While Leftists Celebrate "Change," Obama Appointees Suggest Massive Expansion Of Bush War Doctrine
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, November 20, 2008
While naive, giddy and myopic establishment leftists have been
celebrating the great "change" heralded by the election of Barack
Obama, the President elect has been busy appointing people to key
positions who advocate the same Neo-Con imperialist foreign policy
crafted during eight years of the Bush administration.
The New York Times, widely recognized as the voice of the
establishment Democratic left, set the tone of what we can expect
from an Obama foreign policy in a lead editorial last Sunday
entitled, "A military for a dangerous new world."
The editorial calls for U.S. military imperialism not to be scaled
back under Obama, but to be vastly expanded both in terms of budget
Iran, China, Somalia, Russia and Pakistan are all listed as
potential targets of U.S. military aggression and the paper echoes
what Obama himself has said he will implement - an addition of
nearly 100,000 more soldiers and marines to American ground forces,
bringing the total to 759,000 active duty forces, at a cost of $100
billion dollars over the next six years.
Does this sound like a "change" from the Project For a New American
century framework of endless "multi-theatre warfare," the
inspiration for eight years of Bush administration militarism, or an
expansion of that very doctrine?
Obama's announced appointees and those that are expected to follow
differ only from their Bush administration contemporaries in
proficiency and competence, their zeal for military adventurism is
coequal, while others that shaped eight awful years of spying,
torture, eviscerations on freedom and unprovoked military attacks on
sovereign nations will merely stay on in their roles.
Welcome to the "change that you can believe in".
Obama's likely selection of Hillary Clinton for the position of
Secretary of State highlights the brazen hypocrisy with which
the "change" agenda has begun to be implemented since Obama won the
election two and a half weeks ago.
Clinton voted for the invasion of Iraq, a point on which she was
attacked by Obama during the phony punch and judy show of the
debates. Obama also denounced Clinton for voting in favor of a
Senate resolution branding the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a
terrorist organization. Clinton promised to "obliterate" Iran if it
attacked Israel, a mantra echoed by Obama when he assured AIPAC, the
notorious Israeli lobby, that military strikes against Iran were
very much on the table.
Does this sound like the language of diplomacy or a change from
eight years of the Bush doctrine?
Likewise, one of the favorites to become Obama's Defense Secretary
is Michèle A. Flournoy, deputy assistant secretary of defense in the
Clinton administration and president of the Center for a New
American Security (CNAS) think tank.
As Alex Lantier writes, "Members of CNAS, a rather small Washington
think tank with a staff of 30 employees founded in 2003 by (John)
Podesta and Flournoy, play an outsized role in the Obama transition
"So many CNAS members are likely to join the Obama administration
that CNAS officials told the (Wall Street) Journal they were
concerned the think tank might fold after Obama's inauguration."
CNAS has opposed a set timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, has
advocated the deployment of more troops in Afghanistan and has
called for U.S. troops to be stationed in Pakistan. CNAS has also
urged military spending to be beefed up in order to compete with
China's growing Navy.
"CNAS publications, many of which are publicly available on its web
site, make it clear that the Obama administration's foreign policy
will have a thoroughly imperialist character," notes Lantier.
How does this represent a "change" from eight years of Bush
administration foreign policy? How does this represent a shift from
a strategy of diplomacy based on intimidation, invasion and
Obama's advisors have also been floating the likelihood of Robert
Gates remaining as Obama's Secretary of Defense, so it looks like
we're either going to have a warmonger or a warmonger in the
position - what a choice!
The Financial Times reported this week, "President-Elect Barack
Obama and Robert Gates are negotiating terms under which the defense
secretary would remain as Pentagon chief in the new administration."
Gates of course has a history of entanglement with the military-
industrial complex having pushed for the U.S. bombing of Nicaragua
when he was deputy director of the CIA and later being indicted for
his involvement in covering up the Iran Contra scandal.
Gates was the primary advocate for the Iraq "surge" which increased
the U.S. military presence in the country.
Obama's decision to appoint Eric Holder as Attorney General caused a
flutter of controversy considering Holder's involvement in ensuring
billionaire fugitive investor Marc Rich received a presidential
pardon at the end of Bill Clinton's term, but the real dirt on
Holder is far more shocking.
