Obama's Foreign Policy: The View from Canada

by Derrick O'Keefe

1. Gore Vidal referred to his country’s lack of historical memory as the United States of Amnesia — indeed most critics of U.S. foreign policy have this insight as a basic starting point. (Democracy Now!, May 21, 2004.)

2. Ignatieff was a key public intellectual making the case for the war in Iraq and the wider “war on terror” during the early years of the Bush administration especially. He returned to Canada in 2005 after more than 30 years abroad and quickly ascended to the leadership of the talent-starved Liberal Party.

3. I interviewed Tariq Ali for rabble.ca, a Canadian progressive web publication, Feb. 16, 2009.

4. Richard Sanders, “Canada’s secret war in Iraq,” Common Ground.

5. Yves Engler and Anthony Fenton have written a short but comprehensive history of Canada’s role in the 2004 coup. Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority (Black Point, Nova Scotia: Fernwood, 2005).

6. At their federal convention in 2006, the NDP made a call for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan a cornerstone of their policy, following a keynote address by Afghanistan’s dissident MP Malalai Joya.

7. We will never be anywhere near a decent world so long as GDP remains a more important indicator of societal well-being than HDI.

8. Obama’s 2002 speech details a number of what he describes as necessary wars from U.S. history, including the response to 9/11; in a way, this little war-as-peace speech was a warm-up for his 2009 address to the Nobel Prize Committee in Oslo.

9. “Afghanistan: A conspiracy of silence,” Independent (UK), April 18, 2010.