Liberals in America are currently in a state of mourning now that they've learned that Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates will soon be an integral part of Barack Obama's administration. And Conservatives, well, they're absolutely ecstatic!
Suddenly, Robert Gates, whose Iraq Study Group in 2007 recommended that the United States begin withdrawing virtually all of its combat forces from Iraq, and consummate the withdrawal by early 2008 - has become a hawk in the eyes of many Liberals and Conservatives - whose memory banks [apparently] are incapable of retaining more than a few months of information at a time. Had President Bush listened to Mr. Gates' Iraq Study group, the war in Iraq would have long been lost to the insurgency.
Gates also supports direct negotiations between the US and the Mullahs of Iran. Nevertheless, the pundits insist that Robert Gates is a veritable Hawk! Hmmm......
And apparently, Hillary Clinton has also shed her Liberal credentials ever since she voted in favor of going to war with Iraq, despite the fact that almost every other Democrat in Congress voted the same way. Sen. Clinton even had the audacity to support a senate resolution labeling a renowned terrorist entity, the Iranian Revolutionary guards, as a terrorist organization! Can there be any doubt then that Sen. Clinton is anything but a true-blooded hawk?!
And how about retired Marine General James Jones, the fellow Obama tapped to be his National Security adviser? Jones - enamored with the way UN forces have been able to prevent Hezbollah terrorists from rearming and gaining undue influence inside Lebanon [ahem....] - recommended that an international force be deployed in the West Bank, instead of Israeli Defense Forces. Another hawk? Apparently so.
However, Peter Beinart of Time magazine sees things a little differently. According to Beinart [whose sentiment is also echoed by the Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman], Jones, Gates and Clinton's foreign policy positions aren't really that much different than Obama's. It's just that their positions are perceived to be different, and more hawkish. Thus, "what distinguishes Gates, Jones and Clinton isn't their desire to shift Obama's policies to the right; it's their ability to persuade the right to give Obama's policies a chance."
"It's precisely because Obama intends to pursue a genuinely progressive foreign policy," says Beinart, "that he's surrounding himself with people who can guard his right flank at home. When George W. Bush wanted to sell the Iraq war, he trotted out Colin Powell--because Powell was nobody's idea of a hawk. Now Obama may be preparing to do the reverse. To give himself cover for a withdrawal from Iraq and a diplomatic push with Iran, he's surrounding himself with people like Gates, Clinton and Jones", who are perceived [naively] to be to the right of Obama.
And so my fellow Democrats, no need to feel dejected. Obama has clearly elucidated his self-destructive foreign policy agenda throughout the Presidential campaign, and I can assure you, he will not disappoint you anytime soon. Likewise, my fellow Conservatives, no need for you to gloat, Obama has you exactly where he wants - tucked away securely, and snugly, in his back pocket...........