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Forum Post: Hope is Burning or who will Obama bomb next?

Posted 2 years ago on May 31, 2012, 10:32 a.m. EST by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

By Robert Scheer

So now we have Rambo Obama, a steely warrior who, according to a lengthy leaked insider account in The New York Times, hurls death-dealing drones at anyone who threatens the good old USA. Including children. Those children are presumed guilty by virtue of proximity, and the Times plays along, not even modifying a targeted terrorist with the word “alleged,” as once had been the paper’s convention: “When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises—but his family is with him—it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.” An aerial view of Kabul, Afghanistan is seen through the window of a Soviet-era helicopter. Much more sophisticated weapons are at the president’s disposal when he orders an assassination. (AP/Rafiq Maqbool)

Obama as the cool triggerman is an image useful to White House operatives as they buff the president’s persona for the coming election. But what it reveals is the mindset of a political cynic whose seductive words cloak the moral indifference of a methodical executioner. Forget Harry Truman, who obliterated the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or Lyndon Johnson, who carpet-bombed millions in Vietnam. The Democrats have got themselves another killer, one whose techniques are as devastatingly effective, but brilliantly refined.

The story obviously was planted in The New York Times to benefit the Obama political campaign. Otherwise, why would the president’s former chief of staff, William Daley, and three dozen current and past intelligence insiders provide the newspaper with the most sensitive details of national security decision-making?

Pfc. Bradley Manning was held for many months in solitary confinement for allegedly disclosing information of far lower security classification. The difference is that the top secrets in the news article are ones the president wants leaked in the expectation they will burnish his “tough on terrorism” credentials. This is clearly not the Obama whom many voted for in the hope that he would stick by his word, including the pledge he made on his second day in office to ban brutal interrogation and close the prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. “What the new president did not say was that the orders contained a few subtle loopholes,” the Times now reports concerning the early promises by Obama. “They reflected a still unfamiliar Barack Obama, a realist who, unlike some of his fervent supporters, was never carried away by his own rhetoric.”

Parse that sentence carefully to learn much of what is morally decrepit in our journalism as well as politics. The word “realist” is now identical to “hypocrite,” and the condemnation of immoral behavior addresses nothing more than “rhetoric” that only the “fervent” would take seriously. The Times writers all but thrill to the lying, as in recounting the new president’s response to advisers who warned him against sticking to his campaign promises on Guantanamo prisoners: “The deft insertion of some wiggle words in the president’s order showed that the advice was followed."

How telling that reporters who might as well be PR flacks are so admiring of the power of “wiggle words” to free a politician from accountability to the voters who put him in office: “A few sharp-eyed observers inside and outside the government understood what the public did not. Without showing his hand, Mr. Obama had preserved three major policies—rendition, military commissions and indefinite detention—that have been targets of human rights groups since the 2001 terrorist attacks.”

The Obama answer to those human rights groups is the same as that offered by George W. Bush: Get the Justice Department to say that anything goes. When Obama wanted to kill “an American citizen, in a country with which the United States was not at war, in secret and without the benefit of a trial,” the Times tells us, “[t]he Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel prepared a lengthy memo justifying that extraordinary step, asserting that while the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process applied, it could be satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch.” Obama approved, and two American citizens were assassinated, including Samir Khan, who was not on any official list of targeted terrorists. “This is an easy one,” Obama told his chief of staff.

What makes such decisions particularly easy is that Obama does not have to release any details of drone attacks or the legal rulings of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that justify the assassinations—exactly the practice that Bush followed in regard to the OLC briefs that he cited for the legality of his torture policy. Michael Hayden, a director of the CIA under Bush and now an adviser to presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, accurately described the danger that this poses to a democratic society: “This program rests on the personal legitimacy of the president, and that’s not sustainable. I have lived the life of someone taking action on the basis of secret O.L.C. memos, and it ain’t a good life. Democracies do not make war on the basis of legal memos locked in a [Department of Justice] safe.”

But imperial plutocracies do.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hope_burning_20120531/

50 Comments

50 Comments


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[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

militants are defined as males that are of military age. Doesn't mean they were bad.

If 50 innocent 18 year old boys got droned.... they look at it as taking out 50 militants.

No more warmonger presidents. We can't allow GWB's and BHO's and WMR's to be our presidents any longer. VOTE SMART. Vote for peace not bombs!

If they support bombing nations that did not attack us... you should not support them!!

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

I'm sure the DNC and Obama partisans will hemorrhage when reading this post. They want all of us to swallow the notion that their beloved leader is really not the Barack Obama, who has reneged on nearly all the campaign promises of 2008.

