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Posted on Feb 25, 2009
Obama speech
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

By Robert Scheer

We are lucky to have Barack Obama as president. I write that even though I believe the content of his Tuesday evening speech deserved no more than a B+ / A-, for its failure to seriously address the origins of the banking crisis and for only hinting at the severe military budget cuts required to get close to his goal of reducing the federal deficit by the end of his first term.

But first the positives, which were stunning, and I am not referring only to his superb delivery, which thankfully is logical and informed and inspires without pandering. The one truly memorable, historically significant line—unfortunately desperately needed because of the shameful actions of his predecessor—was: “ … I can stand here tonight and say without exception or equivocation that the United States does not torture.” 

That simple declarative sentence justifies my vote for the man, no matter my disagreements with him. It is recognition of the essential vitality of a free society as defined by our Founders through the protections they wrote into the Constitution and which George W. Bush so casually demolished. As Obama put it, “ … [L]iving our values doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger.”

Another gift of this speech is the reassertion that government exists to redress our grievances rather than exacerbate them. His is a bold reincarnation of the wisdom of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that the Democratic Party had all but abandoned. Obama’s insistence that government rather than just the “free market” should set needed priorities is refreshing and important, particularly in light of his emphasizing the changes needed in education, health care and energy efficiency—the three areas that a short-term view of economic growth has systematically neglected since the New Deal.

So, he was great, and when I was just listening to the speech, I was quite enthralled, as were those around me. But on reading his remarks, I have questions.

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Speaking of the financial crisis, he observed, quite correctly, “ … [I]t is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we’ll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament.” Then he went on to observe, “Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market.” Leave aside that his top economic advisers, particularly Lawrence Summers, were responsible for that gutting. Maybe they have reformed and will now do the right thing.

But the right thing begins with a recognition that it was deregulation, specifically the ending of all statutory regulation of the “hybrid instruments,” that allowed for the exotic financial products that have turned so toxic. Just read the language of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which Summers as treasury secretary pushed and which he got lame-duck President Bill Clinton to sign. 

When Obama stated “I ask Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our outdated regulatory system,” he missed the point. The system is not outdated; it is a get-out-of-jail-free card for Wall Street bandits. Unless we return to the New Deal-created rules that separated the activities of banks, stockbrokers and insurance companies and put them under tight regulation, we are doomed to a repeat of this meltdown. 

The other problem with the speech is that while Obama made some fleeting references to getting rid of Cold War-era weapons and did promise an end to the Iraq disaster, he once again left open the door to the United States being trapped in an even more treacherous quagmire in Afghanistan.

At some point, if he is to make good on his promise to cut the deficit by half within four years, he will have to confront the military-industrial complex, which now obtains much larger annual budget allocations than when President Dwight Eisenhower issued his famous warning.

Currently, military spending makes up 60 percent of the federal government’s discretionary budget. Let me offer one example of why the president must begin to turn swords into plowshares if we are to have a sound economy. That example concerns his bold call for spending $15 billion a year on the entire program to develop alternative sources of energy. Sounds like a lot of money, but it isn’t when one considers that an almost equal amount, $14 billion, for Virginia-class submarines—worthless in fighting landlocked terrorists—was pushed through the Congress in the month before Obama took office.

The critical test for Obama will be to break that incestuous circle of influence—particularly the clout of the bankers and the war profiteers and the other top lobbies that pay off both parties—and put the public interest first.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By elizabethe, March 24, 2009 at 3:32 am Link to this comment

Barack Obama did not offer cuts in the military, he offered global manic increases that are the opposite of any proper leadership for safety, life, liberty, happiness, and respect for other nations.  No respect for Iran shows, and no acknowledgement that they do not appreciate Israel’s nuclear weapons while they seek to eliminate all nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Obama’s platforms are offensives in the extreme and global…and certainly not respecting of any sanity or any budget cuts required.

Here is the topical list in his ugly chapter that I certainly did NOT vote for.  I voted for Ralph Nader the BEST for peace, international community, sanity, good respect for laws and federal power to protect not threaten with proper sovereignty on track and taxes for people, not corporate corrupt weapons and military increases…The four challengers WERE AND ARE DUE for VALID INFORMED voters to choose the best to lead us away from Bush horrors and destruction.

Obama cannot stand, he has no intent to stand with the soldiers.  He is Coward In Chief, and Waster of the World’s People, Soldiers, and Safety.

p.116 “Rebuild Strong Twenty-first-Century Military”
(HE IS NOT TALKING PEACE ACTION, NO TROOPS HOME, JUST OBAMA SITTING IN THE WHITE HOUSE WAITING FOR WAR without his standing anywhere…he is conscienceless, that is why I hate his face…he has nothing “upstairs”...nothing to lead anyone or anything on track, much less a country.)

“Increase the Size of OurGround Forces” (65,000 troops army; 27,000 troops Marines) - I SAY NO SIR, he stinks.
“Guarantee Our Ground Forces Have the Proper Training for New Challenges”(How to rot in one not three days?-leadership? you gotta be kidding, he stinks)
“Reconfigure the Military to Handle New Threats” (just what the world wants now?!)
“Preserve America’s Global reach in the Air” (I like blue skies, not black, thanks anyway!)
“Maintain American Naval Dominance” (I like friends much more than enemies-what do you think the world thinks of his military intentions?  Voters did not listen, they clapped…the media owes…hugely, the people need to object to void the lie in office that only increased when Bush left…Gore and Kerry were NOT democracy, how dare the voters allow the two party corrupt military industrial complex as if wanted rule instead of honest politics for Government…oh yes, the list goes on…
“Ensure Freedom of space” (he is not what you would want to believe here…I have to fill the audience in on this one)...“America’s ability to use space as a location for its satellites and communications grid is critical to our national security and economy”—I think the ozone layer and the hole in the sky already there is enough already, we do not need the waste of sky and money to cause such horror…Obama stinks…“Support Our Armed forces in the Field” (he seeks crises everywhere…BRING THEM HOME end the warmongering and RESTORE PEACE, PUT OBAMA in the front lines NOW, and that likely will solve everything…he deserves to face his truth of lies…
“Improve Our Intelligence” (I prefer Ralph Nader’s ability to relate to the world as a President for a global community and offering peace solidarity on track with safety and law and order, not insult and treachery and lies upfront-Obama is not peace, he is cowardice and spendthrift and worse than waste, he is extreme injury.)

Check out the “rebuilding america’s leadership” section in the center of the book.

America Wake Up and Make Safety the Democracy for Today and Tomorrow.  Use it or lose it.  Obama was not the result of democracy.  It was corporate media corruption.  This editor did not even read this platform published book!  Proposed Military Increases all over the place, land, sea, sky, and no limits as to where or what country…all Obama’s to decide?  NO, this is not sane.

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By TAO Walker, March 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

The story of John Fire, “LameDeer, Seeker of Visions,” and also Hexagram #25, Innocence, The Unexpected, in The Book of Changes, are excellent illustrations of the Way noted below by Folktruther.  Of course there’s no going-back to the particular “costumes” and “furniture” we enjoyed before “civilization” (Putin-like? ala one lipsticked pit-bull) “....rear(ed) its head over…” Turtle Island and our Mother Earth. 

This Old Savage has said many times here it is the organic essence of Human Community our tame Sisters and Brothers must recover, if they’re to live to tell the tale of their ten-thousand-year torments, to their GreatGrandChildren around the Winter lodge-fires.  It is also only within their natural organic form that the “lessons” of that travail will become beneficially accessible to them….something “individuals” are simply CONstitutionally un-equipped to achieve.

Only those with the stamina to “go-through-hell” ever get to KNOW what Hell really is.  Many of our Relations here have been on this “trip” with us all along, taking care of their Two-legged Relatives, as they’d promised, even when most of those CONfused ‘ones’ forgot it’s ALL a GiveAway here, and tried to put a “price” on everything.

Now some are beginning to remember that the inevitable result of that mistake is those who make it being unable to “afford” even the basic necessities of Life.  No amount of their make-believe “money” can today buy their way out of the predicament they’ve bought-into.  No amount of “fire-power” will enable them to shoot their way out-of the mess they shot their way into.  No amount of “thinking” will help them rationalize their way out-of this wreck they thought their way into.

They might, though, still abandon the CONtraption that’s just crapped-out on ‘em, get on their feet, and WALK, together, back into the Tiyoshpaye Way all their Ancestors followed….the Way us surviving free wild (Yes, it’s just two different words for the same Natural Condition.) Human Beings have kept alive, through Hell AND high-water, just for THIS Day.

HokaHey!

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By Inherit The Wind, March 5, 2009 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, March 6 at 12:34 am #

Well, Inherit, Truthdigger- TAO has a point, especially in his critique of a lack of emotional community. You could argue-and feminist and marxists have- that in a certain sense the last five or six milleniums were a Big MIstake.  the development of class and male oppression was included in the historical development of technology, and you could argue that many of the world’s people live worse now than they did thousands of years ago, even if they live longer.

But of course its too late now.  We can’t go back to primitivism, we have to go forward to… primitivism?  At least that aspect of emotional commnuty that is so lacking in the anomie of our lives. It’s hard to know what form this tribal community will take in the future, but I have no doubt that it is sorely needed, and TAU is talking about something real.
************************************************

So you know what Tao is talking about? Figures. 

BTW, it’s TAO as in Taoism, “Tao” being “The Way”, not TAU as in a college “Greek” fraternity, “Tau” being “Get stinkin’ drunk and try to pull sorority girls’ panties off”.

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By Folktruther, March 5, 2009 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Well, Inherit, Truthdigger- TAO has a point, especially in his critique of a lack of emotional community. You could argue-and feminist and marxists have- that in a certain sense the last five or six milleniums were a Big MIstake.  the development of class and male oppression was included in the historical development of technology, and you could argue that many of the world’s people live worse now than they did thousands of years ago, even if they live longer.

But of course its too late now.  We can’t go back to primitivism, we have to go forward to… primitivism?  At least that aspect of emotional commnuty that is so lacking in the anomie of our lives. It’s hard to know what form this tribal community will take in the future, but I have no doubt that it is sorely needed, and TAU is talking about something real.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 5, 2009 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, March 5 at 9:27 am #

TAO Walker,

I am sick and tired of your preaching and holllier than you attitude.  Yes, there is overconsumption , materialism and greed, but that does not mean people
have to go back and live in the wild and foresake civilisation and progress.  People can live much
simpler and saner life without going back to the wild
and be “undomesticated”.!!!

***************************************************

Not me!  I simply never have a clue just WTF Tao is talking about! (so how could I get sick of it?)

Besides, I just keep getting this hilarious image of pudgy middle-aged guys (like me) sitting around a campfire, half-naked with rolls of sagging bellies, wearing pseudo war-paint and banging on drums and pretending they are bonding!

Picture it! (but not on a full stomach!)

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By TAO Walker, March 5, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

That truedigger3 is “....sick and tired….” is unfortunate, but pretty much par-for-the-course among the masses of the artificially-dissumulated.  On-the-other-hand, a quick “cure” for what s/he says is ailing him/her at-the-moment can be found in simply ignoring anything appearing here under this old Indian’s (anglicized) “name.”  Of course, that won’t do a thing to alleviate the degenerative effects of domestication….which, like-it-or-lump-it, is what truedigger3 is really sick-to-death- and mortally-tired-of.

Granted, in the make-believe (and utopian?) democratic republic of ‘all-opinions-are-created-equal,’ outraged’s are as good (or as worthless?, since we all know at least a few that are) as anyone else’s.  So what?  Anyhow, this old Savage said nothing about the relative merits of the “POV” presented below by outraged….though there was a clear inference, in what followed a reference to it, that it perhaps suffered from too much reliance on the CONventional notion that a violent group-reaction to ruthless oppression is inevitable, and so must inevitably prove “successful.”

Where, however, are the “generalities” in plain statements offering an old Medicine Man’s “diagnosis” of our tame Sisters’ and Brothers’ deteriorating CONdition, “civilized individual”-itis, as the “root cause” of that multiplicity of symptoms which are, on close examination, invariably the real subject of most articles and discussions here?  What, moreover, has steadily urging captives to look deeper into their “situation,” it’s shape and its mechanics, in the certain knowledge (come-by honestly:  i.e., the-hard-way) of what they will find there if they do, got to do with any “UTOPIA”?

Here in Indian Country we’ve long since learned the ultimate FUtility of “dueling POVs.”  That outraged seems compelled to take a sincere recommendation that real benefits can come from expanding one’s own (along with suggestions of areas open and available to achieve that) as a ‘negative’ comment on her/his offerings here, might be just one more sign of the “zero sum” ethic of the “paradigm” into which s/he has been born-and-raised, and with which he/she must “cope” as best ‘one’ can….no blame, just fact (to again mix The Book of Changes with the folk wisdom of “Grampa McCoy”).

