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Ear to the Ground

Whispering in the Ear of the President

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Posted on Feb 11, 2008
Berger and Albright
news.bbc.co.uk

Sandy Berger and Madeleine Albright, two former high-ranking Clinton administration officials who were cheerleaders for the Iraq war and who currently advise Hillary Clinton.

It’s safe to assume that the people currently advising Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on foreign policy will continue to do so if their candidate is elected. So what approaches can we expect from an Obama or a Clinton administration? There are some bad apples in either bunch, but Foreign Policy in Focus says the company Obama and Clinton keep largely parallels their votes on the war.


Foreign Policy In Focus:

Not every one of Clinton’s foreign policy advisors is a hawk. Her team also includes some centrist opponents of the war, including retired General Wesley Clark and former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

On balance, it appears likely that a Hillary Clinton administration, like Bush’s, would be more likely to embrace exaggerated and alarmist reports regarding potential national security threats, to ignore international law and the advice of allies, and to launch offensive wars. By contrast, a Barack Obama administration would be more prone to examine the actual evidence of potential threats before reacting, to work more closely with America’s allies to maintain peace and security, to respect the country’s international legal obligations, and to use military force only as a last resort.

Progressive Democrats do have reason to be disappointed with Obama’s foreign policy agenda. At the same time, as The Nation magazine noted, members of Obama’s foreign policy team are “more likely to stress ‘soft power’ issues like human rights, global development and the dangers of failed states.” As a result, “Obama may be more open to challenging old Washington assumptions and crafting new approaches.”

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By Paracelsus, February 13, 2008 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

You will rue your vote. Look at our current strategy now. Bases in the breakwaway nations are being built up by the USA. Why do you think Putin hates us now? Bryzinski will just further that game plan along. If you had read Zbig’s books you would know his designs on central Asia. Anyway I see you have no real argument, Cyrena, just defamation. Near every post you answer is in terms of insult, and invective. You have a very sorry character.

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By Paracelsus, February 13, 2008 at 10:07 am Link to this comment

BTW, you really guessed wrong here. I would like to stop all funding of Israel. I am a non-interventionist. The man’s knowledge and depth of thinking revolve around controlling people.

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By cyrena, February 13, 2008 at 1:20 am Link to this comment

•  You appear to have no concept, even remote, about the man’s knowledge and depth of thinking.
• 
Odlid, you’ll discover soon enough, that Paracelsus has no concept about ANYTHING.  Seriously, if you’ve read even a few of his earlier rants on Brzezinski, you’d realize almost instantaneously, that the guy is a nut job. He goes from one totally unconnected quasi-thought to another. If memory serves me, he was most recently accusing Zbig of having some sort of gripes against the Russians, and then he goes to something else, and jumps to something else again.

It’s like trying to follow a severely psychotic ‘adventure’. Maybe drugs? Or maybe just crazy. Just from reading, it’s hard to know the ‘source’ of the insanity, but it’s easy enough to figure out that insanity is present.

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By cyrena, February 13, 2008 at 12:04 am Link to this comment

Paracelsus, I had to laugh out loud at this. (and under the title of dah dah…KOOK no less).

I’d say this is all very ‘relative’. If YOU’RE convinced that you’re on ‘the right track’ based on opposition to your opinions from SANE people of reason, that pretty much says it all.

Not to worry though…Your leader is also known by the same title –kook- that would be ron paul of course. Now of course my primary ‘opposition’ to HIM, is that he’s a kook.

So, to put it more appropriately, you’re definitely on a DIFFERENT ‘track’!
And for YOU, (and the other kooks) it might be the ‘right’ one. It’s all relative dear Watson.

But, don’t feel bad. As a general rule, I’m frequently on a ‘different’ track myself. Still, I never veer from the reason and sanity requirement for my track. Without some measure of both, the terrain isn’t much worth treading.

Meantime, I’m curious…Who besides me, ever even bothers to respond to you?

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By odlid, February 12, 2008 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Paracelsus- read Brzezinski’s books on strategic planning (there are several). You appear to have no concept, even remote, about the man’s knowledge and depth of thinking. Perhaps his insistence on human rights for the Palestinians has you upset.

