Obama And Neocons Agree?

PNAC attempts to resurrect themselves?

Neo-Con Ideologues Launch New Foreign Policy Group

By Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe

IPS Inter Press Service, 2009

WASHINGTON, Mar 25 (IPS) – A newly-formed and still obscure neo-conservative foreign policy organisation is giving some observers flashbacks to the 1990s, when its predecessor staked out the aggressively unilateralist foreign policy that came to fruition under the George W. Bush administration.

The blandly-named Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) – the brainchild of Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, neo-conservative foreign policy guru Robert Kagan, and former Bush administration official Dan Senor – has thus far kept a low profile; its only activity to this point has been to sponsor a conference pushing for a U.S. “surge” in Afghanistan.

Read the rest here…

It appears Mr. Obama is happy to accomodate them, with fearmongering rhetoric indistinguishable from Bush’s.

Obama sets Qaeda defeat as top goal in Afghanistan

Reuters, Fri Mar 27, 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama unveiled a new war strategy for Afghanistan on Friday with a key goal — to crush al Qaeda militants there and in Pakistan who he said were plotting new attacks on the United States.

“The situation is increasingly perilous,” Obama said in a somber speech in which he sought to explain to Americans why he was boosting U.S. involvement in the seven-year-old war and expanding its focus to include Pakistan.

The new strategy comes with violence in Afghanistan at its highest level since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in 2001 for sheltering al Qaeda leaders behind the September 11 attacks on the United States. The militia has escalated its attacks, often operating from safe havens in border regions of Pakistan.

“The world cannot afford the price that will come due if Afghanistan slides back into chaos or al Qaeda operates unchecked,” Obama said, stressing that stabilizing Afghanistan required an international effort, not just an American one.

The Afghan Plan, “Mr. Obama’s War”

by Kimberly Dozier, CBS News, March 30, 2009

As I write this, it’s been about 72 hours since President Obama official announced his new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy.

The only thing everyone seems to agree on is that this is now “Mr. Obama’s war.”

He says it’s “America’s war,” but we in the media have anointed it otherwise. He owns it.


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    • Edger on March 30, 2009 at 21:42


  1. They have very different goals. The President inherited these wars, he did not initiate them.

    Beyond that, what do you gain towards your goal of winding them down by comparing the current President the illegal and war crimes riddled Bush Demonstration?

    Sure it is fun to vent, but what is the larger goal, venting or ending the wars? It may be that success in one precludes the other.  

  2. It appears Mr. Obama is happy to accomodate them, with fearmongering rhetoric indistinguishable from Bush’s.

    You really are incapable of making the distinction?

    I’m not.

  3. another of yours, Edger!  The neocons are chafing at the bit!


    Afghanistan was, as with Iraq, another war of aggression.  It was a target long before 9/11.  

    The Afghans do not want us there.   They are sick of having their people killed and they are sick of the killing.  

    This whole new effort for Afghanistan is sooo reminiscent of our efforts in Saudi Arabia long ago.  Boosting their electricity, roads, adequate water, sewage, etc., with the real objectives being:

    maximizing payouts to U.S. firms and making Saudi Arabia increasingly dependent on the United States.  [This would require] long-term service and management agreements.  MAIN, Bechtel, Brown & Root (now KBR), Halliburton, Stone & Webster, and many other U.S. engineers and contractors would profit handsomely for decades to come.    From “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man ,” by John Perkins


    And, of course, ensuring access to Saudi Arabia’s oil.

    This same effort to “upgrade” Iraq was attempted, but Saddam Hussein was not interested in the proposition.  Thus, we had to bomb the shit out of Iraq, a country that was already vulnerable because of having endured sanctions for years.   And, of course, we have to stay until certain “benchmarks” are met, i.e., the Iraq hydro-carbon law has yet to be signed.

    And all such efforts have been made in other countries, particularly, Latin American.

    From, Sherwood Ross,

    President-elect Obama should drop his plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a country that never attacked America, out of pity for a helpless civilian population that will only suffer increasing misery from an expanded fight against the Taliban and its allies. . . . .

    Little known to most Americans is that Afghanistan likely was invaded because its Taliban government refused to okay pipelines sought by Union Oil Co. of California (UNOCAL).

    “Since Central Asia is landlocked, the United States government wanted to find a way to get the oil and natural gas out, while avoiding Iran, Russia, and China,” Boyle said. “The easiest way to do that was to construct a pipeline south through Afghanistan, into Pakistan and right out to the Arabian Sea. UNOCAL had been negotiating with the Taliban government of Afghanistan for quite some time, still with the full support of the U.S. government into the summer of 2001, but their negotiations had failed. The U.S….then rendered a proverbial offer that could not be refused to the Taliban government.”  . . . .

    Hasn’t Afghanistan suffered enough? The U.S. would be far better off if instead of pouring tens of thousands of troops into Afghanistan it sent in a like number of unarmed Peace Corps volunteers with a comparable budget. Time to give non-violence a chance. C’mon, guys, show a little imagination, huh?

    And, from Pepe Escobar,

    All geopolitical junkies need a fix. Since the second half of the 1990s, I’ve been hooked on pipelines. I’ve crossed the Caspian in an Azeri cargo ship just to follow the $4 billion Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline, better known in this chess game by its acronym, BTC, through the Caucasus. (Oh, by the way, the map of Pipelineistan is chicken-scratched with acronyms, so get used to them!)

    So, hopefully, creating dependence upon us by Afghanistan, we can use this period to “upgrade” Afghanistan, with all the construction, we can also get those pipelines constructed.  Oh, and “benchmarks” are being created for Afghanistan, as well.  Gee, I just wonder what they might be.

    And this, from William S. Lind, at AntiWar

    Ironically, the reported decision duplicates the Bush administration’s error in Iraq, another lost war (the next phase in Iraq’s Sunni-Shi’ite civil war is now ramping up). The error, one that no tactical or operational successes can overcome, is setting unattainable strategic objectives.

    And, this from by Justin Raimondo, at AntiWar,

    They [the Neocons] are ecstatic that Obama is launching a major offensive on the Afghan-Pakistan front, and they are urging him to do more. Their latest campaign is undertaken in cooperation with the “progressives” over at the Center for American Progress and the Center for a New American Security, both conduits for recent and future administration appointees. . . . .

    Having exhausted their previous host, the GOP, the neocons have no qualms about moving on. The Democrats will do just as well. Whoever’s in power is the object of their affection. Their role is to whisper in the ear of the prince, to make sure he gets the “right” information – and then sabotage him if he fails to respond to their ministrations.

    As the neocons hail Obama, their new conquering hero, the irony of all this underscores the difficulties of instituting real change in our foreign policy. The same old faces turn up no matter which party is in power, and the same old ideas – shopworn “internationalist” bromides – dominate a consensus that never questions whether an empire is good for the American people.

    What?  You mean the American people haven’t been considered in this process?  

    And neither have the Afghans been considered.  And Afghanistan is quite vulnerable now, too, so gotta’ strike while the iron is hot.  They will get “our program whether they like it or not, and, then, pay the consequences.

    [I think there has always been a gross misconception about Afghanistan.  As should be realized by now, we never went there with the purposes of getting Osama bin Laden, as we were lead to believe.]  

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