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mhgaffney 05-28-2013 04:12 PM

is Obama in control?
 
US government at a crossroads

Obama's recent speech appeared at first to signal a change in course. Obama renewed his pledge to close GITMO and mentioned that perpetual war endangers our freedoms.

But a closer look suggests that Obama is between a rock and a hard place. Ron Paul has warned that in fact the Obama admin plans an increase in drone attacks and covert ops.

One writer (below) suggests that Obama is under attack from within -- and not fully in control. If Obama attempts -- like JFK -- to wind down the war machine, he will be removed from office (i.e., assassinated). But let's hope he tries anyway.

Obama's best -- in fact his only -- chance of pulling off such a move would be to go straight to the people.

MHG


The War on Terror and the Fate of US Democracy

By Joseph Kishore
Global Research, May 28, 2013

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-war...ocracy/5336698

The speech delivered by President Barack Obama at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. last week has revealed not only a crisis within the Obama administration and increasingly bitter conflicts within the highest echelons of the state, but also, and most profoundly, a historic crisis of class rule.

Obama’s speech is of exceptional political significance. More than a half-century after Eisenhower warned that American democracy was threatened by the emergence, in the aftermath of World War II, of a “military-industrial complex,” Obama all but acknowledged that American democracy is approaching a point of breakdown.

A decade after the beginning of the “war on terror,” Obama warned, “America stands at a crossroads.” He continued, “We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us. We have to be mindful of James Madison’s warning that no nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

In other words, the danger to American democracy comes not from “terrorists”—the catch-all pretext for every action taken by the American ruling class since September 11, including by the present administration—but from within the state itself.

Obama’s speech clearly emerged out of bitter conflicts within the state apparatus. He seemed engaged in a debate, without naming the parties with whom he was arguing. At times he would pause, as if he was waiting for a response. He took an almost passive attitude to the actions of his own administration, as if these were somehow external, somehow directed by forces outside of his own control.

This was not the speech of a confident chief executive, but the representative of an administration under siege, torn by internal contradictions, in which his control over the government seems entirely questionable.

The president repeatedly referred to illegal actions taken. The American government had, he acknowledged, “compromised our basic values—by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law.”

By designating them as “counter to the rule of law,” Obama was effectively admitting that actions taken by the United States government—that have continued under his own administration—were illegal, criminal, unconstitutional.

Obama sought to defend these actions, while openly betraying his own nervousness that he was directly implicated in violations of the Constitution, for which he could be held liable.

Obama repeatedly reminded his audience that there were others involved in making these decisions. “Not only did Congress authorize the use of force, it is briefed on every strike that America takes, every strike,” he insisted. “That includes the one instance where we targeted an American citizen.”

Hidden from the American people, preparations are far advanced for an open break with democratic forms of rule in the United States. Under the framework of the “war on terror,” the American ruling class has brought democracy to the very brink of extinction.

Under first Bush and then Obama, the executive has claimed vast powers to wage war, spy on the American people, torture and hold prisoners indefinitely without charge, try them in military commissions, and kill anyone, anywhere, including US citizens, without due process.

Little more than a month ago, following the still unexplained bombings at the Boston Marathon, the entire city was placed in lockdown and virtual martial law. As the WSWS noted at the time, “The events in Boston have laid bare the modus operandi for the establishment of dictatorial forms of rule in the US.” Once again, as with the attacks of September 11 that set off the “war on terror,” the bombers were being closely monitored by sections of the state apparatus, and the events were seized on to implement new and unprecedented attacks on democratic rights.

The breakdown of democracy is tied to an immense growth in the strength of the military and intelligence apparatus. These institutions operate as virtual laws unto themselves.

Confirming that issues of civilian-military relations are being intensively discussed within the ruling class, an article appeared in the New York Times on Monday, penned by retired Army lieutenant general Karl Eikenberry, the former head of Armed Forces in Afghanistan, and historian David Kennedy. Under the headline, “Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart,” the two authors worry that the expansion of the military is taking place under conditions of “a minimum citizen engagement and comprehension.”

To address this situation, they call for the institution of the draft in some form, before concluding, “While the armed forces retool for the future, citizens cannot be mere spectators. As Adams said about military power, ‘A wise and prudent people will always have a watchful and jealous eye over it.’”

The advanced state of the breakdown of bourgeois democracy, under conditions of perpetual war, has generated intense conflicts among different factions of the ruling class. Within and between various branches of the military, the CIA and FBI, there are continuous factional wars, in which the conflicts within the ruling class are worked out behind the backs of the American people.

While there are sections of the ruling class that would back an open military dictatorship, the break with legality and “democracy” is also fraught with immense dangers. The legitimacy of the American political system is defined by the Constitution.

The American ruling class is destroying the political foundations upon which it has based its rule. They cannot invoke legality when they are confronting challenges to the state from the working class when they are the greatest law-breakers. The more they dispense with constitutional legality, the more illegitimate the ruling elite appears before the great mass of the population, within the United States and internationally.

