Obama Expands War, Slaps Peace Voters

The Obama Administration has engineered a triple setback for the U.S. peace movement and the millions of Americans who opposed the Bush Administration’s unjust, illegal, immoral wars.

In the last two weeks of February, President Barack Obama — upon whom so many peace supporters had counted to change Washington’s commitment to wars and militarism — delivered these three blows to his antiwar constituency:

1. By ordering 17,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan Feb. 17, President Obama is continuing and expanding George W. Bush’s war. It’s Obama’s war now, and it’s getting much bigger.

2. By declaring Feb. 27 that up to 50,000 U.S. soldiers would remain in Iraq after “combat brigades” departed, President Obama is continuing the war in a country that remains a tragic victim of the Bush Administration’s aggression and which has taken the lives of over a million Iraqi civilians and has made refugees of 4.5 million people.

3. By announcing Feb. 26 that his projected 2010 Pentagon budget was to be even higher than budgets sought by the Bush Administration, President Obama was signaling that his commitment to the U.S. bloated war machine — even at a time of serious economic recession — was not to be questioned.

Whether or not Obama’s actions will revive the peace movement is another matter. Antiwar activism during the election year was minimal. And now that a Democrat is in the White House it may be further reduced, since most peace backers voted for Obama. The movement’s strength will be tested at the demonstrations in Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities on the sixth anniversary of the Iraq war March 21.

Two recent Washington Post/ABC News public opinion polls provide contradictory and disturbing results. In the January poll, 61% opposed any increase in U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan, and only 34% thought an increase was required. But a month later in the Feb. 26 poll, ABC News reported that “Nearly two-thirds of Americans [64%] support Barack Obama’s decision to send 17,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan — despite substantial skepticism on whether the war there has been worth fighting.” Only half the respondents in the new poll believed the war “was worth” fighting, yet a substantial majority backed the deployment.

The biggest support for Obama’s move came from Republicans, 77%. Democrats, who had been the most opposed in January, were 63% in favor. About 60% of independents were in favor as well. Among those “strongly in favor” Republicans were 52% and Democrats, 35%. “Among liberal Democrats it’s just 29%,” ABC News revealed.

The additional 17,000 troops will bring U.S. forces up to 55,000 in Afghanistan. This is opposed by the people of Afghanistan. In a recent poll of Afghan opinion by ABC, BBC and ARD (the German news consortium), only 18% approved of sending more foreign troops, and 44% wanted the existing number lowered. The new troops will be added as combat brigades are transferred from Iraq. The Pentagon still wants another 13,000 at some point. In addition there are 23,000 troops from eight NATO countries, largely in non-combat assignments. Secretary of Defense Gates, with negligible success, has been pressuring NATO to send more troops.

Many peace groups were critical of Obama’s Afghan surge. CODEPINK Women for Peace declared Feb. 19 it “is heartbroken and discouraged by the deployment,” saying it brought “a screeching halt to his rhetoric for change and moving our country in a new direction.”

In a statement Feb. 28, the ANSWER antiwar coalition declared: “President Obama decided not to challenge the [Bush Administration’s] fundamental strategic orientation in the region. That explains why he kept the Bush team — Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and Generals Petraeus and Odierno — on the job to oversee and manage the Iraq occupation. They will also manage the widening U.S. war in Afghanistan and the aerial assaults on Pakistan. There have been over 30 U.S. bombing attacks in Pakistan in the last two months.”

On Feb. 18 the UFPJ coalition stated that “military escalation will only exacerbate the horrors that now plague the region and that this escalation is not the answer for Afghanistan and it is not in the interests of the United States.”

One of the most descriptive critiques was from Justin Raimondo, the libertarian editor of Antiwar.com, who wrote in an article titled “The Silence of the Liberals”: “Antiwar voters who cast their ballots for Obama have succeeded in rolling the stone all the way up a rather steep hill, only to see it fall down the other side — and we are right back where we started. The next hill is called Afghanistan, and beyond that is yet another: Pakistan.”

