Anyone Else Disappointed In Obama’s Foreign Policies?

Posted: November 15, 2009 in Politics
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Full disclosure, and I may have mentioned this in the blog before but I am too lazy to look it up, I voted for Barack Obama.  I am, however, not a Democrat.  But I am also not a Republican.  I would say that I tend to lean conservative, but those that claim to be conservative these days are way too jingoistic and imperialistic for my tastes.  They also seem to oppose any increase in taxes and, though they claim to be for small government, seem to be all for government interference as long as it deals with the so-called “social” issues.  I tend to be for small government as well, but while your typical “conservative” seems to feel like that business needs to be totally left alone while our private lives need to be dictated, I tend to think that the opposite is probably more true.

Anyway, it was really with the whole jingoism, imperialism path this country had been on with the Bush administration in mind that I decided I needed to go with Obama.  I have been against the war in Iraq from the very start.  I do not buy into the neo-conservative idea that we can force countries into a democracy, and that through the creation of one democracy that others will spread as if a form of government is like a disease.  (And let’s face it, whether or not the true neo-con believes this or not, the other part of this is that we want access to the oil, both the drilling and the ability to transport.)  I also think whatever initial good may have came from our actions in Afghanistan, we have long past the point of diminishing returns and need to end that one as well.  Heck, I am so much against these wars that I voted for John Kerry (I wished I was the one who created because that is exactly how I felt.  Yes, that was a real website.)  My two favorite candidates going into the last election were Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, who are probably otherwise about as opposite as you can get, but they both oppose the wars.

So here we are, Obama wins and I think a big reason is because a lot of people wanted to go in a different direction from the Bush administration.  But in the 9 months or so that Obama has been office, what has really changed in regards to our Middle Eastern/terrorism policy?  I mean, I know we have changed our rhetoric.  No more talk of ‘axis of evil’ and ‘war on terrorism’.  But what has changed as far as action?  Let’s see:

  • Bush had on-going occupations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Obama continues to have on-going occupations in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Apparently Obama is even going to go with the idea of increasing our troop presence in Afghanistan, which seems akin to sending good money after bad.  And while we are supposedly going to pull out of Iraq, if you check the fine print of the plan, “pulling out” apparently doesn’t mean what most people would think.  We still plan to leave thousands of troops stationed in Iraq even after we “pull out”.
  • Under the Bush regime, we opened a prison camp in Guantanamo Bay to hold people suspected of being involved in terrorism, whether we actually had evidence or not.  This prison continues to be opened under the Obama regime.  Obama has promised that the prison will be closed, but is struggling to figure out what to do with the prisoners.  To me, the answer is easy.  For those we plan to prosecute, we transfer to American prisons.  For those we don’t, we let them go.  But for some reason, it apparently is more complicated than that.  At last report, the closure of this prison by January is in doubt.
  • The Patriot Act passed while Bush was in office.  But has anybody noticed that Obama has done little to nothing to revoke this act?  In fact, as some of the provisions of these acts are set to expire, Obama supports their renewal.  I guess it is an abuse of power only when your guy doesn’t have the power.  Oh, and that warrantless wiretapping thing?  Yeah, that’s still going on too.

So this is change that we can believe in?  Not hardly.  But it seems that a lot of Obama supporters do not acknowledge the fact that really Obama has mostly continued the policies set forth by Bush.  It would be nice if somebody like MSNBC would hold the Obama adminstation’s feet to the fire like they did with Bush.  But they are Obama fanboys, and are more interested in fighting old battles.  You would think that somebody like Fox News might pick up the mantle, but they are way more interested in stupid things like if Obama should bow to a foreign leader or speak to children.  Then again, if Fox News is going to criticize Obama on something in this regard, it is going to be that Obama is not taking enough military action, so there’s going to be no help there.

I should know better by now.  I really should have known that not much would change.  I actually don’t think our polices are much different under Obama than they would have been under John McCain.  This is why I can understand why people choose not to participate in our political process.  Two parties have a stranglehold over the system, and there simply is not that much difference in fact between the two.  So if you don’t agree with either one of them, you are not really left with a choice.  I don’t know.  It is the only system we have so I think I have to continue to participate.  But I am not sure if I am doing much good.  I guess at least Sarah Palin is not one heartbeat away from being President.  Hmm, President Palin…(brrr….shuddering at the thought!).    Yes, the vote was not a total waste!



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