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Obama - When you are right you are right - Neo Liberal Coup.

It appeared to me Obama was on some heavy tranquilizers for his speech.

September 10, 2013
What a slimy fellow Obama is

Every time I look up he's doing something disgusting

Like distancing himself from his fellow senator Dick Durbin for denouncing the torture center at Guantanamo

Or cheerleading the nuke-Iran crowd
If Only They'd Hissed Barack Obama
Supports more death
Illinois Democratic candidate for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, is surrounded by reporters after saying he would be willing to send more soldiers to Iraq.

If it is part of a strategy that the president and military leaders believe will stabilize the country and eventually allow America to withdraw, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2004, in Springfield, Ill.

Photo: AP/Seth Perlman     
Illinois Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate position, Barack Obama, is surrounded by reporters after saying he would be willing to send more soldiers to Iraq.
Saturday, September 18, 2004, in Springfield, Illinois     ALEXANDER COCKBURN     April 7, 2006
If Only They'd Hissed Barack Obama
— Obama's Game
Obama's man took grave exception to my use of the word "distanced" to describe what his boss had done when Illinois' senior U.S. senator, Dick Durbin, got into trouble for likening conditions at Guantanamo to those in a Nazi or Stalin-era camp.
This was one of Durbin's finer moments, as he read an FBI man's eyewitness describing how he had entered interview rooms: find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water.
Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more."
"If I read this to you", Durbin told his fellow senators, "and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings.
Sadly, that is not the case.
This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.
It is not too late. I hope we will learn from history. I hope we will change course.
So Durbin paid the penalty of having to eat crow on the Senate floor.
His fellow senator, Obama, did not support him in any way.
Obama said:
...we have a tendency to demonize and jump on and make mockery of each other across the aisle and that is particularly pronounced when we make mistakes.
Each and every one of us is going to make a mistake once in a while.
...and what we hope is that our track record of service, the scope of how we've operated and interacted with people, will override whatever particular mistake we make.
That's three uses of the word "mistake".
This isn't distancing?
Some hopeful progressives still say, "Obama has to bob and weave, while positioning himself at the high table as the people's champion."
But in his advance to the high table he is divesting himself of all legitimate claims to be any sort of popular champion, as opposed to another safe black, like Condoleezza Rice whom Obama voted to confirm
The Empire relishes such servants

Neoliberalism is just everywhere
June 23, 2013
Obama When you are right you are right - Neo Liberal Coup.

Image: internet
When you are right you are right
That so-called progressives are usually right-wing hacks when the subject is economics should come as no surprise to anyone.
This has been going on for quite awhile — although for me, I didn't realize the severity of the problem until 1993.
I was attending an American Economic Association conference in Anaheim for the purpose of presenting a paper.
The conference was abuzz with speculation on who was going to get the plum economic jobs in the new Clinton administration.
Not surprisingly everyone seemed to think their viewpoint should be heavily represented.
Surprisingly — at least for me because I had followed the elections of 1992 pretty closely and could recite many of Clinton's more progressive campaign promises from memory — it turned out that none of this idle speculation mattered at all.
The economic agenda was already set in stone.
Clinton was going to sell out anyone who imagined that they had elected a Democrat.
Nelson Mandela
This phenomenon was hardly unique to Clinton.
Some examples of this sort economic betrayal have been especially poignant.
For example, Nelson Mandela, a man who had suffered long years in South African jails while his supporters bled and died in the struggle to eliminate Apartheid, went from prisoner to an accepted member of the Anglo establishment in a heartbeat.
I have often wondered what he was told in whatever meeting he must surly have had with South Africa's creditors.
But suddenly their desires would take precedence over the massive needs of his supporters who had stayed with him during his many years in jail.
I have not been in such a meeting but institutional analysis says they have taken place.
I just call them "the briefing" and they are highly effective — even with politicians who have campaigned on economic reform.
In fact, the only politicians I can think of who didn't cave after their briefing were the Kirchners of Argentina and Correa of Ecuador.
Right-wing?  Neoliberals as these hacks are called in polite society
Of course, there are some pretty good reasons why the reactionary neoliberal agenda wins the argument — besides, of course, the notorious spinelessness of progressives.
Most politicians know very little about economics beyond some facile slogans that amount to little more than grunts — government debt, bad.
They know even less about the history of the various economic debates and the outcomes of those strategies — grunt: populism bad!
And so they make up for their ignorance by surrounding themselves with 'experts.'
Since the economics 'profession' has become dominated by absurd right-wing hacks, those experts are, not surprisingly, right-wing hacks.
Or neoliberals — as these hacks are called in 'polite' society.
Obama's enthusiastic embrace of Neoliberalism
ANY Democrat or Republican elected would have been given the same 'briefing'
I am pretty certain this story cannot be told often enough.
Even so, this was absolutely predictable.
ANY Democrat or Republican elected in 2008 would have been given the same 'briefing' that produced this outcome.
It was institutionally inevitable.
Issue for Feb. 14 - 20, 2007.   BAR is published every Wednesday.
Barack Obama - The Mania and the Mirage

After two years of distancing himself from progressives, Barack Obama is ‘exploring’ a run for the presidency.

The marketing of the Obama ‘mirage’ reflects deep contradictions in both the Black and white manifestations of the ‘mania’ surrounding the Senator.

Photo: Black Agenda Report
Barack Obama:
The Mania and the Mirage
by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford
After two years of distancing himself from progressives, Barack Obama is ‘exploring’ a run for the presidency.
The marketing of the Obama ‘mirage’ reflects deep contradictions in both the Black and white manifestations of the ‘mania’ surrounding the Senator.
Barack Obama: The Mania and the Mirage
“The Black aspect of Obama-mania is as caught up in historical contradictions as is the white side of the phenomenon.”
“Mirage” is the best metaphor for Barack Obama.    He shimmers on the horizon, a promise of…something.    But as one draws closer, Obama dissipates into nothingness — which is his purpose.
Like a mirage, Obama floats as an illusion in the political intersections between hot and cool air.
It is the place he seeks: the deliberately chosen — yet ever-shifting — layer between other forces that are themselves constantly moving across the landscape.
As the Illinois Senator this weekend announced his intention to create a presidential “exploratory committee,” corporate pundits pegged him as nestled in the Democratic niche between Hillary Clinton, to his right — based her relatively “hot” air on Iraq — and the much cooler, if not frigid, temperatures at the base of the party.
That’s Obama’s intermediary comfort zone — a place of ever-interpretable impressions.
Barack Obama: The Mania and the Mirage

The truth is, Obama is determined to say next to nothing substantive at all, unless it is designed to position himself in some mellow region between opposing forces. 

Photo: Black Agenda Report
"I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics,” said Obama in a video posted on his website.    “So I spent some time thinking about how I could best advance the cause of change and progress we so desperately need.”
Ahh, so that’s what the period between now and February 10, when he will make his presidential intentions official, is all about: thinking time.
Obama is known for choosing his words very carefully.
His admirers say that’s a sign of his conscientious nature, that he doesn’t want to inadvertently say the wrong thing, to speak irresponsibly.
The truth is, Obama is determined to say next to nothing substantive at all, unless it is designed to position himself in some mellow region between opposing forces.
“Obama is determined to say next to nothing substantive at all.”
Obama claims, "I didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago.”
Amazing.    I suppose that’s why he has been so careful to navigate to the right of his fellow Democratic senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin; why he spent 2005 and 2006
mouthing “mush” on the Iraq war, and still continues to do so; why he told me point-blank, three weeks before being sworn in as U.S. senator, that he would not push for universal health care — the very issue that had made him a darling of progressives as a state senator, but which had burned Hillary Clinton when she was First Lady.
Obama runs from even the flicker of a flame.
"The decisions that have been made in the past six years have put our country in a precarious place," he said.
What the hell does that mean? Exactly what it is supposed to: next to nothing.
By February 10, Obama will have crafted a catch-phrase that captures some vague mood of distress among the electorate.    But he needs the time to measure the barometer, temperature and wind flow, and situate himself accordingly — the perfect mirage.
Barack Obama is a lawyer by training, but could easily have made a career on Madison Avenue, where “impressions” are the holy grail.
The most effective commercials are those that provoke the consumer to provide her own impressions of the product, through word and image association.
Obama’s special genius is to elicit self-generated positive impressions from a wide range of consumers/observers — most dramatically, from consumers across the color line — while saying nothing of substance.
“Obama could easily have made a career on Madison Avenue.”
Barack Obama: The Mania and the Mirage

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Obama has eagerly signed on as a candidate of the center-right of the Democratic Party - a hair’s-breadth from Hillary Clinton, with whom I suspect he will eventually team-up.

Photo: Black Agenda Report
Corporate media, an extension of Madison Avenue, eats this crap up.
Barack Obama has “wide appeal” and is, therefore, a “saleable” product.
But what are they selling, and to whom?
They (and Obama) are certainly not selling an end to U.S. wars of aggression, or universal health care, or the right to housing, education, and a minimal standard of income.
Most insidiously, Obama-mania does not even market substantive measures toward racial justice.
Vote for me, and I’ll set you free
Quite the opposite: it presents an Obama presidential candidacy as a palliative — a soothing potion — that on its face serves as an historical benchmark showing how far “America” — meaning white America — has come.
Such is Obama’s carefully orchestrated message: Vote for me, and I’ll set you free — free like me! — from any obligation to reverse centuries of past wrongs or current crimes against African Americans; free to abandon universal health care as a national priority; free to warn Iraqis that there will be “
no more coddling” of them, as if 600,000 Iraqis have died from excess coddling; free to threaten “surgical missile strikes” against Iran in early 2006, and free to later back away from the warmongers’ bully pulpit when the political winds changed.
Commercialization is the great diversion in U.S. society: the creation of false realities that are “sold” far beyond conventional points-of-purchase.
For decades corporations (and their two political parties) have been marketing an empty package labeled “new, improved America,” a product that miraculously cures the nation’s ills without the trauma of relinquishing white privilege and forging a real social compact among Americans, or of abandoning an imperial foreign policy.
Barack Obama has cynically signed on as the beaming face on the package of that product.
In Obama’s mind, the game is all about “impressions” — ephemeral things that are very much like mirages.
Having no substance — poof! — in a minute, they are gone, leaving us to anxiously await the appearance of the next illusions of light and temperature, or messages that seem to solve ancient ills, but actually promise…nothing.
Barack Obama has methodically created the impression that he feels no special obligation to African Americans (“
There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.”) — the source of his meteoric rise.
It matters not what he feels inside, or what he wrote in a decade-old biography.
Hillary whom I suspect he will eventually team-up
Obama has eagerly signed on as a candidate of the center-right of the Democratic Party — a hair’s-breadth from Hillary Clinton, with whom I suspect he will eventually team-up.
Barack Obama: The Mania and the Mirage

Ebony magazine and Obama is determined to say next to nothing substantive at all, unless it is designed to position himself in some mellow region between opposing forces. 

