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Why I Do Not Trust Barrack Obama (Thank you Robert Kagan)

Updated on July 13, 2008

Robert Kagan

Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a peek over the fence and see what people are talking about on the other side. In politics, as well as all other sets of beliefs, there can be a tendency to rely on people who share your viewpoint to be the sole providers of information. There is also the inverse tendency to avoid information from sources with viewpoints that are the opposite of your own. Conservatives tend to rely on “right-wing propaganda,” like the Washington Post, while liberals get all their information from “commie rags” like the New York Times. I, personally, could be accused of relying too heavily on “conspiracy nut-jobs” for my information.

Yesterday morning, however, I came across a column published in the Washington post entitled “Obama the Interventionist” by Robert Kagan. I usually don’t read the Washington Post. I probably should, at least from time to time, just to catch another perspective and widen my horizons a bit. In this case reading an opinion piece about Barrack O’Bama, written by a man whose political opinions are probably the polar opposite of my own, proved to be a most enlightening and clarifying experience. Robert Kagan helped me make up my mind about Barrack O’Bama. Now, thanks to Kagan, I feel pretty confident in stating, I do not trust this man.

First of all, I should describe how I came across the article. I wasn’t combing the web pages of the Washington Post looking for a neo-conservative who had nice things to say about Obama. I was actually looking for information on Robert Kagan himself. Earlier that morning, I had read a hub review of a Kagan’s book “Of Paradise and Power.” ( title of the book struck me first, but then the first sentence of the review revealed the book's tag-line: “America and Europe in the New World Order.”

Whenever a “conspiracy theory nut-job” like myself sees the phrase “New World Order,” we get a little excited. It’s a phrase we hear a lot. When I see that someone has written a book with the phrase “New World Order” in the tagline, and when I read that the subject matter of the book has to do with issues of global primacy (in this instance American global primacy vs European global primacy), I decide its time to take a closer look at who this author is and what he’s been up to. As usual, I start with

I’m excited, but not all that surprised, by what pops up. Robert Kagan is a founding member of the neoconservative think-tank the Project for A New American Century and also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, two groups that are believed by many conspiracy theorists (myself included) to be tied to a shadow government of economic and intellectual elites who are the true authors of America’s imperialist foreign and economic policy. The PNAC was an especially militaristic faction of this group who were essentially responsible for the Bush Administration’s “War on Terror” that lead to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Many members of Bush’s cabinet, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and others, were members of the PNAC and were calling for “regime changes” and “pre-emptive” strikes before the fraudulent events of 9-11 and the ensuing “War on Terror” provided them with the excuse they needed to use our military to accomplish these goals.

Needless to say, learning that Kagan was a member of the PNAC and the CFR did not incline me towards trusting him as an unbiased media source. Neither did reading that he had sent a letter to Bill Clinton on behalf of the PNAC in 1998, urging regime change in Iraq, or the fact that he is now a foreign policy advisor to John McCain. Instead, I think of him as a highly paid spokesman and policy theorist working in the service of the invisible corporate oligarchy.

No, We Won't

After learning a little bit about the the philosophy and past affiliations of Robert Kagan from Wikipedia, I entered a Google search of his name and found the previously mentioned article from the Washington Post, “Obama the Interventionist.” What I read in the article is rather disturbing – Kagan, one of John McCain’s foreign policy advisors, is writing a glowing review of O’Bama’s past foreign policy statements. Kagan basically tells us he agrees with everything Obama has to say (at least, in certain contexts). Here is an excerpt:

“Actually, Obama wants to increase defense spending. He wants to add 65,000 troops to the Army and recruit 27,000 more Marines. Why? To fight terrorism.

He wants the American military to ‘stay on the offense, from Djibouti to Kandahar,’ and he believes that ‘the ability to put boots on the ground will be critical in eliminating the shadowy terrorist networks we now face.’ He wants to ensure that we continue to have ‘the strongest, best-equipped military in the world.’

