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Obama's No Dove II

Before the election, folks like Daniel Larison and myself had pointed out what we took to be a fairly obvious point: despite his opposition to the Iraq war, Obama was not a "dove" or anything remotely resemble a left wing radical when it came to foreign policy (the hysteria of Ralph Peters notwithstanding).

This realization is now beginning to dawn on members of the anti-war left who are feeling a bit hood-winked by Obama's national security picks (see here too).

Now, it's one thing to feel that campaign promises are falling short. It's another to blame this on the dread influence of neoconservatism, which Robert Dreyfuss tries to do here:

A familiar coalition of hawks, hardliners, and neoconservatives expects Barack Obama's proposed talks with Iran to fail—and they're already proposing an escalating set of measures instead. Some are meant to occur alongside any future talks. These include steps to enhance coordination with Israel, tougher sanctions against Iran, and a region-wide military buildup of U.S. strike forces, including the prepositioning of military supplies within striking distance of that country.

Once the future negotiations break down, as they are convinced will happen, they propose that Washington quickly escalate to war-like measures, including a U.S. Navy-enforced embargo on Iranian fuel imports and a blockade of that country's oil exports.


Only, this isn't something that the neoconservatives are cooking up:

On June 4 of this year, for example, Sen. Obama said at a speech in Washington, D.C.: "We should work with Europe, Japan and the Gulf states to find every avenue outside the U.N. to isolate the Iranian regime -- from cutting off loan guarantees and expanding financial sanctions, to banning the export of refined petroleum to Iran."

He repeated this sentiment during the presidential candidates' debate on Oct. 7: "Iran right now imports gasoline . . . if we can prevent them from importing the gasoline that they need . . . that starts changing their cost-benefit analysis. That starts putting the squeeze on them."