Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Abominations of the Obama Nation

It seems that every time Barack Obama does something that would gain him a little bit of respect in my eyes, it's followed up by something else that's totally abhorrent. And that's really frustrating.

Early this week on Democracy Now!, Samantha Power, Obama's senior foreign policy advisor, spoke with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez about some of Barack's platforms. Whereas it was good to see that a candidate had such a lucid and knowledgeable advisor, it struck me that Obama's biggest claim to the false label of "progressivism" is his stated willingness to meet with world leaders without any pre-conditions whatsoever - a stance that has gained him a fair share of criticism by the more racist, xenophobic, and bellicose elements of this country. As Powers states about Obama,

He doesn’t think that meeting with the president of the United States is a reward you get for good behavior. He thinks that by being in the room, you actually identify whether there are sources of agreement.
Yes, sure, great. Whoopty-doo. He thinks that talking to world leaders is the duty of a United States president. Fantastic. I agree with him (because it is). But this makes him stand out as liberal? Willing and able diplomacy is now the benchmark for being a progressive (how progressive is leaving all military options 'on the table' during these unconditional talks)?

I really don't think that this standpoint should be the cause of such celebration when Obama's actual positions speak to much more of the same violent and aggressive foreign policy that we've had for the past decade and a half.

Obama's fan base seems to relish his so-called "progressive" status among the remaining candidates, but he deserves that label as much as Crassus could have been called the peacenik of the First Roman Triumvirate. Just because Curly was more endearing to the audience and had better comic timing than Moe or Larry (or Shemp), doesn't mean they're not all of them Stooges. And yes, in this example, Mike Huckabee is, of course, Shemp.

Willingness to meet with foreign leaders aside, I wonder how Obama continues to inspire the gaggles of giddy go-getters who are so enthusiastic about his campaign. Are they actually listening to him, or are "hope" and "change" the newest form of earplugs - wadded up buzz words that stuff up people's concha like cotton balls so that the sounds of real policy can't enter the ear canal for decoding?

At a time when the United States is the unquestionable greatest threat to (and active destroyer of) world peace and its closest ally one of the foremost perpetrator of human rights violations as well as being a brutal occupying force responsible for the deaths of over 200 people (including many women and children) since the resumption of "peace talks" three months ago, it seems a bit unconscionable to ramp up aggressive rhetoric against a country like Iran, which has not threatened or attacked any other nation in hundreds of years and is legally allowed to develop nuclear energy. The obvious pandering of Obama to Israel and against Iran is striking, especially at a time when Iran could almost single-handedly stabilize Iraq and Israel is truly pursuing a strategy best described as Neo-Shoahism in Gaza. As the ever-brilliant Kathleen and Bill Christison point out,
Obama has taken an extremely immoral stand on the Palestinian-Israeli issue by, among other positions, actually applauding Israel's siege and starvation of 1.5 million innocent Gazans, and by mourning Israel's losses to Palestinian rocket fire (12 people in seven years) without bothering even to mention the approximately 2,600 Gazans killed by Israeli rocket fire, airstrikes, and assassinations in those same seven years.
It seems that Obama's reactions to personal attacks, as well as international ones, are always a bit off the mark. In response to the appalling "accusations" of his being a Muslim (which apparently is now a crime by American standards), Obama has not considered the notion that such an attack on his character should not actually even be an attack on anyone's character, whether the allegations are true or not. Rather, he has done everything in his power to prove his devout Christianity and bolster his solidarity with the American (and Israeli) Jewish community, constantly reaffirming his fundamental opposition to the Palestinian Right of Return while stating that, to him, Israel's own security is "sacrosanct." He has never addressed the fact that at the heart of the Obama-is-a-Muslim "smear" campaign against him is really the confirmation that the United States is truly a deeply racist and bigoted country. Obama should condemn the attack, not because it gets his personal history and religious affiliations wrong, but because it inherently, implicitly, automatically, and categorically assumes that praying in a mosque or potentially being inspired by the words of Mohammad is on par, if not worse, than being accused of pederasty, adulterous gang rape, flip-flopping or, as in Shemp's preferred circles, atheism and evolution. Naomi Klein, in an excellent new piece in the Nation, explains,
[Muslims] are watching their culture used as a crude bludgeon against Obama, while the candidate who is the symbol of racial harmony fails to defend them. This at a time when US Muslims are bearing the brunt of the Bush Administration's assaults on civil liberties, including dragnet wiretapping, and are facing a documented spike in hate crimes.
Obama should really respond to racist propaganda by condemning the propaganda for being racist, not by disassociating himself with the victims.

