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Boardman writes: "What happened to that guy who was challenging President Bush to finish the fight with bin Laden, to shut down banks that handle terrorists' funding, to let the U.N. do its work in Iraq?"

President Obama defended the war in Iraq. (photo: Reuters)
President Obama defended the war in Iraq. (photo: Reuters)


Praising Iraq War, Obama Faces Another "Dumb War"

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

04 April 14

 

“I don't oppose all wars….

What I am opposed to is a dumb war.

What I am opposed to is a rash war.

What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.”

arack Obama said that at an anti-war rally in Chicago on October 2, 2002, when he was still an Illinois state senator. Obama told the gathering that he favored going after al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but opposed going to war to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Reading that 2002 speech more than eleven years later creates some dissonance: what happened to that guy who was challenging President Bush to finish the fight with bin Laden, to shut down banks that handle terrorists’ funding, to let the U.N. do its work in Iraq, to safeguard nuclear weapons material around the world, to push countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt to stop oppressing their own people, to control American arms merchants, to have “an energy policy that doesn’t simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil,” to fight against ignorance and intolerance, corruption and greed, poverty and despair?

It’s all in that speech, and more. What happened to that guy? He got elected and he inherited Bush’s wars, and he chose not to act on the near-certainty that the Iraq War had been illegal and its perpetrators war criminals. There’s a clue at the end of that Chicago protest speech where, as an outsider, he seeks to prevent a war in which Americans would die and “make such an awful sacrifice in vain.” Now, with 4,486 Americans dead and probably more than a million Iraqi civilians dead, with more dying almost daily from the murderous liberation Americans inflicted on a once stable, prosperous, educated, ancient country just because its dictator “tried to kill my dad” – what president contemplating all that blood and loss would want to tell his fellow citizens that their sons and daughters died in vain, died for the vanity of a handful of war criminals and profiteers?

“That’s part of what makes us special as Americans.

Unlike the old empires, we don’t make these sacrifices for territory or for resources.

We do it because it’s right.

There can be no fuller expression of America’s support for self-determination than our leaving Iraq to its people.

That says something about who we are.”

By late 2011, when he offered that reassessment of the Iraq War (and implied that we’re a “new” empire), Barack Obama was a president facing re-election and trying to wind the Iraq War down and out and irrelevant as a campaign issue, and a sure way NOT to do that would be to tell the country the truth, that the Iraq War had been a disaster from beginning to end, probably, although the end was nowhere near in sight then any more than it is now, but at least we were getting American troops out of harm’s way, away from the harm American policy had unleashed and exacerbated. He knew we didn’t do it because it was right, he’d already said we did it for the ideological agendas of weekend warriors.

Addressing those troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on December 14, 2011, President Obama wasn’t about to cop to the blood on American hands, even if the actual killers in the field were only following orders that most of them probably believed in, at least at the start. Why wouldn’t they prefer to be praised for a selfless mission of mercy rather than confront their own complicity in their nation’s guilt? It is very strange to watch a president embracing a criminal war and all the war crimes it precipitated, especially since he predicted such a result.

For Americans, the Iraq War is still all about us, our heroes, our dead. That may not make us special as Americans, but it’s a familiar-enough mode of cultural self-delusion. We do it because it’s right, or because we believe it’s right or we don’t understand it or we don’t have a choice or we don’t want to admit we were blatantly lied to and chose to believe the lies rather than think for ourselves. Who wants to deal with anything like that?

It’s easier, if not better, to believe another lie, that “there can be no fuller expression of America’s support for self-determination than our leaving Iraq to its people.” Well, to the people who are left at each other’s throats, unless they’re among the Iraqi diaspora of five million, more or less. Being driven from your homeland counts as a kind of self-determination, right?

Iraqi self-determination has been little more than a chimera since the Americans invaded, disbanded the Iraqi army, left government buildings open to looters (except the oil ministry), and allowed chaos to find its own way in the midst of a military occupation. The result of a decade of this kind of self-determination has now brought Iraq a corrupt government drifting toward dictatorship.

