Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Choice of NPR vs. FOX is like Obama vs. Bush, difference is only skin deep.

Petition mongers are hoping you’ll help pressure the White House Correspondents’ Association to assign the front row briefing room seat recently purged of Helen Thomas to the public-serving NPR instead of the right-wing FOX. I favor whoever will unmask the corporate choke hold on the media and government, not who’ll perpetuate the facade that policy is guided by public discourse.

“Give Helen Thomas’ former briefing room seat to NPR, which has provided public interest coverage for decades – not Fox, which is a right-wing propaganda tool, not a legitimate news organization.”

I’d not give the seat back to Helen Thomas, if she asked. Talk about a caricature to confine the purported extremes of the Left.

Black is Back at the United Antiwar Conference: breaking the Obama Spell


Black Agenda Report‘s Glen Ford speaking at UNAC in Albany: “A real movement breeds a culture of resistance, a widely held belief that it is right to resist, that it is virtuous to speak truth to power. That culture of resistance is what made Black America the most reliably progressive antiwar demographic in the United States. It was not that black people were smarter than anybody else, we were just less confused. We had a better and clearer idea of who the enemy was.”

Also, here’s a letter from activist lawyer Lynne Stewart, whose sentence was recently extended from two years to ten, for giving assistance to an incarcerated “terrorist.”

Dear President Obama, your email MailMerge function needs tweaking

When a Codepink blogger offered her public reply to President Obama’s “This Fourth of July” email, I thought I’d poke my own fun at passages like “as America comes ever closer to achieving the perfect Union our founders dreamed.” But when I examined the email Obama sent me, that laugh line had been scrubbed. Did you know our personal notes from the president were indeed personal?

It surprises no one I’m sure, to imagine that mass emails would be personalized to address the recipient. “Dear Eric, how’s the weather in Colorado, etc.” It’s no great leap then to customize each theme according to subjects of concern to me more than others.

Obama knows apparently that I’m not likely to buy “today is a day to reflect on our independence, and the sacrifice of our troops standing in harm’s way to preserve and protect it.” In fact I do not give a rat’s ass for a single one of our soldiers standing in harm’s way. Although we have only guesstimated body counts to go on, obviously 99% of that harm flows the other way.

Soldiers who resist orders to keep heaping harm on innocents is who I care about.

Fighting for America’s freedom begins at home. Let any citizen try to petition his government for redress and he’ll see exactly whose side the soldiers are on.

My personal 4th of July email from the president does mention our soldiers and their sacrifice, but adds another emphasis:

That sacrifice is shared with husbands and wives, with sons and daughters, with fathers and mothers, who are asked to wait at home as their loved ones protect our nation. Their heroism, too, has helped pave the path of our freedom.

Now where did the White House Mail Merge function get its wires crossed on that one? If there are Americans about whom I care less than the GIs, it’s the parents who couldn’t give them better advice. Theirs was no heroism at all, it was go with the flow. Stuck hoping their child escapes unscathed is their just due. Mothers who raised their boy to be a soldier, did it for Charles Darwin.

Neither do I care to honor those military wives furiously praying for stateside widowhood and a $100,000 insurance payoff.

Clearly my Obama message was intended to inspire a flag-drapper. How many variation of the Obama 4th of July email do you suppose went around?

I hesitate to wonder what my personal email from Obama would look like if indeed he had my number. I am hoping to avoid “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka!”

Forget worrying if gulf spill is Obama’s Katrina. Obama is America’s Katrina.

President Obama let America know at a press conference today that he OWNS this Katrina. BP’s failure is his failure. BP’s lie is now superseded by a minimalization of his own. More bad news about attempts to halt it, nevermind, the Federal Government’s in charge. What does it mean to say the buck stops here if all you’re really doing is stopping it? We’ve got a president playing the bag man on this environmental catastrophe, just as he’s taking responsibility for Bush’s foreign policy and Wall Street’s theft. Instead of pursuing our interests, he’s taking the fall. Except he’s in the position to say “so sue me.”

It’s not that Obama pretends he’s made of Teflon. From where he sits, he can be fly paper. And doesn’t that appear to be his role? It was his most celebrated accomplishment his first year in office. Make American hegemony a little more palatable to our overseas markets. He did it.

If anything’s changed, everything as gotten monumentally worse, with no turning back either. The oil’s leaving of the well, the economy’s only going to get worse before it gets worse. Obama’s right, no good is served trying to assign blame, horses, doors, the barn’s on fire.

With Daniel Pearl Act, US warns others to respect press freedoms, of WSJ only

President Obama signed off on the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act, surrounded by friends and colleagues of the former WSJ reporter who was slain in pursuit of al-Qaeda, while infiltrating Pakistan as if working for one of America’s loudest War-on-Islam propaganda drummers wasn’t pushing it. Taking the theme of don’t-kill-journalists at face value however, are there provisions in the act to exclude the US and its allies?

Because our forces have intimidated or outright killed I think what amounts to the high score of journalists in our war zones. If we’re concerned exclusively with reporters who’ve been decapitated, I’m sure those victims of our high caliber overkill outnumber Daniel Pearl too.

No, I suppose we’re only talking about protecting our journalists, the embeds, the only ones of which we approve. What have embeds proven to be but the new Army Press Corps? This is the same indemnity we claim for our soldiers. Try to shoot one of those and we obliterate entire clans based on rumors of who did it. If we capture someone alive, we put them on trial for combating us illegally. We dismiss laws of war that spell out that belligerents may only shoot at opponents shooting back. If they’re unarmed, or surrendering, or leaving the battle unarmed, or eating dinner with their family, they are not fair game. But we do it, and when journalists try to document our crimes we kill them.

Daniel Pearl worked for the WSJ. It’s the leading Neocon pro-war mouthpiece, only just ahead of the NY Times and the Washington Post, among newspapers with authority. If Pearl’s tracking of al-Qaeda didn’t help US intelligence outright, his reports were certainly serving the war propaganda machine.

When the Jewish community highlights the plot line that Pearl was killed because he was a Jew, it unveils a purposeful vaguarity the Israeli lobby likes to pretend is a distinction between American Jews and Zionists. The argument has it that all Jews may or may not support Israel, and yet critics of Zionism are accused of being anti-Semitic. Because, I’ll assert, AIPAC, the ADL and Simon Wiesenthal are determined to behave as if they have everyone’s support. Was Daniel Pearl a Zionist, he worked for it, and aimed to assail its declared arch-enemy under the pretext of journalist objectivity.

