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Obama’s Neoliberals

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by Jeremy Scahill

4 Apr 09 | AWC

Selling his Afghan War one report at a time.

Reading the Center for American Progress‘ new report supporting President Obama’s escalation of the US war against Afghanistan is a very powerful reminder of how much neoliberals and neocons are alike. This, of course, is not some genius observation, particularly since CAP and the neocons are making it hard to miss, what with their love triangle with the war. Indeed, CAP’s launch event for its report, “Sustainable Security in Afghanistan: Crafting an Effective and Responsible Strategy for the Forgotten Front,” included a leading neocon, Frederick Kagan and was promoted by William Kristol’s new version of the Project for a New American Century, the Foreign Policy Initiative. So, here is part of what we are seeing unfold: Running parallel to the bi-partisan war machine within the official government is a coordinated campaign in the shadow government — the think tanks. Or, as Naomi Klein describes them, the people paid to think by the makers of tanks. CAPs particular role in this campaign appears to be attempting to sell Obama’s war.

“The problem is not that the Bush administration’s effort in Afghanistan failed,” CAP declares. “The problem is that it was never given a chance to succeed.” The report is replete with the language of Empire and phrases like, “vital U.S. interests” and “U.S. national interests.” The phrase “Afghan interests” is never used. CAP also calls for a continuation of the US bombing raids in Pakistan. In calling for an escalation of the war in Afghanistan, CAP relies on the classic hubris of empire, saying, “U.S. policymakers and military leaders must be aware that throughout their history Afghans have resisted large numbers of foreign forces on their soil, but today the situation is different.” Why is it different? According to CAP, “Nearly two-thirds of Afghans still support U.S. forces throughout the country.” This claim would be funny if it wasn’t so lethally misleading. >>>


Written by Editors

4 April 2009 at 12:21 pm

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