Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 21, 2009

The Never Changing Way of Life?

At the Earth Summit in 1992, George H.W. Bush forcefully declared, "The American way of life is not negotiable."
It's the End of the World as We Know It, Baltimore Chronicle, Aug. 3, 2004


My principle focus as vice president has been to protect the American people in our way of life
Transcript: Vice President Cheney on 'FOX News Sunday', Dec. 222, 2008


We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.
Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 2008

Posted by b on January 21, 2009 at 8:16 UTC | Permalink


Presidents and deaths of Americans through terrorism in the form of a graph.

Not sure why the Oklahoma City bombing isn't on there, however, it's still interesting to ponder, however flawed.

But, your welcome to thank him MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - Domestic Security Since 2001. This is your chance to thank President Bush for keeping you safe all those years. Except for that one time.

As for me, I'm off to listen to my new Al Green - Lay It Down CD...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 21 2009 8:46 utc | 1

I, too, was worried when I heard the old "way of life" canard invoked yet again. However, "way of life" can be thought of in many different ways. It could be a commitment to democracy and the rule of law (good), or it could be a commitment to unbridled gas- and resource-guzzling appetites protected by the use of massive military force (bad.)

The way he used it in the speech it could have meant (or both?) of those things. But he also said some things that indicated a commitment to a more transformative view of US foreign policy. Including this key call: to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

So maybe let's reserve our judgment till we see what he does?

Posted by: Helena | Jan 21 2009 14:09 utc | 2

Do you want to see something really scary?

Fed borrowing

If this isn't a picture of change I don't know what is.

Posted by: David | Jan 21 2009 14:30 utc | 3

The old, the new -- nothing new...see the invisible line of’ ‘other’ on graphs like this one, and also the general flatness:> from the oil drum

The American way of life is domination, consumption, military supremacy, waste (rest of West too by proxy or otherwise), nothing will change care of the Anointed One or anyone else...Imports reign, see for ex, again from the oil drum:>link

Posted by: Tangerine | Jan 21 2009 19:20 utc | 4

it's so clear that even david axe can see it ;-)

Obama's War Strategy Evolved Version of Bush's

In her Senate confirmation hearing last week, incoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that American foreign policy under President Barack Obama must blend military, diplomatic and humanitarian efforts, in equal measure. "We must use what has been called 'smart power,' the full range of tools at our disposal."

While consistent with Obama's longstanding call for greater international cooperation to address the world's problems, the idea of "smart power" gained widespread popularity in military and diplomatic circles during George W. Bush's second term. Obama's national-power strategy represents an evolution, not a revolution.

At a speech at Kansas State University in November 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates -- who is staying on under the Obama Administration -- famously advocated smart power, emphasizing the need to make greater use of "soft power" tools beyond military force.

"This country must strengthen other important elements of national power both institutionally and financially, and create the capability to integrate and apply all of the elements of national power," Gates said. "I am here to make the case for strengthening our capacity to use 'soft' power and for better integrating it with 'hard' power."

That Gates will remain with the Pentagon under Obama is, in fact, a strong endorsement of the national-security thinking that began to emerge late in the Bush Administration.


Obama campaigned on a platform of change. But when it comes to national security, there are more similarities than differences between second-term Bush and Obama. Both have embraced a "smart" merging of all aspects of U.S. power to advance national interests, without always resorting to force.

i'll also throw in an article w/ some more on obama's james jones

Global Energy War: Washington's New Kissinger

Lost amid the national and international fanfare accompanying the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States is attention to the person who is slated to be the next major foreign policy architect and executor, retired US Marine General James Jones.

In nearly identical phraseology that cannot be construed as either fortuitous or without foundation, the Washington Post of November 22, 2008 referred to the then pending selection of Jones as US National Security Adviser in these terms:

"Sources familiar with the discussions said Obama is considering expanding the scope of the job to give the adviser the kind of authority once wielded by powerful figures such as Henry A. Kissinger."

And the following day's Israeli Ha'aretz wrote:

"Jones is expected to play a key role in the Obama administration. According to U.S. press reports, he will be as strong as Henry Kissinger, the all-powerful national security adviser to President Richard Nixon."


James Jones is now the first career military officer to hold the post as head of the National Security Council since retired general Colin Powell did so in the second Reagan Administration and is the first former NATO Supreme Allied Commander to do so.

Jones was appointed to the NATO post of Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and the overlapping, essentially co-terminous one of Commander, United States European Command (COMUSEUCOM) in the first Bush term and is part of the two-thirds of the Obama administration's foreign policy triumvirate – National Security Adviser, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense - inherited from the preceding administration. The other is, of course, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who like Jones is a graduate of Georgetown University, with a doctorate degree in Sovietology and Russian studies.

As commander of the Pentagon's European Command (EUCOM) Jones was in charge of the largest area of military responsibility in world history, one that encompassed anywhere from 13-21 million square miles and included 92 of the world's 192 nations. And as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander he was the chief military commander of an expanding military bloc of twenty six full members, two new candidates and twenty three Partnership for Peace, six Mediterranean Dialogue, six Gulf Cooperation Council and assorted other military partners in South and Far East Asia and the South Pacific, altogether on five continents.

While wearing both the above braided hats, Jones was the major architect of what last October 1st was officially launched as the first new US military command in over half a century, Africa Command (AFRICOM)..

uncle & i have posted a few links in the past months to backgrounders on jones, including a blurb from his posture stmt before the senate armed services committee in 2005 while he was running EUCOM

We must craft a policy that recognizes the growing strategic importance of Africa and its potential to become the next front in the Global War on Terrorism. African security issues will continue to directly affect our homeland security. It appears that we have a small window of opportunity to make relatively modest near-term investments to avoid massive problems requiring U.S. intervention in the future that could prove costly.

Posted by: b real | Jan 22 2009 16:51 utc | 5

I remember distinctly Donald Rumsfeld throwing out a one liner not long after Terrible Tuesday in 2001.

I don't recall the exact words, but the gist was that the top priority was protect and maintain the American Way of Life.

I understood him to mean first and foremost the freedom to go anywhere in big cars running on cheap gas.

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Jan 23 2009 9:47 utc | 6

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