Photo: Black Agenda Report
And what do African Americans get out of the deal?
Far less than nothing.
Obama — participant in the Great Diversion
By assisting white Americans to believe that painless absolution of collective responsibility for the past and current national sins can be achieved by looking kindly on an ingratiating Black man’s presidential candidacy, Obama has become an active participant in the Great Diversion.
He repeatedly reinforces the notion that noisy “partisan politics” is what’s wrong with America, rather than rapacious corporations, structural and overt racism, and rampaging militarism.
“He has eagerly signed on as a candidate of the center-right of the Democratic Party.”
Dennis Kucinich blackest candidate
As BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon has written, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), the announced presidential contender whose name is seldom uttered in the corporate media, is the “blackest candidate in the ring.” Kucinich’s voting record “matches the best of the Congressional Black Caucus across the board” and is far more in tune with the historical Black Consensus on issues of peace and social justice than Sen. Obama’s over the past two years.
However, African Americans will certainly flock to Obama’s candidacy, both emotionally and — if he doesn’t shift his weight to the Clintons before the primaries — with their votes.
Despite the passage of four decades since the Black Freedom Movement defeated official apartheid, a Jim Crow mentality continues to haunt Black politics, one that celebrates every prospect of a Black face in a high place.
The presidency is, of course, the ultimate brass ring.    African Americans yearn to vicariously grasp it — even if the candidate has labored mightily to distance himself from them.
It is true, as
Francis Kornegay wrote in the January 10 issue of BAR, that Black (and white) progressives must come to grips with “the unfolding Obama-mania.”
In many ways, the Black aspect of Obama-mania is as caught up in historical contradictions as is the white side of the phenomenon.    We will have to wrestle with both.
Note from Kewe
In the following I have substituted 'radical right agenda' and 'right agenda' for globalist agenda, which is the correct term.
It is the globalist agenda to keep the 'right' and 'left' fighting with each other.
Until we recognize that both the Democrat and Republican are in the same house, squabbling with their selected issues but both trying to bring to fruition complete ownership from those that now control much of the Western world, we will not defeat this agenda.
Obama is a globalist.
His background through his parents and then through his own desire has made him a product of the CIA, an arm of the globalists.
It is the CIA — special intelligence inside the CIA instrumental in setting up the cogs — that placed Obama in a position where the electorate would consider him a candidate that could be a U.S. President.
Only by renouncing the CIA and affiliated alphabet agencies, renouncing both Democrats and Republicans, will the US population free itself of the tyranny that allows only one point of view to flourish in the U.S.
The 'Black Budget' now is 54 Billion yearly as recognised.    Likely it is more than that.
Corrupt systems can do a lot with 54 billion.
As an adjunct: for many year Counterpunch refused to print any articles that dealt with 9/11 as a conspiracy, the official story a fabrication of the U.S government.
I do not know is this has been rescinded for I ceased reading Counterpunch many years previously, once this was spelled out to me.
Whether suggesting Globalism as a conspiracy is forbidden on Counterpunch, I do not know.
$52.6 billion Black Budget
Covert action — Surveillance — Counterintelligence
US intelligence knew about the chemical attack before it happened and decided to go along with it — not to stop it happening
Or they were involved in the beginning with the planning — possibly with other nations
If they knew what you and I know they would know it is just men who rob them, cheat them, kill them
      The top five agencies, by spending       
     Keep the people frightened of things they cannot know     
      The Negative Return Economy     
August 18, 2013
Barack Obama and the Neo-Liberal Coup
D efenders of the policies of President Barack Obama have correctly pointed to the difficult circumstances he and ‘the nation’ faced when he entered office and the dim intransigence of Congressional Republicans while they fail to address that his actual policies have derived almost exclusively from the political-economic theories of neo-liberalism — the economics of globalism.
And as Mr. Obama moves his policy proposals for his second term forward what is once again apparent is that both the policies and his articulation of them are from the globalists.
Dismissive tone and condescension when inconvenient truths raised
His proposals to shutter Federal housing agency stalwarts Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, his use of dubious legal opinions to consolidate the power of ‘the Executive’ and to justify the murder of citizens and non-citizens without due process, his support for trade agreements that effectively hand domestic governance over to multi-national corporations, his growth of an intrusive surveillance state and pompous dismissal of criticism of it and his stuffing his cabinet and likely the Federal Reserve Chairmanship with neo-liberal ideologues all confirm that the policies of his first term were not a product of circumstance, but rather the coherent implementation of a globalism agenda.
Apparently unbeknownst to many, when promoting these policies Mr. Obama has in each case used coded talking points of the globalists to sell them.
That these talking points come from the grim bourgeois banker and ‘national security’ ghettoes, company towns if you will, where the fantasies and rank hallucinations of executives and Boards of Directors go unchallenged by ‘subordinates’ goes some distance toward explaining Mr. Obama’s own dismissive tone and condescension during those exceedingly rare moments when inconvenient truths are raised in his presence.
In a corporate-state leaders decide questions and answers
Whereas in a democracy leaders respond to the concerns of the citizenry, in a corporate-state ‘leaders’ decide both the questions and the answers.
Were there not fundamentally different visions of political economy and society behind the left-right globalist divide — actual content rather than the inane banter of paid Party hacks that passes for ‘debate’ in the U.S., circling Mr. Obama’s policies with the charge ‘globalism’ might seem hyperbole.
So the charge here conveys that these policies promote / reflect political capture by neo-liberalism and the restructuring of government Mr. Obama has undertaken is a reflection of the architecture of this economic order.
While not necessarily the most momentous, one of the most telling policies that ties Mr. Obama’s undying support for Wall Street in his first term to his current policies is the decision to shutter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs).
These quasi-government agencies arose from the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression to insure home mortgages away from the predations of private mortgage lenders — the same ‘system’ of private mortgage lending that led once again to financial catastrophe in 2008.
To add insult to injury, Mr. Obama’s talking points for the closures come straight from the Wall Street ghetto of Manhattan (my current home), including the well-refuted contention that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were responsible for the housing/mortgage catastrophe of recent vintage caused by Wall Street.
Toxic garbage — neo-liberal principles of market economics
The facts are that the catastrophe was caused entirely by mortgages that were underwritten by private mortgage underwriters and packaged into toxic garbage by Wall Street according to neo-liberal principles of ‘market’ economics. At this point in history Mr. Obama still has the audacity to repeat the Wall Street/Globalist lie that the Federal government that ‘saved’ Wall Street at public expense was responsible for the financial and economic catastrophes Wall Street alone caused.
It is important to understand the genesis of the alternate reality that so dissociates official Washington and Wall Street from the facts as they apply to this world.
After a (very) brief opening for self-reflection in the depths of economic catastrophe in 2008 the narrative developed that through the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) the Federal government forced Wall Street banks to make the fraudulent mortgage loans that were major contributors to the crisis.
The facts are that the mortgages made under CRA guidelines experienced no higher defaults than high quality mortgages made under similar lending guidelines.
CRA loans played no role in the crisis.
The second charge was that the GSEs — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — predominated sub-prime lending when they were both late to the game and bit players.
Rush Limbaugh — John Boehner — Nanci Pelosi — bury the consequences of monumental corruption and ineptitude
To any who have taken an honest look at the circumstances leading to the crisis, it was looting by Wall Street using related or captive private mortgage underwriters who knowingly underwrote fraudulent mortgages to feed their ‘securitization’ (toxic waste) pipelines that created the debacle.
However, within days of the start of the bank bailouts the narrative was put forward by neo-liberal ideologues that the Federal government was entirely responsible for Wall Street’s murder of the global economy.
For a number of reasons this claim has more dimensions to it when put forward by Mr. Obama than when it is put forward by Wall Street apologists and/or Rush Limbaugh and John Boehner.
In the first place, Mr. Obama’s same first term staff that engineered the phenomenally corrupt bailouts of Wall Street, including Timothy Geithner and likely soon to be new Fed Chair Larry Summers, were the Clinton Administration point-persons who led the deregulation of the banks to their near demise.
Messrs. Geithner and Summers were subsequently given free rein by Mr. Obama to bury the consequences of their monumental corruption and ineptitude, trillions of dollars of garbage bank assets, in these government and quasi-government agencies through the bank bailouts.
Using private corporations to subvert privacy laws
What Mr. Obama is now doing is ‘proving’ the canard of the globalists that government destroys everything it touches by pointing to the devastation he and his colleagues in misdirection created as evidence of its validity — the GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises) were corrupted by the corporate-state nexus of the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, not by ‘government.’
And in practical terms, Mr. Obama is hiding evidence of his administration’s crimes in the bailouts while simultaneously continuing to put public resources into the hands of the same corrupt bankers who killed the global economy.
Two other related issues come together to suggest Mr. Obama is acting in bad-faith in nearly all his public pronouncements.
According to still classified documents even the FISA Court, the kangaroo court that renders secret decisions on national security issues, found NSA surveillance under the Obama administration to be illegal.
Ongoing ‘top secret’ classification of the court’s findings hides the administration’s criminality that ties in intent to its super-secrecy over the latest extension of the corporate-state coup, the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement that by reports hands law-making authority to a coalition of multi-national corporations.
This is more than simply shady dealing taking place behind closed doors.
Through the public-private partnerships tied to illegal NSA surveillance and the accedence of law-making authority to ‘private’ corporate interests Mr. Obama is engineering what appears to be a full-blown corporate-state coup.
Lest this read as hyperbole, using secret interpretations of secret laws passed by a secret court to subvert the public will and cover up crimes is police-state practice.
To use private corporations to subvert privacy laws and Constitutionally determined lawmaking authority is a political coup.
TPP super-secrecy only plausible reason is that is enough if known we would object
Those unfamiliar with these and their relation to European history in the first half of the twentieth century may wish to bone up on their history.
What is missing from most political analysis around these policies is their trajectory — Mr. Obama’s time in office comes several decades into the ascendance of neo-liberalism.
While many on ‘the left’ object to neo-liberal policies such as ‘free trade’ and ‘deregulation,’ what is usually left unsaid is that it is a fundamentally totalitarian form of political economy that is well into being used to restructure most of the Western world.
Few if any of the hundreds of millions of people whose lives have been re-arranged by neo-liberal policies were asked if they favored them.
And the super-secrecy around TPP negotiations is designed to assure the voices of those affected by it are excluded.
The only plausible reason for the exclusion is that enough is known by the negotiators about the views of the public for them to assume we would object en masse if the details of the agreement became public.
Build-out of totalitarian infrastructure
When viewed in conjunction with the surveillance state Mr. Obama and NSA officials continue to aggressively cover-up and lie about and the consolidation and subsequent dissemination of the data collected by it across government agencies the precise point in the trajectory toward corporate-state coup becomes clearer.
Tie in the public-private partnerships used by the surveillance state to circumvent domestic laws and the relation of neo-liberalism to totalitarian strategies and tactics is evident.
The historical trajectory from the mid 1970s to today places the instantiation of neo-liberal ideology into public perceptions several generations deep.
And the build-out of totalitarian infrastructure — public-private lawmaking through ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), public-private policing, public-private incarceration (‘private’ prisons) and the public-private surveillance state — has taken place gradually enough to be missed by those not looking very hard.
Only used to restructure those too powerless to resist
And ironically, neo-liberalism has been better sold to the public by well known political liberal icons in Ivy League universities than by the conspicuous purveyors of right-wing globalist ideology.
Princeton University economist Paul Krugman is a self-described ‘free trader’ in the older ‘Washington Consensus’ incarnation of neo-liberalism.
But his trade economics call for a top-down restructuring of the global economy that is fundamentally anti-democratic.
And none other than economist John Maynard Keynes, of whom Mr. Krugman is an acolyte, identified the totalitarian tendencies of Western economics toward making policy prescriptions in profoundly anti-democratic ways.
As an ideology reified in global economic architecture, neo-liberalism forces its view of both what it is human beings want — wealth as capitalist production, and how to get it — through reorganizing economic relations according to its dogma.
However, as the social power evidenced in the bailout of Wall Street demonstrated, neo-liberal dogma is never forced on those with the power to resist it.
Several decades of neo-liberal policies were implemented by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) on the citizens of nations too politically powerless to resist them.
Closing corrupt, extractive banks was one of the absolute musts of IMF (neo-liberal) policy because they misallocate resources across entire economies if left intact.
The point here is that neo-liberalism is purported by its proponents to create/produce an economic infrastructure conducive to ‘free markets’ but existing asymmetry in political-economic power assures it is only used to restructure the economic relations of those too powerless to resist it.
If we behave ourselves we can remain on the ‘winning’ side
The increasing crises of capitalism, and that of 2008 in particular, should have put an end to neo-liberalism — in the depths of the crisis even the IMF offered a mea culpa apologizing for decades of inflicting its policies on ‘other countries’ that ‘the West’ wouldn’t inflict on itself.
The difference in treatment — in terms of both the hypocrisy of differentiated treatment and the theoretical incoherence of acting against principles in the face of the power to resist them, illustrated neo-liberalism to be a pernicious form of neo-imperialism hiding behind bogus economic theories.
And in fact, the major points of disagreement amongst Western economists have been over responses to the crisis, not its causes.
(To his credit Paul Krugman has taken the ‘the GSEs caused the crisis’ argument to task quite effectively several times).
The tendency of we in ‘the West’ has been to draw a circle around the visible political-economic relations — those close at hand, and to exclude from our realm of concern the broader impact of Western policies.
However, neo-liberalism as both ideology and imposed political economy is now fact in the West.
With quiet acceptance any pretense of ‘democracy’ has been replaced with the admonition that if we behave ourselves we can remain on the ‘winning’ side of political economic restructuring according to neo-liberal dogma.
Left unsaid is that rapidly declining circumstance, in terms of both the increasing economic marginalization of most citizens and the imposition of the technologies of totalitarianism, is wholly the product of four decades of near-silent neo-liberal coup.
What Mr. Obama’s insistence on continuing to push neo-liberal policies indicates is that no economic debacle will cause neo-liberalism to be re-thought by its proponents.
What historical trajectory suggests is that the imposed political economies and failed policies of neo-liberalism will only result in their greater imposition until the world says ‘no more.’
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Look Who's Backing Bush's Next War
As Obama told the Chicago Tribune on September 26, 2004, "The big question is going to be, if Iran is resistant to these pressures [to stop its nuclear program], including economic sanctions, which I hope will be imposed if they do not cooperate, at what point ... if any, are we going to take military action?"
He added, "Launching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal position for us to be in" given the ongoing war in Iraq.
"On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is worse."
Obama went on to argue that military strikes on Pakistan should not be ruled out if "violent Islamic extremists" were to "take over."
      Joshua Frank      
Qassad   (Messenger)   
Made in Iran   
Iranian television shows a new 2000-pound guided bomb named 'Qassed' ('Messenger').

