These Are Obama’s Wars Now

It’s time to toss those Obama t-shirts in the trash.

On Monday the Democrat controlled House voted 226-202 to approve a rushed $106 billion dollar war spending bill, guaranteeing more carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan (and lately Pakistan) until September 30, 2009, which marks the end of the budget year. The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill’s first draft last month, with the final vote on a compromised version to occur in the Senate sometime in the next couple of weeks.

The majority of opposition in the House came from Republicans who opposed an add-on to the bill that would open up a $5 billion International Monetary Fund line of credit for developing countries. This opposition in the House led Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday to quip, “It’ll be interesting to see what happens here. Are my Republican colleagues [in the Senate] going to join with us to fund the troops? I hope so.”

No longer can the blame for the turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan rest at the feet of George W. Bush alone. This is now Obama’s War on Terror, fully funded and operated by the Democratic Party.

The bill that passed the House on Monday, once approved by the Senate, will not be part of the regular defense budget as it’s off the books entirely. Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress has passed similar emergency spending bills to finance US military ventures in the Middle East. The combined “supplementals” are fast approaching $1 trillion, with 30% going to fund the war in Afghanistan.

In addition to the latest increase in war funds, Obama is also asking for an additional $130 billion to be added on to the defense budget for the new fiscal year starting on October 1. The president is upholding his campaign promise to escalate the war in Afghanistan, which also means increasing the use of remote controlled drone planes in neighboring Pakistan that are to blame for hundreds of civilian deaths since Obama took office last January.

Despite Obama’s historic (albeit rhetoric filled) speech in Cairo, the new Commander in Chief is still not about to radically change, let alone reform, the US’s long-standing role in the Middle East. A master of his craft, Obama is simply candy coating the delivery of US imperialism in the region. Given the lack of opposition to Obama’s policies back home, it is becoming clear that he may well be more dangerous than his predecessor when it comes to the US’s motivations internationally.

Had Bush pushed for more military funds at this stage, the antiwar movement (if you can call it that) would have been organizing opposition weeks in advance, calling out the neocons for wasting our scarce tax dollars during a recession on a never-ending, directionless war. But since Obama’s a Democrat, a beloved one at that, mums the word.

Certainly a few progressive Democrats are dismayed by what the Obama administration is up to, but how many of these Democrats that are upset now will be willing to break rank and oppose their party when it matters most, like during the midterm elections coming up next year? Obama had the majority of antiwar support shored up while he ran for the presidency, with absolutely no demands put on his candidacy. And not surprisingly, antiwar progressives have little to show for their fawning support.

All this begs a few questions: If not now, when exactly will Obama’s policies be scrutinized with the same veracity that Bush’s were? When will the media end its love affair with Obama and hold his feet to the fire like they did Bush once the wheels fell off the war in Iraq? When will progressives see their issues as paramount and oppose Obama and the Democratic Party until they embrace their concerns?

If these questions are not answered soon, we are in for many more years of war and bloodshed, funded by US taxpayers and approved by a Democrat controlled White House and Congress.

Joshua Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published by AK Press in June 2008. Check out the Red State Rebels site. Read other articles by Joshua.

45 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Michael Dawson said on June 18th, 2009 at 10:35am #

    Obama = Reagan 2.0. Simple as that. Dig the widening gulf between Obie’s approval ratings and the growing hate for his shitty status-quo policies. He’s Ronnie redux.

    The only difference is that overclass needs a happy-face ideological cover-story now, rather than Rambo-talk.

    The underlying reality is the exact same — serve the capitalists, sell the system.

  2. bozh said on June 18th, 2009 at 11:06am #

    All wars [?180] waged by US are uncle sam’s wars; i.e., that of the plutocracy or of about 10% of US pop with 001% of that the [creme de la creme ] on the top rung of a ladderlike structure of command.

    one may or may not include prez/his team in the 001% of the 10% who are gung-ho for any easy war.

    i am aware that actually 98% of amers have supported and support now US wars.
    i suggest strongly, that the 98% wld have not approved of more than two of those wars had they been informed.tnx

  3. KL5 said on June 18th, 2009 at 1:53pm #

    “i am aware that actually 98% of amers have supported and support now US wars.”

    Where did you learn English? How have you found the 98% out?

    “i suggest strongly, that the 98% wld have not approved of more than two of those wars had they been informed.tnx”

    Why did you not get out to inform the “amers”?

  4. lichen said on June 18th, 2009 at 4:38pm #

    I don’t think 98% of americans currently support the ‘iraqafgpak’ war; it is probably less than 50% by this point.

  5. rg the lg said on June 18th, 2009 at 5:03pm #

    When Bozh says 98% of Americans support wars, I suspect he is thinking much broader than just the IraqAfgPak situation. Let us look at the operations of the CIA in fostering all sorts of dirty tricks … isn’t that, even if supposedly secret, war? What about the corporate goons that work for American Internationals all over the world enforcing the ‘law’ as resources are stolen … isn’t that, even if we choose to ignore it as we buy more stuff to store in our ever larger homes while others starve, war?

    The narrow assumption promulgated by KL5 and Lichen is based on the actual military adventurism ala the army, air farce, marines … et al. Such narrowness of definition is easy to ignore because our lifestyles so richly depend on our rapacious behavior (both at home and overseas).

    Regarding Bozh use of English … WTF? Do I detect a dose of ‘if you don’t talk like us, don’t talk?’ Sounds like some of the skinheads we have from this town who serve in our Military … the armed farces do take anyone and prefer ‘white racists’ because most of them are quite in line with our foreign policy and not opposed to taking out a ‘fer’ner’ irrespective of age, gender or military capacity (civilian, etc.) …


    RG the LG

    * – I see my task as keeping people painfully aware of their own complicity in the exercise of power that is done with their support … obviously, they support it, because none bother to do anything more substantial than whine on sites like this one. I admire the Iranians … an election was stolen … perhaps blatantly, but stolen no more and no less than the elections of 200 and 2004 … when just how many complacent, complicit with the goals empire, contributors bothered to do more than whine using pseudonyms on line?

    Oh, did that hit too close yo home? I am SOOO sorry …

  6. mary said on June 18th, 2009 at 11:40pm #

    Where is the $106 billion coming from? The printing presses? I thought Amerika was bust, kaput, shot, etc.
    De-Dollarization: Dismantling America’s Financial-Military Empire
    The Yekaterinburg Turning Point
    by Prof. Michael Hudson

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain said on June 19th, 2009 at 1:24am #

    The Zionasties, who promoted and succoured Obama from the start, and who were screeching their delight at the election of America’s ‘first Jewish President’, are just getting their money’s worth. I mean, anyone who claims to have been surprised by any of the ‘house Negro’ Obama’s actions after the appointment Of Rahm Emmanuel needs a cerebral PET scan to see if there is any electrical activity going on. These massacres are part of the ‘Zionist Plan for the Middle East’ as Oded Yinon called it, the plan to smash all the Islamic countries of the Middle East into powerless statelets along sectarian and racial lines, the better to ensure Israel’s dominance of the region.
    Setting various groups at each others’ throats has been a Zionasty speciality for years. They have exacerbated inter-communal hatred in Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and spread destabilising lies over Darfur, the better to vilify Sudan, China (their great enemy of the future, as it is a society that they do not control) and Islam in general. This, we must never forget, is a society that defiles every facet of international humanitarian law every day, and whose fundamentalist religious leaders, immensely influential in politics and increasingly in the military, openly advocate the deliberate killing of civilians as a ‘mitzvah’, or good deed. This is a society that every year at Passover celebrates the killing of totally innocent creatures, including all first born humans and animals, for no other reason than that their leader, the Pharaoh, had pissed off the God of the Jews. And then they leap and caper at Purim, ecstatic over the slaughter of tens of thousands (70,000 is one figure I have seen) centuries ago, as the Jews took revenge on the followers of Haman, who allegedly plotted a ‘genocide’ against the Jews. Once again the totally innocent massacred for the alleged crimes of a leader. Is it really any wonder that the Israelis deal with the Palestinians with such brutality?
    Not for one second am I suggesting that the Jews are uniquely vicious, or uniquely anything. They are just like everybody else, and Jewish history has many far more uplifting episodes, and many more cruel ones. My detestation is equal for Islamic fundamentalists and fascists, like the Taliban (although in comparison with the US I do see them as the vastly lesser evil) and Christian and Hindu ones also. But it is unarguable, I believe, that Judaic fascists and religious fundamentalists are the most arrogant and brazen of all, and Israel is, in my opinion, undoubtedly the state of the Judeofascists. The ‘anti-Semite’ vilification, applied against all those appalled by Israeli atrocities, is a breathtakingly impertinent assertion of the Judaic right to commit any atrocity, and the subsequent necessity for all and sundry to bow down in worship. I for one refuse this command, but fear it has so intimidated popular opinion in the West, already poisoned by years of rank brainwashing by the Jewish controlled mass media, that almost any horror committed against Moslems, including nuclear attack, is now possible. We have arrived in such an Orwellian predicament, that Netanyahu’s savage and arrogant rejectionism in his speech last week has been presented by the media sewer as a ‘peace offer’.

  8. Deadbeat said on June 19th, 2009 at 1:57am #

    Had Bush pushed for more military funds at this stage, the antiwar movement (if you can call it that) would have been organizing opposition weeks in advance, calling out the neocons for wasting our scarce tax dollars during a recession on a never-ending, directionless war. But since Obama’s a Democrat, a beloved one at that, mums the word.

    I agree with Mulga. The anti-war movement collapsed in 2004 when the so-called progressive go squeamish because some members of the anti-war movement started to bring focus to Zionism and its influence upon U.S. foreign policy. The “anti-war” movement if you want to call it that probably would not move an inch if there is any highlighting of Zionism regardless if Bush or Obama is sitting in the White House.

  9. bozh said on June 19th, 2009 at 6:03am #

    mulga, well put
    the mad priests who wrote torah command the people who adhere to the judaic cult to steal and murder.
    even tho today’s mad priests have no connection [save via the cult] with the hebraic/judean cult, they are as cruel.
    and issaiah, another cultist, enboldens psychotic personalities with his: come let us reason together, sayeth the lord, Tho your sins be as red as crimson, they shall be as wool. tnx b.balkas vancouver

  10. bozh said on June 19th, 2009 at 6:18am #

    KL5, since you continue to insult, i am fromnow onboycotting you!!

  11. bozh said on June 19th, 2009 at 6:35am #

    you haven’t read my posts regarding my advice people use english when writing or talking to people on the street or if you have read the posts you misunderstood them.
    in my experience, 98% of people best understand their colloquial mother tongue.
    And there is no ?idea or event that cannot be expressed in street english.
    German laguage [still much germanic] which was virtually the same as english just a millennium can do that easily and with greater clarity than high english of today.

    even in this post there are a few non-english words. I do not know if and how many amers understand what “colloquial” , “milllennium” means?
    children, which we cld better educate using their english, probably don’t know such words.tnx b balkas vancouver

  12. bozh said on June 19th, 2009 at 7:05am #

    OK, readers, please inform me how many USans have protested the latest three US wars on the principle called necessary truth or win-win situation: that no land has the right to attack another land under no known circumstance.

