Friday, December 5, 2008

Remaking the World in America’s Image

Remaking the World in America’s Image by William Pfaff on

“Fundamental” is the key word, meaning change in the goals pursued and the assumptions that underlie policy. One expects an end to the blatant contempt for international law and institutions displayed by the Bush administration. The torture, illegal seizures of individuals and secret imprisonments, and flaunting of generally accepted norms of human rights will probably end, although the records of all the new appointees are not entirely clear on this subject.

However, the war on Muslim radicalism will go on. The evidence suggests that American policy under Obama will be a continuation of the neoconservative foreign policy of the Bush administration, given a human face.

According to Obama’s own intention to carry the war against al-Qaida into the Pakistan tribal territories, the current American attitude toward national sovereignty remains unchanged.

1 comment:

Samson said...

To me, the Obama-Cola piece has it right. We aren't shifting to a new moral America that doesn't kidnap and torture. We are merely going back to the pre-Bush policies.

The key is to realize that America did kidnappings and torture before Bush.

Just watched the movie Rendition on cable the other day. The movie makes a point of saying that 'Extraordinary rendition' didn't start with Bush. It started with Clinton. And gee, the Clinton team is back. So, do we expect these kidnappings to end?

Likewise, torture didn't begin with Bush. For as long as there's been a CIA, torture seems to follow it around. Central America, Vietnam, Greece. Torture isn't anything new to US policy. a The only difference was there was a charade where the US personel didn't personally throw the switch that sent the electricity flowing into the victim's body. They led an 'ally' do it, while they stood their and 'observed' and got the information they wanted.

For a little historical background, check out this about the manuals used at the US Army's School of the Americas. SOA Manuals Index. This is what the US Army officially taught the military and police officers who came to the SOA from the rest of the hemisphere to be trained as US allies.

So, is Obama going to end torture and stop kidnappings? Or just return to the previous US policies where we did exactly these things, but tried to pretend that we didn't? The clue we have now is the team he's putting together around him. And that doesn't look good.