Case for pessimism: Obama appoints people to key posts who oppose his policies

by Justin Raimondo


Is it really possible that a candidate for president elevated to front-runner status by antiwar voters in the primaries — and elected over a rival who made support for the war the leitmotif of his losing campaign — is enabling the hijacking of American foreign policy by a new cabal of warmongers? The idea that by surrounding himself with advisers who have a long history of opposing any change in our bipartisan foreign policy orthodoxy Obama can somehow immunize himself from criticism is logical only in a Bizarro World kind of way. In that alternate universe, where up is down and black is white, it makes perfect ’sense’ for a president to appoint people to key posts who oppose his policies. In our own world, however, such an approach would be crazy — yet it seems to be happening right before our eyes...

Fallen angel

by George Giles


During the eight dreadful years of the current administration the Democratic opposition provided no opposition at all. They sat back in awed silence as the Republicans boldly destroyed the rule of law, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the good will of the modern world. All so that a few unindicted felons could implement their vision of a ‘new world order.’ The Democrats quietly licked their wounds while drooling in anticipation of their turn. The Obama administration is promising change all right, but the only change we will see is that the man with his hand on a tiller steers a ship of state with no rudder, crashing violently about in the maelstrom of their own creation...

Obama must tread warily in Afghanistan

Cato Institute
by Malou Innocent


US president-elect Barack Obama said on Sunday, on 60 Minutes, that capturing or killing Osama bin Laden will be his top priority. He made similar commitments on the campaign trail, as when he insisted that, if given actionable intelligence, he would go after al-Qaeda hiding in the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Today, the two countries are inextricably linked by a spreading Islamic insurgency. Afghanistan is in danger of a ‘downward spiral,’ according to a draft report of the National Intelligence Estimate, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pro-Taliban militants regularly cross Pakistan’s highly porous border with Afghanistan to attack US and NATO troops. Mr Obama will have an important opportunity to save this failing mission. But will he be better than President George W. Bush? If he sticks to his campaign pledge to deploy more troops to Afghanistan, and to take the fight into Pakistan, his policies will be a continuation — and possibly an escalation — of Mr Bush’s policies...

Gates a keeper … but Hillary at State?

Orange County Register
by Peggy Noonan


Rumors, leaks, gossip, backbiting, an air of mounting mistrust. Looks like Lulu’s back in town. The smooth Obama transition has been disrupted by the great disrupter, and one wonders: Does he really want to go there? Hasn’t he been there? How’d that go? On the face of it, the apparent offering of the secretary of state job to Hillary Clinton and her reported acceptance is a clever, interesting choice: An experienced and sophisticated workhorse with her own standing in the country, and bearing a name that is popular in the world, will be the public face of U.S. diplomacy. … But the downside is equally obvious: To invite in the Clintons — and it’s always the Clintons, never a Clinton — is to invite in, to summon, drama that will never end...

It’s 3am, and Hillary’s on the phone

The Nation
by John Nichols


O.K., so if the phone call comes at 3 a.m., Barack Obama will be able to transfer it to Hillary Clinton. At the ugliest stage of the race between Obama and Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Clinton’s campaign aired a commercial featuring images of children sleeping peacefully as a soothing male voice said, ‘It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing. Something’s happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call. …’ … But, when all was said and done, Democrats chose Obama’s more cautious and responsible approach to foreign relations over the fearmongering of Clinton and her aides. … So what has Obama done with his mandate for change?

The honeymoon is looking a bit wan

by Alexander Cockburn

Two years without a single leak and suddenly, last week, Obama’s operation was like a sieve. That’s what happens when you pick up the phone and call one of the Clintons. Or, to put it another way, that’s what happens when someone claims you, the president elect, picked up the phone and called Mrs Clinton to ask whether she’d like to be secretary of state. Out the window goes the sense of purposeful strides towards a new-look Administration. In comes a dreadful feeling that somehow we’ve slipped a dimension in the space-time continuum and are heading back into the Clinton era. A couple of more weeks and the Republicans will be calling for a special prosecutor.

Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


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