Don’t even mention self-determination to the Kurds.

The Americans left Iraq in December 2011 and mainstream media played along with the American political charade, calling it the “end of the war,” which it absolutely was not for anyone left behind in Iraq.

“That says something about who we are,” as the president said from deep inside the American rabbit hole of patriotism-like doublethink.

“Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true….”

That’s part of what the President said in his much-maligned speech in Brussels on March 26, 2014, and if he’d ended this section at that point he might have limited the blowback he provoked with what followed. Someone devoted to precision might have pointed out that the hypocrisy wasn’t all that “Western” except for America (165,000 troops) and Britain (46,000 troops, out by May 2011). Other than South Korea (3,600 troops, out by December 2008) and Australia (2,000 troops, out by July 2009), most of the other members of the “coalition of the willing” joined as the result of incentives or political coercion, and few of them contributed more than a few hundred troops, often non-combat troops, almost all of whom were out by 2008. Fifteen countries participated covertly, according to the U.S. State Department, but that’s a different kind of hypocrisy.

Other members of this “Western” alliance included Japan (600 troops), Bulgaria (485), Singapore (175, offshore), Nicaragua (230), Mongolia (180), Georgia (2,000), Kazakhstan (29), and Ukraine (1,650).

In reality, the Iraq War was pretty much dependent on Anglo-American hypocrisy, and deceit. Russia would be well-served to be clear about that.

“Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq War was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well.

I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there.”

Again, if President Obama had stopped here on March 26, 2014, in Brussels, the reactions might have been kinder. Obama had indeed opposed the war, albeit with a rhetorical off-ramp about what a terrible person Saddam Hussein was. After he was in the Senate in 2005, Obama no longer opposed the Iraq War outright. He consistently voted for off-budget war funding without much expressed concern for deficit or national debt (to which the war added $3 trillion and still growing). Not until May 2007, when it took no political courage, did Obama (and Hillary Clinton) vote against funding the illegal Iraq War.

So the reality is that Obama opposed the Iraq War before he supported it, which was before he opposed it again, with less clarity or passion than his original opposition.

But the president didn’t stop there, either, on March 26 in Brussels, when he had already defined the Crimea situation as “a moment of testing for Europe and the United States and for the international order that we have worked for generations to build.” With that kind of rhetoric early in the speech, he could have been leading up to a call for war.

Even when he said: “What we will do always is uphold our solemn obligation, our Article 5 duty, to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our allies. And in that promise we will never waver…. every NATO member state must step up and carry its share of the burden” – he still wasn’t making a call to war.

But he was making a disingenuous call to support the Ukrainian national government in Kiev as if it were a legitimate government. That bit of Western hypocrisy was needed to obscure the reality that the Kiev government came to power in a wholly undemocratic putsch. And it was a putsch in which many Western hypocrites were quite involved, so best to finesse it.

And a call for something other than war was pretty much the way to go, which the president did: “I believe that for both Ukraine and Russia, a stable peace will come through de-escalation, a direct dialogue between Russia and the government of Ukraine and the international community, monitors who can ensure that the rights of all Ukrainians are protected, a process of constitutional reform within Ukraine and free and fair elections this spring.”

Since a “stable peace” actually exists right now (an “unstable peace” is an oxymoron), there’s a veiled threat and a veiled promise in the president’s deployment of the term, since it suggests that both sides should back off and live with the status quo. In others words, so much for Crimea. You could call it giving Putin the Bush-Cheney treatment, although Putin is getting away with a lot less murder.

But that’s not something a president wants to say out loud and clear, and so he soon arrived at the distraction of the Iraq War, which he opposed, supported, opposed, and ended in disarray.

“But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system.

We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory.

We did not grab its resources for our own gain.

Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.”

Well, that’s red meat to anyone who cares about logic, principle, or reality, and one would likely assume that President Obama was well aware of how preposterous his assertions were. But it also served as an opportunity to reinforce popular denial of the Iraq debacle by projecting a kind of wish fulfillment onto Ukraine, before it, too, spirals into chaos. One can hope. And the internal tensions and contradictions of Ukraine may be just enough less severe than Iraq’s to make the possibility plausible. Any bets?

As others have noted, seeking “to work within the international system” and having the international system tell you NO, doesn’t mean you get to go ahead and do what you want anyway – unless you’re some sort of superpower to whom NO has no meaning, which does sound a little hypocritical. The president implied that just the minimal effort within the legal system makes it OK to launch a criminal war.

To assert that “We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory” is to ignore the reality that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, lodged in a former Iraqi palace, is the largest and most expensive embassy in the world and is almost as large as the Vatican City State.

To claim that “We did not grab its resources for our own gain” is to lie. No, really, it’s a lie, unless you accept some twisted lawyer’s definition of “our gain.” Can you say Halliburton? Can you say any of dozens of other contractors, an unknown number of them corrupt beyond reasonable expectation?

Yes, we grabbed their resources, and we did it first by writing their constitution for them. Then we made them disgorge a public asset, their oil reserves. We forced Iraq to privatize its oil industry so that “our” oil companies and others could enjoy the spoils of war. Iraq was opened for business. And it seems like the security business is thriving. For the forty years that Iraqi oil had been nationalized, Iraqis lived in a welfare state with free education, free health care, and a relatively high standard of living. Now Iraq has free enterprise, and extensive poverty, and women are persecuted, and they’re not even grateful for all that American effort.

Back to the territory in Iraq, the part we do not claim – that’s the part we left littered with unexploded ordnance, or the part that’s poisoned with depleted uranium (DU) weapons, or the part that was environmentally destroyed by a massive military rolling through. We don’t claim any of that. And we don’t even pretend to offer to clean it up – any more than we offer reparations to the survivors of those we killed, or medical help for those we maimed, or any other kind of help for those whose houses we blew up, whose orchards we leveled, whose herds we extinguished. We’re not good about cleaning up after ourselves, especially when we can blame it all on al Qaeda and the rest of those crazy Arab suicide bombers.

The Iraq we have left behind is itself a war crime. In an international system that actually worked, the crime of Iraq would have been addressed long before there were headlines about Crimea. Seriously, which do you suppose is a better place to live?

“We ended our war,” said the president, and that’s pretty much on point – “our” war is over, in the sense that we’re no longer in it. But it’s all “our” war, every bit of it – we started it, we let it go horribly wrong, and the chaos raging now in Iraq now is every bit as much “our” war as the rest of it.

“… we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.”

None of that is true in any meaningful way. The Iraqi people have been brutalized and turned against each other in ways they hadn’t experienced in centuries. For whatever it’s worth, the Saddam dictatorship was also the creation of the Iraqi people in a sovereign state. Ironically, there are recent reports that, in the wake of American intervention, Iraq is again drifting into being a sovereign police state.

Actually, Iraq is just drifting toward being a police state again. Iraq hasn’t been a fully sovereign state for some time – it’s not clear just how long. But the Iraq government no longer has territorial integrity; it does not control all the land within its borders. The Kurdish region is always problematical, but western Iraq is out of the government’s control.

Rebel/jihadist groups in Syria now control an area of Syria and Iraq that is about the size of Great Britain, according to veteran reporter Patrick Cockburn. He told Democracy Now:

“The al-Qaeda-type organizations really control a massive area in northern and eastern Syria at the moment and northern and western Iraq. The largest number of volunteers fighting with these al-Qaeda-type groups are Saudi. Most of the money originally came from there. But these people now control their own oil wells. They probably are less reliant on Saudi money.”

So there’s not much that President Obama said about Iraq that’s very close to true. The Iraqi people are not sovereign and they do not control their own future. They have a fundamentalist-leaning Shiite government that’s closely allied with Iran. The Iraqi people are victims several times over – victims of the Saddam regime, victims of the American liberation and plunder, victims of phantom democratic choices, victims of jihadis on all sides. And our president talks of them instead as a sovereign people deciding their own future, because the truth is way too difficult. Iraqis are victims, and America doesn’t do victims. America creates victims, sometimes America helps victims of natural disasters, but mostly America blames victims, at home and abroad – it’s what we do.