Progressive war correspondent Patrick Cockburn, writing in The Independent (UK) Feb. 26, declared: “It is difficult to believe that the Obama administration is going to make as many crass errors as its predecessor …. The reinforced US military presence in Afghanistan risks provoking a backlash in which religion combines with nationalism to oppose foreign intervention.”

At this stage there are 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, and all but 50,000 or so will withdraw within 19 months, three months later than Obama pledged. In late February administration sources disclosed how many troops were scheduled to remain in Iraq, much to the consternation of Congressional Democratic leaders who were astonished by the high number. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, joined by New York Sen. Charles Schumer, Washington State’s Sen. Patty Murray, Wisconsin’s Sen. Russell Feingold, among others, all expressed the view that the number was too high.

Sen. John McCain, the defeated Republican presidential aspirant, supported the size of the “residual” force. He said Feb. 27 that Obama’s plan “can keep us on the right path in Iraq. I worry, however, about statements made by a number of our colleagues indicating that, for reasons wholly apart from the requirement to secure our aims in Iraq, we should aim at a troop presence much lower than 50,000.”

All U.S. troops are supposed to leave Iraq before 2012 under the withdrawal arrangement between former President Bush and Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki that was approved a few months ago — but that’s nearly three years from now and anything can happen.

Top American generals, led by Petraeus and Odierno, are known to believe that U.S. forces should remain in Iraq past Dec. 31, 2011. The arrangement can be changed if the Iraqi government “requests” that American forces remain, and this is entirely possible. A number of leading Iraqi politicians, well aware that they owe their power to Uncle Sam’s intervention, are said to prefer a longer occupation. The overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people, of course, have opposed the American presence throughout Bush’s, and now Obama’s, war.

President Obama chose to make public his withdrawal plans during a speech to 2,000 Marines at Camp Lejeune, NC, Feb. 27. He said the troops that remain in Iraq would be engaged in training, equipping and advising the Iraqi security forces, but administration sources indicated that some would engage in combat operations.

Obama lavishly praised the troops as he has done before. Last month, as he prepared to assume command of an Armed Forces engaged in two illegal wars foisted on the world by the neoconservative imperialists of the Bush Administration, Obama declared: “Our troops represent the best America has to offer,” an unfortunate incentive to the growth of a warrior culture in America. And to his Marine audience Obama made the following remark that turns history on its head:

“We sent our troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein’s regime — and you got the job done. We kept our troops in Iraq to help establish a sovereign government and you got the job done. And we will leave the Iraqi people with a hard-earned opportunity to live a better life – that is your achievement; that is the prospect that you have made possible.” The ANSWER coalition correctly noted that Obama “made Bush’s invasion sound like a liberating act and congratulated the troops.'”

We won’t go into the real causes of the war and occupation here, but in terms of the “better life” given to the Iraqis, here’s how Robert Dreyfuss describes the situation in Iraq today in the March 9 issue of The Nation: “Key political actors on all sides remain bolstered by paramilitary armies. Unemployment is vast, and basic services — electricity, water, trash collection, healthcare — are intermittent or nonexistent. The army and police are infiltrated by militias, and their loyalty is suspect. Baghdad is a bewildering maze of blast walls and sealed-off enclaves surrounding the fortress-like Green Zone, and the city is reeling from years of brutal ethnic cleansing. The provincial capitals are rife with intrigue, and many of them — Kirkuk, Mosul, Baquba and Basra, for instance — are perched at the brink of civil strife. And the elections themselves, in which millions of voters were disenfranchised, were deeply flawed.”

Life in pre-war Iraq was hard — U.S.-UN sanctions killed over a million people between 1991-2003 — but it was better than what has happened to that country during the devastating U.S. invasion and occupation.

The Obama Administration’s provisional Pentagon budget for fiscal 2010, which starts Oct. 1, was included in a 10-year general budget projection released by the White House Feb. 26. This preliminary war budget (a complete proposal will be made in April) increases “defense” spending by 4% over Bush’s budget for 2009.