Yet, despite these concerns, neither Obama nor any sections of the ruling class has anything else to offer. This explains the strange, contradictory character of Obama’s speech.

While voicing concern over the state of American democracy, one of the central aims of Obama’s remarks was to defend the most egregious violation of democratic principles thus far taken—namely, the assassination of US citizens without due process. These operations would continue, he said, with at most a pseudo-legal fig leaf, one or another form of Star Chamber proceedings to rubber stamp the decision of the executive.

As for militarism, while urging an end to a “boundless war on terror,” Obama outlined a series of military operations all over the world. He called for stepping up the arming of the Syrian “rebels,” many of which are tied to Al Qaeda, as part of the campaign to unseat President Bashar Al Assad. At the same time, sections of the American ruling class are trying to extract some of their forces from the Middle East in order to shift towards Asia and a more direct confrontation with China.

In the end, whatever Obama’s public displays of self-doubt, he has neither the will nor the ability to change anything. Efforts by the apologists of the Democratic Party, including the New York Times and the Nation magazine, to present Obama’s speech as a transformative event combine complacency, deceit and naivetť. As if to confirm this fact, Obama stressed on Memorial Day yesterday that the nation was “still at war.”

Moreover, if the most powerful sections of the bourgeoisie and the military/intelligence apparatus ever seriously considered for a moment that Obama was abandoning the program of global hegemony, his administration would come to a brutal and rapid end.

A crisis of bourgeois rule is one of the most important indicators of impending revolutionary upheaval. History substantiates a general political rule that revolutions arise not only because the oppressed classes cannot live in the old way, but that the ruling classes cannot rule in the old way.

Rohirrim 05-28-2013 04:46 PM

I was actually following along a bit until I got to this line...
"...following the still unexplained bombings at the Boston Marathon..."

And then the bull**** meter went off.

cutthemdown 05-28-2013 05:01 PM

LOL he's only got 2 yrs left why would they need to kill him? Wouldn't it be better to make sure a republican won who likes the war machine more? How did Obama win if someone else controls? If Obama has gone rouge then why not just make sure you get a lackey in the white house next time around. Hell that could get you 8 yrs. All killing Obama gets you is Biden.

W*GS 05-28-2013 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rohirrim (Post 3853326)
I was actually following along a bit until I got to this line...
"...following the still unexplained bombings at the Boston Marathon..."

And then the bull**** meter went off.

My bull**** meter goes off when I see gaffe's name attached to a post or thread.

baja 05-28-2013 05:18 PM

The USA is going down fast and if that is not bad enough there some very smart people that don't have a clue that it is happening.

pricejj 05-28-2013 05:53 PM

Obama has been a war monger from the start of his term...and liberals fully support his agenda.

The media outlets have done a fairly good job of hiding it from the public view (unlike during Bush's term, when they televised it every single night). Just more bullcrap from the Progressive Socialists.

cutthemdown 05-28-2013 11:31 PM

Also which is it with our media. Is it ok to use a current event to score political points and advance your agenda or isn't it. It seems like half the time they call that smart govt, the other half they call it a disgrace. Journalists have become lobbyists with a pen. They don't use money they use public perception and PR. Treat me right, advance my agenda, I wrtie great stories about you. Don't and I will attack.

05-29-2013 07:28 AM

We need to wind down this war on the enemy that will never be defeated... Spend our money on preventing attacks here.... Lets turn the page and begin to address our domestic issues like healthcare, schools and build a nation that focuses on one thing: enterprising spirit.. we need to get away from being the world police dept and get back to what has made us great

Rohirrim 05-29-2013 07:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pricejj (Post 3853340)
Obama has been a war monger from the start of his term...and liberals fully support his agenda.

The media outlets have done a fairly good job of hiding it from the public view (unlike during Bush's term, when they televised it every single night). Just more bullcrap from the Progressive Socialists.

"Liberal" in this case obviously means whatever you want it to mean. The real progressives in this government - the handful that are left, anyway - have been opposed to Obama's policies since he took office and rightly characterized him as another Clinton, i.e. Republican Lite. You forget, Obamacare was hatched in the belly of the Heritage Foundation. It is not a progressive solution.

It must be a drag to just rattle around in your own little box.

pricejj 05-29-2013 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rohirrim (Post 3853518)
"Liberal" in this case obviously means whatever you want it to mean. The real progressives in this government - the handful that are left, anyway - have been opposed to Obama's policies since he took office and rightly characterized him as another Clinton, i.e. Republican Lite. You forget, Obamacare was hatched in the belly of the Heritage Foundation. It is not a progressive solution.

It must be a drag to just rattle around in your own little box.

Do you actually believe the bullcrap you write? Because no one with a sane mind does. Stew over that.

peacepipe 05-29-2013 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pricejj (Post 3853530)
Do you actually believe the bullcrap you write? Because no one with a sane mind does. Stew over that.

