Archive for Obama

The White Antiwar Left Fades Into Quagmire

Posted in antiwar, Global Politics with tags , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by marcg

Retired Col Ann Wright was in Atlanta October 6th speaking on Afghanistan at First Iconium Baptist Church. She outlined what has happened thus far in Afghanistan and gave her views on what the future should hold. The corporate news venue of record in Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ignored the event altogether. Atlanta Progressive News reported that the retired colonel argued for withdrawal. That’s not what I heard .

To be clear, everyone except out and out fascists understands that one day the US Armed Forces will leave Afghanistan. So when we say we argue for withdrawal, without a timetable it is an ‘argument’ without meaning. That is what the colonel offered. And that is what the white antiwar left as a whole is increasingly offering. Alternet, a news organization whose self-proclaimed mission is to inspire action and advocacy for human rights and social justice, is promoting, via one of its senior editors, Joshua Holland, a more sophisticated version of what Col Ann Wright described-the quagmire.

A quagmire is a situation from which it is difficult to extricate oneself. That, according to people like Josh Holland, Ann Wright, Medea Benjaminobama (CodePINK founder) and increasing numbers of the white antiwar left are calling the US occupation of Afghanistan. But take a second and think about what a quagmire is in contrast to the former antiwar demand of immediate withdrawal.

Immediate withdrawal, unlike withdrawal, is not confusing or ambiguous and shrugs off any kind of leeching quagmire analysis. Immediate withdrawal is just that. And quagmire can have nothing to do with immediate withdrawal. But immediate withdrawal increasingly, is not what the white antiwar left is calling for. And as they become more in line with Obama’s liberal/conservative consensus, they are getting attaboys from people like Ralph Lopez, who argue for prolonged backdoor Afghan occupation-we must save Afghan women from the Taliban. Lopez who runs a website called Jobs For Afghans and is a popular blogger at the website that claims to exist to get Democrats elected, DailyKos, writes about how the white peace movement has ‘grows up’. Specifically, grows up means CodePink founder Medea Benjamin is no longer calling for immediate withdrawal but something more sensible that acknowledges our responsibility to the women of Afghanistan under siege by the Taliban. Has anyone forgot about Iraq and how the US Armed Thugs are raping and murdering imprisoned women and children????? Apparently. Lopez is claiming that we need to create jobs in Afghanistan!! Haha, what does he think this is, really?? He refers to the position of immediate withdrawal as anti-imperialist flap.

Lopez and those who agree with him are stooges for Obama and before him, Bush. Lopez may or may not understand this but it doesn’t matter. The position speaks for itself. The corporations making billions off the war and the US planners that need the regional control all want to prolong the military occupation of the region. And this Ralph Lopez-Ann Wright-Medea Benjamin wing of the white antiwar movement has grown up and want to stay as well.

Back to the quagmire. The notion of a quagmire says, it implies rather, that one is caught between a rock and a hard place. Between completing a mission on the one hand and abandoning the mission and leaving on the other. Since when did the white antiwar movement believe the US Armed Thugs actually had a valid mission to complete in Afghanistan? It really has matured, I guess.

And the timing of this maturity couldn’t be better. Obama, this man of peace, this feminist, and also mature, is about to increase the troop levels of US Armed Thugs in Afghanistan. This will allow us to defeat the Taliban/Al Qaeda, kill Bin Laden and save the women. Then we can leave. Morally. Responsibly. Right?

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Obama Shuts Down Pittsburgh For His Rich Friends

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 8, 2009 by marcg

If China were banning train service into one of its cities in preparation for the G20 in order to limit public speech and dissent what would the US press say? The same racist and xenophobic garbage they always come up with in relation to China. Of course nothing when Obama does it? Obamamaniacs will say Obama didn’t do it, Amtrak did it. Or the mayor of Pittsburgh. Or the governor or whatever. Orders like this come from the top. Perhaps as ‘suggestions’.

http://www.examiner.com/a-2168305~Amtrak_suspending_Pittsburgh_service_for_G_20.html

Republican Healthcare Disruptions Working

Posted in Healthcare, US Politics with tags , , , , , , , on August 10, 2009 by marcg

CNN and the entire network of corporate news outfits are all talking about the Republican effort to disrupt the so-called healthcare town hall meetings. There is a lot not understood about this effort.

