The Clothes Wear a New Emperor

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.

— Barack Hussein Obama, 44th U.S. President

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

— Edgar Allan Poe

“Jesus”, I mutter under my breath, shaking my head while watching the public’s eruptive reception for their new leader rolling down President Lane centered in the epitome of motorcade style; not even Hollywood can trump this well-rehearsed and synchronized, symbolic performance of imperial power transfer. From the other America far to the south, my Internet broadcast gets me close enough to taste the action emanating from up north.

If nothing else, the 43rd Presidential Inauguration is a stark contrast to the rotten-tomato-chucking hissing and booing of the 42nd’s Second Act just a short four years ago…ah, how we’re living better days already. Don’t you just have the feeling now that everything is gonna be all right? And look, The Obamas and Bidens are actually walking joyously and interacting with their supporters instead of speeding through the hazards of an angry mob – it’s all so Poetic.

Even the announcer’s voice echoing throughout the streets of D.C. has a subliminal effect as it prophetically rings, “Enjoy the event!” For just a moment, if you would, go beyond the surface of how it sounds and interpret the real message, “Enjoy it while you can, suckers!”, as the crowd sops it up like gravy. Well, at least that’s what my gut is telling me as I observe this pacific display of Amerikan tradition and nationalism

In a very juxtaposed sense I’m taken back to September 11th all over again, as I, like so many, watched the drama unfold, but with immediate questions like, “What happened to the F-16s? How did the towers possibly drop at what appeared to be free-fall speed and crumble to dust? Why did Building 7 collapse in such perfect, demolition fashion? How long until the Empire’s freedom machine goes to the Middle East? Who are the men behind the curtain?” Now, as I witness this historic and ceremonial event on January 20, 2009, I’m vexed as to how President Barack Obama intends to redirect the United States of America toward a more hopeful future for his fellow countrymen and women.

Reducing this charade to the essence of what it really is shouldn’t be like a layman attempting to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs – it’s all so superficially spun as a bright spot on the dark, blood-stained canvass of the past eight years…and far beyond if we really feel like coughing it up. What the world is viewing is simply la crème de la crème de ilusión at the hands of the media gurus and their Establishment cohorts.

I am in utter disbelief for two reasons: how can so many people be buying all this, and how could the new president, even for the graceful sake of formality, actually thank the outgoing President Bush for his service to the nation? I’ll tell you, honestly, I’d be losing my lunch if it weren’t already digested.

The Guest of Honor goes on to boast about the “skill and vision of those in high office”. He couldn’t be referring to the criminals who got the nation into its present mess; the Wall Street crooks and capitalist pigs who created what might turn out to be Great Depression II, or the 530 thugs in Congress who continue to support Israel as it commits genocide in Gaza. Or, could he?

“Prepare the nation for a new age” is what President Obama encourages to fellow citizens; some 30 million men and women who go without health care, men and women who are losing their jobs, men and women who are experiencing foreclosure on their homes, men and women who have renewed faith in the system that screws them. The world is still in the age of the never-ending war against terror, so what new age might he be referring to? I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see if that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow really exists for anyone who isn’t elite.

President Obama declared that “greatness must be earned”, inadvertently condescending or not, it’s something that the solemn-faced, has-been George Bush failed miserably to achieve. The President’s words were also extended to international leaders by insisting that their people will “judge you by what you build, not what you destroy. (sic)” Time will tell on what grounds the 44th President will someday be judged, and the degree of greatness which he may earn.

The Emperor may be new – image, articulation and character – but the clothes are sewn from the same silky, rhetorical themes of nobility, prosperity and patriotism which have been so deceptively and manipulatively spewed forth at previous inaugurations. National security, jobs, production, economy, education, leadership – Amerika’s greatness and its God-proclaimed responsibility to lead the world is just as farcically magnanimous as it has been for so many generations.

For now, the permeating and “nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable” may be temporarily paused for Obama supporters – the people who “have chosen hope over fear.” However, the days of jabbering at the jaw about change is over, the day has arrived for Obama to put his money where his mouth is and deliver on his campaign slogan.

I wonder: will Guantanamo be shut down by week’s end?

Perhaps we all just need to give the guy a break, grab our ankles, hope for the best and see what becomes of his presidency. Provided of course, you completely disregard the nation’s history and fail to see US political reality for what it is – illusion at its finest.

As Jesus Christ so wisely warned, “Beware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

Ramsefall is a high school English teacher who lives in Colombia. He is also a lifetime student who contributes socially as a free-lance writer, volunteer, and activist. Read other articles by Ramsefall, or visit Ramsefall's website.

13 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. John Hatch said on January 21st, 2009 at 2:03pm #

    What a great article.
    I’m holding my breath. Guantanamo will close. Apologies will be delivered. 9/11 will be investigated, and not by Henry Kissinger. Israel will be told to take a flying leap. Banksters will be put in jail. Cheney, Halliburton, and Blackwater will be tried. Petreus will be demoted to private. Everyone will get healthcare. Homelessness will be addressed. Children will get an adequate education. Pigs will fly.

  2. lichen said on January 21st, 2009 at 2:42pm #

    It doesn’t matter if Gauntanamo closes if/since the humans imprisoned and tortured there will just be moved to prisons in other countries where they will be tortured and imprisoned on behalf of the american government.

