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War, Torture, Neocon Terror and Obama´s Betrayal

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(This article was originally published on Jan. 17th, 2010.)

It´s nearly a year into Mr. Obama´s first term as president and already the trail of broken promises leads to the doors of the big banks and authoritarian rule by the corporate elite. If it has not become obvious to you by now who pulls Mr. Obama´s strings, or if you still believe he is his own man, than I suggest you get over your willful naivete and start paying attention to the reality of what is happening, what has not happened, and what is not going to happen under his leadership.

War is what is happening. The war drums are beating. I have heard talk about going to war in Yemen. I have heard talk about going to war with Iran and with Pakistan. These places are in the news and the news is not good. The demonization of the peoples of these countries has escalated, particularly with the attempted Christmas day bombing of an airliner by a suspected Yemeni national dubbed "the underwear bomber." Mr. Obama has no plans to stop war, only to carry it out in more places and with more brutality than ever before. Here´s a man who sold himself to a nation as a caring, peace loving individual who is proving to be just as much a war monger as the neocon he replaced.

Torture is also happening. In the land of America, the land of free peoples, of innocent until proven guilty, a land supposedly inhabited by good, morally incorruptible people, we have lost more than our moral compass, more than the moral high ground, we have lost even the pretense that we care about morality. Forget that history and common sense tells us torture doesn´t work as an intelligence gathering mechanism. Forget that we don´t want our men being tortured and so we shouldn´t torture others. Forget about the historical indignation we felt when we discovered our people had been tortured by enemy forces despite how well we treated the prisoners in our care. Torture is just plain wrong on its face and it is carried out either by individuals who are sick and enjoy it or by those who will be sickened and harmed psychologically by being ordered and forced to engage in such activities.

The practice of torture is more a political creature than a military tactic. It´s best for gaining confessions from people one wishes to silence or discredit. These confessions can be used to gain the support of the unaware, gullible, paranoid electorate and to justify otherwise unpopular wars and military occupations. Using such tactics on a perceived enemy and getting away with it sets a dangerous precedent. It isn´t that much more of a step for the state to turn on its own populace and begin to pick off those who voice their disagreement with policy, labeling them dissidents or enemies of the state. Indeed, setting up such vocal dissidents would not be that great a stretch, particularly considering that confessions would likely be forthcoming once the torture is accepted.

Neocon terror continues to happen. I include here the fear mongering that goes along with this idea that we must "fight them over there so we don´t have to fight them over here." Are we really so frightened by backward authoritarian Middle Eastern nations? Are we really so childish to believe the stories of boogiemen told to us by those who will profit from waging war on and occupying these countries? As a nation we allowed such fears to translate into the draconian laws passed after the 911 attacks and we have rued the decision to pass such laws ever since. This is a perfect example of giving up essential liberty in an effort to achieve a bit of security. This is the perfect illustration as to why those who would willingly give up their freedom for security deserve neither, and neither is what we will get. The terror will continue to diminish the rights and freedoms we hold dear so long as we allow such fear to infect our hearts.

Government growth continues to happen. In fact, it´s accelerating. Government has gotten its talons into every aspect of our lives. The more it regulates, the more it intrudes, the worse things seem to get. Government is killing the motivation of the common man. It is stifling innovation and the human desire to strive to improve one´s circumstances. It has tapped mankind´s natural proclivity toward laziness and institutionalized it. This has always been the greatest flaw of collectivist thinking when such socialist models are put into practice.

What has not happened under Mr. Obama´s leadership is the withdrawal of our troops from foreign lands. What has not happened is the repealing of Bush era laws that have trampled our Constitution and violated the human rights our nation was predicated upon. What has not happened is the release of innocent farmers and sheep herders that have been imprisoned by our military. What has not happened are public trials where evidence that they are real terrorist threats and not just people who were trying to protect their homes from an invading force is presented. This is likely because the only evidence they have was gained through torture. What has not ended is the practice of extraordinary rendition. I hate to think what this has done to the collective karma of our nation and can see the harm it has done in the eyes of the rest of the world as our moral standing declines.

What is not going to happen under Mr. Obama´s leadership is any real, significant change. What is not going to happen is a shift in foreign policy away from wars of aggression toward diplomacy, open trade with all nations and entangling alliances with none. What is not going to happen is an end to empire building. The federal government is not going to leave people alone. It will not return to the constitutional principles of liberty this nation was built upon, the principles that produced such great prosperity for the people of this nation for so long. It will continue to gain power, consume resources, force itself upon the populace and try to micromanage and control all areas of human endeavor.