Finally (ala Rachel Maddow) “One More Thing.”  Us surviving Primitive Savages wouldn’t be here on “the web” at all, in the “voice” of this one old Indian who learned the “language” of “civilization” (and how to type it) while a prisoner of the BIA “boarding school” system, if it weren’t for the anguished cries of our domesticated Human Relatives, as the apparatus of their Confinement CONtinues its relentless crushing of what little remains to them, here in these latter days, of their Natural Lives.  None among them is doing more (or louder) bitching-and-moaning, either, than theamericanpeople coming-to-grief while watching their allamericandream and its death-worshipping ideological/institutional machinery come-to-pieces, here on Turtle Island.  We’ll immediately stop “bothering” the likes of truedigger3, and all others who’ve expressed resentment at our observations here, the moment they start suffering their mostly “self”-inflicted fate in-silence, and leave-off looking to “blame” their pain and anxiety on “circumstances-beyond-our-CONtrol.”

That’s a lot better ‘deal’ then you’re ever gonna get from your tormentors and their two-legged tools.

HokaHey!

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2009 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

My last comment after reflection, seems bigoted, since I am trying to give it up, let’s change my last post to read.

Closed ears do not necessitate a closed mind, though it usually turns out so.

Nope: just cannot make it sound good.

How about: Closed minds have closed ears?  This sounds better makes sense and provides no offense, except to the inherit boors. Seems to be more than a few on these threads.

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By Leefeller, March 5, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Deaf ears do not necessitate a deaf mind, though it usually turns out so.

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By truedigger3, March 5, 2009 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

TAO Walker,

I am sick and tired of your preaching and holllier than you attitude.  Yes, there is overconsumption , materialism and greed, but that does not mean people
have to go back and live in the wild and foresake civilisation and progress.  People can live much
simpler and saner life without going back to the wild
and be “undomesticated”.!!!

Report this
Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, March 5, 2009 at 1:55 am Link to this comment

Re: TAO Walker

Sure…I “get it” philosophically, and it seems your premise in this regard is UTOPIA… at least from my POV.  But I also UNDERSTAND that my POV is, exactly that… my POV.

I think my POV is important.  This is not meant to disregard YOURS, or is meant in any way to usurp YOURS, but more to let ALL VOICES be heard (yeah, that includes mine).

I sense that you feel that yours is somehow MORE important, intelligent, or sacrosanct than mine…I say NOT.  Lay it on the line, quit speaking in generalities and supposed utopias.

Put the pedal to the medal, my friend.  Are you trying to convince US or yourself of your supposed “higher intuitiveness”?

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By TAO Walker, March 4, 2009 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Some commenters here, fortunately under no illusions about the genuinely existential threat (in the shape of “global” gangbangers seeking to solidify their death-grip on Homo Domesticus eCONconomicus) now CONfronting their own and others’ “selfs”, apparently remain even-so enmeshed in the belief there is some ideological/institutional response to “The Situation” which can free them from their entrapment….or maybe some mechanical marvel (the internet?) that’ll serve to deliver them.  Outraged and others suggest “your huddled masses” near a point where they will rise-up to “FIGHT” their way clear of the CONtraption systematically squeezing Life from them….and degrading it into various kinds of degenerate “energy.” 

Folktruther recommends replacing the obviously “failed” (from its subject/citizens’ perspective, anyhow) pyramid-scam ideological arrangement, and its rule-of-fear institutional enforcement apparatus, with a conceptual system decidedly more commonweal-oriented in its organization and populist in its aims.  Still others look to some cataclysmic altering of the Natural Living Arrangement itself as the only means of CHANGE! sufficient unto the needs of these latter days.  Then there are those who see in the advent of Barack Obama proof that their deliverance, from the toils of the plutoligarchy, has already begun.

This old Indian continues to urge tame Sisters and Brothers to “dig” deeper into their predicament….to the fundamentals of biology, both Human and Mother Earthly, in which it is actually rooted.  The domesticated peoples are suffering the inevitable CONsequences of industrialized “individual”-ism.  Human Beings don’t occur and are not viable in Nature as “individuals.”  Only in the artificially CONtrived CONditions of the present “global greenhouse,” the same thing already rendering half-life as they know it increasingly impossible, are their synthetic “selfs” able to stagger along a little further toward the mass oblivion now plainly in-sight.

Us surviving free wild Human Beings are, by-Nature, Persons….living wholly within Humanity’s natural FORM called by our Lakotah cousins “Tiyoshpaye.”  It still puzzles some among us how so many Two-leggeds’ve been fooled into throwing-away their natural Person-hood in-exchange for the cheap imitation plastic manufactured (and suffocating)substitute they’re now so hooked-on….“individual”-ity.  As Persons we Humans have no need whatsoever for all the crippling electro-mechanical gadgetry that purposely dis-abled “individuals” are so utterly dependent-on (Before someone brings-up, again, the obvious fact this old Savage’s words here are coming to you by-way-of some of that gadgetry, think of your CONdition as much like that of people trapped in a foundered and failing submarine.  Anyone outside trying to get your attention to communicate the possibility of a Way out-of what is otherwise certain death, will have to do it in a manner you can recognize.). 

By re-ORGANizing your make-believe and shit-out-of-luck “selfs” into Living Human Communities, however, you can recover your Nature as Persons….along with all the benefits of the wonderful natural capacities included.  Right now “civilized individuals” are all settling-for (and smothering-in) the toxic dregs of all that would otherwise be freely available to them as whole Human Beings.  This “civilization” they’re so enamored-of is absolutely the crudest and most primitive of the several that’ve come and gone here over the eons.  It’s “tenure” is about to be the shortest, too, as the vacuum of its internal CONtradictions combines with the “pressure” of our Mother Earth’s Living Arrangement, to crush the damned CONtraption into the tiny thing it’s always been.

‘Til that moment, a Way through The Water and into The Light is open to the inmates….well, afterwards, too, but with yet another interruption in Personal “continuity.”

Hokahey!

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By Max Shields, March 3, 2009 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Folktruther,

No argument. I think we are in the process of re-fining our understanding of the problem/condition.

I don’t think of Tony W. when I speak of hyprocacy. Instead, as I used, Robert Scheer is more in line with that (but there are many many Robert Scheers, who for the most part hold a fairly strong progressive view and then vote for a centrist and all that follows is the same ol bull shit, and he knows it, which compounds the hypocracy).

My only “quibble” Folktruther is I wouldn’t refer to this as an ideological problem but a world view problem. More later….

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By Folktruther, March 3, 2009 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Max, the historical ideological problem is not simply the hypocracy of the DUPEs (Democrats Under Preidental Enchantment.)  They are not all like Tony Wicher with his pompoms, cheerleading everything Obama does.  Most support him reluctantly because there is NO VIABLE ALTERNATIVE.  The population identifies with power and wants to be on the winning side.  Cindy Sheehan got only 19% of the vote against Pelosi in a progressive area of San Francisco last election.

The Bushites initiated a political revolution in the way the US was ruled: institutionalizing an endless War on Terrorism, kleptocapitalism, a miitarized police state, and a systematic gaslighting of the American population’s sense of political and social reality.  People are afraid to stick their neck out to say so in a simple way.  This allows Obama to continue to institutionalize the political revolution of the Bushites.

Therefore what is required, first, is an ideological revolution in the Amereican truth consensus.  It is necessary to reject the DUPE truth consensus and form one that can unite the progressive American people.  Amaericans must be de-Educated and de-Informed of those truths that have been mythicized by the American learned and mass media. 

But how is this to be done?  The population’s institutions have been devastated in the US under the codewords of Freedom and Democracy.  The union movment is largely destroyed and corrupted, the schools are busnesscized and militarized, the religions are wildly delusive. 

The military, Intelligence agencies, police agencies, corporations send their agents into all truth media to advocate the positions of the power structure.  The US is a posstmodern police state where effective resistence is not permitted.  That is why this discourse is being conducted in the margins of a fake progressive e-newsletter.

The ideological problem is a real one and must be solved in order to unite the populatio effectively.

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By Max Shields, March 3, 2009 at 8:31 am Link to this comment

Leefeller,

This is not about Obama changing his positions (in any significant way); this is really a continuation of the campaign.

The real core issue comes down to: 1) the systemic pathology of the US political and economic system which seems perpetually bent on endless war, 2) a candidate, and now president, that used the word “change” repeatedly and a population which included the like of Mr. Scheer, who seemed blinded by it as if Obama truly offered something different in terms of policy (the differences between Bush and Obama are clear, but not in many ways substantial regarding policies, particularly foreign policies).

There are the young who think it was cool to vote for the mystic, the rock star, the first black president, etc. etc. But then there are people symbolized by Mr. Scheer who played the lesser of two evils and went with the status quo.

Obama said much during his campaign, and much of it was in direct opposition to much of what the so-called progressive community had been calling for; and yet, as Obama carries out pretty much in tact, what he said, we get an occasional “disbelief” from some in this community; and from others there is denial, that what Obama is doing may not be perfect but it sounds rational and intelligent, whereas when Bush did it it sounded irrational, inhuman and dumb.

It is at that level the deep and sheer hypocracy of progressive community which is most revolting. There is no solidarity on fundamental principles.

The larger context is one of a system which is clearly in, what the writers of Limits to Growth, call “overshoot”. In the case of humanity we are on a trajectory of collapse. It didn’t start yesterday, or last fall, or during the Bush or Clinton administrations. It actually had it’s first appearance just over 30 years ago, at a time when we could have done something about it. Now we have passed the tipping point.

Obama’s (and the system he represents) has receieved a diagnosis of fatal lung cancer, and he choses, within the constaints of the system, no doubt, to chain smoke his way to recovery.

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By Leefeller, March 3, 2009 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

Many of us here on TD found Obama disappointing watching Obama’a and Hillary’s war dance during the election.  I remember the Hawk arguments between Hillary and Obama very well, more so after the primaries.  My concerns were real then as they are now or should I say my disappointments.  The military complex is bigger than I can imagine, has more control than we know, control over the media, politics, and people. (one only needs look at Halaburton as the stuffed pig).

Relating to people, on the alleged news I heard a lady from Texas, who stated she lived in a military industry community and was concerned about the safety of our troops. Nothing about bringing them home.  Since our tax money supports the military industry, and it has so much control, isn’t this lady partaking in selective socialism?

Above I deviated to another one of my pet peeves. My respect for Obama is,from the fact he has always been clear of his continuing the war into Afghanistan and Pakistan, I find no Houdini act on the stage.  Regarding the military complex, I wish Obama would if he could put them on the bottem of the pork barrel, Eisenhower tried to warn us.

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By elizabethe, March 3, 2009 at 3:32 am Link to this comment

Obama got elected by the MEDIA not an informed majority WHO KNEW (!???) there were four challengers to the two incumbents, and that the two incumbents are military industrial establishment red ink unwanted globally….candidates!?

Obama is the media’s pres.

Not mine.

Nader just had his 75th Birthday, and, due to the media lack of proper presentation of a serious challenge to the PURPLE AMERICAN POLITICS insisted on by the media, (i.e. there are only two choices, and only two parties that people are supposed to believe viable, and incumbents are most wanted, not outsiders…this is the media profit oriented hype of covering warmongering, destruction of the U.S. Constitution and the proper “leadership” of a democracy as the key duty of the President, not a decider of wars, we are sovereign and war is not necessary, and peace is supposed to be a wanted status quo, and the pretense that the “Commander in Chief” doesn’t apply when we invade a country, is not ok, not Constitutional, and an obvious lie in everyone’s face.

Moving forward, “A Change you can believe in” the little book published by the Democrats before the election, is in the public libraries, I have requested a copy and will report as to the platform that Obama had said…and that the majority paid no attention to….and allowed the hype pretense of bring the troops home (Obama NEVER OFFERED THAT), he offered to “redeploy” the troops in Iraq into Afghanistan, and to increase the military to the level of occupation, and suggested his goal of 90,000 troops…I call that HOUDINI the pretender, great pretender with the media’s assistance, and not a winner of democracy since proper challenge and exposure as to his hypocrisy of bad policy covered with hype words was not allowed before the voters, and we have an uninformed majority voting result, with the media hype unchecked…he claims “lucky to have Obama” I say no, we are unlucky to have no media with the public interest and the U.S. Constitution as the proper view.

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By Leefeller, March 3, 2009 at 2:22 am Link to this comment

Tao Walker part comment regarding Obama:

“Or will he only go-on abetting to the bitter-end the plutoligarchs’ self-serving dis-information campaign intended to keep “....your huddled masses” in-the-dark about the true magnitude and make-up of this “perfect storm” of ideological/institutional/electro-mechanical cascading catastrophic failure already upon them?”

Guessing on the “Plutoligrachs”! Only when wealth and power abate will things change to power, as the saying goes mushrooms are force fed selected fertilizer and must be kept in the dark, until the volcano tears off the roof to let in the blinding light.

Notice the new add?

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By Outraged, March 3, 2009 at 12:44 am Link to this comment

Re: TAOwalker

Your comment: “So there you have, from your old free wild Indian friend, a little “something” about what is happening here TO you, Mr. Jones.  What all the jonesers make-of and do-about it is, of course, all up to all of them….together.

To this I would add my earlier comment;,

“At THIS point TAOwalker, and if we, along with the rest of the world do not NOW, stand together and “wage that battle”, what then will be our fate?  Yes, the curse has been cast, but will we continue to “believe”?  Or will we fight…?

