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:: Article nr. 48660 sent on 11-nov-2008 00:15 ECT
Obamania: a collective, frightening madness
Gabriele Zamparini, The Cat's Blog
"click on image to enlarge it
November 10, 2008
Hangover. How long is it going to last? For some newborn babies, all their life:
The U.S. election has triggered a new generation of mini Barack Obamas with parents in Kenya and the United States naming their newborns after the new president-elect. That's not a new phenomenon. Naming babies after saints, prophets, kings, popes and charismatic leaders is as old as the human civilization. Sometimes the babies live long enough to survive the fortune of their original. During the '30s of last century, in Germany and Italy the names Adolph and Benito were quite popular; the same for Joseph in Russia and around the world among Communism followers. More recently, people started to name their babies after show-business' celebrities, actors, singers, football players or just someone who appears on TV!
Back to Obama, in Uganda a cow was named after the US president elect:
"Why on earth would you call a cow after Obama?" I asked her. "Because I like this cow so much," she shot back. "Anyway, this cow reminds me of Barack Obama." Anita thought for a couple of seconds while Obama chewed the grass. "Obama is black like me, so maybe he'll respect us black people..." Idolatry and hope. Since the dawn of the time, we humans create gods to explain what we can't through reason and repose in them our hopes. Cults and religions, gods and idols are as powerful today as they were thousands years ago. Sometimes our times can be much more irrational than our ancestors'.
The imperial cult in ancient Rome was essentially a propaganda tool focused on leaders, a cult of personality. After the emperor's death, the apotheosis of the emperor would strengthen this cult.
Fast-forward two thousands years and we are assisting to the apotheosis of Barack Obama, even before he sits on the imperial throne; miracles of our Global Village's propaganda.
There is no doubt that a black man at the White House has a huge impact full of historical, political and emotional meanings. The same would be true of course if Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice had been elected. But as someone wrote, "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons" - not the White House.
Barack Obama is young, handsome, charming and above all, he's cool; the perfect qualities for the modern cult of personality. We shall never forget however, empires don't elect presidents they select emperors. Corporate America - with its money and influence - has selected Barack Obama as next emperor of the US global empire.
The Obama Campaign got more than $ 660 millions and money is generally accepted as a medium of exchange. Or - as Ralph Nader wrote to Obama:
Far more than Senator McCain, you have received enormous, unprecedented contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests and, most interestingly, big corporate law firm attorneys. Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart. Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama? Could it be that in your state Senate record, your U.S. Senate record and your presidential campaign record (favoring nuclear power, coal plants, offshore oil drilling, corporate subsidies including the 1872 Mining Act and avoiding any comprehensive program to crack down on the corporate crime wave and the bloated, wasteful military budget, for example) you have shown that you are their man? Mono-thought society. The corporate media have been joined by most of the progressive media in the celebrations of the new cult. Conservative and liberal intellectuals have been echoed by most of the progressive voices in a depressing, terrifying show of uniformity and banality. The very few, isolated voices of dissent have been silenced by hysterical cries and even leftists and anarchists are still shouting hymns to the new god.
If it's understandable that after eight years of the Bush junta our thirst for change and hope is overwhelming, the mood of these days it's frightening. It's frightening to see a complete absence of scepticism in so many progressive activists and intellectuals, even in front of the most evident facts, such as the people the US president elect has chosen for his administration, the closeness with Corporate America, the will to escalate the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan or this peculiar "civilian service" Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, keep talking about.
If before the elections it was "the lesser of two evils", now that the elections are over it would have been sensible and honest to focus on the second term of that slogan, "evil". But those progressive intellectuals who promoted that slogan seem to have forgotten their own words (and their responsibility) and now are just pontificating about the "historic victory". The specter of historicism is once again poisoning our minds.
In its newsletter No. 1062 dated 06 November 2008, Stop the War UK "WELCOMES OBAMA'S VICTORY": "The Stop the War Coalition is delighted that Barack Obama has won the US Presidential election, in which millions of Americans rejected the politics of war and racism."
I have a dream. Barack Obama will escalate the massive crimes against humanity the US and the NATO have already been committing in Afghanistan for the past seven years. Pakistan will precipitate in complete chaos and possibly invaded. The Palestinians will finally mourn the death of their dream. Just wars and humanitarian interventions will flourish with Human Rights Watch giving all the assistance needed...
The English language is extremely rich of words. Delighted?
Delighted and united we stand then. The corporate media and their masters are delighted. With very few, isolated exceptions, the progressive media, the anti-war movement and its intellectuals are delighted. And the father of Obama's chief of staff, is delighted too:
In an interview with Ma'ariv, Emanuel's father, Dr. Benjamin Emanuel, said he was convinced that his son's appointment would be good for Israel. "Obviously he will influence the president to be pro-Israel," he was quoted as saying. "Why wouldn't he be? What is he, an Arab? He's not going to clean the floors of the White House." Obama's chief of staff is the son of Benjamin Emanuel, "a pediatrician who helped smuggle weapons to the Irgun, the Zionist militia of former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, in the 1940s. The Irgun carried out numerous terrorist attacks on Palestinian civilians including the bombing of Jerusalem's King David Hotel in 1946."
This is President Obama's chief of staff:
He remembers enemies well. The most celebrated anecdote about Emanuel was after the Clinton campaign, when he denounced the names of Democratic insiders who had sided with the other candidates. As Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times reported more than a decade ago: "Emanuel grabbed his steak knife and, as those who were there remember it, shouted out the name of another enemy, lifted the knife, then brought it down with full force into the table. 'Dead!' he screamed. The group immediately joined in the cathartic release: 'Nat Landow! Dead! Cliff Jackson! Dead! Bill Schaefer! Dead!'" Indymedia Chicago provides some more info on this charming character: Local war-mongering anti-immigrant NAFTA-pusher named White House Chief of Staff
Since colors seem to have been the main factor of this show, you may have suggestions about the shirts' color for the upcoming Obama's militias. Which militias? Read here and here when the hangover is gone.
