Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm the Decider 2.0

Well ladies and gents, in case you missed the riveting speech our dear President Obama gave this evening, allow me to walk you through the highlights.
Really, it's quite difficult to pick only a few, as the whole speech, I mostly sat bleary eyed and motionless, unsure whether I should simply be disgusted or contact the X-Files claiming that "W" had somehow inhabited the body of Obama.
Nevertheless, here's some of the kickers:

"Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That is what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks."
My response: Horse shit. Obama is about as mindful of military action as an elephant is of the flies buzzing round it's shit. Secondly, you shouldn't be using ANYTHING to solve the world's many challenges - you should stay the fuck out of it. The mere suggestion that using force is even an option to police the world smacks of an atrocious arrogance I hoped to solely attribute to Obama's predecessor. I do however, have to give him props for admitting that we act in accordance with our interests. He didn't quite come out and say our "monetary interests," but all the same, he hinted that we are that fucking brash. Just to proudly say that when our values are at stake, we have to send in fighter jets suggests that you have bigger balls than a well hung steer. Our values? Since when do have shit for values? And even if we were that city upon a hill that Winthrop so eloquently (yet again, arrogantly) waxed poetic of, what the fuck gives us the right to take military action when another country exhibits values other than our own?
What about Saudi Arabia? Is stoning women in public part of our treasured values? Is dictatorial religious law part of our constitution? Oh no, wait - it's the opposite.

And that's just the opening of his speech.

For the next, what seems like endless paragraphs, Obama gives a play-by-play of the occurrences in Libya and how Gaddafi's tyranny and arrogance somehow allows us to pull out our aces of tyranny and arrogance.
He shoots down the questions brought by concerned Americans, opposed to a third conflict, opposed to the idea of policing the world when our own country is in a vortex towards absolute economic fall out. He says that as a leader of the free world, we can not simply stand by and watch, we must act on behalf of humans rights concerns since that is what we stand for.
This coming from the same guy who just announced the second grand opening of Gitmo, now with brand new water barrels and deprivation cellars - book your room today! Room and board (pun intended) paid for by the people - don't call us, we'll call you, and break your door down, rape your wife, kill your kids and keep you indefinitely without trial. God Bless.

In closing, Obama makes sure to note his "successes" in Iraq and Afghanistan, using the key words "Al Qaeda" to make sure the fear factory churns out some golden oldies.
In a tawdry attempt at inspiration, he closes with this comment:
"...when the news is filled with conflict and change – it can be tempting to turn away from the world. And as I have said before, our strength abroad is anchored in our strength at home. That must always be our North Star – the ability of our people to reach their potential, to make wise choices with our resources, to enlarge the prosperity that serves as a wellspring of our power, and to live the values that we hold so dear."

Ummm....you're full of shit, Mr. President. Allow me to introduce you to reality: there is no North Star beacon above your blessed purple mountains majesty, there is no city upon a hill. Our country has no values. The people that inhabit it might, but they are clouded over by apathy and inaction. You represent corporate cronies and are a disgrace to the republic this nation was founded to be.
True leaders lead by example. The contradictions so evident in your speech prove that you are either not aware of your own hypocrisy or you feel, as so many other presidents did, that those rules do not apply to you. You can wage wars and win a peace prize, you can preach change and be stagnant. You can talk of prosperity and pride when people sit homeless, dying from curable diseases in an infrastructure that feeds on the weak.
Shame on you Obama, shame on you.
If I were religious, I would not pray for you. I would pray for the soldiers you put in harms way in vain, I would pray for the people you promised prosperity to, that will never know it. I would pray for the people in the countries you invade and allow corporate interests to rape, under your watch.
But alas, I am not religious, and I do not think that God is watching. God does not bless us, God does not bless America. No one will make sure that everything will be OK. That's on us - you and me. Because, I can tell you right now, Obama and co. sure as shit won't do anything. We, the people, have to Do Something.

4 comments:

MTJ said...

Honestly, I don't think he sounded anything like W. W made no mention of costs, either monetary or human, nor did he present such a downbeat view of how long it would take for Libya to develop any sort of meaningful infrastructure. He also made it very clear that we're not in Libya because we're trying to remove Qaddafi, whereas W specifically said we were going into Iraq to remove Hussein.

There's also the fact that this time around, our president isn't counting on the careless racism of Americans to justify going to war, as W did when he rightly assumed that most Americans wouldn't know the difference between Hussein and al-Qa'ida.

I'm opposed to military action in general, and I don't think that Obama has been clear enough about our strategy in Libya. But this doesn't feel reminiscent of W to me. If anything, it's reminiscent of Eisenhower through Johnson.

- Marion

Rooftop Revolutionary said...

In the sense that Obama can still complete a sentence without stammering, he is in fact, nothing like W.
His policies coupled with the continuation of many of W's most unpopular policies lead to the comparison. Then, this speech.
W mentioned people when it suited him: the atrocities that the people of Iraq were forced to endure under Hussein, the continued horrors of Al-Qaeda on their own people. And we bought it. The careless racism you mention isn't ingrained in Americans, but we do nothing to suggest otherwise. Same thing here. As students in the Middle East burn and stomp on our flag, we watch from our remote city on a hill, not saying a damn thing about the wars started in our name.
People are no more engaged in politics now than they were when W was around. If anything, people have become more apathetic bc they still cling to the promises of hope and change that Obama used to get elected - I'm gonna have to call bullshit on that whole platform.
And not Obama nor anyone else can know how long Libya will need to recover, or how it will happen, or even if the rebels can fashion a government any better or freer than the one they are attempting to topple.
Bottom line, it's not our business to know. Stay the fuck out of it. Obama needs to take a good long look at that peace prize he won and contemplate what PEACE really means...bc it sure as shit doesn't mean what's happening now.

Thanks for reading by the way.

MTJ said...

Just a point of clarification: the peace you mention..does that come from us not getting involved in foreign humanitarian crises? Or getting involved in the "right" ones? Or what?

And if we do nothing to suggest that the careless racism I mentioned isn't ingrained in Americans, what makes you say that it isn't? What made people say things like "I don't like the 'Hussein' [in Barack Obama's name]. I've had enough of 'Hussein.'" other than racism? What makes people unclear on the differences between our threat in Iraq (in 2001, negligible) and our threat in Afghanistan (constantly problematic), besides racism?

Rooftop Revolutionary said...

peace is an idealistic impossibility. sorry to say. humans will conflict, especially when there are so many of us.
but the pursuit of peace can not be won with war - like a favorite slogan of mine at protests before the Iraq war, "Killing for peace is like fucking for virginity." It's true. The Peace prize that Obama was ridiculously awarded stands for the pursuit of peace, since absolute peace is impossible - like the founder of the Red Cross, Martin Luther King Jr., the Dalai Lama, UNICEF, etc. These people and organizations worked for peace, humanitarian efforts, without guns and missiles. It is possible to effect change without force. It just takes more brains than muscle - something Obama doesn't seem to understand.
And sure, some Americans are very racist. However, polls have shown for years that the majority of Americans are in fact moderates, with no extremist views to the left or right.
The simple fact is that the people who have an issue with Obama's name are just the loudest. That's an inherent problem in this country. The racist, bigoted, extremist right makes the most noise. Just look at those loony tunes outside of military funerals thanking God for dead gay soldiers. They're fucking nuts. But they certainly aren't the majority. The problem is that moderate Americans are quiet. They complain and comment at home, at work, at a bar over a bottle of beer, but they don't DO anything.
As far as the non-existent link between Al-Qaeda and Hussein - that's not racism, it's stupidity. Ignorance can be a friend of racism but ignorance alone is enough to soil the reputation of a "great country." The threat was brought about by scapegoating Iraq when we couldn't find our ass from our elbow in Afghanistan and we wanted oil. The link was fabricated using "folk devils" and many Americans were dumb enough to take it.