Sunday, March 9, 2008

Obama as a warmonger?

People have mostly dismissed his desire to invade Pakistan as just ignorance but the Paleocon writer excerpted below notes that there is much more of the same thinking that seems to have been airbrushed out of commentary on Obama. The pattern described is certainly a pattern that fits in with Obama as a Fascist. Ed Brayton take note of that! It is certainly true that it is mainly Democrats who have in the past got America involved in foreign wars

President Obama would be a warmonger. He would be a wide-eyed, zealous interventionist who would not think twice about using America's "military muscle" (his words) to overthrow "rogue states" and to suppress America's enemies, real and imagined. He would go farther even than President Bush in transforming the globe into America's backyard and staffing it with spies and soldiers. He would relish the "American mission" to police the world and topple tyrannical regimes.

Two myths must be exploded: first, that Barack Obama was a principled and passionate opponent of the war in Iraq; second, that if he were installed in the White House he would resist the temptation to launch new wars and would instead usher in an era of peace.

Iraq is the Obamabots' favorite faultline in the clash of the two Democrat contenders: Clinton supported the invasion and Obama opposed it. An open-and-shut case of one candidate being "for the war" and the other being "against the war," right? Not quite. Obama's position over the past five years has been strikingly similar to Clinton's. And that ought to be an issue of serious concern for Obama's army of acolytes and the peace protesters who have latched on to his campaign because, as Jeff Taylor pointed out in Counterpunch, "Clinton herself provides no substantive alternative to the neoconservative philosophy of the Bush administration." Obama is little different from Clinton, and Clinton is little different from Bush.

Obama's campaign frequently invokes his 2002 "speech against the war," but very rarely quotes directly from it. Why? Because this mysterious speech-which has become the stuff of legend in Obamaphilic circles, talked about but rarely read-is a pro-war tirade. Yes, Obama described the planned invasion of Iraq as "dumb" and "rash," but his overriding concern-expressed repetitively throughout the speech-was that the Bush administration was damaging the legitimate case for American-made wars of intervention and potentially making it harder for future administrations (Democratic, for example) to send soldiers around the world to depose unfriendly regimes.

Obama gave the speech at an antiwar rally in Chicago in October 2002. Perhaps nervous about being seen at a gathering of critics of American military intervention, he straight away outlined his pro-war credentials: "Let me begin by saying that although this has been billed as an anti-war rally, I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances." He reiterated his non-opposition to war another four times in the 921-word speech.

Then Obama went to Washington, where he obediently voted to fund the war in Iraq and opposed the withdrawal of American troops. In 2004, he even talked about sending more troops to Iraq to stabilize the country-he had the idea of a surge before the Bushies did. When he and Hillary Clinton had a chance to enact Sen. Russ Feingold's measure ordering Bush to withdraw most U.S. troops from Iraq by July 1, 2007, both voted no. Both senators also voted against a June 2006 amendment proposed by John Kerry for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq. It wasn't until May 2007 that Clinton and Obama voted to cut off funds.

It is a myth, pure bunkum, that Obama is a brave anti-warrior. He made a brief speech in 2002-peppered with reminders of his generally pro-war leanings-and then, like Clinton, used his muscle in the Senate to fund the war and extend its bloody duration. It is only during the past year, as he has thrown himself into the presidential race, that Obama has decided to pose as a long-standing, level-headed critic. As Taylor argues, "An adept politician, Obama began emphasizing his `anti-war' stance as the war became increasingly unpopular among Democrats across the country and he began gearing up for the 2008 presidential campaign."

But there is more going on here than Iraq-related opportunism. If elected president, Obama would make it a priority to smash the argument for non-interventionism and to rehabilitate America's imperial mission to right the wrongs of the world.

His main beef with the war in Iraq is not that it has failed in its stated objectives, fomented terror, and killed thousands, but rather that it has made the American people skeptical about military intervention. "There is one . place where our mistakes in Iraq have cost us dearly, and that is the loss of our government's credibility with the American people," he says. Citing a Pew Survey that found that 42 percent of Americans agree that the U.S. should "mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own," Obama retorted, "We cannot afford to be a country of isolationists right now. . We need to maintain a strong foreign policy, relentless in pursuing our enemies and hopeful in promoting our values around the world."

