Friday, January 16, 2009

Obama: The Empire’s New Face

by Kabir Joshi-Vijayan
Basics Issue #12 (Jan/Feb 2009)

On January 20th, Barack Hussein Obama will be sworn-in as the 44th President of the United States, realizing the hopes of millions of people who came out in record numbers to elect and support him in November. Americans were especially desperate for a change after eight years of war abroad and economic ruin at home. But unfortunately, Obama can not live up to such hopes. His government will not represent any real change for the people of the U.S. or the world. By every decision he has made since his election, and his alignments and positions during his campaign, Obama has assured that the United States of violence, terror, occupation and white-power will continue under his presidency.

We only have to look at who he’s picked to run the country with him. Obama’s Secretary of State (the government’s representative to the world) will be Hillary Clinton, a notorious supporter of the illegal occupation and invasion of Iraq, defender of the racist state of Israel and consistent champion of brutal American foreign policy. Robert Gates, Bush’s handpicked replacement for the criminal Rumsfeld, will remain as Defense Secretary. Not only is Gates against ending the Iraq war (Obama’s major election promise), but he was responsible for past crimes, including the Iran-Contra affair (where as the deputy-director of the CIA in the 1980s Gates encouraged his boss, Bush Sr., to finance the massacre of a democratically-elected government in Nicaragua, which was financed by selling weapons to Iran and pumping crack into ghettoes in the US). This pattern continues with the up and coming Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, who allowed for the murder and torture of Mexican refugees in her home state of Arizona. These choices are not just bad decisions on Obama’s part, but they mean he made sure his new government will be led by war criminals, human rights abusers, anti-environmentalists and all-around imperialists.

Some say these corporate and military thugs would be kept in check by Obama. Yet when has the President-elect shown us that he is not a war monger and reactionary himself? During his election campaign he promised to eventually end the Iraq occupation, but only so troops could be increased in Afghanistan (a war just as brutal and illegal as in Iraq). Obama told the world racism was no longer an issue in America, at a time when more than 83,000 black people die from the black-white health gap each year, when prison concentration camps imprison black men 8 times more often than whites and just 4 years after the government let thousands of blacks in New Orleans die.

On January 20th, Obama will become the leader of the most violent and destructive empire in world history - one that has been designed for 200 years to rob, enslave and brutalize the world’s population - and that’s something that won’t “Change”!

On his trip to Israel in July 2008, Obama expressed his uncompromising support for the Israeli apartheid state.