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."
If Barack Obama is to be the "change we can believe in," how can he rely on the counsel of those who represented previous failed administrations and failed policies in his own administration? In particular, George Herbert Walker Bush, whose selfish need to perpetuate his dynasty has caused America irreparable harm. He bestowed upon this nation (and the world) his unworthy son, George W. Bush, whose inadequacies he'd clearly known. He knew well the moral and intellectual frailties of his son. He knew he lacked scholarship and statesmanship and experience in foreign affairs. He knew he lacked tact and maturity. He knew he lacked the intellectual curiosity, moral authority, self-control, clarity, judgment, vision, patience, oratory skills and wisdom to be president -- yet he cheered him on.
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.
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!
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!!