Think again (think Tony Blair):
I shut my eyes when I listen to [Obama] and it could be Tony. He is doing the same thing that we did in 1997.
Here we have a handsome, dashing and intelligent man, a man with generous instincts and a silver tongue; but a man with no distinctive plan for government that he has seen fit to share with us; a daring opportunist; somebody we may one day judge as a sort of Tony Blair with brains. And here we go again, all over again, hook, line and sinker.
Even after so many months of speech-making it’s still not clear what are the concrete changes that may now ensue and in particular, there are some big foreign policy areas where Obama is not promising a hugely different tack from Bush …
As for what the policies are going to be, the situation is pretty depressing. I mean, Obama, during his campaign, didn’t promise very much, basically talked in cliches and synthetic slogans like “change we can believe in.” No one knows what that change is. In foreign policy terms, during the debates, his — what he said was basically a continuation of the Bush-Cheney policies. And in relation to Afghanistan, what he said was worse than McCain …
He doesn’t like to take on power … I think his record in the state senate in Illinois and in the US Senate is that he doesn’t like to take on power. And if you don’t take on power, you know, the corporate power that dominates every department in our government, you’re going nowhere, because they control the budget, they control the priorities, they have heavy control on the media.
… his position contains massive inconsistencies … he has not repudiated the war on terror. Rather, he insists that by focusing excessively on Iraq, the Bush administration “took its eye off the ball”. The real target must be Afghanistan and if Osama bin Laden is spotted in Pakistan, bombing must be used there too.
John Pilger (who was right about Blair back in 1997):
Like all serious presidential candidates, past and present, Obama is a hawk and an expansionist. He comes from an unbroken Democratic tradition, as the war-making of presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton demonstrates. Obama’s difference may be that he feels an even greater need to show how tough he is.
My guess is, sadly, that within one week, literally one week, Obama’s staff and cabinet choices will make decisively evident that without mass activism forcing new outcomes, change will stop at the surface. I fervently hope I am wrong.
Vice President-elect, Joe Biden, is a pro-war Zionist. Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s chief of staff, helped push through NAFTA and favoured the war on Iraq.
Alexander Cockburn on Rahm Emanuel:
He’s a former Israeli citizen, who volunteered to serve in Israel in 1991 and who made brisk millions in Wall Street. He is a super-Likudnik hawk, whose father was in the fascist Irgun in the late Forties, responsible for cold-blooded massacres of Palestinians.
Nader on Obama’s record:
Far more than Senator McCain, you have received enormous, unprecedented contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests and, most interestingly, big corporate law firm attorneys… Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama? Could it be that in your state Senate record, your U.S. Senate record and your presidential campaign record (favoring nuclear power, coal plants, offshore oil drilling, corporate subsidies including the 1872 Mining Act and avoiding any comprehensive program to crack down on the corporate crime wave and the bloated, wasteful military budget, for example) you have shown that you are their man?
Obama: bought and paid for.
(thanks to Media Lens for this post)