Sunday, December 04, 2011

Liberal Apologists and Propagandists Defend President Obama Unconditionally While Obama Sells Out To The GOP, Big Business And Wall Street

A couple of days ago I was discussing Joshua Holland's response to Naomi Wolf's article in which she argued there was a conspiracy by the federal agencies to close down the Occupy Movement's sites in a number of cities. Now especially after reading the article by Katrina Vanden HeuvelI criticizing those who support Obama unconditionally and on all fronts as it were I began to wonder if this explains why Joshua Holland was so critical of Wolf's article that this may have had something to do with what he perceived as being an attack on the Obama Regime. There are those who support Obama who play the role of apologists for the Obama administration who believe it is a matter of disloyalty to criticize any policies of the Obama regime.
For more on Wolf Versus Holland see: Occupy Crackdowns: Naomi Wolf's Response to My Critique Largely Evades the Issue at Hand Wolf wants to have a wide-ranging discussion of everything but her many logical leaps and factual errors. by Joshua Holland via,Dec. 2, 2011

and from Naomi Wolf : The crackdown on Occupy controversy: a rebuttal Critics have accused me of concocting a fact-free 'conspiracy theory' about the policing of Occupy. I stand by my contentions by Naomi Wolf,, Dec. 2, 2011

President Obama during the 2008 election presented himself as someone who was going to challenge the status quo and that he was going to fundamentally change the way things are done in Washington. As we now see he has failed in carrying out this pledge and promise .His message of Hope and Change now sounds as empty and disingenuous as the slogans of most electoral campaigns.

We have a full laundry list of economic, political, social and legal issues of which Obama has failed to deliver any transformational change.

For instance as the Occupy Movement has shown Obama Instead of shaking up the status quo in Washington and Wall Street he seemed too easily to fall in line with agenda and wishes of Wall Street and the Big Corporations and the 1% by bailing out banks and big corporations while doing little to help average Americans who are finding that their wages are frozen or even rolled back or they find their jobs being eliminated while their mortgages are defaulted on so they become jobless or are underemployed or take jobs that pay minimum wage while the corporations ship jobs out of the country. These corporations which demanded government bailouts meanwhile are now making record profits and their CEOs get record high salaries and bonuses. Meanwhile these corporations and their CEOs do all they can to pay less taxes than the average American citizen.
No one is asking that these fat cats give up all their wealth but rather to just contribute their fair share. Historically from early on during the colonial period to the revolution era and beyond America has been ruled by the wealthy elites while disingenuously proclaiming their allegiance to democracy and egalitarian principles and the defense of the Rights of all citizens and not just the rich and powerful.

I would of course add that on foreign affairs President Obama's policies and actions are a disastrous continuation of the former Bush Regime's policies. Instead of ending the Bush policies on the Global War on Terror if anything Obama has rationalized the widening of the war into Pakistan and into the Pashtun Tribal area which straddles Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also for instance pushed NATO into military intervention into Libya while continuing to back various brutal authoritarian regimes in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia while intervening in Sudan, Yemen ,Somalia while threatening to bomb and or invade Iran and Syria.

Recently the Obama administration has been revving up the propaganda war against Iran to prepare American's for another bloody war in which most of the victims will be average innocent civilians in Iran. What in some ways is most disturbing about this misinformation campaign against Iran is that it is a carbon copy of the Bush Regime's campaign to get the support of a large number of Americans for the invasion and eight year long occupation of Iraq.

As we saw previously in the speech of Wesley Clark President Obama is accused and and I think rightly so of continuing with the former George Bush /Cheney Regime's Neoconservative policies to defend Israel at all costs and to destabilize the Middle East to soften the region up for American dominance and hegemony.

Progressives Don’t Hate Ourselves by Katrina vanden Heuvel Wshington Post via, November 30, 2011

Writing in New York magazine, Jonathan Chait joins the chorus of Obama advocates decrying “self-loathing liberals” who criticize the president. Chait writes better than most, but he hews to the common theme that criticism of Obama isn’t justified by reality but instead reflects either political naivete or psychological imbalance. The argument gets it wrong, distorting the politics of the left and the realities of the country.

