Barack Obama supports the Bush Doctrine
WASHINGTON (CNN)— Sen. John McCain retracted Sarah Palin’s stance on Pakistan Sunday morning, after the Alaska governor appeared to back Sen. Barack Obama’s support for unilateral strikes inside Pakistan against terrorists.
I don’t know what’s more disturbing—yet another example of airhead governor (and potential President) Sarah Palin making a complete fool of herself, or the fact that Barack Obama supports unilateral strikes against Pakistan. Isn’t that, you know, part of the Bush Doctrine? Sounds like Palin has brushed up on it since her embarrassing interview with Charlie Gibson, but that’s not the point: the point is Barack Obama has gone on record as supporting it! Doesn’t Obama supposedly represent “change”? If so, why is he supporting Bush’s policy of preemptive, unilateral strikes against sovereign nations? In case you haven’t been paying attention, this is the same policy behind the disastrous invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq.
It gets worse. Check out McCain’s response:
“She would not…she understands and has stated repeatedly that we’re not going to do anything except in America’s national security interest,” McCain told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos of Palin. “In all due respect, people going around and… sticking a microphone while conversations are being held, and then all of a sudden that’s—that’s a person’s position… This is a free country, but I don’t think most Americans think that that’s a definitve policy statement made by Governor Palin.”
First of all, he didn’t exactly retract her statement, did he? You can’t really point to a single part of McCain’s statement where he says, definitively, we do not support unilateral strikes against Pakistan or any other sovereign state.
What’s even more disturbing is that even in spite of his rambling and vague “retraction”, McCain still comes off as more of an anti-war candidate than Obama. Obama has basically said he supports the Bush Doctrine. What happened during the debate? Did somebody mix up their cue-cards? Can their own campaign managers no longer tell the difference between a Republican position and a Democratic position?
If we were to take take Obama’s statements vis a vis unilateral strikes and stamp McCain’s name on it, and print it on the internet, we would no doubt have McCain supporters applauding it and Obama supporters condemning it. It would seem irregardless of who wins the November election, the United States policy of militarism and unilateral intervention is still on the table.
In fact, if you watch the video above, it becomes clear that what McCain is opposing is not so much the idea of an illegal, unilateral strike but announcing one’s intent to do so beforehand. The only substantive difference, then, between Obama and McCain’s foreign policy seems to be that McCain will strike without warning, whereas Obama has been publicly discussing an attack on Pakistan for months now.*
So much for the possibility of there being an anti-war candidate! For that matter, I don’t see how Obama can possibly claim to be a candidate of “change” when he supports the same militarist policies as President Bush and John McCain.
At this point I think the duopoly should really stop pretending it’s two seperate and deeply opposed parties. I mean come on, it’s not as if the American people would even notice at this point….
* The strategic implications of an attack on Pakistan is probably worth a whole post of its own. But suffice it to say any attack would present major tactical problems, as well as it being an illegal violation of sovereignty if the Pakistani government does not consent to military action. The guaranteed difficulties of such action far outweigh any possible benefits. For a more detailed discussion on this topic, see this interview with policy analyst Gareth Porter.