In addition, President Obama is requesting a supplementary appropriation of $75.5 billion to finance the three wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and “on terrorism” until the end of September this year, and $130 billion “to support ongoing overseas contingency operations, while increasing efforts in Afghanistan and drawing down troops from Iraq responsibly.” Including the war costs, defense spending amounts to $664 billion, $10 billion more than 2009. These figures, however, are totally misleading — not in the allocations just listed but in the war money that is hidden in other sectors of the budget. All told, the war budget exceeds $1 trillion in 2010, as we explain in part 2 of our article on The Recession below.

Despite unlimited financing, the Pentagon has lost the war in Iraq. When the world’s greatest military juggernaut is fought to a stalemate by an erratic irregular force of perhaps 20,000 effectives, it is a defeat that cannot be covered up — at least by history — through a cosmetic “surge” consisting of equal parts violence and bribery. But the Obama Administration seems committed to a clear victory in Afghanistan (as were the British and Russians of previous eras, much to their chagrin). In the Department of Defense budget proposal the monies are to facilitate “achieving U.S. objectives in Afghanistan,” and those objectives of necessity include wiping out the military humiliation in Iraq.

Some of the war budget will go toward increasing the Army and Marines troop strength by a total of 90,000 new recruits. Recruitment, for the first time in years, has been successful in the last few months because of the recession. So many young people cannot find jobs that they are lining up to join the military. The budget also includes another pay increase for the Armed Forces, of about 3%.

Eventually, Obama is going to make the gesture of nominally reducing the overstuffed military budget, mainly concentrating on cutting some of the obsolete Cold War-type big-ticket items. He had been expected to do so upon taking office, but evidently saw the need to prove his militarist credentials to the Pentagon, Congressional Republicans, and the pro-war sector of American opinion. In time he will have to make some cuts, probably explaining it is a concession to the staggering economy.

Since taking office, President Obama has shown the back of his hand to the U.S. antiwar movement, which consists in large majority of Democratic Party voters. Expanding the Afghan war, keeping troops many years longer in Iraq, and increasing war spending is exactly what those voters didn’t want. It’s certainly not the “change” they believed in.

If the Obama supporters who genuinely opposed Bush’s wars now become silent or reduce their antiwar activities because a Democrat is in the White House, our peace movement, and the humanitarian cause it represents — already weakened since the “surge” — is headed for very difficult times indeed. And without that movement the political pressure for peace will quickly dissipate.

Jack A. Smith is the editor of the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter. He can be reached at jacdon@earthlink.net. Read other articles by Jack.

36 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Ramsefall said on March 2nd, 2009 at 9:46am #

    Obama declared: “Our troops represent the best America has to offer,”. Actually, I think he meant to say that those troops are the only thing Amerika has to offer any more.

    He also stated that “We sent our troops to Iraq to do away with Saddam Hussein’s regime — and you got the job done. We kept our troops in Iraq to help establish a sovereign government and you got the job done. And we will leave the Iraqi people with a hard-earned opportunity to live a better life – that is your achievement; that is the prospect that you have made possible.”

    The O-Bomb is so full of sh*t his eyes are brown. Onward ho with the Amerikan Empire!

    All those who blindly voted for the most acceptable corporate representative, I ask you again; how do you like your agent of change now? Brace yourselves, the duping ain’t over yet.

    Best to all.

  2. Myles Hoenig said on March 2nd, 2009 at 9:58am #

    Liberals and peace activists have been ‘punked’ by Obama.
    Their very support of him proved that there is no real anti-war movement in this country. Obama was very specific in the campaign of supporting the (permanent) occupation and expanding the war into Afghanistan and likely Pakistan.
    Peace activists for Obama is like Jews for Buchanan, but with no excuse.

    We better not see such hypocrites at any future peace march because they helped get warmongering Obama elected. A Republican victory with a strong Democratic House and Senate would have put the brakes on this war immediately. Boy, would the Dems have been pissed and would have done something. But no, they got what they wanted and innocent people will die because of it.