You can’t make the same accusation of the independent journalists being silenced wherever our military is operating. In our own country America is even keeping its own photo-journalists from being able to document the oil spill in the gulf.

The Daniel Pearl Act mandates that reports of inhibitions to journalists, especially if they are suspected of being systemic, be investigated and condemned with all the ensuing world police bells and whistles. I think that language smacks of the mandate to label “genocide” only where the US sees it.

Darfur, for example. Or the Balkans. Examples with which few fellow nations agree. To justify our interviention. Never Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and of course I could go on.

This ACT is a political weapon of semantics to pretend right is on our side, Orwellian doublespeak to ordain preemptive drone attacks.

If President Obama had meant this legislation to address freedom of the press sincerely, he would have appended the names of all the journalists who we’ve killed, ourselves or by proxy. The list would have run into the footnotes, and it would have meant investigating ourselves. Not going to happen.

Now the US Coast Guard will know you know how oil cleanup is f-cking done

Diagram from Fucking Proper Fucking Booming videoAs icky sneaky toxic crude permeates Louisiana marches, now experts tell us the eco-stain won’t ever come out. No really. The oil assault has been mounting steadily, BP poised dutifully with “booms” and it isn’t working. Exasperated oil spill cleanup professionals are not a bit surprised, one has even released a video throwing down expletives as much for humor as heartbreak. Accusations go beyond BP, calling the US Coast Guard head a “shameless piece of shit, and so’s President Obama if he can’t see that.” –But brightly, it’s all in the delivery.

About the looming oil invasion.

We can’t see the oil, but we can see the bright orange boom ringing our coastlines in apparent preparedness against the oil. When you watch the video you’ll learn that the boom is colored bright orange for you to see it, for the media cameras to allay our concerns that the prophylactic is in place. But from this video you’ll see that the boom is being deployed like a movie set facade, with little hope of effectiveness.

The key is in the “catch bassins.” Boom isn’t just Maxi-pad we stick into the water like a quicker-picker-upper. It’s meant to corral the oil into catch bassins. Absent those receptacles the oil is left for waves to push it up and over like trench warriors going over the top, wave after wave, to hit the beach, “all of it.”

You’ll note the major concern about oil spills is landfall, and it should be. Oil floats and thus isn’t as much a disaster on the surface until it hits populous surfaces. Of course, BP’s use of chemical dispersants breaks up the oil while it’s in the water, rendering the underwater a deadly war zone too.

The dispersant of choice has long been banned in the UK for its toxicity. COREXIT is named not after a chemical compound but as a phonetic abbreviation for what it does, Corexit “corrects-it” haha. It’s a cuncoxen applied to cover up the visible horror of a spill. HIDEZIT is apparently its nickname, acknowledging the darker humor.

Watch this video and you’ll know how boom technology works and you’ll understand what we need to ask of BP and government oversight.

The schoolroom-like lecture is delivered by an anonymous professional with straightforward simplicity and humor, but with palpable emotion. You hear the break in her voice especially as the oil industry is taken to task for its utter disregard for what’s happened.

There’s not enough boom, rope or anchor on this planet to properly boom the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico. There should be. It’s not that much of an expense. Really it’s not.

They said they were ready. Having enough materials to perform fucking proper fucking booming is part of being ready. They’re not ready, are they?”

This message could be subversive reassurance that oil spills can be contained, and thus, offshore drilling needn’t be restrained, but let’s burn that PR slick when we come to it.

I’m also a little wary when the preface mentions the misrepresentation of the magnitude of the blowout but pegs the flow at “up to 50,000 barrels.” Experts who’ve all along predicted it was 100,000 quantify that with “at minimum.”

OR, the video is a self-serving appeal from a booming-trainer for more funding to teach more boomers. Well that would be money better spent.

Here’s your chance to be trained in how to deploy oil spill booms without being sworn to silence by BP. If you’re anywhere near the coast, get out there.

This very funny piece is labeled Booming School 101. A better title might be “Fucking proper fucking booming” or subtitled, oil spill cleanup done fucking right.

Obama wants his Katrina kept on QT

President Obama rationalizes not prosecuting his Bush predecessors because he wants to look forward not back. Who knew that he meant “back” to the future as well? The Obama administration has get-out-of-jail-free cards for Goldman Sachs et al, and they’re already fouling the evidence that could be used against BP. It serves BP’s interest to pretend their Gulf spill is spewing only five thousand barrels a day. Now even the government is pretending everyone is too busy with the cleanup to measure exactly. It can’t be for want of a lesser-decimal soundbite, experts have the blowout pinned at a similar-syllable’d four million gallons per day.

The government and BP’s incuriosity ignores current estimates that the flow of crude oil escaping the well is between 76,000 and 104,000 barrels, 95,000 being the mean which yields a figure of 1/3 of the Exxon Valdez disaster PER DAY.

Of course as the spill grows to round Florida and reach Cuba and the Atlantic coast, the White House is prepared to forecast that the flow has gotten worse. So far chemical dispersants are diluting the muck that is the public’s only measure of the catastrophe.

The Miami Herald quotes Houston engineer and blogger Bob Cavnar who suggests that industry approximations which the media has been parroting are simply bullshit:

“I’m sitting here looking at it right now, and it ain’t 5,000 barrels a day, I’ll guarantee it … In Houston, there’s about 125,000, 150,000 engineers. And all the engineers can calculate what the flow is.”

With Obama reversing Iraq withdrawal, Obamapologists put sissy in Sisyphus

Whose war?Was it news to you? The Iraq withdrawal is off. The war that launched America’s first black president GOES ON. Didn’t the new Dissembler in Chief campaign to end the Iraq War, sort of, or uh, eventually? Skeptics were ostracized and accused of not stepping up, hope-wise. What’s next, Obama’s Tink dies if we all don’t clap our hands in obeisance, chanting “we believe”? If American voters were upset about Guantanamo, Endless War on Terror, torture, rendition, corporations indemnified of their abuses –take your pick– you wouldn’t know it now. Were you hoping to see Bush and Co prosecuted? What did you think of the President standing by as his SCOTUS nominee gushed about the preeminence of the rule of law.

2-word punchline for President Obama: Predator Drones

A protective father warns off potential First Suitors with the specter of Predator Drones. Nothing outré about gallows humor, but people might be put off when it comes from the mouth of the judge-jury-and-executioner, taking aim. Of course, what have the Jonas Brothers really to fear? –US drones strike very few of their intended targets. Collateral civilians comprise 98% of drone victims, the Pakistani people are who probably got the willies at Obama’s joke.

Much as the average journalist would hope to credential for the White House Correspondents Dinner, they could wonder how the Jonas Brothers got an invite.

If President Obama wonders if any charges of immorality are going to stick to his administration, among the Bush legacies which he has failed to cease and desist, among them specifically extrajudicial killing, disproportionate application of force and failure to protect civilians from hostilities, I have two words: War Crimes. Or his will do: Predator Drones.

Gulf oil spill is SO Obama’s Katrina

Which parallel is not analogous? Off New Orleans, massive devastation to environment and human health, predictable failure of flawed technology, inadequate official response which broadens tragedy. Leaving BP to shoulder cleanup is like tasking arsonists to extinguish their fire. BP is responsible, but needn’t be put in charge. Put every government resource into addressing this calamity, make oil industry write the checks. By any standards of a failed rescue, Obama’s watch is proving as laggard as Bush’s.

We can all express our awe at the scale of the spill, but who can believe the professionals couldn’t foresee it? The media ramped its estimates incrementally, but department first responders were theorizing 100,000 barrels a day right from the start.

I’m amused that conservative critics use “Katrina” in the pejorative, where they didn’t hold it against Bush. Katrina has come to mean colossal fail, but what did it mean for Bush? It wasn’t his Waterloo, it didn’t even stub his toe. Those who pretend Katrina was Dubya’s downfall are the same pundits who describe Iraq as a blunder. Lies. To tar President Obama with a tragedy of like magnitude of a predecessor is to remind the electorate how bad Bush was.

I’m pleased by the comparison because it pollutes your perception that voting matters. The choice of lesser of two evils means relative degrees of industrial strength toxicity.

Why aren’t Obama hopefuls confident enough to let their leader take this “Katrina” on? Let him own it and beat Bush’s legacy of indifferent passivity.

Are you provoked because “Katrina” presumes a callous failure, as yet in your opinion unmerited by Team Obama? I’d rather say it means disaster in the sense of a test which proved this nation’s horribly misplaced priorities. Has Obama’s administration brought better preparedness in the face of unforeseen peril coming in with the tide? In such a manner alone this oil spill will rival Katrina. If you are measuring only loss of human lives, look to the health impact which the crude infusion will bring.

Now if you’re asking if the oil spill is a “Katrina” land grab of coastal real estate, and excuse to gentrify New Orleans and remake gambling regulations to suit the casinos, perhaps not. But count the same relief contractors to make themselves spillionaires. Once again the residents will bear the burden of the labor and disruption, ultimately to lose their livelihoods and homes. This time instead of praising “Brownie” the president will praise BP for doing their best, as the media will assure us it was. The spill’s magnitude could never have been predicted, they’ll say, a mitigation of the damage beyond anyone’s capability.

Was “Katrina” a repudiation of our reliance on old levees? Not really. Will this Katrina mean a rekindled moratorium against new offshore drilling capers? I doubt it. Americans inland will probably write off the oceans. No longer pristine, what with mercury, hypoxia and now oil, why not Drill Baby Drill with what is there left to lose aplomb?

Bob Edwards asks “We still Top Dog?”

Longtime neo-liberal shill and NPR war drummer Bob Edwards consults a soothsayer to placate his weekend audience’s fears about where their hopeful handbasket appears to be headed. To his question about the USA still being top dog, the economic clairvoyant’s answer is YES. Also, America has the psyche and bipolarity of a teenager, leaving us to infer also the same self-unawareness. But the big question was about President Obama’s apparent inability to change the course set for him. YEP. The tracks of Bush’s trainwreck read like your palm. Nothing to be done.

Abe Obama Jordan Simpson Woods

Abraham ObamaLocal art luminary friends of mine are celebrating their election 2008 “Abraham Obama” project this weekend, end-capping a week where their President Nobel Laureate paid a midnight visit to his warriors in Afghanistan, signed an executive order to repudiate reproductive health rights of women, and today is scheduled to announce offshore oil drilling in Virginia. Surely there is a more apt figure against whom to compare Obama. Almost any other president would fall short. Warren G. Obama? Barack Taft? Actually I can’t conceive of anyone better than Dick Cheney.

My friends maintain this is more a tribute to Abraham Lincoln, highlighting his emancipation of the slaves, a black president being the ultimate result. I’d say morph his face into Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson if you want to pretend African Americans have come far enough by Lincoln’s hand. Or Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier, OJ Simpson or Tiger Woods.

Obama visits Denver to hear from you

Daddy Warbama
President Obama will make an appearance in Denver on Thursday, February 18, to survey Colorado Democrats about how to change our nation’s imperialist course. Clearly, he’s plum out of ideas. We can hope the newbie warmonger kleptocrat hears we hold America to higher ideals than torture, assassination, racism, and genocide. Obama is coming to endorse Senator Michael Bennet’s Act Blue campaign. Huh, blue blood? Cold blood? Black or blue, these are pretenders.

What does it mean to “act blue?” The Blue Dog Democrats have already taught us blue means pissing on your constituents. Just when “Democrat” has come to mean nothing, now we have “blue” to mean less. What a bizarre turn of events that the so-called people’s party assumes the mantle of the Blue Meanies to distance itself from red, the universal color of socialism, the real people’s party.

Actually, the event’s a fundraiser, so it will cost you $25, $100 or $250 to see the president, and then that’s only for the privilege to LISTEN, to hear him justify why his actions seem diametrically opposed to your interests, I guess.

As usual, the only opportunity to TALK to President Obama will be from the street, where of course any activist message will by design be diluted with stewed tea. It’s the new Kool-Aid.

You didn’t know Obama could speak?

Everyone’s a gaggle about President Obama’s masterful one man stand against assembled Republicans, which served to dot the exclamation mark of this SOTU performance. Like it was Daniel in the lions den, and not simply a lion tamer, sticking his head here, cracking the whip there. Obama didn’t emerge with health care, or any kind of concession. He emerged unscathed and made those lions look like mice. So what? It’s political theater. Why does this act have the Left defending Obama like the home town champion, against the corporate team, instead of the Globe Trotter act he is? When the show is over, nothing’s changed.

