Here is Dowd's opinion piece. My comment has yet to be allowed on the site, even though dozens of posts written later have already been posted. I assume it won't be posted, so here it is:
So, by embracing a war criminal, Obama shows his foreign-policy credentials? I mean, after trouncing Hillary in the primaries for supposedly having the wrong judgment? That was before embracing Biden, the surge, Israel, and now Powell. I'm supposed to be impressed by this?
This kind of rightward move after the primaries leaves me with only one hope: Obama is lying as much as the right claims he is. Considering his foreign-policy team, he isn't. American foreign policy will remain essentially the same, as per usual. As Albright pointed out in Foreign Affairs (http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20030901faessay82501/madeleine-k-albright/bridges-bombs-or-bluster.html?mode=print), you don't say the Bush Doctrine out loud; you do maintain the right of "pre-emption"/"prevention" -- really, aggression -- in your back pocket. Key quote from Albright: "When the administration published its 2002 National Security Strategy last September, it took this process even further, transforming anticipatory self-defense -- a tool every president has quietly held in reserve -- into the centerpiece of its national security policy."
Yes, the Bush admin moved aggression front and center and dropped the pretense. The Democrats would like the pretense back, along with a saner, but still imperial, desire to deign to speak to our enemies. You know, what Nixon and Kissinger, two other war criminals, were happy to do. Some transformation. Whether we speak softly or loudly means very little to the recipients of our big-stick wars for "democracy" and should mean very little to us. If we're not Nazis, that is.
Finally, it is well past time for someone to say what Powell said about Muslims. That no one seems to have noticed that this came from a man who was instrumental in starting a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims -- yes, some of whom were Americans, like the poor fellow mentioned by Powell whose blood is on Powell's hands -- says quite a lot about the state of our media and so-called intellectual culture.
— Doug Tarnopol, Cranston, RI