...Obama became president in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression. He had a majority mandate for change, large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, the most progressive speaker, Nancy Pelosi, in the history of the country. Conservatism was in disarray, discredited by its evident failures at home and abroad. Obama put forward reforms in areas that the country must address, offering what can generously be considered pre-compromised proposals.

The biggest liberal groups in the country lined up to help pass his agenda. They stayed loyal even as his aides cut deals they found deplorable (sustaining the ban on Medicare negotiating bulk discounts on prescription drugs; abandoning the public option; buying off big oil, King Coal and virtually every energy lobby; opposing restructuring of the big banks). He faced unified Republican obstruction, not liberal opposition. Powerful corporate lobbies were able to purchase sufficient conservative Democrats – Blue Dogs, New Dems – to dilute, delay and sometimes defeat reform. Progressives in Congress criticized the limitations, but produced votes when it was time to get something passed.

Accomplishment can’t be measured by the passage of legislation but by whether it meets the challenge of the time. And here, it is inescapable that the combination of Republican obstruction and entrenched corporate lobbies blocked the reforms that we need. Some 26 million people remain in need of full-time work, and one-third of the country is in — or verges on — poverty. Some 50 million are uninsured, and millions more live one illness from bankruptcy. Big banks are more concentrated than ever, while nothing has been done for the one in four homes with mortgages that remain under water. College grows more unaffordable. The biggest reform in education is the funding carnage that is wiping out pre-school and after school programs, stuffing kids into classes of 35 or 45 students and laying off tens of thousands of skilled teachers.

If anything, Obama was hurt because progressives were too loyal rather than that they were too critical. Certainly that was the conclusion drawn by everyone from the AFL-CIO to to the activists of Occupy Wall Street. In a famous scene, the president told the 13 biggest bankers that he stood “between them and the pitchforks.” But there wasn’t sufficient evidence of an independent movement on the left – with or without pitchforks – to alarm the banksters. They scorned the president, took their bailouts, and continued to pay themselves obscene bonuses while returning to speculation as usual.

In the article above by Katrina Vanden heuvel she is critical of an article by Jonathan Chait a typical apologist for President Obama's Administration in which he argued that the criticisms by progressives and liberals of Obama are unjustified and that he believes that liberals and progressives are never happy with a democratic president. In his view They expect too much of President Obama and ignore his major achievements. But Katrina Van heuvel points out the problem is that Jonathan Chait exaggerates Obama's achievements which in fact she believes are slight.

Another issue raised is that Democrats and liberals as opposed to Republicans and conservatives are somehow unique in their willingness to critique a Democratic President . In fact Republicans have been just as outspoken about Republican presidents and their policies foreign and domestic.

After all Obama's domestic policies on Health Care for example are far from being as comprehensive as they ought to have been. Obama has over and over again given in to the Republicans and the lobbyists for Big Business and the Wall Street bullies Including Big Pharma and the Health Insurance Industry even when he had an overwhelming majority and a mandate by the voters to shake up the status quo in Washinton.

Obama has done nothing to shake up the terrible prison system and justice system in America.
Visible minorities are still disproportionately stopped and searched , charged with various crimes and then are disproportionately incarcerated and for longer sentences than are their white counterparts.
On corporate run prisons for profit see:
The Shocking Ways the Corporate Prison Industry Games the System The private prison system has rebounded, growing dramatically, and making big bucks with huge help from the Feds, as large numbers of immigrants are incarcerated. by Rania Khalek via

One of the contributing factors in the explosion in the prison population is the draconian illicit drug laws which are disproportionately enforced on the lower economic and social class including visible minorities that is blacks and Hispanics.

For instance we don't hear much about offices on Wall Street raided for suspicion of cocaine on the premises. Nor do we hear about police doing a sweep through some upper class neighborhood to search for drugs in people's homes. Of course not even though statistically and demographically large numbers of middle class and upper class people also take drugs on a fairly regular basis. Of course the well off are not likely to use certain drugs such as rock-cocaine but rather use the more expensive and purer form of Cocaine.

So why does the criminal justice system in America treat the various classes of citizens and those of particular minorities or those in particular communities differently and unfairly. Justice is supposed to be blind but it ain't.

The police and Justice system like the government in general serves the rich and powerful the 1% and their quislings in the upper Middle Class.
And in America it should be noted the prison system has become just another Big Business concern -the more prisoners the higher the profits.

