Friday, August 22, 2008


Obama picks Biden, so we’re in for Cold War

by Larry Geller

Condoleeza Rice’s rushed signing of an agreement with Poland to house a missile defense system was highly provocative, and no doubt linked to US military support for Georgia against Russia. In other words, Bush is starting up a new Cold War in his last moments in power.

Now Obama picks Biden as his running mate.

Progressive activist and former California Senator Tom Hayden’s recent article in The Nation, Warning to Obama on the New Cold War, argues that “the same Republican neocons who fabricated the reasons for going to war in Iraq are back, and now they have been paid to trigger a new cold war with Russia that benefits John McCain.” Pointing out the lamentable fact that we won’t hear such forthright warnings from Sen. Obama “or anyone in the Democratic hierarchy,” Hayden emphatically cautions that “[t]hese are dangerous, expensive unwinnable games being played with American lives to benefit Republican politicians and their oil company friends.”

Hayden’s most imperative recommendation is that those supporting Obama “should step up their criticism of his hawkish mimicry of McCain, and consider lessening their support--though still voting for him--unless he distinguishes himself from McCain on the immediate crisis.”

The pressing need for sending such a signal to the presumptive candidate was made all the more urgent during the past week, when Sen. Joe Biden, “rumored to be very high on Sen. Barack Obama’s list of running mates,” met with the president and prime minister of Georgia. According to Politico, Biden made the trip in the interest of “further burnishing his foreign policy credentials ahead of Obama’s decision.”

Claiming to have seen no evidence supporting Russian assertions “that the Georgian military was engaged in a ‘genocide’ in the region of South Ossetia,” Biden promised $1 billion to "help the people of Georgia to rebuild their country and preserve its democratic institutions." He also used the occasion of his journey as an opportunity to engage in his own “hawkish mimicry” of McCain’s bellicose rhetoric toward the former Soviet Union. [, 8/23/2008]

While this strengthens the Democratic Party ticket’s foreign policy cred, it also means, since Biden is a supporter of Bush’s moves against Russia, that no matter who is elected president, we’re likely to see the new administration supporting this new Cold War.

Not a good sign.


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