    US wars are protested mostly based on perceptions and not on any tenet. In this connection, some people on the left, have actually explicitly approved of military actions in pakistan by advising people to vote for socalled lesser evil.
    it was known that US declared a war against pakistan before US election for prez.

    i am not saying that a land or set of lands shld not attack another land under some unknown event. Even so, such a war shld be based on truth and international law.
    from this, i conclude, that US got a near-hundred percent support for perhaps all US wars.
    how many people sincerely want a win-win situations in iraq, palestine, afpak. Here shld be a query and other marks but my PC doesnt print it at this time. Is it just a few.
    people, please show or prove me wrong!!

  13. Max Shields said on June 19th, 2009 at 7:32am #

    Deadbeat could you please provide some references to this refrain you give for the end of anti-war because of zionism in US?

    I think you assume we’re all informed about this coup d’état. Explain, please, who, what and when.

  14. bozh said on June 19th, 2009 at 7:33am #

    I am not aware that historians et al ever personalize wars. WW2, eg., was not called hitler`s war. Euro-palestinian war was not called ben gurion`s war.

    perhaps amers feel better using words like collateral damage, bush`s, or obama`s wars.
    actually, labels such amero-vietnam, amero-iraqi, et al amer wars are by far more edequate and accurate labels.
    precisely why amers don`t use them!
    so, i suggest we stop calling a spade an instrument! tnx b. balkas vancouver btw, there is only one balkas in vcr. Ah, sorry, there is actually two when i count my wife.

  15. Max Shields said on June 19th, 2009 at 12:10pm #

    Just to put a point on that DB, why was there silence in the US during the Clinton bombing of the Balkins? Was that a Zionist infiltration?

    The Zionist are a fascistic racist problem, but let’s not go off and connect them to everything the US does. The US empire has been around a long time and has managed to invade, occupy and murder without the help of Zionists…thank you very much.

  16. RH2 said on June 19th, 2009 at 1:57pm #

    Max Shields,

    You are one of few commentators who appropriately stress not to overestimate Zionism and underestimate U.S. Imperialism. I agree with you. Zionism is one of many variables in the Imperial system and practice. It is shortsighted to overzionize the U.S. foreign policy.

  17. Hue Longer said on June 19th, 2009 at 2:43pm #

    Some “true” dissidents seem to think they are fighting for social justice but seem to be blind to how John Wayne Patriotic they are. To these folks, the US is some benevolent, inherently wonderful place that only does bad things when shape shifting Israelis make it.

  18. Deadbeat said on June 19th, 2009 at 2:43pm #

    RH2 writes …

    You are one of few commentators who appropriately stress not to overestimate Zionism and underestimate U.S. Imperialism. I agree with you. Zionism is one of many variables in the Imperial system and practice. It is shortsighted to overzionize the U.S. foreign policy.

    Unfortunately the problem of the last 30 years has been to UNDER-EMPHASIZE Zionism. In fact the anti-war movement was diliberately dismantled because of raising the issue of Zionism. What has been over-emphasized is “U.S. Imperialism” which is way of displacing CAPITALISM from the explanation. The war on Iraq was also explained as a “war for oil” when in fact the oil interest were against the war and the Left especially went to great lengths to hide or deny the role of Zionism’s influence on U.S. foreign policy.

    In fact Mr. Shields tends to look at all issue from the lens of “U.S. Imperalism” which miss a lot of nuance and especially misses the influence of the Capitalist system. This is why Mr. Shields tends to promote Utopian solutions as expressed by such things as a “land tax” and “environmentalism” which essentially blames ALL humans equally for the world’s ills.

    The real issue is not the “overzionizing” of U.S. Foreign Policy. The issue is that this racist ideology has a great deal of influence upon not just U.S. Foreign policy but domestic policy as well and the Left has been an impediment to confronting this form of racism. It is a major reason why solidarity and trust is extremely weak.

  19. lichen said on June 19th, 2009 at 2:45pm #

    I still don’t quite agree with you, bozh; millions of people protested the beginning of the war in Iraq, including myself, on the grounds that all war and all murder are inherently wrong (well actually I can’t speak for millions of people on that–but that is my view – and ultimately, I don’t think we should be discriminating too much on the reasons non-politicians refuse war; we need the numbers.)

    I’ve also been enraged about the murder of Pakistani (and afghani civilians. I think there haven’t been large protests even though many disagree with the Pakistan murdering is because of not only democratic partisan trash, but the fact that people are fatuiged and made helpless since nothing so far has worked–because fake groups like ‘moveon’ were proven to be democratic shills, and all the protests, campaigns, the farcical elections, the protest marches–because it went nowhere and we now have more war than we did seven years ago. But I think if people disagree but are unable to do anything, that can’t be counted as consensus with washington–we don’t live in a democracy, so those opinion polls are enough.

    And there are also the trotskyists whose only interest is in sitting back and attacking “the left” for not being this or that instead of doing stuff themselves, and calling other people “utopian” while not examining their own religous marxism. I also think it is ridiculous that many people set unpractical goals for others–that everyone has to suddenly, immediately drop their lives and wellbeing to form a radical geurilla/mass action movement to completely topple the government, even if it means starving to death alone. We could at least just start with a really intense campaign to reform our electoral system into an actual democracy, as some of us here have talked of; otherwise if it is just black and white, full revolt or nothing, then that message is simply unproductive, and will never be anything else.

  20. Deadbeat said on June 19th, 2009 at 2:59pm #

    Max Shields writes…
    Just to put a point on that DB, why was there silence in the US during the Clinton bombing of the Balkins? Was that a Zionist infiltration?

    Very nice strawman fallacy Max. In fact your strawman does more to aid Zionism rather than to confront it.
    But how about this one Max:

    Clinton sanction against Iraq led to the death of 500,000 children — was that a Zionist infiltration?