2000-pound guided bomb made in Iran

The bomb could be tested within the next few days Iran Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said on Wednesday. September 7, 2006.
Picture: Irinn TV
Iranian television shows a new 2000-pound guided bomb named 'Qassed'
2000-pound guided bomb made in Iran
The bomb could be tested within the next few days Iran Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said on Wednesday. September 7, 2006.
Photos: Irinn TV
Nor did Obama's man like my description of Obama's cheerleading for the nuke Iran crowd.
Obama recently declared that when it comes to the U.S. posture on Iran, all options, including military ones, should be on the table.
Now, if Obama had any sort of guts in such matters he would have said that if Iraq is to teach America's leaders any lesson, it is that reckless recourse to the military "option" carries a dreadful long-term price tag.     ALEXANDER COCKBURN
If Only They'd Hissed Barack Obama
The horrible part of the story is that this is a moment when the antiwar movement should be at full effective stretch.
A couple of weeks ago Tony Swindell, a newspaper editor in north Texas wrote to me as follows:
"Begin paying attention to stories from Iraq like the very recent one about U.S. Marines killing a group of civilians near Baghdad.
This is the next step in the Iraq war as frustration among our soldiers grow — especially with multiple tours.
I served in Vietnam with the 11th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, and My Lai was not an isolated incident.
We came to be known as the Butcher's Brigade, and we also were the birthplace of the Phoenix Program."
There's a numbness in my guts as I see the same nightmares becoming reality again in Iraq and I wonder what's happened to America's soul.
Is this what we want, another generation suckled on the poison of another renegade leadership?
Gooks have become ragheads.
Every adult male is an insurgent eligible for torture.
And every Iraqi home filled with men, women and children is a free-fire zone.
The atrocities against Iraqi civilians are slipping under the media radar screen.
But they're going to explode in America's face not too long from now."
How Barack Obama learned to love Israel
Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 4 March 2007
Michelle Obama and Barack Obama listen to Professor Edward Said give the keynote address at an Arab community event in Chicago, May 1998.