Obama never once says that military force should be used only as a last resort. Rather, he insists that ‘no president should ever hesitate to use force -- unilaterally if necessary,’ not only ‘to protect ourselves . . . when we are attacked,’ but also to protect ‘our vital interests’ when they are ‘imminently threatened.’ That's known as preemptive military action. It won't reassure those around the world who worry about letting an American president decide what a ‘vital interest’ is and when it is ‘imminently threatened.’

Nor will they be comforted to hear that ‘when we use force in situations other than self-defense, we should make every effort to garner the clear support and participation of others.’ Make every effort?

Conspicuously absent from Obama's discussion of the use of force are four words: United Nations Security Council.

Obama talks about ‘rogue nations,’ ‘hostile dictators,’ ‘muscular alliances’ and maintaining ‘a strong nuclear deterrent.’ He talks about how we need to ‘seize’ the ‘American moment.’ We must ‘begin the world anew.’ This is realism? This is a left-liberal foreign policy?

Ask Noam Chomsky the next time you see him.”

Kagan might as well jump ship and join Obama’s Campaign. There doesn’t seem to be a lot on which they disagree. Obama’s nationalistic, militaristic rhetoric could have been lifted right out of the pages of any number of PNAC documents. The two supposedly opposing policies of the Democratic Presidential candidate and the Republican Presidential candidate appear to be identical.

This sort of information should be surprising to a lot of mainstream democrats who do not want a president like John McCain elected in 2008. It should also surprise mainstream Republicans who do not want to elect a president like Barrack Obama. It does not, however, come as a surprise to this writer, or the millions of other like-minded Americans who know that these two candidates look and sound the same because they are the same, two sides of the same fake bill, printed and distributed at our expense, by the corporate criminals who rule this country.

The Project for a New American Century (pt 1)

America: Freedom to Fascism (pt 1)


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    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I share some of your concerns about Obama, especially if he's is being praised by an arch neocon like Kagan. My fears relate most to Obama's Afghanistan policy which isn't yet clear. I'm afraid we may be jumping out of the Iraq frying pan into the fire in Afghanistan. The more troops we send the more Americans and Afghans will be killed. I was hopeful that Obama would put a stop to the drone rockets that are killing ten innocent civilians in order to get one terrorist, maybe. This is inhumane and counter-productive. The American people deserve a clear statement of our objectives in Afghanistan, how much our effort is likely to cost in lives and money, how long will it take and what is the likelihood of success. We are beginning to see a few people raising these issues, but not many from the Council on Foreign Relations and others in the foreign policy establishment.

      War Made Easy

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 

      9 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Preemptive action is a recipe for World War3. Hopefully a Barak Obama will tread lightly with Russia, not seeking to provoke the Russian bear like Jeb Bush and Sarah Palin and the neocons want to do.

    • barranca profile image


      10 years ago

      Why McCain is a Bush II and a poor choice:

    • Marshall Hammond profile imageAUTHOR

      Marshall Hammond 

      10 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      My next door neighbor just moved here from Chicago, and he doesn't endorse O'Bama. He doesn't endorse McCain either, and neither do I. It seems to me, that in light of the incredibly creepy jokes you reference on your blog and other things McCain has said and done, McCain is literally a cruel, cold-blooded,homicidal psychopath. I certainly don't want that kind of person in office.

      Problem is, as far as I know, every President we've had since JFK (at least) has been a murderer, and from what he has said about his policies toward in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran, it doesn't sound like Obama will be an exception. The only differences between McCain and Obama as far as I can tell, are the semantics of their propaganda. Obama says he wants troops to stay in Iraq for a short amount of time (16 months, maybe longer depending on what the commanders on the ground say), and McCain says he wants to stay in Iraq for as long as it takes for them to do their job. Obama says he will leave behind a "residual" force. Both have indicated that they will increase fighting in Afghanistan, and both are willing to invade Iran.

      I don't believe the federal government should be allowed to interfere with a woman's right to kill her unborn children. In some cases, but probably not most, I think abortion is the right choice. But just because Obama says he won't interfere with a womans right to terminate the life of an extremely young human being, doesn't mean he gets my vote. I don't vote for murderers or candidates who are planning on committing murders by sending our troops into unnecessary, greed-motivated wars once they get into office.

