This Is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama's White House.


A who's who guide to the people poised to shape Obama's foreign policy.


U.S. policy is not about one individual, and no matter how much faith people place in President-elect Barack Obama, the policies he enacts will be fruit of a tree with many roots. Among them: his personal politics and views, the disastrous realities his administration will inherit, and, of course, unpredictable future crises. But the best immediate indicator of what an Obama administration might look like can be found in the people he surrounds himself with and who he appoints to his Cabinet. And, frankly, when it comes to foreign policy, it is not looking good.

Obama has a momentous opportunity to do what he repeatedly promised over the course of his campaign: bring actual change. But the more we learn about who Obama is considering for top positions in his administration, the more his inner circle resembles a staff reunion of President Bill Clinton's White House. Although Obama brought some progressives on board early in his campaign, his foreign policy team is now dominated by the hawkish, old-guard Democrats of the 1990s. This has been particularly true since Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the Democratic primary, freeing many of her top advisors to join Obama's team.

"What happened to all this talk about change?" a member of the Clinton foreign policy team recently asked the Washington Post. "This isn't lightly flavored with Clintons. This is all Clintons, all the time."

Amid the euphoria over Obama's election and the end of the Bush era, it is critical to recall what 1990s U.S. foreign policy actually looked like. Bill Clinton's boiled down to a one-two punch from the hidden hand of the free market, backed up by the iron fist of U.S. militarism. Clinton took office and almost immediately bombed Iraq (ostensibly in retaliation for an alleged plot by Saddam Hussein to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush). He presided over a ruthless regime of economic sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and under the guise of the so-called No-Fly Zones in northern and southern Iraq, authorized the longest sustained U.S. bombing campaign since Vietnam.

Under Clinton, Yugoslavia was bombed and dismantled as part of what Noam Chomsky described as the "New Military Humanism." Sudan and Afghanistan were attacked, Haiti was destabilized and "free trade" deals like the North America Free Trade Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade radically escalated the spread of corporate-dominated globalization that hurt U.S. workers and devastated developing countries. Clinton accelerated the militarization of the so-called War on Drugs in Central and Latin America and supported privatization of U.S. military operations, giving lucrative contracts to Halliburton and other war contractors. Meanwhile, U.S. weapons sales to countries like Turkey and Indonesia aided genocidal campaigns against the Kurds and the East Timorese.

The prospect of Obama's foreign policy being, at least in part, an extension of the Clinton Doctrine is real. Even more disturbing, several of the individuals at the center of Obama's transition and emerging foreign policy teams were top players in creating and implementing foreign policies that would pave the way for projects eventually carried out under the Bush/Cheney administration. With their assistance, Obama has already charted out several hawkish stances. Among them:

-- His plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan;

-- An Iraq plan that could turn into a downsized and rebranded occupation that keeps U.S. forces in Iraq for the foreseeable future;

-- His labeling of Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist organization;"

-- His pledge to use unilateral force inside of Pakistan to defend U.S. interests;

-- His position, presented before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), that Jerusalem "must remain undivided" -- a remark that infuriated Palestinian officials and which he later attempted to reframe;

-- His plan to continue the War on Drugs, a backdoor U.S. counterinsurgency campaign in Central and Latin America;

-- His refusal to "rule out" using Blackwater and other armed private forces in U.S. war zones, despite previously introducing legislation to regulate these companies and bring them under U.S. law.

Obama did not arrive at these positions in a vacuum. They were carefully crafted in consultation with his foreign policy team. While the verdict is still out on a few people, many members of his inner foreign policy circle -- including some who have received or are bound to receive Cabinet posts -- supported the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Some promoted the myth that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. A few have worked with the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, whose radical agenda was adopted by the Bush/Cheney administration. And most have proven track records of supporting or implementing militaristic, offensive U.S. foreign policy. "After a masterful campaign, Barack Obama seems headed toward some fateful mistakes as he assembles his administration by heeding the advice of Washington's Democratic insider community, a collective group that represents little 'change you can believe in,'" notes veteran journalist Robert Parry, the former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter who broke many of the stories in the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s.
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Original Post
I wonder what the deal is with Obama and the Clintonites? Why is Obama putting the same folks back into power who was not all that great under Clinton. Bill Clinton was just another corporate democrat. Roll Eyes
We had a chance to vote out stupid, and typical american fashion we keep voting it in. McCain, Obama are mere followers. I see Obama' tax break for the rich is changing everyday. $250,000 then it dropped to $150,000 now it was reported that it will drop to around $75,000.
Same ole dog show.
quote:
Originally posted by JJPAUL:
I wonder what the deal is with Obama and the Clintonites? Why is Obama putting the same folks back into power who was not all that great under Clinton. Bill Clinton was just another corporate democrat. Roll Eyes

