Friday, August 7, 2009

"The Precondition For Hope Is Understanding Reality"

"The Obama brand offers us an image that appears radically individualistic and new; it inoculates us from seeing that the old engines of corporate power and the vast military industrial complex continue to plunder the country. Brand Obama is about being happy consumers. We are entertained; we feel hopeful; we like our president; we believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest. What for all our faith and hope has the Obama brand given us? His administration has spent, lent, or guaranteed 12.8 trillion in taxpayer dollars to Wall Street and insolvent banks in a doomed attempt to re-inflate the bubble economy, a tactic that at best forestalls catastrophe and will leave us broke in a time of profound crisis. Brand Obama has allocated nearly $1 trillion in defense-related spending and the continuation of our doomed imperial project in Iraq, where military planners now estimate that 70,000 troops will remain for the next 15-20 years. Brand Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan, including the use of drones sent on cross-border bombing runs into Pakistan that have left 700 civilians dead since Obama took office. Brand Obama has refused to ease the restrictions so workers can organize, and because of pressure from the for-profit health care industry refuses to consider single-payer, not-for-profit health care for all Americans, and Brand Obama will not prosecute the Bush administration for war crimes, including the use of torture, and has refused to dismantle Bush's secrecy laws or restore habeus corpus. ... Brand Obama does not threaten the core of the corporate state anymore than did Brand George W. Bush."

Now that is what I mean when I say Obama is more Bush than Bush. Those words come from Chris Hedges, of the left-wing It comes from a July 22nd speech at Town Hall Seattle. It's well worth a listen, especially for those who still see Obama as the bringer of change he pretended to be.