After leaving the Clinton administration, Holder, who played a key
role in the 2005 re-authorization of the Patriot Act, which Obama
voted for, set up the legal and lobbying firm of Covington &
Burling. The firm's most high-profile case was its defense of
Chiquita Brands International, Inc, whose executives were facing
charges of aiding terrorists for bankrolling and arming right-wing
death squads in Colombia.
As Bill Van Auken writes, "Using his longstanding ties at the
Justice Department, Holder managed to get Chiquita off the hook with
a fine that amounted to 0.55 percent of its annual revenue. This was
despite the overwhelming evidenceand the company's own admission
that it had paid out millions of dollars to the United Self-Defense
Forces of Colombia (known by its Spanish acronym AUC), as its gunmen
carried out the massacre, assassination, kidnapping and torture of
tens of thousands of Colombian workers, peasants, trade union
officials and left-wing political activists."
"Holder's record is not that of a champion of civil and democratic
rights or a defender of the oppressed, but rather a legal servant of
the corporations and the state, complicit in their criminality and
Holder's law enforcement deputy in the Obama administration is
likely to be Robert Mueller, who will remain as FBI Director despite
his involvement in the use of National Security Letters to illegally
spy on American citizens via the collection of email,
telecommunications and financial records.
Obama's head of the CIA transition team is none other than John
Brennan, an aide to former CIA director George Tenet and a key
participant in the formulation of policies that led to the torture
scandal, extraordinary renditions and secret prisons.
Van Auken notes, "Brennan, like Tenet, deserves to confront a war
crimes tribunal, yet he is shaping intelligence policy for Obama."
"Given these appointments, a report published Monday by the
Associated Press that the incoming Obama administration "is unlikely
to bring criminal charges against government officials who
authorized or engaged in" torture hardly comes as a surprise."
Then we have Rahm Emanuel, "the enforcer", and Obama's new chief of
Emanuel is the son of a member of the Zionist terrorist group Irgun,
which was responsible for bombing hotels, marketplaces as well as
the infamous Deir Yassin massacre, in which hundreds of Palestinian
villagers were slaughtered.
Upon news of his appointment, Emanuel's father, Dr. Benjamin
Emanuel, told the Jerusalem Post, "Obviously he will influence the
president to be pro-Israel. Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab?
He's not going to clean the floors of the White House."
But forget sins of the father, Rahm Emanuel himself is a former
Israeli IDF soldier who has a penchant for making death threats
against his political enemies while crazily slamming a knife into a
dinner table. Sounds like a diplomatic kind of guy.
When Emanuel's appointment was confirmed, top Israeli newspaper the
Maariv Daily hailed the news with the headline, "Our man in the
Another Israeli news outlet, Y Net, reported, "Emanuel is pro-
Israeli, and would not be willing to consider accepting the job
unless he was convinced that President-elect Obama is pro-Israel."
Recall that President elect Barack Obama's first act of "change"
upon winning the Democratic presidential nomination back in June was
to don a joint US-Israeli label pin, head on over to AIPAC and
prostrate himself in front of the Israeli lobby, vowing to keep
military action in mind for Iran and promising to hand over another
$30 billion of American taxpayers' money in military assistance to
the Zionist state.
It seems that Obama has already answered the question of whether he
can be a more hardcore Israel hard-liner than George W. Bush - `yes
When are left-wing establishment liberals going to overcome their
inane idolatry for Obama and realize that the people he is putting
into positions of power are the same and in some cases worse than
the Neo-Cons who ran eight years of Bush foreign policy?
When are leftists going to get over their petty power trips and
understand that the mantra of "change" is a mere illusion to provide
left cover for a massive expansion in U.S. imperialism the likes of
which the Bush administration could never have accomplished?
When are liberals going to stop behaving like gloating children and
understand that Obama's exalted messiah status and political
capital, allied with his publicly stated agenda and the nature and
track record of those he has appointed to key positions, is a recipe
for a new wave of militarism and an expansion of the pre-emptive
Bush foreign policy doctrine that Obama himself campaigned against
with his rhetorical and empty promises of "change"?
Over the last few days, unlike scores of other left-wing websites
who are still in a zombiefied trance over their new "ObaMassiah",
WSWS.org have put out a series of excellent articles concerning
the "change" illusion and we encourage you to read them.