And where will fighting, for something we CONclude already lost, get us?  I say nowhere.  The battle has only begun, and FIGHT the citizens of the world WILL.

To precipitously CONcede would be the error.  Battles waged in DEFEAT, are never won.”

HokaHey.

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By TAO Walker, March 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

In the knee-jerk “official” reaction, to the so-called “global eCONomic crisis,” is plainly revealed not only the pitiful shallowness of its self-interested promoters’ understanding of our Human Nature.  Their dangerously arrogant ignorance about the nature of Nature Herownself is also very much on-display.

Of course the same fatal weaknesses are equally evident in the mere fact things’ve come to this presidentially declared “dire” CONdition, under the schooled (mis?)“management” of all these self-styled “masters-of-the-universe” and their bought-and-paid-for political flunkies, in-the-first-place.  The “meltdown,” with its counter-intuitive “credit freeze,” is just icing on the hot-wings, if we’re to believe the mass-media flacks who 24-7 peddle snake-oil solutions to the toxic mess, to a “public” purposely rendered ill-equipped anymore to tell shit from Shinola….or their own dumbed-down asses from so many holes in the ozone.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t seem to occur to even the most “educated” among the domesticated peoples that the “reason” vast tracts of farm and ranch land is disappearing into the “revolting development” of subdivisions and shopping-malls, for instance, is that there’s so much more “money” to be made so much faster running Human livestock, than there is in the industrial abuse of captive Bovine, Ovine, Porcine and other varieties.  It’s apparently lost on them as well that the “value” of any “individual,” among (at latest estimates) going-on seven billion of the breed, is bound to be as near to absolute zero as “one” can possibly get.

This made-for-TV “energy crisis,” with apologies to the good-intentioned (thus inevitably going-to-hell?) T. Boone Pickens, is another glaring example of mistaking symptoms for the actual maladies underlying them.  The “problem” is NOT in the iffy sources or even the obviously destructive methodologies americans and other domesticated peoples employ to feed their ultimately insatiable “energy” habit.  What’s killing them are all the increasingly potent degenerative effects of that “energy” addiction itself.

So there you have, from your old free wild Indian friend, a little “something” about what is happening here TO you, Mr. Jones.  What all the jonesers make-of and do-about it is, of course, all up to all of them….together.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Barack Obama will demonstrate the courage of his oft-stated commitment to invite into his councils viewpoints that “challenge” more than just his so-far quite establishmentarianst received assumptions about ways-and-means to pre-ordained ends.  Will he dare to seek the counsel of those who can, by-virtue of long Living experience here on Turtle Island, sensibly question, and offer viable alternatives to his fundamental attitudes and beliefs about Humankind and our given place in the Natural Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth?  Or will he only go-on abetting to the bitter-end the plutoligarchs’ self-serving dis-information campaign intended to keep “....your huddled masses” in-the-dark about the true magnitude and make-up of this “perfect storm” of ideological/institutional/electro-mechanical cascading catastrophic failure already upon them?

These are not idle questions, Sisters and Brothers….nor is there very much time to get them answered in a Way you might have some chance to go on living with.

HokaHey!

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By Leefeller, March 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

FiftyGigs,

You are absolutely correct, insults are not constructive in discussion.  Now I may not agree with Max, when he called ITW a boob, even though I may not agree with everything ITW posts,

Wait! I must be on the wrong thread, so ITW was not called a Boob on this thread? I do not even see him on here? Sorry ITW.

What insults are you referring to?  Maybe we could list acceptable insults for the cretin people on these posts, let’s face it some people need to express themselves by insult, kind of like some people need talk with their hands.

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By FiftyGigs, March 2, 2009 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3: “A lot of scientists and brilliant mathematicians make spelling mistakes.”

Max is neither. I repeat, the sloppiness of his expression mirrors sloppy thinking. He’s also lazy. When he’s challenged to think, he simply insults or just ducks out. It’s a juvenile debate tactic that only proves he can’t effectively debate. It shows he’s weak.

truedigger3: “So, stop your snoty attitude.”

No. Stop insulting people.

If you disagree with somebody, fine. Cite the statement and present your proof. And, truedigger3, “she is infatuated by Obama” isn’t an intellectual counter-point to the issues cyrena raised. If you’re half the person you claim to be, you’d know it was beneath you.

Plenty of people here are willing to engage in friendly, interesting, constructive discussion, truedigger3, even to your point that Obama is the devil on earth.

Just stop the personal insults and we’ll all be fine.

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By Tony Wicher, March 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

By Suzie Kidder, March 1 at 1:56 pm

Hey, Suzie - this is just to let you know that you are not alone here, that this blog has many progressive contributers who are real, patriotic Americans who support and believe in Barack Obama. The dialoge here unfortunately tends to be dominated by certain people who consider themselves progressives or radicals or revolutionaries or something, but who live in an anti-American fact-free ideological world of their own, rather like the Republicans do.

Obama is doing a wonderful job so far in almost every area. The only thing that really worries me is Afghanistan/Pakistan. There I think the real problem is not the Taliban or so-called “Al Qaeda” but corruption within our own intelligence agencies which have been conducting extra-governmental rogue operations for decades. I believe these rogue operations include complicity in the 9/11 attacks. We need to get out of Afghanistan and get our own intelligence house in order. I am hoping that the Obama adminstration, which is conducting a “wide-ranging review” of our policy will soon come to this conclusion.

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By truedigger3, March 2, 2009 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

would you want to lay out all the specifics on the table so that the obvious foes of any such legislation could begin to craft the elements of their Harry & Louise campaign?  “

And Suzie Kidder wrote:

Suzie Kidder wrote:
“Do not pay exclusive attention to what Barack Obama says in political speech, rather look at what he does”
And also wrote

_____________________________________________________
Suzie,

I am assuming that you are satiring. You cann’t be
serious saying that the POTS is playing poker with
special interests and hiding his real intentions.
But again, some serious posters said exactly the same
thing and said “just give him time” although all his ACTIONS and cabinet choices are quite clear.

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By Max Shields, March 1, 2009 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Bertil

You got it MAN!!!

Wonderful satire, brilliantly believable in every way.

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By Leefeller, March 1, 2009 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

Suzie Kidder,

Not really knowing if your post is true sentiment, I can only accept the connotation of your name.

FYI: Paul Harvey passed away today and Karl Rove is in tears, according to Karl Rove, Harvey was the voice for years of “mainstream America”, you can translate that as I did.

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By Max Shields, March 1, 2009 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Suzie Kidder,

Since Obama is actually increasing the Pentagon budget (based on what he has submitted), exactly how do you see this as shrinking the military industrial complex? Since he plans to keep up to 50,000 troops in Iraq (and that won’t happen for another year) and escalate in Afghanistan, how do you see that as a reduction in military resource expenditure? No plans to reduce US base present (in fact at least one more in Italy is being installed.)

Instead of assumptions, Suzie, I would ask you to bring some facts.

Your story about Obama has been stated here. It is all wrapped in “hope”.

Most of what Obama says was stated during the Clinton era. Today the economic “meltdown” will challenge the system like never before. I have real doubts that the “system” will come out in anything like what it once was. And the changes required are much deeper than pushing down funding (stimulus). Again, this is yet another issue that could take a whole discussion.

Obama has coopted much of the symbolism of grass-root organizing, but none of that translates into DC politicing. It’s like Walmart going “green” while they ship goods in from all over the world at an inestimable cost to the environment. Obama’s symbolism reflects that same kind of grafting local with a top down agenda. The two are like oil and water.

But for the most part it’s Clintoneque-style grafted onto the Bush foreign policy with a touch of progressive low hanging fruit that he offers to keep “progressive-lites” quiet or supportive and “hopeful”.

Suzie give me a specific policy that is more than window dressing that you think are unjust criticisms of Obama. I would be glad to respond. Generalities get us nowhere.

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By Bertil, March 1, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

“We are lucky to have Barack Obama as president.”

Here’s the way it went with Iraq:

Obama:  I’ll say we’re pulling out of Iraq, but we are stepping it up in Afghanistan and we’ll bomb Pakistan.  What do I hear?
Dems and Repubs:  Yeah, that sounds good. 
Repubs:  We can bring up the SOFA and say it’s not time.
Obama:  Then, I’ll come back with the need to consult the Generals.
Repubs and Dems:  Yeah, that’s good.  Then we can drag out one of those automatons from West Point casting and have him “be delighted”.
Obama:  When I get elected, I’ll say we are removing the troops by 2011, but we’re leaving 50,000.
Repubs and Dems:  Sounds like a lot.  What excuse can you use?
Obama:  I don’t know.  To ensure security for the region, or something like that.  Or, they’re not combat troops?  I was hoping you’d help.
Reid and Pelosi:  We can say it’s too many.  We have to do something for those godamned leftist. 
Mitchell and Boehner:  We can offer a distraction by bringing up the SOFA.  Yeah, our constituents think it’s something you sit on.  Ha ha ha ha.
Obama:  I see.  That will take us past this economic meltdown jive for a while, and it will wear off because I said 2011 or was it 2010? 
Obama:  Let’s continue with security. 
Panetta:  We’ve got the extraordinary rendition jets fueled and the targets picked.  We’re just waiting to light the fuse.
Obama:  Great!  Leon, you’re a real stand-up guy, a real soldier.
Obama:  Now, my favorite, FISA.  Do think that has gone down the memory hole, yet?

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By truedigger3, March 1, 2009 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

To FiftyGigs,

A lot of scientists and brilliant mathematicians make
spelling mistakes. So, stop your snoty attitude.
You sound like your are EightyGigs and not FityGigs.
___________________________________________________

To Leefeller,

“annoying” means something that could be tolerated.
“Joke” means something to laugh about and if it is
an opinion to be dismissed outright.

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By Max Shields, March 1, 2009 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

By Leefeller, March 1 at 1:40 pm #


Max,

It should be noted, there is a difference between “annoying” and “a joke”!
==============================================
Should I assume that while I find her comments Joke, you find them annoying?

When someone deals with the specifics of my posts by trying to marginalize them by likening them to Rush Limbaugh remarks, then for me, that person’s comments are a JOKE.

I must say that entering Obama land brings out the “let’s get real” in me. I’d rather be talking about the Problem and alternative solutions. Obama/Dems and the Obama devotees are, for me the part of the problem.

The painfulness of Obama is that his administration is juxtaposed to the most inarticulate President in my life-time. Now the MIC has an articulate and relatively intelligent spokeperson - that’s dangerous

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By Suzie Kidder, March 1, 2009 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For a bunch of very intelligent, well read, and reasonably (politically) sophisticated people - there are some very heated and naive comments to this piece.  “No more combat missions” can mean exactly that - no more sorties out to do pre-emptive strikes against territory held by the sovereign people of Iraq.  No one says our troops shouldn’t be able to defend themselves - if attacked.  And in re:  rewriting the regulatory rules governing our financial system.  If you were going to return this nation to a Glass-Steagal era - with additional provisions needed in an electronic age - would you want to lay out all the specifics on the table so that the obvious foes of any such legislation could begin to craft the elements of their Harry & Louise campaign?  And if you were going to cut the Pentagon budget - substantially - as Barack Obama obviously intends to do - ditto for your foes within the Military/Industrial complex.  Do not pay exclusive attention to what Barack Obama says in political speech, rather look at what he does.  And for those who are feeling depressed at the thought that we will continue to buy billions of dollars of unnecessary and disgusting things with which to kill other people - look at the man Obama identified as his Pentagon Procurement “Czar?”  My guess is that we’re going to balance the budget on the backs of said Military/Industrial Complex and for the first time in far too long, we’re going to have enough money for our schools and we’ll have to hold one of those bake sales if we want to buy another bomber.  But why piss off everybody in one single speech - give the man a little room to run?

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By Leefeller, March 1, 2009 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

Max,

It should be noted, there is a difference between “annoying” and “a joke”!

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By Max Shields, March 1, 2009 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

FiftyGigs,
Sorry about the spelling. Yes I’m an idiot and you are a genius (I know you are far too gracious to admit it). But in the end, I cannot further lie: cyrena is beyond dispute A JOKE!!!

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By FiftyGigs, March 1, 2009 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

“cyrena your a joke.”

cyrena is too gracious to say it, but I’m not.

Max, you’re an idiot and your lazy, sloppy spelling reveals a lazy, sloppy mind.

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By Leefeller, March 1, 2009 at 5:12 am Link to this comment

If the Imperial pack of dogs announced, with pomp and circumstances every time it was going to leave the house, wouldn’t they be announcing to the cats, when the mouses would be out to play?

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By Outraged, March 1, 2009 at 12:24 am Link to this comment

Re: TAOWalker

Your comment: :Starvation and disease are already the daily lot of ever-growing numbers of domesticated people.  The irreversible trend, we are told everyday by well-paid papered professional experts, is for much more of the same.

At what point do otherwise seemingly informed and sensible and caring “individuals” catch-on that the “global” apparatus causing them so much anguish is doing, as it always has done, exactly what its “owner/operators” got it up-and-running to do.  There is no way to make it do anything else.  You’d have about as much “luck” trying to use an army tank to harvest grain….which is to say, no luck at all.”

