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Obama’s Legacy: Permanent War and Liberal/Radical Accommodation?


#1

Obama’s Legacy: Permanent War and Liberal/Radical Accommodation?

Ajamu Baraka

The announcement by the Obama administration that it will seek congressional authorization to expand the war on ISIS in Syria and possibly send more heavy weapons to its client government in Ukraine did not generate the kind of muscular opposition and sense of urgency that one would expect from the anti-interventionist liberals and significant sectors of what use to be the anti-imperialist and anti-war left.


#2

Blacks have always been the most politically conscious people within the Disguised Global Capitalist Empire 'posing' as, and HQed in, our former country.

Ajamu Baraka, clearly demonstrates his own political consciousness and diagnostic skills in unearthing this 'Disguised' Empire when he identifies that: "The disappearance of anti-imperialism among the cosmopolitan left in the U.S. and Western Europe is reflective of a monumental ideological accomplishment by the propagandists of empire."

The author goes on to accurately critique that, "The human consequence of this collaboration with U.S. and Western militarization by progressive forces in the U.S. and Europe has translated into unrestrained violent interventions" abroad, and he connects such expected behavior of 'acting like an Empire', with a growing awareness in the oppressed, but politically conscious Black community who know "that the slogan 'to protect and serve – capital', not only applies to the occupation forces that police the radicalized colonies inside the U.S. but also the role of the U.S. military abroad."

Thus Baraka clearly shows the lasting 21 century truth of Hannah Arendt's prescient warning from her experience with the earlier Nazi Empire that, "Empire abroad entails tyranny at home".

Coincidentally, in the wee hours of this morning I was listening to a BBC interview show, "Hard Talk", on our Maine NPR station, and had the opportunity to hear a very articulate and insightful young Black man, Tef Poe, talking very aggressively about Ferguson describing it with exactly the same scenario of "imperialist wars abroad", being similar to the oppression, and police shooting of unarmed young black men like Michael Brown.

Poe went on to answer the woman interviewer's questions about what was needed, and why there couldn't be more 'conversations' to address this repressive situation in the US (while ignoring the killing in the Middle East), and perhaps get him to advocate for a violent reaction. This "Hard Talk" baiting for a pat answer of "what's the agenda", and "what are the demands" --- reminded me of the same US MSM technique employed to interview "Occupy" leaders 4 years ago. However, Tef then answered that instead of violence he was only recommending that "aggressively radical" actions needed to be taken.

Here's a four minute clip of the interview of Tef Poe, who happens to be a leader of the "Hands Up United" movement --- which IMHO has some potential for going international:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-31505973

In any case, the core of both this CD article today by Ajamu Baraka and Tef Poe's accurate diagnosis of the deadly impact and deceit of Empire abroad in overt 'wars' on 'subjects' of oil territories (disguised as humanitarian intervention/R2P) and domestic 'tyranny' and oppression of less powerful domestic 'subjects' in the homeland, struck me as very much akin to Dr. Martin Luther King's April 4, 1967 Riverside Church speech, ""Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence", in which King publicly 'call-out' the very same disguised (but highly integrated) Empire of; militarism, corporatism, financial greed, capitalism, media/propaganda, extra-legal, and dual-party political deceit that was the nexus of wars abroad against Vietnamese and tyranny at home against Blacks.

I certainly agree with Baraka and Poe in their diagnosis of the proximate CAUSE of all our "ailing social order", and 'symptom problems' (sometimes called "issues" by the leftish media), but beyond diagnosing the underLYING cancer of Empire abroad and tyranny at home, I strongly believe that this newer and better disguised Global Capitalist Empire is actually very vulnerable to the same weaknesses that the earlier Empire was --- despite being disguised by dual Vichy parties rather than just a single Vichy government in France.

Ultimately, the calibration of the 'torturable' vs. 'non-torturable' will not only need to be 'dialed-up', but the increasing citizens (who are being oppressed, tyrannized, and treated like 'subjects' in the homeland) will understand what was clear to Martin Niemoller, and the 99% will 'call-out' expose, and confront this disguised global Empire --- which can not suffer being clearly diagnosed as the cancer that it is:

First they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Muslim.
Then they came for the Blacks, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Black.
Then they came for the Poor and Working Class, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not Poor nor Working Class
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.


#5

The end of the draft ended the peace movement long before Obama appeared.


#6

This:

"The draft ended before Obama appeared, thus ending the Peace Movement"

is true, but Obama has certainly not done anything since taking office that would revive the Peace Movement, in any way or form here in the United States.


#7

From the article:

"Outside of a few articles written by some of us confined to the marginalized and shrinking left, the reports that the administration was considering both of these courses of action were met with passing indifference."'

This frame unwitting buys right into the frame set by The Dominators.

Why is it that Propaganda is necessary for and to any war-oriented state?

Why is it that nations placed under constraints always see their media controlled?

The answer to both comes down to a deliberate control over narrative, i.e. the national conversation.

Mr. Baraka mistakes the absence of anti-war voices for an absence OF a Left. That is the trap the Controllers want citizens to fall into.