And it turns out we don’t do hope and change much, either. What happens to a country when the president the electorate thought it elected doesn’t show up in the Oval Office? We’ve been finding out since 2009 and it’s not over yet.

For now, at least, the president seems to have enough sense and strength to be able to treat going to war over Crimea as a “dumb war” worth avoiding.


William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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+26 # fredboy 2014-04-04 11:12
He's not for what's right any more.
 
 
0 # dquandle 2014-04-06 18:27
Obama never was for whats right. He was always for mass murder and torture in the service of empire and it continual rape and plunder of nations, people and resources deemed "in our (read corporate) "national interest".
 
 
0 # fredboy 2014-04-04 11:12
He's not for what's right any more.
 
 
+13 # indian weaver 2014-04-04 14:22
He never was for what's "right". He lied about that as well as everything else he's ever said.
 
 
0 # Caliban 2014-04-04 17:56
I know it won't do any good on this page of Obama-haters, but Afghanistan and Iraq were NOT obama's wars. Virtually everything that Boardman seems to criticize the President for (though he is not as anti-Obama as some here seem to think) are that things others started and that he is working to undo. So what if he praises the courage of serving American troops. This kind of morale building is patriotic rhetoric, not policy-making.

This President has started NO wars, and his efforts to bring Americans home have been admirable--as have his efforts to keep AIPAC and the Neo-Cons from bombing Iran while he proceeds with the difficult task of bringing about a negotiated peace with this highly civilized country.

So, let's have less mindless name-calling and a little more understanding and support for a man who--despite the slanders of some un-named contributors--i s doing his best for all of us--more than you can say for John Roberts, Paul Ryan, or whatever would-be Prez the GOP will put forth in 2016.
 
 
+20 # Pikewich 2014-04-04 18:43
True Obama was not in office when they started. I believe it is the lies that are beyond disturbing and Orwellian.

Iraq was a better place to live and raise a family when Saddam was the leader.
 
 
+6 # WBoardman 2014-04-04 18:55
Caliban is right, I am not anti-Obama.
Personally, he's more than "likable enough."
Politically, I'm more mystified and frustrated
than just oppositional – and it's important to
remember that everything since 2009 must be
considered in the context of of (1) an absolutely horrendous
presidency (that Obama has given a pass, wrongly in my view),
(2) economic conditions beyond his control, and
(3) Republican intransigence bordering on treasonous.

I couldn't be more in agreement with Caliban's
characterizatio n of Roberts, Ryan, and their ilk
who are unlikely to achieve anything good for the
country as a whole, except by miscalculation.
 
 
+2 # Dion Giles 2014-04-04 23:13
The world is full of bad people. The bad people from whom Obama has copied his signature policies and the bad people whom Obama has promoted to positions of influence and authority are immeasurably worse than those who voted for Obama thought Obama was. Rattling the names of Tea Party freaks, hobgoblins and monsters does not exculpate Obama or anyone else. "Look at how bad the other guy is" can mitigate nothing for any bad guy, even for one once trusted..
 
 
0 # dquandle 2014-04-06 18:29
Obama started wars in Libya, Pakistan, and Yemen, and escalated the ongoing appalling atrocity in Afghanistan,
 
 
0 # Even 2014-04-07 04:31
His best for the elite you mean. It's not mindless name-calling it's pointing out how his speeches are one thing, and his actions are another. Blaming everything on Republican intransigeance is an easy way out
 
 
+28 # Anonymot 2014-04-04 11:39
Obama has either been bought or threatened with something that changed his mind.

You didn't mention that Saddam was a CIA creation that went wrong. Another one.

Saddam sold the exploration rights to China, Russia, and France. The current owners of that contract, either Exxon or Conoco, just sold those rights back to China for 25 Billion dollars.
 
