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President-elect Barack Obama

Keith Parkins | 13.11.2008 14:36 | History | Repression | Terror War | World

4 November 2008, the era of George W Bush was about to end and a new era was about to begin. A wave of euphoria swept the world. Why, because Obama was not Bush?

All US Presidents since WWII have had an Imperial Grand Strategy, with the UK tagging along as the junior partner. Under Bill Clinton it was that US military force would be used to gain access to resources and markets. Bush and Blair did so under the guise of enforcing democracy. The main difference between Bush and his predecessors was that Bush arrogantly and brazenly openly flaunted the policy in the face of the world. The War on Iraq set in motion the New Imperial Grand Strategy, though it has not been the success its architects hoped for.

Under George W Bush the world has become a less safe place.

During the Bush-Putin years, Russian arms spending tripled in direct response to US aggression. Russia is planning to place missiles in Europe as a direct response to US aggression. Terrorism around the world has increased as a direct result of US aggression. Iran is building nuclear weapons as a direct result of US aggression. The US employs 21 people to keep track of illegal US transaction with Cuba. It has 4 people to track the money that is funding terrorism. Iraq and Afghanistan are now major terrorist training camps. The Middle East has been destabilised, the war in Afghanistan is spilling over the border into Pakistan.

Why is Obama expected to be any different?

Do we expect him on day one to walk into the White House and shut down Guantanamo Bay, to normalise relations with Cuba, to reach an accord with the Iranians, to settle the Israeli-Palestine conflict, to invite the President of Russia as his first visitor to the White House, to scrap the missile defence shield, to curb corporate power, to tax the rich and help the poor, to sign the Kyoto Agreement and pledge to cut US carbon emissions by 80%, to scrap the Patriot Act?

If the answer is yes, upon what do you draw to reach that conclusion?

We have seen a rock star set of appearances across the country. A degree of charm and charisma, or as a friend wrote to me from the Czech Republic, he's sexy.

The election, as with all US elections, was bought. The cost of victory this time around a staggering $700 million. There may have been a lot of ordinary folk who sent in their money. Standing in the shadows and coordinating the campaign was Penny Pritzker, worth in excess of $40 billion, one of the richest women in the US, known by her enemies as the sub-prime Queen. Bloomberg called her the "billionaire head of Barack Obama's fundraising machine (and) the person to call when you want to 'get the job done'". Bloomberg credits her with getting Obama elected.

Tony Blair was elected on a wave of euphoria. At long last we had got rid of the dreaded Tories. What did we get? Policies that were worse than anything Maggie Thatcher dared push through. The rich have got richer, the poor poorer. Our freedoms have been eroded, illegal wars have been fought.

The same in the US. The euphoria is that Obama is not Bush. McCain did not stand a chance, an unpopular president, two unpopular wars, a collapsing economy, people losing their jobs and homes, coupled with a ghastly running mate who appealed to the bigots, neo-cons and rednecks and other hicks from the sticks.

According to McCain insiders (though it may be a hoax), Sarah Palin did not know the countries that were part of Nafta, did not know the IRA was in Ireland or ETA in Spain and thought Africa was a country.

Obama looks to be already scrapping his commitment to to taxing the rich, helping the less well off. He is not yet in the White House and already he is making threatening noises towards Iran, more war war than jaw jaw.

He is surrounding himself with neo-cons, warmongers, imperialists and corporate lackeys.

Colin Powell lied to the UN on weapons of mass destruction, told the UN either play ball or be relegated to a talking shop, covered up the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

An Obama adviser on foreign affairs, a former US Ambassador to Russia, has called for Europe to unite and join with the US in opposing Russian.

John Podesta is heading the transition team. From 1998-2001, he was Clinton's chief of staff, and in the 1980s, served as legal counsel for various congressional committees. He's the founder and current president of the Center for American Progress, a Democrat party front group claiming progressive credentials that got seed money from investor and Obama advisor Warren Buffett. He's also a visiting law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and since 1988 the head of the Podesta Group, a Washington-based lobbying firm representing corporate clients like Lockheed Martin, BP, and Walmart as well as trade associations. The Washingtonian magazine ranked him the third most powerful city lobbyist.

Richard Holbrook who shipped arms to Indonesia to use in East Timor, who tried to get the Greek Cypriots to accept Turkish occupation of the northern half of the island.

Madeline Albright who thought the million children who died during the sanctions on Iraq was a price worth paying.

Rahm Emanuel once referred to as Mossad chief for North America, a hardliner on the side of Israel. A friend of Big Business who helped push through Nafta. He's the son of Benjamin Emanuel (changed from Auerbach in 1936 by his grandfather Ezekiel), a Chicago pediatrician involved pre-1948 with smuggling weapons to the Irgun. The Israeli terrorist group headed by former prime minister Menachem Begin that in 1946 bombed the King David Hotel and conducted numerous other terrorist attacks.

The team around Obama looks like a Clinton White House without Hilary. Is it a holding operation until Chelsea comes of age?

Martin Luther King said "do not judge a man by the colour of his skin but by the content of his character."

The jury is out. The only hope is that those who elected Obama with their dollars and their votes, take to the street and ensure that he delivers. Real change comes from below, not from above.

When the Black Panthers took to the streets, they were infiltrated and destroyed by the FBI under the Cointelpro programme. The gangs in LA were tolerated when they stayed in the ghettos. When the Latin Kings, the largest street gang in New York, renounced criminal violence, morphed into the Latin King and Queen Nation and became political and took to the streets, they were attacked by the New York cops in the biggest crime bust ever seen in New York.

From the day he steps into the White House, President Obama has two years to dismantle the military-industrial-corporate complex and bring in participatory democracy. Only then can we say he is truly a man of the people.


Tariq Ali, The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power, Simon and Schuster, 2008

B'iraq Obama, Schnews, 7 November 2008

Black and Gold {DVD}

Noam Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance, Hamish Hamilton, 2003

Noam Chomsky, Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy, Metropolitan Books, 2006

David Clifford, Well done Obama, 5 November 2008

David Clifford, More thoughts on Obama, 8 November 2008

Mohsin Drabu, Barack Obama- War Criminal in Waiting, Indymedia UK, 12 November 2008

EveryOne Group, Racism in Italy. On the day of Barack Obama’s triumph..., Indymedia UK, 13 November 2008

Alan Hinnrichs, President Obama's trickery, Indymedia UK, 6 November 2008

Imperial Grand Strategy {DVD}

Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons 'unacceptable': Obama, AFP

Latuff, World has now a new emperor: Barack Obama, Indymedia UK, 7 November 2008

Latuff, Obama speaks on Iran, Indymedia UK, 8 November 2008

Stephen Lendman, Obama Mania, Global Research, 10 November 2008

Stephen Lendman, Obama Mania, Indymedia UK, 11 November 2008

nickleberry, Angela Davis and Barack Obama, Indymedia UK, 7 November 2008

Keith Parkins, North American Free Trade Agreement, September 2003

Keith Parkins, A sense of the masses - a manifesto for the new revolution, October 2003

Keith Parkins, The surveillance state, Indymedia UK, 10 November 2008

John Pilger, The New Rulers of the World, Verso, 2002

John Pilger, Freedom Next Time, Bantam Press, 2006

Uli Schmetzer, Barack Obama: Missionary or Visionary?, Indymedia UK, 7 November 2008

Peter Symonds, Obama advisers discuss preparations for war on Iran, Indymedia UK, 7 November 2008

Keith Parkins
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Display the following 3 comments

  1. Yawn — Norville B
  2. Might come as a shock (job description) — MDN
  3. So You Think You Can Be President — Keith