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By Kellia Ramares  Posted by Carolyn Baker (about the submitter)     Permalink
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During a debate on January 31, 2008, Sen. Barack Obama said, "I don't want to just end the war, but I want to end the mind-set that got us into war in the first place."1  That is an excellent idea. But Obama's other words, the Democratic Party Platform, and the advisers he has chosen for his foreign policy team indicates that the January statement is just a bunch of pretty words. He will not reverse the trend of American military interventionism that is so costly in lives, money, and American standing in the world. As Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has written, "much of the Democrats' anti-war rhetoric has more to do with politics and anti-Bush sentiment than it does with ideological opposition to the use of force."2

Yes, Obama wants to end the Iraq War but, the 2008 Democratic Party platform flatly states:

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Expand the Armed Forces

We support plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 troops and the Marines by 27,000 troops. Increasing our end strength will help units retrain and re-equip properly between deployments and decrease the strain on military families. 3

Recruit and Retain

A nation of 300 million people should not struggle to find additional qualified personnel to serve.

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Recruitment and retention problems have been swept under the rug, including by applying inconsistent standards and using the "Stop Loss" program to keep our servicemen and women

in the force after their enlistment has expired. We will reach out to youth, as well as to the parents, teachers, coaches, and community and religious leaders who influence them, (emphasis mine) and make it an imperative to restore the ethic of public service, whether it be serving their local communities in such roles as teachers or first responders, or serving in the military and reserve forces (emphasis mine)or diplomatic corps that keep our nation free and safe. 4

Re-train and re-equip properly between deployments? Sounds like Obama plans to keep the military busy.

This indicates that Obama will only provide a change of tactics, not strategy. The Iraq War is bad, but war itself is a perfectly permissible tool of foreign policy. Rep. Ron Paul, who sought the Republican nomination himself this year, understands the issue. In an interview with CNN's Kiran Chetry in August, he stated that there was no difference between the foreign policies of Sens. McCain and Obama:

"Their foreign policies are identical," Paul explained. "They want more troops in Afghanistan. They want to send more support to Georgia to protect the oil line there. Neither one says bring home the troops from Iraq from the bases -- you know the bases are going to stay there, the embassy as big as the Vatican, that's going to remain. So their foreign policies are exactly the same. They're both very, very aggressive with Iran. So I would say there's no difference."

"How would you handle these global threats, then, if it's not to send our troops there and make sure that we're protected?" Chetry asked.

"We create the threats!" Paul replied emphatically.

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American foreign policy will not change substantially until a president acknowledges that we create threats, and figures out that we all would be better off if the US didn't act like a bully, or the world's policeman. That is not likely to happen until the sheeple who attend Sarah Palin's rallies, and who think patriotism means blind adoration of your country and its leaders, and that any finding of fault means you hate America, stop sitting on their brains. As long as Palin's "Pro-America" small-towners and their brothers and sisters in larger cities who swallowed Bush's post 9-11 propaganda about evildoers who "hate our freedoms" post "United We Stand" and "We are Resolved" signs in their shop windows, and "Support the Troops" stickers on their cars without ever asking "Stand where?", "Resolved to do what?" and "Who benefits from our troops being in harm's way?" this nation will always have cannon fodder for the politicians of both parties, who receive contributions from the corporations that are the true beneficiaries of American's pro-war foreign policy. And while those politicians are bailing out Wall Street, the veterans are being tossed onto Main Street. Although solid numbers on veteran foreclosures are not available, RealtyTrac, a Web site that follows foreclosures nationwide, reported earlier this year that areas with large numbers of military personnel have foreclosures at a rate four times the national average.6 

Obama does not believe that the "war on terror" is wrong. He sees a place for military engagement with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. For example, the Democratic Party Platform says: We cannot tolerate a sanctuary for Al Qaeda. We need a stronger and sustained partnership between Afghanistan, Pakistan, and NATO-including necessary assets like satellites and predator drones-to better secure the border, to take out terrorist camps, and to crack down on cross-border insurgents. 7  (I will not here get into the issue of how real or how infiltrated by CIA  Al-Qaeda might be). Even if you do not believe that the United States government let 9/11 happen on purpose, or to go even further, as I do, that the United States government made 9/11 happen on purpose, you should ask yourself: Does our continued military presence in Southwest Asia only increase the recruitment capability of terrorist groups? Let's put it another way: If a foreign military force occupied your hometown, would you resist or aid the resisters, even is that resistance included violence? One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

The Black Bill Clinton

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