At THIS point TAOwalker, and if we, along with the rest of the world do not NOW, stand together and “wage that battle”, what then will be our fate?  Yes, the curse has been cast, but will we continue to “believe”?  Or will we fight…?

And where will fighting, for something we CONclude already lost, get us?  I say nowhere.  The battle has only begun, and FIGHT the citizens of the world WILL.

To precipitously CONcede would be the error.  Battles waged in DEFEAT, are never won.

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By Folktruther, March 1, 2009 at 12:23 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicker-

“So let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.”

Hold your cheerleading dance a moment, Tony, put your pompoms away for a little, and listen to the reality-based truth rather than the poltical truth.

Let me say as plainly as I can that Obama is lying through his teeth in this assertion.  He knows quite well that so-called ‘non-combat” troops are going to be fighting combat missions.  This is just political bullshit of the kind when he says THE US DOES NOT TORTURE.

However the major point here is that he does not discuss the two hundred thousand contractors and the US bases.  But even though they don’t exist in olitical fantasy land, they exist in Iraq.  It is ominous that he doesn’t discuss them.  Max’s objections are perfectly reasonable.

That said, this Marine speech is much better than his Congress speech.

OK, reason is over.  Grab your pompoms and go back into your Obama dance.

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By Tony Wicher, February 28, 2009 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

Re Max Shields, February 28 at 1:51 pm #


“Nope, what I got figured out is that we are in fact getting out of Iraq in accordance with the SOFA agreement, which calls for “ALL” troops to be gone by the end of 2011. What is it about the words “all” and “2011” that you don’t understand?”

Tony we hear what Obama said. No need to repeat as if doing so will change a thing. He talked about combat troops. His pledge had been 16 months which has become 19 months in terms of “combat” troops. The Iraq agreement was done during Bush’s administration. It has many “holes” which allow continued occupation and even combat intervention by the US.

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x xx


No, Max, I’m afraid you didn’t listen to the speech. Which is too bad, because it was a great one. He spoke very clearly of a two-stage withdrawal. In the first stage to be completed by August 2010, he will draw down to 30,000 to 50,000 troops. In the second stage, to be by completed by the end of 2011, he will draw down to zero troops. That is, the occupation will totally end by Jan. 1, 2012. I will agree with you that his his distinction between “combat” and “support” for the 30-50 thousand still there after August 2010 is fuzzy, but what what is NOT fuzzy is the figure of zero at the end of 2011. It is also very important to keep in mind that this final deadline is specified in the SOFA agreement with Iraq already signed by Bush. Obama has said he intends to honor it. I believe him. I don’t see any reason not to. The Iraqi people want us out of there. The American people want us out of there. We’re broke, and we can’t afford $10 billion a month anyway. Isn’t that common sense? Here is the relevant part of the transcript in black and white:

PRESIDENT OBAMA:

“So let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end.
As we carry out this drawdown, my highest priority will be the safety and security of our troops and civilians in Iraq. So we will proceed carefully, and I will consult closely with my military commanders on the ground and with the Iraqi government.

There will surely be difficult periods and tactical adjustments, but our enemies should be left with no doubt: This plan gives our military the forces and flexibility they need to support our Iraqi partners and to succeed.

After we remove our combat brigades, our mission will change from combat to supporting the Iraqi government and its security forces as they take the absolute lead in securing their country.

As I have long said, we will retain a transitional force to carry out three distinct functions: training, equipping, and advising Iraqi security forces, as long as they remain non-sectarian; conducting targeted counterterrorism missions; and protecting our ongoing civilian and military efforts within Iraq.

Initially, this force will likely be made up of 35,000 to 50,000 U.S. troops. Through this period of transition, we will carry out further redeployments. And under the status-of-forces agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.”

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By Max Shields, February 28, 2009 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

cyrena your a joke.

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By Folktruther, February 28, 2009 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

Outraged- I need all the help I can get.  I am going to get a PO box as soon as I get organizated and publish it here for those who wnat to contact me privately.  If you like, I’ll send you a copy of my thesis.  You don’t need to know math to understand it.

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By cyrena, February 28, 2009 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, February 28 at 3:58 pm
•  “Look, it is perfectly true that Tony Wicher and Cyrena will justify what Obama has done no mtter what it is.”

Not me Folktruther, and we’ve been down this road too many times, based on your ‘language’. I’ve gotten into it with Shenonymous on this as well, when she asked me how I could ‘justify’ Obama’s ‘ ‘position’ on the Palestine-Israel Conflict, with my own.

I reminded her then, as I will you now, that first, I don’t have to “justify” my opinion against Obama’s or anybody else’s, nor do I agree with everything that that he ‘does’. But the more important reminder was that she couldn’t even make a claim, (nor can you) to what Obama’s ‘position’ actually is, nor can you in terms of what he ‘does’.

So you use vague and broad language like justify, and/or what he “does” and always out of context. You people, (be you anti-government in general, or anti-Barack Obama specifically) only throw around your own interpretations of what actions have come from the new Administration, and you are all among the same crowd (like Max Shields) who has been bashing Obama for 2 years. He is of the Limbaugh mindset, and we know that Limbaugh clearly stated that he “wanted Obama to FAIL.”

So for the record, (AGAIN) I personally do NOT approve of a continued US military presence in Afghanistan, and I am watching carefully, to see how Obama ‘does’ this. It is as troubling to me as all of the other components of the disaster he/we have inherited, and I’m realistic enough to know that it isn’t gonna be figured out overnight.

So what else has he ‘done’ that I can approve of, (NOT ‘justify’)? Well, he told us he was going to end the war on Iraq, and withdraw our troops. The plan he announced yesterday lays out the planned logistics for that, with all COMBAT troops out by next August, (2010) and ALL THE REST by December 2011. That’s what he promised way back when, and he’s set the time schedule now that he is the President. That’s what we have, no more or less at the moment. There is absolutely NOTHING in anything that President Obama has said or DONE, that would provide any evidence to the claim that he plans to occupy Iraq for 50 years, and what he told us all yesterday, says exactly the opposite.

What he SAID, was that he was going to begin removing troops immediately, and that we would no longer be in Iraq after December of 2011. That’s not 50 years.


•  “What Obama is proposing is painfully slow withdrawal, and he should be attacked on that basis, particularly as to what is going to happen to the mercentary Contractors and the US bases. But a much worse problem now is the Afghan-Pakistani war, which now invloves nuclear weapons.”

Since you aren’t a president, might you be a military commander? How do you figure that this withdrawal will be ‘painfully slow’? What do you consider ‘slow’ and what do you consider ‘painful’ and how the hell do you know what any of these logistics involve? How do YOU recommend this withdrawal take place? Maybe Vietnam style? How do YOU logistically plan to end this disaster that Dick Bush started 6 years ago? Got any ideas?

And what’s up with this deal that the Afghan-Pakistani War ‘NOW’ involving nuclear weapons? Remember AQ Khan? Pakistan has had nuclear weapons for decades, they didn’t just NOW enter the picture.
Remember…that’s been an oft mentioned concern from Barack Obama…*Extremism as it is known and documented to exist in this part of Central and Southern Asia, combined with the presence of nuclear weapons* Quite a calamity, but not a new one.

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By TAO Walker, February 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

One of the things Barack Obama pledged america to achieve, in his recent speech before Congress, was to “....defeat cancer in our time,” or similarly bellicose words to that effect.  Sounds like a helluva fine idea.  The question it raises for this old Primitive Savage, though, is this.  How can Homo Domesticus, a sub-species whose own habitual behavior is having on the living body of our Mother Earth effects that are nothing if not cancerous, have any sensible expectation of “curing” a “disease” they are their retro-viral “ownselfs” the primary propagating agents-of?

Outrageous, in remarks below, agrees in-principle with this old Indian’s recommendation that our tame Sisters and Brothers must get out of the death-dealing CONtraption into which they’ve been CONscripted and are being artificially CONfined-to….even while expressing concerns about the CONsequences to the inmates if the damned thing is simply, as also recommended, left to its own devices to go-to-hell.  Starvation and disease are already the daily lot of ever-growing numbers of domesticated people.  The irreversible trend, we are told everyday by well-paid papered professional experts, is for much more of the same.

At what point do otherwise seemingly informed and sensible and caring “individuals” catch-on that the “global” apparatus causing them so much anguish is doing, as it always has done, exactly what its “owner/operators” got it up-and-running to do.  There is no way to make it do anything else.  You’d have about as much “luck” trying to use an army tank to harvest grain….which is to say, no luck at all.

Your choice, Sisters and Brothers, really is between your “money” and Life Herownself….who IS in actual fact “The Holy Spirit” an itinerant preacher a couple millennia ago reportedly predicted a boat-load of grief for, to those who “blasphemed against” Her. 

So will a ramped-up “war on cancer” be just one more thing Barack Obama and his CONstituents should’ve been more careful about what they wished for?

HokaHey!

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By Max Shields, February 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

What’s really incredible about the Obama trip, is how it sounds more and more like “Ground Hog Day”. You know the movie with Bill Murray where he awakes each day to repeat the same day over and over?

So, how does Obama’s policies seem like this? Well it’s not his policies really, it’s the reaction to them. Anyone with internet access can go back two, three years and track the key statements he’s made and particularly as he became a candidate. He really told everyone that he thought the Iraq war was a “dumb” war, but not that ‘war’ is dumb. And he agreed it was imperative that we fight ‘the war on terror’. He’s never had any problem with this. In fact there were times, in 2004 when he said he wouldn’t do anything different regarding the “war on terror”/Iraq than what then GWB was doing. I can see and hear him plan as day. http://revcom.us/a/086/obama-en.html

Time and again, he said we need to re-focus this “war on terror” in Afghanistan and Pakistan (he likes to repeat that country’s name with a special accent only Pakistanis could appreciate one suspects).

More recently in early December, Jeremy Schahill wrote a great piece that appeared on Counterpunch: http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-doesnt-plan-to-end-occupation-of-iraq.html

So, here we are AGAIN. SURPRISE Obama has no plans to pull troops out of Iraq. He’s jiggering the numbers (like Bush did) considering how he wants to play the numbers game and the Orwellian semantics (don’t call them “combat” troops, call them peace troops, or soldiers for peace, or peaceful warriors).

Tomorrow we’ll wake up and Obama will say, emphatically how we will DEFINITELY (read his lips)withdraw “combat” soldiers. And the Dem Obama-bats will yell: See, see, see, he’s getting the troops OUT of Iraq…told ya…told ya soooo. See, see, I could almost kiss Barack Obama…can’t wait till he makes his next speech and I’ll go to bed and dream about his words, and eloquence…see see see).

And Tony will go to sleep dreaming deams of troops leaving Iraq. It will be soothing. And then when he hears Obama speak again about how he really really really really means it, unequivocally, without a doubt, there will be (here the voice gets real deep and manly)NO MORE COMBAT troops in Iraq, I promise. Instead there will only be dough boys in little pink outfits with pee shooters, drinking schnaps in the Green Zone. And Tony will get soooooo excited to have heard this from THE LEADER of THE FREE WORLD.

You know the campaign was so long it was like Obama was president and the economy went down the crapper and the US terrorism just expanded with the Israeli killing of almost (and perhaps it has now exceeded) 2,000 civilians, many children. And our great leader tanned himself in Hawaii and remained silent as death with US armament blow up civilian targets in Gaza.

What a man, this man as some commenter said, with testicles. What a man, this Obama. The Great Hope.

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By Clash, February 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

The Empire some what damaged by the economic manipulations here in the failed republic, but the Empire and its Imperial president are still a formidable obstacle to the free people of the world. With over 700 imperial military bases throughout the world with costs exceeding 658 billion dollars as based on replacement costs per the Dept. of defense as of 2005, and world wide operational costs above 500 billion per year just to keep a standing military and its projects each year, and the fact that close to 1 trillion was spent in Iraq for concrete and steel to house someone, not to mention 450 billion spent for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to date, Berry will have to due better than appeasing the citizens with borrowed money from China and his word that all military personnel will be out of Iraq by 2011.

This while Hillary Clinton down plays humanitarian causes in the name of 20 trillion dollars and global warming in China, were GM, and numerous other corpsetocracy’s are getting richer while stealing tax dollars from the republic, all with the full knowledge of the “republics” representative government. No amount of amorphous platitudes will change the facts
1)  Patriot Act is still the law of the land.
2)  The secret F.E.M.A government under the control of home land security still exists.
3)  No persons in the last executive branch have been brought to trial for crimes against Humanity.
4)  The worst of the signing statements of GWB are still a grave constitutional and environmental threat.

It will be very surprising if this new Imperial President chooses to interfere with the military industrial complex, and attempt to save the Republic. 

On a personal note I will not concede my 1rst and 2nd amendment rights to Eric Holder for a bag of dope.

