Monday, January 26, 2009

The Furor of Fuhrer Obama: The Logic of Distraction

1) Brand Obama, too many shadows: Foreign Policy
2) The Coming Police State, Brzezinksi's vision thereof
3) Or Does it Explode? Against Militarism and the prospect of global Change

Barack Obama, as does any statesmen, poses a tangible threat to world stability, for his unbridled appeal allows him the leeway to take dangerous risks, the sort of risks Bush couldn’t have imagined from 2005 on. The cult of personality, which has done no more to aid his election except suspend its critical thinking capacities, stands blindly behind a President who represents "change" no more than the George Bush of the 2000 election campaign, when he ran under the same, but now exhausted, slogan; President Obama, however, does stand for the perpetuation, if not intensification, of a tested policy in Washington in which you and me are “ignorant and meddlesome outsiders"; At the same time, a scattering, the world over, by States to choose their alliances reminds us of a complex and precarious network of friends and enemies of which we are all a part. He presides, also, over an escalation of the US war in the Middle East—most notably the latest surge in the enduring US-Israel genocide in Gaza, and next week’s deployment of 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, many of whom will most likely end up in Pakistan. The last thirty years have been grim for the majority of US citizens—though, of course, this is a rich country, not South Africa—as real wages have declined and work hours have increased; blowback from government reactions to the social turmoil of the 1960's. What do we have to show for it? Brand Obama and the maelstrom of ultranationalist sentiment that it has unbolted—with the environment in disrepair, global and static war creeping ever nearer to home, the US citizenry is in war mode: We salute you, President Obama.

Despite his "grassroots" appeal, a gross sum of Obama’s campaign budget comes from the pockets of finance capital, historically an accurate signal of with which sectors of big industry a candidate’s policy will likely align. This, clearly, is no big surprise, for, as Economist Thomas Ferguson has theorized, US elections can be reduced to their barebones: Conventions whereby groups of investors compete over control of the mechanisms of State power. Presently, American capitalism resembles socialism; though, admittedly, a version thereof beneficial solely to the multinationals in charge rather than individuals. These facts contradict attempts by neo-conservatives to paint Obama as a socialist or a communist; impossible, for he is a servant of finance capital. Such preconditions inhibit seriously the ability for Brand Obama to follow through on (the largely imagined) agenda he has so eloquently outlined for the multitude: Hope, Unity, Change.

Obama’s first appointee, as the democratic candidate for the Vice Presidency, Joe Biden, was one of the strongest supporters of the war in Iraq as a member of Senate. As a longtime Washington insider, Biden has scantily deviated from the Democratic Party line; indeed, those instances in which he has betrayed consensus are discouraging, for he voted in favor of senate resolutions to prevent individuals from getting rid of their debts by going into bankruptcy—a blow against poor people crushed by our debtor’s economy (let's assume individuals won't be on the list of recipients for Obama's February $800 billion bailout). Why would Obama—supported nearly ubiquitously by the anti-war movement (even the anti-war supported Obama despite his lack of a sensible agenda for withdrawal from Iraq)—undermine a substantial portion of his following? As we will see, Obama’s foreign policy is no less sinister than the tested US policy of attrition in the Third World; in fact, it very well could be more overwrought than US policy during the hottest days of the Cold War in the early 1960’s.

In addition to Biden, Rahm Emmanual, current Chief of Staff, supported also the war in Iraq as a member of the House. While in the House, thanks to his prior career as an investment banker, Emmanuel was a leading recipient of funding from financial institutions. Robert Rubin, now Secretary of Treasury, is, alongside Emmanuel and others among Obama’s ranks, responsible in part for the financial crisis of which we are currently in the midst. Dean Baker, a leading economist—to be sure one of the only leading economists to accurately analyze the crisis and subsequent bailouts—noted that to select both Emmanuel and Rubin is equivalent to selecting Osama Bin Laden to run the war on terror. These two selections are only the tip of the iceberg, and I implore you—should you harbor still doubts about culpability of the Obama administration—to consult the public record, for a number of Obama’s advisors ought not be receiving cabinet appointments, but subpoenas.

