Former Vice President Dick Cheney has recently commented on how President Obama has shifted to the Right in terms of the War on Terror. Cheney has in some respects taken the policies of President Obama as vindication for the policies of the previous administration saying, “I think he’s learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate”
I too think that our President has adopted strategies that he used to speak out against and has failed to live up to his promises to restore our image as a champion of human rights, end official assaults on our civil liberties, advocate more transparency and accountability in government, and stop spending money we do not have on expanding the ill conceived War on Terror.
Where the former Vice President and I disagree is that I think the President is wrong about his shift towards embracing Bush policies. That isn't why I voted for him and all of the ways in which he has disappointed me as President center on how he has (more or less) acted as President Bush did.
Peter Bergen has written that Afghanistan is the longest war in our history. Given the policies of our President, there is no end in sight to that war or the larger War on Terror. Bergen even thinks that we'll be there for the long term, much as with Korea. If that is to be the course of our nation, then I don't think it is unreasonable to ask for proof that this is the best possible plan. That we must endure these policies indefinitely with little more than platitudes as an explanation does not inspire confidence.
The President is privy to information that I am not. It might well be that he has no choice, given what he knows, but to do as he has done. But how are we to know that? Are we to take it on faith that it is justified that his policies are 180 degrees in opposition to the principles he campaigned on -- principles that got him elected?