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By bogi666, February 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Repubican whine about the cost of retooling the Edsel government that the has dismantled because they never run for the purpose of governing bit for the purpose of corruption by doling out the proceeds of their federal deficits to the CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS; banks, military contractors just to name a few. When a business has to retool itself there is an overlapping of funds necessary to continue ongoing operation while implementing that which is to replace the former system with new systems. Once completed, the funding necessary to continue the systems being phased out and it is expected the new system will create the income to recover the expenditures for the change. The government must do the same, continue with ongoing governmental operation while replacing the corrupt dys/mal functional system of 30 years of Repubicanism. The alternative is what happened in Russia when the systems of the Soviet system were discarded and then replaced it, There was no overlapping of funding necessary to continue ongoing government function while incorporating the new system.

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By Max Shields, February 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther,

Your points are very well made.

I would only add that what is clear is that Obama is in fact planning as M.B.S.S. in the article from the Wall Steet Jounal makes clear, to implement what McCain campaigned on - a 50 year+ occupation of Iraq modeled after South Korea.

Now for those who think that’s perfectly fine, then they are clearly behind the imperial empire’s mission to rule over the planet and its resources. Again, this is NOT transformative leadership. This is imperial empire rule. The “change” is the superficiality of a “new” Commander In Chief. All else is standard Empire Military Industrial Complex issue.

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By Folktruther, February 28, 2009 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Look, it is perfectly true that Tony Wicher and Cyrena will justify what Obama has done no mtter what it is.  But we have to understand that Iraq is an historical problem, requiring an historical solution.  And it must poitically be presented to the American people by Obama in ways that maintain the legitimacy of the American power structure.  I’m personally not a fan of the American power structure, but I’m not a president either.

What Obama is proposing is painfully slow withdrawal, and he should be attacked on that basis, particularly as to what is going to happen to the mercentary Contractors and the US bases. But a much worse problem now is the Afghan-Pakistani war, which now invloves nuclear weapons. 

Obama’s position here is WORSE than Bush’s. There ae now military advisors in Pakistan the the possiblity appears to exisst that Obama will put in troops as well.  Switching the Iraqi troops to Afghan-Pakistan.  to the extent that this occurs, it is an extremely dangerous step backward.  Pakistan has 5-6 times as many people as Iraq or Afghanistan, nuclear weapons, an unstable power system, and is on the Chinese border, as well as has India as an adversary.  But, nevertheless,  there are political pressures on Obama to more directly intervene in Pakistan.

One has a choice of nightmares, and Pakistan is a bigger nightmare. Especally as India is involved as well, another nuclear power.  Just because things are bad now doesn’t mean that can’t get worse.  And what is worse than the quagmire of Iraq is the quagmire of Pakistan.  And just as Johnson got the US militarily bogged down in Vietnam, Obama now threatens to get us bogged down in Pakistan.

I suggest that, along with the Israeli problem, including Iran,, Pakistan is the major danger of the War On Terrorims. 

Not Iraq.

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By M.B.S.S., February 28, 2009 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

OBAMA’S BUSH VINDICATION
The President’s good turn on Iraq

It was never very likely that President Obama would come out and praise George W. Bush for the latter’s handling of the Iraq war, and in his speech yesterday to the Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., he didn’t. Then again, we didn’t quite expect to find ourselves praising President Obama for his handling of Iraq….

But more important than Mr. Obama’s implicit repudiation of his own positions as a candidate (and the implicit vindication of Mr. Bush’s position, to say nothing of John McCain’s) is his decision to maintain a sizable U.S. military presence in Iraq—in the range of 35,000 to 50,000 troops—past the August 2010 “withdrawal” date. That “transitional force” is roughly the size of the U.S. military presence in South Korea through the Cold War. And its mission, involving training of Iraqi forces, U.S. force protection and “targeted counterterrorism missions,” largely describes what the U.S. is already doing in Iraq.

Most of Iraq’s provinces are under full Iraqi security control, and U.S. forces will be out of all Iraqi cities and towns by this July, as stipulated in the Status of Forces Agreement that the Bush Administration concluded with the Iraqi government last year. By making it clear a sizable U.S. force will remain in Iraq, Mr. Obama is showing a commitment to Iraq’s continued democratic progress and should help deter a revival of ethnic tensions. He’s also making clear the strategic advantage of having a stable U.S. ally in the heart of the Persian Gulf.

Mr. Obama also deserves praise for noting that “not all of Iraq’s neighbors are contributing to its security [and that] some are working at times to undermine it.” That’s another belated recognition of facts that Mr. Obama’s allies on the left weren’t always ready to acknowledge, particularly in the matter of Iran. Too bad, then, that Mr. Obama’s only answer so far to this bad-neighborliness is “principled and sustained engagement” with Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Syria. It’s also too bad to hear Mr. Obama confirm reports that Chris Hill will be his Ambassador in Baghdad. Unlike Mr. Crocker, Mr. Hill has no history of walking away from the table when he sees negotiations going nowhere.

Still, Mr. Obama delivered a sober speech, offering a policy worthy of the Commander in Chief he now is. He summed up America’s achievement in Iraq thus:

“We sent our troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein’s regime—and you got the job done. We kept our troops in Iraq to help establish a sovereign government—and you got the job done. And we will leave the Iraqi people with a hard-earned opportunity to live a better life—that is your achievement; that is the prospect that you have made possible.” Amen.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123578458503498487.html

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By Max Shields, February 28, 2009 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

“Nope, what I got figured out is that we are in fact getting out of Iraq in accordance with the SOFA agreement, which calls for “ALL” troops to be gone by the end of 2011. What is it about the words “all” and “2011” that you don’t understand?”

Tony we hear what Obama said. No need to repeat as if doing so will change a thing. He talked about combat troops. His pledge had been 16 months which has become 19 months in terms of “combat” troops. The Iraq agreement was done during Bush’s administration. It has many “holes” which allow continued occupation and even combat intervention by the US.

I guess it seems you don’t get it, never have and never will. The US is in Iraq for the forseeable future barring a total economic collapse (and depending on the strength of the MIC, perhaps it will remain a vestige of the empire even with global collapse - energy IS just that important as a life blood to the empire and Iraq has one of the richest reserves in the world - empire doesn’t “walk” away from that).

Tony, why is it you seem always ready to sip the coolaid from the Obama/MSM spin? Never a question, always the establishments advocate here on TruthDig.

What isn’t you don’t understand about these facts, Tony?

Maybe Amy Goodman’s response to the Obama statement will help clarify: http://howieinseattle.blogspot.com/2009/02/amy-goodman-too-many-troops-left-in.html

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By Tony Wicher, February 28, 2009 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

By Tom65, February 28 at 10:11 am #


I don’t get the phony time-tables and deadlines doublespeak that’s going on. We’re getting out of Iraq, but we’re leaving the troops there?

Guess what boys and girls, we’re not leaving Iraq. What’s that you say? You already figured that out?

  x x x x x x x x x x xx x x x x x x x x x

Nope, what I got figured out is that we are in fact getting out of Iraq in accordance with the SOFA agreement, which calls for “ALL” troops to be gone by the end of 2011. What is it about the words “all” and “2011” that you don’t understand?

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By Max Shields, February 28, 2009 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

By Leefeller, February 28 at 12:49 pm #


“If Obama’s telling us he is pulling the troops out, which really means leaving 50,000 troops, but they do not count because they are not combat troops?  This seems all a game, let’s make it a football game, were the offense is sent home and the defense remains, I guess this means we do not have a football game?”

Not exactly. As it unfolds, if you recall, Obama had stated (and most progressives who voted for O simply kept their hands over their ears) that there would be a combat contingency to “fight” insurgents in Iraq. It appears that that plan is what he is going with.

In other words, the headlines are a pure lie. His announcement yesterday was simply a political propaganda statement to keep Obamaites appeased. By letting the spin take on the life of “ending the war in Iraq”. This is just not the case on a number of levels.

Thomas Rick has provided insight to that. The Republicans and neocons are fully on board the Obama foreign policy in the Middle East/Afghanistan, etc.

There is NO difference between what Obama is doing and where we left off with the Bush administration.

What is different is that the war industry has a much smarter sounding and articulate spokesperson in Barrack Obama. And for those who really want out of this horrible costly warring, Obama is the greatest threat to real peace (at least a peace which is forged by the major war-maker in the world and perhaps in all recorded history).

The Military Industrial Complex is doing just fine, thank you, under the Obama administration. When Obama kept Gates he kept the Bush legacy full in place.

Sweet dreams to the Obamaites who will have to hold on to little political talk about stopping marajuana raids on medical supply outlets (now there’s a real victory for fascism lite).

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By Leefeller, February 28, 2009 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

If Obama’s telling us he is pulling the troops out, which really means leaving 50,000 troops, but they do not count because they are not combat troops?  This seems all a game, let’s make it a football game, were the offense is sent home and the defense remains, I guess this means we do not have a football game? 

The military complex must be in orgasm right now, everybody is happy the most of the population, the elite, special interests and of course the most special interest the Military Complex.

The bug-a boo fear over socialism, is only in the word itself.  Wasting the nations money on wars and military spending is the same, just do not tell anyone.

Damn you guys, the cynical me is back! Like religion most people need to believe in something, hope for change? Rational is were the sun does not shine.

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By Max Shields, February 28, 2009 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

A year or so, before shutting down the website, the linguist progressive George Lakeoff did some interesting work (I’m less enamored with political framing in terms of a linguistic research, but appreciate it use).

One of the areas he kept pounding away on is that Iraq is NOT a war, it is an occupation. The US is not so much “fighting” a “war” as occupying a country, whose government it toppled, leaving it in turmoil (civil unrest). The invasion was a war crime pure and simple. The rules of occupation meant that the US was responsible, as long as it occupied Iraq for the violent civil unrest.

What Obama is doing is maintaining the George W. Bush legacy of occupation. Troops are always combat ready. Baghdad has walled neighborhoods to keep violence down. And US bases. Rick and others have written that the US will be occupying Iraq for 10-15 years given the policies in place and being sustained through the Obama administration.

The headlines: Obama will end Iraq “War” is a lie. There is no declared war, and the US has not been engaged in a war since the end of the initial invasion.

This is the kind of doublespeak that makes what Obama does extremely suspect. Some tweaking of Bush fascism is hardly transformative leadership. It’s business as usual per the US Imperial Empire.

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By Tom65, February 28, 2009 at 6:11 am Link to this comment

I don’t get the phony time-tables and deadlines doublespeak that’s going on. We’re getting out of Iraq, but we’re leaving the troops there?

Guess what boys and girls, we’re not leaving Iraq. What’s that you say? You already figured that out?

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By Max Shields, February 28, 2009 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Again, I must correct, McCain did propose the same plan for Iraq BUT he did not propose the US expand the war into Pakistan - that was Obama, and O is staying true to his campaign.

Where’s Amy Goodman and Ralph Nader when you need them? Where is the truth?

Folktruther, you’re right, we just need to do what we can where and when we can to get it out here and elsewhere.

For those infatruated Obama fans, just a reminder - Bush is no longer President. We all know about him. Obama is going to try to manage the wars/occupation “better”.

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By Max Shields, February 28, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

I’ve cross checked the numbers and it is 50,000 (not 30,000) troops that remain in Iraq after 2011!!!

And as stated that doesn’t begin to count the 10s of thousands of US mercenaries (Blackwater, et al).

No, wonder McCain loves this plan the Obama admin came up with - IT’S THE SAME ONE HE (MCCAIN) PROPOSED DURING THE CAMPAIGN!!!

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By Outraged, February 28, 2009 at 1:57 am Link to this comment

Re: Folktruther

Your comment: “But in order for the opposition to the mainstreamtruth to occur, we have to agree on an alternative truth tradition consensus.  This is very difficult.  It is very difficlt to institutionalize such an opposition truth conensus historially , and that is what we are working toward now.  It will initially split the Dems, who will try to coopt it in the usual way, and may trigger another Terrorist Incident.

But there really is no historical choice. The population has to be united around the reality based truth in order to support effectively common population power interests against kleptocapitalism.  And so we must develop a truth consensus formulated from the perspective of the population rather than from the perspective of the Educated classes.”

What a way to “get your game on”, I agree.  USE the “educated classes”, because that’s obviously werein the truth/facts lie, but direct it TOWARDS those who’ve been mislead.

If you need any help, I know the mislead and I also know the fundamentalists AND I just happen to understand the dis-enfranchised.  Which is also WHY….., I constantly, albeit lovingly, am labeled “the black sheep”.  Can I play “devil’s advocate”.... oh, I could give ya’ hell.

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By truedigger3, February 28, 2009 at 1:48 am Link to this comment

To M.B.S.S.

After what Cryena said in defense of extraordinary
rendition, she should be completely dismissed and
not take seriously any more.
It seems that she is infatuated by Obama and even
if he said the sun rises from the West and sets in
the East she will say “right on” and will try to
proof that is true. Funny but saddening in the same
time!!

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By truedigger3, February 28, 2009 at 1:32 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher wrote:
“I think he’s on our side, that is the side of humanity,”
_____________________________________________________

How do you know that? Are you seeing what you were looking for instead of what is actually out there.?
Are you deluded by skillful oratory and make-belief
bullshitting to see what is REALy happening.
Wake up Tony!!