“The legacy of my administration will be transparency and the rule of law,” Obama said during his Inauguration speech. Nonetheless, two major foreign policy issues of the coming year—Afghanistan and Pakistan—go all but unmentioned on his website. We have already seen the ways in which Obama is hinged on finance capital, so let’s explore now the implications of this for his administration and the coming years of the US Empire. Debating Hilary Clinton in Chicago last year, Obama said he supported the unilateral bombing of northwest Pakistan, regardless of that country’s nuclear capabilities. Clinton and McCain regarded this as absurd, and even Bush opposed the idea. However, today, at the behest of Brand Obama, we have already invaded Pakistan, bombing exactly that region which Obama suggested we antagonize. Pakistan, much like the three-sector Iraqi State, may also be carved into separate parts, should US strategy in the region be fulfilled, as the increase in troop levels—essentially clandestine in light of media fury over the Obama’s—for now in Afghanistan, and later into Pakistan, forebodes. Claims pointing to Pakistani instability as grounds for such an invasion must be regarded as invalid, for Washington supports historically criminal and debilitated governments—like that of the present Kosovo; or Israel, for that matter.

Recently, neocons have focused on Iran as a threat to National Security, however, the transfer of power from the “right” to the “left”—meaningless denotations, for, in the end, both parties represent modes of autocracy attitudinizing democratic values; this system some have coined a “duocracy," and is recognized as having ONE agenda—represents a coup d’├ętat in American geopolitical strategy. The transfer, to be sure, did not start with Obama’s inauguration; the tables turned upon Obama’s election, which pitted the moribund Bush/Cheney administration as lame ducks in the White House. By way of an “advisory committee,” made up of key figures in the outgoing and incoming administrations, Zbigniew Brzezinksi, Obama’s Foreign Policy advisor and key player in the Trilateral Commission, set forth upon a more sophisticated and complex foreign policy. Perhaps initial gambles—sure to unfold over the coming months and years as part of an effort to clean up the “grand chessboard” after the Bush/Cheney disaster—could backfire, resulting in a more aggressive and more militaristic foreign policy than heretofore.

Who Obama represents is the Trilateral commission, a clique of bankers who ran the disastrous—both economically and in terms of geopolitics—Carter administration, and have groomed Barack Obama to carry out a desperate new agenda. What we experienced on Tuesday is the moment when this particular clique became institutionalized, hidden behind a pretty new face; not a neocon, nor even a right-winger, rather a leftist demigod; an added bonus of Obama is his worldwide appeal (after all, China lost a significant degree of its somewhat hard earned foothold in Africa to Obama). As Brzezinksi, the aforementioned utmost figure in the Trilateral Commission and current Foreign Policy Advisor, said in September 2007: “What makes Obama attractive to me is that he understands that we live in a very different world where we have to relate to a variety of cultures and peoples.” The Bush administration attempted a similar ploy to increase the democratic appearance of the United States abroad with the appointment of Colin Powell to Secretary of State, thereafter virtually ignoring the able statesman.

Such tactics, while impacting significantly the consciousness of a historically bigoted country, characterizes a new approach to the social conditioning of the American people. In the interim, nonetheless, the project of the Obama administration is not merely war in the Middle East, like that of the Bush administration: We can no longer invade destitute countries to fulfill our contumacious foreign policy agenda, for, as Brzezinksi notes, we live in a “much more politically awakened world.” Imperialism must become subtler, because the masses, that is, the “ignorant and meddlesome outsiders,” have too much information, just as the democratic press of the 1960’s was too ‘illuminating’, consummating in the discontent and stirrings of that age. Instead, Brzezinksi, in the shadows behind Obama, wishes to engage more directly world centers of power: Moscow and Beijing, the ultimate goal of which is to bring those two countries—after isolating them—into the US sphere in order for the perpetuation of US-British international dominion. The world economic crisis, which, at least for the destitute, will be interminable due to resource depletion, threatens by no means US power in the world in relation to other countries: for Russia, whose interdependence with the rest of the world was confirmed by the failing economy, closed its stock market in the fall; and China, which had up until recently been unscathed, announced, in party-speak, that their economy was beginning to falter.