Photo: Ali Abunimah/

Michelle Obama and Barack Obama listen to Professor Edward Said give the keynote address at an Arab community event in Chicago, May 1998.
Photo: Ali Abunimah
If a man of this calibre could become president one day
I first met Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama almost ten years ago when, as my representative in the Illinois state senate, he came to speak at the University of Chicago.
He impressed me as progressive, intelligent and charismatic.
I distinctly remember thinking 'if only a man of this calibre could become president one day.'
On Friday Obama gave a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Chicago.
It had been much anticipated in American Israel political circles which buzzed about his intensive efforts to woo wealthy pro-Israel campaign donors who up to now have generally leaned towards his main rival Senator Hillary Clinton.
Reviewing the speech, Ha'aretz Washington correspondent Shmuel Rosner concluded that Obama:
"Sounded as strong as Clinton, as supportive as Bush, as friendly as Giuliani.
At least rhetorically, Obama passed any test anyone might have wanted him to pass.
So, he is pro-Israel.
Israel is "our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy," Obama said, assuring his audience that:
"We must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense programs."
Such advanced multi-billion dollar systems he asserted, would help Israel:
"Deter missile attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza."
As if the starved, besieged and traumatized population of Gaza are about to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Obama offered not a single word of criticism of Israel, of its relentless settlement and wall construction, of the closures that make life unlivable for millions of Palestinians.
There was no comfort for the hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza who live in the dark, or the patients who cannot get dialysis, because of what Israeli human rights group B'Tselem termed:
" cold, calculated decision, made by Israel's prime minister, defense minister, and IDF chief of staff last summer to bomb the only power plant in Gaza."
A decision that:
"...had nothing to do with the attempts to achieve [the] release [of a captured soldier] nor any other military need."
It was a gratuitous war crime, one of many condemned by human rights organizations, against an occupied civilian population who under the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel is obligated to protect.
While constantly emphasizing his concern about the threat Israelis face from Palestinians, Obama said nothing about the exponentially more lethal threat Israelis present to Palestinians.
In 2006, according to B'Tselem, Israeli occupation forces killed 660 Palestinians of whom 141 were children — triple the death toll for 2005.
In the same period, 23 Israelis were killed by Palestinians, half the number of 2005 (by contrast, 500 Israelis die each year in road accidents).
But Obama was not entirely insensitive to ordinary lives.
Obama's phrasing complete distortion
He recalled a January 2006 visit to the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona that resembled an ordinary American suburb where he could imagine the sounds of Israeli children at "joyful play just like my own daughters."
He saw a home the Israelis told him was damaged by a Hizbullah rocket (no one had been hurt in the incident).
Six months later, Obama said, "Hizbullah launched four thousand rocket attacks just like the one that destroyed the home in Kiryat Shmona, and kidnapped Israeli service members."
Obama's phrasing suggests that Hizbullah launched thousands of rockets in an unprovoked attack, but it's a complete distortion.
After dozens of civilians were massacred in an Israeli air attack
Throughout his speech he showed a worrying propensity to present discredited propaganda as fact.
As anyone who checks the chronology of last summer's Lebanon war will easily discover, Hizbullah only launched rockets against Israeli towns after Israel had heavily bombed civilian neighborhoods in Lebanon killing hundreds of civilians, many fleeing the Israeli onslaught.
Obama excoriated Hizbullah for using "innocent people as shields."
Indeed, after dozens of civilians were massacred in an Israeli air attack on Qana on July 30, Israel "initially claimed that the military targeted the house because Hezbollah fighters had fired rockets from the area," according to an August 2 statement from Human Rights Watch.
Carrying babies to their graves in Beit Hanoun
They died because Western politicians are cowards and racists —
More than Fifteen million US dollars
given by US taxpayers to Israel
each day for their military use
4 billion US dollars per year
A third of them children
The statement added:
"Human Rights Watch researchers who visited Qana on July 31, the day after the attack, did not find any destroyed military equipment in or near the home.
"Similarly, none of the dozens of international journalists, rescue workers and international observers who visited Qana on July 30 and 31 reported seeing any evidence of Hezbollah military presence in or around the home.
"Rescue workers recovered no bodies of apparent Hezbollah fighters from inside or near the building."
The Israelis subsequently changed their story, and neither in Qana, nor anywhere else did Israel ever present, or international investigators ever find evidence to support the claim Hizbullah had a policy of using civilians as human shields.
In total, forty-three Israeli civilians were killed by Hizbullah rockets during the thirty-four day war.
For every Israeli civilian who died, over twenty-five Lebanese civilians were killed by indiscriminate Israeli bombing — over one thousand in total, a third of them children.
Even the Bush administration recently criticized Israel's use of cluster bombs against Lebanese civilians.
But Obama defended Israel's assault on Lebanon
But Obama defended Israel's assault on Lebanon as an exercise of its "legitimate right to defend itself."
There was absolutely nothing in Obama's speech that deviated from the hardline consensus underpinning US policy in the region.
Echoing the sort of exaggeration and alarmism that got the United States into the Iraq war, he called Iran "one of the greatest threats to the United States, to Israel, and world peace."
While advocating "tough" diplomacy with Iran he confirmed that "we should take no option, including military action, off the table."
He opposed a Palestinian unity government between Hamas and Fatah and insisted "we must maintain the isolation of Hamas" until it meets the Quartet's one-sided conditions.
He said Hizbullah, which represents millions of Lebanon's disenfranchised and excluded, "threatened the fledgling movement for democracy" and blamed it for "engulf[ing] that entire nation in violence and conflict."
Over the years since I first saw Obama speak I met him about half a dozen times, often at Palestinian and Arab-American community events in Chicago including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which Edward Said was the keynote speaker.
In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor.
On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.
He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies.
But at that time polls showed him trailing.
As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him.
Tough primary race!!
He responded warmly, and volunteered:
"Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race.
I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front."
He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, "Keep up the good work!"
Gradual shift into the AIPAC camp
But Obama's gradual shift into the AIPAC camp had begun as early as 2002 as he planned his move from small time Illinois politics to the national scene.
In 2003, Forward reported on how he had "been courting the pro-Israel constituency."
He co-sponsored an amendment to the Illinois Pension Code allowing the state of Illinois to lend money to the Israeli government.
Among his early backers was Penny Pritzker — now his national campaign finance chair — scion of the liberal but staunchly Zionist family that owns the Hyatt hotel chain.
(The Hyatt Regency hotel on Mount Scopus was built on land forcibly expropriated from Palestinian owners after Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967).