Payback for Hill letting him have the nomination.
Also he has his Chicago underground with him. The Messiah's halo is turning brown.
quote:
Originally posted by WILSONLAKERIVERRAT:
We had a chance to vote out stupid, and typical american fashion we keep voting it in. McCain, Obama are mere followers. I see Obama' tax break for the rich is changing everyday. $250,000 then it dropped to $150,000 now it was reported that it will drop to around $75,000.
Same ole dog show.


Yep, we kept telling everybody this would happen but they wouldn’t listen.
quote:
1990s U.S. foreign policy actually looked like. Bill Clinton's boiled down to a one-two punch from the hidden hand of the free market, backed up by the iron fist of U.S. militarism. Clinton took office and almost immediately bombed Iraq (ostensibly in retaliation for an alleged plot by Saddam Hussein to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush). He presided over a ruthless regime of economic sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and under the guise of the so-called No-Fly Zones in northern and southern Iraq, authorized the longest sustained U.S. bombing campaign since Vietnam.

Gee, and here I thought only Bush killed innocent Iraqis. That bad ole MSNBC, they have selective memory.
JJP,

I've shown, many times, the US bore no blame for any deaths caused by the UN sanctions. Food and medical supplies were allowed. UN corruption allowed hundreds of millions of imports into Iraq. Hussein built about 23 palace complexes, one larger than Disneyland, during the sanctions.

Where did the building materials and funds come for these? Yet, you continue to post the same misinformation. You must be well paid for such.
Why, JJ, I'm shocked! Has someone hacked your account? It almost seems like you're chiding your candidate, the one who was going to cause money to flow like water, and peace and prosperity to be bestowed on all the People. Surely you don't think he LIED to get elected, do you?

Because, that would be wrong. And Democrats do no wrong. Right?
quote:
Originally posted by Ed@Bama:
Why, JJ, I'm shocked! Has someone hacked your account? It almost seems like you're chiding your candidate, the one who was going to cause money to flow like water, and peace and prosperity to be bestowed on all the People. Surely you don't think he LIED to get elected, do you?

Because, that would be wrong. And Democrats do no wrong. Right?


snicker
Reality is rearing its ugly head and we still have two months for Reid and Pelosi to go wild.
The bottom line in this last election is that the American voters would rather hear fairy tales and other fuzzy, heart-warming stories that the truth.

McCain lost because he stuck to his truths for the most part, even though some of them weren't popular. Obama told a great tale of hope and change and a utopian lifestyle and he won. Why is that a surprise? The real surprise will be for all those who voted on him based on his tax cut promises and ending the war immediately. Both will probably never come to fruition.

Before everyone jumps on me about McCain not lying, he had his share of flip-flops. however, they weren't on issues like the war, taxes, and other major platforms his campaign was launched on.
quote:
Originally posted by zippadeedoodah:
Maybe our next president can be selected on the basis of some reality show, where candidates are voted off the island at a buck a vote.


Will any of us be able to afford to vote at that price? Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by Ed@Bama:
Will any of us be able to afford to vote at that price? Big Grin


Are you kidding? If you start off with enough candidates, we could probably pay off the national debt and abolish the IRS. Heck, I might even watch it.
quote:
Originally posted by zippadeedoodah:
quote:
Originally posted by Ed@Bama:
Will any of us be able to afford to vote at that price? Big Grin


Are you kidding? If you start off with enough candidates, we could probably pay off the national debt and abolish the IRS. Heck, I might even watch it.


I'm just wondering if, in four years, any of us will have a spare dollar with which to vote...

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