Fresh from sending 30,000 additional American soldiers to the land where empires go to die, President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace prize by justifying war and stating in a way that made emotionally vacant chicken hawks blush, “some will kill, and some will be killed.”
Evocative of his predecessor George W. Bush’s Orwellian musing, “when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace,” Obama laid out the circumstances in which war is justified – in self-defense, to come to the aid of an invaded nation, or on humanitarian grounds, but conveniently omitted the real reason which historically most soldiers are sent into battle – to protect the profits of the rich and their multi-national corporations.
Almost a year into the first term of the man who promised “Change We Can Believe In,” the lack of will or inclination to deliver on this promise is forcing liberals to suspect that instead of the following in the footsteps of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a President who championed the working person and pulled America out of the first Republican Great Depression, we are getting a pseudo-extension of Bush’s third term.
With many pointing to the similarities between the current economic collapse and the first Republican Great Depression, President Obama is turning out to be more like Herbert Hoover than a bold progressive willing to do what is necessary to re-regulate the banksters and institutions whose greed continues to exploit average Americans and is responsible for the current economic collapse.
In the aftermath of the first Republican Great Depression of the 1930’s, the FDR put Americans back to work through the Work Projects Administration; WPA in the fourth month of his Presidency. Conversely, the Obama administration has yet to implement a “main street” focused bailout and surrounds himself with advisors (such as Larry Summers and Timothy Geithnerso) bent on rebuilding the casino economy – ideologues of the disastrous Republican unregulated free market, job-killing free trade, trickle down tax polices, Socialism for the rich and scraps that fall off their tables (with a heavy side order of shame) for everyone else.
President Obama could follow in the footsteps of FDR by creating a Green WPA, installing solar or wind energy generators, that would put people to work TODAY as well as put us on the path to energy independence. The economy would start moving in a way that works – from the bottom up. Europe tackled the recession with a bottom-up recovery approach and their economies are currently on the upswing. Their guaranteed health care and strong social safety net doesn’t hurt either. Meanwhile, the United States is bracing for the second part of a double-dip recession while our jobs continue to be shipped to China along with our manufacturing base.
In spite of fact that the People spoke decisively in the mid-term elections by electing a large Democratic majority as well as the Presidential election mandate, even the desperately needed health insurance reform bill was approached by Democrats right off the bat from a position of “compromise” which was a capitulation to the well-heeled masters of the politicians who take millions in lobbying dollars to advance corporate interests over the interest of average Americans and is turning out to be nothing but a big wet-kiss to the very insurance middle-men who have killed 45,000 and bankrupted millions of Americans in this “pay or die,” for-profit health insurance racket each year while simultaneously paying themselves billion-dollar bonuses.
President Obama’s lack of leadership and willingness to back the one initiative 70% of Americans want that is necessary for true reform –the Public Option – has left many liberals disenchanted and disgruntled.
An the causes for concern continue to grow. During the 8 years of the Bush Presidency, Americans who were paying attention were alarmed and appalled to see the dreams of our founders disappear behind the cloak in which all criminal regimes wrap themselves while wresting totalitarian power from the populace – in the name of “national security.”
Although democracy seemed to be on life support, all was not lost! As America teetered on the edge of the abyss, in walked “The Audacity of Hope. ” We bought the marketing campaign. We believed the election of Barack Obama was our revolution and were relieved that our system could be resuscitated long enough for it to restore the Constitution and call to account the criminals who lied us into two wars, collapsed the economy, wiretapped us without court oversight, detained us indefinitely without charge or trial, violated international treaties and robbed us of our moral standing in the world.
Now, almost a year after the inauguration of “hope,” liberals see what our more cynical friends told us from the start- that the new boss is same as the old boss. For example, for reasons unknown, President Obama has still neglected to ask for the resignation of the Bush-appointed federal attorneys who are Republican dead-enders and Con true believers and are still prosecuting American political prisoners like Governor Don Seigalman in spite of outrageous trumped-up charges and conflicts of interest.
Initially we dismissed the transgressions with musings of, “perhaps President Obama is employing political jujitsu” or “rope-a-dope?” And “maybe he’s playing chess rather than checkers?” Now, I’m not so sure. He’s looking more and more like “more of the same.”
I am someone who was an early supporter of the Barack Obama and contributed to his campaign numerous times even before he was the Democratic nominee. His Nobel Prize acceptance speech didn’t leave me misty eyed or motivated, it frankly just pissed me off. How arrogant to accept a PEACE PRIZE while escalating a war! At least Le Duc Tho had the dignity and honor to decline the peace prize, bestowed jointly with Henry Kissinger for his negotiations to end the Vietnam War, stating that he couldn’t accept it as there was still no peace in his country. Of course, the war criminal Kissinger accepted.
But President Obama’s speech fell on my ears like a rake on a chalkboard. Empty words with no action to back them up.
Bill Maher nailed it months ago after Obama’s health care speech.
“I’m supposed to be all re-injected with yes-we-can fever after the big health care speech, and it was a great speech — when Black Elvis gets jiggy with his teleprompter, there is none better. But here’s the thing: Muhammad Ali also had a way with words, but it helped enormously that he could also punch guys in the face.”
During his Nobel Prize speech, President Obama seemed simply like a well-spoken politician weaving that old, familiar, mythology for the huddled masses of the leaders reluctant to send people to war, yet forced by circumstance. The pawns are the ones who bear the brunt of this myth – too overworked and economically insecure to object to the fact that the rich ride their backs like parasitic leeches sucking profits from hosts until the hosts are dead.
With the economy tanking, American workers forced to compete with Chinese slaves for jobs, the economic gap between the rich and poor wider than at the time of the first Republican Great Depression and ever widening, there’s plenty of pawns desperate enough to be shot at for a shilling.
Far from the dreams of our founders, this scenario is their worst nightmare. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1813 to future president James Monroe about the need for a militia rather that a standing army, “our men are so happy at home that they will not hire themselves to be shot at for a shilling a day. Hence we can have no standing armies for defense, because we have no paupers to furnish the materials.”
How ironic to think that American politicians whine over health care but never lack the funds for war. They wave the flag of patriotism and national security like a prop in a show that pretends the sons and daughters of the poor are killing and being killed in the name of mom, apple pie and freedom. How sad to think that this vision for the future was far from the dreams and hopes that our founders had for future the citizens of America.
I still have some semblance of hope, though. Is President Obama the just the new face of the class war? I hope not.