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Obama’s Alternate Universe

Posted on Jan 8, 2010
White House / Pete Souza

By Scott Ritter

As America enters the year 2010 and President Barack Obama his second year in office, the foreign policy landscape presented by American policymakers and media pundits appears to be dominated by two physical problems—Iraq and Afghanistan—which operate in an overarching metaphysical environment loosely defined as a “war on terror.” The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, entering their seventh and ninth years respectively, have consumed America’s attention, treasure and blood without producing anything close to a tangible victory.

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What exactly constitutes the “war on terror” has never been adequately defined and, as a result, the United States has been, and continues to be, militarily involved in other regions as well, including Somalia, Kenya, the Philippines and, increasingly, Yemen. The American people today are fatigued, and while their political leadership promises to lead the nation out of the long, dark tunnel of conflict, there continues to be no light emerging in the distance, only the ever-darkening shadows of wars without end or purpose.

While Obama has promised a draw-down of military forces in Iraq, the lack of stability in that nation since the removal of Saddam Hussein precludes any meaningful reduction of troops, and the ever-present potential of renewed civil and sectarian warfare means that whatever troop level is eventually settled upon will be deployed in Iraq for quite some time. Moreover, the Iraq conflict, built as it was on an American policy that sought the alteration of the political character of the Middle East beyond simply removing an Iraqi dictator from power, has drawn the United States inexorably toward conflict with Iraq’s larger neighbor to the east, Iran.

Over the past 20 years Iraq and Iran have been linked in American policy objectives in the Middle East, both in terms of dual containment and dual transformation. Regardless of what rhetoric the Obama administration chooses to hide behind, the underlying characteristic that continues to define America’s Iran policy is regime change. It is not the policy that is subject to debate in Washington, D.C., but rather the means of implementing that policy. The ongoing tension over Iran’s nuclear program is less derived from any real threat such a program poses (it is, in reality, one of the least significant issues facing the United States today in terms of national security concern), but rather the utility that such an artificial crisis serves in facilitating the larger objective: regime change.

Obama’s Iran policy bears a marked similarity to the Iraq policies of the Clinton administration throughout the 1990s, with the specter of weapons of mass destruction used as a screen to hide the true goal. In both cases, the policies were constructed in a manner that gave the United States no viable solution short of open conflict. President Bill Clinton maneuvered around the issue of all-out war, settling for a decade-long “non-war” in the form of CIA covert operations and assassination attempts and enforcement of “no-fly zones,” combined with selective aerial attacks, including the 72-hour “Operation Desert Fox” in December 1998.


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President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 was the logical conclusion to an irrational policy begun by Clinton. The situation between the United States and Iran today is directly tied to the Iraq problem, and as such makes use of the same policy tool set that led to the invasion of Iraq.

The failed attempts by the United States to orchestrate a “soft” revolution in Iran, in the form of covert support to pro-Western reformists, have only strengthened the position of the extreme hard-liners the United States seeks to remove from power, in the same way that the continuation of economic sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s only strengthened the regime of Saddam Hussein.

When the Obama administration is finally confronted with the reality that there is no possibility for viable economic sanctions against Iran, and that the reform movement inside Iran will never be able to force a regime change in Tehran, war with Iran, however insane and unpalatable, becomes the only option. In the end, it is not the theocracy in Tehran, or an Iranian nuclear program, that will push America to war with Iran, but rather American policy itself, designed as it is not to solve any tangible problem emerging from Iran, but rather to mollify domestic political pressures at home.

The situation President Obama faces in today’s post-Taliban Afghanistan is similar to the one he faces in Iraq: There is no good policy option for resolving a problem that is defined mostly by the need to manufacture a perception of “victory” for the American people. In Afghanistan, as was the case with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the United States removed a political entity from power and ended up creating a vacuum in the nation’s social, political and economic reality that the American occupier has not been able to fill, no matter how much money has been spent and how many soldiers have been deployed. With the Taliban made politically unacceptable in Washington, D.C., the idea that the Taliban may in fact be politically viable inside Afghanistan will not register among those American officials tasked with bringing stability to that nation.