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By Paracelsus, February 12, 2008 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

On the contrary, I think I am more well read than the usual Clinton or Obama supporter. I think it is highjly immoral to drag a population of innocents just to open up another front agianst the old Soviet Union. No one in Kabul asked Bryzenski for his help. We are asking for trouble to have a foreign policy advisor to play chicken with Russia. I don’t care to see Khazakstan, Georiga, and Ukraine used as pawns to bleed Russia.

On the other hand I do not feel comfortable with Clintons as they have connections to the Arkansas, Dixie criminal organizations. They are well connected with the Bush family as well.

It is not a matter of being a purist. I just know a rigged game when I see one.

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By Paracelsus, February 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

Dershowitz should be waterboarded, but I am not convinced Zbig is any improvement. A man who thinks of Asia as a theatre on a chessboard is dangerous in the extreme. When I tell some Truthdiggers that the whole slate of candidates are cardboard cut outs for a parallel government I get such verbal abuse. Such strong opposition to my opinions convinces me that I am on the right track.

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By Louise, February 12, 2008 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Great idea!

Finally a useful purpose for Gitmo!
~~~~~~~~~

“I would LOVE to live in a retirement center, and sit around shooting the breeze with some of you all. 

We could sit around solving the problems of the world in-between bid whist and shuffleboard games.”

~~~~~~~~~

I’m game for solving the problems of the world, but the only other game I’m good at is checkers.
I know ... smile

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By cyrena, February 12, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Louise,

Could we get the new pres to plunk down several billion for a retirement center for the rest of us? Like..maybe on the other side of the world from the one that you suggest here for the washed out that love to see and hear themselves? I mean, you didn’t mention that their ‘retirement center’ had to be here in the US. Maybe we could spruce Gitmo up for them. Make it a little more comfortable, and put in some amenities and stuff.

That would be much cheaper than building from the foundation, and we’ve already spent so much money on those facilities. So, I say put ‘em THERE, and then there will be more money to build a few for us, right here at home.

I would LOVE to live in a retirement center, and sit around shooting the breeze with some of you all. wink

We could sit around solving the problems of the world in-between bid whist and shuffleboard games.

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By Aegrus, February 12, 2008 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

Sounds to me like we have a foreign policy official with a good head on his shoulders. Glad he’s in my camp.

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By Louise, February 12, 2008 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Paracelsus:

“Of course, pockets as deep as a Rockefeller can afford to back all the horses in the race– which, of course, generally happens through CFR and Bilderberg vetting, but perhaps David Rockefeller’s own donation gives away his selected choice for heir. (And all indicators have Hillary taking the crown).”

~~~~~~~~~

Perhaps it’s not near as complicated as we want to make it.

People with big bucks can afford to hedge their bets. It’s not so much which candidate they want to see win as having a foot in the door of which ever candidate happens to win.