You obviously can't handle the truth.

Rohirrim 05-29-2013 09:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pricejj (Post 3853530)
Do you actually believe the bullcrap you write? Because no one with a sane mind does. Stew over that.

Like I said, must be a drag to rattle around in the Right Wing echo chamber. Keeping sucking on that blue pill. :thumbs:

orinjkrush 05-29-2013 10:12 AM

interesting article. makes me think the O man is just a puppet of (fill in the blank elites).

just like the Dubber. It was Cheney's administration.

The O man is not much presidential material, no matter what his Harvard budds thought.

I think he will enjoy his Hawaiian retirement.

mhgaffney 05-29-2013 02:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rohirrim (Post 3853518)
"Liberal" in this case obviously means whatever you want it to mean. The real progressives in this government - the handful that are left, anyway - have been opposed to Obama's policies since he took office and rightly characterized him as another Clinton, i.e. Republican Lite. You forget, Obamacare was hatched in the belly of the Heritage Foundation. It is not a progressive solution.

It must be a drag to just rattle around in your own little box.

So now we don't even agree what "liberal" means? Sheesh.

And exactly which progressives are you referring to? I'm not aware of any.

MHG

mhgaffney 05-29-2013 02:20 PM

Chomsky makes a good point about the war machine. A kind of imperative. When one target goes away - another will be found to replace it.

At all costs -- the war machine will be put to use. And as it grows in size the scale of military activity (aggression and covert action) will expand.
MHG

From Yemen to Pakistan to Laos
Jeremy Scahill & Noam Chomsky on Secret U.S. Dirty Wars

Video

http://www.informationclearinghouse....ticle35114.htm

Rohirrim 05-29-2013 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhgaffney (Post 3853682)
So now we don't even agree what "liberal" means? Sheesh.

And exactly which progressives are you referring to? I'm not aware of any.

MHG

Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Alan Grayson. That's all I've got.

mhgaffney 05-29-2013 02:31 PM

Bernie Sanders is in Obama's administration?

Rohirrim 05-29-2013 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhgaffney (Post 3853712)
Bernie Sanders is in Obama's administration?

They're not part of the "government?"

pricejj 05-29-2013 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rohirrim (Post 3853537)
Like I said, must be a drag to rattle around in the Right Wing echo chamber. Keeping sucking on that blue pill. :thumbs:

You claim the only problem with the Obama administration is that they aren't Leftist enough? Lol, yeah that's completely reasonable. You fit right in with James Holmes and the Occupy movement.

Rohirrim 05-30-2013 07:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pricejj (Post 3853918)
You claim the only problem with the Obama administration is that they aren't Leftist enough? Lol, yeah that's completely reasonable. You fit right in with James Holmes and the Occupy movement.

No. I claim that you have no coherent thought in your head or the slightest knowledge of politics whatsoever and simply come in here parroting what you hear on Fox, like so many troglodytes who came before you. You call Obama a liberal because the Right Wing echo chamber calls him a liberal. He's about as liberal as Richard Nixon. Actually, he's probably a bit to the Right of Nixon.

TonyR 05-30-2013 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pricejj (Post 3853530)
Do you actually believe the bullcrap you write? Because no one with a sane mind does. Stew over that.

Curious which part/parts of his post you think is/are "bullcrap"?

pricejj 05-30-2013 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TonyR (Post 3854057)
Curious which part/parts of his post you think is/are "bullcrap"?

Claiming that "the real progressives from this government have been opposed to Obama's policies" is utter hogwash.

No more time needs to be spent on it.

TonyR 05-30-2013 10:30 AM

Quote:

If you imagine a policy spectrum that that goes from 1-10 in which 1 is the most liberal policy, 10 is the most conservative policy, and 5 is that middle zone that used to hold both moderate Democrats and Republicans, the basic shape of American politics today is that the Obama administration can and will get Democrats to agree to anything ranging from 1 to 7.5 and Republicans will reject anything thatís not an 8, 9, or 10. The result, as Iíve written before, is that President Obamaís record makes him look like a moderate Republicans from the late-90s.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...rss_ezra-klein

Rohirrim 05-30-2013 11:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pricejj (Post 3854076)
Claiming that "the real progressives from this government have been opposed to Obama's policies" is utter hogwash.

No more time needs to be spent on it.


http://www.thenation.com/blog/173697...are-austerity#

http://progressive.org/mag_reed0508

http://www.salon.com/2012/10/27/the_...against_obama/

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/...t-entitlements

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/cenk-uygu...t-him-anymore/

There are plenty more where these came from, dumbass.

pricejj 05-30-2013 11:22 PM

Progressive Socialists journalists feigning outrage over their hand-picked corrupt, ineffective, lame-duck President in order to garner support for the next leftist whack job's (Hillary Clinton) Presidential run?

You don't say...

Just like rats jumping off a sinking ship. Comical really.


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