Those foolishly cheering Obama's promise to bring the war in Iraq to a "responsible end" should recognize why he is planning this: not to liberate Iraq but rather to liberate the interventionist project from the "Iraqi distraction" and rebuild America's military sufficiently to send its forces to hotspots around the globe. In a long piece for Foreign Affairs in July/August 2007, he argued, "After Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership-military, diplomatic, moral-to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities." He calls for adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army and 27,000 to the Marine Corps and vastly expanding their mission. "[D]eposing a dictator and setting up a ballot box" is not enough: Obama wants $50 billion to promote "sustainable democracy," a gauzy scheme that aims to "build healthy and educated communities, reduce poverty, develop markets, and generate wealth."

Yet for all his focus on the "politics of hope," when it comes to outlining his program of international interventionism, Obama parrots precisely the Bush regime's panic-packed arguments about the horrendous threats facing America. Paying tribute to earlier battles against fascism and Soviet communism, Obama said last year, "This century's threats are at least as dangerous and in some ways more complex than those we have confronted in the past. They come from weapons that can kill on a mass scale and from global terrorists who respond to alienation or perceived injustice with murderous nihilism. They come from rogue states allied to terrorists and from rising powers that could challenge both America and the international foundation of liberal democracy." ....

In a Washington Post column entitled "Obama the Interventionist," Robert Kagan celebrated the repudiation of the realist consensus: "Obama's speech . was pure John Kennedy, without a trace of John Mearsheimer." In 1996, Kagan co-wrote with Bill Kristol a Foreign Affairs essay entitled "Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy," which argued that U.S. foreign policy should seek to preserve "American hegemony" so that we can continue to fulfill our "responsibility to lead the world." Obama has updated this outlook in PC, Democrat-friendly lingo: "The mission of the U.S. is to provide global leadership grounded in the understanding that the world shares a common security and a common humanity." Little wonder that Kagan sees in Obama a kindred spirit: "Obama believes the world yearns to follow us," he writes. "Personally, I like it."

More here

Obama's connections are fair game

Has there ever been a more politically unfortunate middle name - historically speaking - than Barack Hussein Obama Jr.'s? Probably not. And though stories of Obama's ties to Islam are sordid, his Christian ties are another matter.

When a conservative Cincinnati talk show host recently limbered up a crowd at a John McCain rally, he repeatedly referred to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama." This prompted massive outrage and an apology from McCain. If you haven't noticed, Hussein is a Muslim name - as are Barack and Obama, by the way. What the electorate is supposed to garner from this nugget, I suppose, is that Obama is a closet Islamic imam.

Now, it should be pointed out that many of the individuals so shocked by the use of Obama's given middle name are many of the same people who eagerly label George W. Bush a Nazi or other exaggerated pejoratives. Selective indignation, clearly, is not confined to either party's faithful.

In fact, it was a Hillary Clinton aide who last week disseminated a picture of Obama, on a visit to Kenya, looking like he was dressed for the Haj. The Drudge Report, in turn, posted shots of House majority leader Nancy Pelosi, First Lady Laura Bush, and others, wearing kafia headdresses (why an American woman would don misogynistic headwear is a mystery), as is customary on official visits.

The use of "Hussein" and the Kenyan picture are no more than petty political ploys, likely to backfire. Obama has assured Americans, with the political adeptness of a social conservative, that he is "a devout Christian. I have been a member of the same church for 20 years. I pray to Jesus every night." Impressive, I suppose, depending on where you pray.

Obama, the guiding hand to American unanimity, has for the past 20 years been a parishioner at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, whose leader is, by any reasonable standard, a racist. The pastor in question is Jeremiah Wright Jr. It was his use of the term "audacity of hope" in a sermon that inspired Obama to title his best-selling book with the phrase. Wright is a longtime supporter of Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan. Last year, the "Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award" was given to Farrakhan, who, it turns out, "truly epitomized greatness." Farrakhan, in addition to making frequent distasteful comments about race, is a person who referred to Judaism as a "gutter religion" and its adherents a bunch of "bloodsuckers." Wright even tagged along when Farrakhan visited Libya's dictator Moammar Khadafy - a terrorist financier directly linked to the murder of Americans - for a chitchat in 1980s.

Obama has shown zero inclination to agree with any of Farrakhan or Wright's odious statements. But as Obama's largest recipient of charitable donations, Trinity United Church of Christ is more than a fleeting distraction in the candidate's life. This is not guilt by association. Until a last minute change of heart, Obama's campaign invocation was to be given by Wright. After bumping Wright, an Obama aide explained: "Senator Obama is proud of his pastor and his church, but because of the type of attention it was receiving on blogs and conservative talk shows, he decided to avoid having statements and beliefs being used out of context and forcing the entire church to defend itself."

If he is proud of his pastor, then asking Obama to clarify his connection to Wright is neither slander nor innuendo - nor is it the right-wing "noise machine" in action. It is nearly inconceivable to imagine Clinton or McCain - or any presidential candidate - enjoying a close relationship with pastor who praises a racist leader for "his integrity and honesty" not coming under the scrutiny of the entire media. No, Obama shouldn't have to deal with unfair innuendo, but he deserves no dispensation when it comes to Wright.


Obama fund-raiser in fraud trial

The Chicago trial of a fund-raiser for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has opened with the prosecutor alleging massive fraud. The prosecutor alleged that Antoin "Tony" Rezko was behind a $7m plan to extort money from firms trying to do business with Illinois state.

Mr Obama has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has donated the money raised for him by Mr Rezko to charity.

Mr Rezko denies the charges, saying he only raised funds for politicians. Mr Obama's links to Mr Rezko have brought the first whiff of scandal to an election campaign that has rapidly gained momentum. The Illinois senator bought land at a discount from his friend Mr Rezko in 2005, when the businessman was already being investigated. Mr Obama later called the deal "boneheaded".

Besides raising $150,000 for Mr Obama's election campaign, Mr Rezko was also a major fund-raiser for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. "When Rod Blagojevich was running for governor in 2002, the defendant was one of his biggest fund-raisers," federal prosecutor Carrie E Hamilton said in her opening statement on Thursday. "After he was elected, the defendant Rezko was one of his advisors." He then used his influence to place associates on key state boards, including the powerful Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board, Ms Hamilton said.

In one example, the prosecutor said, Mr Rezko planned with one of the health board members, named Stuart Levine, to get bribes in return for board approval for a hospital expansion. Mr Rezko and Mr Levine then planned a similar operation with the board of a teachers' pension fund, she said. "Rezko was the man behind the curtains, pulling the strings," Ms Hamilton said. Mr Levine has pleaded guilty in the case in a plea deal with the prosecution.

Mr Rezko's defence attorney, Joseph J Duffy, attacked Mr Levine's credibility as a witness, describing his drug use and calling him "a very, very sophisticated con man". Mr Duffy said Mr Rezko, a Syrian-born businessman, wanted nothing for himself and raised money for his favourite politicians out of a passion for politics. Mr Rezko is charged with multiple counts of fraud, of aiding and abetting in the solicitation of bribery, money laundering and attempted extortion, AFP news agency reported. The trial is expected to last for several months.


Michelle Obama and the affirmative action perpetual futility machine

"Spengler," the Asia Times columnist who was a close associate of Lyndon Larouche back in the 1980s, takes a whack at Michelle Obama's "rage of a privileged class" as exemplified by her Princeton thesis. Typos ahoy!

That reminds me of something I didn't squeeze into my long VDARE article on Michelle and racial quotas: how the downsides of affirmative action just spawn more angry demands for more affirmative action. It's a perpetual motion machine that never goes anywhere.

Michelle got into Whitney Young H.S., Princeton, Harvard Law School, and Sidley Austin LLC due to racial preferences. The entire time she felt aggrieved because people around her at these intellectually elite institutions kept noticing she wasn't as smart as the average person there, and were guessing that she got in because of her race. That both presumptions were accurate only made them more enraging. Those 14 years she endured in over her head due to affirmative action still gnaw away at her psyche, as the recent Newsweek cover story on her makes clear.

With her aggressive personality and need for attention and dominance, she would have been perfectly happy being a big fish in a little pond, but because elite America institutions are so desperate for hard-working blacks with 115 IQs, she kept getting lured into situations where should couldn't be satisfied. So, did all this bitter experience turn her into a campaigner against affirmative action?

Are you kidding? As usual, the exact opposite happened. Here's the beginning of the press release put out by her employer after her husband became a U.S. Senator and she got a $195,000 raise:
Michelle Obama has been appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Obama, who was previously the executive director for community affairs at the Hospitals, will be responsible for all programs and initiatives that involve the relationship between the Hospitals and the community. She will also take over management of the Hospitals' business diversity program.

Prior to joining the Hospitals, Obama worked as an associate dean of student services for the University of Chicago where she developed the University's first office of community service. She came to the Hospitals in 2002 and quickly built up programs for community relations, neighborhood outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff diversity and minority contracting. [Emphasis mine, although you could argue that her entire job was just diversity.]

She apparently couldn't cut it in big time corporate law, so she became a ... professional diversicrat, in charge of luring other blacks in over their heads, just like she had been, so they can also become underqualified and resentful too, suitable for becoming, in turn, professional diversicrats. Lather, rinse, and repeat, until the end of time.



No comments: