Monday, November 24, 2008

what would be different 

Think Progress has a nice interview with historian Andrew Bacevich. Sez Bacevich:

I would want to see a President Obama explicitly abrogate the doctrine of preventive war and to question fundamentally whether global war — open-ended global war — really provides the proper framework in which to address the threat posed by violent Islamic radicalism.

This would mean declaring an end to the so-called War on Terror. Highly desirable, but not bloody likely. Like the War on Drugs, not only are such notional wars irresistible means of social control, but also have a large industry and bureaucracy developed around them making them difficult to dissolve, dislodge or repurpose.

I would however settle for Obama abrogation of the doctrine of preventive war, even if only in word. Given Biden's execrable defense of interventionism at the VP debate, and the generally interventionist bent of the incoming foreign policy team, I would be surprised if preventive war were repudiated in an Obama administration. However, it is certainly something that should be pushed by the anti-war movement and non-aligned Obama supporters, most of which are currently focused on the nuts and bolts of the current wars and not the legalisms behind it. Like torture, preventive war should be made explicitly forbidden.

In a similar vein, John Tarleton has a nice short piece up that gives a thumbnail idea of the gap between Obama's proposed policies and something more genuinely progressive as well as links to groups that are working on the issues.


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