Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who We Are

I watched President Obama commit us to endless war last night, and it made me sick. Speaking of the obligation of America to intervene in Libya Mr. Obama said, “To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and, more profoundly, our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are.”

Is he kidding? A betrayal of who we are? We betray who we are so often that I suspect it isn’t really who we are. We lied our way into the Mexican War, we lied our way into Vietnam, we lied our way into Iraq, we stand idly by while our allies in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain go after their protestors, we turned a blind eye to to Rwanda genocide, we refuse to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, and are turning a blind eye right now to the Ivory Coast.

We are not the knight in shining armor riding to the rescue of oppressed peoples around the globe. We are a military/financial empire that pursues its interests and gets into bed with anyone who will give us what we want, regardless of what they do to their own people.

I’m not saying we are wrong to intervene in Libya. I don’t know. I suspect it will end badly because it almost always ends badly. But let’s not pretend we are doing this as part of some obligation to humanity. The hypocrisy in this speech was so overwhelming that I was shocked the President got through the speech with a straight face.

The Bush Doctrine said that we could attack anyone we decided was threatening us. The Obama Doctrine says we can attack anyone we decide threatening their own people. That just about covers the entire globe. We can now go to war with anyone we want, anywhere we want, anytime we want. We are now on a permanent and global war footing.

This is not what I voted for when I voted for President Obama in 2008. If I wanted permanent war I would have voted for Senator McCain. It seems that it no longer matters which party wins: the wars just go on forever.

8 comments:

Georgecats said...

My "Endless/End This War" bumper sticker seems to have a life of its own. I was hoping under Obama, I'd be able to replace it with "My Kid's on the Honor Roll at Galia Golan Elementary School," but noooooooo.

diana said...

thanks, rami, for expressing this... it seems that "who we are" is who we SHOW we are in the face of the multiple layers of propaganda... how do we really live day to day in the reality of the collapse of empire we are facing...what does faith of any kind, call us to do/ be/ differently in these strange times? glad you are writing, and to find this on facebook... thank you...

ChÊeliyahu said...

"Vital Interests" = Petro-Oil.

Obama is not setting good precedence for future Presidents of Color, unfortunately.

andrea perez said...

I guess we are presently helping the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Burma by sending bombs to stop their governments from killing everyone? No? We didn't? Why?
And since when is blowing people up the solution for stopping someone from killing you? Did I miss something? Is that our new brand of humanitarian aid?
Say no to food, yes to explosions?
What ever happened to targeted assassinations?
But seriously... This country has become really gun happy...this kind of behavior should help the recruitment offices of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Moslem Brotherhood sure up their memberships.

Judy said...

John Stewart had a nice piece on this last week: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-march-21-2011/america-s-freedom-packages?xrs=share_copy.

AaronHerschel said...

So... what? Your shocked that politics is politic? Really? Show me the government built on moral ideals, and I'll show you a failed government. Indeed, a fascistic, tyrannical government. Politics is the art of achieving what can be done in a limited time with the existing forces (ideological, economical, etc) on the ground. We attack convenient enemies while ignoring inconvenient ones? Of course we do. We can only attack Goliath with a stone if the Giant is stupid enough to commit himself to a stone throwing contest. Otherwise, we content ourselves with Goliath's little brother, or his older brother, or whomever has exposed weakness in our interest. The question is: what is our interest? We achieve limited aims with limited means. That our president lies about it in public is just standard rhetoric. We, as citizens, are obligated to look beyond the obvious "selling point" to the real value of the proposition. Should we attack Libya? I don't know. I don't understand the situation. Can someone enlighten me? What are we after? Does it make any kind of sense?

dennis said...

The 2004 election was a statement of Who We Are and I for one am not proud of it. The whole region is about to topple. We need leadership that sees the signs and will make sure the whole world knows the present situation.Not the Obama I voted for either.

Aron said...

Well, as much as it might sound conspiratorial, I think the president might be talking to our responsibility to keep crude oil flowing and relatively cheap. I didn't vote for that, either.