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.


Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria
Robert Fantina
Canadian Universities vs. Israeli Apartheid
Conn Hallinan
Portugal: Europe’s Left Batting 1000
John Feffer
Mouths Wide Shut: Obama’s War on Whistleblowers
Paul Craig Roberts
The Impulsiveness of US Power
Ron Jacobs
The Murderer as American Hero
Alex Nunns
“A Movement Looking for a Home”: the Meaning of Jeremy Corbyn
Philippe Marlière
Class Struggle at Air France
Binoy Kampmark
Waiting in Vain for Moderation: Syria, Russia and Washington’s Problem
Paul Edwards
Empire of Disaster
Xanthe Hall
Nuclear Madness: NATO’s WMD ‘Sharing’ Must End
Margaret Knapke
These Salvadoran Women Went to Prison for Suffering Miscarriages
Uri Avnery
Abbas: the Leader Without Glory
Halima Hatimy
#BlackLivesMatter: Black Liberation or Black Liberal Distraction?
Michael Brenner
Kissinger Revisited
Cesar Chelala
The Perverse Rise of Killer Robots
Halyna Mokrushyna
On Ukraine’s ‘Incorrect’ Past
Jason Cone
Even Wars Have Rules: a Fact Sheet on the Bombing of Kunduz Hospital
Walter Brasch
Mass Murders are Good for Business
William Hadfield
Sophistry Rising: the Refugee Debate in Germany
Christopher Brauchli
Why the NRA Profits From Mass Shootings
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
Pete Dolack
There is Still Time to Defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Marc Norton
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Andre Vltchek
Stop Millions of Western Immigrants!
David Rosen
If Donald Dump Was President
Dave Lindorff
America’s Latest War Crime
Ann Garrison
Sankarist Spirit Resurges in Burkina Faso
Franklin Lamb
Official Investigation Needed After Afghan Hospital Bombing
Linn Washington Jr.
Wrongs In Wine-Land
Ronald Bleier
Am I Drinking Enough Water? Sneezing’s A Clue
Charles R. Larson
Prelude to the Spanish Civil War: Eduard Mendoza’s “An Englishman in Madrid”
David Yearsley
Papal Pop and Circumstance
October 08, 2015
Michael Horton
Why is the US Aiding and Enabling Saudi Arabia’s Genocidal War in Yemen?