    You like to play the Chomskyite game of calling every ill in the world “U.S. Imperialism”. This doesn’t absolve the U.S. from its role but what the phrase “U.S. Imperialism” is about is not focusing on Capitalism as a system that organizes production in a way that exploits human being. Racism plays an important role to maintain division. Militarism is about keeping it that way. Such an explanation clarify the real problem in a way that “U.S. Imperialism” becomes a phrase of concealment. Which is exactly how you use the phrase.

    Your strawman Max, IMO, reveals your desire to CONCEAL the truth rather than to shed light on it.

  21. Deadbeat said on June 19th, 2009 at 3:03pm #

    Also Max, maybe you were silent against the attacks on Kosovo but there were protests against it. The Clinton supporters were perhaps silent but I was NEVER a supporter of Bill Clinton. Since you said there were silence then using your bogus tautology would imply that YOU were a supporter of Clinton.

    Next time Max, please do not engage me with fallacious arguments.

  22. dan e said on June 19th, 2009 at 3:22pm #

    Okay, Mad Max, you want some facts about the derailing of the anti-Iraq-war movement that blossomed in the runup to “ShocknAwe”? The main fact is this: before 911 shifted the focus, there had been something of an upswelling of popular protest around Sharon’s “Incursion” into the occupied Palestinian territories and the siege of Arafat’s HQ in Ramallah. The ANSWER Coalition led by the PSL and an allied Palestinian-American component based mainly on the US branch of Palestinian Christian community was out front encouraging and taking leadership of this limited “upsurge” in defense of Palestinian rights.
    When it began to appear likely that Bush & Co would launch an attack on Iraq, a new wave of protesters became mobilized. Many gravitated to the coalition which had been leading the pro-Palestinian protests while others accepted leadership from “United for Peace and Justice”. There was a united demonstration in Wash DC that winter against the Iraq war, but UFPJ was unhappy about the alliance with ANSWER with whom they had a fundamental disagreement about the Israel/Palestine issue. So by March 20 2004, UFPJ refused to participate in a demonstration called to mark the first anniversary of Dubya’s bombing of Bagdad.
    UFPJ turned out to be in close alliance with PDA/Progressive Democrats of America, which itself was a creation of DSA/Democratic Socialists of America, a member of the Second International which boasted — maybe it still does? — of “Fraternal Relations” with the Histadrut.
    It appears that some of the UFPJ leaders, notably “Media” Benjamin, have moved closer to a pro-Palestinian position, mounting visible protests of Israel’s actions in Gaza and supporting the attempts to provide material support to the Gazans via seaborn “flotillas”.

    While ANSWER and UFPJ plus CodePink are still far from speaking with a single voice, they do both agree with the proposition advanced by Noam Chomsky, Steven Zunes and perhaps most articulately by Antonia Juhacz that the primary responsibility for bringing about the US attacks/invasions of Iraq & Afghanistan lies with “big oil”, that the so-called “war on terror” is in reality a War For Oil.

    This proposition is only tenable if one ignores the documented facts assembled by Profs. Walt & Mearsheimer as well as by Jas Petras, Jeff Blankfort, Kathy and Bill Christison plus others.

    The above is only a quick sketch of a few of the basic events. The underlying reality is that the US Imperial State Apparatus (which now has come under near-total control by the Zionist Power Configuration/ZPC comprised of the “State of Israel” plus its US support base) immediately moves to co-opt and mis-direct any popular movement which is in anyway opposed to the Official Crackpot Reality. The peculiar history of US society and the privileged conditions enjoyed by most “Americans” have a lot to do with why so many are so eager to accept nonsense explanations of what’s wrong with this country. A basic fact of Criminology is that those who become victims of bunco games are themselves entranced by the idea of getting something for nothing.
    In this respect, most Americans are just like the Israelis: in order to see reality as it is, they would have to accept that the world they consider normal & “everyday” actually has been created by massive criminality; they’d have to admit to being receivers of stolen property.

    Well I’d better post this before I hit the wrong key & erase it all, but just a parting word to RH2: you, Sir or Madam as the case may be, are a Walt/Mearsheimer Denier. You put forth arguments, but what facts do you have to back them up? No one is trying to minimize “US Imperialism”; people like Petras & Blankfort are veterans of struggle against it, probably from before you became familiar with the term.

    But “US Imperialism” is not a monolithic entity made of brass or even gold: it is comprised of human beings operating in groups, organizations, “institutions” which are nothing but groups of humans.

    So do you know that there is one group of folks it is accurate to call “US Imperialism”, and another entirely separaate group it is accurate to call “Zionism”? I don’t think so.
    Zionism is a phenomenon of the Capitalist Era. Zionism would be impossible without capitalist colonialism.
    The summit of the capitalist power structure is the Financial Sector. The apex of the US Financial Sector is the Federal Reserve System.
    Call the Roll:)

  23. bozh said on June 19th, 2009 at 4:40pm #

    i am glad that you protested US aggression against iraq on the principle that it is wrong to wage wars and murder.
    i also believe that the mns euros, who protested the war on iraq, prior to attack against it, probably have also protested on the basis of the principle of a win-win result or on the tenet that no land has the right to atack another.

    I must say i do not know on what grounds USans have protested the invasion of iraq.
    i had been lax in not stressing the fact that i did not know on what base amer protesters objected to that war.

    however it may be, i did say that i have never read a comment on DV and other internet media that condemns US aggression on the basis of the necessary truth that no land has the right to attack another under no known circumstance.
    how about a land which used wmd against any region or land? I say, war shld be avoided and thus collective punishment for individual crimes wld be obviated.
    one wld only go after the perps. Actually world shld issue a warning to any gov’t that if it commits crimes against humanity, it wld be hunted dwn like dogs; killed or brought to justice.
    but, of course, US, israel, and many other lands wld object to this sane proposal.
    of course, i did not mean to say that not even a single person in US had not condemned coming US invasion into iraq on the above-stated principle.
    i had all this on my mind but while typing [which i abhore] and in heat of writing i often skip s’mthing.
    the central point of my previous post is correct. Even the leftists such as zinn, chomsky have not, as far as i know, protested aggression against iraq, palestine, and afpak on the basis of the universal principle i just posited.
    in fact, they have explicitly approbated coming invasion of pak’n by advising people to vote for socalled lesser evil. tnx

  24. Max Shields said on June 19th, 2009 at 5:04pm #

    I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times, you lack discernment. Zionism is but one, important to be sure, driver. But even as a driver it is merely a symptom of a set of pathologies.

