obama

For Those Remaining Few Of You…

I had never seen this before.

If you were one of those people that thought, or still thinks, that Obama was a beacon, a ray of progressive hope and so on, this might just kill off that nonsense for you.

Obama gives the orders for drone attacks to happen. They also openly admt that they kill innocent people and even more, it’s quite clear they just fire first and then don’t worry about it later.

Here is how seriously he seems to take that…

Rattled

I’ve never been the biggest fan of Obama for a number of reasons, one of the chief amongst them being that fundamentally he has changed very little.

I’m also not the biggest fan of Bill O’Reilly, even though it should be obvious why, I think the section on him in this should provide more information.

Therefore, a discussion between the two isn’t natural viewing but I watched it anyway.

The thing I’m sure you’ll notice if you watch it is how badly rattled Obama was and how unconvincing. Very unusual from him.

Calm Your Jets (Planes)

When Obama won 4 years ago, a number of people took the huff with me for mentioning these facts that I had found (via Andy Best)…

So, Obama’s in and all us ‘liberals’ are happy.

Just imagine if McCain had won and we saw the following aspects of his campaign carried through:

  • – Continuation of the ‘war on terror’ including more troops into Afghanistan (back to the stone age not enough) and promises to cross borders (invade) others if they ‘don’t comply’ – ie invade Iran and Pakistan.
  • – a promise to take intervention in latin America “further south” ie ‘deal with’ Venezuela and Bolivia
  • – national/single payer healthcare completely off the table.
  • – full support of the Cuba embargo
  • – refusing to be photographed with the mayor of SF so not to appear as supporting same sex unions.
  • – commitment to draconian immigration policies such as the mexico border wall.
  • – penal system and capital punishment off the table as is gun control
  • – 700 billion handout to companies who preach no nationalization and private competition

The thing that I then said of course, which some people took objection to, is that those were things from Obama’s campaign the first time round, not McCain.

Let’s look at the record. In an interview from last year with PBS Frontline programme in the USA, John Rizzo of the CIA who had this to say…

…while candidate Obama “promised a sweeping overhaul of the Bush administration’s war on terror” and “a top to bottom review of the threats we face and our abilities to confront them,” Rizzo explains that, in fact, Obama officials during the transition made clear to the CIA that they intended almost complete continuity.  And Rizzo was joined in this assessment today by Dick Cheney, who — as recounted by his long-time faithful stenographer, Politico‘s Mike Allen — cites this continuity to (once again) claim “vindication”; said the former Vice President, “[Obama] ultimately had to adopt many of the same policies that we had been pursuing because that was the most effective way to defend the nation.”

I’m sure part of you wants to take issue with the last line there, but Change?

Well what about the fighting, Afhganistan? Still there. Yemen, oh, they are there. Libya, been there. Officially troops are out of Iraq, but there are lots of grey areas in that. Change?

George Monbiot puts the lie to notions of any kind of green or progressive climate change policies in this article.

Neither a CIA official nor George Monbiot could be accurately described as the radical left, so what do some of them have to say about Obama? Well, have a look at this list of some of the things he has done…

  • Signed the NDAA into law – making it legal to assassinate Americans w/o charge or trial.
  • Initiated, and personally oversees a ‘Secret Kill List’.
  • Waged war on Libya without congressional approval.
  • Started a covert, drone war in Yemen.
  • Escalated the proxy war in Somalia.
  • Escalated the CIA drone war in Pakistan.
  • Maintained a presence in Iraq even after “ending” the war.
  • Sharply escalated the war in Afghanistan.
  • Secretly deployed US special forces to 75 countries.

Many things in that list concern civil liberties, so what do the American Civil Liberties Union have to say about him…

“The Obama administration has endorsed many of the Bush administration’s national security policies,” says Jameel Jaffer, director of the American Civil Liberties Union – a leading US liberal rights group.

Mr Jaffer says this includes “policies that were regarded three or four years ago as the most extreme of the Bush administration’s policies.”

The most symbolic example is the prison at Guantanamo Bay, which Obama promised to close within a year during his 2008 election campaign, but which continues to detain inmates indefinitely and subject them to military trials, rather than trials in open court.

It may be unfair to blame President Obama for this – he initially tried to close Guantanamo but was ultimately blocked by Congress.

“But the administration does have the ability to fight back against those restrictions,” counters Jaffer.

“The administration does have the ability to go to the American people and say these restrictions don’t make any sense. That’s something that the president could have said and didn’t.”

All I am saying is that after 4 years, quite frankly, not much has changed. The only possible reason there could have been for voting for him was simply that he is not Mitt Romney. The 2 party left-right charade in the USA has been going on for so long and elections there were memorably described by John Pilger thusly…

They are a ritual danse macabre of flags, balloons and bullshit, designed to camouflage a venal system based on money power, human division and a culture of permanent war.

