Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Mon

06

Dec

2010

Norman Solomon: A Hollow Bomber Jacket
Monday, 06 December 2010 14:54
by Norman Solomon
 
 Last Friday, in a column about economic policy, Paul Krugman focused on “moral collapse” at the White House -- “a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.” Meanwhile, President Obama flew to Afghanistan, where he put on a leather bomber jacket and told U.S. troops: “You’re achieving your objectives. You will succeed in your mission.”

    For the Obama presidency, moral collapse has taken on the appearance of craven clockwork, establishing a concentric pattern -- doing immense damage to economic security at home while ratcheting up warfare overseas.

    By the end of the weekend, a deal was just about wrapped up between the president and Republican congressional leaders to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

    On the spin-cycle agenda this month is yet more reframing of the president’s foggy doubletalk about Afghanistan. Strip away the carefully crafted verbiage and the picture is stark -- with plans for a huge U.S. war effort in that country for many years to come.

    At the end of a year with massive U.S. military escalation in Afghanistan, parallels with the Johnson administration’s unhinged Vietnam War are hard to miss. Conjectures about an inside-the-Democratic-Party challenge to Obama’s re-nomination are now moving from shadowy whispers to open discourse.

    Some critics of the Vietnam War hesitated to confront it because of President Johnson’s laudable domestic record, which included the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the founding of Medicare and the launching of other Great Society programs. In sharp contrast, what most distinguishes President Obama’s domestic record is its series of major cave-ins to corporate power and income inequality.


    Ostensibly battling for economic fairness, the president is flying a white flag high over the White House.

    “The Obama administration seems to have very little concern about poor people and their social misery,” former Obama supporter Cornel West pointed out during an interview on Democracy Now last month. “Look at the policies vis-à-vis Wall Street downplaying Main Street. . . . Look at the policy, the dilapidated housing. We can go right across the board. Look at the policies of the New Jim Crow system: the Prison Industrial Complex. So, we’re talking not just about individual presidents, we’re talking about a system that is tilted against poor people, against working people, disproportionately black and brown and red.”

    The tilt of that system continues to become more extreme under the shifting needs for corporate profits and an “austerity” agenda that the Obama administration has embraced under the rationale of deficit reduction. The White House plan to freeze federal workers’ pay, announced in late November, is another brick in the slanted wall.

    In the process, the president is implying that civil service workers are expendable. Obama drew cheers on Friday night at Bagram Air Base when he told several thousand assembled troops: “You may have noticed that during these tough budget times, I took the step of freezing pay for our federal workforce. But because of the service that you rendered, all who wear the uniform of the United States of America are exempt from that action.”

    Along the way, the wealthy get to keep their humongous tax cuts, and the military-industrial complex gets to keep its warfare state going full throttle.

    Evidence of the Obama administration’s “moral collapse” is profuse; the pattern is clear, the consequences already terrible. During the weeks and months ahead, progressives will need to engage in fresh strategic discussions. Public candor may be insufficient, but it is necessary.

______________________________ _____

Norman Solomon is co-chair of the Healthcare Not Warfare campaign, launched by Progressive Democrats of America. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” He is president of the Institute for Public Accuracy.
 
More from this author:
Saddam’s Unindicted Co-Conspirator: Donald Rumsfeld (7404 Hits)
By Norman Solomon Saddam Hussein has received a death sentence for crimes he committed more than a year before Donald Rumsfeld shook his hand in...
The New Media Offensive for the Iraq War (10405 Hits)
By Norman Solomon The American media establishment has launched a major offensive against the option of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. ...
Media Sham for Iraq War -- It’s Happening Again (9306 Hits)
By Norman Solomon The lead-up to the invasion of Iraq has become notorious in the annals of American journalism. Even many reporters,...
Is the USA the Center of the World? (6613 Hits)
By Norman Solomon Some things don’t seem to change. Five years after I wrote this column in the form of a news dispatch, it seems more...
Powell, Baker, Hamilton -- Thanks for Nothing (8004 Hits)
By Norman Solomon When Colin Powell endorsed the Iraq Study Group report during his Dec. 17 appearance on “Face the Nation,” it was...
Related Articles:
Parliament Bomber was Probably Bodyguard — Turkey Threatens to Invade Iraq — Wolfowitz Promotes Girlfriend (3840 Hits)
by Juan Cole The bombing of the cafeteria in the Iraqi parliament on Thursday was likely the work of a bodyguard of one of the members of...
Bomber Obama: My Own Personal Terror War (5794 Hits)
by Chris Floyd What would be the best way to pull America — and the world — out of the dizzying spiral of the "War on...
Video: Norman Solomon on war, conformity, the Democratic Party... (2536 Hits)
by Normon Solomon At the Santa Rosa Democratic Club meeting on 1/27/10, we watched Obama's State of the Union address, then listened to Norman...
Normon Solomon: Zero Public Option + One Mandate = Disaster (2373 Hits)
by Normon Solomon Not long ago, the most prominent supporters of the public option were touting it as essential for healthcare reform. Now,...
Norman Solomon: A Bomber Jacket Doesn’t Cover the Blood (2684 Hits)
by Norman Solomon President Obama has taken a further plunge into the kind of war abyss that consumed predecessors named Johnson, Nixon and Bush....


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top