Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Barack Obama supports military interventionism: A recent study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found that the United States alone accounts for 43 percent of global military expenditures (more than $687 billion). The people screaming about the military-industrial complex seem to be right. Obama has failed to withdraw troops from Iraq (nearly 50,000 troops still remain, according to CNN), and U.S. troops are still dying in Afghanistan. The recent military assault on oil-rich Libya has convinced me that Obama doesn’t deserve the Nobel Peace Prize he was given for allegedly strengthening “international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
Barack Obama continues to break his promises: During his initial campaign, Barack Obama presented himself as a reform candidate and a constitutional scholar. The reality, however, doesn’t live up to the fantasy. Obama has broken a vast array of campaign promises, from public negotiation of his health care policy to the immediate closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. We have not seen even minimal progress on the comprehensive immigration reform bill he guaranteed would surface in the first year of his presidency or on the cap and trade bill to limit carbon emissions. The campaign slogan of “Yes we can!” has become “No we didn’t.” Why would anyone believe his grandiose promises when this man begs for another four years?

The above is from Peter Cornett's "Devil's Advocate: Don't re-elect Obama" (Daily Titan) and in a functioning world the above might cause the Democratic Party pause. But in this world, you can be sure that instead of considering what's right for the country the efforts will continue to justify and minimize Barack'sactions, to protect him. He'll face no party challenge and, if he should lose re-election, the usual worthless will show up after to insist there was nothing that could have been done. But denial is the fundamental thread in the modern world -- whether it allows us to continue to destroy the only bio-system we have or whether it allows us to continue to pretend that certain people weren't War Hawks and haven't spent their entire existence promoting war. Case in point, that lovely Carr Center that Harvard should have shut down -- and even loss of donations hasn't led to a shut down because the Carr Center gets War Dollars. Trashy Sarah Sewall and Samantha Power -- both of whom promoted the Iraq War despite efforts by the press to lie otherwise -- and their little War Hawk Mini-Institute should have been shut down a long time ago. Instead, they threw their lot in with Barack. Brian Lilley (Toronto Sun) reports:

As a politician in Canada, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has said that he was on the sidelines of the Iraq war, but new information reveals he was on the front lines of pre-invasion planning when he worked in the U.S. Ignatieff — long known to be a supporter of the decision to invade — was part of an academic advisory team that helped U.S. state department and American military officials conduct strategy sessions. The academic-turned-politician was singled out in a Pentagon briefing the day before the invasion started. One of the top officials in Air Command cited Ignatieff's work in helping the military ready comprehensive plans to mitigate collateral damage while preparing for the invasion. "I personally have been working with The Carr Center for Human Rights," said U.S. Col. Gary Crowder on March 19, 2003. "Michael Ignatieff and Sarah Sewell (another Carr Center employee) and their program are a wonderful program." Crowder told reporters that he was working with Ignatieff on how to best conduct the war while minimizing civilian deaths.

The Carr Center should have been shut down. In a functioning world, it would be and it's notables like Sewer and Power would be shunned. Paul J. Nyden (Charleston Gazette) reports of Senator Jay Rockefeller's visit with his paper's editorial board:

"Today, I have grave misgivings about being in Iraq for another week. We should be out of Iraq this year altogether," he said. "We are not going to win. It is not in the cards. Many Asian countries have a totally tribal culture. "It is the same thing in Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen," Rockefeller said.

Lovely words, Jay, but what are you going to do? Are you going to challenge him in the primary? Are you going to filibuster the next war appropriations bill? Are you going to actually do anything? Or are you one of the Pelosi Democrats that thinks a few minutes of lip service and suddenly the slate is clean? The Democratic Party has set a new record for cravenly lows. It's past time real leadership emerged from within it.

An editorial in today's Independent of London covers
yesterday's revelations about the British government and the oil industry:

Prior to the invasion, Mr Blair said that the idea that the invasion was, in any way, motivated by Iraq's oil was "absurd". He argued in a debate hosted by BBC's Newsnight in February 2003 that if oil was the West's goal, it could just as easily have cut a deal with Saddam. Yet this does not serve to refute the argument that oil was a motivation behind toppling the Iraqi dictator. It is perfectly possible that Western powers anticipated getting access to Iraq's oil on favourable terms after the removal of Saddam.
This is not fanciful speculation. The US was conspicuously slow to hand over power to an Iraqi civilian government in Iraq after the fall of Baghdad. Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority was only disbanded after protests by the dominant Shia community. The US gave every impression that it wanted to continue pulling the strings in Iraq, including over the awarding of energy contracts. Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, for one, has reached the conclusion that the Iraq war was "largely about oil". As for Mr Blair, the former Prime Minister was certainly not shy about championing the interests of British oil companies around the world. When he met Muammar Gaddafi in the Libyan desert in 2007, Mr Blair saw fit to take the then chairman of BP, Peter Sutherland, along with him. A few days later, BP signed a $900m exploration deal with the Libya Investment Corporation. Realpolitik was entwined with access to fossil fuels in Libya. It is no great stretch to imagine that there were similar motivations over Iraq. These documents do not prove that the British government's invasion was primarily motivated by a commercial desire to profit from Iraq's oil. Indeed, it is probably too simplistic to present any single factor as the decisive motivation for this calamitous misadventure. But they do make it clear that, contrary to ministerial denials, oil was something that ministers were thinking about in those months prior to the invasion.

And maybe somewhere there's the hope that, from across the Atlantic, the British can provide the leadership that the American government refuses to? If so, release that fantasy. If you're expecting to see leadership on the issue, vist the New Labour party organ: the Guardian. In fact, we can make it real simple, just click here and you go to all their Iraq coverage.


As you'll see, the Guardian has ignored the story -- the same way it ignored the Downing Street Memos. It is a New Labour Party organ. And in America? When a crisis continues to the point that it becomes the "norm," everyone suffers.

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oh boy it never ends