Obama’s Stump speech of the Union

State of the UnionSOTUWTF- Offshore oil and gas, nuclear energy, and “Clean Coal.” Bush could say that and smile like a dumb-ass. Can Obama pretend he’s not channeling Palin? Domestic spending freeze. Will bypass congress to establish a bipartisan commission to privatize Social Security. Didn’t call SC justices scum, put the subject of war on a backburner, the SON OF A BITCH.

After explaining how we have to get tougher with immigrants, he goes waxes nostalgic about America’s origin as a conglomeration of immigrants. What a twit.

And there’s the seesaw delivery between teleprompters. Do I think President Obama is so poor a speaker that he can’t take his eyes from the script? Of course not. The watching-a-tennis-match routine reminds me of the mesmerist’s pendulum, distracting your left brain as your right has only the drone of insignificant platitudes to lull it to sleep.

Online Twits are defending Obama against Republican arguments. Why? What is our president espousing that he didn’t aspire as a candidate, while delivering the opposite? What good is an armchair critic in the White House? Obama has only one virtue over his predecessor, a better bedside manner.

Is there anything to make of the pattern of applause. Apparently the Supreme Court up front is not to applaud on any issue, lest they be seen as partisan. Legislators are supposed to applaud on partisan issues. Although as de facto head of the Democratic party, you’d think the president would get a positive response no matter he says, unless it’s something like I don’t agree Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot. Which brings me to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I wasn’t watching the old soldiers closely until Obama mentioned withdrawing from Iraq, which elicited no applause from them. Another subject that appeared to meet their disapproval was about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. As if the entire SOTU audience participation was choreographed. The old warlords reacted entirely in character. But weren’t they attending to a speech by their Commander in Chief? What subordinates don’t applaud their boss? Unless I have a mistaken notion of who serves who.

Now the room goes quiet and eyes moisten for a mendaciously manipulative bit, worthy of the best:

Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions – our corporations, our media, and yes, our government – still reflect these same values. Each of these institutions are full of honorable men and women doing important work that helps our country prosper. But each time a CEO rewards himself for failure, or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people’s doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith. The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates into silly arguments, and big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.

No wonder there’s so much cynicism out there.

No wonder there’s so much disappointment.

I campaigned on the promise of change – change we can believe in, the slogan went. And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren’t sure if they still believe we can change – or at least, that I can deliver it.

But remember this – I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I can do it alone. Democracy in a nation of three hundred million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That’s just how it is.

Those of us in public office can respond to this reality by playing it safe and avoid telling hard truths. We can do what’s necessary to keep our poll numbers high, and get through the next election instead of doing what’s best for the next generation.

But I also know this: if people had made that decision fifty years ago or one hundred years ago or two hundred years ago, we wouldn’t be here tonight. The only reason we are is because generations of Americans were unafraid to do what was hard; to do what was needed even when success was uncertain; to do what it took to keep the dream of this nation alive for their children and grandchildren.

Then it’s back to the stump speech testimonials. And his faith in the resilience of the American People. What, lack of health care and exposure hasn’t killed them yet? What would you think of a doctor who turned you away with the prognosis, “aw, you’ll make it.”

Obama does not need your support

ObamaApparently Americans aren’t showing President Obama enough love in the White House. Apparently he’s not seeing the groundswell of support he needs to address any of our problems. American politics, apparently, always compounds injury with insult. This Kool-Aid’s not only allegorical, it’s really poisoned. Barack Obama doesn’t need your support. That’s just the rope with which they’ll hang his failure on you.

You got Obama elected, you were especially careful not to elect a stupid man. Obama even appeared to listen to your hopes, he’ll sit down with you still today, over a beer, if your complaint catches the media’s eye. Now Obama will speak on and on and on like he’s some Phd candidate showing off, but will he act on his words? Apparently you are supposed to do that.

Email the White House, sign this petition, donate here, help us launch a media blitz, fight to preserve a Democratic majority, give to help Haiti, we’ve spent all your taxes to bail out the bankers and give tax breaks to the rich. If legislation doesn’t pass, it’s because you don’t want it bad enough.

Bullshit. Obama doesn’t need to hear that you want health care. Obama doesn’t need to hear that you want to address global warming or bank reform. President Obama was given a mandate for change, critical change, last minute, in the nick of time, real reform. He’s not doing it, and his plans to cut Social Security benefits should be the last splash of cold water any hopeful holdout would need.

Bush made a mockery of “mandate” and “political capital.” Obama rode a tidal wave of electorate energized by the urgency of change. Why is he vacillating now? From the vantage point of the oval office, he knows better than to pursue populist reform? Like Bush knew better?

Yes, it’s going to be up to you. And sending an email to ‘ol Obama is not going to cut it.

Code Pink and the Obama Left

GFM video update from Sam HusseiniAs Code Pink capitulates in Cairo, taking consolation for eking a 1/14 size march as a compromise with Egypt, where originally they promised to march regardless the permissions granted, I’m reminded of Code Pink’s role in 2008, protesting war while cheerleading for Obama. Code Pink was one of the strongest organizing forces at the Denver DNC demonstrations, but inside their clubhouse at the Mercury Cafe, decorations revealed their crush on the Man From Change. The antiwar movement needs players like Code Pink, and the indefatigable Medea Benjamin, but as the denouement of 2009 felled the last Obamapologists, I think they’ve lost dibs on decision making.

Groups like Code Pink can assist with action planning, but if they insist on a voice pretending to represent the goals of real activism, no. How can Code Pink et al be considered longer reliable partners at the grass roots? In Cairo yesterday, over a thousand activists wanted to hold strong, but 87 Judases had Code Pink’s approval, to board Egypt’s counter-activism ploy.

The predicament reminds be of the pharmaceutical commercials where a middle-aged man explains the grief to which he’s come, on account of neglecting his health. Now he’s found a pill to stay healthy and he wants to share his advice with others. What, pray tell, entitles him to give any health advice at all? He’s actually disqualified himself. Lipitor, I think is the latest pitch. Yes, he was an idiot, but he got a second chance with Lipitor, now he recommends it. We trust him — why?

