Monday, May 30, 2011

Where Have They Gone?

After more than two years, President Obama's national security policy looks all too familiar: like President Bush's policy. You remember the Bush doctrine? Its most prominent tenet was the policy of preventive war -- using the U.S. military to eliminate potentially dangerous enemies, rather than using military force only when the United States is clearly threatened.

Generally speaking, the Bush administration argued that deposing unfriendly regimes and promoting democracy both militarily and diplomatically were in America's long-term best interests. President Obama not only has embraced this approach, stressing it again in his May 19 speech on the Middle East, he's gone further: increasing military spending, expanding the war in Afghanistan, handing off more of the mission to contractors and mercenaries, and bombing Libya without anything resembling a threat to the United States or even a nod from Congress -- in violation of the War Powers Act.

Consider the budget. President Obama's first defense budget, for fiscal year 2010, was $685.1 billion, if we include the "supplemental" funds for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars (a budget gimmick he had promised not to use). This was 3 percent higher than in the previous year.
~ from Obama's War Policy More and More Like Bush's by Anthony Gregory ~
All throughout the Bush II presidency, peace activists took to the streets. Though our numbers were smaller in comparison to the previous decade or two, we made our presence known. Unfortunately, with the election of Barack Obama, the peace community stood down even though, as the snippet above underscores, Obama has turned out to be worse than Dubya!!

In essence, the peace movement has been co-opted. Far too many people bought into the man of "hope" and have given him a free pass on the issue of war and several other issues as well. As late as today, there are many progressive activists who are scared to go beyond tepid criticism of the Obama administration, lest they open the door to a GOP win in 2012.

In my estimation, so-called liberals like Barack Obama -- the man has always been a centrist -- are far more dangerous than most Republicans. With a Republican in the White House, activists don't sit on their hands. They aren't afraid to condemn policies and strategies that promote violence and world instability. They don't self-censor themselves when the administration lavishes tax dollars on corporations and goes after whistleblowers.

While Obama plays kissy with his corporate backers, the progressive movement has relegated itself to the sidelines. By standing down, Obama has been granted the license to injure this nation and its citizens in ways that Bush II would never have dreamed possible.

People, wake up...before it's too late!!

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