Hillary has accepted Barack’s offer and opted for the limelight and the “challenge” of the secretary of state post rather than the security and relative obscurity of her seat in the senate. The Democrats have their dream team in the White House and only time will tell what the rest of the world has got. Nevertheless, with a Republican here and an ex-opponent from his own party there, Barack’s cabinet does seem to be taking on a sort of all inclusive look that, at least appears to be excluding what some people in Bush Snr’s administration, including old George himself, apparently referred to as the “crazies”;(1) “the Wolfowitzes”, “the Rumsfelds”, “the Cheneys”. Is this the death knell of the “Project for the New American Century, “America’s grand strategy” and a “blueprint of world domination”(2)? Well, at least, the approach will be different and, if nothing else, it will be a pleasant change to be confronted with articulate drivel that involves some thought before it is spouted. At best, there is some hope and while Hillary’s ‘vitae’ is not going to provide it, I was looking up a certain Charles Timothy “Chuck” Hagel, the Senator for Nebraska and a member of the Republican Party. He is the latest name being mentioned in Barack’s broad coalition.
“Chuck” criticised the current administration on a number of occassions. For instance, back in 2005 he mocked Cheney’s assertion that the war in Iraq was in its last throes.(3) Moreover, he also supported Obama against McCain in the Presidential Elections and he, more or less, agrees with him on all major foreign policy issues. My research found an interesting little article on a talk he gave to the Brookings Institute where, among other things, he said, “The United States will remain committed to defending Israel. Our relationship with Israel is a special and historic one. But, it need not and cannot be at the expense of our Arab and Muslim relationships. That is an irresponsible and dangerous false choice. Achieving a lasting resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is as much in Israel’s interest as any other country in the world.”(4) He then went on to add, that an unending war will drain Israel of its human capital and that it is neither in America’s nor in Israel’s interests to become isolated in the Middle East and the world. In the context of who the man is, what he represents and, indeed, where he was speaking, it was a brave speech and, while it is not as good as it gets, we can afford ourselves a modicum of hope.
Finally, let us stop thinking that Barack is a radical and that there might be radicals on his cabinet. That is not going to happen. This man is a member of the Republican Party, nevertheless, he appears to be an intelligent individual who actually believes what he was saying back in 2005 and, while not forgetting for one minute who he is and what he represents he does, nevertheless, appear to be someone you can talk to. Still, it is difficult to see what job Barack will actually want him for.
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