Obama confuses Nobel for Iron Cross

Prussian Star and CrossWe can only conjecture that the Nobel Peace Prize fashioned for President Obama features military motifs of the Knight’s Cross and the Prussian Pour Le Merite. The cheeky new War Czar invoked, and completely contradicted 1964 peace laureate Martin Luther King Jr. and pacifist A.J. Muste: “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” Obama explained that Pax Americana’s arsenal of tools includes war. Where he himself was last year’s spoonful of sugar, Obama is hoping the Afghanistan escalation goes down better with a spoonful of Nobel, ersatz peace.

Iron Cross 1st ClassNow the pundits are reporting that Obama’s acceptance speech was well received, even by the Left. Riiiiight. What’s become of our benchmark for peace, that the givers of a peace prize couldn’t rescind their offer when it became obvious the wayward emperor wasn’t about to veer from the warpath?

Is Barack Obama Sarah Palin in lipstick?

Barack Palin morphIt’s tempting to brush off the ol’ BIGOTRY IN LIPSTICK sign for Sarah Palin’s whistle stop in Colorado Springs tonight. Palin and her fans make for easy laughs, but with President Obama unmasked this week as Cheney’s new War Czar, who is Sarah “Plain and Small” but the 2012 GOP straw man to ensure Obama’s reelection? I have no interest in joining the Democrats in play-crying Wolf over Scary Palin.

A more effective approach might be to tar Sarah Palin with the Obama deception, as for example, the ugly side of the same Obama coin. SARAH PALIN IS OBAMA IN BOOGIEMAN LIPSTICK.

Come election 2012, how is anyone to mount a viable third party candidate with the specter of Sarah Palin haunting a weakened Obama? It’ll be the same old excuse for circling the wagons around the lesser of evils, the horrors being unthinkable to risk splitting the “progressive” vote. Of course, if anything is to be accomplished by way of reform and change, a non-Democrat, non-corporate candidate will have to do it, that is if you entrust electoral politics with any remaining hope at all.

You’d think it wouldn’t take an example as extreme as Sarah Palin to make President Obama look smart. The comparison may be an indication of how much ground Obama wants to give himself in his plans to disappoint us.

Obama sucker punches Muhammad Ali

Apparently our double agent of change President Obama, invoked Muhammad Ali as a model of courage for staying the course just days before declaring a redoubled Pox Americana on the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Muhammad Ali Cassius Clay I’m glad sports historian Dave Zirin has spoken swiftly to forbid Obama’s defiling of the most famous draft resister in US history. Parkinson’s prevents Ali from defending his title, just as MLK’s memorializers airbrush King’s antiwar vehemence.

Zirin references this infamously principled quote which led to Ali’s suspension from boxing, but ultimate vindication by the US Supreme Court:
 

“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No, I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end.

I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here….. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people, they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”

He also said: “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong … They never called me nigger.”

President Obama’s attempt to co-opt the character of Muhammad Ali is a disgrace. I suppose this suggests that Obama will accept his Nobel Peace Prize with not the least sense of irony or shame.

UN Climate Change Conference COP15 should call for coping, less hoping

Kobenhavn Copenhague CopenhagenYes, we know the theme. Ich bin ein Hopenhagener. With climate change about to engulf us, today we are all Hopenhageners. I think “COPE” might be a better derivation for the summit in Copenhagen than the ol’ Obama bait ‘n switch. Anyway, do they know it’s only “Copenhagen” in English? To the Danes –and yes, they call their land Danmark– their capital is København. The anglo-centrics who bring you the COP15 “Hopehagen” campaign are the International Advertising Association, in partnership with Coca-Cola, Siemens, BMW, Dupont, plus some who did not collaborate with the Nazis. The admen behind Product Obama know full well where HOPE got us in 2008. Will they be so cavalier about addressing climate CHANGE too?

Black Tuesday, Dec 1, eclipse of hope

obama yes we canChalk up another gloomy portent. Hope is dead. After months of pretending to be a progressive mole in the White House, Barack Obama at West Point confirmed his actual dark nature. More troops not fewer, war not peace. Today those who’ve read Obama’s books can no longer pretend he is undertaking measured change. Others who think he cannot overreach without facing certain assassination must ask themselves what benefit is such a figurehead alive or dead?

President Obama’s escalation in Afghanistan doesn’t mark anything more than the death of the Democratic Party. The conservatives already have their party. Who needs a second? The two parties have always been one, but today the change voter received delivery confirmation on where their vote went.

Tuesday marked the heartbreak of millions of Americans who bought into the electoral process and voted themselves a hero. No sir, they elected a fraud –not in the incarnation of village idiot this time, but of the visiting Peace Corps community organizer who is actually a CIA/USAID operative for the World Bankers. For all his slick talk, the incongruous side of Barack Obama’s personality which can’t quit cigarettes and which rose through Chicago’s corrupt political machine has come abruptly into focus. He’s a vainglorious, cold-blooded hit man, every bit as calculated and premeditated as George Bush.

Did Obama hear you on election day?

Here’s a quarter-page size flier you can use to spread the word about tonight’s event. Obama’s announcement will be momentous, no matter which course of action he decides. It will be either the first sign of delivering on his promise of change, or a hopeful public betrayed.
hopeless escalation flier

And thousands more Afghan dead. Let’s not forget who suffers the most from America’s reckless decisions.

Come to Acacia Park tonight at 5pm. Let him hear your voice!

Below is the Coloradans For Peace December 1 press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Colorado Springs peace community urges President Obama to chose withdrawal from Afghanistan over escalation

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, 12/1/09 — Coloradans For Peace (CFP) will gather with area community activists on Tuesday, December 1, at 5pm, in Acacia Park downtown, to urge President Barack Obama: NO ESCALATION OF THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN.

The nonviolent assembly in Acacia Park will be part of nationwide peace demonstrations in response to President Barack Obama’s forthcoming announcement about a new US strategy in Afghanistan. National organizers include CODE PINK, UNITED FOR PEACE & JUSTICE, WORLD CAN’T WAIT, ACT NOW TO STOP WAR AND END RACISM (ANSWER), and many others.

Speculation has been rising that our president intends to increase US troop levels in Afghanistan, but CFP remains hopeful that President Obama will make a decision in the spirit of his presidential campaign. We will assemble in Acacia Park in advance of the televised presidential address, in unison with other US cities, to remind the president of the electorate’s call for an end to our nation’s military conflicts.

The CFP believes the unprecedented turnout for the 2008 election was strongly motivated by the American public’s alarm over the ongoing foreign wars. We believe President Obama would be ignoring a profound mandate given him by his voters if he decided to expand the conflict in Afghanistan instead of bring it to a close.

In urging an end to America’s foreign occupations, citizens can show their true support for the troops. More than ever before, soldiers are contacting antiwar organizations to say that they support the peace efforts to bring them home.

# # #

Olbermann offers Obama an out

obama barack hype bondKeith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Afghanistan is being summarized as telling President Obama to Get Out Now. Olbermann’s words stir our enthusiasm, but he leaves damning loopholes as far as I am concerned. The MSNBC newsman conditions his advice to the president with “unless you are right,” then at the end, showing a tact far too reckless, he tells Obama to “listen to yourself.”

No. That’s not why we elected Barack Obama.

The inexperienced senator had no record. Our hope didn’t spring from a demonstration of ability. Obama was elected for the hope he offered because he appeared to be listening to the American people. It would probably have been inconceivable to imagine then that Obama could not but respond to the unprecedented surge of electoral participation prompted by George W. Bush’s wars.

Listen to the people Mr. Obama, and no one else. To ask Obama to listen to himself is to offer him entirely too much slack. Give an authoritarian leader too much rope, that’s more rope he has to hang you.

And then there is no “unless you are right.”

What is that but a straight man’s setup? That line is for the President to show America how sure he is of his decision. The people want a leader who’s offering supreme confidence, so Olbermann is holding the door. He goes on to frame the challenges posed by Afghanistan, as surmountable by a qualified prez. Olbermann invites the President to be “precisely right.” Isn’t that exactly what will sooth the viewers, after Obama has famously taken so much time to arrive at a decision?

But there is no “unless you are right.” Unless Olbermann meant it with an implied irony. But he didn’t. He didn’t say unless black is white, or up is down. Olbermann allowed for the possibility that an escalation could be right.

“If not, Mr. President, this way lies Vietnam.”

IF NOT Olbermann says. Doesn’t he mean no if and or buts?

When Walter Cronkite finally spoke out about Vietnam, and declared the war un-winnable, it was not because it had become un-winnable. It had not transformed into a quagmire, the chance for victory had not escaped us. The illegal and immoral subjugation of the Vietnamese people was never a winnable strategy. Like Iraq and Afghanistan, it was a predictable calamity, a crime. Moral observers knew it from the beginning.

America did not LOSE Vietnam, and we will not LOSE Iraq and Afghanistan. We DESTROYED those landscapes and millions of lives, and we continue to “finish the job.” It’s an immeasurable, apocalyptic tragedy.

If Barack Obama escalates in the footsteps of Lyndon Johnson, it will similarly be no mistake. The travesty is that the American people have once again been waylaid in their determination to find a leader to represent their desire for peace.

Here is the text of Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment:

SPECIAL COMMENT
By Keith Olbermann
Anchor, ‘Countdown’
Mon., Nov . 30, 2009

Mr. President, it now falls to you to be both former Republican Senator George Aiken and the man to whom he spoke, Lyndon Johnson. You must declare victory, and get out.??

You should survey the dismal array of options in front of you — even the orders given out last night — sort them into the unacceptable, the unsuccessful, and the merely un-palatable, and then put your arm down on the table and wipe the entire assortment of them off your desk — off this nation’s desk — and into the scrap heap of history. ??

Unless you are utterly convinced — willing to bet American lives on it — that the military understands the clock is running, and that the check is not blank, and that the Pentagon will go to sleep when you tell it to, even though the Pentagon is a bunch of perpetually 12-year old boys desperate to stay up as late as possible by any means necessary — get out now. ??

We are, at present, fighting, in no particular order, the Taliban; a series of sleazy political-slash-military adventurers, not the least of whom is this mountebank election-fixer Karzai, and what National Security Advisor Jones estimated in October was around eight dozen al-Qaida in the neighborhood.??

But poll after poll, and anecdote after anecdote, of the reality of public opinion inside Afghanistan is that its residents believe we are fighting Afghanistan. That we, Sir, have become an occupying force. Yes: if we leave, Afghanistan certainly will have an occupying force, whether it’s from Pakistan, or consisting of foreign fighters who will try to ally themselves with the Taliban.??

Can you prevent that? Can you convince the Afghans that you can prevent that? Can you convince Americans that it is the only way to un-do Bush and Cheney policy catastrophes dating back to Cheney’s days as Secretary of Defense in the ’90s? If not, Mr. President, this way lies Vietnam. If you liked Iraq, you’ll love Afghanistan with 35,000 more troops, complete with the new wrinkle, straight from the minder-binder lingo of Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22.”??

President Obama will be presenting an exit strategy for Afghanistan. The exit strategy that begins by entering still further. Lose to win, sink to swim, escalate to disengage. And even this disconnect of fundamental logic is predicated on the assumption that once the extra troops go in, when the President says “okay, time for adult swim, Generals, time to get out of the pool and bring the troops with you,” that the Pentagon is just going to say “Yeppers.”??

The Pentagon, often to our eternal relief, but just as often to our eternal regret is in the War business. You were right, Mr. President, to slow the process down, once a series of exit strategies was offered to you by men whose power and in some case livelihoods are predicated on making sure all exit strategies, everywhere, forever, don’t really result in any service-man or woman actually exiting.??

These men are still in the belly of what President Eisenhower so rightly, so prophetically, christened the military-industrial complex. Now and later as the civilian gray eminences with “retired” next to their names, formally lobbying the House and Senate and informally lobbying the nation through television and the printed word, to “engage” here, or “serve” there, or “invest” everywhere, they are, in many cases, just glorified hardware salesmen. ??

It was political and operational brilliance, Sir, to retain Mr. Bush’s last Secretary of Defense Mr. Gates. It was transitional and bipartisan insight, Sir, to maintain General Stanley McChrystal as a key leader in the field. ??

And it was a subtle but powerful reminder to the authoritarian minded War-hawks like John McCain, and the blithering idiots like former Governor Palin, of the Civilian authority of the Constitution it was a picture drawn in crayon for ease of digestion by the Right, to tell our employees at the Pentagon, to take their loaded options and go away and come back with some real ones.??

