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February 9th, 2009
02:00 PM ET

Obama's team of zombies

David Sirota
Salon.com

Only weeks ago, the political world was buzzing about a "team of rivals." America was told that finally, after years of yes men running the government, we were getting a president who would follow Abraham Lincoln’s lead, fill his administration with varying viewpoints, and glean empirically sound policy from the clash of ideas. Little did we know that "team of rivals" was what George Orwell calls "newspeak": an empty slogan "claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts."

Obama's national security team, for instance, includes not a single Iraq war opponent. The president has not only retained George W. Bush's defense secretary, Robert Gates, but also 150 other Bush Pentagon appointees. The only "rivalry" is between those who back increasing the already bloated defense budget by an absurd amount and those who aim to boost it by a ludicrous amount.

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Tony Beckman

    Quoting from Eisenhower: “I find war detestable but those who praise it without participating in it even more so.”
    So, if you don't fight, don't complain.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
  2. DEB HAMILTON

    The biggest issue the administration has is to get us out of this mess. However, this will take some time. It only makes sense to bring aboard the ones who got us in this mess to get us out. Being under new direction may make the differnce.These appointed ones may do the job correctly and follow true policies instead of wavering with very littledirection. Policies and laws and the people are only as good as their leaders. I htink now we will see some true leadership.

    February 10, 2009 at 6:15 am |
  3. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    Welcome to reality. Change was a marketing ploy to get people to vote Obama into office. Unfortunately for America, a slim majority fell for it. You didn't really think anything in DC would actually be different, did you? This is the part where this cradle Republican laughs for the next four years.

    February 9, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  4. Chris Kirkpatrick

    What you are saying is that Barack Obama is a liar, a position which, as of the first 3 weeks is unfounded. When we compare Obama to the actions and philosophies of the previous administration there is literally no comparison. Bush was completely unilateral: my way or the highway. Obama at least seems to work for what is best, even if it isn't easy.

    February 9, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  5. Von

    Why are we pumping money into the system? People drive the system, the system doesn't drive the people. Just let America keep more of there paycheck, when I finish my basement, i put a carpenter, a plumber, and an electrician to work. We let the government give one stimulus package and see where those smart guys lead us. We need to depend on ourselves and not the government. We need to take back our country. Tell the government to tighten there belt, and let me keep more of the money I earn. If we are able to keep more of the money WE earn we can go out, get caught up on bills, mortgages, buy homes, TVs Car, and even purchase stocks of some of these companies, that have inexpensive stock prices now.

    February 9, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  6. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    $12B x 12 months x 6yrs = $864B

    I know Iraq has cost far more than that ($1.4T and thousands of lives) but why does no one mention that we might not be where we are right now if we'd simply killed bin Laden when we had a chance and said no to the moron who wanted to overthrow Saddam?

    Or better yet, not meddled in the Middle East EVER in the first place. Let's just stop being the police of the world and let Iraq, Iran, Israel, Gaza, Afghanistan, etc, etc solve their OWN problems.

    I'm sure those countries would rather the USA just stay the heck out of their country anyway.

    February 9, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  7. Dawn

    There are people who still support the Iraq war? I mean besides those who think we need to bomb iraq into a crater. If that's all you got, I think you'd best try again.

    February 9, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  8. jarrod

    I can't stand anymore of this inherited problem WHEN if fact when you fight for somthing (campained) and win you don't inherate you accept a challenge and the fact that it is not getting better in turns into blame and by no means do I or ever did support the bush administration but to keep hiding behide the fact that our new president took on a task that was well understood problem and now saying he inherited it is shaky thinking

    February 9, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  9. Mike, Syracuse NY

    So what's your point? Despite 2 ongoing wars, that 'bloated' defense budget is the smallest percentage of GNP since WWII. If you want to attack something, try the entitlements which were the same percentage of GNP as defense spending in 1960, and now are 3X that for defense.

    February 9, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  10. Lisa in CA

    So far the only change I'm seeing is the emblem - gone is the elephant only to be replaced by the ass.

    February 9, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  11. Melissa from New Orleans

    So what. Get over it.

    February 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  12. earle,florida

    Great article Mr. Sirota,but retaining (the defense department strategist team) left-overs from" Bush's Iraq-War-Years" was a calculated,and prudent move regarding President Obama's decision! Zombie's? I think not! Last week ,the defense department initialized a 30,000 troop increase to go into Afganistan, immediately,rather than the approx. 7,000 troops agreeded upon. President Obama called Sec.of Defense Gates to the White House to question his exit strategy in which Gates had none. Needless to say President Obama scuttled the deployment! Now ,that's leadership! PS Give the guy a break,I mean three weeks,...

    February 9, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  13. Isabel Abreu, Brazil

    President Obama inherited a country destroyed by the administration of former President Bush. And the former President Bush inherited a country with excessive consumerism provided by Era Clinton, primarily in area real estate.

    February 9, 2009 at 2:12 pm |

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