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Old 05-28-2013, 05:12 PM   #1
mhgaffney
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Default 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 naiveté. 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.

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Old 05-28-2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:01 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:18 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:33 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:39 AM   #8
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"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.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:41 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:10 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:24 AM   #11
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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"?
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rohirrim View Post
"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
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:20 PM   #13
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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
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:26 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:31 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:28 AM   #16
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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
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:12 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:31 PM   #18
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Bernie Sanders is in Obama's administration?
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:19 PM   #19
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Bernie Sanders is in Obama's administration?
They're not part of the "government?"
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:25 AM   #20
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The only progressives that matter are in Hollywood and in the media. One gives money they other spins the story.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:20 PM   #21
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Yeah. Fox has the highest ratings in Red State America but nobody watches it.
And yet, they come on here and post the Fox bull**** almost word for word.

The Right Wingers think the Left is monolithic simply because the Right is monolithic and they can't comprehend the idea of a multi-faceted, multi-view political universe. If you don't toe the line on the Right, they kick you out of the club. It's like a religion; Swear fealty to the dogma or get out. The Left allows for freedom of speech.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:25 PM   #22
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Yeah. Fox has the highest ratings in Red State America but nobody watches it.
And yet, they come on here and post the Fox bull**** almost word for word.

The Right Wingers think the Left is monolithic simply because the Right is monolithic and they can't comprehend the idea of a multi-faceted, multi-view political universe. If you don't toe the line on the Right, they kick you out of the club. It's like a religion; Swear fealty to the dogma or get out. The Left allows for freedom of speech.
Did Fox ever attend closed door White House Superfriends media strategy sessions with GW, like we saw your high priests of truth do last week?

God help Dub if he'd ever asked the media for an 'off the record' media conversation about any of his various scandals. You guys would've been seriously losing your ****.

Instead, you work overtime defending MS-(Holder is just like Moses) NBC.

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Old 05-31-2013, 02:04 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Rohirrim View Post
Yeah. Fox has the highest ratings in Red State America but nobody watches it.
And yet, they come on here and post the Fox bull**** almost word for word.

The Right Wingers think the Left is monolithic simply because the Right is monolithic and they can't comprehend the idea of a multi-faceted, multi-view political universe. If you don't toe the line on the Right, they kick you out of the club. It's like a religion; Swear fealty to the dogma or get out. The Left allows for freedom of speech.
Cool story.

The Obama IRS attacked free speech with politically motivated questionnaires targeting political opponents, and the DOJ attacked free speech while illegally obtaining phone records of the AP.

All part of the Obama administration's unrelenting onslaught on the Bill of Rights.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:08 PM   #24
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Cool story.

The Obama IRS attacked free speech with politically motivated questionnaires targeting political opponents, and the DOJ attacked free speech while illegally obtaining phone records of the AP.

All part of the Obama administration's unrelenting onslaught on the Bill of Rights.
Don't forget about the Attorney General of the United States lying to and venue shopping for a Federal Judge that would grant him a warrant to read through a well-known journalist's emails and phone records.

The same Attorney General who we're told is now going to investigate if there was any possible wrongdoing.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:00 PM   #25
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Cool story.

The Obama IRS attacked free speech with politically motivated questionnaires targeting political opponents, and the DOJ attacked free speech while illegally obtaining phone records of the AP.

All part of the Obama administration's unrelenting onslaught on the Bill of Rights.
So what? That's not the point of argument. You stated there were no progressives in government opposed to Obama's policies. I showed you were wrong. I didn't vote for the man. Don't ask me to defend him. Obama is what Republicans were twenty years ago. Republicans have gone so far Right, they make Obama look like a socialist. The point is, it's complete propaganda and bull****. Like I said, Obama's healthcare program is right out of the belly of the Heritage Foundation and Bob Dole. Just because Fox News pulls the strings on its little puppets and gets them to jump around in a frenzy crying out "Socialism!" doesn't make it so.
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