You reminded them, Mr. President, that Mr. Gates works for the people of the United States of America, not the other way around. You reminded them, Mr. President, that General McChrystal is our employee, not our dictator. You’ve reminded them Mr. President. Now, tonight, remind yourself. Stanley McChrystal.??

General McChrystal has doubtless served his country bravely and honorably and at great risk, but to date his lasting legacy will be as the great facilitator of the obscenity that was transmuting the greatest symbol of this nation’s true patriotism, of its actual willingness to sacrifice, into a distorted circus fun-house mirror version of such selflessness.??

Friendly fire killed Pat Tillman. Mr. McChrystal killed the truth about Pat Tillman. And that willingness to stand truth on its head on behalf of “selling” a war or the generic idea of America being at war to turn a dead hero into a meaningless recruiting poster, should ring essentially relevant right now.??

From the very center of a part of our nation that could lie to the public, could lie to his mother, about what really happened to Pat Tillman, from the very man who was at the operational center of that plan, comes the entire series of plans to help us supposedly find the way out of Afghanistan? We are supposed to believe General McChrystal isn’t lying about Afghanistan???

Didn’t he blow his credibility by lying, so obviously and so painfully, about Pat Tillman? Why are we believing the McChrystals? Their reasons might sound better than the ones they helped George Bush and Dick Cheney fabricate for Iraq, but surely they are just as transparently oblivious of the forest. ??

Half of them insist we must stay in Afghanistan out of fear of not repeating Iraq, while the other half, believing Bush failed in Iraq by having too few troops, insist we must stay in Afghanistan out of fear of repeating Iraq. And they are suddenly sounding frighteningly similar to what the Soviet Generals were telling the Soviet Politicos in the 1980s about Afghanistan.??

Sure it’s not going well, sure we need to get out, we all see that. But first let’s make sure it’s stabilized and then we get out. The Afghans will be impressed by our commitment and will then take over the cost of policing themselves, even though the cost would be several times their gross national product. Just send in those extra troops, just for awhile. Just 350,000.

I’m sorry, did I say 350,000? I meant 35,000. Must be a coffee stain on the paper. Mr. President, last fall, you were elected. Not General McChrystal, not Secretary Gates, not another Bushian Drone of a politician. You. On the Change Ticket. On the pitch that all politicians are not created equal.??

And upon arrival you were greeted by a Three Mile Island of an economy, so bad that in the most paranoid recesses of the mind one could wonder if the Republicans didn’t plan it that way, to leave you in the position of having to prove the ultimate negative, that you staved off worldwide financial collapse, that if you had not done what you so swiftly did, that this “economic cloudy day” would have otherwise been the “biblical flood of finance.”??

So, much of the change for which you were elected, Sir, has thus far been understandably, if begrudgingly, tabled, delayed, made more open-ended. But patience ebbs, Mr. President. And while the first one thousand key decisions of your presidency were already made about the economy, the first public, easy-to-discern, mouse-or-elephant kind of decision comes tomorrow night at West Point at eight o’clock.

You know this, Mr. President: we cannot afford this war. Nothing makes less sense to our economy than the cost of supply for 35,000 new troops. Nothing will do more to slow economic recovery. You might as well shoot the revivified auto industry or embrace John Boehner Health Care Reform and Spray-Tan Reimbursement.

You know this, Mr. President: we cannot afford this war. Nothing makes less sense to our status in the world than for us to re-up as occupiers of Afghanistan and for you to look like you were unable to extricate yourself from a Military Chinese Finger Puzzle left for you by Bush and Cheney and the rest of Halliburton’s hench-men.

And most of all, and those of us who have watched these first nine months trust both your judgment and the fact you know this, Mr. President: unless you are exactly right, we cannot afford this war. For if all else is even, and everything from the opinion of the generals to the opinion of the public is even, we cannot afford to send these troops back into that quagmire for second tours, or thirds, or fourths, or fifths.

We cannot afford this ethically, Sir. The country has, for eight shameful years, forgotten its moral compass and its world purpose. And here is your chance to reassert that there is, in fact, American Exceptionalism. We are better. We know when to stop making our troops suffer, in order to make our generals happy.

You, Sir, called for change, for the better way, for the safety of our citizens including the citizens being wasted in war-for-the-sake-of-war, for a reasserting of our moral force. And we listened. And now you must listen. You must listen to yourself.

We Are United For a Peaceful Obama

Come to Acacia Park, TUESDAY, 5PM
ACACIA PARK, 5PM- COLORADANS FOR PEACE are not alone urging President Obama to escalate his attention to the antiwar mandate given him by the American voters. Michael Moore & Keith Olbermann have made eleventh hour pleas, and the nation’s prominent antiwar activists signed a collective letter to President Obama (see below). Here are the national organizations taking to the streets tomorrow:

United Against Afghan Escalation, Women Say No To War (Code Pink), No Escalation in Afghanistan (UFPJ), Veterans Oppose Troop Build-up (IVAW), US Labor Against War, A.N.S.W.E.R., Stop the Escalation (World Can’t Wait), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Just Foreign Policy, Pax Christi USA, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats of America, The Peace and Justice Resource Center and Voters for Peace.

The letter composed by the National Assembly:

President Barack Obama?
The White House?Washington, D.C.
November 30, 2009
 
Dear President Obama,
With millions of U.S. people feeling the fear and desperation of no longer having a home; with millions feeling the terror and loss of dignity that comes with unemployment; with millions of our children slipping further into poverty and hunger, your decision to deploy thousands more troops and throw hundreds of billions more dollars into prolonging the profoundly tragic war in Afghanistan strikes us as utter folly. We believe this decision represents a war against ordinary people, both here in the United States and in Afghanistan.  The war in Afghanistan, if continued, will result in the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of U.S. troops, and untold thousands of Afghans.

Polls indicate that a majority of those who labored with so much hope to elect you as president now fear that you will make a wrong decision — a tragic decision that will destroy their dreams for America. More tragic is the price of your decision. It will be paid with the blood, suffering and broken hearts of our young troops, their loved ones and an even greater number of Afghan men, women and children.

The U.S. military claims that this war must be fought to protect U.S. national security, but we believe it is being waged to expand U.S. empire in the interests of oil and pipeline companies.

