Most of Obama’s key foreign policy appointments seem more committed to military dominance than international law.


Obama Gathering a Flock of Hawks to Oversee U.S. Foreign Policy

By Stephen Zunes, AlterNet.

In disc golf, there’s a shot known as “an Obama” — it’s a drive that you expect to veer to the left but keeps hooking right.

In no other area has this metaphor been truer than Barack Obama’s foreign policy and national security appointments. For a man who was elected in part on the promise to not just end the war in Iraq but to “end the mindset that got us into war in the first place,” it’s profoundly disappointing that a majority of his key appointments — Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, Dennis Blair, Janet Napolitano, Richard Holbrooke and Jim Jones, among others — have been among those who represent that very mindset.

As president, Obama is ultimately the one in charge, so judgment should not be based upon his appointments alone. Indeed, some of his early decisions regarding foreign policy and national security – such as ordering the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, initiating the necessary steps for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, and ending the “global gag rule” on funding for international family-planning programs – have been quite positive.

But it’s still significant that the majority of people appointed to key foreign policy positions, like those in comparable positions in the Bush administration, appear to be more committed to U.S. hegemony than the right of self-determination, human rights and international law.

Supporters of Wars of Conquest

Though far from the only issue of concern, it is the fact that the majority of Obama’s appointees to these key positions were supporters of the invasion of Iraq that is perhaps the most alarming.

Obama’s defenders claim that what is most important in these appointments is not their positions on a particular issue, but their overall competence. Unfortunately, this argument ignores the reality that anybody who actually believed that invading Iraq was a good idea amply demonstrated that they’re unqualified to hold any post dealing with foreign and military policy.

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3 thoughts on “

  1. I stopped reading too deeply after the intellectual dishonesty around Napolitano and Clinton. Too much spin that ventures into the misleading (read lying) zone. When I read or tried to read his linked articles, I got nothing substantiating his quotes. And as a bonus for Clinton, a missing web page. What’s up with that?

    But let’s focus on Napolitano for a moment. He links to an article that speaks more about a murky stance, not strident support for Bush. She was against something that far lefties were themselves naive about: immediate withdrawal from Iraq with its catastrophic human costs which would be also our fault. I find it ironic that Mr. Zunes would use that article to speak about naiveté on the part of Ms. Napolitano. I don’t mind disagreeing with her opinion, but making her look like she was Rummy right hand or something is not my idea of honest reporting or opinion writing.

    This is why I don’t read rags like AlterNet. They are the other side of the same coin as the National Review Online. Can’t truss it.

  2. Four days into office, President Obama approved a pretator drone hit on Pakistan. Is Barry a true Leftist? I don’t think so 🙂

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