  3. rosemarie jackowski said on January 21st, 2009 at 3:03pm #

    Gitmo is just the tip of the iceberg. What about the whole system of US secret prisons all around the world – what about the one on Diego Garcia? Until the Black Budget is eliminated, there will be a secret prison system in violation of International Law and human rights. If any other country on Earth operated this way, we would be talking about nuking them. Any we wonder why ‘they’ hate us……

  4. Ramsefall said on January 21st, 2009 at 5:43pm #

    lichen and rosemarie,

    Of course Gitmo is just the tip, I agree, and prisoners would just be located somewhere that’s not only farther away, but also farther to moniter…out of sight, out of mind, so to speak. That’s somewhat of a no-brainer.

    However, and quite critical, it would be the most immediate, symbolic gesture Obama could make out of the gates to get the international community on his side even more. Reparations have to be made now, not later. Let the Cubans have their sovereignty, it would clear an easier path for diplomacy with Latin America. If Obama overlooks this gesture, the neighbors to the south will make their objection heard loud and clear. Just wait and see.


    John Hatch,

    I appreciate your support, and I won’t be surprised when pigs grow wings.

    Thanks, and best to all.

  5. Josie Michel-Brüning said on January 22nd, 2009 at 7:36am #

    Yes, I agree with all of you.
    And, as I always want to remind you:
    The next most important not only symbolic gesture should be to free the Cuban Five, unjustly held in U.S. prisons since more than 10 years just for monitoring of terrorist acts against their homeland.
    And of course, the black journalist, Mumia Abu Jamal should be released from prison, as well as Leonard Peltier and many other “nameless” persons.

  6. Garrett said on January 22nd, 2009 at 7:42am #

    Obama said, “We won’t apologize for our way of life.”

    Until we do apologize, and until we drastically change our way of life, there’s not much chance that the international community will be on “our” side.

    Mass murder, absurd greed and consumerism, exploitation of cheap labor, destruction of the environment…put an end to all of that and then we’ll be well on our way to making things right.

  7. Tree said on January 22nd, 2009 at 7:50am #

    I agree, Garrett. I heard that and it made me cringe.
    Good piece, Ramsesfall. I think one of the reasons people believe things will change is because they don’t want to do the work themselves, so they look to others to fix things. They still believe in the system and they are fools.

  8. Michael Hureaux said on January 22nd, 2009 at 8:45am #

    Amazing as ever is the level of duplicity people learn to swallow to make the scheme work. My teaching colleague, a fervent Obama supporter, was explaining to me yesterday the need to use the government to recreate the auto industry and “make it profitable” again. Any comments I make about the president’s continued silence on the recent Israeli atrocities in Gaza get the silent treatment. They don’t feel like dealing with the reality that Obama marks a more sophisticated public bailout of private wealth and international usury, so they just don’t deal with the criticism.

    We must overcome Reaganism (corporate state restoration) by becoming more like the Reaganites, and where we can’t handle dissent, we’ll just simply throw it out of the room. When it won’t leave, we’ll use phasers. If it gets too loud, we’ll kill it.

  9. Max Shields said on January 22nd, 2009 at 8:47am #


    thank you for your contribution to DV.

    As to the question of Gitmo closing by weeks’ end, the answer is no. If Obama signs off (which may or may not have happened yet) it’s my understanding it will be a year before that happens. That means for one year people will be held in confinement without due process during the Obama administration.

  10. Josie Michel-Brüning said on January 22nd, 2009 at 9:07am #

    Please, tell me in which concrete projects you are involved for changing your system, which is dominating all the so called developed countries?
    What about using any little chance, which is given?
    For instance, why not taking the opportunity of Obama’s invitation to all of you making recommendations and suggestions for his proclaimed “change”?
    As for me, I freely confess, the case of the Cuban Five is one outstanding peak of the iceberg. If the American people were only informed about it they could help but supporting their freedom and rehabilitation. As we here in Germany learned about the might of polls for instance in the case of the little Cuban boy, Elian González, you could set a sign to the world, visit .

  11. Ramsefall said on January 22nd, 2009 at 12:07pm #


    I agree that making an unwaivering attempt to change is worth more than apologies. For now, though, the world IS on Obama’s side, for the most part…hope is apparently contagious.

    A French colleague of mine just mentioned to me at lunch how the entire French press is basking in the glorious Obamian sun, they love the guy. Of course, that’s not hard to believe after tolerating his dip shit predecessor for the past eight years.



    thanks for the props, and I concur with you, many are looking for someone else to fix things for them. What they may not realize is that if they don’t put forth the effort and hold their Pres’ feet to the fire, not much will get done.



    you’re welcome, and right back at you for your consistent comments on this site.

    Apparently the order was signed this morning to close Gitmo within a year, according to personal sources…haven’t had time to catch up with the day’s news as of yet. Why does it have to wait a year, though, is my question? And more importantly, when will he lift the Cuban embargo, and free the Cuban five? As lichen and rosemarie astutely identify, prisoners will just be shipped off somewhere outside of kicking distance. The move is at least symbolic for other leaders of this hemisphere.

    Sorry about the initial goof in my article’s introduction…gotta slow down and proof better.

    Best to all.

  12. Garrett said on January 22nd, 2009 at 2:33pm #

    One, I think the euphoria over Obama (or, rather, Bush’s departure) has been overstated. Two, it’s meaningless in the long run.

    There’s no reason to believe the US government and its people will be significantly less imperialistic, corrupt, dishonest, ignorant, murderous, destructive, greedy, racist, sexist and hateful because Democrats are in charge.

    Sorry for not being Mr. Happy Optimistic Guy.

  13. Josie Michel-Brüning said on January 22nd, 2009 at 3:06pm #

    Sorry, I’m trying to give another comment from the “off” in Germany: You are the people, or are you not?