~~~~~~~~~

“Politics are theater, and virtually any candidate could be cast aside at any point, but the elite-level of support for Hillary Clinton and general control of all the contenders can’t be good for the democratic process– so much so, that it may be little more than an illusion. It certainly appears that the fix is in.”

~~~~~~~~~

I think the smart candidate knows that. Which is why the big push has to be to gain popular support. At some point in time the money becomes a means to that end. Absent a contract that says, if you accept my donation, you will do my bidding, the smart candidate will accept, use and then discard the money people.

Wishful thinking?

No, HOPEFUL thinking. Having been around for the election of every president since Truman, I am of the firm opinion that this is the FIRST presidential election where so many people are so informed about so many issues and so many things that can, do and have gone wrong. That, as much as anything will drive the final decision when it comes time to mark the ballot. That and who will be seen as most willing to discard the money people?

This awakening can be viewed as a major threat to media moguls who seem to control our elections. Certainly they would be the first to feel the major impact if we had election campaign reform.

All that money, all those millions, generally go to media before anyone or anything else. To maintain the status quo has to be their goal. I don’t think they have ever been required to provide quick answers and explanations regarding campaign and election law to the public like they are today. And those questions are only being asked because of exposure ... thanks in large part to the Internet.

Over the past few weeks I’ve enjoyed watching news anchors explain, based on info just provided from the parties and/or state election officials, why this or that happened, is happening or will happen. One anchor sits and listens, mouth agape. Then turns to camera and says, “Wow, I didn’t know that!” To which the other anchor responds. “Neither did I!” So I guess we could say, finally the media is actually starting to earn a fraction of that money.

Some things will never change. Most people will never become politically involved. But the awakening to how it actually works will prove to be good for us all. HOPEFULLY it will bring change.

We the people are the biggest lobby in the nation. And don’t think for one minute those candidates haven’t finally figured that out.

Well the dems anyway. smile

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, February 12, 2008 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

Here’s an article from last September. Does this sound like Brzezinski is a neocon?


Dershowitz: Obama Should Repudiate Brzezinski

By RUSSELL BERMAN
Staff Reporter of the Sun
September 12, 2007

WASHINGTON — Senator Obama may have distanced himself from a book criticizing the Israel lobby, but a prominent Harvard law professor — and Senator Clinton ally — says the Illinois lawmaker needs to go a step further and repudiate his newest foreign policy adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

The Harvard professor, Alan Dershowitz, has emerged as a chief critic of “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” a new book in which authors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt argue that a powerful coalition of individuals and organizations has pushed America into supporting Israel in ways that undermine its national interests.

The book has drawn widespread scorn from the pro-Israel community, and it appears to have divided Mr. Obama and Mr. Brzezinski, a former national security adviser to President Carter who recently joined the Illinois senator’s presidential campaign. Mr. Brzezinski will be with Mr. Obama as the candidate delivers a major policy address on Iraq today in Iowa.

Amid a firestorm over an initial working paper Messrs . Mearsheimer and Walt published last year on the Israel lobby, Mr. Brzezinski rose to their defense, even as he demurred on the question of whether he agreed with their central arguments. The authors, he wrote in the journal Foreign Policy, “have rendered a public service by initiating a much-needed public debate on the role of the ‘Israel lobby’ in the shaping of U.S. foreign policy.”

Mr. Obama’s campaign took the opposite route earlier this week when notified that an ad for its Web site appeared on the Amazon.com page of the Mearsheimer-Walt book. The campaign immediately removed the ad, saying its placement was unintentional, and issued a statement saying Mr. Obama believed the arguments in the book were “just wrong.” “I’m glad he’s done that, but now he has to dissociate himself from Brzezinski,” Mr. Dershowitz said in an interview yesterday. He said the Mearsheimer-Walt book was “a bigoted attack on the American Jewish community” and that Mr. Brzezinski’s comments in Foreign Policy last year amounted to an endorsement.

Through an assistant, Mr. Brzezinski declined repeated requests to be interviewed yesterday about his views on the book and Mr. Obama. He endorsed the first-term senator last month, praising his long-running opposition to the Iraq war and offering a high-profile boost to a candidate who has struggled at times to combat the perception that he is inexperienced in foreign policy.

Mr. Dershowitz, who has contributed $1,000 to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and is supporting her candidacy, said his criticism of Mr. Brzezinski extended beyond the Mearsheimer-Walt book to what he said was Mr. Brzezinski’s broader “anti-Israel” rhetoric in recent years. The former Carter aide was highly critical of Israel during its war last year with Hezbollah in Lebanon, at one point saying its actions amounted to “the killing of hostages.”

The rest of the article may be read at

http://www.nysun.com/article/62439

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By Tony Wicher, February 12, 2008 at 9:01 am Link to this comment

