FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Winding Down Obama

Occupying Iraq, the U.S. spends about $300 million a day. For Afghanistan, it’s $200 million. These numbers are approximations because the Pentagon doesn’t really know how much it has spent on anything, or how many it has killed in its several wars, big and small. It doesn’t really care, I don’t think. Imagine a team of alcoholics parked permanently at the bar, downing pints and shots with an open tab into infinity, or until the Second Coming, at least. In 2001, Donald Rumsfeld admitted that $2.3 trillion were unaccounted for. He blamed it on sloppy bookkeeping. It must be hard to keep track of so many digits.

As firemen and cops are being fired across America, as teachers are being told they must accept austerity measures, the country is broke, after all, as public radio and television, with their supposed liberal bias, lay on the chopping block, as more homeless sprawl and tent cities spring up, as casinos, a sure sign of desperation, mushroom, the United States has entered another costly war without any fanfare or discussion whatsoever. Obama didn’t have to persuade anybody, no sending a Secretary of State to make a fool of herself in front of the United Nations’ General Assembly, no congressional vote, which, last time I checked, was supposed to be a Constitutional requirement, no media blitz. No lies even. He simply ordered more than a hundred Tomahawk missiles, so far, to rain down on Libya, with many more to come. In any case, this it not even a war, but merely a “kinetic military action,” according to an Obama aide. Such straight faced butchery of language, even as one butchers real people, shows that the United States has entered a deep psychotic state. Upon winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama himself declared, “I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence.”

If this is Obama pacified, I hate to see him riled up, but of course he doesn’t get riled up. Suave, articulate and personable, Obama is proving to be just as deadly as Bush, but clearly more cynical. A great, loyal tool of the establishment, Obama has dampened protest from American liberals. Though they know he has betrayed them, they’re reluctant to show appropriate outrage because, not that long ago, they have cheered and wept for him so openly. The day after Obama won, Rebecca Solnit burbled in the Nation,“ Citizenship is a passionate joy at times, and this is one of those times. You can feel it. Tuesday the world changed. It was a great day.”

The President of the United States is a traveling salesman for the military industrial complex. In 2010, Obama came to India to visit the Mumbai home of Gandhi, a hero of his, someone he would most like to dine with, very touching, before announcing a mega arms deal of GE fighter jet engines and Boeing military transport planes. Now, as he bombs Libya, Obama tries to sell F-18 fighter planes to Brazil. According to an aide, “President Obama underscored that the F-18 is the best plane on offer” as he made a “strong pitch” to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

The President of the United States is also a spokesman for murderers and crooks. He doesn’t rule, but obeys. His main job is to deceive the masses as he serves his enablers. He can say anything at any time, and means none of it. The President of the United States is the world’s most visible actor, in short. Campaigning in 2007, Obama said, “If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States.” Quite a performance. This year, as Wisconsin teachers fight to retain their right to collectively bargain, Obama has said absolutely nothing. One would have to be a fool to think he would join them.

Offshoring began under Clinton, and has continued unabated. Under the banner of free trade, the only goal of Globalism is to couple capital with the cheapest labor available. Since organized workers are anathema to the bosses, American companies have moved their factories to totalitarian countries where workers have little rights, where they cannot be unionized. The idea is to roll back the clock to the earliest days of industrialism, where workers toiled all day long for next to nothing. In February, a bill was even introduced in Missouri to eliminate child labor laws. It seeks, in part, to get rid of “the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen. Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed.” Don’t laugh. This may be a sign of things to come.

As for work that can’t be outsourced, foreign workers are allowed or even invited in. U.S. borders are not porous out of charity or ineptness, but because this benefits American businesses. During the recent housing bubble, builders employed countless Mexican workers, and every stateside restaurant these days seems to be staffed by Mexican busboys, cooks and dishwashers. Chinese engineer students can stay after graduating from American schools, and Indian doctors and nurses are given special visas. There are certain jobs, however, that can’t easily be staffed by aliens, such as teachers, for example. If Albanians could be imported to teach English and American History to American kids, it would have happened already. The latest attack in this relentless war against American workers is the announcement that Mexican truckers will soon be allowed to drive into the U.S. Though ignored by the mainstream media, this calamity won’t just put tens of thousands of American truck drivers out of work, but also many American dock workers. Containers can be shipped to Mexico, then trucked into the U.S. by cheaper Mexican drivers.

Again, American borders are porous by design, just as other countries’ borders are routinely violated by the U.S.A. There is a huge difference, however: when Americans enter another country illegally, it’s never to empty foreigners’ bedpans or to wash their dishes, but usually to kill them.

As Obama fizzles out, as he loses legitimacy, the power brokers will come up with other figureheads and slogans for American liberals and conservatives to become passionate about. These candidates will jabber, jab and insult each other. As in professional wrestling, the battle will appear fierce. Barack, meanwhile, can look forward to a lucrative memoir and six-figure speaking fees. Even that man of malapropisms and snafus, the much despised Bush, is getting $150,000 each time he opens his mouth these days.

LINH DINH is the author of two books of stories and five of poems, and the recently published novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

 

 

More articles by:

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
Martha Rosenberg
New Questions About Ritual Slaughter as Belgium Bans the Practice
Wim Laven
The Annual Whitewashing of Martin Luther King Jr.
Nicky Reid
Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality
Jill Richardson
Hollywood’s Fat Shaming is Getting Old
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Wide Sphere of Influence Within Folklore and Social Practices
Richard Klin
Dial Israel: Amos Oz, 1939-2018
Graham Peebles
A Global Battle of Values and Ideals
David Rovics
Of Triggers and Bullets
Elliot Sperber
Eddie Spaghetti’s Alphabet
January 17, 2019
Stan Cox
That Green Growth at the Heart of the Green New Deal? It’s Malignant
David Schultz
Trump vs the Constitution: Why He Cannot Invoke the Emergencies Act to Build a Wall
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail