella Soprano have to say about this?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    This article is ludicrous. I am beginning to think that the only thing as silly [and as destructive] as right-wing rhetoric and lies during the election campaign is left-wingers complaining about Obama now. [For another example, see the flap over Rick Warren today.]

    Clear-eyed, evidence-based criticism or questioning of the new administration is a great idea. Paranoid ramblings based on false assumptions…not so much. And demanding that he appoint only litmus-tested lefties to every major post is simply insane.

    A centrist team does not imply that Obama was lying during the campaign and is secretly planning to maintain the failed Bush foreign policy. Give us a break. I don’t think the author actually even believes this. It’s just a convenient hook for a story.

  • Baronius

    So, Dave, now that Zedd has told us that we can’t talk about the Obama presidency, what are you planning on doing over the next four years? Other than looking upon Obama with silent awe, I mean. I’m thinking about playing more golf, learning German, and becoming a better homeless-child cook. Sure, I can cook them, but I guess I’d like to be more of a homeless-child chef.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    So, Dave, now that Zedd has told us that we can’t talk about the Obama presidency, what are you planning on doing over the next four years?

    I always find that a reliable standby is “How ’bout those [insert team name here]?”

  • Zedd

    Doc,

    Funny! Alright, “tenure” smarty pants. I am however sticking with alto. He should hit tenor soon enough, I’m convinced that he hasn’t stopped smoking.

    Dave,
    Dork. “Communism” is too extreme so it doesn’t work as a jab in this context. Saying Obama is bringing Communism makes you sound like a nutcase of the Arch variety or an idiot ref #8.

    Baronius,

    “So, Dave, now that Zedd has told us that we can’t talk about the Obama presidency….”

    What presidency? Unless you have manged time travel, there is or has not been an Obama presidency. Also, are you saying that you feel stifled in your speech by being asked to at least assessing whether your comments hold up or make sense before throwing them out there? Do you feel that a requisite for you to think things out first, is in essence a ban of your speech all together? So you are admitting that your ideas are not thought through.

  • Zedd

    Oh I missed more.

    Handy,

    You are the maestro of humor. You pitched that joke with incredible orchestration. It was by no means flat. You really struck a cord. That was rip roaring… not..”falsetto”. You have such a forte for the funny, so clever and witty!! You took the joke up another octave. The tone was elevated! I chuckled a chorus or giggles. Whew. Please no encore. I’m getting a sharp pain on my side.

  • http://lovesliberty.tripod.com Kenn Jacobine

    Dave,

    Neo-cons come out of the New Deal/social Democrat tradition. They believe in an active interventionist foreign policy to promote U.S. “values” and interests abroad. “What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?” This was said by Hillary and to me is very neo-con.

    Biden is also neo-con, not just by virtue of his support for invading Iraq, but also for his diehard support of Israel even when Israel is wrong.

    Republicans who work for Bush are not the only neo-cons in the world. Jean Kirkpatrick, Norman Podhoritz, Irving Kristol were the originals and they were Democrats.

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    Tags and titles are not so important. Being an ineffective ideologue is what should get our tongues wagging. People are tired of the labels and just want good, SIMPLE solutions. They just want smart. Somehow the label became the issue instead of the issue itself.

    Let’s not forget, the labeling was a political strategy. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be some pawn in someones scheme.

  • Zedd

    Sorry Dave, that was aimed at Ken.

    Ken,

    What I said at #22….

  • Baronius

    Zedd, for the record, I think that Obama’s made some really smart moves with his designated Cabinet so far.

    It’s been a running theme of mine that Clinton and Bush Jr. didn’t develop a pool of political talent around them. They went for experts and old-timers exclusively for top positions, and didn’t nurture the promising young Deputy Assistant Whatevers. Doing that makes your life easier, but it doesn’t help your party’s future.

    I look at Salazar, Napolitano, Richardson, and (this one is less direct, obviously) Kennedy and see people who have a political future. There’s every reason to believe that Obama will stay close with Granholm and Webb. Fostering talent will have huge payoffs in the long run.

  • bliffle

    Kenn is right.

    Old line leftwing one-worlders reshaped themselves as neo-conservatives to place their top-down dictatorial ideas someplace where they could win elections. Control freaks always find a convenient platform from which to execute their dictatorships. The republicans were fools to accept them.

    Having captured the republican party, the various religions, and the american business community, they now seem to be intent on taking over the hapless floundering democrats, as weak-kneed and spineless a bunch of dorks as one has ever seen.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    the hapless floundering democrats, as weak-kneed and spineless a bunch of dorks as one has ever seen

    Are you really referring to the Obama administration with this hyperbolic bit of hyperventilating?

    Please don’t get Dave started again on the neocons being Democrats.

    The relevant facts are that they were ex-Democrats – they became Republicans. And that was back in the 80s and 90s for the most part, so find some other, more accurate term to use now.

    The neocon worldview is in such disrepute currently that it is unlikely to be revived any time soon. Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld are not running foreign policy any more. And Obama specifically and in vehement terms disagrees with them.

    He [and Eric Holder, whom Dave wrongheadedly insists on attacking] have vowed to close Guantanamo, to end torture, to end warrantless wiretapping. Moderate Republicans such as Gates agree with these policies, as of course does Hillary Clinton.

    I am beginning to think that one reliable indicator of Obama’s making sound decisions is going to be the level of attack from the knee-jerk, loudmouth loon left.

    Just like their counterparts among Christian conservatives, lefty pressure groups are never satisfied and always whining. Let ’em whine.

    Obama’s centrist foreign policy team has been quite brilliantly chosen. Get over yourselves.

  • Brunelleschi

    Obama has no options other than being centrist and pragmatic about foreign policy. He’s going to be president, not the emperor.

    The foreign policy machinery is too big and too entrenched for a revolution, and it’s not on Obama’s radar, for obvious reasons.

    All of the wars the US is in and gets into are due to entrenched private interests, one way or the other, and this system is way too big for one president to just change. How we do foreign policy is built into how America works and thinks. You can’t force a change on that, you can only change a few priorities, speak differently, look and act differently.

    Obama will be more an international image upgrade than one of substance.

    The US won’t pull put of Iraq until the oil law is passed (it was never going to be any other way), and you will see more troops go to Afghanistan before you see less.

    Obama’s lefty fans are going to have to lower expectations, and at least be satisfied that we don’t have a nutjob planning even more oil wars right now.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “assessing whether your comments hold up or make sense before throwing them out there?”

    Ah, now I see why the Irony alarm went off.

  • All For Zion!

    The circle of life, as it pertains to politics in the United States and American foreign policy:

    – The Jew-controlled media defames and destroys all political candidates who are not completely owned by AIPAC.

    – The AIPAC puppets we laughably call our “political leadership” sends billions of American tax dollars to Israel every year.

    – The Zionist Jews in Israel use the American welfare payments to purchase weapons with which they slaughter Arab Muslim children.

    – Our “political leaders” veto all UN resolutions critical of Israel.

    – Muslims understandably view the United States as a puppet of the Zionist entity, and therefore hate us.

    – A few outraged anti-American Muslims commit a terrorist attack against Americans somewhere in the world.

    – The Jew-controlled media conducts endless interviews with Israeli politicians who erroneously conflate Israel’s situation with America’s.

    – The American sheeple demand that we defend our “ally” Israel to the last goy service-man and service-woman.

    – All who disagree are denounced as “Nazis” and “anti-Semites” by media elites who hold dual American-Israeli citizenship.

    – Wash, rinse, repeat.