I feel weird -- nay, dirty -- linking to Peter Beinart, neoconservative extraordinaire. But I think his piece in TIME last week on Obama's appointment of hawks makes an interesting argument, one that, for now, cannot be proven incorrect. Here's the basic case:
It's precisely because Obama intends to pursue a genuinely progressive foreign policy that he's surrounding himself with people who can guard his right flank at home. When George W. Bush wanted to sell the Iraq war, he trotted out Colin Powell--because Powell was nobody's idea of a hawk. Now Obama may be preparing to do the reverse. To give himself cover for a withdrawal from Iraq and a diplomatic push with Iran, he's surrounding himself with people like Gates, Clinton and Jones, who can't be lampooned as doves.
I'd like to believe that Beinart is correct. I think it's more likely that he is incorrect. But, I'll hold out some hope, if just a bit.