Sunday, January 25, 2009

Red Rain: The Ascendancy and Downfall of Barack Obama

Last Tuesday Americans were in Obama heaven celebrating the inauguration of another president happy with the exit of a very unpopular George W. Bush. A few days later missiles were slamming into the homes of people in Pakistan killing as many as twenty people three or four of them being but mere children. I have seen absolutely nothing about this in the more popular liberal blogs. There are the usual comments about what Rush Limbaugh said and how liberals are always misrepresented and misunderstood by the right. The Rush Limbaughs of the world are always a favorite distraction for the faithful and provides a convenient way to ignore the more murderous aspects of the people that they shill for and help put in office. It isn’t so much that it is within our power to actually elect someone who could affect change but to shill for the wind-up mannequins who have the ruling class stamp of approval is enough to make you want to vomit.

That Obama couldn’t wait to exercise the murderous power as leader of a powerful nation has once and for all ripped the smiling mask from Obama’s face revealing the lizard-like cold and unfeeling monster beneath, at least for those who care to notice. The hammer blows of imperialism continue to rain down on our victims many of them living in poverty and therefore helpless in the face of this relentless and endless onslaught by American military power. The recent hammering of Gaza by Israel is an echo of our own agenda for keeping the peons in their place in a world where the strength of arms means everything and the weak and powerless go to the wall in an ever tightening grip of state terror and violence.

So what is the difference between Bush and Obama other than a few minor points? Obama is taking off some of the rougher edges but is just as eager to slaughter and is just as arrogant or more arrogant than Bush.


PAKISTAN received an early warning of what the era of “smart power” under President Barack Obama will look like after two remote-controlled US airstrikes killed 22 people at suspected terrorist hideouts in the border area of Waziristan.

There will be no let-up in the military pressure on terrorist groups, US officials warned, as Obama prepares to launch a surge of 30,000 troops in neighbouring Afghanistan. It is part of a “tough love” policy combining a military crack-down with diplomatic initiatives.

The Pakistani government, which received a visit from General David Petraeus, the chief of US Central Command, on the day of Obama’s inauguration, has been warned that it must step up its efforts against militants if it is to continue to receive substantial military aid from America.

The airstrikes were authorised under a covert programme approved by Obama, according to a senior US official. It was a dramatic signal in the president’s first week of office that there will be no respite in the hunt for Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders.

The Pakistani government has been warned indeed. Shape up or ship out. And so Obama begins his illustrious career with the same kind of bullying tactics that were the hallmark of the Bush years.

Obama said…

“There is no answer in Afghanistan that does not confront the Al-Qaeda and Taliban bases along the border,” he said, “and there will be no lasting peace unless we expand spheres of opportunity for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Once again we are regaled by the nation building so dear to the hearts of the Democrats now in power who are at once arrogant and condescending. It worked so well in Iraq as did the so-called surge that once again we are embarking on the same fool’s errand in Afghanistan except this time it is likely to be worse, much, much worse. And once again it is as open ended as the Iraq War that was to be accomplished in a few months time while seven years later… And now we hear from Obama’s crony in crime Bob Gates the realist that both the Bush and Obama administrations have much in common.

Robert Gates, who has retained his job as defence secretary, said last week: “One of the points where I suspect both administrations come to the same conclusion is that the goals we did have for Afghanistan are too broad and too far into the future.”

Gates said America needed to set more “concrete goals” for Afghanistan that could “be achieved realistically within three to five years”.

He described these goals as reestablishing Afghan government control in the south and east of the country, and delivering better services to its people.

Gates believes that our “goals” can be reached in three to five years. Translation: we shall be waging war in Afghanistan forever and a day and beyond. The key word in his statement is control because that is what this is about no matter what laughable claims are made for bringing the heathens up to American standards. And is that what this is about? Delivering better services to the people of Afghanistan? Not even a ten year old would believe such unmitigated drivel. So, just like with Bush, we are hearing nothing but lies and more lies piled on top of more lies. And the bodies will pile up -- bodies piled on top of more bodies on top of more bodies.

As I write this I can hear the rain falling outside and in my imagination it could be a rain of blood falling from the skies, the blood of America’s victims soaking into the damp earth and covering everything painting it red a red rain of death.

One of the problems all along with this war on terror is that has been creating more enemies radicalizing more people against the United States due to the heavy hand of Bush and his administration. Well over one million innocent people in Iraq have been murdered either directly by U.S. armed forces or by the strife intentionally created by the U.S. invasion. And now, with President Hope, that same heavy handed approach is being used once again without skipping a beat.

There are conflicting reports about just who was killed in the attack with the villagers in Pakistan claiming only civilians were killed while other reports say that some members of al Qaida were killed. But what is clear is that even if a few al Qaida members were killed innocent bystanders were also killed by the missiles. Obama is remaining silent on the topic with no comment. This seems to be becoming a habit with Obama, ever careful to cover his own ass, but when it comes to the lives of other people there seems to be considerably less care involved. Sometimes the fact of silence itself can speak volumes. Obama, though he wasn’t shy about speaking up on any number of other topics, hid behind the lame pass the buck position of there can be only one prez at a time during the attack on Gaza by Israeli military forces. And when he finally decided that he was ready to comment all he did was reiterate the same misleading propaganda that it was the fault of Gaza for electing Hamas and the use of homemade rockets against Israel that he mouthed earlier. The attack on the trapped and helpless Palestinians in Gaza had nothing at all to do with Hamas or the rockets fired into Israel but had everything to do with Israeli expansion. And in fact, as we now know, that particular attack was planned six months before it was carried out. However Obama’s rhetoric on numerous topics has been, to put it mildly, less than honest. Obama is no honest Abe.