Basically, I'm still waiting to hear a single compelling argument for actually voting for Barack Obama come November...something other than "He's not Hillary."

(By the way, on the heels of an illuminating article by Jeremy Scahill regarding Obama's refusing to rule out the continued employment of private security contractors in Iraq, Clinton has just announced that she is now co-sponsoring legislation to "ban the use of Blackwater and other private mercenary firms in Iraq.")


Count Me Out

The Obama Craze

By Matt Gonzalez | Counterpunch | 29 February 2008

Part of me shares the enthusiasm for Barack Obama. After all, how could someone calling themself a progressive not sense the importance of what it means to have an African-American so close to the presidency? But as his campaign has unfolded, and I heard that we are not red states or blue states for the 6th or 7th time, I realized I knew virtually nothing about him.

Like most, I know he gave a stirring speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. I know he defeated Alan Keyes in the Illinois Senate race; although it wasn't much of a contest (Keyes was living in Maryland when he announced). Recently, I started looking into Obama's voting record, and I'm afraid to say I'm not just uninspired: I'm downright fearful. Here's why:

This is a candidate who says he's going to usher in change; that he is a different kind of politician who has the skills to get things done. He reminds us again and again that he had the foresight to oppose the war in Iraq. And he seems to have a genuine interest in lifting up the poor.

But his record suggests that he is incapable of ushering in any kind of change I'd like to see. It is one of accommodation and concession to the very political powers that we need to reign in and oppose if we are to make truly lasting advances.


Let's start with his signature position against the Iraq war. Obama has sent mixed messages at best.

First, he opposed the war in Iraq while in the Illinois state legislature. Once he was running for US Senate though, when public opinion and support for the war was at its highest, he was quoted in the July 27, 2004 Chicago Tribune as saying, "There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage.
The difference, in my mind, is who's in a position to execute." The Tribune went on to say that Obama, "now believes US forces must remain to stabilize the war-ravaged nation ? a policy not dissimilar to the current approach of the Bush administration."

Obama's campaign says he was referring to the ongoing occupation and how best to stabilize the region. But why wouldn't he have taken the opportunity to urge withdrawal if he truly opposed the war? Was he trying to signal to conservative voters that he would subjugate his anti-war position if elected to the US Senate and perhaps support a lengthy occupation? Well as it turns out, he's done just that.

Since taking office in January 2005 he has voted to approve every war appropriation the Republicans have put forward, totaling over $300 billion. He also voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State despite her complicity in the Bush Administration's various false justifications for going to war in Iraq. Why would he vote to make one of the architects of "Operation Iraqi Liberation" the head of US foreign policy? Curiously, he lacked the courage of 13 of his colleagues who voted against her confirmation.

And though he often cites his background as a civil rights lawyer, Obama voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act in July 2005, easily the worse attack on civil liberties in the last half-century. It allows for wholesale eavesdropping on American citizens under the guise of anti-terrorism efforts.

And in March 2006, Obama went out of his way to travel to Connecticut to campaign for Senator Joseph Lieberman who faced a tough challenge by anti-war candidate Ned Lamont. At a Democratic Party dinner attended by Lamont, Obama called Lieberman "his mentor" and urged those in attendance to vote and give financial contributions to him. This is the same Lieberman who Alexander Cockburn called "Bush's closest Democratic ally on the Iraq War." Why would Obama have done that if he was truly against the war?

Recently, with anti-war sentiment on the rise, Obama declared he will get our combat troops out of Iraq in 2009. But Obama isn't actually saying he wants to get all of our troops out of Iraq. At a September 2007 debate before the New Hampshire primary, moderated by Tim Russert, Obama refused to commit to getting our troops out of Iraq by January 2013 and, on the campaign trail, he has repeatedly stated his desire to add 100,000 combat troops to the military.

At the same event, Obama committed to keeping enough soldiers in Iraq to "carry out our counter-terrorism activities there" which includes "striking at al Qaeda in Iraq." What he didn't say is this continued warfare will require an estimated 60,000 troops to remain in Iraq according to a May 2006 report prepared by the Center for American Progress. Moreover, it appears he intends to "redeploy" the troops he takes out of the unpopular war in Iraq and send them to Afghanistan. So it appears that under Obama's plan the US will remain heavily engaged in war.

