Dy’er Sez: I, like many other writers and bloggers, have spent more than a little time and energy in discussing (read: ranting) the pure frustration with the Obama administration. To be sure, I never had any intent to vote for him (nor McCain for that matter – my toss up was between Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney), and I was extremely skeptical that he would do any good for our country. I just never considered that he would be as similar as he is to the last guy.
I came across the following article today and I think that it (more so, the second part of it) sums up, quite eloquently, just how much the change we were supposed to believe in has become nothing more than the same-old-same-old… albeit in a better looking package. Read on; if you find that you are in disagreement, then I respectfully submit that you are either not paying close attention or that the rose-colored glasses of partisanship are obstructing your view.
Story from Anti-War.com:
The More Things Change
by David Swanson and Tom Engelhardt
A presidential candidate opposed to the Iraq War is elected and enters the Oval Office. Yet six months later, there are still essentially the same number of troops in Iraq as were there when his predecessor left, the same number, in fact, used in the original invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Moreover, the new president remains on the “withdrawal” schedule the previous administration laid out for him with the same caveats being issued about whether it can even be met.
That administration also built a humongous, three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollar embassy in Baghdad, undoubtedly the most expensive on the planet. Staffed with approximately 1,000 “diplomats,” it was clearly meant to be a massive command center for Iraq (and, given neocon dreams, the region). Last weekend, well into the Obama era, the Washington Post reported that the State Department’s yearly budget for “running” that embassy – $1.5 billion (that is not a misprint) in 2009 – will actually rise to $1.8 billion for 2010 and 2011. In addition, the Obama administration now plans to invest upwards of a billion dollars in constructing a massive embassy in Islamabad and other diplomatic facilities in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here, too, there will be a massive influx of “diplomats,” and here, too, a U.S. command center for the region is clearly being created.
What’s striking are the continuities in American foreign and military policy, no matter who is in the White House. The first-term Obama foreign policy now looks increasingly like the second-term Bush foreign policy. Even where change can be spotted, it regularly seems to follow in the same vein. The New York Times, for instance, recently reported that the controversial “missile defense shield” the Bush administration was insistent on basing in Poland and the Czech Republic is being reconsidered in a many-months-long Obama administration “review.” While this should be welcomed, the only option mentioned involved putting it elsewhere – in Turkey and somewhere in the Balkans. At stake is one of the great military-industrial boondoggles of our age. Yet cancellation is, it seems, beyond consideration in Washington.