Instead, the partisans portray him as a knight in shining armor single-handedly battling the dragons of "RepubliCONs."

Of course they only succeed in further convincing many of us that either major political party will resort to any deceit to insure their candidates are elected. Trash any semblance of actuality; substitute partisan fantasy. Only winning counts.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

except one party has stated they would cut taxes for the 1% by cutting from the elderly, poor, and middle class, while the other party wants to raise 1% taxes to help the 99%. I guess thats one difference.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

We can always argue relative merit, but don't try to convince me the next eletion will bring change we can believe in. If Obama wins, we will probably have a rehash of his first term.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

It will take years to unravel/undue the crimes perpetrated by the 1% right wing neo cons against the 99%. "next election"? what.? Its gonna take decades.!!! Especially if we buy into the nonsense that "the parties both the same" then nothing will get change because that is what the 1% want. And President Obama is one man. There many political offices that we must fill with pols who support the issues we believe in. We must vote out anti 99% pols. And even then we must watch them. protest continually. Vote them out when they waver. protest. this will take decades. Don't you agree?

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

I believe to get to the point of rapid evolution will take decades.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

WTF "rapid evolution? what is that code?. Speak clearly. Do you think the parties are the same on the issues that affect the 99% taxes, health care, fin reform, energy? c'mon its not difficult.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Kropotkin defined rapid evolution as revolution.

We can discuss the small differences between the two major parties and the relative merits of each. If I have to pick between Satan and Lucifer, I'll choose the Democrats, only because they at least mouth the right words, but, like parrots, don't really consider the meanings or ever really intend to benefit the working person.

The partisans never see that OWS has offered a solution all along; they refuse to acknowledge that "the only solution is revolution."

Rather, they choose to believe the same failed methods will somehow provide a different result this time. They beg for a leader, preferably one who rides a white horse, and follow that person refusing to accept their own responsibilities and duties to change our society as individuals.

Sorry, but it "ain't gonna happen." The individuals of our society have to take the reins themselves casting off the concept of leaders and leadership, which have always eventually resulted in some type of authoritarian government. If this all sounds familiar, it should. It pretty well recounts history of the United States.

[-] 2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 2 years ago

Exactly!

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

We have had false choices for decades. The difference now is OWS. We can't let other (politicians) do for us. We must protest/pressure. Before and after elections. We can't ignore elections, pretend they don't matter because of the common corruption amongst the parties. We must attempt to co opt one of the parties. If only to allow the process towards anarchy that much easier/likely. If we stay home then the right wing neocons will gain more power. If we vote we may start the process of moving the liberals back towards the left, closer towards the needs of the 99%. We can give the dems a backbone. Lets urge revolution I will be with you when it comes. Until then I can't pretend the parties are the same. They ain't. We can co opt one. It is worth a try.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

I do not advocate ignoring elections, but refuse to swallow the partisan tripe that somehow President Obama has been railroaded by the evil Republicans. He and other Democrats had sufficient opportunity to provide some, at least a morsel, of meaningful change. They have not.

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney may provide me enough reason to vote, but not because I--for a second--believe that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid will miraculously become true representatives of the proletariat. In this particular case I choose to paraphrase Milton, and hope, if somewhere he can read these abominable words, he chooses to forgive me, "Better to vote for ruin than vote for damnation."

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

The dems did not have a real movement to use as leverage. We have been asleep. I hope you ain't one of those who thinks "they haven't what I want" We gotta protest. In the words of Adam Yauch "We gotta fight for our right to party". We can't expect to lay back and have everything done for us. We started a movement 6 months ago. These things take decades. Don't be an impatient spoiled American.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

The Democratic Party will no more allow the Occupy movement to co-opt it than the Party allowed Eugene McCarthy and the flower children to co-opt it in 1968.

You have to realize that what you're proposing has been tried before. I don't believe any of us can ignore the present political system, only because we live in it, but at the same time we cannot delude ourselves into believing the present system offers any hope of real solutions.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Then what is your plan?!!! Stop telling me what not to do!! You are simply telling me not to vote. We need action. What is your plan.?

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

For the time being, like you, I am forced to vote, but at the same time I will work to educate the proletariat. The first move of any successful revolution is to teach the workers. Even Che, who believed in an authoritarian,violent revolution, knew that workers needed to learn how to disengage from the current political regime.

Quiet insurrection, however, through increasingly severe general strikes will eventually bring any political system to its knees. The Quebecois movement has succeeded because the participants are not afraid to disrupt the lives of all Canadians and bring attention to their demands.

