Obama transition points to more war and repression

Original article, by Bill Van Auken, via World Socialist Web Site:

President-elect Barack Obama owes his victory, both in the Democratic primaries and the general election, in large part to the overwhelming hostility of the American people to the years of military aggression, torture, extraordinary rendition, domestic spying and all of the other crimes that will constitute the indelible legacy of the Bush administration.

The question is: How does Obama ignore this heading toward his Presidency? Now, we can ‘hope’ that Obama doesn’t continue US imperial pretensions or that the ‘change’ he’s promised isn’t just shifting those pretensions to Afghanistan and Pakistan. If we judge him by the company he keeps, well….

For the most part, the Obama-Biden transition team is staffed by veterans of the Clinton administration, associated with the US wars in the Balkans and the policy of regime change in Iraq that set the stage for the war that followed under the Bush presidency.

Van Auken points out that Madeleine Albright is being sent as Obama’s representative to the G20 meeting this weekend. It’s ominous that Obama would have Madame Albright anywhere near his administration, much less use her as a personal envoy. Her record is every bit as hawkish and uncaring as any Bushite could ask for.

In terms of the military policy of an incoming Obama presidency, the most telling indication of the narrow character of the change that can be anticipated are the persistent reports that Bush’s defense secretary, Robert Gates, may be kept at his post after the change in administrations.

Van Auken sites members of Obama’s transition team for this bit of info. He also points out that Harry ‘Give US hell’ Reid is a supporter as well. Another leading possibility for the post, Richard Danzig, is a fan as well:

The other figure most often cited as a potential pick as defense secretary is former Clinton-era Navy Secretary Richard Danzig. Last June, Danzig delivered his own endorsement for retaining Gates, telling the Times of London, “My personal position is Gates is a very good secretary of defense and would be an even better one in an Obama administration.”

You can get the idea already. The article goes on and speaks of the Obama transition team for the Defense Department and the CIA. In both cases, four more years can be the mantra for what we are facing from the new administration. Van Auken sums up the article as follows:

It is only 10 days since Obama was swept to victory in the presidential election by a wave of popular hostility to the Bush administration. Yet the actions of the president-elect and his advisers are already making it clear that the longing of millions of Americans for an end to the growth of US militarism and international criminality are not be realized after the inauguration in January.

Capitalism, of course, is at the core of this militarism. For capitalism to work, there must be ever expanding markets. When you have deindustrialized, as the US has, there’s only one way to expand said markets. That’s what our ‘Defense’ Department is for.

There’s an old saying my dad taught me: Always expect the worst, that way your rarely disappointed and seldom surprised. My suggestion is that we all keep this in mind as we watch our new ruler once he becomes President.

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    • Edger on November 14, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    is being vetted for Secretary of State…

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