Le Panoptique

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Obama’s First Mistake

Publié le 9 juin, 2010 | Pas de commentaires

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By not prosecuting Cheney, Rumsfeld, & Co. for their overt war crimes and blatant war profiteering, Mr Obama began his presidency in a relationship of tacit approval of those crimes. What has followed is the result of his never disassociating himself with the forces of international crime, both financial and military: more seething hatred of America and its allies, and the contempt of forward-looking democracies and solvent states. Ending black-ops, rendition and torture, closing Guantanamo – these were the first promises he completely failed to deliver on; John Yoo is still defending torture, as is Bush. Reining in banks after Bush’s giveaway of billions in TARP money became impossible when he hired his entire cabinet from ex-Goldman employees.
The fiascos in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan are due to his unwillingness to take a stand for justice and peace, preferring, to echo his dismal predecessor’s words, to “stay the course.”

Mr Obama has stayed the course on unconstitutional domestic spying, and on many other relics from the disastrous “Patriot Act”, allowing the freedoms of Americans to continue to be compromised and lost. By siding with those forces which have brought American to its knees – a path blazed by Ronald Reagan and turned into a superhighway by Bush Jr. – he doomed his presidency from the start.

Who can take him seriously when he says he’s going to “kick ass…at BP”? He followed March Madness closer than the corrupt Minerals Management Service, missing the free shots one after another, first by declaring he will allow more off-shore drilling to appease the GOP mad dogs of “drill baby drill”, and then, when disaster struck, by putting the fox in charge of cleaning up the henhouse to pacify the BP Englishmen. Now, 50 days later, while the Gulf of Mexico lies dead and bleeding hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day, there is still no real plan.

This is not merely “disappointing”, as if the “hope” promised by his campaign was not a matter of restoring law and order, constitutional integrity and reclaiming the dignity of freedom’s defender that the US had once stood for, before hawks and vultures ran it into the ground for personal gain to their own interests and those of their shady friends. It is a catastrophe that has all but ended the chances of the U.S. to recover its balance, to enfranchise the middle and lower classes, precisely so that they do NOT have to “cling to their guns and religion”.

But the moment is being lost, is almost past. President Obama has chosen to remain one of them, rather than represent the us who elected him in hope that change would come, change for the better. But all we got is chump change, still holding the bag for Too Big To Fail banks, still watching helplessly as the coastline turns black and dies, still sending young soldiers to die in a futile war, or teaching them to kill by remote-control until they go insane and seek death in suicide. The much-lauded “Health-care Reform Bill” is a weak, compromised version of what even much poorer countries take for granted, filled with the dirty footprints of lobbyists which have trampled the hard-won liberties of women, with little or no change to the system of putting Big Pharma and the Insurance Companies first, the American citizen last.

When will it end? Don’t hold your breath – while the rest of the world reacted in open horror and condemnation, the spinelessness shown by the U.S. over the latest Israeli massacre, which included the killing of an American citizen, shows clearly the direction in which Obama is following the country – DOWN. No one is saying a Republican president wouldn’t have been unthinkably worse, but that is not the issue. Mr Obama has compared himself to two of the greatest leaders this country ever had, Lincoln, who risked everything to maintain the union of the states and end slavery, and FDR, who decided to invest the country’s wealth in the future of its human capital. But President Obama has not been a leader, though, to use the “saddest words of tongue or pen”, he “might have been”. What the future holds for the rudderless, off-course ship of state looks like Scylla and Charybdis without an Odyssius to guide it through.


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