This is hardly a position to get excited about.


In 2005, Obama joined Republicans in passing a law dubiously called the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) that would shut down state courts as a venue to hear many class action lawsuits. Long a desired objective of large corporations and President George Bush, Obama in effect voted to deny redress in many of the courts where these kinds of cases have the best chance of surviving corporate legal challenges. Instead, it forces them into the backlogged Republican-judge dominated federal courts.

By contrast, Senators Clinton, Edwards and Kerry joined 23 others to vote against CAFA, noting the "reform" was a thinly-veiled "special interest extravaganza" that favored banking, creditors and other corporate interests. David Sirota, the former spokesman for Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee, commented on CAFA in the June 26, 2006 issue of The Nation, "Opposed by most major civil rights and consumer watchdog groups, this Big Business-backed legislation was sold to the public as a way to stop "frivolous" lawsuits. But everyone in Washington knew the bill's real objective was to protect corporate abusers."

Nation contributor Dan Zegart noted further: "On its face, the class-action bill is mere procedural tinkering, transferring from state to federal court actions involving more than $5 million where any plaintiff is from a different state from the defendant company. But federal courts are much more hostile to class actions than their state counterparts; such cases tend to be rooted in the finer points of state law, in which federal judges are reluctant to dabble. And even if federal judges do take on these suits, with only 678 of them on the bench (compared with 9,200 state judges), already overburdened dockets will grow. Thus, the bill will make class actions ? most of which involve discrimination, consumer fraud and wage-and-hour violations ? all but impossible. One example: After forty lawsuits were filed against Wal-Mart for allegedly forcing employees to work "off the clock," four state courts certified these suits as class actions. Not a single federal court did so, although the practice probably involves hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide."

Why would a civil rights lawyer knowingly make it harder for working-class people ( Or the people of Hunter Point suing Lennar) to have their day in court, in effect shutting off avenues of redress?


Obama has a way of ducking hard votes or explaining away his bad votes by trying to blame poorly-written statutes. Case in point: an amendment he voted on as part of a recent bankruptcy bill before the US Senate would have capped credit card interest rates at 30 percent. Inexplicably, Obama voted against it, although it would have been the beginning of setting these predatory lending rates under federal control. Even Senator Hillary Clinton supported it.

Now Obama explains his vote by saying the amendment was poorly written or set the ceiling too high. His explanation isn't credible as Obama offered no lower number as an alternative, and didn't put forward his own amendment clarifying whatever language he found objectionable.

Why wouldn't Obama have voted to create the first federal ceiling on predatory credit card interest rates, particularly as he calls himself a champion of the poor and middle classes? Perhaps he was signaling to the corporate establishment that they need not fear him. For all of his dynamic rhetoric about lifting up the masses, it seems Obama has little intention of doing anything concrete to reverse the cycle of poverty many struggle to overcome.


These seemingly unusual votes wherein Obama aligns himself with Republican Party interests aren't new. While in the Illinois Senate, Obama voted to limit the recovery that victims of medical malpractice could obtain through the courts. Capping non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases means a victim cannot fully recover for pain and suffering or for punitive damages. Moreover, it ignored that courts were already empowered to adjust awards when appropriate, and that the Illinois Supreme Court had previously ruled such limits on tort reform violated the state constitution.

In the US Senate, Obama continued interfering with patients' full recovery for tortious conduct. He was a sponsor of the National Medical Error Disclosure and Compensation Act of 2005. The bill requires hospitals to disclose errors to patients and has a mechanism whereby disclosure, coupled with apologies, is rewarded by limiting patients' economic recovery. Rather than simply mandating disclosure, Obama's solution is to trade what should be mandated for something that should never be given away: namely, full recovery for the injured patient.


In November 2007, Obama came out against a bill that would have reformed the notorious Mining Law of 1872. The current statute, signed into law by Ulysses Grant, allows mining companies to pay a nominal fee, as little as $2.50 an acre, to mine for hardrock minerals like gold, silver, and copper without paying royalties. Yearly profits for mining hardrock on public lands is estimated to be in excess of $1 billion a year according to Earthworks, a group that monitors the industry. Not surprisingly, the industry spends freely when it comes to lobbying: an estimated $60 million between 1998-2004 according to The Center on Public Integrity. And it appears to be paying off, yet again.

The Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007 would have finally overhauled the law and allowed American taxpayers to reap part of the royalties (4 percent of gross revenue on existing mining operations and 8 percent on new ones). The bill provided a revenue source to cleanup abandoned hardrock mines, which is likely to cost taxpayers over $50 million, and addressed health and safety concerns in the 11 affected western states.

Later it came to light that one of Obama's key advisors in Nevada is a Nevada-based lobbyist in the employ of various mining companies (CBS News "Obama's Position On Mining Law Questioned. Democrat Shares Position with Mining Executives Who Employ Lobbyist Advising Him," November 14, 2007).


The New York Times reported that, while campaigning in Iowa in December 2007, Obama boasted that he had passed a bill requiring nuclear plants to promptly report radioactive leaks. This came after residents of his home state of Illinois complained they were not told of leaks that occurred at a nuclear plant operated by Exelon Corporation.

The truth, however, was that Obama allowed the bill to be amended in Committee by Senate Republicans, replacing language mandating reporting with verbiage that merely offered guidance to regulators on how to address unreported leaks. The story noted that even this version of Obama's bill failed to pass the Senate, so it was unclear why Obama was claiming to have passed the legislation. The February 3, 2008 The New York Times article titled "Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in Senate" by Mike McIntire also noted the opinion of one of Obama's constituents, which was hardly enthusiastic about Obama's legislative efforts:

"Senator Obama's staff was sending us copies of the bill to review, and we could see it weakening with each successive draft," said Joe Cosgrove, a park district director in Will County, Ill., where low-level radioactive runoff had turned up in groundwater. "The teeth were just taken out of it."

As it turns out, the New York Times story noted: "Since 2003, executives and employees of Exelon, which is based in Illinois, have contributed at least $227,000 to Mr. Obama's campaigns for the United States Senate and for president. Two top Exelon officials, Frank M. Clark, executive vice president, and John W. Rogers Jr., a director, are among his largest fund-raisers."


On energy policy, it turns out Obama is a big supporter of corn-based ethanol which is well known for being an energy-intensive crop to grow. It is estimated that seven barrels of oil are required to produce eight barrels of corn ethanol, according to research by the Cato Institute. Ethanol's impact on climate change is nominal and isn't "green" according to Alisa Gravitz, Co-op America executive director. "It simply isn't a major improvement over gasoline when it comes to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions." A 2006 University of Minnesota study by Jason Hill and David Tilman, and an earlier study published in BioScience in 2005, concur. (There's even concern that a reliance on corn-based ethanol would lead to higher food prices.)

So why would Obama be touting this as a solution to our oil dependency? Could it have something to do with the fact that the first presidential primary is located in Iowa, corn capital of the country? In legislative terms this means Obama voted in favor of $8 billion worth of corn subsidies in 2006 alone, when most of that money should have been committed to alternative energy sources such as solar, tidal and wind.


Obama opposed single-payer bill HR676, sponsored by Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers in 2006, although at least 75 members of Congress supported it. Single-payer works by trying to diminish the administrative costs that comprise somewhere around one-third of every health care dollar spent, by eliminating the duplicative nature of these services. The expected $300 billion in annual savings such a system would produce would go directly to cover the uninsured and expand coverage to those who already have insurance, according to Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Obama's own plan has been widely criticized for leaving health care industry administrative costs in place and for allowing millions of people to remain uninsured. "Sicko" filmmaker Michael Moore ridiculed it saying, "Obama wants the insurance companies to help us develop a new health care plan-the same companies who have created the mess in the first place."


Regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement, Obama recently boasted, "I don't think NAFTA has been good for Americans, and I never have." Yet, Calvin Woodward reviewed Obama's record on NAFTA in a February 26, 2008 Associated Press article and found that comment to be misleading: "In his 2004 Senate campaign, Obama said the US should pursue more deals such as NAFTA, and argued more broadly that his opponent's call for tariffs would spark a trade war. AP reported then that the Illinois senator had spoken of enormous benefits having accrued to his state from NAFTA, while adding that he also called for more aggressive trade protections for US workers."

