Looking Forward to What, Mr. President? April 24, 2009Posted by rogerhollander in About Barack Obama, About Justice, About War, Barack Obama, Criminal Justice, Human Rights, Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel, Gaza & Middle East, Pakistan, Torture, War.
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Roger Hollander, www.rogerhollander.com, April 24, 2009
O.K. Let’s for a moment entertain the president’s thesis. The problems facing the country are enormous. No one can deny that. Are they that critical, however, so as to justify ignoring the prosecution of those responsible for war crimes and violations of the United States Constitution of the gravest nature?
Since this is hypothetical I am willing for the moment to grant the president his argument: to wit, the need for the government to attend to critical matters is so vital that at the very least investigations and prosecutions of the Bush era crimes have to be put off. In other words, as the president has put it, we need to look forward not backwards.
(There are those supporters of the president’s position who allege that those who are screaming for investigation and prosecutions are extreme leftists, partisan, out for revenge, etc. There arguments are too facile and prima facie ridiculous to merit a response. All I am granting here for the sake of argument is the hypothesis that it is in the country’s interest to attend to matters other than the Bush era crimes.)
What then, are we “looking forward” to?
In foreign policy the president has made a promise about withdrawal from Iraq that is so full of loopholes and caveats that any serious analysis cannot but conclude that the generals will have there way and the U.S. military presence, supported by an army of mercenaries, dozens of military bases, combat troops operating under a different name, and the largest embassy in the history of the world, will be extended indefinitely. The president has gone ahead with a major escalation of the futile aggression in Afghanistan along with an escalation of the bombarding border areas of Pakistan with unmanned drone missiles. His generals have assured him that the value of the “military gains” will outweigh the recruiting boon to al qaeda and the Taliban (who as we speak are marching towards Kabul) that results from the massive killing of civilians (the ghost of light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-troops-home-for-Christmas General Westmoreland lives on) . With respect to the Middle East, so far President Obama has followed the Bush agenda to a tee, with uncritical support of Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip. Whether he has the guts to stare down Netanyahu with respect to the latter’s threats to attack Iran remains to be seen.
On the home front looms the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the catalyst of which was the sub-prime mortgage scandal and the massive Ponzi schemes that the banks (banksters) and finance industry have run with toxic illegal loans and the unregulated derivatives market. The president has put in charge of dealing with the crisis the very team (Geithner, Summers, Rubin) that created it and is throwing taxpayers monies down the same Black Hole created by George Bush, known as the Toxic Assets Relief Program (TARP), the premise of which is that bad debts equal money. The “relief” goes to the Wall Street mafia while the nations’ mortgage defaults and employment goes through the ceiling.
In one of the country’s other most critical issues, that of health care reform, a major plank in the president’s campaign platform, the president apparently has reneged on his previous support for a single-payer national program (similar in theory and practice to Medicare), which he now tells us is “off the table.” This can be considered as nothing less than sacrificing the national interest by caving in to the bloated blood-sucking private health care industry.
Well, Mr. President, I have gone along with you in agreeing on the seriousness of the problems facing our nation; but if what you have shown us about how you intend to deal with them is your justification for putting aside taking steps to achieve JUSTICE (and restore a semblance of respect for the rule of law) for the most heinous of war crimes and constitutional violations, then you have failed miserably to make your case.
You can count me out, and despite the psychotic-like ranting and ravings of the radical right (to which you have not stood up) and a mainstream media that has its collective head in the sand, I believe that I am part of a rapidly growing soon to be majority.
Someone, Mr. President, perhaps it was you, once quoted FDR telling those who were crying for radical reform to “make me do it.” Well, Mr. President, do it.