  3. Brittancus said on March 2nd, 2009 at 10:20am #


    Don’t let E-Verify expire and play into the hands of the corporate overlords and pro-illegal immigration special Interest lobby.

    It seems incoherent to me that Americans cannot conceive, that they have the ultimate power to halt this corruption. The major priority is to stop illegal labor getting work. American workers must command mandatory E-verify from the inanimate politicians? Don’t let the corporate overlords win anymore. March 6th, is the deadline to stop this corruption in the Congress. Don’t hesitate to stop head traitor Harry Reid of Nevada-secretly erode the power of E-Verify?

    Angeleno’s have the power to rid it’s city of ILLEGAL ALIENS! The strain on California finances, have been directly effected by supporting millions of illegal foreigners that have melted into Los Angeles county neighborhoods. This once peaceful city is the domain of cold-blooded gang killers, who now roam the streets, because of pro-illegal alien “Sanctuary City” policies. Mayor Villaraigosa has done nothing, to resist the impoverished who have slipped across the border. Property owners, gas taxes are taxed to the hilt, owing to the drain on state benefits caused by illegal immigration. The whole country is feeling the financial pressure, from paying for schooling, health care and prisons. Your also paying for traffic gridlock, and high environmental damage caused by overpopulation.

    Explode your anger at these lawmakers on the capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121. Leave a message for President Obama at 202) 224-3121

    Read what JUDICIAL WATCH has to say about political corruption

  4. Tree said on March 2nd, 2009 at 10:53am #

    Did anyone really listen to Obama during the campaign? He regularly revised his plans for Iraq so that it was clear by November he had no intention to remove all troops permenantly. He also made it clear that he intended to go into Afghanistan.
    To claim that Obama showed peace activists the back of his hand once in office is quite a stretch.

  5. Max Shields said on March 2nd, 2009 at 11:02am #

    Myles, I generally agree with your comment above, but don’t think the Dems are about halting war. Perhaps there would have been a rekindling of a so-called marginalized anti-war “movement”.

    What we have is very dangerous in the larger picture. We have no check on escalation, but we have a Pelosi saying inane things like “why the need for 50,000 troops, I mean I can see the need for some, maybe a third30,000 or a little more maybe 25,000 to 30,000 troops, but I don’t see the need for 50,000 troops.

    Ok so this phony “push back” is a joke on one level (afer all why do we need ANY troops in Iraq for christ’s sake!!!). But the little game being played is the faux liberal appeasement without muscle.

    The Bush and Obama administrations are substantively the same on nearly every issue, particularly when it comes to empire and war. McCain basically campaigned on Obama’s “policies”.

    I suspect if 911 had happened with Clinton or Obama they would have had no resistence to the Iraq invasion. I suspect that invasion would have been cooked regardless of the POTUS.

    The problem is the system, the empire and it’s military industrial complex, the mass media that supports all of this.

    We are at the end. We have no more gas in the tank and Obama is just pushing what is left over the clift. Children are marching in DC about coal. Soon that will be the least of their worries. The Party is Over!!

    The DOW is under 7,000 and falling. A horrible measurement, but it is what this economy runs on, beneath it is the real demon – Peak Oil and Net Energy. And Obama is ratcheting up a WAR!!

  6. rg the lg said on March 2nd, 2009 at 11:49am #

    The US has NEVER been anything less than an empire … with all of the negative connotations that has … whether in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia.

    Read Blum, Killing Hope. It has to be read in small doses … it will make you sick of being an USan … and the truly sad thing about the Blum book? Follow his footnotes … read the stuff in his bibliography … it all hangs together as a damning indictment for what we blithely refer to as the good guys. We are implicitly and explicitly NOT good guys … whether to our friends or our alleged enemies.

    And for the naive, yes we HAVE mucked about in Australian politics!

    Check it out …

    RG the LG
    ( … and they/you wonder why I am cynical? The REAL question is: why aren’t you? Naivete only goes so far and then it becomes complicit behavior … which means that 9/11 was as much your own fault as it was al Queda! Even your alleged innocents aren’t by virtue of being USans! And, yes, that includes me.)

