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02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]
02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]
02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]
02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]
02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]
News Media Matters
02.16 We Shouldn't Stick Our Heads In The Sand, But We Do It Anyway [26:46 audio; Fear like Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]
02.15 Samantha Bee: Fox News 'soiling themselves over the Green New Deal' [video clips from Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert]
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]
02.18 Dictator Trump
02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]
Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism
02.13 The Green New Deal offers radical environmental and economic change [For the survival of life on earth, capitalism must be effectively regulated or banned]
02.12 Climate and economic risks 'threaten 2008-style systemic collapse' [Willfull ignorance of Trump, Republicans, corporate-media and corporate-Democrats is steadfast, if not worsening]
02.11 Trump offers socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else [and the poor will die out like the insects]
International & Futurism
02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]
02.18 Hate-Fest in Warsaw
Obama's War and Remembrance Day
How dare the Afghan people fight U.S. military occupation!
Originally published in This Can't Be Happening earlier today, 10 November 2009
I suggest it is time for progressives to start searching for a serious, gutsy, plain-speaking candidate to challenge Obama for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2012.
With word being leaked out over the weekend that our Nobel Peace Prize President is close to announcing plans to escalate the US troop level in the Afghanistan War by 50%, we are about to have perhaps the ultimate of ironies—a president announcing a big step-up in American war-making on November 11, the day known around much of the Western world as Armistice Day.
While modern Americans might not know it, with all the boom and bombast and mindless flag-waving featured in the military parades popular in today’s warrior culture, November 11 was originally established by Congress back in 1919, a year after the day the guns of World War I finally went silent over the blood-drenched fields of Europe in what was once, in a naïve spasm of optimism, referred to as the War to End All Wars. In declaring the national holiday Armistice Day, Congress said it was to be “a day dedicated to the cause of world peace.”
It’s hard to see how President Obama, who has yet to actually receive his Nobel Prize as a peacemaker from Norway’s King Harald, is contributing to peace with the addition of another 34,000 US soldiers and Marines to the 68,000 already fighting, killing and dying on Afghan soil. Maybe he thinks holding this escalation to 34,000 instead of accommodating Afghanistan Theater Commander Gen. Stanley McCrystal’s request for 80,000 more troops is an act of pacificistic moderation.
I doubt it. (Incidentally, some Pentagon and White House flaks are referring to this escalation as another “surge,” but you can’t call a 50% increase in troop commitments a “surge.” It is what it is—a massive expansion of the current war effort.)
No, sadly, Obama, who has declared the bloody assault on one of the world’s most remote and impoverished lands to be a “necessary war,” seems stubbornly and ignorantly and foolishly to be trying to emulate the mistakes of an earlier Democratic president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, who turned a minor conflict in Vietnam into the biggest war, and biggest disaster, that the US has engaged in since World War II.
Of course, the difference between the two men, Johnson and Obama, is still enormous. While Obama may be just as bone-headed as was Johnson in caving to the will of his generals instead of leading them, he doesn’t hold a candle to Johnson when it comes to leading the charge for progressive domestic legislation. While Johnson was ginning up the war in Vietnam, he was simultaneously dragging the racist Democrats of the southern states kicking and screaming into the post-slavery world with passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, which for the first time enabled African Americans to actually participate in voting. He also rammed through Congress a truly innovative single-payer health program—Medicare--to provide health care for all Americans once they reached 65, or became disabled, as well as a second program--Medicaid--to care for the poor.
Against these great accomplishments, Obama hasn’t even shown the resolve to end discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military—something he could do with a phone call to the Joint Chiefs! That is to say, while he’s willing to pointlessly, on the basis of some bizarre political calculus, put another 34,000 young Americans in harm’s way in Afghanistan, he’s not willing to ban discrimination against those of them who may not be suitably heterosexual.
The signs are grimly clear that this silver-tongued but politically gutless president is steering the country into yet another military disaster—one that has killed 200 young men and women under his command, but which could easily become as costly in blood and fortune as was Johnson’s Vietnam War four decades ago. Making matters worse is the fact that while the Vietnam War was fought at a time when America was at its height as an economic power, today this country is an economic basket case.
I predict that it will not be long before protesters will be packing the Washington Mall and jamming the streets surrounding the White House shouting chants of “Hey, Obama, What Do You Say? How Many Kids Have You Killed Today?”(How’s he going to explain those shouts to his daughters, Sasha and Malia?)
The sheen has already warn off this latest huckster for American militarism and imperial adventure, and, with his increasingly blood-stained hands tied by the Pentagon and military quagmire, he has nothing to show domestically to earn him public support and affection. The man had a chance, nine months ago, to come into office and smash the criminal banking syndicate, to put Americans back to work with a serious jobs program, and to finally expand Medicare to all, bringing America into the modern world on health care. Instead he turned the financial system completely over to the banksters, helping them to grow even bigger, left the unemployed to fend for themselves, and fobbed off the job of health care “reform” on Congress, which predictably did the bidding of the Medical Establishment, and deep-sixed the whole thing.
It is, I would suggest, time for progressives to start searching for a serious, gutsy, plain-speaking candidate to challenge Obama for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2012. This man needs to have a new Gene McCarthy or George McGovern breathing down his neck for the next three years.
Armistice Day would be a good day to launch that search.
About the author: Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is a 34-year veteran, an award-winning journalist, a former New York Times contributor, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a two-time Journalism Fulbright Scholar, and the co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of a well-regarded book on impeachment, The Case for Impeachment. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on November 10, 2009.