The looking-glass world. Fox News is so delighted about Obama's victory that's become the paladin of African-Americans and all the oppressed. Nader, on the other hand, after a life spent fighting Corporate America and defending the oppressed, is now accused to be a racist by Murdoch's henchmen.
"Under an Obama presidency those non Blacks who stand in opposition to Barack Obama's de facto pro Wall Street backers and their blood-sucking policies will be branded as racists and traitors, while those Blacks who oppose Obama's policies will be ignored and/or branded as fringe radicals and traitors" wrote a few days ago BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board Member, Larry Pinkney
Oliver Stone is delighted too:
"Bush was, I believe, the grandson of Richard Nixon in many ways. Now I genuinely hope that Obama can be the heir to John F Kennedy, who was a great spirit and to whom very strong goodwill was granted. I felt that in 1960 and I feel it now with Obama. The majority is rooting for him. He's good-looking. He has a beautiful family and people wish him well. He has that youth and that outsider feel, that leanness of mind and spirit. As with Kennedy, he carries the refreshing spirit of human freedom." Planet Hollywood, in a far, far away galaxy, many light years from Planet Earth... On our Planet, during the JFK's administration: the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the Vietnam War... But he was young, charming, good-looking and with a beautiful wife, all important elements - today more than yesterday - to manufacture the American Dream.
War means business. Surfing some progressive, alternative websites these days, it would seem that Martin Luther King Jr. or William Edward Burghardt Du Bois or Malcolm X has become the new US president. Someone even drew parallels with the election of Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa. Waiting for the hangover to pass (hopefully soon! but don't hold your breath) we can be sure that President Obama will follow his predecessor and keep privatizing the war industry:
In the wake of Barack Obama's election victory many American private military and security contractors are wondering what their future will be under President Obama. It is probably better than they imagine. Recall that at the beginning of the year inveterate PSC critic Jeremy Scahill blasted Obama for being too sympathetic toward contractors. He reported that a senior foreign policy adviser of Obama's said that if elected, Obama would not "rule out" using private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. The adviser also said Obama does not plan to sign on to legislation that seeks to ban the use of these forces in U.S. war zones by January 2009, when a new president will be sworn in. Considering that most of the so-called contractors (mercenaries) come from poor background and poor countries, what does this tell us about the "change we can believe in"?
The Obama mania is a collective madness induced by Corporate America, which was able to exploit our honest thirst for change, peace and social justice. Optimism is a warm feeling but can make us blind. Sooner we wake up from this dream and good-will people the world over realize that nothing has really changed and start to organise to make their voices really count, the better will be for the world. The victims of this rapacious global empire - from our brothers and sisters in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan to those living in our cities' poor neighborhoods - will suffer immensely because of our fantasies and celebrations. And be aware that from now on propaganda will be much more difficult to fight. On guard!
P.S. A few days ago Barack Obama apologised to Nancy Reagan:
"President-elect Barack Obama called Nancy Reagan today to apologise for the careless and off-handed remark he made during today's press conference. The President-elect expressed his admiration and affection for Mrs Reagan that so many Americans share and they had a warm conversation." What a sweet picture, as American as apple pie. Maybe someone among the many Obama's Boys & Girls could remind Barack - as they call him - that more than a million Iraqis have been slaughtered by the US war machine and that country completely annihilated. Maybe he could find the time to apologise to the survivors and provide some justice and reparation... After all, he's been the candidate against the war, right? Wrong!
With respect to Iraq, Sen. Obama has conceded the main argument of Sen. McCain's campaign and said the so-called "surge" worked (despite significant evidence and analysis to the contrary). And he has vowed to keep soldiers in Iraq to fight counterterrorism. John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton who now leads the Center for American Progress, estimated this would take a 60,000 troop presence to achieve.If Barack Obama were a car, we would bring this fraud back to those who sold it to us.
Moreover Obama "will not 'rule out' using private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq" according to Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill. And Obama did not plan on signing on to legislation that seeks to ban the use of such forces by the U.S. government by January 2009, according to one of his senior foreign policy advisors. (Democracy Now! 2/28/08). (This is one promise Obama unfortunately has kept, refusing to sign onto the Stop Outsourcing Security Act, introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont).
In an interview with Amy Goodman, Sen. Obama stated his intention of leaving 140,000 private contractors in Iraq because "we don't have the troops to replace them." He also stated the need to keep an additional "strike force in the region … in order to not only protect them, but also potentially to protect their territorial integrity." Summarizing the interview, Amy Goodman concluded that it sounded as if Obama "would leave more than 100,000 troops, close to 200,000 in Iraq. 'Troops' meaning U.S. soldiers and military contractors which some call mercenaries." (4/1/08).
Even concerning a possible timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq, Obama has diminished his promises. He now is committing only to "reducing the number of combat troops within 16 months," presumably to "bolster efforts in Afghanistan so that we can capture and kill bin Laden and crush al Qaeda." (Obama/McCain debate, 9/26/08).
What we know for certain, though, is when given a chance to commit to a complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Obama said "no." When Tim Russert asked him, during a debate in New Hampshire in September 2007, if he could promise having American troops out of Iraq by 2013, he would not do so.
From: What Do They Have to Do to Lose Your Vote?, The Trail of Broken Promises, By MATT GONZALEZ
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