American workers, generally, have been indoctrinated through decades of propaganda to loathe the idea of strikes and the disruption of general commerce.They naively believe that any change to benefit the proletariat can be effected through the ballot box, when--of course--the whole system is rigged to only give them the option of two reactionary candidates, most often, one far more reactionary than the other.

The general trend from America's nascent socialism, introduced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to the near-fascist society of today--fascist corporatism as Mussolini called it--is no accident. The advances made by Roosevelt have been steadily eroded, so that now, the corporate puppets seek to destroy even unemployment insurance and Social Security.

So, finally, as OWS proclaims, the only solution is revolution.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Well I can agree with much of that. Would love to see and would take part in a general strike. Certainly the Montreal tactics are excellent guides. I agree with all the observations on indoctrination against strikes and ballot box solutions. But y'know FDR was elected at the ballot box. So although it will take decades we cannot give up on voting. But I am with you on the strikes even revolution if it can defined for me. I prefer non violence.

[-] 0 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

If you recall, Roosevelt won four straight elections, because the workers realized they had found someone willing to toss them a bone.

The politicians fixed that. So that no populist president, like Roosevelt, could ever centralize so much power again. He scared the 1%. He gave away a little too much.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

I acknowledge these FDR facts, I would add that the republicans are the ones who passed the term limits to prevent future populist presidents. That was right wing against left wing. We need a strong, progressive left wing if we want to help the 99%. That will take decades whether a 3rd party or co opting/strengthening existing left leaning dems. Progressive agenda is served by the left wing. It is natural. Progressive constituents are growing every election cycle, Right wing constituents shrinking. We must stop their desperate efforts to suppress vote (ALEC), and steal elections (citizens united/corp peronhood). We should push for mandatory voting for all citizens. It is what the 1% fear most, and will facilitate all agenda items the 99% need.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

"We can co-opt one"....Right!!.....Im sure the establishment will let you take over the establishment. Where do you get this stuff from?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

I get it from history. emancipation came from a co opted entrenched system. Womens sufferage, worker rights, Social security, civil rights. It ain't easy. it always takes decades and cannot works without a potent protest movement like OWS. What is your plan?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Money is power. Fight power with power.

How do we get power?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Are you the Riddler.? whats your plan?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

The growth of people's knowledge of our corrupted government and their own growth in their ability to moderate and create plans of action, carry them out, and lead, was a great thing to witness with OWS.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Ok great. What should I do. Whats the plan?

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

I would go to your local occupy, I believe you previously stated you are in NYC, right?

Anyways, and this is stricly my opinion, I would push for more outreach into the communities, recruiting and educating.

I found the reactions of the people we distributed literature to just as rewarding as the honks and yells while protesting.

Adults want adult answers, and I think it helped to show that we are serious about real change, change that 99% of the people believe in. Basic, meaningful change.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Do exactly what it was we were doing in the beginning, before the media got involved. Target teh 91% of the population that is tired of CONGRESS, and wants things to dramatically change.

Decry both parties, focus on gathering the people and creating GA's. let them speak and talk and think, and the rest will take care of itself.

Its why I am such a big supporter of Social Outreach Workgroups. Without the masses, there is no movement. And the masses are tired fo the current two party dynasty, and for good reason.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Sure, Done!. I'm with that. I also believe we must engage anti 99% people to pursuade them to support OWS. We must encourage all people to vote based on the issues. Too many have died for that right. I believe we must challenge the fallacy that the parties are the same. They ain't. And protest! Constant protest! Agitate, agitate, agitate!. I agree with your plans. Do you agree with mine?

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6614) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Welcome back, hc. Thought you left for good.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

haha

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Ok I'm with you (mostly) let me know what we are gonna do. In the meantime, the in between time theres an election in 5mos. This cycle there is something new. The OWS movement.! We can affect the election while we are waiting for "the rest to take care of itself". So while I can support you. I guess you won't support me. but I understand. You are very bust waiting for the rest to take care of itself.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Not waiting. Helping and organizing.