    When I ask a straightforward question you call it a “stawman” or “obfiscation” or some such nonsense. You throw red herring after red herring to prop up your one obsession. Obsessive people suffer from the same pathologies that their “enemies” embody which makes them two sides of the same coin.

    Dan e, the “anti-war” movement is a myth. It always has been. There was a “don’t draft me movement” in the 60s/early 70s and then it was all faux protests, the media learned to ignore and thus marginalize it; so it faded.

    I’m not saying there aren’t connections, but the point is where was this movement when Clinton was bombing the hell out of the Balkans? I don’t recall much going on during Reagan’s bloody regime as we supported the slaughter of Central Americans. I really don’t think Israeli Zionism had anything to do with our policy in Latin America for the last 100 years or in parts of Africa and Asia.

    Zionism does appear to have a real role in the Darfur “movement” and I suspect Somolia and some other African outposts including South Africa. But let’s be clear; Zionism is NOT US foreign policy.

    Read the declassified NSC 68 document (the precursor to PNAC that had absolutely nothing to do with Israel) if you want to know what drives this endless war policy. But pre-dating that is the “progressive” warmonger Woodrow Wilson (and the list can go on and on).

    So if these stories delight you because they sound like 6 points of separation – have some fun with your parlor games.

  25. dan e said on June 19th, 2009 at 6:56pm #

    You don’t think Zionism has had anything to do with imperial policy in Latin America? Maybe not prior to WWII and est. of “Israel”, but they’ve been plenty active in recent decades. For instance, during the Boland Amendment period Izzy was bizzy supplying weaponry to the genocidal thugs running Guatemala. Peter Dale Scott and Jane Hunter wrote a cpl informative books about IDF activities during Iran/Contra. Jane’s now-defunct newsletter “Israeli Foreign Affairs” published reams of details about Israeli arms exports to Latin America during the seventies/eighties.
    But one thing I like about you, Max, I know you are capable of learning. At least to some extent you are capable of considering information and revising your views. So let me ask you: have you really read Walt & Mearsheimer’s book? Jas Petras’ three books on the power of Israel & the Lobby in the US? Have you read Blankfort’s list of Jews in the US Media? Lenni Brenner’s “Jews in America Today”? Have you ever researched the Federal Reserve System, to see who occupies the power positions in it?
    I think you’re going with what seems to you to be “common sense”, based on how it seems to you things usually work. As a matter of fact, at one time my own view was similar to what you’ve said above. When that Cuban guy said to me “Capitalists? Hehe, you mean The Jews:)”, I thought he was crazy, a bigot. But turns out he knew something I didn’t.
    Well, you’d be a lot more convincing if you’d really done your “anti-US Imperialism” homework, beginning with Karl & Fred. I myself can’t see how somebody can be pro-capitalism and anti-imperialist at the same time.

  26. Michael E. Badgett said on June 20th, 2009 at 1:37am #

    I like what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had to say about war:

    I voted for and am still trying the best I can to support President Obama.


    The name Barack Obama used to bring other historic names to mind such as Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Fredrick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois.

    Recently the name Uncle Tom keeps coming to mind and I can’t seem the shake it.

    Change Congress / Change America:

  27. RH2 said on June 20th, 2009 at 3:43am #

    Some fellows on DV think that they can reserve the right to discover and offer the truth and thus engage in offensive responses. This is not reciprocal education or exchange of views, but simply vanity and complacency. I find my time more precious than that.

  28. bozh said on June 20th, 2009 at 6:14am #

    regardless to what degree and how much of media is now controled by ‘jews’, media in the west had always been gung-ho for land robbery.

    so, the question arises who’s the teacher here? It seems to me that the ‘jews’ in gov’ts or media behave exactly as media had behaved and behaves now.

    US had A-bombed japan prior to mass immigration of ‘jews’ to US and when they had been much less influential than now.

    if ‘jews’ have displaced anglos from top layer of command, the former commanders appear little worried; i.e., none, as far as i know, complains being relegated to the back benches.

    non-commanders are mighty worried. I cannot see why because US is on the same course as always before; ‘jews’ come, ‘jews’ go but missiles kill and kill and kill. tnx bozhidar balkas vancouver

  29. Max Shields said on June 20th, 2009 at 6:49am #

    dan e,

    Since you are not providing specific references it’s hard to know what you’re talking about. It sounds, as I said, like a parlor game of 6 points of separation; all roads lead back to Zionists no matter. I find that lacking in any form of substanitive history, logic or reasoning; “A Cuban guy” saying something means NOTHING.

    I don’t think Marx and Engeks (two non-practicing Jews – at least to my knowledge) are the answer to this issue of Zionism per se and the nexus you make to the Fed Reserve, etc. I find Zionism has become for a few, here, an excuse for American imperialism. One doesn’t have to for go one for the other. That is the point I’ve made time and again. Discerning one from the other, understanding convergence where it exists is essential to understanding the problem and what needs to be done.

    I do think that Capitalism has major pathologies and that these pathologies, as Bozh noted, are derived from who controls natural resources. That is the most fundamental issue – privatizing the commons. I don’t seen Zionism as different from the colonization the West has perpetuated round the globe.