The war in Afghanistan is further complicated by the fact that, unlike Iraq, Afghanistan is inexorably linked to the nebulous concept of a “war of terror,” and in particular the defining moment in this “war”—the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. American politicians, like those they represent, tend to operate in a conventional linear manner, seeking absolute cause-and-effect relationships from even the most complex of problems.

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By mikel paul, January 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

As Carlin said…
1) “I have this thing I do. It’s called thinking.”
2) “They have a club, and we ain’t in it.”

Bin Laden. He’s winning? Winning what? He’s nothing. (Well, not really. He is significant to those who have used and will continue to use him as long as we don’t do the thinking part above).
He’s either dead and therefore not significant except to those who “don’t think” and therefore ‘think’ he is, or he’s alive and therefore the first bad guy actually to give Christ a run for the winner of the most concocted story in the annals of storydom.
As for Israel being the center of all that is evil. Oh contrare’. (We love to put stuff into boxes, and store them in other boxes) The people of Israel or Russia, China, South Compton or the Bronx are just people. Us. The world is filled with us. Normal imperfect folks who have deluded ouselves with this low priority cranial attention span to our humanity.
As long as continue to see each other as seperated we will stay, seperate.
It is just my opinion, but, the club Carlin speaks of is not interesting in the ‘thinking’ man.

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By grumpynyker, January 9, 2010 at 11:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stop calling this farce the “war on terror”.  Boy George slipped and called it what is is: a twenty-first century CRUSADE against Muslim countries while masking the corporations’ desire to loot/pillage underdeveloped nations possessing raw materials they covet.  Read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and the Secret History of the American Empire by John Perkins.

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By Virginia777, January 9, 2010 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

I agree with ardee that rollzone’s ACORN-bash is unconscionable and suspect. This is the largest community organizing group in the Country and has done a world of good in its defense of the poor and their rights. It has no relation what-so-ever to the topic, which is the insane war on “Terrorism” that our government is wasting our tax dollars (and our time) on.

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By Paolo, January 9, 2010 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

Heroic Scott Ritter does it again!

Our best foreign policy would be that advocated by Ron Paul: non-interventionism. This is a policy that has kept the Swiss out of wars for over 400 years.

Having said that, I agree with Scott Ritter that one cause of terror is the injustice done to the Palestinians, who saw themselves uprooted from their homes in the first Arab-Israeli war.

The current dominant thinking of a so-called “Two-State Solution” is dead wrong. The whole idea of a “Jewish State” is wrong—just as wrong as the concept of an Islamic State or a Christian State.

But again, that is the problem of those countries. It is not my job or America’s job to referee the peace in the Middle East. The warring parties have got to figure it out on their own.

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By ghostrider67, January 9, 2010 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

thanks for that info on the ‘wecu’ tech.
If i understood enough,its that if a person being subjected to that masterpiece of new tech and lets say an image of innocent children or women being slaughtered somewhere in the arab world, flinched or show any kind of emotion (as would any humane person would),he will be automatically tagged,bagged and shipped off to guatanamo bay as a terrorist? wow..good days are here at last!!

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By Paul J. Theis, January 9, 2010 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Actually, Mr. Ritter, I think the decision by George W. Bush to invade Iraq after 9/11 was a logical conclusion to the decision to go to war with Iraq made by his father, who made it U.S. policy to hold Iraq responsible for any terrorism that might result from the US/UN action to remove Iraqi troops from Kuwait. The blundering way that action was concluded, as well as the huge Iraqi civilian casualty toll, probably increased the likelihood that the US would be subject to a terrorist attack. And of course, Osama bin Laden cited the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia (put there by Bush I) as one of his reasons for waging his terrorism jihad against the US.