Putting aside campaign rhetoric, when actually given an opportunity to protect workers from unfair trade agreements, Obama cast the deciding vote against an amendment to a September 2005 Commerce Appropriations Bill, proposed by North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan, that would have prohibited US trade negotiators from weakening US laws that provide safeguards from unfair foreign trade practices. The bill would have been a vital tool to combat the outsourcing of jobs to foreign workers and would have ended a common corporate practice known as "pole-vaulting" over regulations, which allows companies doing foreign business to avoid "right to organize," "minimum wage," and other worker protections.


On March 2, 2007 Obama gave a speech at AIPAC, America's pro-Israeli government lobby, wherein he disavowed his previous support for the plight of the Palestinians. In what appears to be a troubling pattern, Obama told his audience what they wanted to hear. He recounted a one-sided history of the region and called for continued military support for Israel, rather than taking the opportunity to promote the various peace movements in and outside of Israel.

Why should we believe Obama has courage to bring about change? He wouldn't have his picture taken with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom when visiting San Francisco for a fundraiser in his honor because Obama was scared voters might think he supports gay marriage (Newsom acknowledged this to Reuters on January 26, 2007 and former Mayor Willie Brown admitted to the San Francisco Chronicle on February 5, 2008 that Obama told him he wanted to avoid Newsom for that reason.)

Obama acknowledges the disproportionate impact the death penalty has on blacks, but still supports it, while other politicians are fighting to stop it. (On December 17, 2007 New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed a bill banning the death penalty after it was passed by the New Jersey Assembly.)

On September 29, 2006, Obama joined Republicans in voting to build 700 miles of double fencing on the Mexican border (The Secure Fence Act of 2006), abandoning 19 of his colleagues who had the courage to oppose it. But now that he's campaigning in Texas and eager to win over Mexican-American voters, he says he'd employ a different border solution.

It is shocking how frequently and consistently Obama is willing to subjugate good decision making for his personal and political benefit.

Obama aggressively opposed initiating impeachment proceedings against the president ("Obama: Impeachment is not acceptable," USA Today, June 28, 2007) and he wouldn't even support Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold's effort to censure the Bush administration for illegally wiretapping American citizens in violation of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In Feingold's words "I'm amazed at Democrats cowering with this president's number's so low." Once again, it's troubling that Obama would take these positions and miss the opportunity to document the abuses of the Bush regime.


Once I started looking at the votes Obama actually cast, I began to hear his rhetoric differently. The principal conclusion I draw about "change" and Barack Obama is that Obama needs to change his voting habits and stop pandering to win votes. If he does this he might someday make a decent candidate who could earn my support. For now Obama has fallen into a dangerous pattern of capitulation that he cannot reconcile with his growing popularity as an agent of change.

I remain impressed by the enthusiasm generated by Obama's style and skill as an orator. But I remain more loyal to my values, and I'm glad to say that I want no part in the Obama craze sweeping our country.

Matt Gonzalez is a former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and is running on Nader's ticket as a vice presidential candidate.


Anonymous said...

I came across your blog and was perusing some of your posts. I find it curious that you make so many accusations about Obama without one shred of evidence. When it comes to Obama, you seem to be having a conversation with yourself.

In citing the "ever-brilliant" Kathleen and Bill Christison, you essentially assert that Obama "applauded Israel's siege and starvation of 1.5 million innocent Gazans." You should note that referencing another source that itself has no foundation in fact does not add any credence to your own argument; in fact, it erodes the little credibility you already had. Are you actually claiming that Barack Obama applauded the deaths of 1.5 million people? That is an extremely serious accusation.

In the end, your blog is nothing more than an exercise in self-defeating intellectual dishonesty. You destroy your own credibility when you are dishonest about the argument and ultimately accomplish nothing. In short, this is utter nonsense.

Lord Baltimore said...

Dear anonymous,

Thanks for perusing the blog, despite your dislike of the content. I appreciate the audience, however negative the response may be. Without responses like yours, this is indeed just an exercise - in what, though, is perhaps where we differ.

Firstly, I am well aware that many posts on this blog come across as Obama-bashing, possibly just for the hell of it. But I do hope you (and anyone else who might read this) recognize that the only reason I give Obama a hard time is because Hillary and McCain are too onerous to even mention at length, and because I don't believe that Obama's actual opinions and ideals stand up to the scrutiny of a truly progressive gauge.

