The Audacity of Horseshit

The fact I think that there should not be a President of the United States as currently constituted does not mean that I have no interest in the election circus. I am interested, much as I was interested in the outcome to Strictly Come Dancing. And I have to admit that when I hear Barack Obama talk, I think that it would be better that he were president than George Bush. But he would still be President of the United States.

Andrew Sullivan says that the most important thing about Obama -for US foreign policy purposes- is that he is black, and therefore an effective rebranding instrument for American hegemonic objectives:

The next president has to create a sophisticated and supple blend of soft and hard power to isolate the enemy, to fight where necessary, but also to create an ideological template that works to the West’s advantage over the long haul. There is simply no other candidate with the potential of Obama to do this. Which is where his face comes in.

A ‘sophisticated and supple blend of soft and hard power’, perhaps in the way that homeopathy involves ‘a sophisticated and supple blend of disease-causing substance and water’. The US has a higher military expenditure than the rest of the world combined, and as Glenn Greenwald notes, that doesn’t take into account military aid to the likes of Egypt and Israel. Sullivan continued:

Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.

Reza Aslan responded in the Washington Post:

As someone who once was that young Muslim boy everyone seems to be imagining (albeit in Iran rather than Egypt), I’ll let you in on a secret: He could not care less who the president of the United States is. He is totally unconcerned with whatever barriers a black (or female, for that matter) president would be breaking. He couldn’t name three U.S. presidents if he tried. He cares only about one thing: what the United States will do.

That boy is angry at the United States not because its presidents have all been white. He is angry because of Washington’s unconditional support for Israel; because the United States has more than 150,000 troops in Iraq; because the United States gives the dictator of his country some $2 billion a year in aid, the vast majority of which goes toward supporting a police state. He is angry at the United States because he thinks it has hegemony over almost every aspect of his world.

If Obama’s face won’t make much of a difference, what then of his policies? He has assembled a crack team of advisors, as Allan Nairn details in an interview with Amy Goodman:

..Obama’s top adviser is Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski gave an interview to the French press a number of years ago where he boasted about the fact that it was he who created the whole Afghan jihadi movement, the movement that produced Osama bin Laden. And he was asked by the interviewer, “Well, don’t you think this might have had some bad consequences?” And Brzezinski replied, “Absolutely not. It was definitely worth it, because we were going after the Soviets. We were getting the Soviets.”

and

Another key Obama adviser, Anthony Lake, he was the main force behind the US invasion of Haiti in the mid-Clinton years during which they brought back Aristide essentially in political chains, pledged to support a World Bank/IMF overhaul of the economy, which resulted in an increase in malnutrition deaths among Haitians and set the stage for the current ongoing political disaster in Haiti.

Another Obama adviser, General Merrill McPeak, an Air Force man, who not long after the Dili massacre in East Timor in ’91 that you and I survived, he was—I happened to see on Indonesian TV shortly after that—there was General McPeak overseeing the delivery to Indonesia of US fighter planes.

Another key Obama adviser, Dennis Ross. Ross, for many years under both Clinton and Bush 2, a key—he has advised Clinton and both Bushes. He oversaw US policy toward Israel/Palestine. He pushed the principle that the legal rights of the Palestinians, the rights recognized under international law, must be subordinated to the needs of the Israeli government—in other words, their desires, their desires to expand to do whatever they want in the Occupied Territories. And Ross was one of the people who, interestingly, led the political assault on former Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Carter, no peacenik—I mean, Carter is the one who bears ultimate responsibility for that Timor terror that Holbrooke was involved in. But Ross led an assault on him, because, regarding Palestine, Carter was so bold as to agree with Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa that what Israel was doing in the Occupied Territories was tantamount to apartheid. And so, Ross was one of those who fiercely attacked him.

Another Obama adviser, Sarah Sewall, who heads a human rights center at Harvard and is a former Defense official, she wrote the introduction to General Petraeus’s Marine Corps/Army counterinsurgency handbook, the handbook that is now being used worldwide by US troops in various killing operations. That’s the Obama team.

Still, it’s probably better than John McCain or Rudolph Giuliani, as Allan Nairn continues:

Giuliani, as was mentioned, his big adviser is Norman Podhoretz. Podhoretz’s new book is World War IV, which he seems to like. Podhoretz says, bomb the Iranians. And he’s not just talking about pinpoint Iranian nuclear installations; he’s saying bomb the Iranians. And he says he prays that this will happen. Ex-Senator Robert Kasten, an old major backer of the Pakistani military dictatorships and the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia, he’s another key Giuliani adviser.

McCain has General Alexander Haig, who oversaw the US policy of mass terror killings of civilians in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras, when American nuns and religious workers were abducted, raped and murdered by the Salvadoran National Guard. General Haig said those nuns died in an exchange of gunfire, the pistol-packing nuns. He has a younger—McCain has a younger adviser, Max Boot, who now points to El Salvador, where 70,000 civilians were killed by American-backed death squads, as a model counterinsurgency, a model for what the US should be doing today. Henry Kissinger advises McCain, as he advises many others. And Kissinger, of course, was responsible for mass death in Cambodia, Vietnam, Chile, countless other places.

Wunderbar altogether.

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2 Responses to “The Audacity of Horseshit”


  1. 1 techinvestor January 4, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Edwards and Clinton signed off on the Iraq War…hmmm…how come they couldn’t get it right like Ted Kennedy did…?? Obama was right on Iraq from the beginning…and Obama is supported by John Kennedy’s top Aide and speachwritter…

    Barack Obama is JFK heir, says Kennedy aide

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/10/12/wobama112.xml


  1. 1 Dublin Opinion » Blog Archive » Let the Fawning Begin Trackback on January 4, 2008 at 2:44 pm

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