  7. danny ray said on March 2nd, 2009 at 12:54pm #

    Tree you have said it in a nut shell, No one and I mean No One heard anything Curious George said during the whole two year election process.

    #1 All the demo’s wanted was to be back in power and PBO was the ticket.

    #2 It ( the election) was run like a really cheesy reality show. nothing but sound bites and if it did not play well his handelers did not show it.

    #3 He (pbo) is like a pop star or an entertainment celeb he has no substance, Or as my grandpappy used to say “he is all show and no go”

    # 4 no one listens to paris hilton and the like so why wold Americans listen to PBO.

    Tree this man is shredding the constitution every day. and no one seems to care.

  8. Max Shields said on March 2nd, 2009 at 1:37pm #

    Tree you are absolutely right. A few, Jeremy Scahill comes to mind, were like lazers on the fact that Obama was a centrist with continued occupation war intentions.

    On DV most commentators HEARD Obama lound and clear. The reality is what was but a tiny flicker of protest has been extinguished. As I mentioned there is some i

  9. Tree said on March 2nd, 2009 at 1:40pm #

    Uh oh. Did Max keel over mid-comment?

  10. mike said on March 2nd, 2009 at 2:11pm #

    I agree with Myles up above. I also don’t think there’s much chance of seeing the faux liberals/faux progressives who voted for messiah at future peace marches because they will not want to demonstrate/protest against their lord and savior Obama because he’s from their Dem Team. Instead they will most likely say give the “you have to give him time” line or the “he may not be perfect” line.

    All during the campaign, I did my best to present messiah’s Bush-accomplice voting record to the Obamabots. They didn’t want to hear it. They also didn’t want to hear what messiah was saying during the campaign (such as talk about attacking Pakistan and Iran). When I mentioned in any of this stuff to the Obamabots, they became angry, called me a “troll.” All they wanted to hear was the simplistic marketing slogans “hope” and “change we can believe in.” The Obamabots asked me the usual: “What’s your solution?” When I said I intended to vote for Nader/Gonzalez then they began their usual tirade against Nader for supposedly being the reason Bush was in the White House in the first place. Sigh.

    Also, all during the campaign the Obamabots kept saying how they would “hold his feet to the fire.” I don’t see them doing anything. Do you? Most seem to be remaining silent because they are of the mindset that one does not criticize someone from their own Dem Team…their own savior. Well, how can you “hold his feet to the fire” (as you claimed you would do) by being silent? The only people I see “holding his feet to the fire” are the Republicans, and they are in the MINORITY.

  11. mike said on March 2nd, 2009 at 2:19pm #

    Hola Brittancus,

    I am deeply offended by your immigrant bashing. We are a nation of immigrants. I would expect to read that bile/hatred you wrote on a rabid, right-wing trash forum but I’m sorry to see it on here.

    No human being is “illegal” or an “alien.” We are all citizens of this planet Earth. It’s long overdue that people stop this “us versus them” mentality which accomplishes nothing. And if you have a problem with immigrants, tell it to the Native Americans.

    It’s terribly unfortunate that you feel the need to trash immigrants. Your anger should be directed at OUTSOURCING of thousands and thousands of jobs from this nation to China and India, for example, as well as bad trade policies. Nearly everything I see in the stores says “Made in China” on it. That has nothing to do with immigrants.

    I appreciate the many contributions of immigrants whether they are documented or undocumented. To all immigrants, I say: Gracias and Paz.

  12. BILL LAWRENCE said on March 2nd, 2009 at 2:22pm #

    Also, by not attending the international conference on racism because of our commitment to the Israeli war machine, we are condoning the worst form of racism, apartheid. What a great t-shirt “MY BLACK PRESIDENT SUPPORTS APARTHEID”. Sometimes the truth not only hurts but it’s as ugly as hell.

  13. mike said on March 2nd, 2009 at 2:28pm #

    A Republican victory with a strong Democratic House and Senate would have put the brakes on this war immediately.—Myles Hoenig

    I mis-read that the first time. I don’t agree with that at all. Most of the Dems love war, death and killing just as much as the Republicans, just like most of the Dems have fallen for the so-called “war on terror” nonsense.

