Ali Abunimah on his blog points to a former Barack Obama who offers pretty quotes but still supports the fundamentals of American empire:
Just a month after the 11 September 2001 attacks, then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama — a political unknown nationally — spoke to the Chicago Defender newspaper (Chinta Strausberg, “Sen. Obama: Barriers ‘sad, symbols of fear,” Chicago Defender, 17 October 2001). The article is not archived online, but I came across it on Lexis Nexis while searching for something else.
It’s interesting how his words already display the sort of ‘all things to all people’ ambiguity that is his hallmark — he supports war, but expresses doubts about its effectiveness. His liberal interventionism is already there – the desire to turn other societies into copies of the United States. Notably, he states that terrorism might be bred because people are “suffering under oppressive and corrupt regimes.” This calls for us to “examine the foreign policies of the the U.S. to make sure… that we occupy the moral high ground.”… I wonder if he was referring to the sort of “oppressive and corrupt regimes” the US continues to prop up diplomatically, militarily and financially from the Atlantic coast of Morocco to Israel, and from Egypt to Afghanistan under his presidency?