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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/20/08

You're Scaring Me, Obama: Let the Bush Years Die

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Message Heather Wokusch
To be honest, Obama, you lost me when you voted for the PATRIOT Act reauthorization in 2006. You lost me again when you voted for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) amendment in 2008. And you lost me every single time you voted for yet more war funding.

Don't even get me started on your vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

I cast a ballot for you in November, but I just can't share in this moment of collective euphoria over your election.

So, if your transition team really wants feedback on "where President-Elect Obama should lead this country," here's a Top Five list:

1. Dump the Bush Doctrine and don't start more wars

You've made it clear that the US has to "take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights" and you've argued for "more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11."

What exactly does that mean?

Take troops out of Iraq and shove them into Afghanistan? Further destabilize Pakistan?

The whole idea of preemptive war (a.k.a. the Bush Doctrine) has no place in a civilized society and must be laid to rest, along with those sacrificed in Bush's military adventurism these past eight years.

Yet your approach to preemptive war, Mr. Obama, is nuanced at best.

During the January 2008 Democratic presidential debate, you said that if the US had "actionable intelligence" and Pakistan didn't "take on Al Qaida in their territory," then "I would strike." You added, " And that's the flaw of the Bush doctrine. It wasn't that he went after those who attacked America. It was that he went after those who didn't."

No, the flaw of the Bush Doctrine is that it's just plain wrong. We've learned that the hard way.

2. Ditch the warmongers

What's with all of the hawks in your new administration?

You presented yourself as a peace candidate and then chose Joe Biden as your VP. Yes, he brought in the white male vote, but he also backed the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Just last month Biden warned that if you were elected, there would be "an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy." He said that you would make some "incredibly tough decisions" that could alienate the Democratic base, because if decisions are "popular, they're probably not sound."

In other words, a popular decision, one that the majority of the people wants, is probably not a good decision. Democracy to Biden...

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Heather Wokusch is the author of The Progressives' Handbook: Get the Facts and Make a Difference Now, which went to #1 on Amazon's political activism charts in December 2007 (www.progressiveshandbook.com). Heather can be reached at (more...)
 
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