Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The More Things Change: Empire Classic Or Empire Lite?

In the spring of 2007, 6 months after taking control of Congress in the November 2006 midterm elections by running on an "end the Iraq occupation" platform throughout 2006, the Democratic controlled congress under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned around 180 degrees, stuck their thumbs in the eye of the public who had given them their majority based on the expectations of ending the occupation, and gave George Bush the first Iraq supplemental funding bill ever passed by a Democratic congress, in their determination that the US would control the oil resources of Iraq and have a central base from which to attempt to expand that hoped for control across the Middle East.

Their dreams of empire have since developed a badly cracked and shattered facade but not died out, and that first supplemental funding bill was to become only the beginning of a two year long series of betrayals of their mandate, as the Democrats put all of their energy into enabling Bush with multiple Iraq supplemental funding bills and selling the same old deathtrap in Iraq with a shiny new Democratic paintjob, and over the past couple of months enabling and participating in the theft of nearly nine trillion dollars from taxpayers as they have fallen all over themselves to hand bags of cash to their criminal friends on Wall Street who have been busy as beavers all this time wrecking the US and global economy.

Yesterday in Obama's Foreign Policy Team: Pragmatic Chump Change? The Real News talked to Lawrence J. Korb and Phyllis Bennis to analyze the overall message about ongoing US foreign policy that is sent out to the world by Obama's choices as Hillary Clinton was confirmed as Obama's Secretary of State, and three other appointments were confirmed as well: his closest foreign affairs adviser Susan Rice becoming UN ambassador with a seat at the cabinet table, former NATO commander General James L. Jones as national security adviser, and current Secretary of Defense Bush appointee Robert M. Gates to remain in that role.

For his "pragmatic" appointments of some of the most hawkish war and imperialism proponents in and out of the Democratic party...

Barack Obama is riding a tide of public approval over his performance so far as US president-elect, as well as strong support for his top cabinet picks, a new poll showed Tuesday.

Nearly a month after his historic November 4 election, and in the midst of the devastating downturn in the US economy, more than three out of four Americans approve of how Obama has handled his transition so far, according to the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

Of his high-profile cabinet appointments, 69 percent to 25 percent approve Obama's pick of his former Democratic nomination rival Hillary Rodham Clinton to be his secretary of state.

By an overwhelming margin, 80 percent to 14 percent of Americans endorse Obama's decision to ask President George W. Bush's defense secretary Robert Gates to keep his post, said the poll.
We then heard about the propagandizing "Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism" wheeling out the heavy artillery once again of blatant WOT fearmongering with WAPO reporting on them saying:
The odds that terrorists will soon strike a major city with weapons of mass destruction are now better than even, a bipartisan congressionally mandated task force concludes in a draft study that warns of growing threats from rogue states, nuclear smuggling networks and the spread of atomic know-how in the developing world.

The sobering assessment of such threats, due for release as early as today, singled out Pakistan as a grave concern because of its terrorist networks, history of instability and arsenal of several dozen nuclear warheads. The report urged the incoming Obama administration to take "decisive action" to reduce the likelihood of a devastating attack
Today Pepe Escobar at The Real News describes a shiny new Democratic "war on terror" being sold to the American public....
Much has been said about the strong personalities who will feature in President-elect Barack Obama's national security "team of rivals". But Obama has already made it clear that "the buck stops" with him.

Pepe Escobar argues that instead of "change", what America has in fact bought is an Obama vision that may not be too dissimilar from the war on terror framework.

Real News: December 3, 2008
Empire classic or empire lite?
Obama foreign policy does not question basic assumptions of the past
Go shopping? Don't forget to pick up duct tape?