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By denk, January 9, 2010 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

To Rid the World of Bogeymen

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By writeon, January 9, 2010 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe Scott’s analysis is too benign. Perhaps there really is a “war” in progress, only it’s not so much a war on terror, as a war of terror? An agressive war aimd at gaining access to, and control, of important sources of startegic raw materials, like oil, which are vital to the future of the American war-machine and continued US domination of the world.

Iraq is thought to contain vast, untapped, reserves of oil and gas, on a level with Saudi Arabia. This is a collosal prize of unimagined value. The country, and military, that controls Iraq’s oil and gas, has a huge strategic advantage over other nations, especially if “war” is going to last for ever. A vast military like the US’s really needs that oil if it’s going to remain the world’s most powerful military complex.

So the “war on terror” can be viewed as “hoax”, an “excuse”, a “lie”, a convenient “cover story”, a new Pearl Harbour, designed to justify an imperial grab for what’s left of the world’s resources before the shit hits the fan.

I don’t believe the elite that rules the United States are as stupid or unintelligent as they often appear. On the contrary. Is Dick Cheyney daft? I don’t think so. Ruthless and amoral perhaps, but certainly not stupid or uninformed. Dick, or “Cheyneyism” wants the United States to remain the worlds’s strongest and richest nation, and he’s prepared to do anything to further that primary aim, and anyone who gets in the way, or has something we need, to maintain our way of life, or rather the way of life of the elite who really matter and really rule, had better watch out!

The major problem is how does one get the American people to go along with an agressive, imperialist, military strategy to “conquer” the world? And send American kids from the working-class to fight and die for the interests and fabulous lifestyles of the super-rich? Step forward the “war on terror.”

Seen from this perspective, things are actually far worse that Scott Ritter’s version of “reality” The empire is in the hands of ruling elite, around 1% of the population, who haven’t exactly gone “mad”, they have just gone “bad”, and there will be no stopping them, as their grip on society and its intitutions, and weatlh, is almost total, after all their is no “opposition”, no alternative to vote for, and nobody is out in the streets protesting. Arguably the ruling elite has never been more firmly in charge.

The only way of stopping them, the only chance, is to make them afraid again, very afraid.

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By montanawildhack, January 9, 2010 at 8:47 am Link to this comment


That’s some pretty interesting stuff that the WeCU company is developing…

The sad reality is that the American people are so brainwashed and generally STUPID that they will not balk at this technology and invasion but DEMAND it….....

In fact, it’s just going to take one more really spectacular attack by the Muslim Freedom Fighters and I would not be surprised to be stopped by an Official in a Black Uniform with an American Flag armband Demanding to See my Papers…..

And yes, Orwell had it right on!!!

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By glider, January 9, 2010 at 8:26 am Link to this comment


Thanks for the WeCu technologies information.  It is amazing what people do to waste their ingenuity.  Orwell was a genius for sure.

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By omop, January 9, 2010 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

montanwildhack et al.


FROM ALTERNET. ISREALIS Mind reading Americans

  “As far-fetched as that sounds, systems that aim to get inside an evildoer’s
head are among the proposals floated by security experts thinking beyond the
X-ray machines and metal detectors used on millions of passengers and bags
each year,” AP’s Michael Tarm reports.

Tarm focuses on an ISRAELI company called WeCU Technologies (as in “we see
you”), which is building a system that would turn airport waiting areas into
arenas for Pavlovian behavioral tests:

  The system ... projects images onto airport screens, such as symbols
associated with a certain terrorist group or some other image only a would-be
terrorist would recognize, company CEO Ehud Givon said.

  The logic is that people can’t help reacting, even if only subtly, to familiar
images that suddenly appear in unfamiliar places. If you strolled through an
airport and saw a picture of your mother, Givon explained, you couldn’t help
but respond.

  The reaction could be a darting of the eyes, an increased heartbeat, a
nervous twitch or faster breathing, he said. The WeCU system would use
humans to do some of the observing but would rely mostly on hidden cameras
or sensors that can detect a slight rise in body temperature and heart rate.