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By M.B.S.S., February 28, 2009 at 12:10 am Link to this comment

cyrena said:  BECAUSE…prior to the coup that put the neocon Cabal in power, the US was NOT in the practice of torturing people. It’s that simple. Our military didn’t do it, “and as far as we know, neither did the CIA. Now if YOU would like to provide some proof of the CIA or any other legitimate branch of the US government using extra-judicial or extralegal rendition for the purposes of torture (rather than prosecution by a legitimate legal system) I would be very interested in that information for my work.”—-

cyrena let me point out one thing about the entire fulcrum of your argument.  that would be this:  yes, you are entirely correct. the CIA nor any legitimate branch of the US government tortured anyone as far as we know (CIA will be exposed eventually).  so when obama says “we do not torture” he is technically correct as was bill clinton when he said “i did not have sexual intercourse with that woman.”  but this is all mere wordplay. 

is there a difference between the CIA actively beating and shocking prisoners gentials and the CIA taking suspects to egypt where suspects will be beaten and tortured and their genitals electrocuted while the CIA looks on and takes notes and offers tips?  yes there is a difference, you are right in that respect.  but that doesnt change the fact that both are morally repugnant.  so we come full circle.  obama doesnt want to torture, he wants to torture by proxy.

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By M.B.S.S., February 27, 2009 at 11:53 pm Link to this comment

once again with the condescension cyrena.  all youre saying is that (cross your fingers) obama is retaining this terrible policy but hes not going to use it for ill.

do you think that people here havent been following whats going with leon panetta?
do you think personal attacks against me, which you leveled multiple, are effective in a policy debate?
if you want to know the truth, yes i am just your average working stiff.  and that is great that you are so sophisticated in your specialized learning.  but what is that learning worth if all it teaches you is how to cast mystical spells of sophistry in order to obfuscate the misdeeds of the state.

if you believe that torture is ok in the case of real terrorists then you can condone what bill clinton did.  if you believe that torture is ok for real and imaginary terrorists then you can support was g.w.b. did.  to look at obamas take on this issue we can examine the words of leon panetta as reported by the n.y.t. in a recent article:

———“Moreover, the nominee for C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, opened a loophole in Mr. Obama’s interrogation restrictions. At his hearing, Mr. Panetta said that if the approved techniques were “not sufficient” to get a detainee to divulge details he was suspected of knowing about an imminent attack, he would ask for “additional authority.”

To be sure, Mr. Panetta emphasized that the president could not bypass antitorture statutes, as Bush lawyers claimed. And he said that waterboarding — a technique that induces the sensation of drowning, and that the Bush administration said was lawful — is torture.

But Mr. Panetta also said the C.I.A. might continue its “extraordinary rendition” program, under which agents seize terrorism suspects and take them to other countries without extradition proceedings, in a more sweeping form than anticipated.”————

if you believe that there is no bright line with regard to this issue then i believe you are mistaken.  you can stand with me on the side that says that extraordinary rendition is wrong on its face, standard rendition is fine.  or you can stand on the side of clinton, bush, and obama that says “sometimes the ends justify the means.”  it is actually very simple.  you can be for justice,the rule of law, and giving people their day in court, as our legal system purports to aspire to, or you can “walk on the dark side,” with cheney.

god bless obama if he decides to go the right way on this issue and end extraordinary rendition and the CIAs dirty little secrets.  i sincerely hope he does and dont think it is outside of the realm of the possible.  i invite you to join me on the side of justice and fairness.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/us/politics/18policy.html?_r=1

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By Tony Wicher, February 27, 2009 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, February 28 at 1:11 am #

However, it must be understood that this is a great defeat for the US, which still considers itself a Superpower, and so the US withdrawal must be disguised by a Decent Interval.  And blood.  It took five or six years to withdraw all troops from Vietnam after the 1968 election. 

The speech to the marines indicates that Obama is going to do it.  Bush wouldn’t.  So Obama is deviating in this respect from Bush.  a painfully long, slow withdrawal. Unless of course he is lying again.  I tend to think he isn’t.

          x x x x x x x x x x x x x

It is a defeat for the American empire, yes. In fact it marks the end of the American empire. Obama understands that his job is to end the Empire and restore American democracy. You may describe his Iraq plan ad he clearly laid it out as “a painfully long, slow withdrawal”. Obama describes it as a “careful, responsible withdrawal”. It will be done in accord with the SOFA agreement already signed by Bush. Obama intends to follow through on that agreement. That seems to be cut and dried to me. I believe that Obama is a man of his word and that under his administration the U.S. will honor its agreements.

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By Folktruther, February 27, 2009 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicker—Obama DID NOT SAY that all troops will be out of Iraq at the end of 2011.  He said that I INTEND that all troops will be out, a different thing.  What worries me still is the non-geverment mercenaries that are still there that wasn’t mentioned.

Max, what you say is true, since, unlike Tony, you are intellectually honest, intelligent and not a political hack. Wicher appears to regard this as a childish game of some kind with winners and losers among the rooting fans.

However, it must be understood that this is a great defeat for the US, which still considers itself a Superpower, and so the US withdrawal must be disguised by a Decent Interval.  And blood.  It took five or six years to withdraw all troops from Vietnam after the 1968 election. 

The speech to the marines indicates that Obama is going to do it.  Bush wouldn’t.  So Obama is deviating in this respect from Bush.  a painfully long, slow withdrawal. Unless of course he is lying again.  I tend to think he isn’t.

Near the same time, Clinton has given a speech that attacks the starvation blockade of Gaza.  And states that the US wants a viable Palestiinian state.  Both would be to the interests of the US power struture, since the whole world opposes the barbarity of Israel and US support.  Whatr will come of this is less certain, but I was surprised it was done at all. 

It is a glimmer of light in an increasingly horrible and dangerous sitution.  Call me a cockeyed optimist and a gullible fool, but I hope something can be worked out.  More incredible political events have occurred.  Meanwhile of course we must redouble the boycott of Israel and the opposition to Obama’s zionist staff to encourage the process, and demand the cutting off of aid and trade with Israel until they move their asses back across the UN line.

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By Tony Wicher, February 27, 2009 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

By Max Shields, February 27 at 11:18 pm #


I just can’t help myself - but do you know Tony, that while some folks may find it easier to get medical Marajuana, US drones Afghan killings went up 40 per cent in February - that’s on Obama’s watch.

Ya just got to be paying attention to the total picture, Tony…on the one hand, MJ and on the other innocent civilians and children dead. MJ/Dead, MJ/Dead. I don’t see the moral equivalence Tony W.

Maybe that’s where we differ?

  x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Max,

I’m a devotee of the herb so it means a lot to me.

I’m also very anti-war by inclination. The enemy of humanity I am fighting I call the military-industrial complex, which I see as an international cartel of war profiteers. The question in my mind is whether Obama can get control over it or not. I think he’s on our side, that is the side of humanity, and needs our help. You don’t believe that, so far, but perhaps events may yet cause you to change your mind.

I share your concerns about Afghanistan/Pakistan. It worries me more than anything else. If as I believe 9/11 was an inside job and “Al Qaeda” is really a rogue CIA operation, it isn’t surprising that the bombings are still going on. It’s going to take some time to get these rogue operations under control. Leon Panetta strikes me as an intelligence novice over whose eyes senior CIA officials can easily pull the wool - I refer to such senior CIA officials as the number three guy in the CIA, Executive Director Dusty Foggo, currently headed for jail for three years for fraud - the guy who oversaw U.S. worldwide intelligence gathering operations.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/29419095#29419095

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By Max Shields, February 27, 2009 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

I just can’t help myself - but do you know Tony, that while some folks may find it easier to get medical Marajuana, US drones Afghan killings went up 40 per cent in February - that’s on Obama’s watch.

Ya just got to be paying attention to the total picture, Tony…on the one hand, MJ and on the other innocent civilians and children dead. MJ/Dead, MJ/Dead. I don’t see the moral equivalence Tony W.

Maybe that’s where we differ?

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By Tony Wicher, February 27, 2009 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

This proves it once and for all: Obama is Superman! Check this out, all you anti-Obama nabobs of negativism. Read it and weep!

By Alex Johnson
Reporter
msnbc.com
updated 2:42 p.m. PT, Fri., Feb. 27, 2009

Supporters of programs to provide legal marijuana to patients with painful medical conditions are celebrating Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement this week that the Drug Enforcement Administration would end its raids on state-approved marijuana dispensaries.

Federal raids on medical marijuana distributors continued at least into the second week of Barack Obama’s presidency, when federal agents shut down at least two dispensaries in California on Feb. 3.

Holder was asked about those raids Wednesday in Santa Ana, Calif., at a news conference that was called to announce the arrests of 755 people in a nationwide crackdown on the U.S. operations of Mexican drug cartels. He said such operations would no longer be conducted.


YES!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, praise Jesus, we live in a free country again.

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By Max Shields, February 27, 2009 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment

Fiftygigs

So, Chas Freeman is going to be negotiating what?

I mean he’s not exactly part of the diplomatic envoy to the ME region.

So, what’s the point in bringing him up like he’s postioned to do something regarding the ME (since it’s in that area that he has raised controversy). Yea, there’s the Israel firsters (all very supportive of Obama so far, as are people like John McCain, and many other right-wing Republicans; Obama’s Iraq policy is a total reflection of McCain/Bush…with a little oratory finesse).

You’re too star gazed to see what’s right there in front of you…it’s a sham and you so-called Dem Progressives are blinded by the oratory.

Did you hear Amy Goodman on MSNBC? She sees clearly what’s up. (No doubt the usual inside the belt way talking heads see it Tony et al’s way…but that the status quo that’s been in charge all these years).

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By FiftyGigs, February 27, 2009 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi, Max appears to be busy again insulting people of good spirit so he can establish himself as the realist of the site. Funny how someone who calls himself a progressive is unable to see progress.

If you’re referring to the nomination of Chas Freeman to head the NIC, I think the reported negative reaction of the Republican Jewish Coalition and the National Jewish Democrat suggest that Obama is determined to do what he says—namely, to engage everyone in the region.

Freeman is quoted as saying: “Mr. Sharon is far from a stupid man; he understands this. So, when he sets the complete absence of Palestinian violence as a precondition for implementing the road map or any other negotiating process, he is deliberately setting a precondition he knows can never be met.” That was in 2005 !!!

Do you see it as positive too, KDelphi?

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By Rogelio, February 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Max, for what it is worth, I feel 100% more confident that President Obama will do his best to get us out of an unfortunate predicament that ‘w’ and his cronies created. I realize, as we all do, that President Obama’s desire to de-escalate the conflicts is wishful thinking and that many factors will determine whether this transpires or not, but at least he is saying it. I would much rather hear him say that we have a timeline, instead of the bs rehtoric we heard from ‘w’.

President Obama has testicles because he will definitely not be a puppet for his party, a.k.a. ‘w’. President Obama furthered his education through hard work, unlike ‘w’ who got where he did thinks to his daddy.

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By Max Shields, February 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther,

This 2011 has moved the original 16 months to 19 months withdrawal of “combat” troops. There will continue to be NOT zero, but 30,000 troops in Iraq and the bases and Green zone stay.

Many who leave Iraq move to Afghanistan and Pakistan border.

This is NOT an end to the occupation of either of these countries nor the continued state of “war”.

The on going discussion is not that Obama has “nixed” the numbers (in either occupied nation) but that he has split the difference and left the option to incrementally escalate.

That’s NOT ending ANYTHING except in the most wishful thinking - the very kind that got Obama elected.

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By truedigger3, February 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Tony wicher said

cyrena,

You have the patience of Job with these people. I’m past the point of arguing against their political prejudices. I think I’ll just join the rest of the nation in cheering for Obama and ignoring them.”
____________________________________________________

Tony,
The feeling is mutual. Many posters here are exasperated by you and have given up on your deluded thinking and tunneled vision. So, good riddance, and
move fast otherwise the door will hit your back!!

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By Tony Wicher, February 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

Re Max Shields, February 27 at 4:20 pm

I take it you didn’t hear Obama’s speech. What matters is what he says, not what some general says. He said ALL troops will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011. There was no equivocation, no wiggle room.

You and Folktruther and truthdigger3 and the rest of you putative “radicals” go on talking to each other. Nobody else is listening.

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By KDelphi, February 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Max and Folk—-what effect will Chas Freeman have on this? Any ideas?

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By Folktruther, February 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm Link to this comment

Actually, Maz, there was a timetable for getting US troops completely out of Iraq in his Marine speech, early 2011, before the next election. At that time he states he intends to withdraw the ‘non-combat’ troops. 

He does not discuss the mercenaries in Iraq at all, which at last count was over two hundred thousand, but unless he plans to occupy US bases with these, he has made a commitment. Whether he will keep it or not, of course, is still an open question.

In addition, Sec of State Clinton is puting pressure on Israel to end the Gaza blockade and to establish a viable Palestinian state.  Israel, under Natanyahoo is planning to enormously increase the settlements this year as it did last year by 67%.

This is the first progressive inclination that Obamaa has shown and it could be just more eyewash.  On the other hand, he could mean it.  Anarcissie thought that this would happen, and he is not a political hack like Tony Wicher.  I admit I am surprised, but it remains to be seen to what extent he follows through.