 
0 # dquandle 2014-04-06 18:32
No, he came into office wanting to do the bidding of the plutocracy which owns him lock stock and barrel, and wanting to prove to the permanent war state that a "Democrat" could be as vicious, bloodthirsty, and cold blooded as any Republican. He succeeded staggeringly well.
 
 
+34 # PABLO DIABLO 2014-04-04 12:09
Obama could have been great. Instead, he is just another corporate lackey (just like Bill Clinton). Toss the liberals a few crumbs and keep servicing corporate greed. He did take $375 million from Wall Street in 2008 for his first campaign and no one went to jail (except a couple of whistleblowers) . Greed never sleeps and ignorance never wakes up. Boycott the corporations that are killing us. Vote the leeches out of office. Take back "our" government. Start by getting the neocons out of government. Then cast the CIA to the four winds. They are running/ruining our government. Impeach Clarence Thomas.
We might have a chance to save "our" asses if we get rid of the aforementioned asses.
 
 
+29 # Khidr 2014-04-04 12:48
Before we get rid of the aforementioned, we have to free the PRESS.......... .
 
 
+20 # MidwesTom 2014-04-04 13:16
Good point Khidr. There is a glowing example of why the press does not do it's job going on in Indiana right now. There is a town in southern Indiana where somebody started an online newspaper which digs up all of the political dirt it can find and publishes it if substantiated, called the City County Observer.

Who ever publishes it has angered both parties. I am told that both parties called in their business supporters and told them to stop advertising in the 'paper'. That is what the press (formerly known as the Forth Estate) is supposed to be doing. Newspapers used to have reports that prompted questions like "did you read -------". Those days are long gone since we now have a press that can be described as a cheering section.
 
 
+2 # WBoardman 2014-04-04 18:59
MidwesTom -- how about more specifics?
 
 
+6 # motamanx 2014-04-04 15:05
If we had a free press, we might have found out what really happened on 9/11.
 
 
-1 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-04-05 22:32
OK, I may be totally wrong. Think 9/11 was an inside job. Bill Maher:"eight billion dollars were sent to Iraq. All neatly wrapped in celophane, loaded on pallets. Just disappeared. But not investigated." Who had the power to make eight billion dollars disappear with no investigation? Bush, Cheney? The day of 9/11, vast numbers of people "escaped disaster," did not show up for work beyond normal absenteeism. Too many questions, not enough questions were addressed by the media. Interesting when radar operators picked up evidence of Japanese ships approaching Pearl Harbor, the radar evidence was considered "insignificant."
Gulf of Tonkin incident never happend. Got the U.S. into a war, Vietnam. Weapons of mass destruction "evidence" was a big lie. Got us into war in Iraq.
 
 
+6 # indian weaver 2014-04-04 14:25
It's impossible to get rid of the assholes because 90% of the administration and congress are just that. And all civilians are outgunned with weapons of mass destruction aimed at all of us. And they are reinforced by the CIA, FBI, DHS, ICE, BIA, AID all of whom are vastly armed and vicious and protecting their paychecks with our lives, and deaths. Good luck Pablo, dream on.
 
 
+24 # billhabedank 2014-04-04 12:15
As each month goes by, the hypocracy of the Obama Administration looms larger and larger. It almost never admits wrong doing as has been the policy of the US Government for decades. We have committed grevious crimes and leave countries and people in worse shape that when we first got involved in their affairs.
At the start of the Iraq War I told people that when the War on Terror was over I would not tell people "I told you so" because the consequences of our actions would be so terrible. Well they are terrible and if I don't say something about that, it will happen again and again and again. Haven't you had enough too??
 
 
+11 # Old Uncle Dave 2014-04-04 12:19
Obama lied to get elected. This should not surprise anyone.
 
 
0 # dquandle 2014-04-06 18:34
And once in office, pursued the time honored policy of plunder, torture, mass murder and rape in the service of empire.
 
 
+13 # James Marcus 2014-04-04 12:20
What Happened?
Nothing. His Agenda now, is 'As Planned'.

He is a Bold Faced Liar, of Unimaginable Proportions.
And REALLY good at it! Yes? Very Convincing.
'Jive', in his culture, is the ability to Lie, Very Smoothly.

