Home | About | Donate

How Obama Went From Being a Peace Candidate to a War President


#1

How Obama Went From Being a Peace Candidate to a War President

Sherle Schwenninger

When it comes to his administration’s foreign policy, Barack Obama must feel a little like Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part III: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”


#2

There is the shadow government, the political government, the apparatchik government, and the bureaucratic government. Information moving among layers is quite a tricky thing and one who controls the information controls the decision-making process. Using the memes that "Obama this" or "Obama that" continues to oversimplify the reality of cause-effect relationships. A new paradigm in journalism needs to arise to address the complexity, but I am not sure what that paradigm would be. Simply stating that "the Obama administration this" or "the Obama administration that" would be a micro-step in the right direction.


#3

Just as Petro Poroshenko has no concern whatsoever about the Ukrainian people, nor does Angela Merkel about the Germans, Barack Obama cares nothing about Americans, middle class or any others. He cares only about the .1 percent and the fictional corporate persons who, of course, are not "American". They inhabit a sphere above and beyond nationality. I wish the writers for the Nation, once a noble journal, could remark on this reality. Alas, they cannot.


#4

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#5

Free translation Chapter 3 of the Tao te Ching

Do not glorify achievers
So people will not squabble among themselves
Do not treasure goods that are hard to obtain
So people will not become thieves
Do not display things of desire
So that hearts will not be confounded

Thus the governance of the sage:
Values clear hearts
Filled bellies
Tempered ambitions
Strengthened bones

People turn away from cunning and greed
So those who scheme will not dare to meddle

Actions free from contrivance
Eschew control for healthy equilibrium


#6

How Obama went from being a X to a Y.

X=Peace Candidate Y=War President

X=Supporter of transparent governance Y=Prosecutor of whistleblowers

X=Gitmo Closing Candidate Y=Gitmo running President

X=Lobbyist Opposing Candidate Y=Lobbyist employing President

X=Opponent of Offshore drilling Candidate Y=Proponent of Offshore Drilling President

Hey kids, add your own X and Y's.


#7

I agree with Schwenninger's premise that a U.S. president is making all of the decisions attributed to him. Of course, a person does not get to be president without the backing of big money, and that pre-selects for people like Bush and Obama whose values are consistent with those same interests. But the nature of the American system is that those conflicting interests compete to pull the elected monarch one way or the other within a fairly narrow range of options. But no president is ever going to "take orders" from anyone - their egos would not allow it. A president's personality is a critical factor. Obama , as I see him, tends to be secretive and very tightly controlled, and this may lead him to prefer assassination teams and drone strikes, not to mention secretive trade negotiations. Bush,whatever else you may say of him, was very open about what he believed and not given to any regrets or second thoughts. (Obama, like LBJ, will probably be tortured by his) When Cheney and Rumsfeld became too pushy, Bush pushed them away and relied on others who let him do things his way, as in the examples cited by Schwenninger: Georgia, Libya, China, and arranging for a withdrawal from Iraq.

The real problem, as I see it, is the constitutional system placing so much power in the hands of any one man. While it has given the American form of democracy great stability, it has also weakened that democracy just as the opponents of the original constitution predicted way back in 1789.


#8

The Constitution only gives the president as much power as he (she or it) is able to take. Not much was taken between the Lincoln and First Roosevelt administrations. The Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower was praised for dissing ever so slightly in his farewell address after serving it loyally for many decades, runs the show with the accomplicement of the banks and their coconspirators, the whole while using Constitutional Democracy as a flag to be saluted rhetorically as they do their dirty deeds (and not dirt cheap).


#9

Barack Obama did not GO anywhere. He was already there.


#10

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#11

"pulled in?' more like led, in his jellyfish way. sorry, jellyfish.


#12

he had the whole dang world behind him and definitely so many crying Americans, hoping for the next FDR or JFK. Instead we got worse than Shrub.


#13

Hmm, who picked the "Obama administration"?


#14

"If Obama is serious about rebuilding the American middle class, he needs a foreign policy that gives priority to addressing the worrying economic conditions that continue to threaten the breakdown of economic growth and political stability in much of the world. More specifically, this would mean curtailing military commitments that are not essential to our national security or maintaining international peace, while promoting programs to expand investment and jobs in strategically important regions."

While this analysis, somewhat deferential to President Obama strains to be fair, like so many analysts, its author focuses ONLY on one particular frame.

What can the above paragraph mean given the zeal with which Obama is trying to push through the TPP and TIPP at this time? They are, to workers, the Middle Class, and the globe's key ecosystems what Jim Jones' Kool-Aid was to his followers. NOT a recipe for anything other than a form of mass suicide.

When war is advanced, police brutality on the rise, and economics ridiculously skewed to favor the 1%... it is time to cease and desist from ascribing positive intentions to this President's policy determinations.


#16

You left out the way Bush's team emphasized the primacy of the Presidency during a "time of war" and/or heightened National Security. Our govt. was intended to include 3 equal branches of power so that the trio would work against the consolidation of power in any one sector. And this was mainly done as a repudiation of the Divine Right of King's tendency to have flawed male leaders make "war at their pleasure."

There's nothing like a false flag event to take down checks and balances and put back into place those same imperial powers that have almost always proven a bane to the world... yet preferred by the 1% ruling class, for centuries.


#17

The Billionaire boys' club that funded him.


#19

Yes, anybody that thinks Obama was ever a "peace candidate" wasn't listening to his campaign speeches.

Although he was able to differentiate himself from Hillary in the 2008 primaries solely by his 2003 statement (during his tenure in the Illinois state house) against the Iraq invasion, he was not in a position to actually vote on the invasion in 2003.


#23

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#24

"Liberal interventionists" like "military intelligence", are terms that contradict themselves. Try "neoliberal interventionists".


#25

The middle class are the harbingers of how well a nation's economy is working. Take a look at Canada with approximately 10% of the population of the US and a GDP of one thirtneeth of America's. If you do the math on a per capita basis the individual American comes out ahead, but for the first time, Canada's middle class are ahead of the American middle class in what they get from their economy on a per capita basis. Why? Because the cream of the American economy is being scraped off the top by the elites! If that's what you think is right and fair than good for you as you've got your dream situation.