    I don’t see Marx as the cure for these pathologies. I think this can be done without dusting off Das Kapital and trying to figure out what this dude was trying to say. The answers are in front of us. The fundamentals of war, poverty, rich/poor are fairly clear and the remedy is not class struggle.

  30. dan e said on June 20th, 2009 at 12:38pm #

    Max, Max – you disappoint me. “Dusting off Marx” for crysake. That’s the equivalent of saying “Dusting off Darwin”, or “dusting off Max Planck”.
    I do thank you for your final sentence, which exposes where you’re really coming from. OK, the poor are getting screwed, but there’s nothing to be done so lie back & take it.

    Capitalism itself is a pathology. Trouble with you Max, you aren’t really stupid but you’re ignorant of anything but pro-capitalist ideological snowjobbery.

    One proposition of yours I find I agree with u[ to a pt: Zionism in most ways is not different from colonialism, in fact it is one example of it.

    What started as a relatively minor branch of US capitalist enterprise now has achieved a position of dominance in it. US Imperialism has largely if not entirely been hijacked to serve the purposes of US & Israeli Zionist-Imperialists. Ever since the Israeli fifth column in the US morphed itself into AIPAC & was liberated from the requirement to register as a Foreign Agent, US foreign & military policy has been bent more and more to serve the interests of the Israeli state, which have been put ahead of the US state’s own imperial interests.
    However there is still a section of the US ruling class including some Jewish members who still see “the bottom line” as the bottom line, and don’t see the Zionist push to bomb Iran into chaos as good for business. IMO this “green revolution” enterprise in Iran now is the chosen instrument to hopefully overcome political resistance to the plan to bomb Tehran.

    Oh man, rereading your post I’m struck again by the level of ignorance embodied. “Privatizing the commons” — hehe, that’s where young Karl started, with the efforts to preserve traditional rights to gather wood in the common forest from the predatory designs of fledgling German capitalism. “Primitive Accumulation” is the technical term.

    What becomes clear, Max, is that your sympathies are not with the downtrodden but with your fellow members of the “intermediate strata”. You fear and dislike the Super Rich, but you fear and dislike the Poor and the Near-Poor more.
    So at times people like you are found on the same side of the barricades as people like me, but most of the time you’re over there helping the capitalists obscure from the poor the real reasons for their poverty. And working overtime to obscure from those whose impulse to oppose criminal wars/occupations, the real reasons these wars are launched; to obscure who planned and organized, and who sold the wars to the public.
    BTW, have you checked out Grant Smith’s work re the “Lobby”? Also I forgot to mention Lee O’Brien’s little book “US Jewish Organizations and Israel”, a cursory glance at which will show that US Zionism is not some “minor”political trend, but an enormous network of organization and great accumulated capitalist wealth.

  31. bozh said on June 20th, 2009 at 2:19pm #

    dan e, respectfully,
    i don’t know what “capitalims” means to you or max. I need from you to enumerate its- or of american capitalism- salient traits.
    to me, “capitalism” means too much or i cld lean towards calling any capitalism, including american, as meaningless.

    in fact, one can define and redefine any ism in perpetuum and that process never ends and yet defining isms leads to rancour, anger, frustration.
    the reason for that outcome is that, as far as my understandings of the implicatoty structure of langauge goes, the answers true or false do not pertain to an ideology
    answers true or false only pertain to an aspect of an ism.
    an aspect of an ism such as, Yahweh spoke to moshe on mt sinai, being a descriptive statement, can be evalauted as true or false.

    my answer to that is firm and conclusive: No, yahweh had not spoken to moshe. We only know that moshe claims god spoke to him not that he did. And there were no other witnesses who have seen that.

    in conclusion, it is not an ism, gun, or bat that do a thing; it is people who do that.
    and if zionists have greater control of US than any other ethnics, ethnics let them.
    as biden said, I am a zionist! tnx

  32. Deadbeat said on June 20th, 2009 at 3:09pm #

    lichen writes …

    And there are also the trotskyists whose only interest is in sitting back and attacking “the left” for not being this or that instead of doing stuff themselves, and calling other people “utopian” while not examining their own religous marxism

    This was address to me and calls for a response. To label Marxism as a “religion” is clearly not to understand what Marxism is. Marxism is the antithesis of religion. Marxism is not about viewing the world “on faith”. Marxism is about analysis and confronting fallacies. Utopianism is about faith. Much of the environmental proposals to deal with current societal ills are based on utopianism. For example the advocacy of “localism” misses how Capitalism operates as a global system of exploitation. That is a huge error of omission that environmental advocates ignores while promoting their well meaning solutions. Only “religious-like” zeal allow one to draw such conclusion.

    Challenging Capitalism is difficult unfortunately the Left during the past 3 decades made similar false charges against Marxism and veered away from it. Now that the Capitalist crisis is going full tilt interest in Marxism is on the rise. The theories and the explanations never went away unfortunately the Left substituted a sterile “U.S. Imperialism” explanation that inspired no one and challenged nothing.

  33. Max Shields said on June 20th, 2009 at 3:29pm #

    dan e,

    There are world’s of differences between Marx and Darwin/Planck; i.e., there are not the same. But while a fact, it’s pretty damn irrelevant.

    I don’t fear either rich or poor. I understand how these “strata”, if you will, come to be. Property owners own the government and the wealth; the latter keeps them rich because they are the only thing that matters in a plutocracy/faux democracy.

    Voters of all ilk are the downtrodden. Marching off occasionally to the polls to vote is worse than a joke. Politicians don’t give a rat’s ass about voters; that abstract “little guy”. Politicians need money and Corporations and property owners need favors. That’s American democracy and capitalism – they live in the same bottle. AIPAC figures in but its a small piece of the pie.