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By george szabo from canada, January 9, 2010 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is it just possible , maybe even remotely, that perhaps Mr. Obama is a good
trying to infiltrate the evils of a dying empire by going along with some of the
B.S. of the ruling class to try and bring about some positive changes, and this
includes trying to change some of American foreign policy. Let’s not forget that
the surest way of antagonising people is to challenge their accepted beliefs
head on, I think it will take a lot of courage, intellect, and good will towards
all of humanity to bring about change towards positive directions so that we
become more compassionate and tolerant towards each other. This may be a
slow process as there seems to be a lot of beliefs,lifestyles,and social-
structures that need drastic overhauls, if we are to survive on this beautiful
place called Earth. Hopefully Mr. Obama and his group can begin some of these
changes even though at times he has to toe the line and keep the people who
are really in power in the U.S. happy, in conforming to their rules. Change
sometimes comes slower than we would like, so lets not forget to look beyond
the B.S.
of our daily news and propaganda of the government and corporate
advertisers, educate
our friends and family to look at alternate approaches to the accepted norms,
that way at
least we have done a little bit to help bring about positive changes.
My negativity is balanced by my optimistic views that there is always hope for
Lets try and find solutions to our ever increasing criticisms of all the wrongs in
the world.

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By the worm, January 9, 2010 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

It has become clear since Reagan told us that we were helping the global poor and
developing nations by consuming more and more. Sort of like telling an alcoholic
that all he needs is another drink. From there, he moved to the greatest deficit the
country had ever had. The eighties and Reagan began the United States fantasy
tour into the future. Unfortunately, the future has turned into disaster from which
America seems unable to escape. 

Though he campaigned on ‘change you can believe in’, it has turned out to be
status quo at all costs (costs to the taxpayer) and corporate subsidies all round.
Obama cannot or will not lead in the interests of the American people. Keep on
consuming—- if you have anything left after the corporations get it through your
taxes or financial charges.

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By omop, January 9, 2010 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

US policies in the Middle East and specifically towards the Arabs in general have
toed the line first exhibited by Dr. Bernard Lewis.

According to Wikipedia Bernard Lewis, FBA (born May 31, 1916 in Stoke
Newington, London, England) is a British-American historian, Orientalist, and
political commentator. He is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near
Eastern Studies at Princeton University.

He specializes in the history of Islam and the interaction between Islam and the
West, and is especially famous in academic circles for his works on the history of
the Ottoman Empire. Lewis is a widely-read expert on the Middle East, and is
regarded as one of the West’s leading scholars of that region.

His advice has
been frequently sought by policymakers, including the former Bush

He has emerged as “the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle

  Born to middle-class Jewish parents in Stoke Newington, London, Lewis
became attracted to languages and history from an early age. While preparing
for his bar mitzvah ceremony at the age of eleven or twelve, the young Bernard,
fascinated by a new language, and especially a new script, discovered an
interest in Hebrew. He subsequently moved on to studying Aramaic and then
Arabic.  Lewis’s interest in history was stirred thanks to the bar mitzvah
ceremony, during which he received as a gift a book on Jewish history.

Lewis views Christendom and Islam as civilizations that have been in perpetual
collision ever since the advent of Islam in the 7th century. In his essay The Roots
of Muslim Rage (1990), he argued that the struggle between the West and Islam
was gathering strength.

According to one source, this essay (and Lewis’ 1990 Jefferson Lecture on which
the article was based) first introduced the term “Islamic fundamentalism” to
North America. This essay has been credited with coining the phrase “clash of

For those interested in learning more Bernard Lewis is easily Googled.

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By montanawildhack, January 9, 2010 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

Well I’ll be god damned!!!  It took him awhile but Mr. Ritter finally took the cat out of the bag by mentioning the part Israel plays in this whole god damn mess…. 

And Mr. Ritter the Alternate Universe that Obama inhabits is controlled by Israel… The Evil little chess game we’re playing with countries in the Middle East is for the benefit of Greater Israel…Period…

I just condensed your 3 page article into 2 sentences…. You’re welcome….

