News Release

Examining Candidates’ Foreign Policy Advisers: How Real a “Change”?


Vlahos wrote a piece for The American Conservative titled “War Whisperers: The 2008 hopefuls promised a change in foreign policy then hired the old guard.”

Currently in New York City, Nairn is available for a limited number of interviews through Monday. A noted independent journalist, he runs the new weblog “News and Comment.”

His latest piece is “The U.S. Election is Already Over. Murder and Preventable Death Have Won.” Nairn said: “Advisers for Hillary Clinton include Madeleine Albright; she was the main force behind the Iraq sanctions that killed more than 400,000 Iraqi civilians. Another is General Wesley Clark; he was the one who ran the bombing of Serbia; he publicly said that he was going after civilian targets, like electrical plants, like the TV station there. Others include Richard Holbrooke; while in the Carter administration, he oversaw the shipment of weapons to the Indonesian military as they were illegally invading East Timor and killing a third of the population there; he kept the UN Security Council from enforcing its resolution against that invasion. Another is Strobe Talbott who, during the Clinton administration, oversaw Russia policy which backed Yeltsin, resulting in turning over the national wealth to the oligarchs and a drop in life expectancy in much of Russia of about 15 years — massive, massive death. And you have various backers of the Iraq invasion and occupation and the recent escalation, people like General Jack Keane, Michael O’Hanlon [at the Brookings Institution] and others.

“Barack Obama’s top adviser is Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski gave an interview to the French press a number of years ago where he boasted about the fact that it was he who created the whole Afghan jihadi movement — the movement that produced Osama bin Laden. … Another Obama adviser, Anthony Lake, was the main force behind the U.S. invasion of Haiti in the mid-Clinton-years during which they brought back [Jean-Bertrand] Aristide essentially in political chains, pledged to support a World Bank/IMF overhaul of the economy, which resulted in an increase in malnutrition deaths among Haitians and set the stage for the current ongoing political disaster in Haiti.

“Another key Obama adviser is Dennis Ross, who for many years under both Clinton and Bush II oversaw U.S. policy toward Israel/Palestine. He pushed the principle that the rights of the Palestinians, the rights recognized under international law, must be subordinated to Israel’s desires to do whatever it wants in the Occupied Territories. And Ross was one of the people who led the political assault on former President Jimmy Carter when he was so bold as to agree with Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa that what Israel was doing in the Occupied Territories was tantamount to apartheid.

“It appears that many of the military lobbyists are working on the Edwards foreign policy team. Those are the portions of the Pentagon that do the military contracts, that do the deals with the big companies like Raytheon and Boeing, etc.

“Rudy Giuliani’s big adviser is Norman Podhoretz. Podhoretz’s new book is World War IV, which Giuliani seems to like. Podhoretz says, bomb the Iranians, he says he prays that this will happen. Ex-Senator Robert Kasten, an old major backer of the Pakistani military dictatorships and the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia, is another key Giuliani adviser.

“John McCain has General Alexander Haig, who oversaw the U.S. policy of mass terror killings of civilians in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras, when American nuns and religious workers were abducted, raped and murdered by the Salvadoran National Guard. …

“Mitt Romney has Cofer Black, a longtime CIA operative who was one of the key people behind the invasion of Afghanistan. … He organized Detachment 88 in Indonesia just recently, the supposed antiterrorist outfit that recently went after a Papuan human rights lawyer.

“It’s not clear who Mike Huckabee’s advisers are.” Nairn wrote the recent piece “Huckabee Fails to Get Tough on Crime.” Further comments from Nairn and Vlahos are available from Democracy Now!.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167