THOLOS OF ATHENA

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A REPUBLIC OF DIMINISHING RETURNS

While John McCain drones on about our noble Surge of occupying force in Iraq; it appears at the same time that Obama, his opponent, has all but won the beauty contest, as far as the rest of the world is concerned. McCain looks more and more like a political hack, as he accuses Obama of being responsible for the high gas prices, and accuses the senator of being willing to "lose a war in order to win an election", which is possibly the lamest and most unsubstantiated charge McCain could make. McCain barks his accusations as he stands in front of what looks like the rump stage in a high school cafeteria.

At the same time, in Germany, Obama is being called Der Schwarze JFK...The Black JFK. But while McCain spit shines the War Machine and praises military solutions and our national staying power, Obama rises eloquently to convince Europeans (and many Americans) that he brings an inspiring age of renewal. Yet the problem today is that we have two candidates who are clearly militant when it comes to pursuing war as the chief instrument of the presidency.

If McCain is hopeless as a status quo figure, if he appears rhetorically limited and bumbles through his stump speeches, it's not your imagination. He is remarkably unqualified to be president. He displays a hot button personality; and even the casual observer can see the volatility that lies not far beneath his surface. McCain's got the kind of uptightness that doesn't wash out.

Barak Obama, on the other hand, is what Marshall McLuhan would have described as a "cool medium".

But don't be surprised if America's 160,000 kids in combat can be jacked up to 365,000 by the end of his first term in office. We will vote for Obama in November because we can't think or wiggle our way out of this dilemma. It's the chaos of muddle with the McCain empire, or the better managed empire of the handsome Barak Obama. Which would you choose?

A Republic of Diminishing Returns? Why do I think that? Because I believe the outward show of democracy will take precedent over the repair of democracy. There are disturbing signals being sent by Obama's team and the Democrats. The first was the surrender on the FISA bill. The Surveillance State will remain just as it is, thank you. The military position in Iraq will be consolidated in the first 16 months of the Obama presidency. Combat forces are to be reduced in Iraq and increased in Afghanistan. It's a shell game. The war goes on. The new killing fields are adjusted around new policy. Pakistan and Iran are next.

Both republicans and democrats are determined that the empire will not die on their watch.

But a compelling clue that President Obama intends a seamless transition into the resource wars, comes with the disclosure from one of his campaign advisers, from a story in The Nation by Ari Melber. He quotes Cass Sunstein, Obama's adviser:
Prosecuting government officials risks a "cycle" of criminalizing public service, [Sunstein] argued, and Democrats should avoid replicating retributive efforts like the impeachment of President Clinton--or even the "slight appearance" of it.
Whenever the phrase, "criminalizing public service", is used to describe the political hazard of bringing US war criminals to justice, be aware that what you're hearing is debased authoritarian language. The criminals who have savaged humanity, broken laws and undermined our Constitution should not have their unspeakable acts of barbarity and crime described as "public service".

Why would the new president let the Bush criminals off the hook? For a smooth transition, he will tell you. To turn the page and never dwell on partisan battles; you get the picture. But mostly because he will have to work with the very SOBs in Congress who have blood on their hands.

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