My reply to Kathryn Busby

My original comment here:

Kathryn Busby’s comment on my post:

2nd busbyReplyApril022017

Ms. Busby,
Thank you for your comment. The ‘as if’ of your comment is that the Wikileaks leaking of the Podesta e mails didn’t demonstrate, with stunning clarity, the fact of the corruption of the New Democrats!
And their active subversion of the Bernie Sanders campaign: they used all their well entrenched political apparatus, and the actors at their disposal, Nancy Pelosi, Donna Brazil, Debbie Wassermann-Schultz and Mr. Podesta, who received a $7, 000 a month from a Clinton contributor, the particulars here:
The New Democrats engaged in a concerted campaign to smear and to subvert Sanders and the New Deal wing of a Party!
Those New Democrats are Neo-Reaganites, or just call them Neo-Liberals, who have long since made their pact, not with voters, but with an utterly Financialized Capitalism: the evidence is the Obama de facto pardoning of these Wall Street thieves, so as to ‘put it behind us’ or some such self-exculpatory locution!
I used the guise of  Publius, one of the nom de plumes used in The Federalist Papers, to sharpen my polemic. That is the ’emotion’ you detect in my comment.
The challenge that the entrenched New Democrats, and the Party as a whole, are loath to confront, which will lead, perhaps, to defeats in 2018 and even in 2020, who knows? The problem is that in order to emancipate the Party and the country from the destructive thrall of Neo-Liberalism, the Clintonites must give way to a reinvigorated New Deal wing of the Party, or die a protracted political death and take America down with it.
In looking at the future we needn’t be blinded by the mirage that the Democratic Party is our only option. That ‘as if’ ignores the potential that is becoming actual, in the political present, of the rise of the Greens, as a viable alternative to a demonstrably exhausted Two Party System. We are not stuck with either of these two Parties. And the mirage of ‘term limits’ offers nothing but more of the same, which sounds the notes of that bogus ‘Contract With America’ of  the political nihilist Republicanism of Newt Gingrich.
Finally on the vexed question of my being an ‘Obama hater’: never has their been a candidate, or a president, who promised ‘Hope and Change’ and delivered so little. Perry Anderson, in the New Left Review has some telling observations, in his essay called ‘Passing the Baton’ that seems an apposite reply to your accusation:

‘Admirers of Obama excuse the domestic failure of his Presidency to represent anything like an ‘audacity of hope’ on the grounds of Republican obstruction in Congress. Abroad, the executive is essentially untrammelled. Predictably enough, like most of his predecessors since 1945—Johnson and Reagan were the exceptions—Obama was more consequential as a guardian of empire overseas than as agent of change at home, though it would be difficult to guess this from the tenor of liberal and most left discussion of it in the United States. [11] There his record falls into two major departments—operations in the Muslim world, and dealings with Russia and China (with Europe and Japan as respective helpmeets).

In the Muslim world, Obama inherited two declared wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and two undeclared wars, in Pakistan and Somalia. By the end of his second mandate, he had added three more. Of those he inherited, in Iraq Bush had signed an agreement with Maliki for withdrawal of all us troops by the end of December 2011. Three years later, as the deadline neared, the Obama Administration sought to revise this for continued stationing of an American military force in the country, but was unable to secure the immunity for its soldiers from criminal prosecution in Iraq on which it insisted. So withdrawal had to go ahead, only to be reversed two years later when Obama removed Maliki, dispatching bombers, missiles and—in undisclosed numbers—ground troops for a second war, this time against the isis threat to his replacement in Baghdad. In Afghanistan, Obama had trebled the size of the American army of occupation by the end of his first term, and by the end of his second, installed a Made-in-usa government like its counterpart in Baghdad, to be protected indefinitely by a force of praetorians from the Pentagon. In Pakistan, Obama escalated military strikes with a steep increase in the use of drone missiles to wipe out targets deemed hostile, with predictable civilian loss of life, while whisking cia staff wanted for murder out of the country. In Somalia, where another customized government was set up, covert commando and drone strikes, assisted by a secret cia base in Mogadishu, are routine, while africom has extended American military implantation across the continent, to some 49 out of 55 African countries.

Expanding this arc of operations, Obama launched an all-out aerial attack in Libya to overthrow the Gaddafi regime, plunging the country into such chaos that, five years later, not even a standard play-set of marionettes could be assembled to run the show. In Syria, he armed, trained and funded insurgents, relying on Saudi Arabia and Qatar to furnish them with heavier weapons and more money, in a bid to bring down the Assad regime, in the process fanning a civil war that has left half a million dead and five million displaced, without succeeding in dislodging his target. In Yemen, he supplied the weapons, guidance and strategic cover for a Saudi-Emirati bombing campaign that has reduced the country and its people to ruins, with a callousness that caused even his habitual barkers at the New York Times to flinch.

Nowhere has what Roger Hodge called ‘the mendacity of hope’ been more brazen than in these actions, Obama promising that his Libyan blitz would be just humanitarian assistance, ‘not regime change’, and that he was ‘proud of his decision’ not to launch a similar blitz on Syria, from which he was stayed only by the opposition of the British parliament and Congress. Elsewhere, arms and money have flowed to an Egyptian regime little different from the Syrian, simply more pro-Western; while Israel has received the largest military aid package in its history. In the imperial repertoire, a preference for air war, proxies and special forces rather than ground troops is no novelty: it was Nixon who introduced the type of ‘Vietnamization’ under way in Kabul and elsewhere. None of Obama’s seven wars have been won, in the sense of achieving a peace, though also none have been lost (as yet: the upshots in Afghanistan and Syria remain to be seen). One major success was registered. Concerted cyberwarfare, covert assassination and economic strangulation forced the clerical rulers of Iran to submit to an American diktat safeguarding the Israeli nuclear monopoly in the Middle East, [12] even if this has not been followed—as hoped—by cooperation from Teheran in putting an end to Assad.’



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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