This is why I have been supporting Obama for over a year. There is no better way to predict a candidate’s foreign policy than by looking at the advisers. The differences with Clinton are very significant. Anybody who thinks Brzezinski is a “neocon” knows nothing about him or U.S. foreign policy for the last 30 years. He is neutral on Israel, and will consider only the U.S. national interest. He does not want the U.S. to be dragged into war supporting Zionism, for which he has no particular affection. For this he has been called “anti-Semitic” by the Zionist smear machine. This indicates to me a healthy independence from Israeli-neocon-AIPAC influence. I think we can expect tough diplomacy, but with much more respect for international law and human rights, including a willingness to get tough with Israel. With Clinton we can expect a continuation of the Bush foreign policy, which after all Clinton, Albright, etc. have supported all along and continue to support. 

Ideological purists who can’t tell the difference between Obama and Clinton are blind.

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By jackpine savage, February 12, 2008 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

If you’re looking for the perfect candidate, you’re in the wrong country…and good luck finding a country where one exists.  But i suggest trying any of the developed democracies that use proportional representation rather than geographic, winner takes all systems.

To pick apart any of the four remaining candidates and their teams of advisers is about the easiest intellectual exercise one could ask for.  If its one we chose to undertake, we could at least do it across the board.

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By Paracelsus, February 12, 2008 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

Wow, a totally fact free rebuttal full of insults and mischaracterizations. You are very crude and and rude.

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By Aegrus, February 12, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

This article is quite possibly one of the most thought provoking pieces I’ve read from TruthDig in a while. Good judgment.

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By i,Q, February 12, 2008 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

i hope Alex Jones will let you do him in da butt before he falls victim to CIA rendition at the behest of Bill Clinton for exposing the salacious secret of his Rockefeller illegitimacy as well as the hundreds of other more meaningful conspiracies which cause my quality of life to be diminished to such a point where i can hardly stand to talk on my cell phone or surf the web or play my x-box, or travel wherever i want because someone else is controlling everything around me and stealing from me the one thing which can never truly be taken, only given: my mind.

It’s the truth man! It says so right in the title!

Get a grip Agent Mulder.

sincerely,

Cancerman

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By i,Q, February 12, 2008 at 4:08 am Link to this comment

i enjoyed reading the article in the Times online, it is discouraging to me that i can’t read it with anything but incredulity as the letter outlines exactly the things that serve to goals of the “Surge is Working” crowd, and yet cleverly alludes to other areas of conflict where the fight will continue, requiring of couse that we maintain the surge. Good news bad news, zero sum fabrication if you ask me. i did read a few of the comments on the article. Amerikans sure eat this sh!t up. Thanks for the link!

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By whoda thunket, February 12, 2008 at 2:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

zbigniew brzezinski I hear is an Obama adviser. You should read The Grand Chessboard and perhaps you’d realize that perhaps Obama is trying to fool some of the people, some of the time.

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By Paracelsus, February 11, 2008 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

http://www.truthnews.us/?p=1906

Campaign Donations: Rockefeller Backs Hillary; Kissinger Backs McCain


As globalist tool John McCain rises to the forefront of the GOP party, it becomes increasingly clear that he will likely head off Hillary Clinton in the general election.

Behind the veil, this fixed-election might be indicated, at least for illustrative purposes, by maximum contributions from globalist kingpins David Rockefeller to Hillary, and from Henry Kissinger to John McCain.

Of course, pockets as deep as a Rockefeller can afford to back all the horses in the race– which, of course, generally happens through CFR and Bilderberg vetting, but perhaps David Rockefeller’s own donation gives away his selected choice for heir. (And all indicators have Hillary taking the crown).

At least two other Rockefellers have thrown money behind Hillary, though several other minor Rockefellers have contributed towards Obama, McCain, Richardson, and Edwards, all of whom are within the CFR-sphere of control as well.

Notably, William and Lisenne Rockefeller have donated to Mike Huckabee– they are the surviving immediate family of the late Winthrop P. Rockefeller, who was Lt. Governor under Huckabee.

The elder Winthrop Rockefeller was Governor of Arkansas from 1967-1971 (and often rumored to be the illegitimate father of Bill Clinton).

Politics are theater, and virtually any candidate could be cast aside at any point, but the elite-level of support for Hillary Clinton and general control of all the contenders can’t be good for the democratic process– so much so, that it may be little more than an illusion. It certainly appears that the fix is in.

After all, Rupert Murdoch, owner of NewsCorp / Fox News has also donated heavily to the Hillary campaign despite the Fox reputation as a ‘conservative’ network.

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By Louise, February 11, 2008 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

for making that excellent point.

As far as Obama finding Osama and al-Qaeda in Iraq, or Pakistan, or anywhere else, we can help him out.