    And we, dan e, are left to squabble about f*cken Marx! Blah blah blah as the rich get rich, while marching the dumb asses off to war, destroying the planet and relentlessly killing babies, children and non-combatent adults.

    The powerful just love you, dan e. Your lost in some parlor game looking to make sense of the obvious through some obscuity. You are POWERLESS. And that’s true because you haven’t a clue where the power really comes from. This is not Zionism – what a joke, you can jack off to that one for ever and the rich know they’ve buried you for good.

    Zionism didn’t create this problem, dan e. Zionism is a flavor, a symptom; a kind of hitlerian version of what goes on here.
    The very idea that you think Zionism created this f(cked up mess is a laugh and a half. While you rant about Zionism, the rich just keep on taking it, from you and your children and grand children. Open your eyes instead of looking a some bogeyman for the answer.

    What we have here is anscient. Zionists are babes in the woods.

    What does piss me off is that this Zionists crap has its place but when you start spreading it all over everything turn it into a bunch of bull shit. Soon you’ll be explaining earth quakes on the Zionists.

    Marx ain’t the answer to this, no how no way. In what way would Marx square this circle? Kill the rich? Proletariet revolt turns Animal Farm? What’s your plan dan e?

    If you don’t even understand the ABCs of power and wealth (Zionism is not the answer, by the way fella) than how in hell are you going to deal with this problem in any sane way. (By the way, danny boy, where does Marx talk about Zionists?)

  34. lichen said on June 20th, 2009 at 4:00pm #

    No, a world without the environmental models and solutions being put forth by green thinkers is what is utopian; the stupid idea that somehow magically marx’s ideology will solve the rest of the worlds problems and alleviate the right wing, anti-life aspects of so many people in all social classes is where the ‘utopia’ is. Fossil fuels, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and all manner of toxic consumer products are destroying the world; they are poison, and must be banned otherwise the world is going to continue warming and we have the chance of completely dying as a species. I won’t bother talking about it again with you because you are incapable of understanding what an ideology is and how it breeds absolutism, dogma, and stupidity; but yes, marxism is exactly like religion, and the fact that you feel Max is really such a huge threat shows a lot about you, who have no REAL interest in building or joining or having a strong movement for social and world justice in this country.

    The recent comments to this thread show much evidence in favor of being a generalist and not an obsessive specialist; why it is better to explore things and take what you want and then leave the dead gods and the ‘sacred texts’ behind, move the fuck on.

  35. lichen said on June 20th, 2009 at 4:05pm #

    I agree with Max about the ‘zionist’ obsession, which becomes laughable when it is blown all out of context. Personally, I don’t think it matters the ‘reason,’ there is no excuse to murder latin american’s and take over other people’s lands and democracies; it is done because of the ugliness in the people who do it.

  36. Max Shields said on June 20th, 2009 at 4:49pm #

    Yes, lichen, the future isn’t in Marx didactics. When Marx wrote the earth seemed limitess in terms of what it could give us.

    We are now facing a dire situtation. There are limits, and humans have and continue to heedless push forward as if those limits did not exist.

    It will take structural changes, as well as cultural changes to meet this demand – it is unnegotiable. It cares not one iota about zionism, marxism; or whether one is an American or from Zimbagwe.

    It is also an opportunity for a kind of re-birth, not only for human life, but for all of life on the planet.

    Yes, there is a kind of evil that lurks here and there. The murderous gangs that wander the globe funded by American imperialism. But that won’t go away by simply ranting about it.

    For us in the USA, our problems are deep, systemic and structural in nature. Our system of government is flawed, our economic system is predatory and pathological. The two feed off one another and create much of the world’s mayhem.

    In a word – WE are the enemy. Zionism is an ugly version of our reflection. Our government and it’s economic masters have allowed the collusion to extend to this “state” of Israel. Why/How, because this political system has major flaws. It’s not a Jewish vote that politicians care about, it’s the economics of war which is tied to the preditory state of Israel. Zionism is a way to label the ugly preditory and racist state which is a reflection of what the US is, at bottom.

    Obama is a player, he did not create the rules; he simply stepped up and said he wanted to play the game…and he is.

    We need a vision, not a reaction to Zionism or even American Imperialism. And then we need to find ways to make that vision a reality; to build new structures, to decentralize and form new alliances locally, regionally and globally.

    There is a transition in motion. It’s happening not because of Marx or Engels or anyone person, but because some of us see there is no other alternative and so things are happening, plans are not only in motion, action is being taken. But playing this parlor game, that Deadbeat and dan e have locked into is just a dead end wasted of vital energy.

  37. Deadbeat said on June 20th, 2009 at 6:01pm #

    Max Shields writes …

    The fundamentals of war, poverty, rich/poor are fairly clear and the remedy is not class struggle.

    And herein lies the ultimate explanation for why the Left is in such a miserable condition. Straight from the Chomkyite school and could have been expressed any better or more succinct than coming from Max Shields.

  38. Deadbeat said on June 20th, 2009 at 6:08pm #

    Dan E observes …

    What becomes clear, Max, is that your sympathies are not with the downtrodden but with your fellow members of the “intermediate strata”. You fear and dislike the Super Rich, but you fear and dislike the Poor and the Near-Poor more.

    The Left obviously was not immune to the reconfiguration of the political economy during the last 30 years. In fact the so-called oracles of the “Left” benefited materially by obscuring Capitalism and especially U.S. Zionism and the disparagement of Marxism. The Capitalist crisis however, IMO, is going to expose them for the fraudsters that they really are.

  39. Max Shields said on June 20th, 2009 at 6:20pm #

    Deadbeat, get off the “left” crap and the Chomsky dodo stuff.

    I don’t even know if I call myself a “leftist”. At least not the brand you seem to be dizzy about.