  14. Max Shields said on March 2nd, 2009 at 2:36pm #

    Tree, yea, I must have nodded off.

    Obama is doing pretty much what he said he was going to do. But he played the game of equivocating to the devoted crowd. While I didn’t “follow” everything O said at every stump speech, looking back at various quotes, it does appear he was all over the map. He said the same things over and again, but depending on the full context…someone really wanting to believe would simply start humming “yes we can”.

    I’m just too much of a cynic with far too many political elections behind me to let him slip slide. Each of his speeches always ended on the side of Bush. He might start talking as if the “war” “Iraq” were all wrong, but by the end, he contradicted all that came before.

    The Obamaites see a man of “great integrity” with some “mis-steps” but all and all an “improvement”, blah blah blah.

    During the campaign these Obamaites could never speak to specifics. For them everything was wrapped in this magnificant afterglow; and it’s still at work. The sweeping generalities, the good “war”, rendition and torture-lite, continued occupation, etc. etc. These are all too nuanced for them. They keep hearing “Yes we can.” and everything that follows is just a soundtrack of jumbled medlies.

    Nothing visceral in America. It’s all cool. Obama has contributed to the apathy of cool.

    But, here, on DV, Tree, there was much growling about what Obama was actually saying.

    In America it is better to be an intelligent murder than a perceive idiot murder. Reality awaits us just around the corner…

  15. Tree said on March 2nd, 2009 at 2:51pm #

    Yes, Max and why anyone would expect anyone to fix a severely broken system when they are part of the system? “Yes we can” continue on the same path.
    But what can you expect from that world when Karl Rove is now a commentator on This Week with George (I’m totally impartial) Stephanopoulos? That would be like making Charles Manson the new host of America’s Most Wanted. But people will watch and listen to what he has to say like it’s no big deal. At least he hasn’t won the Nobel Peace Prize yet.

  16. Myles Hoenig said on March 2nd, 2009 at 3:33pm #

    To Mike:
    The reason why I feel the brakes would have been on if it was a split election (R taking the WH and the D taking Congress) is because both parties, and maybe especially the Democrats, are far more into taking power than taking a principled approach. It would have been out of spite that a 21st C. Boland Amendment would have been enacted.

  17. HR said on March 2nd, 2009 at 3:52pm #

    Apparently the “peace voters” weren’t listening during the campaign, so enthralled they were by their new messiah.

  18. mike said on March 2nd, 2009 at 4:01pm #

    To Myles:

    You wrote: “The reason why I feel the brakes would have been on if it was a split election (R taking the WH and the D taking Congress) is because both parties, and maybe especially the Democrats, are far more into taking power than taking a principled approach.”

    The Dems are far more into taking power? I can’t agree with that. I really don’t see the Dems having any interest in taking power. If they were, impeachment would not have been “off the table” after they became the majority and they wouldn’t have helped Bush accomplish most of his agenda for 8 years. It’s the Republicans who are far more into taking power. They get their agenda rammed through whether they are in the minority or the majority in congress. The same cannot be said about the Dems.

  19. Myles Hoenig said on March 2nd, 2009 at 4:23pm #

    One reason to consider why impeachment was off the table is that it would have shown the obvious complicity in war crimes committed by Pelosi and so many others. It’s not wise to air dirty laundry when you’re not sure which laundry basket is going to be be rummaged through.
    Republican defenders of Bush, Rumsfeld, etc. would so easily show how the Democrats were as much behind all of it as they were, except in very specific cases. In principle, the Democrats were mostly all behind the war and the occupation, especially its leadership.

  20. Myles Hoenig said on March 2nd, 2009 at 4:30pm #

    Also, just because the Dems don’t get their agenda rammed through is more due to their incompetence as legislators. The Republicans have proved to be a far superior political party with regards to agenda and discipline.
    Another reason why impeachment was off the table was for fear that standing up for principles could cost them future elections. That was utter cowardice and further proof that they would violate their oaths of office, by not holding such criminals liable, if it meant a possible victory in the next election.