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By Max Shields, February 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

Sorry Rogelio you must have missed it. There’s no definitive timetable.

As far as testicles, well I wouldn’t know.

Happy trails.

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By Rogelio, February 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately, I failed to watch his speech. Regardless, I know that we have a president that we can be proud of. For the past eight years we had to suffer from the pompous and abusive attitude of ‘w’.

Whether we get out of Iraq by August 2010 or not, at least President Obama has the testicles to place timetables on something. It makes me sick to think of old ‘w’ every time he was asked about timelines. That stupid shrug of his and stupid look of his that he gave America is now a thing of the past.

It makes you wonder how the revisioist historians will turn the tables on his presidency and make him an angel. Can it be done?

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By Max Shields, February 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher/aka apparent spokesman for the war department

From Bush to Obama
Seven Years of Wartime Propaganda
By ANTHONY DiMAGGIO

Despite the termination of George W. Bush’s presidency, continued opposition to ending the Iraq war remains in the halls of Washington and amongst media pundits.  In a Meet the Press interview this month, Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks explained that, under current thinking in Washington, the U.S. may continue “to have American troops dying in Iraq for years to come.”  He specifically cited opposition to withdrawal on the part of military officials such as General Ray Odierno, who indicated his support for keeping 35,000 troops in the country through at least 2015, down from the high of 155,000 currently in Iraq.  One report this month from journalist Gareth Porter highlights the opposition of military commanders to Obama’s 16 month plan for a troop reduction.  Odierno, again, reportedly hoped to convince Obama of revising the Status of Forces Agreement made with Iraq, which requires a full withdrawal of troops by December, 2011.  Odierno wanted to circumvent the agreement by “re-categorizing large numbers of combat troops as support troops,” potentially allowing them to remain in Iraq indefinitely.  This plan seems to resemble Obama’s ambitions in Iraq in many respects, as the President has long indicated that, despite his plan for 16-month de-escalation, he may keep tens of thousands of troops in Iraq until at least 2013.  General David Petraeus was also reportedly opposed to Obama’s 16 month drawdown of American troops.

Despite the public’s long-standing opposition to the war and support for a short timetable for withdrawal, Obama and his generals continue to defy public wishes as they debate whether the occupation will continue for another three years, six years, or indefinitely into the future.  Much of the justification for this obstinacy is based on manipulation of available intelligence and from deceptively simplistic arguments that the 2007 troop surge “worked.”  Detailed analysis reveals that this deception is wide-ranging, as support for the surge spans across liberal and conservative mainstream media outlets.
http://www.counterpunch.org/dimaggio02272009.html

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By Folktruther, February 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

I confess, Max, that I can’t put my finger on precisely what the ideological problem is.  Cindy Sheehan, the courageous peacer, ran against Pelosi in a progressive area of San Francisco, which included the Castro district, and got 19% of the votes!  Why would progressives vote for Pelosi over Sheehan?  I don’t really know.

Of course most people identify with power and want to be on the winning side.  And don’t seen to understand that being on the winning side votewise is being on the losting side policywise.  But why don’t people understand it?  I don’t know.

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By Max Shields, February 27, 2009 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher

The agreement has more holes into than swiss cheeze. It leaves the door wide open for continued occupation.

Let me ask you Tony, what makes you think the massive Green Zone and the umpteen bases built and in process are going to all close down in 2011?

Look at the Obama request for over 200 billion for occupation ON TOP of the current over 500 billion already in the military budget!!!

By the way, here’s how you get to th “bowls of hell”. When you hit fascism take a hard right, the door swings pretty hard so don’t let it hit you in the ass.

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By KDelphi, February 27, 2009 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Tony, youre the one “getting warmer”...

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By Tony Wicher, February 27, 2009 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, February 27 at 1:46 am #

“its so simple, everyone can understand it.  obama wants it because he wants to torture. eom.”
Indeed, you are SO SIMPLE, that you don’t get what your own ‘simple’ analysis proves, which is that you’re a card carrying Obama hater. You all don’t seem to understand how easily recognized you are.

  x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

cyrena,

You have the patience of Job with these people. I’m past the point of arguing against their political prejudices. I think I’ll just join the rest of the nation in cheering for Obama and ignoring them.

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By Tony Wicher, February 27, 2009 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Wow, I am so stoked!!!!!! I just heard the best speech I ever heard in my life - Barack Obama at Camp Lejeume! This guy just keeps topping himself!!! After this the army will be ready to follow him to the bowels of hell! And so will I!

ZERO!!!!! Do you hear me, ZERO!!!!! That’s the number of U.S. troops Obama unequivocally stated will be in Iraq at the end of 2011, as required by the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the U.S. and Iraq.

Now, if he can just get Afghanistan/Pakistan right…

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By Max Shields, February 27, 2009 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Folktruther

It’s the people who should know better that are real pissers.

We had a campaign that went on for nearly 2 YEARS!! and cost roughly a billion dollars in contribution money.

The Dems had a candidate who is now President who told the people exactly what he would do, and is in fact doing it, and they FELL for it, like they had cotton in their ears.

On this board we have commenters who think FDR was god and they weren’t even alive when he was president!!! He contained the problem and NEVER solved it.

To solve the PROBLEM we need something this political system can not provide A COMPLETELY NEW System: politically and economically.

Obama can only play poker when we need bridge…for the war-party duopoly it just doesn’t compute.

Hoopla and fantasy aside the greatest threat to peace and justice is Obama. With Bush, the battle was on, now its all divid and rule…and so far it continues to work.

Energy depletion, climate change and the continued collapse of the financial and global economy will be undeniable and non-negotiable forces that will change the dynamic. The system cannot face this, and the PARTY IS REALLY OVER.

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By Folktruther, February 27, 2009 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

the historical problem is, Max, that the Armerican people don’t really have a political choice.  Both political parties are under the control of the power structure of the ruling class, which is 85% Republican.  That’s why the Dems promote Gop policies; they are largely controlled by Gops.

And, as you say, Americans are baffled by doubletalk, gaslighted by TV and advertising techniques to instill emotional truths contrary to the reality based truth.  And are unaccostomed to demonstrating.  The initial demonnstrations in San Francisco were among the biggest I have ever attended, but the leaders were coopted by Dems.

I think what needs to be done, among many other things, is to develop an ideology organization of some kind that de-Educates and de-infomrs the American population, who have been systematically miseducated, misinformed and misentertained.  I assume that under Obama and his successors that the US will restrict the Internet even more than it is restricted now, further de-emphasize the reality-based truth,  and will force the opposition truth further underground.

But in order for the opposition to the mainstreamtruth to occur, we have to agree on an alternative truth tradition consensus.  This is very difficult.  It is very difficlt to institutionalize such an opposition truth conensus historially , and that is what we are working toward now.  It will initially split the Dems, who will try to coopt it in the usual way, and may trigger another Terrorist Incident.

But there really is no historical choice. The population has to be united around the reality based truth in order to support effectively common population power interests against kleptocapitalism.  And so we must develop a truth consensus formulated from the perspective of the population rather than from the perspective of the Educated classes.

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By Max Shields, February 27, 2009 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

Folktruther
DUPS (Democrats on Presidential Enchantment)!!

This is precisely why during the primary/election season Obama was the perfect canddiate for the plutocracy by totally collapsing what little energy there was in the so-called anti-war activity.

This administration will continue to do in a sly fashion (double-speak) what the Bush gangsters did in an arrogant fashion.

The war party is in control and has been for many decades. The double-talking duplicity is what you get from the Dems. The Republicans are pure fascism without the lofty speeches. Frick and Frack.

The alternaive to the Dems is the Republicans. By people who thought either Kucinich and Nader were right on and went with the lesser evil - THANK YOU you’ve given us NO fucking alternative.

A vote for Nader, enmass would have been a cry in the wilderness that this mode of governing WILL NOT STAND.

But no, the clowns were too take “smart” and thought Nader was just a “wasted” vote or a vote “for” McCain. A real democratic election with Nader at the debate might have actually given these Dem “progressives” a much better candidate. Instead he’s all about appeasement and following plutocracy orders.

Again, thanks to the spineless “lesser of two evil” voters out there.

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By Folktruther, February 27, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

What Obama means by Ending the Iraqi War, in mainstreamspeak, is continuing the war.  In mainstreamspeak the combat troops there are now Support Troops.  And the two hundred thousand or so Private Eterprise troops are not there at all in the mainstream truth.

This allows the DUPEs (Democrats Under Presidental Enchantment) to now say Obama is ending the Iraqi war, and, more important, to believe it.

Obama is Ending Torture in the same way.  Of the US prisons and prison ships around the world, which no longer exist in the US media, and in the rendition to client-states, which Cyrena has assured us is different than torture and is merely the way of enforcing international law, the US media, including the pseudo-progressive media, no longer speaks.  Since torture does not occur on TV and in the mass media, it no longer exists. QED.

The USA does not torture, Obama has unequivically assured us, and he is the Commander in Chief, therefore it must not exist.  Would Obama lie to us like Bush? As good as he looks and sounds on TV?

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By mjt01, February 27, 2009 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

dihey,

Right you are. A raw recruit, lowest ranking grade, in the military is legally required to know that no superior can give him/her an order to commit an illegal act such as torture. And that failing to protect a prisoner from an illegal act is a felonious act itself. This is learned within the first couple of weeks of training. It is the law under the Universal Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and numerous Federal laws and treaties (which are controlling law) for all civilians, including those working for the CIA.

All of the nonsense about CIA members not being held responsible for their actions are just obfuscations of fact, black letter law, case law and common law. They are a denial of the meaning of law, the spirit of law, and a destruction of the very foundations of our nation.

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By mjt01, February 27, 2009 at 8:14 am Link to this comment

Now Bush44 (Obama) has said that his promised end to the Iraq war is conditional on no increase in violence, and that in any case tens of thousands of US troops will stay in Iraq.

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By dihey, February 27, 2009 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Perhaps the greatest oxymoron that Leon Panetta threw out is, in essence, this: “one cannot prosecute CIA personnel for having violated the Geneva Conventions when “higher ups” have given them assurance that their actions were LEGAL.

I am at a loss to understand how criminal acts, if committed, can be legal unless we are now the same country as the former USSR where that was a basic mode of governance.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 27, 2009 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

