"The Obstacles to Real Health Care Reform: Private Insurers and Big PhRMA - by Stephen Lendman
In almost the same breath on August 17, the White House effectively dropped a real public option (that likely never existed) while Obama was telling the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) that the Pentagon will escalate the Afghanistan/Pakistan war into a long-term conflict that will assure "more difficult days ahead." He did so in defiance of international and Constitutional law, the lives and welfare of American forces, millions in both target countries, and lied at the same time saying: "This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity" in plain contradiction of the fact that in October 2001, US forces launched a long-planned premeditated attack against a non-belligerent country posing no threat to America.
Obama's Central Asia agenda matches his domestic arrogance against the rights and welfare of millions of Americans. Denying them real health care reform is one of many ways he defiles the public interest in deference to the corporate ones he serves.
On financial matters, it's trillions for Wall Street. On "defense," it's imperial wars and handouts to weapons and munitions makers, and on public health it's promoting mass-innoculations of experimental, toxic vaccines and rejecting real health care reform - universal single-payer, the only real kind that all other Western nations provide. But not the richest country in the world more focused on corporate than public welfare....
"The Election of the Greatest Con-Man in Recent History
On November 4, the nation exhaled. The Bush era ended and a new Obama one began. Celebratory exuberance followed this " 'historic moment,' a 'turning point' in American history," and why not. Forgetting past pledges made and broken, voters were mesmerized by promises of change, taxing the rich, ending the Iraq war and occupation, and delivering health care for all and other measures. Obama mania swept the country, but cooler heads saw other signals early on.
A "transformational presidency" wasn't to be nor was one planned. Throughout the campaign, "telltale signs of (Obama's) true orientation surfaced," including promising Zionists "more....than had ever been conceded by any previous US administration - inter alia, support for Israel's illegal annexation of greater East Jerusalem."
Once elected, Obama's transition team and key appointments included "political dregs who brought on the unending wars of the past two decades, and the economic policy makers responsible for the financial crash and the deepening recession afflicting tens of millions of Americans today and for the foreseeable future." Obama's election indeed marked a "historic moment in American history: the victory of the greatest con man and his accomplices and backers in recent history."
He promised peace but delivered war....
Obama's election changed nothing. He's as imperial as George Bush....
"Masters of Defeat: Retreating Empire and Bellicose Bluster
Despite America's imperial and diplomatic defeats, militarism under Obama continues to serve the usual constituencies that benefit, while at the same time unmet human needs are ignored and disdained. As the economic crisis deepens, reckless national resource amounts are diverted to powerful corporate interests and to maintaining America's imperial footprint globally in spite of clear failures with Iraq as Exhibit A.
Over six years of war and occupation left "enormous military casualties and over a half a trillion in economic losses, without securing any political, military or natural resource gains."
Iran is Exhibit B. Despite Israeli-Washington efforts to isolate the country, in October 2008, Shell Oil and the Austrian energy company OMV sponsored a Teheran conference promoting "gas export opportunities and potentials of the Islamic Republic of Iran." After losing out on tens of billions in potential oil revenues, Big Oil may have decided that "economic-centered empire building" is preferable to the military kind. Shell's move perhaps is an overture for what's to come if the Obama- Netanyahu axis doesn't intervene militarily to stop it.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are Exhibits C and D with US forces targeting them both in a futile effort to secure control and extend America's South Asia influence. After nearly eight years of conflict and occupation, Taliban forces are now resurgent, and stepped up efforts to defeat them will likely prove as unsuccessful as previous campaigns. Yet vast sums are wasted trying while vital domestic needs go begging.
America's one-sided Israeli support is equally futile and "has led to a sharp decline (of) US influence in the region" as well as enormous Arab street opposition that promises one day to explode. It's also been bad for business. "Zionist-Israeli usurpation of US Middle East policy has led to strategic losses of investments, markets, profits and partnerships for the entire multi-national oil and gas industry" as well as other global economic losses.
Washington is also losing out in Latin America where its influence is waning. For business, it amounts to hundreds of billions in lost trade and investments as global competitors like China have profited at America's expense. Washington's belligerency has a price, and its fallout is also felt at home.
Besides its declining competitiveness, America's economic strength has weakened. Conditions at home are in disarray, and "the financial system is disconnected from the real economy and on the verge of collapse...." It's only a matter of time before it rubs off on Obama and he's blamed for it, as well he should be, given the destructiveness of his economic policies.
In lieu of progressive alternatives, administration extremists seek confrontation with Russia, China and Iran as well as Latin American states like Venezuela. These nations and others show more resistance, and most states prefer cooperative economic growth over futile military conflict - a lesson Washington and Israel have yet to learn, and they're paying for it.
The Obama Regime, The Zionist Power Configuration and Regional Wars
Obama's Israel-Firster officials and 51 influential Zionists organizations define America's counterproductive Middle East belligerency - an agenda destined to fail, yet it persists despite urgent domestic needs left unaddressed. Edward Said once said that in a matter of hours, the Israeli Lobby could marshal the entire Senate to come together for Israel on virtually anything - even policies counterproductive to America's best interests.
