Monday, December 1, 2008

Obama's Security picks . ..... Predictable?

Barack Obama today shared with us his picks for his security team. See the video for the details

A Rather Predictable list of your standard Democratic centrists and Washington insiders, most of whom we already knew about.

By now this should not - and probably does not - surprise any of us. It is, however, worth a a careful analysis. It still remains unclear how the Obama administration will govern this country.

We are here again seeing the same thing in Obama Picks that we have seen since the election, and indeed before the election with the pick of Joe Biden as V. P. Essentially what we have here are center-right, status quo, Washington insiders. We will no doubt hear the same criticism we heard with the economic team picks: How is this change? How is this what the country needs? And we will here a long list of the errors and flaws of those picked. This is predictable, and probably contains some truth - although, there are some progressive picks Obama has made

A friend of mine has already blogged about this very predictable and understandable debate:

Indeed one of our greatest public intellectuals, Noam Chomsky has spelled the case against the Obama picks out in great detail:

Chomsky focuses on personnel and not policy. But perhaps personnel is policy? Perhaps not. Obama's policies still sound progressive and he has publicly claimed that he has hired the best minds, not to reinforce the old centrist policies, but to implement his new progressive policies. Such things have happened before, F.D.R used Washington insiders to implement progressive policies. So it's possible, then again, we may being seeing a standard centrist or even center-right government.

So once again we are left wondering, will policy or personnel rule the day? Will Obama get these people to work for change? Or will we just have, as Noam Chomsky has predicted, "Standard Centrist Policy."

Personally I'm not sure what will happen. I like the picks in some respects, and am skeptical in others, I see what both critics and defenders say. They both have good points.

Despite my scepticism that Hilary is too hawkish and won't work well with Obama, I am now cautiously enthusiastic about Hilary: I think she may very well turn out to be a fine Secretary of State! This is a woman with world-wide connections, and deep insight into world affairs, and a strong agenda for women's right, economic justice and health care.

I guess at this point I am left in suspense: I do no know what Obama will do. And that is, I suspect, the state most of us our in: hope remains, but scepticism lingers.

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