    • glacava profile image


      10 years ago from Chicago

      As a solid liberal, Obama supporter, and at times, conspiracy theorist, I can relate to your concerns about Obama being too conservative. If you really think about it, wouldn't you rather have an intelligent man in the White House for a change? McCain is only a tad bit sharper than Bush, but Obama, I believe, is very intelligent. I am from Chicago, and we know him well here. He is extremely popular in his hometown and that is because we know him better than anyone else in the country. You are welcome to take that as an endorsement that matters! And, as a woman, I do NOT want to see McCain have at the Supreme Court. We do not want to overturn Roe v. Wade, so please do the right thing in November!

      I welcome you, encourage you to read my blog at or, a less complete version (still building it) here at

    • profile image

      Hugh E. Scott 

      10 years ago

      Until I see proof to the contrary, Marshall, I assume Obama’s FDR quote is correct. Otherwise, to be consistent intellectually, I would have to disbelieve EVERYTHING anyone says.

      As for the statement itself -- “America leads the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good” -- FDR probably made it shortly before his death in April 1945, after we had defeated the barbaric regimes of Japan and Germany during WWII. It’s worth noting that his successor, Harry Truman, made to the decision to nuke Japan, which did little to promote the “ulimate good.”

      Obama said he would withdraw ALL combat brigades within 16 months, leaving a skeletal force for guarding our embassy and helping Iraqi troops to hunt down Al Qaeda elements. That sounds reasonable to me.

      As for threats, satellite imagery showing ICBMs being readied for launch, coupled with intercepted radio transmissions pointing to an attack against the U.S., would be considered preeminent – i.e. about to happen. A perceived threat would be enemy radio chatter hinting at a possible missile launch.

      An example of preemptive war is the Clinton/NATO attack on Bosnia. A classic case of preventative war is Hitler’s unprovoked invasion of Poland..

      Regarding Obama and FISA, I addressed the issue last week on AlterNet with a comment titled, “The REAL reason Obama voted for FISA”—as follows:

      Call me over optimistic, but Barack is not stupid. He knows full well that most Americans want wiretaps on overseas phone calls to "protect" them from terrorists. Therefore, opposing the new FISA bill would cost Obama valuable votes in November.

      Conversely, if he wins the presidency and the Democrats control Congress, there is NOTHING that would prevent them from repealing the FISA law and filing criminal charges against the liable telephone companies. It's called being PRAGMATIC!

      Finally, Marshall, Senator Obama will increase defense spending to rebuild the military which has been decimated by the Iraq War. The only other option is to eliminate our armed forces, which is no option at all.

    • Marshall Hammond profile imageAUTHOR

      Marshall Hammond 

      10 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks for the extra information Hugh. I have to admit, I don't know much about FDR, but I don't think the fact that Obama invoked his name means very much. I wouldn't be surprised if Bush likened himself to FDR on occasion. If he did, would it prove he wasn't a neo-con? I have a few problems with the FDR quote he used as well. First of all, I do not believe that it is true, or that it could ever be proven that "America leads the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good." I think this is just an another example of the kind of militaristic rhetoric fascists are so fond of using.

      Obama does not support permamently stationing troops in Iraq. So how long does he want to station troops in Iraq? Impermamently could mean a few months, a few years, or a few millenium, or it could mean just a few seconds shy of infinity.

      Finally, what is the difference between "preeminate threats" and "perceived threats" or "premptive wars" and "preventive wars?" Or, more importantly, how are we supposed to know the difference when the President decides to take us to war?

      I agree that "neo-conservativism" is just another word for "domestic fascism," and that the Bush administration has probably done more than any other administration in History to move us towards a fascist state. Unfortunately, I think there is a good chance that we are going to get more of the same (though probably not in such huge doses) from Obama. Why, after all, did he vote for FISA? Why is he increasing defense spending, when it is already completely out of control?

    • profile image

      Hugh E. Scott 

      10 years ago

      I’m making another attempt to post my comment with paragraph breaks because the issue Marshall raised is important and I want my opinion expressed in easy-to-read, small blocks of text, not huge ones. So here I go again -- with crossed fingers.