In addition, outliers in both Houses of Congress are purged, appointments with dubious Israeli loyalties are blocked, and regional belligerency is the preferred option over diplomacy because Israel expects it with regards to Iraq under Saddam, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Gazans under Hamas - targeted by slow-motion genocide that continue with Washington's approval but couldn't persist without it, or Israel's illegal West Bank settlements either.
For decades, and especially since 9/11, Muslims and Arabs have been ferociously targeted by vicious propaganda and military aggression. Obama is following the same agenda, in Afghanistan with stepped up efforts.
America's pro-Israeli media as well as influential business, academic and other figures support open-ended militarism and all policies benefitting Israel regardless of their destructiveness. As a result, the US is in terminal decline with nothing in evidence to stop it.
Israeli Middle East Supremacy from Gaza to Tehran: Imperial Overstretch?
Iran poses no regional threat nor has it for the past 200 years. Yet Israel targets it for removal as its sole remaining rival, so perhaps Operation Cast Lead was preparatory target practice. Washington appears supportive, given Obama saying at the July G 8 meeting that "we're not going to just wait indefinitely and allow (Iran to develop a) nuclear weapon." European and Arab states may not object. Israeli influence demands it. The major media is in tow, and extremist US elements want regime change at any cost, even a devastating holocaust if nuclear weapons are used against underground Iranian sites.
For decades, Israel has been a serial aggressor and threat to the region. It's used "repeated threats and aerial and ground assaults on neighboring countries....to assert (unchallenged) regional supremacy." Washington's support under Republicans and Democrats permits it in spite of huge risks of uncontrollable fallout.
"The election of the ultra-militarist Binyamin Netanyahu promises (stepped up) Israeli plans for a massive assault on Iran," regardless of its foolhardiness. The Israeli prime minister calls the Islamic Republic the "terrorist mother base (and) that Israel cannot accept an Iranian terror base (Gaza) next to its major cities." So far, belligerency is on hold, but perhaps preparations are underway, given Obama's G 8 remark and Joe Biden's earlier one about America not intervening to stop a "preemptive" attack. The New York Times quoted him saying:
"Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination - if they make a determination - that they're existentially threatened and their survival is threatened by another country."
Iran plans no conflict and poses no threat to Israel or the region. An Israeli and/or American attack will openly defy international law that permits defensive measures only until the Security Council acts. Yet naked aggression is possible with the Obama administration "openly threaten(ing) war if Iran does not accept unilateral disarmament with intrusive inspection of its strategic (nuclear) installations, allowing Israel and the US a unique opportunity for pinpointing vital targets for their first wave of attack" if one comes.
Retaliation is Iran's only deterrent, including against America in Iraq. Yet "Israel's military success in Gaza (against a defenseless civilian population) has created an irrational triumphalist war fever among all of its leaders and their" American Zionist supporters. If it comes, "major military and political retaliatory action (will respond) throughout the Middle East" inflicting enormous economic losses," including disruption of regional oil operations.
Opposition efforts, however, are building to stop it, including Israeli war crimes investigations, the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, and growing number of Jews worldwide no longer willing to tolerate a destructive Zionist ideology that violates Judaism's basic tenets. Unfortunately, Israel may have to be shocked militarily before the lesson is learned. If so, Arabs and Jews alike may pay dearly as a result.
The Politics of An Israeli Extermination Campaign: Backers, Apologists and Arms Suppliers
Well before Operation Cast Lead, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe explained that Israel has conducted state-sponsored genocide against Palestinians for decades and intensively in Gaza. In March 1998, international law expert Francis Boyle proposed that "the Provisional Government of (Palestine) and its President institute legal proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague for violating the" Genocide Convention - an "undeniable fact to the entire world," according to Boyle.
Petras explained that "Israel's totalitarian vision is driven by the vision and practice of a permanent (Zionist-driven) purge of Arab Palestine....an ethno-racist ideology....enforced and pursued by its organized backers in the United States." Operation Cast Lead was the latest example - a pre-planned mass-murder/scortched earth campaign to turn Gaza to rubble and its population to the edge of despair, deepening further from the horrors of a medieval siege that's starving people to death....
Israel's chokehold on policy is key - from grassroots America to the major media, business, academia, the clergy, key professions, both Houses of Congress and every administration, Republican or Democrat. Influential figures voicing opposition assures they're targeted, intimidated, blackmailed, smeared, pressured and removed from positions of authority.
The major media support and trumpet the most outrageous Israeli crimes. Presidents of the 51 Major American Jewish Organizations (PMAJO) back them with "the Big Lie" and disseminate it through their Daily Alert propaganda organ, a tactic "reminiscent of totalitarian regimes."
In less than seven months in office, failures have produced fiascos and disasters while economic conditions continue to decay. Sooner or later there are consequences. Pursuing imperial aggression "in a time of economic depression is self-destructive, self-isolating and doomed to failure." Using vitally needed resources for conquests and occupations, slaughtering hundreds of thousands doing it, forcing millions into permanent displacement, and ignoring essential homeland needs removes any possible doubt about America's moral credibility. It also begs the question of how much longer people will tolerate it and what next when they won't.