He has also appointed several prominent pro-Israel advisors.
Obama has also been close to some prominent Arab Americans, and has received their best advice.
His decisive trajectory reinforces a lesson that politically weak constituencies have learned many times: access to people with power alone does not translate into influence over policy.
But especially money
Money and votes, but especially money, channelled through sophisticated and coordinated networks that can "bundle" small donations into million dollar chunks are what buy influence on policy.
Currently, advocates of Palestinian rights are very far from having such networks at their disposal.
Unless they go out and do the hard work to build them, or to support meaningful campaign finance reform, whispering in the ears of politicians will have little impact.
(For what it's worth, I did my part. I recently met with Obama's legislative aide, and wrote to Obama urging a more balanced policy towards Palestine.)
If disappointing, given his historically close relations to Palestinian-Americans, Obama's about-face is not surprising.
He is merely doing what he thinks is necessary to get elected and he will continue doing it as long as it keeps him in power.
As Obama voted to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act
Palestinian-Americans are in the same position as civil libertarians who watched with dismay as Obama voted to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act, or immigrant rights advocates who were horrified as he voted in favor of a Republican bill to authorize the construction of a 700-mile fence on the border with Mexico.
Only if enough people know what Obama and his competitors stand for, and organize to compel them to pay attention to their concerns can there be any hope of altering the disastrous course of US policy in the Middle East.
It is at best a very long-term project that cannot substitute for support for the growing campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions needed to hold Israel accountable for its escalating violence and solidifying apartheid.
Related Links:
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  • Weekly Report on Human Rights Violations
    If Only They'd Hissed Barack Obama
    — Obama's Game
    Now, if Obama had any sort of guts in such matters he would have said that if Iraq is to teach America's leaders any lesson, it is that reckless recourse to the military "option" carries a dreadful long-term price tag.
    He did nothing of the sort, which is not surprising to anyone who read his speech to the Council of Foreign Relations last November.
    Remember the context.
    Rep. Jack Murtha had just given a savage jolt to the White House.
    This be-medalled former chairman of the House Armed Services committee had publicly delivered the actual opinion of the generals:
    I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis The United States will immediately redeploy ­ immediately redeploy.
    All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free, free from a United States occupation.
    And I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process.
    And who knows, if Murtha's counsel had been followed, maybe it would have saved Iraq from the horrors now unraveling.
    But Democrats fled Murtha, few with more transparent calculation than Obama who voyaged to the Council on Foreign Relations on November 22, there to ladle out to the assembled elites such balderdash as:
    The President could take the politics out of Iraq once and for all if he would simply go on television and say to the American people 'Yes, we made mistakes.'
    ...We need to focus our attention on how to reduce the U.S. military footprint in Iraq.   Notice that I say 'reduce,' and not 'fully withdraw.'
    ...2006 should be the year that the various Iraqi factions must arrive at a fair political accommodation to defeat the insurgency; and , the Administration must make available to Congress critical information on reality-based benchmarks that will help us succeed in Iraq.
    Obama is one of those politicians whom journalists like to decorate with words as 'adroit' or 'politically adept' because you can actually see him trimming to the wind, the way you see a conjuror of moderate skill shove the rabbit back up his sleeve.
    Above all he is concerned with the task of reassuring the masters of the Democratic Party, and beyond that, the politico-corporate establishment, that he is safe.
    Whatever bomb might have been in his head has long since been dis-armed.
    He's never going to blow up in the face of anyone of consequence.     ALEXANDER COCKBURN
    If Only They'd Hissed Barack Obama — Obama's Game
    There are plenty of black people like that in the Congress now.
    After a decade or so of careful corporate funding, as the Black Congressional Caucus is sinking under the weight of Democratic Leadership Copuncil clones like Artur Davis of Alabama.
    Albert Wynn of Maryland.
    Sanford Bishop and David Scott of Georgia.
    William Jefferson of Louisiana.
    Gregory Meeks of New York.
    All assiduously selling for a mess of pottage the interests of the voters who sent them to Washington.
    Obama has done exactly the same thing.
    He lobbed up the first signal flare during the run-up to his 2004 senate race, when his name began to feature on Democratic Leadership Council literature as one of the hundred Democratic leaders to watch.
    That indispensable publication The Black Commentator raised a stink about this.
    "It would be a shame," wrote the Commentator's Bruce Dixon, "if he is in the process of becoming 'ideologically freed' from the opinions of the African American and other Democrats whose votes he needs to win."
    Obama wriggled for a while, sending out clouds of mush speak such as "I believe that politics in any democracy is a game of addition, not subtraction", but the Commentator held his feet to the fire.
    They posed Obama three "bright-line" questions:
    1. Do you favor the withdrawal of the United States from NAFTA? Will you in the Senate introduce or sponsor legislation toward that end?
    2. Do you favor the adoption of a single payer system of universal health care to extend the availability of quality health care to all persons in this country? Will you in the Senate introduce or sponsor legislation toward that end?
    3. Would you have voted against the October 10 congressional resolution allowing the president to use unilateral force against Iraq?
    This was in 2003, when Obama clearly felt he could not afford to endanger left support by answering anything other than Yes on the questions and so he duly told the Black Commentator that he would stop hanging his hat in the halls of the DLC and would tell them to remove his name from their !00-To-Watch list.
    Hence his press man, Vietor's, sensitivity to my allusion in that last to Obama's "mentor" being Senator Joe Lieberman. As a freshman senator, Vietor insisted, Obama had been assigned Lieberman as "mentor".
    Read the Hartford Courant and you'll find Lieberman boasting that Obama picked him.
    Either way, it's obvious that Obama could have brokered a different mentor if he'd so desired it, same way he could have declined to go and tout for Lieberman at that Democratic Party dinner in Connecticut at the end of March.
    But he clearly didn't, because he wanted to send out a reassuring signal, same way as his Political Action Committee, the Hope Fund's, is raising money for 14 of his senatorial colleagues ­ ten of whom are DLC in orientation, which is half of the DLC presence in the Senate.
    The Democrats' New Liberal Star
    Like Kerry, he only quibbled over the hows.
    The day before his speech, Obama told reporters, "On Iraq, on paper, there's not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago."
    He added, "There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage.
    The difference, in my mind, is who's in a position to execute."
    Not because of his vote confirming Condi Rice as Secretary of State.
    Not with his vote for the usurious bankruptcy bill.
    Not even because of his anti-Iran/pro-Israel rhetoric.
    Nor, even his appalling interjection of his religious beliefs into the political arena
    — a slimy tactic poll-tested to perfection by Hillary Clinton

