05 February, 2007


Santa Monica Mirror:

Did You Get Invited?

John Marciano, Mirror Contributing Writer

Hollywood filmmakers David Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg
have invited 700 “political donors and activists” to a benefit to raise
funds for Barack Obama’s campaign: at $2,300 per person. Later in February
a private dinner will be held in Geffen’s home for those “who agree to
raise $46,000 for the Illinois Democrat” (Los Angeles Times, 1/25/07).
These wealthy Democrats are enamored with Obama’s eloquence and
bestselling book, and embrace his supposed anti-war position.

The truth, however, is that Obama does not oppose the US-Iraq War.
Although claiming that he would have voted against the 2002 war
resolution, since becoming senator he has supported every appropriation
bill to continue the slaughter. He can’t oppose the war, therefore, and
vote money to continue it.  

Paul Street, a radical historian, journalist and activist, has written a
critical review of Obama’s bestselling book, The Audacity of Hope (go to
zmag.org and then click on ZNET).  

Street rightly blasts Obama’s pathetic assertions about US history, such
as his support for the “grand compromise” between the North and South that
allowed the Founders to endorse the Constitution – a devil’s bargain that
legitimized “black chattel slavery as the core, defining and federally
protected political-economic institution of the U.S. South.” This immoral
political deal meant that anyone who looked like Obama could not enjoy the
same “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as white men of wealth.  

Obama’s ignorance or denial of US history is also revealed in his praise
of President Woodrow Wilson’s efforts to “encourage the self-determination
of all peoples…and provide the world a legal framework that could help
avoid future conflicts.” Is Obama unaware of Wilson’s racist views? Does
he not know that the film Birth of a Nation was shown in the Wilson White
House? Is he unaware of Wilson’s racist aggression against Haiti, the
Dominican Republic and Mexico?

According to Noam Chomsky, “Wilson’s troops murdered, destroyed,
reinstituted virtual slavery and demolished the constitutional system in
Haiti.” Despite “the takeover of Haiti and the Dominican Republic,”
Chomsky notes, “Wilson built his reputation as a lofty idealist defending
self-determination and the rights of small nations with impressive
oratory.” But Wilson’s doctrine “was restricted to people of the right
sort”; those deemed inferior were not given “the rights of democracy and
self-determination; they remained subject to their racially and culturally
superior colonial overlords” (Noam Chomsky, World Orders Old and New and
Year 501: The Conquest Continues).

Obama believes that those who made U.S. Cold War foreign policy combined
“Wilsonian idealism” and “humility regarding America’s ability to control
events around the world.” This “humility,” Street points out, included the
CIA “overthrow of democratically elected governments in Iran (1953) and
Guatemala (1954) and the sponsorship of mass-murderous dictatorships in
Indonesia and Latin America….” For indisputable evidence of US support for
death squad regimes in Latin America that left at least 300,000 people
dead and hundreds of thousands tortured, see Greg Grandin, Empire’s
Workshop: Latin America, the United States and the New Imperialism.

 Obama thinks the US-Iraq War is a “dumb but not a criminal one,” a
“botched war” that was undertaken with “the best of [democratic]
intentions.” Street disagrees, stating that Obama “is incapable of
accurately identifying the Bush administration’s illegal, racist and
brazenly imperialist invasion of Iraq as a monumental war crime…”        

After nearly four years of monstrous lies leading to hundreds of thousands
of deaths and torture, the claim that the US criminal invasion was
undertaken with “the best of democratic intentions” has to rank as one of
the most incredible statements in US history. 

Street concludes by stating that Obama’s actual views are “carefully
designed to reassure the corporate-imperial plutocracy, the foreign policy
establishment and the white majority that [his] presidency would show
proper…deference to dominant social, racial and global structures and
ideologies of inequality.”

In his April 4, 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech at New York’s Riverside
Church, exactly one year before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. called the US – then engaged in a genocidal war of aggression
against the Vietnamese people – the “greatest purveyor of violence in the
world.” Can one imagine Barack Obama – who is fond of quoting King –
making such a statement about the US today, even after the deaths of
hundreds of thousands of Iraqis?

John Marciano, Professor Emeritus, State University of New York, lives in
Santa Monica. 




U.S. exploits fear within its citizens

Judy F. Brouillette -- Columbus, Ga.

Dear Editor: Since the days of Reagan, the clandestine U.S. policy has
been to exploit fear to manipulate our citizenry. In “Hegemony or
Survival," Chomsky catalogs repeated examples of our deceitful attempts to
goad our people into a bellicose mood. In 1981, the specter of Qaddafi’s
hit men tramping the streets of our capitol to assassinate our Cowboy
Hero, was contrived in order to legitimize our using Libya as “a
defenseless punching bag," complete with the bombing of its people.

As soon as this imaginary danger was assuaged, a new one arose in the tiny
island of Grenada, a possible air base that the Russians could use to bomb
the U.S. Reagan sent 6,000 of our troops to overpower “a few dozen lightly
armed, middle-aged Cuban construction workers," a resounding victory which
enabled Reagan to swagger about Washington, tall in the saddle.

Even then, Americans were not allowed to sleep in peace. The next dire
threat to loom was Nicaragua, a world power certainly our equal! Nicaragua
was portrayed as a tool of Qaddafi in his pursuit of expelling our country
from the world and thence became a target of our abuse.

The White House has consistently used Article 51 of the UN’s charter to
justify our preventive wars. Therein lies the “end of any hopes of a world
of order and law." Our political leaders have employed our compliant and
unquestioning media to whip our gullible citizens into a frenzy of fright
whenever it suits their purposes, however devious.

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posted by u2r2h at Monday, February 05, 2007


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