First off, this isn’t about Obama’s plan. This is all about single payer healthcare and finding ways to keep it off the table. The first strategy was to simply ignore those in favor of single payer and in left opposition to Obama’public option plan. But the single payer activists made enough noise and managed to get enough support in the House of Representatives that the ignorning tactic wasn’t going to work. Now we are looking at the second act of a plan designed to keep single payer off the menu.

The US population want’s healthcare reform. When polled, one discovers, unsurprisingly, that we also want single payer healthcare reform. Therefore the choice has to be removed from the table where it has been presented and hidden from the view of those who don’t yet know about it. To achieve this, we are seeing a tactic we should get used to: loud racist attack from the right wing, followed by tenacious defensive response from the liberals. All accompanied by around the clock TV/radio/internet coverage. All working to keep the attention of viewers/listeners/readers focused on the ‘main event’ and keeping activists feeling that there duty is to battle racist conservatives. This is the first time we’ve seen this regarding a major policy initiative since Obama was elected but not the first time this strategy has been deployed. The first instance was the 2008 presidential campaign.

Last year when Obama was backing off all the promises and positions that allowed him to gather speed and momentum as a contender he began getting significant pressure from McKinney voters and former supporters of Dennis Kucinich. When this pressure, like the single payer pressure, became too much to simply ignore, out came the racist canards from first the Clintons then the McCain campaign. The intention was the same in both cases-to decrease support for left pressure and redirect it towards defending against racist attack. This is what we are seeing now with the Republican townhall meeting disruptions CNN is so eager to cover everyday.

White liberals elected Obama because he was better than the Republican alternative. But the selected Obama over Clinton because of their racial insecurities. It is these insecurities that will be exploited to push back against left opposition for the next three and a half years of this administration. If not longer.

The US must find a way to counter this strategy or it will see nothing come of healthcare reform, the Employee Free Choice Act or any legislation we hope to affect progressively.

Ideology vs Pragmatism vs you and me: The US Supreme Court

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 4, 2009 by marcg

Sonia SotomayorWith the pending retirement of US Supreme Court Associate Justice David Souter, a predictable media mini-circus (swine flu is the current circus) is opening up over it. Names are floated alongsides particular interests or so-called identity groups that would benefit or ‘like to see’ a certain candidate nominated. Care seems to be being taken to ensure it reads like every other very typical political script. A Latina is by definition progressive and will ‘satisfy’ Latin people, feminists and racial progressives generally. Specifically, Sonia Sotomayor is the Latina being suggested  as a likely Obama nominee. I will assume that since her name is appearing in major media that the Obama administration has suggested she is a frontrunner (it might be true or they might be trying to appear progressive according to the script).

Ethnic media outlet New America Media (NAM) is pushing the idea positively apparently for the simple reason that Sotomayor is of Puerto Rican descent, something we all should find highly dubious ever since that poor Black kid from Pin Point, Georgia arrived on the court almost 20 years ago and has voted with the right wing ever since. NAM supports the nomination writing that

Naming a Hispanic would soothe frayed nerves among Latino leaders

and approvingly of Sotomayor,

She is not an ideologue but has a pragmatic streak

I don’t think the NAM perspective is an isolated one. That pragmatism can be divorced from ideology is a curious notion. A pragmatic or practical way of looking at things within a highly ideological and extreme political context means that you aren’t interested in rocking the boat but going along to get along. I try to imagine a pragmatist in Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany or Benito Mussolini’s Italy. What does pragmatism mean in a country that leads the largest global wealth divide in human history? What does pragmatism look like in a country waging two imperialist hot wars and dozens of cold and covert wars? What is pragmatism in a country where children hide in the woods while their mothers and fathers are kidnapped off their jobs and ‘detained’? How to be pragmatic in a judicial system that imprisons five times as many Black men proportionally than did South Africa under apartheid? What does pragmatism look like on a court that last year ruled that it was okay for evidence obtained from an illegal arrest to be used against me? What is this non-ideological pragmatism? And is it what people of color need today? No less, should we consider it a victory if that is what we end up with on the Supreme Court? I can hardly think so. If Sotomayor or any pragmatic person of color ends up on the US Supreme Court, should Brown, Black, Red, and Yellow people celebrate?

