FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Thank You Barack Obama for Showing Us That Peace is War

Decades ago George Orwell warned us that in 1984, war would be peace, truth would be lies, and love would be hate. Over the years, I’ve caught glimpses of what Orwell had in mind. But it is not until 2016 that I feel I can say his prognosis has come completely true. Thank you, Barack Obama, for that.

You have brought savoir-faire into the White House that none of your predecessors even came close to. Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman,” Ronald Reagan’s “I can’t remember” funding the contras, and of course, nothing more needs to be said about both George Bushes, progeny of Hitler-affiliated and Congressionally-censored industrialists and financiers, whose presidencies made a mockery of democracy.

By contrast, Obama is continually compared to Martin Luther King Jr. In much of the world, especially among Africans, he is admired to the point of being worshipped. He was awarded the Nobel peace prize in his first year in office despite the fact that he had enlarged the war in Iraq and extended it in Afghanistan. Now he has brought total war to Syria, where at least a quarter million people have perished. He has orchestrated the subversion of Venezuela, a country that freely gave aid to many of Latin America’s most impoverished people. He has encouraged neo-liberal politicians to overthrow Brazil’s president, supervised a right-wing coup in Honduras, supported a neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine, helped to overthrow the government of Libya and created a failed state there, paid Kenya and Ethiopia to attack Somalia, supplied bombs to Saudi Arabia to use on Yemenis, and built up offensive US weapons on Russia’s borders. In Asia, his “pivot” has reasserted Japan’s importance—a nation that has never apologized for its role in World War II (not least for its kidnapping of more than 100,000 women whom it turned into sex slaves for its military). He pressured South Korea to draw closer to Japan and threatens China with drive-by aircraft carriers and provocative fly-overs.

At home, his bailout of Wall Street and big banks ranks as one of the greatest government supports for big business in history.

Yet despite all this, the media bombard us with news of his treaty with Iran and enactment of “Obamacare.” No one comments on the fact that the only “unfriendly” nations to escape his bombardment—North Korea and Iran—are precisely those which remain armed to the teeth, that Obamacare is a pale imitation of his promised quality healthcare for all.

In my lifetime, I have seen feminism turned into opposite: from a set of beliefs that promised women wouldn’t rule – – couldn’t rule – – with the violence and brutality of men into the notion that women should play the same combat roles as men, that women should be just as tough in the corporate boardroom and rule with more efficiency and less sentimentality in a system of worldwide immiseration and alienation.

With Barack Obama in the White House, the promise of peace that was essential to the African-American movement, of MLK’s dream, which named the US the “main purveyor of violence in the world” and advocated a world without war, serves to legitimate this country’s wars and unending violence. Obama explicitly said he targeted a children’s birthday party for a drone attack in which several were massacred. Given the example set by the man at the top, is it any wonder that American cities are once again sites for daily police shootings of children—and of people murdering each other in record numbers?

Nonetheless, in this upside-down world, Obama is seen as a man of peace, while the Black Panthers are remembered as violent—even though they explicitly called for a world without standing armies, a world in which the United States would pay reparations to the rest of the world for centuries of genocidal wars and imperialist exploitation.

So thank you, Barack Obama, for showing us all that peace is war. Only you could have used Martin Luther King’s mantle to cover the actions of a war criminal. Thank you for completing George Orwell’s prediction.

More articles by:

George Katsiaficas is the author of The Subversion of Politics

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
July 15, 2019
David Altheide
The Fear Party
Roger Harris
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Bachelet’s Gift to the US: Justifying Regime Change in Venezuela
John Feffer
Pyongyang on the Potomac
Vincent Kelley
Jeffrey Epstein and the Collapse of Europe
Robert Fisk
Trump’s Hissy-Fit Over Darroch Will Blow a Chill Wind Across Britain’s Embassies in the Middle East
Binoy Kampmark
Juggling with the Authoritarians: Donald Trump’s Diplomatic Fake Book
Dean Baker
The June Jobs Report and the State of the Economy
Michael Hudson – Bonnie Faulkner
De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire
Kathy Kelly
Remnants of War
B. Nimri Aziz
The Power of Our Human Voice: From Marconi to Woods Hole
Elliot Sperber
Christianity Demands a Corpse 
Weekend Edition
July 12, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Skull of Death: Mass Media, Inauthentic Opposition, and Eco-Existential Reality in a Pre-Fascist Age of Appeasement
T.J. Coles
“Strategic Extremism”: How Republicans and Establishment Democrats Use Identity Politics to Divide and Rule
Rob Urie
Toward an Eco-Socialist Revolution
Gregory Elich
How Real is the Trump Administration’s New Flexibility with North Korea?
Jason Hirthler
The Journalists Do The Shouting
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pâté Politics in the Time of Trump and Pelosi
Andrew Levine
The Electoral Circus as the End of Its Initial Phase Looms
David Swanson
Earth Over the Brink
Ron Jacobs
Presidential Papers
Robert Hunziker
The Flawed Food Dependency
Dave Lindorff
Defeating the Trump Administration’s Racist, Republican-Rescuing Census Corruption
Martha Rosenberg
Pathologizing Kids, Pharma Style
Kathleen Wallace
Too Horrible to Understand, Too Horrible to Ignore
Ralph Nader
An Unsurpassable Sterling Record of Stamina!
Paul Tritschler
Restricted View: the British Legacy of Eugenics
John Feffer
Trump’s Bluster Diplomacy
Thomas Knapp
Did Jeffrey Epstein “Belong to Intelligence?”
Nicholas Buccola
Colin Kaepernick, Ted Cruz, Frederick Douglass and the Meaning of Patriotism
P. Sainath
It’s Raining Sand in Rayalaseema
Charles Davis
Donald Trump’s Fake Isolationism
Michael Lukas
Delisting Wolves and the Impending Wolf Slaughter
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Shaking Off Capitalism for Ecological Civilization
Julian Vigo
North America’s Opioid Addiction Problem and the Institutional Machinery Keeping It Alive
Russell Rickford
Lights of Liberty Vigil Remarks
Stansfield Smith
Bernie Sanders’ Present Fight against Corporate Rule vs. the Bernie of 1989
Steve Early
A Plant Closing War, Viewed From Inside
Jill Richardson
The Good News About Trump’s Very Bad Environmental Speech
John Kendall Hawkins
The Language of Languishing: One Kurd’s Journey Into Mythopoesis
Monika Zgustova
Russia and the Manipulation of the Past
Binoy Kampmark
Out of Kilter: National Security and Press Freedoms in Australia
Robert P. Alvarez
Return of the Poll Tax
David Macaray
A Hideous Ending
David Barsamian
The Slide to War with Iran: An Interview with Nader Hashemi
Graham Peebles
Breaking the Spiral of Hate and Intolerance
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail