Here are some “realpolitik” excerpted takes on Obama’s State of the Union Address from Glen Ford, Norman Solomon, Barry Grey, Pepe Escobar, Matthew Rothschild:
Glen Ford of BAR in “Obama’s State of the Corporate Union”:
It was an impassioned performance by a cynical politician who offers little but corporate tax incentives and continued austerity. Barack Obama peppered his State of the Union address with up-tempo buzzwords about illusory “progress,” but the president’s substantive message was that he is determined to complete the austerity bargain he struck with the Republicans in 2011. ...
Obama’s jobs program is almost entirely a corporate tax incentive scheme, to bribe corporations to send home the jobs they sent offshore, where they have also hidden tens of trillions from taxation – a subject not deemed worthy of mention in a national discussion of shared sacrifice and patriotic obligations.
The escalating war in Africa is neither about terror nor Al Qaeda. Time magazine succinctly outlined the real motives in Mali: “The dangers expand elsewhere, with huge oil reserves attracting Western companies to set up production across the vast Sahel. South of Algeria and Mali sits Niger, a dirt-poor desert country with the world’s fourth largest output of uranium, which supplies France’s crucial network of nuclear-power stations. East of Algeria is Libya, where a number of Western companies exploit some of Africa’s biggest oil reserves.”
You'd think the war on terror had been a huge success, the way the western powers keep at it, Groundhog Day-style. In reality, it has been a disastrous failure, even in its own terms – which is why the Obama administration felt it had to change its name to "overseas contingency operations", until US defence secretary Leon Panetta revived the old title this week.
Instead of fighting terror, it has fuelled it everywhere it's been unleashed: from Afghanistan to Pakistan, from Iraq to Yemen, spreading it from Osama bin Laden's Afghan lairs eastwards to central Asia and westwards to North Africa – as US, British and other western forces have invaded, bombed, tortured and kidnapped their way across the Arab and Muslim world for over a decade.
So a violent jihadist movement that grew out of western intervention, occupation and support for dictatorship was countered with more of the same. And the law of unintended consequences has meanwhile been played out in spectacular fashion: from the original incubation of al-Qaida in the mujahideen war against the Soviet Union, to the spread of terror from western-occupied Afghanistan to Pakistan, to the strategic boost to Iran delivered by the US-British invasion of Iraq.
Once again there will be thousands and thousands of innocent human beings killed or their lives permanently shattered by the ruthless U.S. and its craven fellow bullying country cronies diabolically using the “War on Terror” as the “fig leaf” excuse to ramp up further violent corporate-driven profiteering imperialist invasions. Thousands and thousands of people in other countries will die along with our own betrayed troops being used as cannon fodder for corporate profits. Read below the fold...
A simple kill list apparently wasn't enough for this administration. Welcome to v. 2.0, aka the "disposition matrix," a bland term for the creation of a permanent policy for annihilating even more people the president doesn't like, as Glenn Greenwald explains. Read below the fold...
Does anyone across the globe, even Americans, not know in their heart of hearts (granted as molecular as that place seems to be for most Americans) what a MURDEROUS (GENOCIDAL) SCAM FOR PROFITEERING the US-declared ‘War on Terror’ was and continues to be?
The US administration and those bipartisan marriage-made-in-hell partners of neoliberals and neocons (h/t to Obama for that bipartisanship he can believe in) are now lamely declaring victory about Iraq.
The ever-obliging, bottom-feeding media, glue to the American government’s amoral status-quo bullshitting and fascistic matrix, is sentimentalizing it. A faux-Hallmark moment defying the ever-blaring American sirens of cognitive dissonance. Read below the fold...
Just don’t try to exercise said freedom. That can come with serious helpings of intimidation and punishment. Pepper spraying, clubbing, incarceration.
Actually, thanks to our United States Senate this week -- with a stunning bipartisan vote of 93 to 7 -- you now can get efficiently and LEGALLY “disappeared” for exercising your HERETOFORE constitutional freedoms. Free speech. Assembly, etc.
Meanwhile, the REAL terrorists continue to get plenty of mileage out of the faux-War on Terror. It comes in handy for removing the rights and securities of any citizenry, even ours. Read below the fold...
Yes, you can go to jail for 15 years if you're caught teaching non-violence to the wrong people.
So little time, so much to freak out about.
June 21, 2010
By Michael Doyle
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court on Monday bolstered law enforcement in national security cases, permitting prosecution of U.S. organizations that provide non-violent legal training or advice to designated terrorist groups.
This morning NPR features "an exclusive first look at a legal proposal....a detailed plan for holding terrorism suspects without trial, and it comes from two experts outside of the government." Inspite of the two "experts" mentioned by David Greene, Ari Shapiro only interviews one of them, Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution. Read below the fold...
Last September, a black high school student requested the school's permission to sit beneath a broad, leafy tree in the hot schoolyard. The next morning, three nooses were hanging from the tree. The black students responded en masse. Justin Purvis, the kid who first sat under the tree, told filmmaker Jacquie Soohen: "They [other black students] said, 'Y'all want to go stand under the tree?' We said, 'Yeah.' They said, 'If you go, I'll go. If you go, I'll go.' One person went, the next person went, everybody else just went."
Then the police and the district attorney showed up. Substitute teacher Michelle Rogers recounts: "District Attorney Reed Walters proceeded to tell those kids that 'I could end your lives with the stroke of a pen.' " Read below the fold...
He began the long journey to Guantanamo Bay soon after.
But first there was an inspection and interrogation in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
He says he was stripped, shaved and covered in a mysterious liquid applied by sponge, photographed, and then had a piece of plastic forced into his rectum "for no apparent reason". As it was inserted, a US soldier taunted him, saying the device was "extra ribbed" for his pleasure.
I'd missed this. Color me totally unsurprised to find the British taking the lead from the clowns over here in Torture America:
"This story has been blown out of all proportion. The liquids would need to be carefully distilled at freezing temperatures to extract the required chemicals, which are very difficult to obtain in the purities needed."