Obama like previous presidents in order to appease the GOP and conservative Democrats is just as committed to the costly ineffective and disastrous War on Drugs.

Obama could have if he truly believed in a "Just Society" on coming into office in January 2009 called for a more rational policy in dealing with illicit drugs.
For instance called for at least a moratorium on arresting citizens for simple possession of Marijuana and other so called soft drugs.

He could have called for more government funded programs to help those addicted to various drugs rather than simply tossing them into prisons .
Obama had it in his power to set up subcommittees or independent study groups to investigate illicit drug use in America with instructions to come up with reasonable proposals such as decriminalization or in some cases legalization and distribution even Cranky old William F. Buckley and other conservatives have been extremely critical of the costly and senseless war on drugs.

Obama is now going after not just those who sell and who use marijuana as a recreational drug but appears to be launching a war on the use of medical Marijuana. So his policies are even more conservative than George W. Bush or Bill Clinton.

According to precendeces in the law any law which is unenforceable that is the law has no effect on people's behavior and in fact unnecessarily crimializes a large portion of society.
A law is also to be questioned when it targets unfairly particular groups in society as opposed to the general population even when those breaking the law come more or less from all economic levels of society and that those breaking the law represent a cross section of the population by race, creed , religion etc.

This was why the experiment with Prohibion was ended and shown to have been a complete failure and a very costly one in terms of law enforcement and unnecessary upheal in the lives of people across the board.

What results is that average law abiding citizens become criminals for their personal behavior which for the most part if the unjust law didn't exist would not have a negative effect on the society in general.

The drug laws in the U.S. have even more negative effect and stigmatizing of the drug users who can be tossed into jail for prolonged periods unjustifiably because of the three strike rule by which on a minor offence if found guilty for a third time one can be incarcerated as if one were a dangerous criminal.

Ironically because of the laws against the use of these drugs have a negative effect on those who have become psychologically or physically addicted who might otherwise seek help to cut down or eliminate the use of certain drugs.

The laws also have a negative effect on educating citizens especially the young on the reality of the dangers or pit falls for some if they use a particular drug. When educators or the media or government agencies present a message on drugs if the message is shown to be filled with misinformation unwarranted claims poor research and studies when the intended audience knows that the facts presented are exaggerated or just plain wrong and so loses trust of those in positions of authority who appear to just make shit up.

Not everyone who uses alcohol becomes an alcoholic or problem drinker even though alcohol is addictive . Because some people have issues with alcohol addiction or just no tolerance for alcohol that is drinking alcohol for some is like drinking poison we do not then jump to the conclusion that therefore alcohol should become illegal.

Obama has been somewhat dismissive of the very idea of setting up an independent body to study the feasibility of ending the War on Drugs and moving towards decriminalization and legalization.

This would lead to billions of scarce dollars being spent each year while creating an industry of growing, processing and selling such drugs legally while creating a new tax revenue for the governments . For instance if the tabacco growers who slowly going out of business and processers were smart they would be the ones to handle most of the growing of Marijuana and therefore reaping the profits.

As for other drugs many of these could be handled by the pharmaceutical companies thereby profiting by the development better controlling quality and strength , processing and selling of such drugs. This could also lead to better regulation and quality control and even making such drugs safer to usewhich all in all is better than having millions of people buying illegal drugs for which there is guarntee for its quality or its dangers.

see for instance:
Ceasefire in the War on Drugs? by Gwynne Dyer Via November 19, 2011

also see video
  The Young Turks Don't Legalize Drugs, Test Welfare Recipients - Gingrich Dec. 4, 2011

President Obama has continued with Bush policies concerning Guantanamo, renditions Indefinite detention prolonged solitary confinement denying rights of POWs and even American citizens alleged to have some connection with terrorists-

and Obama legalizes not drugs but the targeted killings/ execution of U.S. citizen who are alleged to be involved in terrorism see:

  TYT Video Legal for U.S. Govt to Execute Citizen's Abroad? by TYT Dec. 3, 2011

President Obama has continued the Bush policies in refusing to sign on to International agreements to ban specific weapons such as Napalm /White Phosphorus, Cluster Bombs, Landmines  or to enforce the rights of Child Soldiers or of POWS etc.
on Napalm see:
  Napalm/ White phosphorus
Napalm & Downing Street 
US admits it used napalm bombs in Iraq