Whereas neocons have touted war with Iran, Brzezinski , who served also as National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, disregards such efforts has paramount to suicide; The US is too poor, too isolated globally. Instead, a far more conspiratorially complex tactic emerges: war between Russia and Iran. This, without doubt, would hardly be the first time the United States stirred war between a Middle Eastern country and Russia, for Brzezinski himself was the mastermind behind the arms trade between the United States and Afghanistan which led to the Soviet invasion of the latter, and, many posit, the consequent collapse of the “Evil Empire.” In anticipation of his fabricated war, Brzezinksi commented: “We now have the opportunity to give the Soviet Union their Vietnam War.” There was also speculation last October, as Georgia invaded South Ossetia, that this—instead of being a western ally defending itself against big bully Russia, like we were informed by our neighbors in the mass media—was actually a neocon attempt to influence the 08’ election, a way of exploiting Senator Obama’s weak foreign policy reputation. As truthdig uncovered, McCain’s foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, was, for four years, a paid lobbyist to the Georgian government. Hardly a smoking gun, it remains that these are the sorts of lines of reasoning that must be investigated further so as to understand the overlapping cartels who actually run our, and other, governments. The question, then, is whether this new policy is to be carried out without exception, or if this is to be engaged upon only when Russia refuses US terms. Due to inadequacy (from our perspective) of the west’s media coverage of the bloodletting in South Ossetia—clearly geared against Russia, and clearly asserting itself as propagandistically much more sophisticated than Russian media—Brzezinski was under little pressure to explain his comments which likened Vladimir Putin to Hitler and Stalin; hyperbole aimed to fall upon public ears, and, conceivably, foretelling of desired policy directions.

As we have seen, the US economy is superlative to all other current centers of power, monumental debts included. Militarily speaking, all other centers of power pose little threat to US hegemony. For example: Publicly, the US military receives approximately $635 billion a year, unrivaled by China’s approximately $65 billion. The space race, of which we hear so much about, is also nonexistent, except for as public misinformation: the US spends, publicly speaking, $25 billion a year, whereas China—which, despite having only the possible potential to put a man on the moon, is touted by Washington as a formidable rival in the space race—has $2 billion in expenditures for space. Despite this inequity—demonstrating the US’s clear domination of space—Obama’s transition team plans to conflate the Defense Department and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration because, according to the Huffington Post, “military rockets may be cheaper and ready sooner than the space agency’s planned launch vehicle.”

Brzezinksi maintains that the US has, since the fall of the Soviet Union, squandered hitherto its opportunities to secure US preeminence and influence in the world, but, as his book “Second Chance” spells out, it is, by no means, too late; furthermore, the economic crisis works as the perfect guise, under which Brzezinski and other high players in the Trilateral Commission can execute their new, and ever more tactful, foreign policy: Imperialism and colonialism, like that of old, is irrelevant in a post-imperial and post-colonial world. In lieu of the imperialism carried forth by Bush/Cheney, certain imperialism with Left-wing slogans materializes under monikers such as “humanitarian aid, friendship, and diplomacy.” Thanks to Obama, imperialism gets a facelift. Europe is aloof in their delusion that Obama represents a sea change in post-world War II US policy, and Africa, whose curiosity is piqued by the black man in the White House, is suddenly more oriented towards Washington than recent memory accounts for; the US plans to capitalize on this in order to undermine Chinese influence in the region—which receives seven percent of its oil from southern Africa—hoping to force them to turn towards a weakened Russia for resources. Another affront against China is the looming US invasion of Pakistan, for, traditionally, Pakistan has aligned itself with China. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zardari, said recently: “I ask of the government that it should be firm in its resolve to not allow the use of its soil for carrying out terrorist activities against any foreign country…we will not tolerate the violation of our sovereignty and territorial integrity by any power in the name of combating terrorism.” That Pakistan is a sovereign nation, of course, is irrelevant to the anti-democratic American mind shaped, in part, by the neocons in the wake of September 11.