[-] -1 points by TheMisfit (48) 2 years ago

You know what? Your guy had the chance for two years to do what you think is right and what did he do? He kept the Bush tax cuts and created a "healthcare" law that was really a give more money to health insurance law. Are you really so fucking stupid that you actually believe your own drivel? I guess so since you still think there is a chance for a "change you can believe in". Pathetic.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

One party obstructed the healthcare public option with historic use of the filibuster, You're the F%$#ing idiot who thinks anyone forgets what your republicans have done to this country for the benefit of the 1%. This President has put in place the best Health care plan in history. With the protest support he should have had he can improve it. You must be a lazy spoiled piece of s$#t if you think we should vote for someone then lay back and expect them to do everything for us. If he had us protesting for what we wanted we would have gotten more. We ave some chance now if we can grow and defeat the (right wing) 1% traitorous supporters.

[-] -1 points by TheMisfit (48) 2 years ago

Holy crap, you just gave the biggest laugh of the day. Thank you so much.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Shut the F%$# up you worthless 1% tool. You stand with the 1% criminals who crashed our economy and prey on you and your family. They cannot succeed without the support of half the 99% (right wing) voting for 1% interests. You have turned against you own class. You have no honor!

[-] -1 points by TheMisfit (48) 2 years ago

OMG stop, your "Democrat lemming" stick is too much to take. My sides hurt. You are pure comedy gold.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Then you give up! You realize your ignorance and acknowledge the superiority of my position. I win. You are a loser.

[-] 0 points by TheMisfit (48) 2 years ago

Superiority of your position? You just spouted off Dem talking points. You have bought the "hope and change" lie, line for line. It is funny as hell to see a partisan hack go off and talk right wing this and 1% that. You obviously cannot create your own thoughts, so you rely on the DNC to do your thinking for you. If you actually opened your eyes and looked at what is happening in DC, you would see that both parties are playing the people against each other in order to keep themselves in power and wealthy. Keep playing the left/right divide. Your masters depend on your blind loyalty.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

You are clearly the republican hack. The parties are vastly different. One has promised to cut taxes for the 1%, The other has tried to increase those taxes. One party supports citizens united and corp personhood, the other doesn't. One supports healthcare for all, one supports stronget Fin reform, the other doesn't, One supports alternative energy, the other does not, One supports immigrants, the other doesn't. One supports unions, the doesn't. I don't have to mention a party. people will know from the issues. I haven't mentioned hope and change. thats a slogan. I don't listen to DNC (or anyone). You don't believe there is a left and right? What are you a moron? The left will support progressive issues that benefit the 99% the right supports 1% greedy, traitorous criminals. Bam! Always been that way, even before America! Sucka!

[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 2 years ago

Well said, well said.

[-] 0 points by Odin (583) 2 years ago

I always will remember (as a kid) my mom RIP saying that she would always vote for a Presidential canidate who had been in a war over one that hadn't been. Obviously she thought that someone who had seen the horrors of war would be less likely to get us into one. While I do not know her entire voting record, I do know that she voted for Eisenhower, and Kennedy. Of course the ideal would be for both canidates not to have been to war, but to understand the human misery that it causes. Unfortunately today war has become a way to prove your bravado.

[-] -1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Why aren't you attacking Romney too for his war policy? Partisan much?

[-] 2 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 2 years ago

Look we all know Romney will be just as much a warmonger as Obama but Obama was supposed to be this great progressive and he turned out to be just as bad as Bush or worse in some regards. It aggravates me these people who claim to be on the left and then support this man murdering people all over the world. That and Romeny isnt in power and he may never be so he isnt a war crimminal yet but I am fully sure if given the oppurtunity he will be just as bad as the rest of them.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (26523) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

I can help. Let me let me................

You know whats funny Romney was all over the current admin for bombing Libyan military vehicles - for America intervening in a dictator slaughtering his population.

Now He is on the air last night saying that we should be doing the same thing in Syria.

Two faced Much?

[-] -1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

I guess he'll bomb anyone he damn well pleases! Cause he's one bad ass motherf%$#er. Got a problem with that?

[-] -1 points by pirateman (-3) 2 years ago

And the Democrats called Cheyney a "Chickenhawk" for advocating war when he was unwilling to participate himself. Obama fits the bill perfectly--he glorifies his role in killing ("I ordered it"; "I made the call") to appear as one tough hombre. The fact that women and children are dying in the drone strikes seems to give him little trouble; yet waterboarding KSM was a "war crime". The man is a cynical hypocrite.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (26523) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

You know whats funny Romney was all over the current admin for bombing Libyan military vehicles - for America intervening in a dictator slaughtering his population.

Now He is on the air last night saying that we should be doing the same thing in Syria.

Two faced Much?

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Nice job of igoring the one with the current job, and focusing on the guy filling out the application.

Only in politics is this stupid way of looking at things tolerated.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (26523) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Holy roller - Hey I thought you got yourself banned.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

working