In the same way that Occupy Wall St was forcibly disbanded so that now, nothing appears in its place, parallel strategies are in place that eerily equate the complete absence of discussion with "The state of the thing" not being mentioned. And so the true state of Gulf waters after the B.P wound is never discussed, the current state of Fukushima with radiation constantly escaping goes without mention as does the current state of Ebola--as if the absence of mention means that each has been contained.

There are vast swaths of Truth not being openly discussed. It's a protocol of today's Inverted Totalitarian controllers to allow into media discussion only a narrow bandwidth of events and news, each with loyal mouthpieces repeating variations of the same Official Story.

The Left is forced to operate under the radar and many voices have their own portals, blogs, and shouting out stations. However, there are major tactical advantages to owning and accessing a mass media. Through it, control of what most people see, hear, and know is made possible.

To confuse the absence of oppositional voices within so thoroughly contained a media apparatus with their actual absence is not only mistaken, it's sad.


#8

From the article:

"Resistance to the logic of white supremacist colonialist/capitalist domination on the part of these young activists is leading them to a resolute anti-imperialist and anti-war stance, just like the young black activists of SNCC some fifty years ago."

While this is undoubtedly true, it's only part of the greater prism.

The frame that sees Left versus Right and speaks condemning of Leftists' supposed accommodation to the make-war dominator state leaves out the role played by religion, patriarchy, Hollywood, and all of the cultural mechanisms that have ingrained themselves into the common perception of the world in ways that make war seem inevitable.

Also, while the oppression felt by Black citizens has been brutal and all too real and ongoing, there is no mention of the Rape culture, the incredible ways that women are being turned into objects of scorn so that similar disregard can be shown for the Great Mother: nature and how this feeds into the obscene levels of machismo that drive both war and acts fueled by racist supremacists.

It also looks past the conflicts felt by Indigenous people everywhere protecting their lands and ways of life against the trespass of the New Colonialists who just so happen to be the old colonialists. In their hierarchies of power apart from tokens tossed in, it's still really all about rule by Anglo-European males.

Racism, ecocide, sexism, and brutality all have their roots in the culture of domination. Although many Caucasian males work to oppose it, they still are privileged by it; and when I think of all the "good men who aren't violent" who consume today's gonzo porn, I see violence in that act of complicity in that it supports a culture of misogyny.

What ails the world is not just the Black-white, or Left-right divide. These prisms are too narrow. A look at the entire Gestalt and how all relations have been forced into cruel hierarchies must lead to a different basis for societal formation. The Greeks get it, and many others are catching on. The problem is that with police holding a whip on one side, and banks (and the corporations that funnel out tiny funds for labor) controlling access to a home and livelihood, many people saw NO option in the same way that so many U.S. voters see NO OPTION apart from the illusory Dem-Repub faux political show and its theatrical pretense of choice.

The path out of this deadly paradigm requires the utilization of frames that stand apart from (and outside of) its narrow logic.

What I mean is that so long as alternatives are kept invisible, people will not believe that they exist. If politics is discussed as left versus right, it holds an irreconcilable opposition in place. What's core to the problem is the structure of society where a few at the top use force, lies, carrots, sticks, and scapegoats to retain a system that benefits so few while spreading such inordinate misery over so many.

Black youth rising up is wonderful, necessary, and timely. I am pointing out that women, Muslims, Hispanics, Native Peoples, and other groups are also on the receiving end of violence and oppression, and that these trends are escalating in direct proportion to the Control State asserting itself. It's doing so because so many ARE waking up and trying to stand apart from the rules and laws in place to punish so many so that that same few can play king and pharaoh as the world burns.


#10

is being very precisely calibrated by the entrenched (but disguised) Empire to focus only on what Raul Julia in Sydney Pollack's fabulously revealing film 'Havana" called the "torturable" --- which currently includes; those in the foreign oil territories of the Empire abroad, and is limited domestically to the poor and Black in the 'homeland' --- but this calibration will inexorably be expanded to the; working-class, and perhaps even those non-valuable or unemployable lower middle-class in a not too distant timeframe --- TBD by the Empire.

Fortunately, (for them), leftish scions of the wealthy are still "un-torturable", even if they protested in "Occupy", and of course tenured leftish professors employed for 200K by Ivy League schools are also "un-torturable" today, even if they write progressivish screeds against the neoliberal-con "D" Vichy party, and they are applauded as doing their job if they write the same against any in the neocon "R" Vichy party ---- because such service makes the Left look serious by comparison.


#12

All the supposedly leftish progressive and so-called alt media has to do is Expose the Empire --- which takes no great courage or brains --- but the middle class left has not felt the point of the Empire's spear in their face yet, as they are among the non-torturable so far, and thus they don't have to confront or even address the Empire yet.


#16

Very true, Tom. We on the real left must face the reality that two Obama administrations have effectively stifled any real opposition to the U.S. financial/industrial/military complex. A critical dialog must begin, if it hasn't already, about our future relationships with liberals.


#19

Thanks Tom! I think you intended to reply to my half-baked comment. I stand corrected.