And, He a Danger to the Planet as well as the USA, as originally conceived.
Treasonous, by any Definition.
 
 
0 # dquandle 2014-04-06 18:35
Yes indeed!
 
 
+27 # dick 2014-04-04 12:21
EVERYTHING Obama does until Nov virtually HAS TO revolve around extremely challenging midterm elections. I'm no Obama supporter, but I DO NOT want GOP war mongers and war profiteers running the "show."
 
 
+12 # billhabedank 2014-04-04 13:19
They are
 
 
+7 # Helen Marshall 2014-04-04 13:29
Yes, I agree, let's stick with the war mongers we have now!!
 
 
-7 # indian weaver 2014-04-04 14:27
You know, I voted for Obama. At this point, were I ever again to vote, I'd vote for the most vicious neocon alive and hope they get us into a world war III asap and finally get us going into the death throes we see coming to this nation. Why put off the inevitable, it's only pain until it's over. And until it's over, the pain will increase, spread and continue to infect everything on the planet. That is now our government. That is Obama, a deadly infection that needs to be wiped out with whatever it takes.
 
 
0 # billhabedank 2014-04-05 09:51
I don't agree with "going down with the ship". There are things we must ALL do to prevent this - now!
 
 
0 # dquandle 2014-04-06 18:37
He certainly is an infection, but thats no reason to continue inflict him or his co-conspirator neo-conons us and on the rest of the planet.
 
 
+8 # RCW 2014-04-04 12:22
PD, having been an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama as a welcome relief after his predecessor et al., I have reluctantly to agree with you.
 
 
+23 # tedrey 2014-04-04 12:22
I view Obama as a victim of the Stockholm Syndrome. As soon as he entered office, he was clearly told that he had been kidnapped and the consequences that would ensue if he didn't keep quiet and obey. This troubled him at first but there was nothing he could do about it, and he long since learned to love his captors and his new duties.
 
 
0 # dquandle 2014-04-06 18:40
I do not believe this at all. He went in with the appalling and atrocity-laden agenda we have seen enacted. He voluntarily chose to surround himself with the very criminals who would echo and amplify this agenda.
 
 
+34 # reiverpacific 2014-04-04 12:37
I'm no conspiracy theorist but I truly believe -and I've absolutely no concrete evidence other than applying the logic that the President does not really run this "Empire" -any more than Queen Victoria really ran the former British "Empah on the the sun would never set": -it was the British East India Company backed by the most powerful Navy in the world at the time, very much in the spirit of the current US corporate elite backed by the most obscenely huge military mass ever seen -bigger than the next 26 nations COMBINED.
I am more than ever convinced that Obama was a decent man caught up in the jaws of a rogue clamp of a power structure and it's financiers over which he has little or no control, and was taken aside on or before taking office and told -"Listen Bubba: THIS is how it works and if ya push too hard, well remember JFK, RFK, and -----and your lovely family"!
In fact I believe that Clinton was about to pardon Leonard Peltier and was threatened by the FBI, very much in the same deadly mean spirit.
Check out James Douglass' book "Project Unspeakable" for a bit of backup, about the assassinations of the two Kennedys, MLK and Malcom X now being made into a play.
It blows my kilt off my bum every time I think of Dimwits, his puppet master Cheney, Rice, Blair and the whole neocon war criminal coward's country club strutting about free and prospering, rubbing their hubris like shite in the faces of the taxpayers of this country to fund more earth destruction.
 
 
+12 # tclose 2014-04-04 13:20
I don't subscribe to conspiracy theories either, including the JFK one, but I do agree with your supposition that Obama was "caught in the jaws of a rogue clamp of a power structure and it's financiers over which he has little or no control". I think most people overestimate the power of the presidency: Obama is hemmed in from all sides and is not free to just strike out in his own direction. If he did, he would been called to task by a raging coalition of the conservative faction of the Congress (including Blue Dog Dems), the military/indust rial complex, the Wall Street boys, the Supremos, members of his own party who worry constantly about getting reelected, etc. Well, I agree that they are doing this anyway, but I'm saying it would be worse.

