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April 28, 2009 10:36AM
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22499.htm

From Bunker Hill to Baghdad

Pinter's Dispatch to Obama

About a month before Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski appeared on PBS's Charlie Rose Show and was asked whether he thought Obama would be a good choice for president. Brzezinski paused for a minute, peered at Rose out of the corner of his eye, and answered, "Just think of the symbolism." As soon as he said that, Brzezinski and Rose broke out into laughter as though they were sharing a private joke.

Brzezinski was right, of course. Obama was the perfect choice for president. Not because of his experience. He had none. He was a two year senator with a resume' small enough to fit on the back of a matchbox. Still Obama had what Brzezinski and Co. were looking for, symbolism; the kind of symbolism that connected him to people around the world and made them feel like one of their own had finally clawed their way to the top. Even better, Obama was a charismatic populist who could fill stadiums with adoring fans and put a benign face on America's interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. What more could Brzezinski hope for? After 8 years of dragging "Brand America" through the mud, the country would finally get the emergency facelift it needed and begin to restore its battered image as the world's indispensable nation.

For leftists, Obama has been a total bust. He's escalated the war in Afghanistan, increased the cross-border bombings of Pakistan, hemmed and hawed about prosecuting war crimes, refused to actively lobby House members to make it easier for workers to organize (EFCA), and surrounded himself with bank industry reps who've committed $12.8 trillion to sinking financial institutions with no assurance that the money would be repaid. Apart from a trifling bill on stem cells, Obama has done absolutely zero to confirm his bone fides as a liberal. The truth is, Obama is neither liberal nor conservative; he's simply an inspiring orator and a skillful politician who has no strong convictions about anything. If he achieves greatness, it will be because he was thrust into a crisis he couldn't avoid and reluctantly acted in the best interests of the American people. That possibility still exists, although it seems more unlikely by the day.

Foreign leaders are clearly relieved to see the last of George W. Bush, and they appear to be willing to give Obama every opportunity to mend fences and break with the past. But Obama has made little effort to reciprocate or show that he's serious about real change. The emphasis seems to be more on public relations than policy; more on glitzy photo ops, grandiose speeches and gadding about from one capital to another, than ending the chronic US meddling and militarism. Where's the beef or is it all just empty posturing?

No one's ready to write-off Obama just yet, but he needs to show he's the real-deal by taking steps to ratchet-down the war machine and reign in the corporate elites and bank vermin. But is it really possible for one man--however well-meaning--to change the course of a nation by standing up the gaggle of racketeers who pull the strings from behind the curtain? Keep in mind, America's history of violent interventions, unprovoked wars, color-coded revolutions and coup d' etats has a long pedigree that stretches from Bunker Hill to Baghdad. That river of blood did not begin with George Bush and it won't end with Barack Obama. Every generation has produced its own litany of crimes, from Wounded Knee to Nagasaki to My Lai to Falluja. In Harold Pinter's Nobel acceptance speech, the playwright invokes one such incident which epitomizes the pattern of hostility which has been repeated over and over again wherever the Washington mandarins detect opposition to their iron-fisted rule.........

..........Pinter's speech is a somber indictment of US foreign policy; a policy which is now cloaked behind the rock-star facade of Barack Obama. Nothing has changed and, perhaps, nothing will change. The same barbarous campaign that thrived under Bush has been passed along to Obama intact. Wherever there is resistance to US ambitions; there lies the enemy. Whether its Marxists in Bogota, nationalists in Kosovo, Bolivarians in Caracas, Shia militias in Beirut, Islamic moderates in Mogadishu or Quakers in Toledo. They're all enemies, every one of them, and they need to be dealt with.

Obama is no fool; he knows he's being used. He knows he wasn't chosen for his enlightened views on health care and stem cells. He was picked because the men in charge needed a new posterboy to hide behind while they carry out their illicit activities. Obama is not so much of a Commander in chief as he is master illusionist, diverting attention from the stealth war that goes on relentlessly with or without his consent. Here's Pinter again:

"The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis...It's a scintillating stratagem."

Consider how the news was shaped to make it look like the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were carried out for altruistic reasons. Thus, the war in Afghanistan became "Operation Enduring Freedom", stressing the selfless generosity of bombing a country into oblivion and reinstating the thuggish warlords to power. The same strategy was used for the invasion of Iraq which was celebrated as "liberation from a brutal dictator." Liberation which cost the lives of over 1 million Iraqis and the displacement of 4 million more. Still, no one in the UN or so called international community has pressed for removing the US from the Security Council or prosecuting its leaders for war crimes. It's a testimony to the success of the US media in upholding the "tapestry of lies" of which Pinter speaks. Under Obama, the charade has only gotten worse. The coverage of the war has stopped entirely. War? What war? What matters now is Obama's cheery banter with Jay Leno, or Michelle's well-proportioned arms or Malia's adorable Portuguese Waterdog. America is whole again. Let the killing resume.

Pinter: "What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days - conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others?.......
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