In retrospect, does it not sound terribly naive that we would hope a U.S. president whose candidacy was selected and backed by our most powerful bankers would be permitted, just maybe, perhaps by virtue of his being black and well spoken, to modify the intense imperialism that has characterized all previous presidencies since, if not including, that of Teddy Roosevelt and before?
He said he would bomb Pakistan and he has.
He indicated he would be willing to sacrifice men, women and children to assassinate leaders of those warring against American occupations and he has.
He said he would, and he did, send more troops to broaden the war against Pashtun Taliban, formerly the Reagan approved and recognized government of Afghanistan.
He has praised Americans for having fought the Vietnamese in their own country and keeps American troops in Iraq, though he called Iraq a “dumb war.” when seeking the votes of citizens no longer supporting that war.
He has praised European settlers for their westward march across America without acknowledging the death and suffering of the indigenous peoples of the continent whose nations the settlers from across the sea conquered
He pre-justified the week long massacre of Gaza, and kept silent during the chilling dispatch of four hundred Palestinian children along with over a thousand of their relatives and friends
While still a candidate, he signed on to giving hundreds of billions of dollars to bankers who favor, propagate and profit from wars.
We could have been pretty sure Obama would never condemn the industrial investment banks of Henry Ford, Rockefeller, General Motors, General Electric, IBM, Dupont, Joe Kennedy, Prescott Bush, Averell Harriman, Brown Brothers, J.P. Morgan, Chase Bank, Allen and John Foster Dulles, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Union Carbide, Westinghouse, Gillette, Goodrich, Singer, Eastman Kodak, Coca-Cola, ITT, and media magnates William Randolph Hearst, the UP Syndicate, the Chicago Tribune, and others for having backed Adolph Hitler and invested in arming the Germany of the Nazis up to superpower status, knowing full well (and in most cases pleased) that Hitler persecuted Jews and Communists.
Obama has always proclaimed capitalism and the United States as, overall, “a force for good in the world.”
“Hope springs eternal.” is the saying often applied to circumstances that don’t appear to warrant hope.
Zen Buddhists, practicing a strict application of highly disciplined mind, understand “hope’ and “fear’ as two sides of the same coin.
Just as fear can have a negative function, hope can paralyze, can be made to substitute for action and can becloud accurate appraisal and decision making.
Both hope and fear anticipate something that has not yet happened. For example, hoping that a certain damn will not break is similar to fearing that it will.
Fear and hope, not unlike prayers evoked in their name, are retreats from endeavor, a postponement or avoidance of involvement. As does fear, hope lessens the awareness and attention so critical to decisive action.
Millions of progressives, even if not completely hooked by the campaign slogan of “change” hoped that Obama would be different. But, as the wise saying goes, “Hoping doesn’t make it so.”
Before the election our priority was getting a Democrat elected as America’s first black president, and we felt obliged to lay low so the rabid and ignorant right wing plurality out there would not associate Obama with criticism of America, or the peace movement which corporate media characterizes as appeasement and weakness. Immediately after inauguration Obama bombed Pakistan as promised (a promise most assuredly meant for the ear of the military complex).
During our present generation, the lies, misrepresentations and treachery of U.S. presidents (Obama now included), Congresses and a Pentagon subservient media cartel have caused a multi massive amount of Muslim children to fall in harms way of lethal U.S. military action in Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq again, Pakistan and Yemen. This merely continues a century long history of vicious and cruel armed Western imperialism in Muslim lands: various sub-Saharan African colonies, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq, since the Ottoman empire was sliced up for England and France with United States of America in profitable acquiescence.
Our hope was incredibly misplaced, that once in office, Obama would have acted contrary to his promises of bellicose intentions and as an exception to all his imperialist predecessors, that he had only pretended to be a hawk before an war indoctrinated electorate in order to gain office. A capitalist chief executive allowed to place the lives of children being slaughtered by U.S. military in poor Third World countries above the interests of Wall Street war profits would have no precedent.
Extremists fighting for justice in a world of U.S. military hegemony hold the millions of Americans limiting themselves to only hoping for a safer fate for foreign children, guilty and responsible as the Commander-in Chief Obama’s other officials of U.S. corporate governance.
Americans in general have a good amount of leisure but little or no interest in the crimes of their government abroad. Among them are many Americans who are personally disturbed or uncomfortable particularly about their awesomely powerful military taking the lives and limbs of children. But the greater part of pangs of conscience is devoted to hoping rather than any action at all. Those who seek news and information beyond that twisted on TV and in tabloids, will know of daily atrocities by the same boastful military that though having a large military facility less than three hundred miles from the Haiti earthquake zone did little more than block the aid coming into the Port-au Prince airport from other nations, disembarking its fine Navy hospital ship from Maryland only three days after the quake struck.
Since hope and fear are two sides of the same coin, obviously fear of retribution beyond that of 9/11 is more prevalent than the hope that our killing will cease.
This article was originally published by OpEdNews in February 2010.