Another hotspot is the former Warsaw Pact countries of Poland and the Czech Republic, where Washington has continually pushed for the deployment of an anti-nuclear defense radar. Three-star General Vladimir Popovkin, chief of the Russian Space Troops, told reporters, “The U.S. bases would be a clear threat to Russia,” for, it is clear, the defenses would be monitoring Russian strategic nuclear missiles in Central Russia and the North Fleet (Barents Sea/Kola Peninsula). “It’s doubtful that Iranian or North Korean rockets would fly over Poland or the Czech Republic,” he noted. “If such a base would be deployed in Turkey, which is a NATO member and much closer to Iran, we would not be asking questions…We are carefully monitoring the situation and will react adequately.” Are we on the precipice of a missile crisis (the Polish Missile Crisis?), in the vein of the Cuban Missile Crisis, during which an arrogant and obdurate John F. Kennedy, to whom Obama is oft compared, pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war?

"The Technocratic Age is slowly designing an every day more controlled society. The society will be dominated by an elite of persons free from traditional values (!) who will have no doubt in fulfilling their objectives by means of purged techniques with which they will influence the behavior of people and will control and watch the society in all details". "... it will become possible to exert a practically permanent watch on each citizen of the world".

- Zbigniew Brzezinski, co-founder of Trilateral Commission, Foreign Policy Advisor of Barack Obama


1 comment:

  1. Enemies of conspiracy theorists fall into a trap of language set by past generations. Though the institutional world is a structured and functional entity regulated by rules and standards, its trajectory is manipulated by cartels of aligned interests, and a language that exploits these links is needed in order to understand the modern age; when we look back at the American Revolution, we learn of a generation of conspiracy theorists utterly convinced that pundits of power, in the three estates of English government, were conspiring to enslave the former. Some ask if the colonists themselves were victims of a small clique of colonial elite, who, ironically enough, were conspiring to convince their fellow frontiersmen—so as to acquire the reins of government—of the motherland’s plot to enslave them . It is essential that we concede the persistence of conspiratorial parties. Conspiracy is what makes humans, humans! Like never before the classes most capable of applying inertia on global trends are able to obviate counter culture movements, or, more pointedly, non-conformity. As post-nationalism—a relic of post-world War II Europe which was to be subverted by US dominated interests in favor of a divided, and therefore weaker, Europe—begins to set in, we are confronted with an elite version of the idea: No longer do world leaders acknowledge traditional borders between countries, but, instead, the borders demarcating classes, a program akin to the enunciation, cited above, by Brzezinksi.