    It’s not important to quibble over which party is more power hungry. I hope we can agree that both parties are equally responsible for the bloodshed in the middle east.

  21. Brian said on March 2nd, 2009 at 4:37pm #

    Because I actually listened to this neo liberal, imperialist pol, I didn’t vote for him.

    Sadly, I couldn’t convince anyone in mycircle of friends to actually pay attention, their fascination with celebrity, good looks and good voice having overwhelmed the thinking part of their brain.

  22. mike said on March 2nd, 2009 at 8:24pm #

    I hope we can agree that both parties are equally responsible for the bloodshed in the middle east.—Myles Hoenig

    Yes. As well as the shredding of the US Constitution, the erosion of civil liberties and the destruction of this nation.

  23. Boyd Collins said on March 2nd, 2009 at 9:00pm #

    The enthusiasm over Obama has been manufactured in order to evoke the illusion of change. This illusion is extremely useful for many purposes, but primarily because it allows the same policies to be pursued with different apparent justifications. In electing Obama, the ruling elite have spectacularly succeeded in their purpose – to continue the policies of the Bush Administration under new management.

    I don’t think there’s a need to buy into conspiracy theories. The conspiracy is out in the open, not hidden. There is a psyops operation going on against the American people, but the propaganda machine and those behind it are fairly easy to identify. It consists of the heads of transnational corporations and Wall Street banks, along with their minions in government. It consists of those who have grown fabulously rich from neoliberal policies and wish to continue imposing the same policies. The ruling elite does not consist of evil individuals who are constantly scheming towards world domination, but of clever and accomplished people of differing moral characters, who have pursued a strategy that has resulted in great personal success. That success has been accomplished in a particular economic and political context that they wish to preserve because by preserving it, they can preserve their wealth and sense of accomplishment. So far their strategy seems to be working extremely well.

  24. Beverly said on March 2nd, 2009 at 9:14pm #

    The “peace movement” has been dead for decades. Its participants are dumb as a stump as evidenced by their zombie-like support for anti-war posers like Obama and Hillary.

    The feigned shock over Obama’s “troop surge” is laughable. Throughout the campaign and election, he left no doubt as to where his foreign policy agenda was going.

    Perhaps the draft needs to be reinstated. The threat of being sent to the Afghan front might be enough to light a fire under the peaceniks and progressives to awaken them from their Obama/Democrats Rock! stupor and raise enough ruckus to force their President and Congress to end their warmongering.

    Obama showing his loyal subjects the back of his hand? He’ll be mooning them on CNN one day if they keep allowing him to piss all over every bit of “hope and change” they voted for.

  25. Tree said on March 3rd, 2009 at 6:35am #

    Beverly makes a good point, as long as the wars don’t affect “them” fewer people will care. But reinstate the draft and people will care, whether they support peace or not.
    As for the peace movement being dead, I think there are many people in America who work for and support peace and anti-war ideals. Whether or not they are part of a “movement” is something I don’t know a lot about. However, not every thought, belief, idea, needs to be a movement. There are plenty of independent minds out there who are wary of groups.

  26. MrCynic3 said on March 3rd, 2009 at 8:37am #


    Brittancus has a good valid point, so please think before attacking him.
    Brittancus is not bashing immigrants but he is objecting to the flood of
    ILLIGAL immigrants that is flooding the country and its bad effects
    on job oppotunities, wages, and working conditions for the working
    class of this country. Nobody can deny that , can you.??
    When illegal immigrants flood an area there is a marked detoriation
    in the quality of life in that area and a marked rise in crime. Nobody can deny that , can you?? Even most of their fellow compatiots who were born here agree with that and object to illigal immigration.
    Please come down of your ivory tower and be a defender of your fellow
    working people. What are you doing is you are playing in the hands of big business who wants to open the doors for illigal immigrants to insure an endless supply of cheap and intimidated workers who will accept everything dished at them and will object to nothing.
    Your attitude is rewarding the corproate over-lords and penalising the
    working people twice: first they see their jobs outsourced, second
    they have to compete with illigal immigrants for the little jobs left .
    Yes, outsourcing of jobs should be stoped and also illigal immigration
    should be stoped too.
    Let us face it, there is no room in this country for everyone who wants to come here and settle. Do you think this realistic and make sense??!!
    come and settle here .
    Please do not call me a racist becaus I am not. I am an immigrant who
    came here legally and I am not from Europe!!!