The FBI CIA etc., are quite unable too, but TIMESONLINE always seems to know exactly where they are. wink

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article3346386.ece

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By Louise, February 11, 2008 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

Why don’t we ask the “New” president to put a couple of billion dollars in the budget to build a retirement center for all the folks who want to be in politics but never run for office, or politicians that did, but never made it, and former politicos who love to expound on TV. And old news anchors and pundits who love to see and hear themselves? [And anyone else we can think of that we see all the time and wish we didn’t.] Complete with in-house TV network and attentive audience. Then they could do the only thing they know how to do, day and night and we wouldn’t have to bother with them.

Well that would take care of a few airheads.
Now about everybody else ...

Someone told me half the adults in the United States can’t find the United States on a World Map. And somebody else told me half the adults in the United States never vote.

Lets hope it’s the same half.

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By cyrena, February 11, 2008 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

I am very appreciative of this excellent article from Stephen Zunes. It puts into perspective, (and clarifies) the actual positions of these candidates and their advisers, so that we have more than the standard partisan rhetoric, cherry-picking, spin and outright fabrications that display so frequently on these threads. (like Paracelsus would have us believe that Zibig was the Eastern European Subversive spanning two centuries of US foreign policy). Come to find out, the man was very instrumental in helping to focus US foreign policies on the all important issues of Human Rights, which should ALWAYS be at the forefront of any foreign or domestic policy, especially for any person or state claiming to be a democracy.

Anyway, there was one thing though, that popped out immediately, at least for me, because I found it odd. The lead in to the article says this….

“….Progressive Democrats do have reason to be disappointed with Obama’s foreign policy agenda.”…

Now, taken just as that is, (even though it does follow up to say something different) this can be a very misleading statement, taken at face value. It was enough for me to question in my own mind at least, because I see myself as a progressive democrat, and I don’t have any particular disappointments with Obama’s foreign policy agenda.

I might quibble with a few isolated sorts of issues and/or comments he’s made. For instance, I’d just as soon he didn’t have anything to say about the internal issues in Pakistan, because I don’t think he can know enough right now, about how much of Pakistan’s internal political problems are directly related to any terror concerns for us here in the US. And, his call for the capture of Osama bin Laden in that area slightly annoys me, because I’m convinced that bin Laden is dead. That’s not to say that a terrorist operation doesn’t continue under the original bin Laden sponsorship, as Osama himself promised that it would.  Still, if anybody really wanted to route out the al-Qaida/Islamic fundamentalists in that region, they could have, and he can work on that when he gets to be president, since obviously, the currently installed Cabal isn’t going to. Without the bogeyman of OBL and AQ, there would be no war on terror.

Otherwise, I have no troubles with his proposed foreign policy agenda, which can only be a rough draft anyway. Global issues are exceedingly fluid these days. So, WHY does the sentence from the lead-in suggest that? Well, in reading the full article, it could be that an important word or two may have been left out, which would change the meaning entirely. Here’s what Stephen Zunes actually wrote…

•  “Voters on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party are rightly disappointed by the similarity of the foreign policy positions of the two remaining Democratic Party presidential candidates, Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama.”

Ah ha! Disappointed in the SIMILARITY. Now THAT reads very differently, and it’s worth noting,, because in fact, the point of the article by Prof. Zunes, is to explain the DIFFERENCES, that have somehow been lost (or wildly spun) in the public discourse.

That has been particularly noticeable on this forum, from HRC supporters who use the tortured logic that we should elect HRC, because Obama’s policies/positions are the SAME as hers. Now, if that isn’t some ass-backward reasoning, I can’t think of any.

At any rate, this article is quite effective at pointing out what are in fact very discernible and very critical differences in their foreign policy agenda positions.

Meantime, I did find 2 seemingly bad apples in Obama’s group, though that’s just based on the superficial knowledge available. I honestly DON’T understand Joe Wilson’s consult to the Clinton team. Maybe I’m naïve. We learn something new every day.

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By jackpine savage, February 11, 2008 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  I had completely forgotten about that event, thanks.

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By M Gillespie, February 11, 2008 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

Some photos are worth the proverbial thousand words.  Here’s one: http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9802/18/town.meeting.folo/

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By DennisD, February 11, 2008 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What an absolute piece of tripe.

Truthdig - try sticking to the present - leave “possible future” unknown events to the fortune tellers tea leaves. 

Our exponentially growing national debt will stop just about everything either party’s candidates will be able to do if elected, whether good or bad. We’re f**king broke.

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