    Talking of Obama
    CIA Obama the acting president
    Every facial movement, gesture of the hand, word enunciated by the 44th president turns out to be a complete charade
    The CIA — Obama — Illuminati
    A long-term strategic CIA plan to recruit promising candidates
    and steer these individuals and their families into positions of influence and power
    Behavior modification
    Phenomenological — structures of consciousness — programs
    US policy has even less regard for human rights both abroad and at home
    Obama 2015-2016
    Most of the time, from his being Senator, to the foolishness of the American people in electing him President, twice, Obama has shown an arrogance of knowing he has an answer, of being as the vernacular expresses, 'full of himself.'
    But Obama hasn't a clue how the world is run, nor how to solve any problems the world has, obvious by his eight year rule in office and the mess we see today.
    We’ve delivered 100 tons of aid to Aleppo, Americans haven’t brought one breadcrumb’ — Russian MoD
    But how can any nation possibly combine constructive efforts with a superpower that is so deluded about its systematic criminality?
    Not to be subjected to any more florid speeches filled with vacuous, psychopathic lies
    OBAMA — 2017
    The meeting went great!   We thought of a hashtag, a slogan and some awesome fearmongering tactics.
    “I now have three part-time low wage temp jobs”
    So if Carter or Bush or Clinton or Bush2 or Obama had placed some gruff calls, there would still be an insustrial midwest?
    Trump bullies Ford into keeping plant in U.S.
    Unspeakable grief and horror
                            ...and the circus of deception continues...
    — 2018
    — 2017
    — 2016
    — 2015
    — 2014
    — 2013
    — 2012
    — 2011
    — 2010
    — 2009
    — 2008
    — 2007
    — 2006
    — 2005
    — 2004
    — 2003
    Circus of Torture   2003 — now
    He says, "You are quite mad, Kewe"
    And of course I am.
    Why, I don't believe any of it — not the bloody body, not the bloody mind, not even the bloody Universe, or is it bloody multiverse.
    "It's all illusion," I say.   "Don't you know, my lad, my lassie.   The game!   The game, me girl, me boy!   Takes on interest, don't you know.   T'is me sport, till doest find a better!"
    Pssssst — but all this stuff is happening down here
    Let's change it!
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    Mother her two babies killed by US
    More than Fifteen million
    US dollars given by US taxpayers to Israel each day for their military use
    4 billion US dollars per year
    Nanci Pelosi — U.S. House Democratic leader — Congresswoman California, 8th District
    Speaking at the AIPAC agenda   May 26, 2005
    There are those who contend that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is all about Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.   This is absolute nonsense.
    In truth, the history of the conflict is not over occupation, and never has been:  it is over the fundamental right of Israel to exist.
    The greatest threat to Israel's right to exist, with the prospect of devastating violence, now comes from Iran.
    For too long, leaders of both political parties in the United States have not done nearly enough to confront the Russians and the Chinese, who have supplied Iran as it has plowed ahead with its nuclear and missile technology....
    In the words of Isaiah, we will make ourselves to Israel 'as hiding places from the winds and shelters from the tempests; as rivers of water in dry places; as shadows of a great rock in a weary land.'
           Afghanistan — Western Terror States: Canada, US, UK, France, Germany, Italy       
           Photos of Afghanistan people being killed and injured by NATO     

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