domingo, 14 de septiembre de 2008

Do Obama Supporters Actually Believe In Anything?

I suppose we all know that Obama is a warmonger, right? Well, no... almost no one I talk to knows that. In fact, they somehow got it into their heads that he is for "peace"... well, I'll explain below why he's a warmonger, if you haven't been paying attention. Basically, that's what I do with Obama supporters who say they are antiwar. I say, "Why do you support a warmonger for President if you are antiwar?" They deny he is a warmonger. I then convince them that he is a hawk on Iraq and Afghanistan, just like Bush and Cheney. They realize I'm right, and suddenly, they start saying things like, "Well, you know, maybe Obama's right. Maybe we should continue the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and go to war with Iran. Maybe the Left is just wrong on that issue... you know, I think General Petraeus is one of the most wonderful men in all of human history. You know, his surge worked wonders. Who knows what would happen if we withdrew from Iraq! Imagine the chaos!"

At that point I have to argue with them on why the wars are wrong, and why the surge was not a success, and why it is likely Iraq and Afghanistan would be a hell of a lot better off without our occupation. If you are wondering about what I base these ideas on, read this on the illegal and immoral Afghanistan war, and read this and this on the Iraq war and the "surge."

Key moral point: whereas civilian casualties were once a small part of war, in our current wars, for every "insurgent" we kill, we also kill between 10 and 100 civilians (approx. 1.1million Iraqi civilians have died as a result of the war, mostly children, as a result of malnutrition greater than that during the sanctions, and about 16K insurgents have died) and half of all Iraqis are either refugees, in need of emergency aid, wounded, or dead. If that isn't terrorism and doesn't breed more terrorism, I don't know what is or does. The surge in Iraq was really a surge in our targeting and killing of civilians.

Key pragmatic point: the U.K. pulled out their troops from Basra against U.S. protests, and violence in Basra declined by 90% almost immediately. Even Petraeus had to marvel at that.

Anyway, I find it despairing that so many people (nearly everyone) who call(ed) themselves antiwar, are, in fact, not antiwar, and though they may have been to a million protests against war, the magic of Obama-- "the first sort of mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean," as his own VP , Biden, called him during the primaries--overwhelms their feeble intelligences and phony integrity.

Then there are those very few who already know Obama doesn't represent any of their issues, but they will vote for him anyway, because he can be more easily "influenced by the people" than McCain. Yeah, like W. J. Blythe III (AKA Bill Clinton) was? When he and Gore trashed welfare, trashed the environment, doubled the black prison population, and bombed Iraq daily and killed millions of Iraqi children with sanctions? (Read the Herman article for all of Blythe's real ultra-right legacy.)

Like Clinton, Obama will have the unquestioning support of liberals he needs to be even more right-wing than the Republicans could be. We've already seen Obama break all of his promises to his constituents after getting elected to the Senate. Obama is about as likely to become a progressive as Cynthia McKinney (the real black candidate) is likely to beat him in November. Either way it's a long shot, but at least if we support a good candidate, the Dems may be dealt a blow they quite deserve, and maybe we will advance on the path to opening up the presidential debates for the next election.

Remember, voting isn't a sport. Voting for someone who wins doesn't mean you win, unless that person represents your values.

Now the part I promised for those who are still skeptical about my assertion that Obama is no different on the wars than McCain or Bush:

He says he's going to "end the Iraq war" on his website (the war he calls the "dumb war"). That should be good enough... or should it? Well, never mind that he's funded the war in the Senate nearly every time the appropriations came up... if you take the time to read a little more on his own page, he makes it clear that he's simply lying about his plan to end the war, and in fact, his "plan" is basically the same as Bush's new plan of a "time horizon" for withdrawal of "combat troops" (leaving, of course, as Obama would, 60,000-80,000 troops for "fighting terror" and "protecting U.S. bases and service personnel" and other vague-as-hell euphemisms, not to mention half of all "our" troops, which are the private mercenary contractors unaccountable to any legal system).

That leaves the number of U.S. troops Obama says he will redeploy to Afghanistan at around the same number: 60-80,000 (there are 140,000 in Iraq right now).

Like McCain, he wants to increase overall military spending and increase the size of our military by at least 100,000 troops. It's not hard to understand why he wants to increase the size--how else would he keep fighting the Afghanistan and Iraq wars while at the same time fighting Iran, as he has been threatening? (He says he will consider even the option of nuking Iran... guess what, that makes negotiating with Iran super impossible. And it's really hilarious how only a month before he threatened to nuke them, he said they were no threat to us whatsoever.)

Perhaps the one difference between Imperialist Dee and Imperialist Dumb is Obama claims he would make private military contractors legally liable for their actions. But given Obama's record of flip-flopping hypocrisy, and given the immense power the contractors have over the U.S. government, it is unlikely he will ever be able to reign them in. Why are they so powerful? Well, we need them desperately because our wars are so unpopular we can't recruit volunteers to fight them. The contractors hold the ultimate card: they can threaten to end their contract if the conditions are changed on them. The only way to make them accountable is to put them out of business by abolishing our imperial war machine.

That sums it up on the wars. I could write on and on about Obama's crap record on the environment, on health care, on taking more corporate money than McCain (especially from the military industrial complex), on supporting the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, etc. He talks a good game on taxes and econ. policy but none of that makes any difference, because we are going deeper in debt every day for our wars that Obama is so fond of. We have no money for social programs as long as we spend 60% of our budget on the military (more than all other countries' military spending combined). For some people then, it comes down, at the end, to abortion rights. Well, the truth is McCain can't appoint just anyone he wants to the Supreme Court, despite his rhetoric. The Senate approves all Presidential appointments, and the Dems control the Senate. But it wouldn't surprise me if Obama and the right-wing Dems ended up appointing some anti-choice nut job to the Supreme Court if Pres. McCain were to ask them to.

But the wars are the most important thing. There is no progress for us nor for the rest of the world until we abolish U.S. imperialism.

2 comentarios:

April dijo...

Nor vayl ikh bin naygerik, far vos heystu zikh progresiv anshtot radikal?

Dayn,
April

Joel Rosenblum dijo...

Ikh heys zikh progresiv vayl ikh hob nit keyn tsayt k'dey derklern vos heyst radikal, un kimat keyner farshtey korekt dos vort.