  40. Hue Longer said on June 20th, 2009 at 11:29pm #


    How do you describe “Left”? Is there a true left and a fake left ? And if there is no distinction between the two but the left is to blame for allowing Zionism to flourish, what label should I use to describe myself if I generally agree with Marx and don’t care for Zionists? This is important because you never say “faux left” or “supposed left” but sometimes put it in quotes. It seems you hate a very useful word. There are quite a few people who believe in many of the same things you say who describe themselves as “leftists”…are they wrong? I do think your need to let the US -removed from Zionism- off the hook and give Libertarians an understanding nod could classify you as faux left, but you’ve bastardized the word and wouldn’t care that someone was taking it from you.

    I know you may have explained this once, so forgive me if I have forgotten a good answer


  41. Deadbeat said on June 21st, 2009 at 5:44am #

    What I describe as the Left (without quotes) is a set of guiding principles — an ideology that promote fairness, equality, solidarity, justice and democracy. Clearly that doesn’t mean one has to label themselves “Marxist” but what it means is that people who align with the Left (without quotes) basically believes and advocate such.

    What I describe as the “Left” (with quotes) are folks POSING or POSTURING with those aforementioned value but when engaged really do not adhere to the aforementioned values. The “Left” has especially for the past three decades and a half has not function to promote the aforementioned values and has in fact used its influence to obscure solution to the very issue they claim to be “confronting”.

    This has been very evident most recently during the anti-war movement in 2003-2004. You can read Dan E excellent account posted in this thread. The person who most embodies the tendency on the Left over the past 30 years is Noam Chomsky. Ironically Chomsky has been influential bringing a certain awareness of social ills to the public HOWEVER his analysis falls short in a profound manner that obscures real solutions and has the negative effect of aiding and abetting these problem.

    Under his “tutelage” the Left has been drifting away from such ideas that could help develop an awareness that could help people really understand and challenge the social ills. One clear example has been the division on the Left regarding U.S. Zionism and the growth of its influence upon U.S. Foreign Policy. This is very obvious to any OBJECTIVE observer but it really reveal itself by the dismantling of the anti-war movement. The same holds true of the Left’s withdrawal of Marxist explanations especially during the Reagan counter-revolution. I would suggest Hue that you read some of the articles posted here on DV by Left Luggage for some fine critiques and analysis.

    The problem right now Hue is how will the Left confront the “Left”. I think Dan E did an excellent job today in pointing out the obvious fallacies that the past 35 years has brought upon the Left.

  42. Max Shields said on June 21st, 2009 at 6:04am #

    Deadbeat, Hue’s question seems clear to me, but your answer is once again muddled: “The problem right now Hue is how will the Left confront the “Left”. ”

    I think Hue is saying if you are a “leftist” then you are not a Zionist or Zionist sympathizer. End of story.

    You, DB, seem to think there is a left who does sympathize with Zionist/Zionism. A clear definition would indicate that that BY DEFINITION is NOT possible.

    But, to wit, there are many people who do NOT sympathize with Zionism in any way, and they would NOT consider themselves leftists.

    I don’t think Marx is a benchmark for what we refer to as “leftist thinking”. I’ve always appreciated those who found something as they faintly see him as the promoter of a socialism and communialism and a pointed analysis of the pathologies of capitalism. Personally I can agree with the pieces and find Marx less than adequate as a solution for today.

    I think decentralization, strong communities, capturing the common wealth for broad distribution, a sustainable approach to living (including our economics) is the direction for change to meet our needs. I think Marx interfers with that forward movement because his work interjects 19th and 20th century wars (hot and cold). That’s just far too much baggage to over come.

  43. Don Hawkins said on June 21st, 2009 at 7:04am #

    Max interesting witting. We all have ten years give or take to level off the burning. So far from the clear thinkers high upon the hill in the States it’s the best we can do. Why is it the best we can do something called special interests. In Iran they have the supreme leader and that old way of thinking in the States we have special interests supreme coal supreme oil and on and on. If you need it in this system and must pay for it on a dally basis or monthly well there they are are supreme leaders. Money and power and as we see it’s the best we can do that’s a major problem not only for us in the States but all human’s. Those young people in Iran will face the same thing as we all will in the States.

    If we keep on with business as usual, the Earth will be warmed more every year; drought and floods will be endemic; many more cities, provinces, and whole nations will be submerged beneath the waves – unless heroic worldwide engineering countermeasures are taken. In the longer run, still more dire consequences may follow, including the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, and the inundation of almost all the costal cities on the planet. Carl Sagan

    Come on is that true well it has already started and these clear thinkers in the States the answer so far is not even a band aid it’s a joke and they still use illusion of knowledge third grade thinking and try the best they can to pit one group against another and so far it is working. This health care bill is a joke again the special interests and on climate change on this path many more will need health care and it’s the best we can do. Money power clear. James Hansen on Tuesday will be in West Virginia with I am sure a few younger folks trying to fight these special interests from destroying the land and the planet and like in the Amazon not a fair fight money and power and ugly is winning. Somehow we need to change this around a little and not easy is it. The media the money talks and shit walks. It looks like this summer will be an eye opener weather wise but again from the money power it’s the Sun. Carl Sagan put into words what we all think about and now today this second do the special interests even care about such thinking probably not.

    Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
    Carl Sagan

    I don’t think we get a second chance on this all of us and the time is now to fight back so far not a fair fight that needs to change. Calm at peace knowledge and defense.

  44. bozh said on June 21st, 2009 at 7:16am #

    i, too, am hoping that every socialist condemns euro-land-grab in palestine and the ways the land grab had been obtaiened.
    unfortunately, chomsky, who may be anarchist before a socialist, onlycondenms the land grab and israel’s crimes after ’67.

  45. Max Shields said on June 21st, 2009 at 4:12pm #

    who cares what chomsky thinks?