To finish, as was stated before, if you want some change – and this time he won’t have the excuse of needing to be re-elected – how about this for starters

“…if President Obama were serious about hope and change, he’d close the prison tomorrow, apologize to the detainees, and offer them financial reparations. That could be promptly followed up with the immediate indictment of all government officials (including those in Obama’s administration) responsible for supporting torture, secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, extrajudicial punishment, etc. And why not toss in the immediate closing of the US military base at Guantánamo Bay and the return of that land to Cuba? That, I submit, would be a minuscule first step upon which we could build.”

 

Cringe You Can Believe In

After a few years it is fair to say that Obama’s neoliberal stance is clearly obvious.

It was also obvious before the election but a lot of people wanted to believe the myth.

Looking back on the few years we have had of continuing aggression and some seriously dodgy policies, I wonder how the writer of this astonishingly fawning article, written in 2008,  feels now. I present you just a small extract…

Is Obama an enlightened being?

No, it’s not merely his youthful vigor, or handsomeness, or even inspiring rhetoric. It is not fresh ideas or cool charisma or the fact that a black president will be historic and revolutionary in about a thousand different ways. It is something more. Even Bill Clinton, with all his effortless, winking charm, didn’t have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high-vibration integrity.

Maybe better to look at the thing in right way would be this article, by a markedly different author, which was written in 2009…

“…if President Obama were serious about hope and change, he’d close the prison tomorrow, apologize to the detainees, and offer them financial reparations. That could be promptly followed up with the immediate indictment of all government officials (including those in Obama’s administration) responsible for supporting torture, secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, extrajudicial punishment, etc. And why not toss in the immediate closing of the US military base at Guantánamo Bay and the return of that land to Cuba? That, I submit, would be a minuscule first step upon which we could build.”

 

IN A NUTSHELL

Nicely and succinctly put by Ralph Nader…and it is pretty much exactly the same process as in most allegedly democratic countries…

“You have a tug of war with one side pulling. The corporate interests pull on the Democratic Party the way they pull on the Republican Party. If you are a ‘least-worst’ voter you don’t want to disturb John Kerry on the war, so you call off the anti-war demonstrations in 2004. You don’t want to disturb Obama because McCain is worse. And every four years both parties get worse. There is no pull. That is the dilemma of The Nation and The Progressive and other similar publications. There is no breaking point. What is the breaking point? The criminal war of aggression in Iraq? The escalation of the war in Afghanistan? Forty-five thousand people dying a year because they can’t afford health insurance? The hollowing out of communities and sending the jobs to fascist and communist regimes overseas that know how to put the workers in their place? There is no breaking point. And when there is no breaking point you do not have a moral compass.”


OBOMBYA’S PEACE PRIZE

Worth reprising this from Andy Best I think…

barack_obama_120x120So, Obama’s in and all us ‘liberals’ are happy.

Just imagine if McCain had won and we saw the following aspects of his campaign carried through:

– Continuation of the ‘war on terror’ including more troops into Afghanistan (back to the stone age not enough) and promises to cross borders (invade) others if they ‘don’t comply’ – ie invade Iran and Pakistan.

– a promise to take intervention in latin America “further south” ie ‘deal with’ Venezuela and Bolivia

– national/single payer healthcare completely off the table.

– full support of the Cuba embargo

– refusing to be photographed with the mayor of SF so not to appear as supporting same sex unions.

– commitment to draconian immigration policies such as the mexico border wall.

– penal system and capital punishment off the table as is gun control

– 700 billion handout to companies who preach no nationalization and private competition

… hey ..oh ..wait a minute … my bad! That’s a list of Obama’s campaign – I got confused.

SATIRE REVISITED

“Political satire died the day Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize”

Tom Lehrer

I see Obama has just won the peace prize and that puts him in the company of people like Henry Kissinger.

I think it is time to bring something up again…

If the bombs that rained down on Iraq and Afghanistan were Bush’s bombs and were unjustified then…are the bombs that are raining down on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan now Obama’s bombs and are they unjustified now?

More from Tom Lehrer

When someone makes a move
Of which we don’t approve,
Who is it that always intervenes?
U.N. and O.A.S.,
They have their place, I guess,
But first send the Marines!

We’ll send them all we’ve got,
John Wayne and Randolph Scott,
Remember those exciting fighting scenes?
To the shores of Tripoli,
But not to Mississippoli,

What do we do? We send the Marines!
For might makes right,
And till they’ve seen the light,
They’ve got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
‘Till somebody we like can be elected.

Members of the corps
All hate the thought of war,
They’d rather kill them off by peaceful means.
Stop calling it aggression,
O we hate that expression.
We only want the world to know
That we support the status quo.
They love us everywhere we go,
So when in doubt,
Send the Marines!