It’s no surprise that Hillary is enlisting the help of advisers from her husband’s administration, but so is Obama. His most notable foreign policy adviser is Anthony Lake, a former national security adviser to Bill Clinton who became a laughingstock for expressing doubts as to whether Alger Hiss, the founder of the United Nations and a top State Department official, was a communist spy. Hiss had been convicted of perjury for denying he was a communist agent and decoded Soviet transcripts later confirmed his guilt. Lake’s doubts led to a controversy that caused him to withdraw his nomination as Clinton’s CIA director. He ended up in academia as a professor at Georgetown University.
Is there anybody in the press willing to ask Obama whether he shares Lake’s doubts about Hiss? How about Hillary? The answers to that question could generate some real news in the campaign.
As noted by Neil King Jr. of the Wall Street Journal, Obama’s foreign policy team is “heavy on onetime aides to President Clinton.” King mentioned Lake, but without noting his controversial views on Hiss, and others.
King correctly noted that there are no “substantial policy differences” between Obama and Hillary, with both favoring “a more robust emphasis on diplomacy and multilateral engagement…” In other words, regardless of whether Hillary or Obama wins, you can count on more power and authority for the United Nations. In practical terms, this means the U.S. will intervene more often in areas of the world where U.S. national interests are NOT at stake. It could mean involvement in more war, not less.
Susan Rice, a key foreign policy adviser to Obama who frequently appears on television on his behalf, has been a major proponent of U.S. military action in Darfur, the western region of Sudan where human rights violations are taking place. Rice is a former assistant secretary of state for African Affairs in the Clinton Administration who became a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
She views military intervention in Darfur in the context of exercising the “Responsibility to Protect.” This is a doctrine approved by the United Nations in 2005 that authorizes military forces to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states. Obama has said he favors a U.N. or a NATO force in Darfur.
The irony is that the “Responsibility to Protect” was approved by the U.N. with the approval of the Republican Bush Administration in 2005. And the problems in Burma have become a particular area of concern for First Lady Laura Bush. She even went to the U.N. to urge the world body to do more about the crisis there.
Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. This op-ed was excerpted from his column for AIM.