Under those constraints, I think Obama has done better than portrayed by Mr. Boardman here. Perfect he is not. But I hate to think of what our nation would be like under a Romney (or McCain/Palin!) administration.
 
 
+13 # dbrize 2014-04-04 13:49
Well now...poor Obama, forced into ordering six times the drone attacks than by his predecessor.

Ordering combat operations in Libya, Sudan, Pakistan and Yemen.

At the beginning of Obama's tenure Special Force Ops were ongoing in 60 nations, currently approximately 134.

You think he's forced into this? Ha! He is right in with them all, just smarter and slicker than Bush at using doublespeak to hide it.

Obama has done more to create permanent war than Bush ever thought of.
 
 
0 # dquandle 2014-04-06 18:43
You got it! He's slicker and more dangerous because he has convinced "Liberals" that the neocon agenda is their own. And they happily bought it, while they wold have, and indeed did, scream bloody murder when Bush tried to ram the self-same policies down their throats
 
 
-2 # indian weaver 2014-04-04 14:32
I want dubya and / or bro Jed in Florida voted into office. Then the shit will hit the fan faster than it will now - also same with Romney et. al. It's all the same to me. I want this over asap, meaning it'll still take decades to wipe out this fascist terrorist torture regime that now rules our lives. My only realistic hope is that this country implodes now so civil and / or revolutionary war starts tomorrow or sooner. It's going to start one way or another anyhow.
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2014-04-04 20:11
Quoting indian weaver:
I want dubya and / or bro Jed in Florida voted into office. Then the shit will hit the fan faster than it will now - also same with Romney et. al. It's all the same to me. I want this over asap, meaning it'll still take decades to wipe out this fascist terrorist torture regime that now rules our lives. My only realistic hope is that this country implodes now so civil and / or revolutionary war starts tomorrow or sooner. It's going to start one way or another anyhow.


You're forgetting in y'r red-hate mist of hysteria, the devastation to the planet and even more innocent people and species that have no dog in this hunt on a Mother planet that is already out of balance with "Civilization's " relentless extraction and exploitation practices, if these sub-humans are allowed full rein.
Remember -we are all related (Metkuye Oyasin) and look seven generation to come -if homo-sapiens survives that long!
 
 
+5 # motamanx 2014-04-04 15:01
@tclose: There are conspiracy theories, and then there are conspiracies. Better get them straight.
 
 
+3 # reiverpacific 2014-04-04 15:23
Quoting tclose:
I don't subscribe to conspiracy theories either, including the JFK one, but I do agree with your supposition that Obama was "caught in the jaws of a rogue clamp of a power structure and it's financiers over which he has little or no control". I think most people overestimate the power of the presidency: Obama is hemmed in from all sides and is not free to just strike out in his own direction. If he did, he would been called to task by a raging coalition of the conservative faction of the Congress (including Blue Dog Dems), the military/industrial complex, the Wall Street boys, the Supremos, members of his own party who worry constantly about getting reelected, etc. Well, I agree that they are doing this anyway, but I'm saying it would be worse.

Under those constraints, I think Obama has done better than portrayed by Mr. Boardman here. Perfect he is not. But I hate to think of what our nation would be like under a Romney (or McCain/Palin!) administration.


We'd already be at war with Iran (as the Twit pledged to Nutty-yahoo) -and Syria -and -and!
If you think that the current (not recent, current) recession was and is bad, just think of the straits of Hormuz being blockaded, the chaos, LIKUD howling nuclear war cries driven by the neocon coward's club here -and Gawd knows what chaos spreading to Egypt, Turkey and beyond, with Russia dragged in and China waiting in the wings.
It's bad enough already but these bastards have no vision.
 
