Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Obama says he'll reshape US foreign policy. But can he?

The presidential hopeful opposed the Iraq war and spoke sense about Iran, but expect business as usual on the Middle East

Jonathan Steele
The Guardian, Wednesday May 14 2008

"......Although he repeatedly outlines a general principle that the US should talk to every important player without preconditions, he does not apply this in the Middle East. In 2006, Obama blamed Hizbullah for the war with Israel and did not join the appeals for Israel to accept a ceasefire. Last month he criticised Jimmy Carter for talking to Hamas. "We must not negotiate with a terrorist group intent on Israel's destruction," he said.

Past presidents have greater freedom than future presidents, apparently. So the big questions remain: does Obama really want to change US foreign policy and can he, if he does? Having a black person in the Oval Office, and especially one with an understanding of US imperialism, would have a colossal international impact in itself. But would this merely result in even greater disappointment once the months go by and US policy stays the same? In my kishkas I feel Obama is our best hope. In my mind I prepare for business as usual."

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