"Some Things Just Won’t Change"

A couple of months ago (and several times up til now) I registered my displeasure with the fact that the primary assumptions resulting in many of the failed policies of the Bush Administration (and indeed the previous one) were not being questioned in the primary presidential debates or even in the major forums for debate on foreign policy. The particulars of neo-conservative philosophy were derided by most commentators, not the overall worldview. The policy of maintaining hegemony was not dismissed, only the notion of not concealing it. In any event, the Washington Post ran a piece on Sunday, acknowledging the sad truth that no presidential candidate will question these assumptions. As the article states:

“The truth is, a combination of realities . . . make a certain degree of continuity more likely than not,” Campbell told me.

Philip Zelikow, a University of Virginia professor who served for two years as counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, echoed that thought. Obama and Clinton’s “critique in general of the administration, aside from Iraq, is we are going to be more competent and collegial,” he said. “They don’t really debate many of the underlying premises of the administration’s current policies.”
Why? Because there isn’t a clear perception that those underlying premises are incorrect or damaging to the United States. The problem is instead with the execution of those policies. Keeping up with this world view will result in similar policy blunders and adventurous bungles in the future. All Americans should keep this in mind when choosing their candidates; Arab-Americans in particular.

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