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By ghostrider67, January 9, 2010 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

If we disregard the christmas attempted airline ‘crotch bomber’ incident as a false flag op,then lets really try to understand what terrorism really breaks down to.
Sometimes when we really look at the world events today,from palestine,iraq,afghanistan,pakistan and recently events unfolding in yemen to prepare the way for bombing and killing more innocent people,one can only realise that sometimes,an individual or individuals from one of these countries may have or may lose a loved one that had nothing to do with the so called war on terror in the first place and the feeling of sorrow and despair slowly turns to rage and the need to make someone pay or feel the same way as he does and decides to take the matter into his own hand.
Yes its that simple.After all,we are all human beings and sometimes we act against logic and common sense. If we continue to brand every person that has or will ever try to express that kind of self justice because he has no other way to retaliate,then i think most american states today should be on the terrorist watch list.why? because we have seen time and again some disgruntled,depressed,mentally oppressed person go to a mall,school,migration office or job center and indscriminately shoots dozens of people because he has lost his home,job wife or just because he feels oppressed.
When we try to live inside a palestinian’s mind that has been fighting for his land sixty years now,or has lost loved ones while being promised that things will get better next year and the year after next but in reality he knows that its only getting worse,or an iraqi that has his country destroyed and thousands of his fellow country men killed because 11 saudi’s committed 9/11,only then we can understand what terrorism is all about.

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By ardee, January 9, 2010 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

rollzone, January 9 at 3:46 am

Replacing one absurdity, the war on terror, with another, an irrational fear of ACORN and an over the top assertion that they are more to be feared than AlQaeda, seems fodder for The Onion, not Truthdig…

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By rollzone, January 8, 2010 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment

hello. yes the war on terror was contrived. there are more people in ACORN than Al-Qooka. we have more to fear from ACORN than Al-Qooka. all of ACORN can be reached with a phone message, from the push of one button. They are organized and traceable. Al-Qooka continually needs stand-ins for a picture shoot (where they get a couple guys with sheets on to hold rifles for a picture) and a new recruit to carry out jihad. they are worse than the gays with recruitment. ACORN is locally rampant, with invisible funding, and uncollateralized loans. they are scarier to me, with impending voter fraud, than Al-Qooka will ever be. ACORN is more responsible for the decline in America than Al-Qooka. ACORN is a terror organization. war on them.

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By glider, January 8, 2010 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

Another brillant article by Ritter.  My only tendency towards disagreement is that I think this is less about a response of the government to a factually challenged public, and much more about the manipulation of the public by the MIC which is empowered and enriched by the perpetual war state.  And of course since Obama has proven himself to be a smart puppet and not a smart leader we will continue this fall into the abyss.  Perhaps even more depressing is the likely inability of any such intelligent leader to pass the presidential vetting process.

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By GoyToy, January 8, 2010 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment

A lucid, clear-eyed view of our war on terror. Mr. Ritter rightly points out the danger of ignoring Kashmir. Ritter and Chris Hedges are among the few courageous voices we hear in the media.

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By Miss Info, January 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment

Obama might be falling victim to the same alternate universe as Bush II, Clinton, and Bush I: the nightmarish dream “Virtuous War”.

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By JM, January 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s face it: The “War on Terror” is a wonderfully provocative narrative that helps
sell ad time on the cable networks. It’s Tom Clancy’s wet dream. Until news is
isolated from entertainment and treated as a (not-for-profit) public service, there
won’t be any change to this brand of “hero’s journey” foreign policy.

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By Ed Harges, January 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm Link to this comment

Talk about burying the lede!

I wish Ritter had not relegated this crucial passage to the third page of his
essay, but I’m glad he had the courage to write it:

The continued refusal of the United States to address the issue of Palestine
and the Palestinians in a manner that reflects the reality of the situation on the
ground, rather than the situation that exists inside Washington, as manipulated
and interpreted by Israeli interests, means that the tension and unrest this
issue generates will never be resolved. The conflicts with Iraq and Iran are, in
many ways, simply symptoms of a larger disease represented by the failure of
the United States to formulate a sound and realistic policy regarding Palestine.
So long as American politicians find themselves constrained by a pro-Israeli
lobby that refuses to permit the inclusion of either the concept or reality of
Palestine into the lexicon of American foreign policy considerations (beyond
simplistic “dual-state” and other demeaning and dishonest formulations), then
there can and will be no long-term solution to any other modern Middle
Eastern problem.

