Posted by: Tony Carson | 4 December, 2009

Obama’s first 9 month, fear the next

Here’s an interesting exercise. Let’s reduce Gary Olson’s piece Obama’s First Nine Months: Change We Can Believe In? into bullet points:

• With Obama’s massive troop escalation (can the Nobel Peace Prize be rescinded?) he’s made Afghanistan his war, reminiscent of President Johnson’s Vietnam War escalation.

• At the current death rate of 500 soldiers per year the events depicted in the film will soon become a shattering reality for many more Americans.

• And next year Obama will spend some $65 billion on Afghanistan, more than for the Iraq war.   

• Afghanistan, the “Graveyard of Empires,” is this administration’s most egregious failing and is now fated to define Obama’s legacy.

• Beyond Afghanistian,

– maintaining permanent military bases and large garrisons in Iraq,

– allowing Israel to evade a just two state peace with the Palestinians,

– clandestine Blackwater (now Xe services) assassins roaming around Pakistan,

– the killing of hundreds of Pakistani civilians by CIA Predator drone attacks authorized by Obama early in his tenure, and

– a continuing U.S. military build-up in Colombia under the guise of a phony “war on drugs,” also are on the list.

After handing over almost $3 trillion to bankers,

– we have a jobless “economic recovery,”

– an official 10.2 percent unemployment rate which is actually 16.5 percent,

– the number of home foreclosures continues to rise and

– a country in which one in four children only manage to keep hunger pangs at bay because of food stamps and soup kitchens.

In the face of this situation Obama’s first stimulus package was pitifully small, and while it did “save” some jobs, it wasn’t nearly enough for serious job creation.

• Obama’s professed support for helping workers to unionize evaporated shortly after his inauguration.

• And under Obama’s watch, as noted by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, “Even as tens of millions of working Americans are struggling to hang onto their jobs and keep a roof over their families’ heads, the wise guys of Wall Street are licking their fat-cat chops over yet another round of obscene multibillion dollar bonuses — this time thanks to the bailout billions that were sent their way by Uncle Sam…”(10/20/09).

• The nine largest banks are distributing $32.6 billion in bonuses.

• But given the jobs crisis and depression-like situation confronting tens of millions of our fellow citizens, Obama found a record-breaking $664 billion for the Pentagon for fiscal 2010.

• Finally, Obama and many Democrats quickly abandoned government single payer national health insurance — the only plausible solution to our healthcare crisis — caving to the despicable, predatory, for-profit private health insurance lobbyists. (Note: These lobbyists gave $1.8 million to 18 key members of Congress).

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