  27. Skip said on March 3rd, 2009 at 9:52am #

    Don’t blame me … I voted for the woman and the old guy!

  28. Myles Hoenig said on March 3rd, 2009 at 3:41pm #

    Yes. As well as the shredding of the US Constitution, the erosion of civil liberties and the destruction of this nation.- Mike

    No argument there, bro.

    To Beverly: I understand Rangle’s position in the past (and yours) of supporting a draft in order to make all feel the pain. The only problem is that people, and most likely exclusively men, will be forced into involuntary servitude, destroying their lives, their families’ lives and adding more fodder for the cannons while a movement tries to get off its ass to do something in the meantime.

    In our country, the liberal anti-warniks will still find a way of getting out of it, by offering to do community service or something that the urban and rural poor won’t realistically have a shot at.

  29. mike said on March 3rd, 2009 at 6:13pm #


    This thread is about “Obama Expands War, Slaps Peace Voters.”
    It is not about immigration.

    I responded to Brittancus yesterday (or are you one-in-the-same people?) because I can’t stand to let hate/bile towards immigrants remain unchallenged whenever I read it. That is why I responded to Brittancus (or you, if you are Brittancus). I said all I have to say on the issue yesterday.

  30. MrCynic3 said on March 3rd, 2009 at 7:36pm #


    No I am not Brittancus. There is no “hate/bile” toward “immigrants”.
    You didn’t respond to any of the points I raised and please don’t
    confuse and mix legal and illegal immigration.

  31. HR said on March 3rd, 2009 at 9:52pm #

    Beverly, their shock isn’t feigned. It’s real. As you said, they are dumb as stumps.

  32. mike said on March 3rd, 2009 at 9:52pm #


    My response is the following:

    If this nation (the States) has a volcano erupt, such as Yellowstone National Park (see link below) and this nation only has hours to evacuate the entire nation, I’m sure *you* would not run south of the border, would you? Would you *illegally* (to use your word) cross the border into México and become an “ILLEGAL” (your word and the way you write it)? Of course you would to survive and eat. Get it?


    (What goes around comes around).

  33. Eric said on March 4th, 2009 at 7:41am #


    I agree with Skip.

    Don’t blame me I voted for McGovern!

    The truth is that Obama is doing what he has always done. Say one good thing and then contradict it with bad actions. During the campaign Obama did more war mongering than McCain. Obama only told two lies during he campaign, that he was hope and change. As to the rest of his positions, those that voted for him did not pay attention.

    We have aguy in the White House who is slicker than slick Willy. Toward the end of his address to the nation, Obama said he wanted everyone to have a tax free retirment savings account right after he mentioned a needed discussion on social security. Sounds to me like he wants to privitize social security.

    Put nothing past Barry O.


  34. MrCynic3 said on March 4th, 2009 at 9:03am #


    Natural disasters could happen anywhere, anytime to anybody, whether he/she is “good’ or “bad” or “in between”.
    so, basing any country policies on that is “in my humble opinion” absurd and definitely is not advised.

  35. Tree said on March 4th, 2009 at 9:29am #

    Yellowstone has a cork? Is that anywhere near the world’s largest ball of twine?

  36. mike said on March 4th, 2009 at 4:48pm #

    MrCynic3 wrote:

    Natural disasters could happen anywhere, anytime to anybody, whether he/she is “good’ or “bad” or “in between”.
    so, basing any country policies on that is “in my humble opinion” absurd and definitely is not advised.”

    And that was not my point nor was I saying that. You missed the point. Never mind.