This blog from May 2007 reposted in light of increasing reports of Republican support for Obama – Nadir
The Barack Obama bandwagon is picking up steam. In many circles, the junior senator from Illinois is being compared to John Kennedy. He is young, good looking, charismatic and yes, articulate, providing a resounding echo of the JFK experience.
However, when NeoConservatives start issuing accolades for a Democratic candidate, it’s time to take a closer look.
From London, England’s TimesOnline:
But last week a surprising new name joined the chorus of praise for the antiwar Obama -Â€Â“ that of Robert Kagan, a leading neoconservative and co-founder of the Project for the New American Century in the late 1990s, which called for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
Kagan is an informal foreign policy adviser to the Republican senator John McCain, who remains the favoured neoconservative choice for the White House because of his backing for the troops in Iraq.
But in an article in the Washington Post, Kagan wrote approvingly that a keynote speech by Obama at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs was Ã¢Â€Âœpure John KennedyÃ¢Â€Â, a neocon hero of the cold war.
So warmongering neocons dig Obama? The presidential candidate has expressed his opposition to the Iraq War, and says he was against it from the beginning, but his own words show that he is not an advocate of peace.
Let’s get the straight dope from Barack’s campaign website.
On the Occupation of Iraq:
Senator Obama introduced legislation in January 2007 to offer a responsible alternative to President Bush’s failed escalation policy. The legislation commences redeployment of U.S. forces no later than May 1, 2007 with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008 — a date consistent with the bipartisan Iraq Study Group’s expectations. The plan allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq as basic force protection, to engage in counter-terrorism and to continue the training of Iraqi security forces. If the Iraqis are successful in meeting the 13 benchmarks for progress laid out by the Bush Administration, this plan also allows for the temporary suspension of the redeployment, provided Congress agrees that the benchmarks have been met.
My reading of this is that Obama would allow the US occupation to continue perhaps with a smaller force, or with current troop levels if Iraq meets Bush’s benchmarks. This doesn’t sound like an end to the occupation to me.
And that speech that Kagan found to be pure JFK? More from TimesOnline:
In his speech, Obama called for an increase in defence spending and an extra 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 marines to Ã¢Â€Âœstay on the offenseÃ¢Â€Â against terrorism and ensure America had Ã¢Â€Âœthe strongest, best-equipped military in the worldÃ¢Â€Â. He talked about building democracies, stopping weapons of mass destruction and the right to take unilateral action to protect US Ã¢Â€Âœvital interestsÃ¢Â€Â if necessary, as well as the importance of building alliances.
An INCREASE in defense spending? The US already spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined. The US already has the strongest, best-equipped fighting force in the world. “Building democracies?” Isn’t that what the Iraqi invasion was supposed to be about?
Obama has also told the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC that Iran “is a threat to us all.” His website says that, if elected, Obama “will bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq and refocus on the critical challenges in the broader region.” Does that mean he plans to redeploy US military forces from Iraq to Iran?
This sounds like Obama is pushing for a continuation of American imperialism.
Those comparisons to JFK ring true. Let’s not forget that JFK escalated US miliatary involvement in Vietnam, ordered the Bay of Pigs invasion and brought the world to the brink of destruction during the Cuban Missle Crisis. JFK was a hawk who increased military spending and upped the ante in the cold war. Obama’s military policies show that he is cut of the same cloth.
Republicans who are defecting to the Obama camp believe that Barack offers a message that can unite the nation. That unification could be achieved by converting the so-called “War on Terror” from a GOP-led issue to a bipartisan issue. This means more American aggression and more war.
Perhaps most terrifying of all, is this final quote from the Timesonline article: “For his optimism about the future, Obama has been dubbed the ‘black Ronald Reagan’.”
Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.
Of course, republicans liking Obama increases his appeal to me.
One thing to which I object: people calling him, “the black JFK”, rather than “the new JFK.”
I do hope he adopts JFK’s advocacy of lower and simpler tax rates.