Sunday, March 29, 2009

Still waiting for Obama honesty on foreign policy

After Obama's press conferences with the press and later questions from the web, Bill Moyers asked his viewers what questions they would ask. Here's what I posted to his site:

President Obama,

The Bush administration's aggressive policy in the Middle East and Central Asia had a lot more to do with controlling Persian Gulf oil reserves and Caspian Sea pipeline routes than fighting terrorism.

He tried to force a Hydrocarbon Law on the Iraqis that would have given 88% of their oil income to big oil companies, a price no other Persian Gulf country would pay without a gun to their heads. The Iraqis refused even WITH the gun.

Big oil offered Iraqi legislators millions each in bribes, and they still wouldn't pass the law.

Likewise, in trying to deprive Russia of income from pipelines by building alternate routes, the Bush administration risked reigniting a Cold War with a nuclear armed adversary. John McCain slipped during the campaign and told the truth, that that was our main interest in the Georgia-Russia fight.

Will you be honest with the American public about the role these resources worth tens of trillions of dollars have played in our foreign policy decisions, whether Washington went along with it because they thought it was in our strategic or simply to pad oil companies bottom lines, or will you continue the embarrassing Bush lies about chasing terrorists over there where our actions only inflame hatred of the US?

To the extent that we don't have an honest debate about this, we don't have a democracy.

President Obama,

Poll after poll of Iraqis have shown that they want ALL US troops out of Iraq.

Why are you trying to keep a ''residual force there?''

Won't ignoring the will of the Iraqi people incite more hatred of the US, defeating the supposed anti-terrorist reason for being there?

President Obama,

You said we are sending more troops into Afghanistan to deal with ''al Qaeda,'' but wouldn't it make sense to open the Saudi pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 that Bush classified?

Wouldn't it make more sense to deal with the root of the problem than strike at the branches and kill innocent Afghans?

Also, if we were concerned about weakening or destroying al Qaeda & the Taliban, shouldn't we attack those elements of the Pakistani military & ISI that sponsored them for years and demanded they be spirited out of Tora Bora rather than killed or captured, according to Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter?

If you don't address these issues, how do we know you aren't using the "War on Terror" as an excuse to pursue other agendas without public consent?

Maybe someone else can come up with better questions, but not anyone in the mainstream White House press corps. Even Ted Koppel couldn't bring himself to discuss the central role oil played in the Iraq War until he retired. I'd like to think our network news people are embarrassed when they compare their work to the BBC or just about any other nation's TV news people, but they've sold their integrity for seven figure paychecks and probably don't lose any sleep over it.

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