 
+1 # Arden 2014-04-04 14:04
Hey reiverpacific,
I was just reading your words "very much in the spirit of the current US corporate elite backed by the most obscenely huge military mass ever seen -bigger than the next 26 nations COMBINED. I am more than ever convinced that Obama was a decent man caught up in the jaws of a rogue clamp of a power structure and it's financiers over which he has little or no control..." when I clearly heard in my mind's ear "That's why you can't pay them very much".
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2014-04-05 21:13
Quoting Arden:
Hey reiverpacific,
I was just reading your words "very much in the spirit of the current US corporate elite backed by the most obscenely huge military mass ever seen -bigger than the next 26 nations COMBINED. I am more than ever convinced that Obama was a decent man caught up in the jaws of a rogue clamp of a power structure and it's financiers over which he has little or no control..." when I clearly heard in my mind's ear "That's why you can't pay them very much".

Eh? -Do elaborate: I'm not tuned into y'r mind's ear.
 
 
+2 # Pikewich 2014-04-04 18:50
Well, there are conspiracies. Recently I read "LBJ: The Mastermind Behind The JFK Assassination". It is well documented and very compelling. Based on the possibility it is true, it may very well explain what happened to Obama.

Then there is Mike Lofgren, a former GOP congressional staff member with the powerful House and Senate Budget Committees who wrote a book about the "Deep State" and was interviewed on Bill Moyers.

I think what we think of as "government" is just a puppet show.
 
 
-1 # karenvista 2014-04-04 23:13
reiverpacific- I agree entirely. James Douglass; book is actually called JFK and the Unspeakable. One of the best books about the assassination/c oup that changed our country forever.
 
 
-1 # reiverpacific 2014-04-05 21:18
Quoting karenvista:
reiverpacific- I agree entirely. James Douglass; book is actually called JFK and the Unspeakable. One of the best books about the assassination/coup that changed our country forever.


I have that book too, my favorite on the subject -this is something else that is being made intro a theatrical presentation. I'll try to get you the links.I was listening to a KBOO (90.7 FM Portland Or) program on the subject when I was moved to pop it into my post.
 
 
+8 # Nel 2014-04-04 13:28
They have a gun on his head 24/7. The only way for Obama to talk straight is for him and his family to go and get asylum in Russia.
 
 
+8 # banichi 2014-04-04 15:08
What we are seeing now are the results of decades of work by neocons and the MICC, moving our country not so much to the right as into a rather more openly controlled state where the orders are given by the most rich and powerful. NeoFascism? Maybe that's one description. But any comparison with the past is only indicative of trends and where they have led today.

So we have a captive President - who may or may not have meant what he said before he got elected, who knows? I do not say that it excuses him. But like the Supreme Court's decision of this week to allow almost unlimited contributions to political entities - which the SCOTUS judges had to know is destroying the Constitution - the elected government, as well as the SCOTUS, is now demonstrably irrelevant to the welfare of the people for whom the Constitution was written. Not just the rich '1%' but all of us. This is a wake-up call. Don't ignore it.

This is how it feels to be regarded as a serf and a slave, whether you see the chains yet or not. They consist of laws for the rich, credit cards that take your money, and 'security' to be applied to any opposition deemed worthy of notice. And much more, of course. There's no escaping this trap. It has become the context in which we live.

Discussing Obama is practically pointless. Would Romney, McCain/Palin have been worse? Certainly, but only in that they would have sped up the process we are in now.
 
 
+5 # janie1893 2014-04-04 15:27
I wholeheartedly agree with reiverpacific.
The unfathomable injustice of this scenario is that not only Americans but the entire planetary population is affected by these events.

As Nome Chomski forecast this week, humankind may well be approaching extinction.
 
 
+5 # in deo veritas 2014-04-04 15:44
Considering what we the people, through our apathy have allowed this country to degenerate into, how can any sane person even say "God Bless America" without risking eternal damnation? Why should He?
 
 
+4 # Pikewich 2014-04-04 18:52
Is this the result of voting for the lessor of 2 evils for decade after decade?

Evil a little slower, but evil in the end?
 
 
-1 # dquandle 2014-04-06 18:45
And not even slower, just slicker and more easily swallowed.
 

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