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By Dr. John P. Teschke, January 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unfortunately Mr. Ritter’s post seems an all too accurate commentary on the situation. It’s reminiscent of the final phase of the Soviet Union in some ways.

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By dupedeedupe, January 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At least Mr. Ritter has not thrown in the towel despite all he’s endured. Are not Osama bin Laden’s goals, as he declared them in 2004, closer to being realized than the USs? He wants to bankrupt America, and judging from the past 8+ years of multi-trillion dollar military spending, his goal may be acheived sooner than the US military’s. Wait, what is the US military goal? The only thing that comes to mind right now is the eradication of evil from the planet.

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By gerard, January 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm Link to this comment

Taowalker:  Your suggestions about the “lexicon of dominance” reverberates.  Recently, you may have noticed, I was touting Greg Mortensen’s “Three Cups of Tea” as an example of how one person can work selflessly and constructively to help others in a very different “culture”—only to discover when seeing his follow-up book that it seems (I didn’t read the book, only glanced) that even he, admirable though his accompishments were, has apparently “sold out” to American military interests under the guise of “helping more people faster” etc. etc. (The operative word in the lexicon being “help” of course)
(Perhaps I misjudged because as I said I didn’t read the second book.)  However,  in the “lexicon of dominance” certainly “help” is a key red flag. 
  In fact, much of language is used to dominate, wherever, whenever. It is very difficult to escape. But perhaps awareness of the danger is sufficient innoculation?

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By NYCartist, January 8, 2010 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment

Another way to look at US foreign policy under Obama, is to view it as a continuation of Bush and earlier.
It fits with the economic policies,too. 
See Paul Street’s most recent essay, Jan.5, 2010, “On Reality and Revolution” on  It’s a good essay from a Left point of view.

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By TAO Walker, January 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

Scott Ritter and those commenting on his article here all offer some cogent analyses of what remain, nevertheless, essentially only rather superficial features of The-Situation.  Scott Ritter locates the “problem” in failed “policies” based on erroneous assumptions, and recommends a more “realistic” approach.  Responders pretty-much take that “ball” and run with it.

In the hexagram of The Well, however, we are cautioned about the dangers of too shallow an attempt to get some kind of ‘handle’ on any problematical condition.  Not fully plumbing the depths, we’re warned, can often lead to consequences even more detrimental than those that come if no attempt at better understanding is essayed at all.

In this instance, the real need is to examine the actual foundations of these failed policies, which lie in the pathological presumptions informing the entire “dominance” paradigm itself….the driving CONceit at the rotten core of this now gone-global “civilization.”  Neither Scott Ritter nor others here are doing that, so they remain stuck in the rut of CONfrontation and CONtrol.

To at least take a baby-step in the direction of organic freedom, they might start with an exploration of the semantic prison in which the fear-ridden lexiCON of “dominance” keeps its captives CONfined….effectively preventing them from addressing their suffocating predicament in any way that might promise some actual relief.  Of course that will require a willingness to step outside (false) “comfort” zones, and to dispense with all the crippling CONvenience of ready-made CONcepts and virtual-world CONstructs.

It’s well worth both the risk and the effort, tame Sisters and Brothers.


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By FRTothus, January 8, 2010 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

Even Mr Ritter, who ought to know better, still lays the responsibility for 9/11 somewhere other than where it belongs.  9/11 was a false-flag, inside job.  Unless and until this is acknowledged, and it is understood that it was a result of US actions, we will never get anywhere.  For those who are still willingly ignorant, I will point out only one bit (out of many) of telling evidence to support my assertion in the form of a question:  What hit the Pentagon?  Whatever it was, it was certainly not a passenger plane, else we would see bodies, luggage, engines, and landing gear… none of which were present.  The regime change we should be attending to involves changing the regime (no matter which corporate lackey sits in the White House) that exists in Washington, DC, the primary source of state-sponsored terrorism.