Mr. Obama deceived many. He portrayed himself as an agent of change. He portrayed himself as one who would buck the system. He portrayed himself as one who would give the people hope. I never believed his rhetoric, I always felt he was cut from the same elite cloth as the rest of the establishment politicians, but I did hope he would prove me wrong. Now, even some of his most ardent supporters and left wing propagandists have come to the realization that he has betrayed them and that the changes he should have brought about in theory are in practice simply more of the same. He has maintained the fascist regime and policies put in place by the Bushes and even earlier presidential administrations. He has maintained the power of the wealthy elite and the political establishment. He has promulgated his desire to create an authoritarian system where the power to make personal decisions is taken away from the individual and given to bureaucrats who will not be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. He has used the power granted to him by the electorate not to the betterment of the average citizen, but to keep in place the mechanisms that create wealth for the very few and remove opportunities from those willing to work hard and innovate to make a better life for themselves, their families and anyone else who might associate with them.

The establishment knows what the common folk want as evidenced by what Mr. Obama promised when he was campaigning. He gave eloquent, carefully crafted speeches espousing the values the American people hold dear. He spoke of change and hope, of peace and government transparency, but he has delivered none of the above. An anger simmers in America, rising from the grassroots and flowing into the mainstream. We can no longer accept the lies and corruption that have inflicted our political institutions for far too long. It is time to speak out and be heard.

The power elite think they are untouchable. They are not. They think they have complete dominion over the common folk. They do not. In fact, the common folk have a vast amount of power, it´s just that sometimes they don´t know this or need to be reminded. The best part is, they don´t need to be violent to exercise it. That is something best left to the bullying power elite so that all can see the complete evil hiding inside them. We, as average individuals, merely need to assert our humanity. We need to get angry and express our feelings very publicly, demanding legal solutions and accountability.

The power elite still have to interact with the populace. Many of them still wish to get out into the world and partake in the joys modern society offers. It could be effective to make this as uncomfortable for them as possible. A good example of how to achieve this was presented to us by the gentleman who confronted the elder Bush in a pizza joint in Texas recently. He simply shouted at the former president, let him hear the anger he felt and accused him of crimes against humanity, but he did not threaten him. It was caught on video which is the best thing to do when you partake in activism for that will provide evidence that you´ve done nothing wrong and they are the ones resorting to violence.

Perhaps he shouldn´t have lost his temper and cussed so much, that can sound threatening, but what do these people expect when they act so "holier than thou," as if they can do no wrong even as they are making decisions equivalent to some of those made by the evilest and most notorious dictators to ever walk amongst us? Those pundits in the mainstream media who call for this man´s arrest should be ashamed of themselves. They call for the stifling of personal feelings and free speech. They call for the un-American practice of curtailing opinion. I applaud this man for his audacity. More need to be like him, to tell the elite how we really feel rather than fawning over them like helpless teenaged girls star struck by some handsome teen idol.

Yet our ire shouldn´t be reserved for the elite establishment at the top of the ladder or the elected federal gang that serves them. We common folk need to express our displeasure with local officials as well. Let your mayors, your city aldermen, your police know if you think they are part of the problem. Let them know you think a police state is unacceptable and you do not want your local government federalized. Let them know you are tired of the corruption. Let them know you are tired of having your money extorted and used on services you might not agree with. Let them know you want to see an end to the unaccountable practices they engage in, perhaps through a more voluntary system that takes into account everyone´s right to own property, to make decisions for their own lives, and to be left alone if they so desire. There is nothing wrong with expressing your feelings and desires, even if it seems to rub against the grain at times. That is and should be the American way. You might even be surprised by how many people agree with you and have remained silent, electing to go along to get along.

I imagine that for some the betrayal of the Democrats will be the last straw. Democrat or Republican, these people do not want to do the people´s will, they want to do as they will. No matter who is elected, the rich elite get richer and the poor common folk get poorer, government gets bigger and more oppressive while individual rights are violated and opportunity is removed. We are all tired of the lies, corruption and greed that rot the core of our political system. If the system is to change than we must stop cooperating with the system. We must let those involved know why we no longer wish to cooperate. This is how we achieve liberty for ourselves and our children. This is how we achieve peace. This is how we become the change we want to see.


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Last Updated on Monday, 03 May 2010 14:30