Your decision to escalate U.S. troops and continue the occupation will cause other people in other lands to despise the U.S. as a menacing military power that violates international law. Keep in mind that to most of the peoples of the world, widening the war in Afghanistan will look exactly like what it is: the world’s richest nation making war on one of the world’s very poorest.

The war must be ended now. Humanitarian aid programs should address the deep poverty that has always been a part of the life of Afghan people.

We will keep opposing this war in every nonviolent way possible. We will urge elected representatives to cut all funding for war. Some of us will be led to withhold our taxes, practice civil resistance, and promote slowdowns and strikes at schools and workplaces.

In short, President Obama, we will do everything in our power, as nonviolent peace activists, to build the kind of massive movement –which today represents the sentiments of a majority of the American people–that will play a key role in ending U.S. war in Afghanistan.

Such would be the folly of a decision to escalate troop deployment and such is the depth of our opposition to the death and suffering it would cause.

Sincerely, (Signers names listed in alphabetical order)

Jack Amoureux, Executive Committee
Military Families Speak Out
 
Michael Baxter
Catholic Peace Fellowship
 
Medea Benjamin, Co-founder
Global Exchange
 
Frida Berrigan
Witness Against Torture
 
Elaine Brower
World Can’t Wait
 
Leslie Cagan, Co-Founder
United for Peace and Justice
 
Tom Cornell
Catholic Peace Fellowship
 
Matt Daloisio
War Resisters League
 
Marie Dennis, Director
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
 
Robby Diesu
Our Spring Break
 
Pat Elder, Co-coordinator
National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth
 
Mike Ferner, President
Veterans For Peace
 
Joy First, Convener
National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
 
Sara Flounders, Co-Director
International Action Center
 
Sunil Freeman
ANSWER Coalition, Washington, D.C.
 
Diana Gibson, Coordinator
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice
 
Jerry Gordon, Co-Coordinator
National Assembly To End Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupation
 
Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence
 
David Hartsough
Peaceworkers San Francisco
 
Mike Hearington, Steering Committee
Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, Atlanta
 
Larry Holmes, Coordinator
Troops Out Now Coalition
 
Mark C. Johnson, Ph.D., Executive Director
Fellowship of Reconciliation
 
Hany Khalil
War Times
 
Kathy Kelly, Co-Coordinator
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
 
Leslie Kielson , Co-Chair
United for Peace and Justice
 
Malachy Kilbride
National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
 
Adele Kubein, Executive Committee
Military Families Speak Out
 
Jeff Mackler, Co-Coordinator
National Assembly to End Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations
 
Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chair-Elect
World Parliament of Religion
 
Michael T. McPhearson, Executive Director
Veterans For Peace
 
Gael Murphy, Co-founder
Code Pink
 
Michael Nagler, Founder
Metta Center for Nonviolence
 
Max Obuszewski, Director
Baltimore Nonviolence Center
 
Pete Perry
Peace of the Action
 
Dave Robinson, Executive
Director Pax Christi USA
 
Terry Rockefeller
September 11th Families For Peaceful Tomorrows
 
Samina Sundas, Founding Executive Director
American Muslim Voice
 
David Swanson
AfterDowningStreet.org
 
Carmen Trotta
Catholic Worker
 
Nancy Tsou, Coordinator
Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice
 
Kevin Zeese
Voters for Peace

And Michael Moore’s letter:

An Open Letter to President Obama from Michael Moore

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Dear President Obama,

Do you really want to be the new “war president”? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do — destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they’ve always heard is true — that all politicians are alike. I simply can’t believe you’re about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn’t so.

It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That’s the way General Washington insisted it must be. That’s what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. “You’re fired!,” said Truman, and that was that. And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we f*#&in’ hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption).

So now you feel backed into a corner. 30 years ago this past Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Soviet generals had a cool idea — “Let’s invade Afghanistan!” Well, that turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin.

There’s a reason they don’t call Afghanistan the “Garden State” (though they probably should, seeing how the corrupt President Karzai, whom we back, has his brother in the heroin trade raising poppies). Afghanistan’s nickname is the “Graveyard of Empires.” If you don’t believe it, give the British a call. I’d have you call Genghis Khan but I lost his number. I do have Gorbachev’s number though. It’s + 41 22 789 1662. I’m sure he could give you an earful about the historic blunder you’re about to commit.

With our economic collapse still in full swing and our precious young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and greed, the breakdown of this great civilization we call America will head, full throttle, into oblivion if you become the “war president.” Empires never think the end is near, until the end is here. Empires think that more evil will force the heathens to toe the line — and yet it never works. The heathens usually tear them to shreds.

Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn’t have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones.

I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush’s Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it.

Your potential decision to expand the war (while saying that you’re doing it so you can “end the war”) will do more to set your legacy in stone than any of the great things you’ve said and done in your first year. One more throwing a bone from you to the Republicans and the coalition of the hopeful and the hopeless may be gone — and this nation will be back in the hands of the haters quicker than you can shout “tea bag!”

Choose carefully, Mr. President. Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding. That could be Wednesday morning.

We the people still love you. We the people still have a sliver of hope. But we the people can’t take it anymore. We can’t take your caving in, over and over, when we elected you by a big, wide margin of millions to get in there and get the job done. What part of “landslide victory” don’t you understand?

Don’t be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn’t be happy. You would still be the victim of their incessant venom on hate radio and television because no matter what you do, you can’t change the one thing about yourself that sends them over the edge.

The haters were not the ones who elected you, and they can’t be won over by abandoning the rest of us.

President Obama, it’s time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, “No, we don’t need health care, we don’t need jobs, we don’t need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, ’cause we don’t need them, either.”

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would your grandmother do? Not send more poor people to kill other poor people who pose no threat to them, that’s what they’d do. Not spend billions and trillions to wage war while American children are sleeping on the streets and standing in bread lines.

All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam “might” be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish — the full terror of which we scarcely know.

When we elected you we didn’t expect miracles. We didn’t even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn’t even function as a nation and never, ever has.

Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God’s sake, stop.

Tonight we still have hope.

Tomorrow, we shall see. The ball is in your court. You DON’T have to do this. You can be a profile in courage. You can be your mother’s son.

We’re counting on you.

Yours,
Michael Moore