      Robert Kagan began his Obama article with a classic case of taking words out of context to justify PNAC’s rightwing extremist (i.e. necoconservative) ideology.

      Kagan did it by quoting Barack as saying America must “lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good.”

      Those words, continued Kagan, “put an end to the idea that the alleged over-exuberant idealism and America-centric hubris of the past six years is about to give way to a new realism, a more limited and modest view of American interests, capabilities and responsibilities.”

      Well, not quite.

      Here is the complete sentence from Obama’s April 2007 speech:

      “I dismiss the cynics who say that this new century cannot be another when, in the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, we lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good.”

      Why didn’t Kagan quote the entire sentence? Because he knew the FDR reference would defeat his argument that Obama shares PNAC/neocon ideals.

      Kagan misled readers again by writing, “Obama wants to increase America’s armed forces by adding 65,000 troops to the Army and recruiting 27,000 more Marines. Why? To fight terrorism.”

      Once more, Kagan omitted salient text. Here’s the complete paragraph from Obama’s speech:

      “Our men and women in uniform are performing heroically around the world in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable. But the war in Afghanistan and the ill-advised invasion of Iraq have clearly demonstrated the consequences of underestimating the number of troops required to fight two wars and defend our homeland. That's why I strongly support the expansion of our ground forces by adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 Marines.”

      Kagan’s add-on text -- “Why? To fight terrorism" -- was his creation, not Obama’s.

      There are other deceptive statements in Kagan’s article as well but I will leave them for Marshall to uncover later.

      As for my credentials, I spent a year studying the PNAC Gang, then launched, which I dedicated to “the destruction of domestic fascism -- also known as neoconservatism -- using truth and the Internet as WMDs.”

      Founded in 1997 by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Scooter Libby, Zalmay Khalilzad and 20 other prominent GOP rightwingers (including Robert Kagan’s brother, Donald), PNAC promoted four major objectives:

      1. Global domination with America's armed forces stationed at enduring installations around the world including permanent bases in Iraq, which the Pentagon has not denied.

      2. Regime change of governments hostile to U.S interests

      3. First strikes against countries that appear to be a threat

      4. Preventive war

      Obama disagrees with all four objectives. For example, he is against stationing U.S. troops permanently in Iraq. He believes regime change is not a justifiable foreign policy. He approves of first strikes against preeminent threats, not perceived ones. Finally, he opposes preventive war which, by definition, is initiated under the belief that future conflict is inevitable, though not imminent.

      In sum, I will believe Barack Obama any day over Robert Rightwingnut Kagan.

    • Marshall Hammond profile imageAUTHOR

      Marshall Hammond 

      10 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I absolutely do Doug. Is it really that preposterous? Our government's policies kill thousands and thousands of foreigners all over the world each year, not for security, but for profit. I don't believe Bush, Cheney, and their backers value human life, foreign or domestic. There are two well known examples of this kind of "false flag" operations in the past, The Reichstaag fire of Nazi Germany and the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

      I used to have a hard time accepting that this type of thing was possible myself. I may have disliked George Bush but I didn't think that he would do something that horrible. In the end it was the scientific evidence that convinced me. No matter how you feel about Bush, or who you believe is responsible, its not scientifically possible for the WTC towers to have fallen due to airplane collisions and fire. I think the 9-11 Architects and Engineers for Truth aren't just a bunch of tinfoil hat wearing crazies, they are professionals and scientists who were open minded enough to consider the evidence, and brave enough to step forward. The 9-11 victims families overwhelmingly support a new investigation. There would have been no 9-11 Commission and no NIST Report without the families forcing it upon a suspiciously reluctant administration, and the families still aren't satisfied.

      I hope that you might take some time to look at the evidence before deciding I'm a member of the tinfoil hat crowd. There are video links to some documentaries on my other hub that I would recommend.

    • profile image

      Uncle Doug 

      10 years ago

      Marshall - I just read your blog on 9-11. you really beieve that thousands of your fellow citizens in this great country would really conspire to and then carry off and then somehow miracuously lcover up the deliberate homocide of over 3,000 innocent men, women, and children? That's fodder for the tinfoil hat crowd that follows Ron Paul

      Uncle Doug


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