    The whole world acknowledges that it faces a foundational discontinuity with the progress (the act of setting the stage higher) of history. Brzezinksi: “We live in a complicated, much more dynamic, much more politically awakened world, in which the population of the world for the first time is politically active, stirring, restless, increasingly anti-western, increasingly anti-American.” And the heralded strategist is dead-on; the commoners are on the up and up, and America’s new charitable foreign policy will not, should its promises ring hallow, be tolerated. The world population is, now more than ever, not only policed by its States, but so too are the world’s States policed by citizens—and already, early on in a worldwide depression, are protestors taking to the streets in Latvia, Greece, China, California and Iceland; some in response to the shortcomings of American-style capitalism, others in response to police murders of innocents. One thing seems clear: Capitalism in the context of globalization cannot survive an ample dosage of austerity and the contagious insurrections which follow. On the internet we can watch film taken by Palestinians of the devastating effects of white-phosphorous used during the US-Israeli foray into Gaza, of racist police executioners, of protestors marching on Grecian parliament, of inconsistencies in the rhetoric of prominent politicians, of the leaders of the new America gathering, far from the public eye, for esoteric forums. The democratic experiment failed, for the democratic spirit is not aggressive like the spirit of power or authority; nonetheless, the tools of democracy, though arriving on the scene palpably late, are here and are being used by all generations, many of the poorest classes as well: If Brzezinksi can imagine a unremittingly spied upon world population, then we counter with a democracy. The historical revolutionary ideologies, such as Marxism, socialism, communism, etc., are inept at making sense of the present junction: Needed now are not ideologies, but instead compromises and concessions by all continents, unions, countries, multinationals, and individuals—especially the opulent; Inequality, not poverty, leads to more global violence than any other condition.

    To redistribute grossly worldwide resources so that violence arisen from jealousy—exasperated, to some extent, by the ability of the poorest to receive the television channels of the moneyed—can be, in part, abated, while simultaneously checking those powers with a virtually unlimited arsenal. This will bring the former, thus far ostracized, into dialogue with the rest of the world, hopefully encouraging diversity in ideas and innovation, and bettering their deck of cards in the future (Most likely, if you’re reading this blog, you ain’t got ten trillion dollars, so breathe deep). As the creatures that are to make up all American institutions, from small businesses to high government offices, the liberalization of world dealings depends, largely, on us. First and foremost, we must demand a more egalitarian workplace, in which we negotiate, much like a professional athlete, our salaries. It would take hardly 15 percent of the world to affect human affairs, perchance a smaller chunk of the US population in favor of the revolutionization of this country, so there’s no fruit to be borne of feeling beset by odds, but, heed warning, for we Americans are historically quite an apathetic breed. But who can blame us? We are exposed daily to an incessant propaganda campaign aimed at drilling presuppositions into our skulls. Whereas an article out of the United Kingdom reported on an October attack in Syria by US forces so,

    "US military helicopters attacked a farm suspected of housing militants along Syria's border with Iraq on Sunday, killing eight people, in what the Syrian government denounced as "serious aggression"'.

    CNN, reporting on the same incident—albeit much later in the day than foreign news services—insinuated that our government was looking into their own attack:

    "The U.S. military said it is investigating claims from Syria that U.S. helicopters based in Iraq killed eight people and wounded another Sunday in an attack inside Syria's territory Sunday."

    Soviet journalists in the United States during the Cold War, moreover, noted the superiority of US propaganda compared to their own, and the effectiveness that follows therefrom. American propaganda is more suggestive and subtle, therefore affecting the cognitive dispositions of its beholders more productively than the crude and sophomoric propaganda of the then Soviet Union—although one can be sure the Soviet propaganda campaigns have been carried on into the present in that country. The main difference, said the Soviet journalists, is that while Americans tend to believe their propaganda, the Soviets tend to disbelieve their own.

    At the end of the Bush years, well-known was his Presidency’s low approval rating; less well-known, however, is the American public’s general disapproval of its government at all levels. Congress’ approval ratings are low, and, in fact, 80 percent of the American public believes the country is heading in the wrong direction. Though such cynicism has been undermined by the recent election of a seeming progressive, the reality is—barring a counter culture movement—global hotspots may become incendiary. Turning to academia as a means of spreading understanding is not sufficient, for—as is historically the case—academia has supported US melees against the Third World by developing chemical and biological weapons or planting propaganda in our nation’s libraries—at the request of the CIA—under the guise of scholarship. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a carryover from the Bush administration, announced the creation of what he terms the “Minerva Consortium,” named after the goddess of wisdom, the purpose of which is to fund universities to “carry out social-sciences research relevant to national security.” This includes not only weaponry, but also psychological research envisaged to be used on the home front and abroad.