cyrena, February 27 at 1:46 am #

By M.B.S.S., February 26 at 10:34 pm #

cyrena:  .....
~~~

No ‘brag’ MBSS, it actually IS one of my ‘specialties’ as an academic interest, and rest assured that it WOULDN’T be, if not for the crimes of the Dick Bush regime. .......

BECAUSE…prior to the coup that put the neocon Cabal in power, the US was NOT in the practice of torturing people. It’s that simple. Our military didn’t do it, and as far as we know, neither did the CIA. Now if YOU would like to provide some proof of the CIA or any other legitimate branch of the US government using extra-judicial or extralegal rendition for the purposes of torture (rather than prosecution by a legitimate legal system) I would be very interested in that information for my work.

Additionally, it would appear that you only ‘read’ condescension from me, since it clearly wasn’t intended on my part. Must have hit a nerve, or maybe in my mind, you just sound like a loud mouth young adult who thinks they know it all, and only succeeds in proving their ignorance by opening their mouth.

It never takes long however, to follow the motivation, which is reached simply enough, (by following a simple mind) when we read this.

•  “its so simple, everyone can understand it.  obama wants it because he wants to torture. eom.”
Indeed, you are SO SIMPLE, that you don’t get what your own ‘simple’ analysis proves, which is that you’re a card carrying Obama hater. You all don’t seem to understand how easily recognized you are.
Speaking of which, it’s really a shame that you all highjacked the discussion of this very excellent piece by Robert Scheer, from right out of the gate.  The first several posts were all of the standard cabal of Obama Haters, and some new ones.

You say it’s so simple…obama just wants to torture people, and something tells me you might honestly believe that, because his being the US President now seems to damn sure be TORTURING YOU!

But it doesn’t make any sense to a sane person, because we know that the first thing his administration did officially, was to give the order to shut down gitmo, AND to suspend any of the Kangaroo trials currently in the works.

So we know that Obama doesn’t really wanna torture anybody, or have anybody tortured. We also know that refusing to ‘take something off of the table’ doesn’t mean we’re gonna use it. So you’re creating much ado about nothing here, in terms of the extraordinary rendition.

In terms of those crimes that have already been perpetrated under this extraordinary rendition to torture, they are being lined up for prosecution as I write, including as some of the defendants, the private companies that provided the aircraft.

So it comes down to you pointing out, that you don’t really know what you’re talking about, in terms of this illegal rendition, and that you don’t really care, because you were only attempting to use it as a vehicle to spew Obama hate propaganda.

But then I pointed out that you didn’t know what you were talking about, (in terms of the connection between torture and illegal rendition) and of course that seems to have ruffled your feathers.

Will the boss still pay you your $2.00 or whatever it is that you make from posting propaganda? Do you guys get monitored and ‘marked down’ if you get busted?
************************************************

Cyrena,
I add this post to my sparse list of “roses” growing out of the manure heap of this thread’s comments.

Like you, I happen to think Obama’s the best man to walk into the WH since FDR, with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter (tho LBJ, minus the Viet Nam catastrophe, would have gone down as a truly great and brave President for his domestic policies)

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By Outraged, February 27, 2009 at 1:21 am Link to this comment

(part 2)

Re: TAOWalker

Again, tame Sisters and Brothers, the failings of your ideological/institutional/electro-mechanical artifacts are only reflections of the fatal flaws in your “individual” selfs….those also being mere artifacts of a “process” operated to deprive you of your Humanity, and our Mother Earth of the benefits She raised-up us Human Beings to contribute to her Living arrangement.  So it isn’t the fuck-ups of a few financiers and their political retainers that’s got you in this mess.  It’s the rotten foundations of your allamericandreammachine itself.

I sense that most people know this, if for no other reason than the mindless grind they endure and hate so passionately.  Also, I do not see this as “the fuck-ups” of a few financiers, since this corruption has…and I loathe to say it “gone global”, but then it always was “a global” enterprise, wasn’t it?  It seems to have borne itself out throughout history as invade, conquer by ANY means and according to the accepted rules of war.... to the victor goes the spoils. The glorification of this historical premise is the underlying and larger crime instituted via the psychological aggrandizement of abnormality.

“Mr. Obama, tear down this wall of illusion!  Free The People!  To hell with the damned eCONomy!

HokaHey!”

I agree in the philosophical sense(regarding the economy), but I do not wish to see people starve and die.  HokaHey.

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By Outraged, February 27, 2009 at 1:16 am Link to this comment

(part 1)
Re: TAOWalker

Your comment:

“Robert Scheer may be taking too much reassurance from Barack Obama’s articulate pep talk the other night.  After all, he barely scratched the surface of the toxic waste dump of official mis- and mal-feasance, and instutionalized public/private idiocy, festering beneath the expensively-shod feet of both theamericanpeople and their grotesquely gender-imbalanced Congress….to all of whom he addressed his well-crafted and dramatically-delivered remarks.”

It seems to me though that you want to CONfine the reality of the situation to a CONtrivance of the making of one culture or philosophical premise which in itself has never been proven to be ideal.  There are no shangra-la’s.  There are only the realities of the CONstructs of which we are born, live, and do our best to survive.

Their President has done no more than trepidatiously dip the tip of a very tentative “toe” into the cesspool of corruption accumulated over three hundred years of CONsumptuous exploitation, behind and beneath and wrapped-up-in “Old Gory,” here on Turtle Island.  To hear him describe it, the “challenge” facing theamericanpeople is no more serious really than that of some teenager trying to clear-up an acne outbreak in time for the junior prom.  And “money,” as always, is the allamerican drug-of-choice.”

Money is not an American invention, nor do we as Americans(The People) hold any higher regard for it than any other historical power or culture.  To make the assertion that ALL Americans view CONsumerism as idyllic, is to completely ignore and in effect disregard any other voice than the voice of the rabid CONsumer and to validate the propagandized model of the same. 

“So it looks like its way too soon to get people’s HOPEs up about finally finding a “leader” who actually knows The Way out of the quagmire.  Obama gives good oratory, and appears to believe his own “message,” but until he musters the fortitude to open-up the “dialog” to include the voices of those among us surviving Savages who can see the “really big” picture, americans will continue to flounder and fumble their way toward oblivion….LOST! in wet-dreams of “power” and “exceptionalism,” cobbled together out of the fading scraps of a carefully sterilized “history” that never was.”

Finally as regards America, and this isn’t because of Obama, our history books are being challenged.  This is BECAUSE of The People(all of them), not all of which knew initially….you can’t blame the child/student for their ignorance when this is what they were taught.  And many were taught the lies of omission, myself included….. and we were taught them very adeptly, almost imperceptably, and to what would we, as young people compare them….to the encyclopedia’s “available” to us which only INSTILLED the lie effectually making it “true”?

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By cyrena, February 26, 2009 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

By M.B.S.S., February 26 at 10:34 pm #

cyrena:  thank your for bragging about your “speciality,” and adopting such a condescending tone with which to respond to me.  it provides a window.

~~~

No ‘brag’ MBSS, it actually IS one of my ‘specialties’ as an academic interest, and rest assured that it WOULDN’T be, if not for the crimes of the Dick Bush regime. It’s not a brag, it’s just a reaction to the current events of the past decade, and specifically that regime, that brought ANY of this into the public eye.

BECAUSE…prior to the coup that put the neocon Cabal in power, the US was NOT in the practice of torturing people. It’s that simple. Our military didn’t do it, and as far as we know, neither did the CIA. Now if YOU would like to provide some proof of the CIA or any other legitimate branch of the US government using extra-judicial or extralegal rendition for the purposes of torture (rather than prosecution by a legitimate legal system) I would be very interested in that information for my work.

Additionally, it would appear that you only ‘read’ condescension from me, since it clearly wasn’t intended on my part. Must have hit a nerve, or maybe in my mind, you just sound like a loud mouth young adult who thinks they know it all, and only succeeds in proving their ignorance by opening their mouth.

It never takes long however, to follow the motivation, which is reached simply enough, (by following a simple mind) when we read this.

•  “its so simple, everyone can understand it.  obama wants it because he wants to torture. eom.”
Indeed, you are SO SIMPLE, that you don’t get what your own ‘simple’ analysis proves, which is that you’re a card carrying Obama hater. You all don’t seem to understand how easily recognized you are.
Speaking of which, it’s really a shame that you all highjacked the discussion of this very excellent piece by Robert Scheer, from right out of the gate.  The first several posts were all of the standard cabal of Obama Haters, and some new ones.

You say it’s so simple…obama just wants to torture people, and something tells me you might honestly believe that, because his being the US President now seems to damn sure be TORTURING YOU!

But it doesn’t make any sense to a sane person, because we know that the first thing his administration did officially, was to give the order to shut down gitmo, AND to suspend any of the Kangaroo trials currently in the works.

So we know that Obama doesn’t really wanna torture anybody, or have anybody tortured. We also know that refusing to ‘take something off of the table’ doesn’t mean we’re gonna use it. So you’re creating much ado about nothing here, in terms of the extraordinary rendition.

In terms of those crimes that have already been perpetrated under this extraordinary rendition to torture, they are being lined up for prosecution as I write, including as some of the defendants, the private companies that provided the aircraft.

So it comes down to you pointing out, that you don’t really know what you’re talking about, in terms of this illegal rendition, and that you don’t really care, because you were only attempting to use it as a vehicle to spew Obama hate propaganda.

But then I pointed out that you didn’t know what you were talking about, (in terms of the connection between torture and illegal rendition) and of course that seems to have ruffled your feathers.

Will the boss still pay you your $2.00 or whatever it is that you make from posting propaganda? Do you guys get monitored and ‘marked down’ if you get busted?

Just curious.

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By mjt01, February 26, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

It seems that Bush44 now agrees with Bush43 on another of the death penalty issues.  According to Mother Jones:

“The solicitor general’s office has turned down a request by the Innocence Project to disavow a Bush Administration stance on prisoners’ access to DNA evidence in postconviction proceedings. As a result, on March 2, Neal Katyal will make his debut as deputy solicitor general by arguing before the Supreme Court in support of the state of Alaska’s view that prisoners have no constitutional right to obtain DNA evidence that might help them prove their innocence—even if the prisoners pay for the DNA testing themselves.”

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/02/obama-admin-turns-down-opportunity-begin-improving-death-penalty

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By M.B.S.S., February 26, 2009 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

heres an example of the policy under clinton

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2004/06/extraordinary_r.html

this is what you call “simply rendering a suspect…”
it sounds like torture to me. 

look, heres the essence of it all:  the only reason to have extraordinary rendition is for the CIA to use egypt and other countries mainly in the middle east to torture.  thats it.  thats why it is torture by proxy.  its so simple, everyone can understand it.  obama wants it because he wants to torture. eom.

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By M.B.S.S., February 26, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

cyrena:  thank your for bragging about your “speciality,” and adopting such a condescending tone with which to respond to me.  it provides a window.

if you believe that extraordinary rendition was a benign policy under clinton and malign under bush then that also provides a window.

i will agree with you that what bush did with this tool was horrific.  but to absolve the clinton admin. and to assume it wont be used for nefarious ends under obama is frankly either naive or partisan spin.

didnt this terrible policy originate with bill clinton in 95?  why would you defend these abductions?  the aclu and other international bodies dont, and nor do i.

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By Folktruther, February 26, 2009 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Good questions, mjt.  What happened during the last 40 years or so is:

1. an enormous increase in economic inequality.

2.A centralization of the truth media dominated by a few huge corporations

3. a combination of TV and the effectivenesss of adveertising techniques which have been applied to the political process.

4.  The domination of the Amereican ruling class and power structure by Zionists.

This has led to what pxyhologists are now calling the gaslighting of the populaton, the fundamental deception of consciousness of political and social reality by the Amereican people.  The American power structure, including both political parties, simply ignores the opinions of the mass of the people, deceiving them when desirable and imprisoning them when necessary.

We are being ruled by a gaslighting police state that serves the interests of the rich, particularly the Zionist rich.

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By mjt01, February 26, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps a more interesting question is what is the cause of the degeneration that we see in our elected leaders. I can’t believe that Obama grew up idealizing the need to rendition people out of our nation to locations where they could be sliced, diced and whipped into say anything that the torturer desired. Perhaps I could believe that of Bush43.

Anyway, is it the advice of those who surround him? The inevitable corruption of power? Why is it necessary to allow the tapping of domestic phone calls without court authority?  No one is being punished for this, and nobody has said it has been stopped permanently.  When was Obama seduced away from his marriage to the 4th Amendment? How? Just what was it that took him from the stance that he would never vote to legalize the wiretapping, to voting to immunize it?

What happens to these fine young people we send to Congress, full of ideals? How do they become so jaded, in so short a time? Or was it just a facade in the beginning?

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By TAO Walker, February 26, 2009 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer may be taking too much reassurance from Barack Obama’s articulate pep talk the other night.  After all, he barely scratched the surface of the toxic waste dump of official mis- and mal-feasance, and instutionalized public/private idiocy, festering beneath the expensively-shod feet of both theamericanpeople and their grotesquely gender-imbalanced Congress….to all of whom he addressed his well-crafted and dramatically-delivered remarks.

Their President has done no more than trepidatiously dip the tip of a very tentative “toe” into the cesspool of corruption accumulated over three hundred years of CONsumptuous exploitation, behind and beneath and wrapped-up-in “Old Gory,” here on Turtle Island.  To hear him describe it, the “challenge” facing theamericanpeople is no more serious really than that of some teenager trying to clear-up an acne outbreak in time for the junior prom.  And “money,” as always, is the allamerican drug-of-choice.

So it looks like its way too soon to get people’s HOPEs up about finally finding a “leader” who actually knows The Way out of the quagmire.  Obama gives good oratory, and appears to believe his own “message,” but until he musters the fortitude to open-up the “dialog” to include the voices of those among us surviving Savages who can see the “really big” picture, americans will continue to flounder and fumble their way toward oblivion….LOST! in wet-dreams of “power” and “exceptionalism,” cobbled together out of the fading scraps of a carefully sterilized “history” that never was.

Again, tame Sisters and Brothers, the failings of your ideological/institutional/electro-mechanical artifacts are only reflections of the fatal flaws in your “individual” selfs….those also being mere artifacts of a “process” operated to deprive you of your Humanity, and our Mother Earth of the benefits She raised-up us Human Beings to contribute to her Living arrangement.  So it isn’t the fuck-ups of a few financiers and their political retainers that’s got you in this mess.  It’s the rotten foundations of your allamericandreammachine itself.

Mr. Obama, tear down this wall of illusion!  Free The People!  To hell with the damned eCONomy!

HokaHey!

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By cyrena, February 26, 2009 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

By M.B.S.S., February 26 at 2:12 pm #
cyrena:  there is a reason that extraordinary rendition is referred to as “torture by proxy.”

Yes MBSS, that’s because of the way Dick Cheney’s CIA used it. BEFORE 2000, it was simply a way to render an international criminal, (specifically NON-state actors and former heads of state protected by legal extradition measures.)
Meantime, if you really want to get into a discussion/debate about Torture law and all the rest of the structure of International Law, (specifically as it pertains to International Humanitarian Law and War Law,  I’m happy to oblige, but let me warn you, it’s my academic ‘specialty’.
The CIA has used the process illegally under the former Cheney Admin, picking up private civilians and rendering them to torture facilities in places like Syria, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, and even some of their torture camps in Europe. Italy has already tried Rumsfeld et all in absentia for the extraordinary rendition of Abu Omar.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article1395637.ece

You really should do your homework before posting stuff like this. You may be too young to know what the laws of the land actually were before Dick Bush violated them all.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 26, 2009 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

Tony:

I add your posts to Purple Girl’s as the flowers growing in the manure heap that all the other PREDICTABLE posts create on this thread.

For the rest, it’s same $#it, different day.

BORING!!!!!

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