The antiwar left is not too happy about Obama’s national security choices. A speech Obama made six years ago indicates that Obama’s approach to foreign policy is much like that of George H.W. Bush. Obama may prove to be less an idealist than a realist.
A Washington Post article by E.J. Dionne Jr. entitled “Obama’s Bush Doctrine” explains that the meaning behind Obama’s “apparent” decision to keep Robert Gates on as defense secretary and to select Hillary Clinton as secretary of state can be discovered in understanding Obama’s words and his George H.W. Bush approach to foreign policy.
In electing Barack Obama, the country traded the foreign policy of the second President Bush for the foreign policy of the first President Bush.
According to the article, Obama’s has been “relying heavily on foreign policy specialists” that are closely associated with Clinton. His choice of Clinton will enhance his image of strength because Clinton has “strong ties to the military” and she has a “carefully cultivated image of tough-mindedness.”
And the article notes that Gates can help Obama organize the withdrawal from Iraq and “bless it.”
The article also reports that Obama has had conversations with Bush senior’s “closest foreign policy adviser, Brent Scowcroft”.
Obama has drawn counsel from many in Scowcroft's circle, and Gates himself was deputy national security adviser under Scowcroft.
The article goes on at some length to analyze a famous speech Obama gave in 2002.
Antiwar Democrats cheered Obama for addressing a rally against the Iraq war in Chicago's Federal Plaza on Oct. 2, 2002. His opposition to the war was a major asset in his nomination struggle with Clinton. . .
Obama did indeed denounce the impending war as "dumb," "rash" and "based not on reason but on passion." But in retrospect, the speech may be most notable for other things Obama said that separated him from some in his antiwar audience.
Not only did Obama state five times that he didn’t oppose all wars, and that he would willingly “take up arms myself” to prevent another 9/11 from happening, it appears that Obama was echoing Brent Scowcroft’s “widely noted 2002 op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, published six weeks before Obama gave his speech.”
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