Obama and the forces he represents (and those that still find themselves supporting him and those forces) would like to frame ideology as something to be avoided, as an obstacle to getting things done in Washington. In reality, extreme neoliberal ideology is behind everything that happens in DC and throughout most of this country. All the while claiming to be everything but ideological.

A Brown/Black/Red/Yellow, non-ideologue is the perfect tool of confusion for Obama and the billionaires whose interests he represents. Obama, of course is a perfect example of this kind of tool. As he gives millionaires and billionaires billions and trillions of dollars he is simultaneously juxtaposed next to Martin Luther King and Malcolm X on t-shirts. If that’s not confusion, nothing is.

To be clear, Sonia Sotomayor isn’t personally the problem. It’s just that under imperialism, to rise as high as she or Obama or anyone like them, you have to be pragmatic. You have to go along with the empire to get along with the empire. You have to be pragmatic.

We don’t need an appointee from Obama. We need a movement opposing the policies of Obama who watches while autoworkers get kicked out of their jobs and unto the streets of Detroit but trips over himself rushing to back trillions of dollars in loans to white guys that are already rich. We need a movement of revolutionary reality supplanting the hypnotic support of Barack Obama. We need it yesterday.

So no to Sotomayor, no to all appointees from the rich who make our lives miserable to begin with. They are the ones killing us, don’t count on them saving us.

White Supremacist Tea Parties and such…

Posted in Obama, White Supremacy with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by marcg

On Yahoo.com’s front page. No-the main story on Yahoo’s front page at the moment of this posting (8:22 am est April 16, 09) is about Barack Obama’s tax return and how much the rage it is on the web. White supremacy is, by the second now, going more and more mainstream.

I hadn’t posted on this blog for a while because there were other things going on, like getting laid off from the job and the supposedly eminent halt of public transit service here in Atlanta. There’s always lots going on politically if you care to get involved with something in Atlanta. With so much dirt being done and such a proportionally tiny response, there is always something for a troublemaker to get her/his hands into if so inclined. Recently the opposite has been happening.

Yesterday a crowd larger than any antiwar protest that has ever assembled on the streets of Atlanta, parked on the steps of the state capitol and surrounding streets to express its collective fury at the Obama administration’s class warfare on them and its rage at the theft of their tax dollars. It was a white power rally in drag. It was calling itself a tea party.

About ten thousand white folks came downtown to protest the federal deficit, their tax rate, ‘illegal’ humans, an immigrant (and thus illegal) president and out of control government spending. You’d have been hard-pressed to find anyone in this crowd interested in halting Barack Obama’s military budget, bigger than any ever put forward by either President Bush. This, so-called movement, like all white political activity related to the budget, is protest of monies going to non-whites, however those monies might reach non-white destinations. Isn’t odd how there was no tea party ‘movement’ under Bush with his ballooning budgets and deficits. There was the usual white noise whining on the AM dial but nothing materialized. With a Black man in the White House, all bets are off. But back to the tax return.

For years, there was the scandal of then Vice President, Dick Cheney, having been the CEO of one of Halliburton, a company that received billions in contracts after his election. The question arose as to how much was he making from Halliburton stock and other corporations he had ties to before assuming the office of VP.Was there ever a media-fueled effort to stoke public interest in his earnings?

Did mainstream media, the likes of Yahoo! ever link directly to his tax return as they have today with Obama? Of course not.

