Monday, June 29, 2009
Obama and Bush not that different
Here's a link to my column this week for Antiwar.com. I argue that Obama is proving to be not all that different from Bush when it comes to foreign policy. Obama may have opposed the Iraq war early on, for which he deserves credit, but once in power he sees himself as something akin to emperor of the world -- or at least international ombudsman, empowered to straighten out recalxcitrant countries with military force. He's taking bids on a Bush inititiated program to provide $20 million to elements of the Iranian opposition, and subsidizing the mostly mythical government of Somalia. And I could have mentioned indefinte detention, military commissions, unwarranted surveillance. Presidents seldom give up dubious powers seized by their predecessors, and Obama is no exception. We would have to adopt a policy of strategic non-engagement, as I have argued for a long time, to save this country from endless expensive and generally counterproductive meddling in the affairs of other countries.