“There is no excuse at this stage of American development for a posture of political innocence, including an unquestioning acceptance of the good faith of our government. After all, there has been a long history of manipulated public beliefs, especially in matters of war and peace. Historians are in increasing agreement that the facts were manipulated (1) in the explosion of the USS Maine to justify the start of the Spanish-American War (1898), (2) with respect to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to justify the previously unpopular entry into World War II, (3) in the Gulf of Tonkin incident of 1964, used by the White House to justify the dramatic extension of the Vietnam War to North Vietnam, and, most recently, (4) to portray Iraq as harboring a menacing arsenal of weaponry of mass destruction, in order to justify recourse to war in defiance of international law and the United Nations. The official explanations of such historic events as the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the assassination of President Kennedy have also not stood up to scrutiny by objective scholars. In these respects, the breaking of trust between government and citizenry in the United States has deep historical roots…”
(David Ray Griffin)

“[T]he forensic principle of “who most benefits from the crime?” clearly points in the direction of the Bush administration. One would be naive to think the Bush Jr. faction and its oil, military-industrial and Wall Street backers not benefit astronomically from this mass-kill explosion. If there was a wish-list, it is all granted by this numbing turn of events. Americans are diverted from a free-falling economy to attack another foreign Satan, while the Bush regime’s popularity climb[ed]. The military, the CIA, and every satellite armed security apparatus have more money and power than ever, and [became] as dominant as they [could] over civilians in “the whole new era” [then] already being declared by the ‘White House.”
(John McMurtry)

“War, to the increasing exclusion of everything else, is the only thing that America collectively cares about anymore.  We don’t manufacture much of anything; just war. We don’t concern ourselves with education; just war. We don’t attend to the 40 million Americans without health coverage; just war. We don’t focus on the 30 million American children living in poverty; just war. We don’t support the arts; just war. Even though a multitude of human needs were in existence prior to September 11, and have only increased since then, we continue to direct our attention and our resources into what we do best: war. Just war.”
(David Potorti)

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By bozhidar balkas, vancouver, January 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s posit following simlicities: Hijacking countries is as american as aple pie. God Bless America and Greatness of America=Deutschland Ueber Alles und Sieg Heil.

And most hijacks r made easy because warlords and feudal lords of the hijacked lands want their land to be hijacked from own low classes.

Other lands r not hijacked; their nobles only aided and abetted in keeping dwn own unwashed.
Jordan,yemen,egypt, georgia,oman, morocco et al r examples of that policy being executed successfully.

These simplicities, which US wld always complexify, demysticises US foregn policy. In short, US history is not a mystory.

It is only a mystory to pols, clergy, educators, most or all columnists!

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By Hammond Eggs, January 8, 2010 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

In the photo above, Obama looks like George C. Scott in the beginning of the film “Patton”.  The bloody shirt he waves is his but the blood on it is not.

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By Hammond Eggs, January 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

In the photo above, Obama looks like George C. Scott in the beginning of “Patton”.  The bloody shirt he waves is his but the blood on it is not.

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By rwmenser, January 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

Fool me once…....

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, January 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

In a few hundred years or maybe longer, people will look back on the beginning years of the 21st century, and understand that this was when the dark ages began. That is if any of humanity survives.

Like Bush before him, who used conservative symbols to manipulate and deceive conservative voters, Obama continues in the same vein. Using liberal symbols to manipulate and deceive, he has continued to further the plutocracy’s agenda.

Just like Bush before him, his is a fraud, and represents nothing, while at the same time serving those who pull his strings faithfully.

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By scotttpot, January 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

One could conclude that the “war on terror’’ was contrived to keep Americans
afraid, controlled, poor, and divided. Mission Accomplished.

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