Obama’s Double-Speak at the DNC


“You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan.’  Even if the plan is horrifying!”

— The Joker

Sounding very much like his predecessor, George W. Bush, President Obama engaged in a very calculated act of misdirection and obfuscation at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to continue justifying his unprovoked acts of war abroad.

One of the key lines of his acceptance speech, brief as it was, wreaked with what Big Daddy in  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof referred to as “the smell of mendacity.”

Thus, Obama stated:  “I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. And we have. We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline, Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama Bin Laden is dead.”

In this well-crafted, though wholly misleading statement, Obama strongly suggests that the Taliban attacked us on 9/11.  This is, of course, not true.   The Taliban never attacked us.   Their only crime was to insist upon proof of Osama bin Laden’s culpability for the 9/11 attacks before handing him over to the U.S.   (And, the Taliban’s request in this regard was not purely academic.  Thus, as explained in a little-known article in the Ithaca Journal by Ed Haas — so unknown that it won the Project Censored Award — the FBI admitted that it never included the 9/11 attacks in Bin Laden’s “Ten Most Wanted” rap sheet because the FBI had “no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”).

Still, it was the Taliban’s insistence on such due process niceties (niceties the U.S. once claimed to hold dear) which led to the U.S. war in Afghanistan which continues now 11 years later – “our longest war” as Obama, in a moment of candor, correctly pointed out.   Yet, despite the Taliban’s undeniable lack of responsibility for 9/11, Obama reserves the lion’s share of his drone attacks for ostensible Taliban targets, rather than Al Qaeda.   Thus, as Peter Bergen from CNN noted in a September 6 article, entitled, “Drone is Obama’s Weapon of Choice,” only 8% of Obama’s drone targets are al Qaeda as compared to just over 50% being Taliban targets.  No wonder then that Obama must try to make the American people (in the words of W) “misremember” who really was responsible for 9/11 – otherwise, his ongoing war in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, complete with the drone campaign, would appear needlessly cruel; and indeed, it is.

Obama also stated in his acceptance that “Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.”   Whether that is true or not in general is uncertain.  However, what is certain is that Al Qaeda is doing quite well in Syria where, as the Council on Foreign Relations recently noted, Al Qaeda is actually the critical fighting force in the Free Syrian Army – an army the U.S. is actively supporting, both directly and through its allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar.   But again, such inconvenient facts must be buried.

In the end, Obama’s untruths are revealing of a foreign policy which is as incoherent as it is cruel – at least assuming that this foreign policy is indeed aimed at rooting out terrorists who threaten the security of U.S. citizens as Obama would have us belief.  Of course, given that the U.S. is barely targeting Al Qaeda at all in our main theater of conflict (Afghanistan/Pakistan), and given that it is actually aiding and abetting Al Qaeda in places like Syria, one must ask the question which our leaders hope we will never ask – is our over-bloated military and our endless wars really aimed at keeping us secure?  The facts suggest that the answer is a resounding no.

Indeed, far from promoting security anywhere, U.S. war aims abroad appear intent upon creating instability and chaos; of dismantling states (such as Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia and of course Afghanistan) which our leaders view as impediments to the ability of multi-nationals to plunder world resources with impunity.   However, such chaos, while good for the business of a few, decidedly makes all of us much less secure.

The most notable example of this phenomenon, of course, lies in our long-time involvement in Afghanistan since 1979.  As we know now, through the admissions, and indeed bragging of Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, the U.S. began aiding the anti-government rebels in Afghanistan (rebels which included Osama bin Laden) with the intention of provoking a Soviet invasion. That is, contrary to popular (and carefully manufactured) belief, the U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan was not in fact the reaction to the Soviet invasion; it was the cause of the invasion.  The ultimate goal, as Brzezinski has explained with glee, was to give the USSR its own Vietnam-like quagmire which would fatally wound the Soviet Union.  In other words, the U.S. consciously set into motion a war with the intention of destroying one country (the Soviet Union) while sacrificing another (Afghanistan), and with the unintentional consequence of empowering terrorists such as Osama bin Laden who would later go on to attack us.

This, my friends, is an illustration of the chaos theory of U.S. foreign policy.

And, it is the realization of this frightening reality which Obama’s lies are designed to prevent.  Given the lack of virtually any opposition to this narrative, I would say that these lies are working according to plan.

Daniel Kovalik is a labor and human rights lawyer living in Pittsburgh.  He is currently teaching International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.


December 01, 2015
John Wight
From Iraq to Syria: Repeating a Debacle
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: the Left Takes Charge
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Revenge? The Fight for the Border
Sami Al-Arian
My Ordeal: One of America’s Many Political Trials Since 9/11
Steffen Böhm
Why the Paris Climate Talks Will Fail, Just Like All the Others
Gilbert Mercier
Will Turkey Be Kicked Out of NATO?
Bilal El-Amine
The Hard Truth About Daesh and How to Fight It
Pete Dolack
Solidarity Instead of Hierarchy as “Common Sense”
Dan Glazebrook
Rhodes Must Fall: Decolonizing Education
Colin Todhunter
Big Oil, TTIP and the Scramble for Europe
Eric Draitser
Terror in Mali: An Attack on China and Russia?
Linn Washington Jr.
Torture and Other Abuses Make Turkey as American as Apple Pie
Randy Shaw
Krugman is Wrong on Gentrification
Raouf Halaby
Time to Speak Out Against Censorship
Jesse Jackson
It’s Time for Answers in Laquan McDonald Case
Patrick Walker
Wake Up Zombie, Kick Up a Big Stink!
November 30, 2015
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Embrace of Totalitarianism is America’s Dirty Little Secret
Omur Sahin Keyif
An Assassination in Turkey: the Killing of Tahir Elci
Uri Avnery
There is No Such Thing as International Terrorism
Robert Fisk
70,000 Kalashnikovs: Cameron’s “Moderate” Rebels
Jamie Davidson
Distortion, Revisionism & the Liberal Media
Patrick Cockburn
Nasty Surprises: the Problem With Bombing ISIS
Robert Hunziker
The Looming Transnational Battlefield
Ahmed Gaya
Breaking the Climate Mold: Fighting for the Planet and Justice
Matt Peppe
Alan Gross’s Improbable Tales on 60 Minutes
Norman Pollack
Israel and ISIS: Needed, a Thorough Accounting
Colin Todhunter
India – Procession of the Dead: Shopping Malls and Shit
Roger Annis
Canada’s New Climate-Denying National Government
Binoy Kampmark
Straining the Republic: France’s State of Emergency
Bill Blunden
Glenn Greenwald Stands by the Official Narrative
Jack Rasmus
Japan’s 5th Recession in 7 Years
Karen Lee Wald
Inside the Colombia Peace Deal
Geoff Dutton
War in Our Time
Charles R. Larson
Twofers for Carly Fiorina
John Dear
An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism