JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: IS OBAMA SIMPLY RE-BRANDING BUSH POLICIES?   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES

I do think you are drawing conclusions here too early.

In foreign affairs, we have yet to see the essence of Obama’s policies.

I agree that words he has used so far are mostly “rebranding” Bush, but it is impossible in a country like the United States to come in and just change course entirely.

Words may be used to ease the way to new policies. After all, American presidents never tell the truth leading into their policies, and the last president was positively a psychopathic liar. He murdered a million people based on lies.

I think clearly Obama’s hope in Afghanistan is to quietly reach a modus Vivendi and get out of that useless, pointless conflict. I think he will quietly deal with Taleban supporters, at least factions of them after his big show of force.

Were he to do things in a different way, in a bold, straightforward way, he would quickly become political road-kill in the United States. The political system is so corrupt and distorted that the real arguments in most great issues are never made.

And we must remember, the gigantic, powerful establishment any new leader faces in the United States: the military establishment, the intelligence colossus, the corporate benefactors of Bush’s years, and the many Borgia-like families who treat the U.S. much like their private playpen.

I never did believe Obama could make remarkable progress against these and other entrenched interests. America is a very conservative country at heart, conservative in the worst sense of that word. It is also a great imperial power whose people believe naively in the quasi-religious tenet that America is a bastion of freedom and human rights.

But I will be pleased with some moderate progress on a few fronts, and I think we must just be grateful we have a reasonable man leading, rather than a cretin.

Imperial Rome will only reduce its arrogance and pretensions and propensity to war when other centers of power have fully emerged.

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