Monday, November 24, 2014

The Plot Thickens

Far from embracing the lame duck role that the pundits are trying to foist on him, Barack Obama apparently plans to goose-step his way through the rest of his term. Not only is he resuming the Iraq/Middle Eastern war that he was elected to stop, he is continuing in full secrecy control-freak Nixon mode, both stonewalling the release of the CIA torture report and stealthily ordering continuation of the Afghanistan war. He announced his military intentions through a controlled leak to the New York Times (see previous post) rather than in a televised address to the American people.

 His decision to wage more war came on the same Friday evening that he finally had enough of his Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel. Obama courageously announced Hagel's firing this morning in a nationally televised White House ceremony, with Hagel forced to stand there and listen to his damning with faint presidential praise.

Reading between the lines, it seems that Hagel was unwilling to get with the bellicose program dictated by the generals who are obviously running this show. (If anybody is an "emperor," it's the unelected Pentagon brass.) As one of those rare government officials who actually did fight in a war, (Vietnam) Hagel was originally chosen by Obama for the cabinet post to 1) display that as a Republican, he fit neatly into Obama's self-serving Team of Rivals post-partisan mythos; and 2) he was down with Obama's "don't do stupid shit" foreign policy.

Forget that. Obama is out of the Neocon closet now, and Hagel is under the proverbial bus. And Obama still hasn't come clean with the American people about his radically shifting foreign policy -- evolving from anti-stupid shit to some really foul and profitable heavy duty weaponized shit. (see previous post.)

And the plot thickens even more. Not only will the war continue, but there will be a reprise of one particularly sadistic aspect of it. Newly-installed Afghan Puppet President Ashraf Ghani has "quietly" lifted the ban on those horrific American nighttime raids of Afghan homes:
Night raids were banned for the most part in 2013 by President Hamid Karzai. Their resumption is likely to be controversial among Afghans, for whom any intrusion into private homes is considered offensive. Mindful of the bad name that night raids have, the American military has renamed them “night operations.”
American military officials have long viewed night raids as the most important tactic in their fight against Taliban insurgents, because they can catch the militant group’s leaders where they are most vulnerable. For years, the Americans ignored Mr. Karzai’s demands that the raids stop.
Even the corrupt Karzai knew that the killing of entire families as they slept in their beds in the course of these raids was a tad on the offensive side.

Meanwhile, Team Obama bitches that it's had to "struggle" to keep ahead of such global crises as Ebola, the deaths of Afghan families asleep in their beds, and the self-inflicted damage caused by their leaving a treasure trove of American weapons and hardware behind in Iraq for seizure by yet another American imperialism-spawned extremist group. 

Will they ever learn? Apparently not, when continued profits depend upon willful ignorance. 


valerie long tweedie said...

I knew Obama wouldn't end any aspect of these wars even when the U.S. was pushed out of Iraq. Too much money to be made by the Military, Industrial Complex with the blessing of the Congress. America goes broke and has to cut programs for its own people while waging war in foreign lands. Sounds like the death knell of an empire to me.

annenigma said...

The plot sickens.

Valerie, you said exactly what I've been thinking since I heard about Obama's latest troop surge or whatever they're calling it. Stick a fork in the empire - it's done, or soon will be. There was just such a deep sense of finality to it that's hard to shake. I heard the death knell too.

Denis Neville said...

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.” – George Orwell, 1984

No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.

“Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.” – Stanley Milgram – Obediance to Authority

"Using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to the rule of law and contrary to who we are." – Lame Duck

“A shocking crime was committed on the unscrupulous initiative of few individuals, with the blessing of more, and amid the passive acquiescence of all.” – Tacitus

War is not only good for business, the business of America is war.

voice-in-wilderness said...

President Obama is the embodiment of the dictum, "Watch what they do, not what they say."

And you've gotta love his approach to leakers. He goes berserk when someone leaks an unpleasant truth about his administration, but is ever ready to feed anonymous information to his favorite stenogaphers at WashPost and NYTimes.

voice-in-wilderness said...

Be careful with the 1984 quote that Neville posted -- when I checked it against an online text at the Internet Archive, there were some small differences. That's assuming that just one standard edition was published.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

I always look forward to reading your quotes and comments, Denis. They are always right on the mark. Keep 'em comin'!

Clueless It Seems said...

It's wonderful to read your truths.

As I age (I am old now) I become more and more aware of the lies that have been perpetrated by the Man. Sure. America's "great" but we are not exceptional by any means (except perhaps capitalism). There are two great "founding" myths that need to be settled before we can move on: 1) the "founding" fathers and mothers had slaves (and it's not a question of what the frame of reference was - sure, it was the 18th century but slavery is just WRONG regardless of what century it's in) and 2)genocide - which is wrong, too - was committed on the people who were already here (part of your Tday essay was on that very subject). Can we really get on with it now? I think not.

-Mark Stein from Taxachusetts