As the Obama campaign gets closer to the real election – after the Convention and thus after the period when the “presumptive nominee” still has to bend over backwards to defend his relationship with the multitude of constituencies inside the Party, the real politics of a future Obama Administration become more clear.
And when it comes to his possible role as Commander in Chief, it is Obama’s foreign policy that ought to be most disturbing to those who continue to back the Democratic party in the midst of a war that was started by an alliance between Republicans and Democrats.
From a foreign policy perspective there is a disturbing convergence of views emerging between Obama and McCain. Obama’s strategy seems to be that if you can’t beat ’em on foreign policy, you might as well join ’em.
The first glimpse of what Obama was all about in foreign affairs emerged when it became clear that he was being advised by Samantha Power, one of the architects of “humanitarian intervention” which is an excuse invented by liberals for the exercise of American military might who think that power can be benevolent as well as malevolent. Power’s trick is to recast every violent conflict as “genocide” and thus to trigger moral revulsion that provides the political impetus for the exercise of U.S. power.
Power wrote recently in the New York Review of Books:
Since Vietnam there has never been a more auspicious time for the Democratic Party to establish close relations with the US military.
No wonder Power’s Carr Center is an advisor to the U.S. military which is still trying to shake off the Vietnam Syndrome (i.e., the awareness in the military bureaucracy that unpopular wars can be lost even with overwhelming resources). Thus, Power was for the use of US forces in Rwanda, Sudan, Yugoslavia, providing political cover to the left for the creation of a post Cold War framework for the single world superpower.
Power was thrown off the campaign for being a bit too direct in her assessment of Senator Clinton but in another less noticed interview she also was the one who let the cat out of the bag on Obama’s position on our troops in Iraq. Apparently, he was in fact much more open to a long term commitment to that illegal invasion than many of his anti-war supporters had understood.
Since then Obama has reinforced his wishy washy “troops out in 16 months” view, but leaves in a major caveat: “a residual force will remain in Iraq and in the region to conduct targeted counter-terrorism missions against al Qaeda in Iraq.” I am sure the people of Iraq will feel reassured by the presence of American special operations forces housed on their soil.
Meanwhile, of course, Obama intends to ramp up the pseudo “war on terrorism” in Afghanistan, including the possibility of spreading that conflict into Pakistan!
As he wrote recently in the New York Times:
As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan. We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there.
If one needed any further proof of the declining daylight in between the foreign policy of McCain and Obama, look no further than the current crisis in Georgia. While, of course, the McCain camp tried to play up the lack of Obama’s experience and his “nuanced” statement, they must have been delighted to hear Obama’s support for using America’s proxy military force in Europe, aka NATO, to spread western control of eastern Europe and the Baltic states.
If we truly believe those states to be democratic – and there is something to that in the case of most of those countries, but certainly not all – what is the impact of imposing military control on their countries through expansion of NATO or the planting of the Star Wars missile defense system?
Such steps reduce the security of these fledgling democracies as it feeds the nationalist tendencies on the upsurge in the still statist Russia.
Amazingly, groups like Progressives for Obama think the way to change American foreign policy is to join with Obama in this increasing militarization of eastern Europe and central Asia. One of their leaders, SDS founder Tom Hayden actually attacked Obama for “hawkish mimicry” of McCain on foreign policy yet still advocates voting for him!
Thus, it is reasonable to view the international side of the presidential campaign to be all but over and the Republocrats have won, against the anti-war movement that, in fact, is largely responsible for having put Obama over the top against Hilary Clinton!