"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jun 8, 2011

Defining Obama

Barack Obama is the president. It's his administration. These are his policies. He's the commander in chief.

His response to the crisis in Yemen - a crisis caused by the US backed militarization of the Yemeni state, transforming it into a dependent client in the War on Forever - is to...

...militarize some more.

This is his baby:

"The Obama administration has intensified the American covert war in Yemen, exploiting a growing power vacuum in the country to strike at militant suspects with armed drones and fighter jets, according to American officials.

The acceleration of the American campaign in recent weeks comes amid a violent conflict in Yemen that has left the government in Sana, a United States ally, struggling to cling to power. Yemeni troops that had been battling militants linked to Al Qaeda in the south have been pulled back to the capital, and American officials see the strikes as one of the few options to keep the militants from consolidating power..."

He owns it.

The NYT piece is purest hookum, of course. It's propaganda. Since they are reporting on the story, it's not and cannot be a damned covert escalation or campaign:

"The recent operations come after a nearly year-long pause in American airstrikes, which were halted amid concerns that poor intelligence had led to bungled missions and civilian deaths that were undercutting the goals of the secret campaign. 

Officials in Washington said that the American and Saudi spy services had been receiving more information — from electronic eavesdropping and informants — about the possible locations of militants. But, they added, the outbreak of the wider conflict in Yemen created a new risk: that one faction might feed information to the Americans that could trigger air strikes against a rival group."

You know that constant political trope - the one about energy independence?

The NYT, in cooperation with the Obama Administration's covert super public campaign of murder by sky death robots, has perhaps inadvertently gone off script. The US government is working, has been working, and will continue to work with the most repressive, regressive and vile state in the whole region, in order to crush resistance to local allies of the US and Saudi Arabia, to murder dissidents, to punish militants who can no longer sit idly as their lives are squandered and their children further impoverished in order to keep Americans fat, distracted and up to their ears in toxic debt.

Because Saudia Araba, despite passing its production peak and with declining supplies and overstated reserves, still has a lot of oil. And the US martial behemoth - the largest single consumer of oil in the Americas - needs that juice. The American service, power supply and entertainment economy needs that juice. The plastics, medical and transportation industries need that juice.

For this reason, Barack Obama is perfectly willing to murder Yemeni children.

For this, Obama escalates direct US attacks, in full interventionist mode, in order to take advantage of stasis, crisis and instability engineered by the government of the US, and specifically the Obama Administration.

That makes Barack fucking Obama a very specific thing.

It makes of him a tyrant.

Not the socialist kobold of perfervid and moronic rightwing paranoia. Not the usurping black foreigner of fetid Birther fantasy. He's not a a caricature.

And I don't even mean or mean to imply that he's a domestic tyrant. He's not Roosevelt (either of them) or anti-Roosevelt. Because our sad and very real world isn't stupid, lazy, stupid, shitty Hollywood.

I mean tyrant in its native sense, of the original and hellenic intent.

A tyrannos.

A man who seizes or attempts to seize a polity in order to turn its capture to material advantage for a small group of oligarchs and timocrats.

Barack Obama is, quite literally, a tyrant.

On considering this sobering fact, an intrepid interlocutor might wonder on the urgent need of tyrants everywhere to sully the memories of the various iterations of Harmodius and Aristogeiton. Such a one might wonder, but not too loudly.

Even a lazy observer can tell why...


A whole lot of props, kudos and credits to davidly for rather insightfully making connections I failed to make.


Anonymous said...

jackie wants a visit from the secret service and we can help him get the help he desperately needs
report him do it now
dont like to his blog hes trying to get you arrested

Jack Crow said...


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

They're on to Jack!

I won't turn you in though...unless Cardinal Fang brings the comfy chair.

Jack Crow said...


Python references are always welcome. Thanks for that. I spent the last half hour watching old Monty's clips.

davidly said...

Thanks, but I'm just piggy-backing. You made your point precisely the way you should've, and only you could've. The connections I made would've mucked up your page.

Richard said...

Jack, you have probably noticed that I don't say much about Obama as a person in depth anymore, just factual statements as he said this, or he did that, without any rhetorical flourishes

the oligarchs pick and choose who they want, or, even better, make sure that all of the choices offered to us are acceptable to them

hence, in this instance, you ascribe far too much personal power or agency to Obama, if it wasn't him, it would be someone else, when Obama no longer has any qualities that they can exploit, they will abandon him for someone else

and, interestingly, I think a lot of Americans consciously or subconsciously agree with me on this, note, for example, how little attention the public gives to anything he says or does now

Jack Crow said...


I think I understand the thrust of your argument, but I'm not actually making a case about Obama's persona, public or private.

I was, on the other hand, probably being too clever in the opening paragraph. Instead of conveying seamlessly the official and institutional target of my indictment (because it is, in the end, a critique of administration) it could as easily be read as a condemnation of his person.

On the other other hand, I don't think we should elide from our view the persons involved. Obama benefits, especially in the mainstream, from the too prevalent assumptions of either (a) incompetence or (b) bad counsel.

In that light, the more focus put on his administrative function as tyrannos,, the better.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

"The spice must flow!"

Because Saudia Araba, despite passing its production peak and with declining supplies and overstated reserves, still has a lot of oil. And the US martial behemoth - the largest single consumer of oil in the Americas - needs that juice

It's like an Oil Ouroborous, an Oilroborous, if you will.

Jack Crow said...

Oilroborous. You ought to copyright that, BBBB. Shiny.

Richard said...

Certainly, we should Obama responsible for what he does, but I really don't think the exercise of power is his motivation.

Instead, it is his position in the elite and pleasures of conspicuous consumption that go along with it.

He's just along for the ride.

And, when he leaves office, it won't be long before you hear about him getting $5M for a speech in Riyadh, $3M for one in Shanghai, in front of the most exclusive audiences you can imagine.

Anonymous said...

Richard's comments remind me of an important theme in rhetoric:

know your audience

What Richard is saying is relevant to people who don't need to read or hear Jack's argument.

Jack's argument is very important for those who continue to think Obama is an emblem of progress in America, the totem of post-racism, the veritable personification of Change We Can Believe In.

People who invest Obama with such traits assume he's one hell of a great guy, and the bestest person ever, ever, ever and I MEAN EVER to hold the POTUS slot and represent America on the global stage.

They frequently say Obama "would do ______" if not for the Evil Rethuglicans.

Or they say, "wait until his 2d term when the Real Obama comes out of hiding."

All praise, support, worship, vote-getting, defense, congratulation, admiration, et cetera that Obama receives directly and indirectly is premised on the greatness of his person, and the power and potential of his Awesomeness.

Such people need to get the clue Jack's bringing here.

To those who already agree with what Jack's saying here, Richard's observations are more relevant to put things into perspective -- i.e. what Obama could do, by himself, as a single agent of change.

On that note:

He could do a lot, Richard. His voice and vote count for a lot.

But he's already shown us what and how he does, hasn't he?

Jack Crow said...

Hot damn, Karl.

BDR said...

Karl, as good a bleggalgaze as I've read, and I mean that truly in the best possible sense.

Anonymous said...

Well thank you but truly the dog deserves all the credit here. I'm just the translator of canine growls, yelps and barks. None of that stuff ever could have come from my noggin, I'm just an old dumb ape.