, Cluster bombs see :
  UK backs bid to overturn ban on cluster bombs
Campaigners say US-led proposals to water down global ban give a 'green light' to use the weapons The Independent, Nov. 9,2011

land mines see:
  U.S. Attends Mine Ban Treaty Meeting
Civil Society Questioning Prolonged Landmine Policy Review at USCB

and : U.S. Led Attempt to Allow Cluster Bomb Use is Rejected at UN CCW Negotiations

or to agree to the designation of "Child Soldiers" see from:
Amnesty International : USA: Military commission proceedings against (Child Soldier) Omar Khadr resume, as USA disregards its international human rights obligations.

or even to sign onto Convention on the Rights of the Child which only the U.S. and Somalia refuse to endorse
(if the US did then children wouldn't be permitted to work at a young age for wages below minimum wage and that would upset the GOP and Newt Gingrich & Wall Street and Big Business especially those employing children in slave like conditions to enhance the company's profit margin & Obama does not object???
Then again America was built on the Institution of Slavery )

Obama has also breached international law by not keeping track of civilians killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, Pakistan or Libya etc. International law requires those involved in military actions to keep a body count of enemy killed and or civilians and to take steps to inform authorities in the respective countries of the number killed and to attempt to identify those killed .
And further Obama has refused to give the International Committee of The Red Cross free access to those incarcerated by the U.S.

And Obama has committed the crime of refusing to investigate the War Crimes and other alleged crimes committed by the previous administration . This in itself is a violation of International Law and of American law.

The Bush Regime and the Obama Regime play fast and loose with not just International laws but also with American laws so that no one can interfere with the US treatment of prisoners.
Therefore they believe they can legitimately incarcerate alleged terrorists for an indefinite period and without being charged.

Bush and Obama in order to deny those accused of their basic rights as prisoners Of War they are referred to in another bit of Orwellian doublespeak as "detainees". Somehow by a strange twist of logic by merely using a different name for prisoners this allows the US government and its allies to treat those imprisoned in whatever manner they deem fitting ie abuse and torture
In this way the US has been rather uncooperative with human rights organizations including the Red Cross or Red Crescent at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib or Bagram or a hundred other facilities run either openly or surreptitiously by the U.S..

Over and over again Obama has been dismissive of any international Laws or agreements which are not convenient for America or might lead to the prosecution of Americans ie Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld , Colin Powell George Tenet, Wolfowitz, Alberto Gonzales, Condoleeza Rice et al and now two years later President Obama himself and his crew of thugs Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden et al.

see Obama as early as February 20, 2009 insisted: No rights for Bagram prisoners
Sides with Bush, says detainees can't challenge detention in U.S. courts

and in March 2009 : Obama lawyers: Ex-Guantánamo detainees have no rights: PRISONERS OF WAR

The US since 9/11 has been in breach of a number of International Laws for which if the U.S. wasn't so powerful it would be treated as arogue nation like Libya or Iraq or Syria etc. and hopefully if this cam to pass to be tossed out of the Security Council if not the United Nations itself. But when Americans massacre innocent civilians or abuse and torture prisoners or invade sovereign nations based upon sheer lies and propaganda they always get a free pass.

Even legislators in the British Parliament are calling for President Obama to shut down Guantanamo Bay prison.

This is news because Great Britain under Tony Blair and beyond has been America's staunchest ally. President Obama as he has all along has refused to shut down Guantanamo or to release most if not all the prisoners since even the guilty could claim having spent enough time in jail and have been abused and tortured to the extent that they have paid their debt and more as it were to America .

But of course Obama refuses because if he publicly admits that the majority of those incarcerated over the last decade in Guantanamo were not guilty of any serious crimes and that those in positions of authority under Bush and Obama knew this or just didn't care. For some of those in power wanted to teach these Arabs, Afghanis, Iraqis and Muslims that they shouldn't mess with America.

So as in this situation and others Obama is not a friend of the Muslim world and will only support the various Muslim and Arab nations if they support American interests and those of its corporations unconditionally.

Further as we have seen in Obama's reluctance to support The Arab Spring he is not in favor of democratic free autonomous independent sovereign states unless their rulers and governments act in favor of U.S. and Western interests before the interests of their own countries.
President Obama may have an appealing rhetorical style but it is in the end more window dressing to hide the real agenda of America which is self-serving and to hell with all other nations .
Behind Obama's friendly smiles is just another typical self-serving " Ugly American " .

Obama refuses to close Guantanamo or even to release those for whom there is no evidence to prove they are terrorists . Even those who have been shown to be innocent over the years have been denied their rights and have been abused and tortured. Even Obama is not on the side of justice or human rights or International law concerning the treatment of Prisoners of War .
And still I find it maddening that so many Obama supporters deny these facts claiming Obama ended the abuse and torture of prisoners.He feels he can say this honestly because he like Bush has redefined what amounts to abuse or torture.

Besides as Cheney would say no one has the right to judge America and so the US government and its agencies the CIA, the Pentagon, the Department of Justice, Homeland Security have the right to do as they please because America is on a mission from GOD.
The more secular American view wraps itself in the Flag and Manifest Destiny and American exceptionalism or even the "The Will To Power' and that as the only superpower other nations must mind their own business except when America demands and bully them into compliance and cooperation as in using NATO to carpet bom Libya killing thousands of innocent civilians in order to make libyans free to be governed by possibly just another brutal authoritarian regime no better if not worse than Gaddafi . There is also concern that the new Libyan regime may copy the Afghanistan Taliban's strict medieval style of Sharia that is Islamic law and impose this law on the citizens of Libya whether they like it or not.

" EXCLUSIVE: An Open Letter to the US Congress From Members of the British Parliament About Guantanamo "
by: Jeremy Corbyn, John Leech, Caroline Lucas and Michael Meacher, Truthout | Op-Ed December 01,2011

As a group of elected members of Parliament (MP) from all the main parties represented at Westminster, we are outraged by the current position of the US Congress which, apparently, means that Guantanamo Bay prison will never be closed, and, of particular concern to us, that a British resident who was cleared for release more than two years ago, cannot return here.

The US official document given to him states, "On January 22, 2009 the president of the United States ordered a new review of the status of each detainee in Guantanamo. As a result of that review you have been cleared for transfer out of Guantanamo.... The US government intends to transfer you as soon as possible...."

Mr. Shaker Aamer, who has a British wife and four children, has now been held for nine and a half years, despite the fact that officials in the US governments of both President Bush and President Obama have been aware for several years that there was never a case for him to answer.

During this period Mr. Aamer has been tortured by US agents - for example, by having his head repeatedly banged against a wall - and has witnessed the torture of another UK resident.

In January of this year, with eight other prisoners, Mr. Aamer started a new hunger strike to press for his release. In a scribbled note to his lawyers on the official paper saying he could be released, he urged them to work fast and get him home to his wife and kids "before it's too late."

In recent days, new evidence has emerged via a legal representative who has visited Mr. Aamer about his fragile state of health, including extreme kidney pain and serious asthma problems. He is clearly in urgent need of an independent medical assessment.

The British foreign secretary has raised this appalling case with the US secretary of state, stressing its high importance to the UK government and to many people in Britain who are shocked by the painful injustice Mr. Aamer and his British family have suffered at the hands of our ally.

In Britain, we have seen nine UK citizens and five UK residents returned from Guantanamo, after prolonged negotiations and court action, and the UK government took the responsibility for those men's conduct on their return. All have been exemplary members of our society ever since. There is no reason to believe Mr. Aamer would be any different, and the UK government is responsible for verifying that.

Mr. Aamer was not returned with the others during the Bush period, perhaps because he knew too many terrible stories from the prison. As a Saudi citizen, educated in the US, with a warm and outgoing personality, he had language and social skills that made him a chosen leader in several negotiations with the US authorities in Guantanamo Bay prison - notably over ending earlier hunger strikes. The negotiations failed when the prison authorities did not keep the bargains made, according to lawyers familiar with that period in the prison. Mr. Aamer's prominence among the prisoners has been reported by former prisoners, by several US guards and a number of lawyers with experience in his case.

and so it goes,

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