Thursday, January 01, 2009

Obama: the Once and Future Kahuna

The inauguration of Saint Obama is almost upon us and no doubt the Obama faithful are as near rapture as they ever will be. And for our precious leader there will be
11,000 troops present to protect Obama from all evil. That’s right 11,000 troops and I hope they enjoy it because if Obama has his way their next stop will be Afghanistan and won’t they have a marvelous time of it over there.

But hey, hope is in the air, that’s that fragrant odor of change you may be smelling. Or is it something else? It might be the rotten stench of death. The tally of dead Palestinians is well over the 300 mark and climbing but Obama has nothing to say, no comment. Then one of his androids told us that there is only one prez to rule them and in the darkness bind them. This is indeed puzzling as it seemed that for a while Obama was already president showering us with his wisdom of the ages on this, that, and the other. Yet suddenly, when it comes to Palestine and Israel… not a peep. How can this be? Has the bright sheen of our noble leader acquired a bit of tarnish?

Obama was outspoken after South Ossetia was attacked by Georgia who then was summarily clobbered by Russia. Even after it was shown that Georgia attacked South Ossetia first killing Russian soldiers in the process Obama still had the following to say.


“Russia’s government must respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and other independent states. Its refusal to do so calls into question its commitment to the responsibilities of membership to organizations such as the OCSE and the Russia-NATO Council, its application to join the WTO and the OECD, and makes it impossible for Congress to enact the civil nuclear agreement. If Russia’s government continues to violate the norms and practices of the international community, the United States and our allies must review all aspects of relations with Russia.”

This is an astonishing statement considering that the U.S. so recently broke every international law in the international law book when we attacked Iraq a nation that had done absolutely nothing against the United States. But now there you go again, it’s that old time indoctrination poking its impish little head up or maybe Obama is just a horse’s ass or make that a donkey’s ass. And again when it comes to Israel slaughtering Palestinians where is Obama’s tough guy talk. Nowhere, zilch, nada, naught, zip. “Hey man, don’t look at me. Bush is the man, the prez, I jess be dancing behind the barn and surfing up a storm here in Hawaii playing the big Kahuna.

Jonathan Schwarz puts it nicely…


How completely predictable that Obama is eager to say what he "really thinks" when (1) what he "really thinks" is inaccurate and (2) it serves political power, but is not eager to do so when (3) what he "really thinks" is accurate and (4) it requires confronting political power. (Of course, god only knows what Obama truly believes about Israel/Palestine at this point.)

This, of course, is the beauty of our one party system. First we elect a buffoon who has just enough synapses to make his legs move and his mouth flap and after we were tired of Mr. Macho we elect a smiley face to whack the heathens albeit in a kinder and pragmaticer manner. Still, the whacked will be just as dead and probably don’t care who murdered them the important point being that they are just as dead in either case. Perhaps Obama can lead their ghosts in a rousing march to the tune of When the Saints Come Marching In.

The problem with Obama’s silence regarding the ongoing slaughter of Palestinians under the jackboot of Israel is that it doesn’t remove responsibility from Obama’s shoulders for doing the right thing as in at least putting into words the condemnation of such an atrocity as we are witnessing. Obama is in a position even if he has not been sworn into office yet of great responsibility, he could have put pressure on Bush to halt the genocide but he has chosen the cowardly path of remaining mute. This isn’t a portent of great things to come or a promise of leadership it is the craven bowing and scraping of political self-preservation. But then has Obama ever taken a strong stand on any controversial issue of importance? The answer is a resounding no for taking the weasel way is far more pragmatic and intelligent when one is concerned about retaining power. Mike Whitney sums it all up in his recent essay.


Perhaps Obama's inaction will finally put to rest the idea that he's a man who is seriously committed to justice or change. He's not. He's nothing more than an ambitious and well-spoken young man who's being used to conceal the genocidal operation of the imperial machine; a fact that is particularly poignant on a day like December 29, the 118th anniversary of Wounded Knee, when more than 200 Lakota Sioux were mowed down by the 7th Cavalry on the Pine Ridge Reservation marking the end of the Indian Wars. Like the Palestinians, the Indians were guilty of nothing more than having been born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Needless to say, if Obama had been around then, he would have looked askance and bit his tongue just as he has today. The truth is Obama is a "cool guy" who doesn't really feel that strongly about anything. That's why Obama's moral authority has been gravely eroded before he's even been sworn in. The bloody streets of Gaza are an indictment of Obama not Hamas.

When people see the photos of the Palestinian children being extracted from the debris of bombed-out buildings in Gaza; they should ask themselves whether Obama could have saved a few lives by just speaking out. The fact is, he had a chance to defend the people who can't defend themselves, but chose silence and complicity instead.


At January 01, 2009 6:37 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

But by the time you convince the joyful liberal electorate--those who voted to show their contempt for McPalin and their fellowship with African-Americans--many more innocents will die. Then, it will be too late for "change," so the joke's on us, I guess.

At January 01, 2009 1:07 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Mimi, I suppose the joke has always been on us. There never was much chance of convincing the faithful of anything.


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