In a July 15th appearance on CNN's Larry King Live, Barack Obama announced that as President he would seek the foreign policy counsel of former President Bill Clinton, former President George Herbert Walker Bush, former Bush Sr. Secretary of State, James Baker, former Bush Sr. National Security Advisor, Brent Scowcroft, and former George W. Bush Secretary of State, Colin Powell. Below are the video and text of Obama's pronouncement:
King: "How will you utilize the talents of President Clinton?"
Obama: "As you know, Bill Clinton's one of the smartest people out here and certainly one of the most brilliant political minds we have. He's got extraordinary relationships all across the globe and so I want him as a advisor and I would want him to be involved in implementing strategies on a range of issues -- so he's an enormous resource as all former presidents are. I mean I've said this before. I think on the foreign policy front George Bush, Sr. has a lot of wisdom to impart and his foreign policy team -- people like Jim Baker and Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell are extraordinary thinkers. So I think you want to utilize all the talents out here and part of what I'm interested in is bringing that tradition of bipartisanship to our foreign policy back to Washington."
Where others may have speculated about the challenges of being President, George Herbert Walker Bush knew them intimately, having been 1 of just 43 men to ever hold the job. Still, with full understanding of the rigors of the office, he sanctioned the candidacy of his son, whom he knew was unfit. He could have interceded for the sake of his nation to dissuade his son's campaign, but he did not. Instead the former President lauded his son and lent him credibility -- thrusting him forward to succeed. Shame on this selfish, dynastic and unpatriotic father for the damage he has done.
One would think that Barack Obama, in his quest for "change," would understand that the Bushes and the loyalists from their administrations should no longer serve our government. Surprisingly, Senator Obama does not. Rather than taking the reins and leading a Bush-free nation, Obama plans to involve Bush cronies James Baker, Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell in his own administration. Baker, former Secretary of State to George Herbert Walker Bush, was the architect of George W's theft of the 2000 election. General Colin Powell, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Secretary of State to George W. Bush, presented a false case for war before the United Nations. He is the most egregious of all Bush enablers and holds a greater responsibility for the Iraq war and the resultant deaths of Americans and Iraqis than anyone other than George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
There have been testimonies from Powell's colleagues, including his former Chief of Staff, Col. Larry Wilkerson, that prior to making his United Nations speech, Powell was skeptical of the "facts" he'd be presenting. Yet he presented them anyway. Were he a man of courage and character, he would never have made claims for which he had doubts. His speech to the United Nations was of monumental importance, and laid the groundwork through false evidence for the Iraq war. Powell has expressed his regrets since the lies in his speech were revealed. But ignorance is not an excuse and regret doesn't guarantee forgiveness -- especially when projections of as many as one million lives have been lost as a result of the war.
As for Bill Clinton -- Senator Obama stated that:
"He's [Bill Clinton's] got extraordinary relationships all across the globe and so I want him as an advisor."
Bill Clinton does have extraordinary global connections. Unfortunately, they are mostly corporate, since giant corporations are the core of his organization, the Clinton Global Initiative. Like Bush Sr., Baker and Powell, Clinton represents failed policies. He instituted NAFTA. He didn't produce a healthcare program. He ended the AFDC program (Aid To Families With Dependent Children) that assisted poor families with children. When Bill Clinton ended welfare in 1996, I was working with Community Based Organizations throughout Los Angeles. I spent hours in meetings grappling with the plight of poor mothers who were thrown into minimum wage jobs with no childcare. Now, a dozen years later, I believe that the high numbers of unwed teen parents, school dropouts, drug abusers and prison inmates correlate directly with the thousands of children who raised themselves alone thanks to Clinton's legislation. His political expediency and capitulation to then Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, paved the way for today's burgeoning prison industrial complex, failed education system, and even the childhood obesity Clinton is determined to correct. Without mothers to prepare home meals, children subsisted on fast food and junk food with little nutrition.
Clinton doesn't offer the "change we can believe in." Nor does George Herbert Walker Bush -- a man whose DNA has fractured this nation. Doesn't Obama realize Americans have had enough of Bush power, profit and privatization? We are done! The only places most Americans want to see Bushes and their cronies is in maximum security prisons.
Interesting that presumptive nominee Obama failed to mention former President Jimmy Carter as a potential advisor -- considering that Carter is globally respected as a humanitarian and advocate for human rights. But ever since the publication of Carter's book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which is critical of Israel, Carter has garnered animosity from AIPAC - the powerful Israeli lobby. Apparently in the administration of Barack Obama, only AIPAC approved advisors are desired.
Obama's pandering is obvious. He's pandering to Republicans by naming Republican advisors. He's pandering to AIPAC by ignoring Jimmy Carter. Pandering is not the change we can believe in!
If Barack Obama is to be the "change we can believe in, he needs to choose associates and advisors who represent that change. George Bush Sr., James Baker and Colin Powell represent failed policies and failed judgement. Americans have had their fill of these. Americans want change!
Obama needs to listen. no Bush, no Baker, no corporate war maker. If Obama is "the change we can believe in" - he has to stand for change!!