Friday, January 30, 2009

Top Ten Obama Disappointments

Well, actually nine....

"Nine Brutal Disappointments For US Obama Fans

Jay Janson


28 January, 2009

Would rather like to point out Obama mistakes as one still hopeful for better future Obama executive orders and leadership, than to complain.

Closing Guantanamo, ending torture policies, restoring Executive Order 12667, directing federal regulators to grant states the right to set strict automobile emissions and fuel efficiency standards, are all positives.

As the news rolls in, we who wait patiently, and hope Obama will eventually be an exception to the frightful imperialism of corporate governance in spite of knowing that it was the backing of the banks and corporations that allowed for his election success, we must, especially if we want to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, help him by reacting loudly to aberrations, if that is what these following notated points be:

1. Obama’s silence during and after US made planes and bombs were used against civilians and children in Gaza. The Israelis broke a signed obligation to respect a US law which restricts the use of military aid to defensive employ. Representative Dennis Kucinich brought this to the attention of Congress.

2. Obama insulted the Vietnamese, angry U.S. veterans, and the millions of decent Americans who opposed what Martin Luther King Jr. called "a crime against humanity, referring in his inaugural address to "those who fought and died for us at Khe Sahn", Vietnam. (see OpEdNews, Jan. 23, 2009)

Mr. President, They Did Not Die For Us When Killing Vietnamese in Khe Sahn, Vietnam

3. Also in his inaugural address, grossly slighting Native-Americans by hailing the the march westward of early Europeans who came to this continent as having done it "for us", insensitively discounting the racist, savage and homicidal conduct of those Europeans, who in their ignorance too often sought to exterminate the noble nations of the indigenous population of America, stealing their land and forcing them on to reservations.

4. At the State Department, while speaking of security for the state of Israel, Obama made no mention of the dire state of Arab Palestinians over the last sixty years since an unfair partition of the British mandate was forced upon them - nor recognition of the history of Palestinian Arab suffering to this day from the occupations, blockades, illegal settlements and Israeli irresponsibility as an occupying power. No change yet from the one sided and unfair stance of earlier administrations.

5. Obama's stimulus package is being ridiculed by some of his greatest promoters. MSNBC prime time commentator Rachel Maddow gave detailed satiric and graphic attention to its large tax breaks and much smaller infrastructure spending.

China reacted quickly to the economic collapse of the West on November 9th, at a time when major infrastructure projects were being put off around the world. The New York Stock Market climbed approvingly as China announced it would spend an estimated $586 billion over the next two years — roughly 7 percent of its gross domestic product each year — to construct new railways, subways and airports and to rebuild communities.

Most Americans were expecting Obama to immediately create an infrastructure plan reminiscent of FDR’s Works Projects Administration during the great depression of the 1930s.

6. New York Times, Jan. 24, reports Obama's Secretary of Treasury Geithner accusing China of currency manipulation, as has Obama, and getting a sharp answer from the Chinese. Blaming China for America's malfeasance in managing its own economy does not sound intelligent, especially when China is also suffering, but less, for the U.S. and European fraudulent banking debacle. Confronting China while asking for her help?

7. Even more heartbreaking and disappointing is the continuing of U.S. air attacks on Pakistan territory, a supposed ally, whose president and legislature have in the past angrily condemned the strikes as a criminal and merciless taking of civilian lives, and as counterproductive to both countries aims. No change from Bush. (We had hoped candidate Obama was only just talking tough about bombing Pakistan, confronting a militarist John McCain.

"President orders air strikes on villages in tribal area" Ewen MacAskill in Washington, The Guardian, Saturday 24 January 2009

"Barack Obama gave the go-ahead for his first military action yesterday, missile strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan which killed at least 18 people."

Is it now Obama who has set himself up for war crime charges - violating the U.S. Constitution, U.N. Charter, International Treaties, etc.?

8. "Afghan president: 'US forces killed 16 civilians'" by Jason Straziuso and Rahim Faiez, Associated Press Writers Jan 25.

'KABUL, Afghanistan – President Hamid Karzai condemned a U.S. operation he said killed 16 Afghan civilians, while hundreds of villagers denounced the American military during an angry demonstration Sunday."

"Karzai said the killing of innocent Afghans during U.S. military operations "is strengthening the terrorists." He also announced that his Ministry of Defense sent Washington a draft technical agreement that seeks to give Afghanistan more oversight over U.S. military operations. The same letter has also been sent to NATO headquarters.

Karzai in recent weeks has increasingly lashed out at his Western backers over the issue of civilian casualties, ...

Karzai's latest criticism follows a Saturday raid in Laghman province. ... The U.S. military said '"We are sorry for this incident and after this we are going to coordinate our operations with Afghan forces,"

Karzai last week told parliament that the U.S. and NATO have not heeded his calls to stop air strikes in civilian areas. Karzai has recently sought to have more control over what kinds of activities U.S. and NATO forces can carry out. According to a copy obtained by The Associated Press last week, the draft technical agreement Karzai's government sent to Washington and NATO headquarters calls for:

The deployment of additional U.S. or NATO troops and their location carried out only with Afghan government approval.
Full coordination between Afghan and NATO defense authorities "at the highest possible level for all phases of military and ground operations."
House searches and detention operations to be carried out only by Afghan security forces.

... the U.S. military has also been known to not fully acknowledge when it killed civilians. After a battle in August in the village of Azizabad ... The Afghan government and the U.N. said 90 civilians were killed."

But we were hoping Obama would respect the Afghan legislature years old call for negotiations with the former governing Taliban (still governing most of the land), a thirty-five year back amnesty for all fighters, and the withdrawal of all foreign forces. There has been talk of negotiations in media recently, and Obama had said Afghanistan would take more than a military solution.

Will Obama continue the Bush directive that if less than thirty civilians deaths are anticipated in a strike targeting insurgent leaders, no White House approval is required?

9. "We will not apologize for our way of life", aggressively intoned Obama in his inaugural address - sounding threatening, just like Bush did. Is it not an arrogant statement? Is mindless consumption pushed by a cartelized commercial media, a way of life in which the U.S. with 5% of the world’s population consumes 25% of the world’s resources not deplorable. Has not the America way of life included world dominance? Is it not our way of life that produces a majority of the world’s weapons and is responsible for a war in Iraq that has caused the death of hundreds of thousands and the wounding/maiming of millions plus 3 million refugees - which Obama already denounced without however apologizing to Iraqis. There is plenty to apologize for - imperialist wars and CIA assassinations and destabilization of democratic governments.

Let’s don’t be silent, neither about Obama’s accomplishments nor, and especially, about what is disappointing and scary.