Pepe Escobar: Comparing foreign policy advisers of two candidates shows some differences


Story Transcript

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PEPE ESCOBAR, TRNN ANALYST: On the Democratic side, things are much more complicated and diverse and nuanced. Starting with the Clinton side, one of her main advisers for foreign policy is in fact Madeleine Albright. Madeleine Albright adds a little bit of more of the same on the Clinton side. Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state, is infamous for saying on the record during the ’90s that more than 500,000 Iraqi children who were victims of the UN sanctions imposed by the West–their sacrifice was worth it, in terms of undermining the regime of Saddam Hussein. We have Sandy Berger, former national security adviser, as well. And especially Richard Holbrooke, who is going to be probably the next secretary of state under a Clinton government. It’s very important to remember that Richard Holbrooke, when he was assistant secretary of state for East Asia, he was propping up Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator of the Philippines when he was alive, and also dictator Suharto in Indonesia in terms of repression of East Timor. Richard Holbrooke is kind of a hawk, actually. He says that Iran is a threat, and Ahmadinejad is Hitler, which would easily put him in the neocon column for that matter. Basically, most of the Clinton advisers were pro-war on Iraq, while Obama’s advisers, most of them were against. Clinton also has ties with very well-known centrists like General Wesley Clark, who was against the war in Iraq from the beginning, and former US Ambassador, Joseph Wilson, whose wife Valerie was outed as a CIA agent by the Bush administration. Of course, her [inaudible] story is becoming a Hollywood movie. On the Obama side, his main adviser for foreign policy is Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser under Jimmy Carter. You may all remember that Brzezinski wrote The Grand Chess Board, his book where he outlines the fact in his mind that the US has to control Eurasia, and if US doesn’t control Eurasia, it won’t control the rest of the world. So this is not exactly neocon. It was recuperated later by the neocons. But this is basically US world domination, and it has to be armed if, obviously, the countries of Eurasia do not abide. We also have Anthony Lake, a former national security adviser. Former Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice. Former counter-terrorist czar Richard Clarke, who wrote a very, very good book on his efforts to fight al-Qaeda, all of them undermined by the Bush administration in 2001. We have human rights scholar Samantha Power. That’s very good, because basically she’s been talking a lot and writing a lot about US manipulation of the United Nations. But we also have some very, very disturbing characters as well. We have a retired General Merill McPeak who supported; he always backed the occupation and repression of East Timor. And Dennis Ross, who was a Clinton special envoy to the Middle East– he supports the illegal, bloody, and in fact absolutely horrendous Israeli occupation of the West Bank. So even if Obama’s people are, you know, more inclined to finish off the war in Iraq and, okay, try to find a graceful exit from Afghanistan, there’s one fact of the matter: no matter what any one of these advisers think or no matter what we have with a Clinton presidency or an Obama presidency, the ultimate deciders for what’s going to happen in Iraq are going to be the US national security establishment. And for them, obviously, they will be much more comfortable with a guy like John “a century of war” McCain.

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Pepe Escobar

Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil is the roving correspondent for Asia Times and an analyst for The Real News Network. He's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, based in London, Milan, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, and Bangkok. Since the late 1990s, he has specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central Asia, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has made frequent visits to Iran and is the author of Globalistan and also Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge both published by Nimble Books in 2007.