Dismay-In-Chief

April 13, 2011


(Illustration found here via Google Images).

One despicable poll out Tuesday from the American Red Cross really, really reveals just how far the US war machinery has influenced its people, especially the young.

Nearly 3/5 youth (59%) – compared to 51% of adults – believe there are times when it is acceptable to torture the enemy.
More than 2/5 youth (41%) believe there are times when it is acceptable for the enemy to torture captured American prisoners, while only 30% of adults agree.
More than half of youth (56%) believe that there are times when it is acceptable to kill enemy prisoners in retaliation if the enemy has been killing American prisoners, while only 29% of adults agree.

When you use torture as part of your game plan, and then don’t prosecute US war criminals when all the horror comes to light then maybe one can not be surprised how this carries with the young — how this country’s future will be blighted.
George Jr. and his whole crowd, of course, are war criminals — proclaiming torture and using torture as a game plan of war — and when President Obama came into power he backed away from bringing these charges, making him an accessory after the fact and a major negative influence on this country’s future.

Most-likely the US people who are hurting the most right now are the people who not only voted for Obama, but actually took him at his word(s) circa 2007/2008.
One of the best, and most heartfelt examples of this let down was found this past weekend from a blogger with a handle of brooklynbadboy at Daily Kos reflecting pain and a not-so-happy future.
A couple of nuggets:

Instead of being the public leader, the transformational leader, that many of us expected, the leader he campaigned to be, he’s shrunk. \He’s just become another Washington insider playing the insider game. The insider game has him making choices between shutting down the government and stepping on the poor.
The insider game has him choosing between tax cuts for the wealthy or declaring war on the unemployed middle class.
The insider game has convinced him there is almost nothing he can do about the housing crisis.
The insider game has him appointing a corporate CEO who ships jobs overseas as the head of his domestic jobs council.
The insider game has him appointing the very same people who ran the economy into the ground as his principal economic advisers.
He told us of a Washington that was broken, but he was quite mistaken.
Washington works just fine.
Just not for regular people.

Lets face facts: fundamental change just isn’t going to happen by his doing.
He’s not that kind of guy, despite the high-flying rhetoric.
That is something we must live with, especially considering the alternatives.
For fear of what could come, he deserves to keep his job.
But if there is going to be any real change for the better in this country, it is going to have to happen in spite of him, and on occasion probably against his wishes.
His actions these past six months have made it clear he isn’t even interested in tinkering anymore.
He’s made his peace with the establishment.
The people of Wisconsin are showing us the way forward.
When I saw the president last week, I realized, sadly, that the Wisconsin Way is the only way forward.

Way sad, but very-much true.

War is the amphetamine of power and despite the age, the world is involved in total war, total time, thanks to George Jr. and his henchmen, and allowed to continue by Obama.
One of the best observers around on Obama’s war-hood-ness is Andrew Bacevich, who has a great post up at tomdispatch about how US-led conflicts are ending up disasters.
Some thoughts:

For all sorts of reasons, the expectations raised by Barack Obama’s arrival in the Oval Office were especially high.
Americans weren’t the only ones affected.
How else to explain the Nobel Committee’s decision to honor the new president by transforming its Peace Prize into a Prize Anticipating Peace — more or less the equivalent of designating the winner of the Heisman Trophy during week one of the college football season.
Of course, if the political mood immediately prior to and following a presidential inauguration emphasizes promise and discovery (the First Lady has biceps!), it doesn’t take long for the novelty to start wearing off.
Then the narrative arc takes a nosedive: he’s breaking his promises, he’s letting us down, he’s not so different after all.
The words of H.L. Mencken apply. “When I hear a man applauded by the mob,” the Sage of Baltimore wrote, “I always feel a pang of pity for him. All he has to do to be hissed is to live long enough.”
Barack Obama has now lived long enough to attract his fair share of hisses, boos, and catcalls.

The key point is this: like those who preceded them, neither Obama nor his Harpies (nor anyone else in a position of influence) could evidently be bothered to assess whether the hammer actually works as advertised — notwithstanding abundant evidence showing that it doesn’t.

Bacevich’s term ‘Harpies‘ means Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and National Security Council Human Rights Director Samantha Power — maybe the influence behind the throne.
Apparently the future is so bleak and dark, I’ll surely not need shades — a little sunshine would create more dismay.

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