On one side Obama is demanding that the Pakistan government is not doing enough to root out the so-called terrorists supposedly holed up along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Pakistani government is asking Obama to stop the missile attacks because it is making it more difficult to deal with the “terrorists.”


Pakistan urged President Barack Obama to halt U.S. missile strikes on al-Qaida strongholds near the Afghan border, saying Saturday that civilians were killed the previous day in the first attacks since Obama's inauguration.

Pakistani security officials said eight suspected foreign militants, including an Egyptian al-Qaida operative, were among 22 people killed in Friday's twin strikes in the Waziristan region.

But the Foreign Ministry said that the attacks by unmanned aircraft also killed an unspecified number of civilians and that it had informed U.S. officials of its "great concern."

"With the advent of the new U.S. administration, it is Pakistan's sincere hope that the United States will review its policy and adopt a more holistic and integrated approach toward dealing with the issue of terrorism and extremism," a ministry statement said.

"We maintain that these attacks are counterproductive and should be discontinued," it said.

Pakistani leaders complain that stepped-up missile strikes — there have been more than 30 since August — fan anti-American sentiment and undermine the government's own efforts to counter Islamist militants.

But their protests have had few practical consequences, fueling speculation that Islamabad's cash-strapped, pro-U.S. government has given tacit approval in return for political and financial support from Washington.

Obama has not commented on the missile strike policy.

It is sad that the Pakistan entreaties to Obama for halting the missile attacks seem to be falling on deaf ears. Though Obama will surely pad his bullying statements and intersperse a few words of false caring about the people of Pakistan the only interests Obama has are those of his masters in the ruling class and the defense industry. And the idea that now Obama is prez and that we can hold his feet to the fire is no more substantial than a whisper in the wind. By all the road signs which include Obama’s intimate embrace of neonuts like John McCain and the intrepid warhawks that make up his administration Obama will not be listening. Why should he? He really doesn’t need his base at least not until the next election rolls along.

Though according to polls that show a majority of Americans supported the Israeli onslaught against Gaza they are also sick and tired of nation building and U.S. involvement with imperialism and rightly so. In fact it was Obama’s supposed promise to end the Iraq war which helped electrify his supporters who worked hard to put Obama in office because of said promise. Of course that promise is fading like an early morning ground mist as the time table of an actual withdrawal fades into the distance. I do believe that Obama was quite clear on that account always careful to qualify any statement regarding withdrawal from Iraq by stating there would be residual forces and used the term “combat troops only” which if people had been really paying attention would have known that combat troops consist of roughly only half the troops now stationed there. Regardless I do believe that Obama counted on his own soaring rhetoric and Bush’s unpopularity to gloss over these all-important details for it remains that this is why he won the election. Obama also was quite clear about his plans for Afghanistan and Pakistan though this was dismissed as merely campaign rhetoric that was both pragmatic and realistic in order to gain the presidency. Clearly this was a false assumption and a disastrous one at that.

While Obama’s immense popularity with liberals may well weather Obama’s disastrous foreign policies for a while it seems to me that his eventual downfall will be the American economy which is cracking under the strain of years of mismanagement. And though it is questionable that any president really has that much control over an economy Americans aren’t particularly forgiving or understanding on that account. Right now Obama has time on his side and his future is a blank slate waiting to be written on. Yet time is relentless, time flows in one direction only and the graveyard is full of indispensible people. There will come a time when Obama’s rash and thoughtless decision to enter into an endless war in Afghanistan, which has been notorious for ending the imperial dreams of more than one foolish leader (just ask the Russians), will only aggravate the faltering economy and will mark an end to Obama’s popularity. As far as I am concerned it cannot happen too soon for it is clear to me that Obama is a cynical user and opportunist whose callous disregard for the rights and lives of human beings at home and abroad is as sickening and revolting as that of Bush’s. Unfortunately Obama is anything but unique in this respect. Obama is a product of our culture which like a cookie cutter mass produces more Obamas in an endless supply and they shall be waiting for their turn even as Obama’s rising star becomes a falling star willing and ready to pick up where he left off.

I don’t write of these things to discourage people for cultures change. The change may occur slowly and imperceptibly but they do change. And this is where the change must happen. Not in the seats of power residing in government and the puppet masters behind them pulling the strings but in the world views of the common people who struggle against the forces that enslave them. For in the scheme of things humanity is a relative newcomer and civilization, such as it is, is even more recent. I do not believe that people are inherently bad rather that the opposite is true and this is where our best hopes and dreams are to be found. Since culture is the mold of humanity let’s change the mold, reshape it in our imagination, and then make it real.


At January 26, 2009 2:37 PM, Blogger Mimi said...

I keep remembering O'Brien telling Winston Smith he already knew what was in Room 101. We knew what Obama was the instant he chose Biden, didn't we? It just takes some of us longer to admit it.

At January 26, 2009 3:47 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Hi Mimi,

How true. And then there are those who will never admit it no matter what happens. It's called tribalism.


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