What will these hordes of whites the media ignores the racial aspect of in calling it a popular movement, do next? More importantly, what are progressive forces going to do?

The age of Obama becomes more interesting (and scary) everyday.

Obama Reopens Gitmo In Afghanistan

Posted in Afghanistan, Obama with tags , , , on February 27, 2009 by marcg

Not that anyone should be surprised by this.  The change we see will be the change we create.   The creation of Obama exists as an attempt to extend the life of American empire.  That said, how the Obama administration, and power generally, operates is worth noting and understanding.

The World Socialist Website reports.

Israel Is Burying Children Alive: Obama’s Response? ‘No Comment’

Posted in Apartheid, Palestine, US Politics with tags , , , , on December 30, 2008 by marcg

I am ready to die 100 times to bring back my daughters.

I am amazed that Anwar Balousha can even muster the courage to speak those words.  In just a couple of minutes yesterday, Israel killed his five daughters.  The three day death toll of Israel’s seige of Gaza neighborhoods stands officially at 364 this morning according to the WaPo.  I have nothing significant to say and this post is really only to feel like I’m not just standing around doing nothing, which is what I am doing and what I will continue to do.  War is being waged on my brothers and sisters and I sit here behind enemy lines, at a keyboard, in pain.  Impotent.  All I will do is say that it is wrong.  I won’t walk into the Israeli consulate and open fire on those who respresent and protect the killers.  I won’t even throw a rock through the window of their tony offices.  I surely have more power than I pretend to not have.  I could get press when they hauled me away to jail.  The peace movement, surely the only thing more impotent than myself, would denounce me.  I would probably lose a job I’m going to be laid off from anyhow.  But I won’t do anything.

I am afraid.

So I sit here in digital solidarity with so many others around the world protesting rhetorically.  Saying what everyone knows.  Israel is fascist.   Israel is killing our children.  Our voices pale so in comparison to the one who could lend so much assistance to the dying in Gaza.  But on this question, like many others to come for sure, Barack Hussein Obama has failed and continues to fail.  When asked for his take on the situation, his response is swift and ready.  “There is only one president at a time” comes spinning out of his mouth with the same calculated deliberation as the missile that spun to rest on the home of Anwar Balousha.  In macabre silence, president-elect Barack Obama stands with the killers of Zion as they target and kill police officers, eight university students yesterday.

Because it is so little, because people are dying while I sit here, half dressed, typing I am embarrassed.  If nothing else I can say, I must say, as a citizen of the US south, as a man of African descent, that Barack Obama is a fraud.  Like those before him, he’s a killer.  He is soon to be President of the United States which a  longer than necessary synonmy for fraud and murder, for genocide, for capitalism, for callousness.   Barack Obama is not Black.  He’s an embarrassment to humanity.  Not unlike or more so than those preceding him, but along with them.  Obama is not Black.  He’s disgusting.  Obama isn’t Black.  He’s the President.  The distinction apparently needs to be made.

Of course there are those out there that, while US bombs explode in the faces of  Palestinian college students and grandmothers, we must give him a chance.  It is time for you silly people to grow up.  Obama could save lives without speaking a word.  With an email, with a press release, the killing would end immediately.  But he won’t do this and besides repeating the line of the media, Hamas this or that, he won’t even say why.  If you understand how the world works in this regard, then you know why he won’t say.  If you don’t understand, you’ll say give him a chance or something else to prove your ignorance.  I am not a fool.  I’m a coward.  Or maybe, as my country marches deeper and deeper into fascism, my refusal to put my body and life on the line for Palestinian children may prove foolishness in the end when I, too, end up in a prison like Gaza.  Or maybe worse.  It’ll be too late then, of course.  And I won’t even have wordpress to make me feel better about how little I did to stop the killing of the US and by extension, Israel.

What would I do if I were Anwar Balousha?  I have no real illusions about what a rock through a window of the Atlanta Israeli consulate will accomplish.  I still can’t help but wonder if fear isn’t the foundation of the logic of my inaction.