It is this last point that keeps making me return to questioning Obama's supposed greatness. Many, if not all, of my friends here in New York City (and around the country, as well) are geared up and excited to vote for Barack Obama in November. They are enthusiastic about his policies and the change he can bring to Washington, to this country, and to the world as a whole. This idealism is commendable and any renewed or energetic interest in the political process should be encouraged. But I hold my friends up to the same standards as I would hold anyone whom I respect - I expect them to be able to back up their opinions with reasoning.

I have often been told about a "lesser of two evils" and "anyone is better than Hillary and McCain" and, more positively, that Obama truly is a progressive candidate that can change things for the better, end rampant American militarism and imperialism, and restore hope and opportunity to this failing nation. And I simply want to know how he is going to do these admittedly noble things when most of what he says and does contradicts this notion of change and any sort of progressive vision of the world.

I wonder why you could state that I "make so many accusations about Obama without one shred of evidence." This blog is packed with links to news articles, analysis, and commentaries from numerous sources regarding Obama's statements, plans, and policies. In regard to the allegations you specifically raise about Obama in regard to the situation in Gaza, I wonder why you believe this information to be spurious (or at best, specious) when Obama's letter to the US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, speaks volumes of Obama's unwillingness to stand for humanitarian rights or, heaven forefend, to stand up with a resistence movement in the face of a brutal and aggressive occupation. In the letter, written in January during the darkest days of the Israeli siege of Gaza when sewage was running through the streets, hospitals had no electricity, and there was no drinking water, Obama states:

I urge you [Amb. Khalilzad] to ensure that the Security Council issue no statement and pass no resolution on this matter [Israel's collective punishment of 1.5 million Gazan civilians] that does not fully condemn the rocket assault Hamas has been conducting on civilians in southern Israel...

All of us are concerned about the impact of closed border crossings on Palestinian families. However, we have to understand why Israel is forced to do this... Israel has the right to respond while seeking to minimize any impact on civilians.

The Security Council should clearly and unequivocally condemn the rocket attacks... If it cannot bring itself to make these common sense points, I urge you to ensure that it does not speak at all.

Obama has not even mentioned Israel's latest murderous actions in Gaza this past weekend. In addition to this, Obama has repeated again and again that, as a matter of policy, he will not engage in talks with Hamas, the democratically-elected leading party of Palestinians. How does this jive with his much touted stance on meeting without any pre-conditions with America's supposed "enemies"?

There is a ton of information about Obama's beliefs and plans in his lengthy "Blueprint for Change" (available on his website and which can be found here in PDF form). This, along with recent news articles, stump speeches, and interviews, is where I get my information about the candidate. These are the foundations of my accusations about and inform my discontent and disappointment with Obama.

For instance, buried on page 56 of his blueprint are his statements about both Iran and Palestine. He echoes the Bush administration's sentiments regarding Iran's completely legal and well-inspected nuclear program and accuses Iran of supporting terror throughout the Middle East (apparently, any opposition movement that fights American and Israeli hegemony is dubbed a 'terror' organization). Obama then goes on to put forward a plan that reveals his true beliefs: that the US owns the world and every other country needs to supplicate itself at the foot of American power and subject itself to the US' good graces and only then can foreign sovereign nations be given the scraps that America is willing to throw them for their good behavior. The Blueprint states,

Obama would offer the Iranian regime a choice. If Iran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, we will offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations. If Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation.

Besides the fact that Iran has every legal right to pursue nuclear energy and has engaged positively and transparently with the IAEA, Obama still spouts the tired rhetoric of its "troubling behavior." Does he meant the behavior of a country that is now surrounded by US troops and nuclear weapons?

Moving on, Obama's Palestine plan proves his commitment to continued Israeli dominance and racist ideals, when he states that

He will make a sustained push – working with Israelis and Palestinians – to achieve the goal of two states, a Jewish state in Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security.

A "Jewish" state is, by definition, racist and undemocratic (not to mention absurd, considering that millions of Palestinians live there still or have been violently expelled from what would be called the Jewish state). For Obama to support Israel in this way, to the detriment of the Palestinian people, proves that he is far from the face of unity and hope that his followers so desperately want to believe him to be.

I do, wholeheartedly and honestly, thank you for your comments and hope that you respond to this one and any further posts that you either agree with, disagree with, take umbrage with, or what have you. Debate is most important and I hope that we can engage each other in a respectful and open-minded way.


Lord Baltimore said...

Here's the actual link for Obama's "Blueprint for Change," which I mentioned in the comment above (the link apparently was copied incorrectly. My apologies.)