Thursday, March 27, 2014

And People Wonder Why I'm Devoting My Golden Years to Non-Stop Hookers and Blow

The American experiment in democracy is officially over.

Seriously, this is the most depressing thing I've ever read in my entire life.

Via Digby, this morning.

The president's speech today was very strange. Ryan Grim reports:

President Barack Obama defended the American invasion of Iraq Wednesday in a high-profile speech to address the Russian takeover of Crimea. Russian officials, Obama noted, have pointed to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq as an example of "Western hypocrisy."

Obama struggled, however, in his attempt to defend the legality of the invasion. The war was unsanctioned by the United Nations, and many experts assert it violated any standard reading of international law. But, argued Obama, at least the U.S. tried to make it legal. "America sought to work within the international system," Obama said, referencing an attempt to gain U.N. approval for the invasion -- an effort that later proved to be founded on flawed, misleading and cherry-picked intelligence. The man who delivered the presentation to the U.N., then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, has repeatedly called it a "blot" on his record.

I can't imagine anyone on those planet who would buy the president's rubbish on that topic. You don't get extra credit for "seeking" UN approval and going ahead when it's denied, fergawdsakes. If anything that makes it worse! It proved to anyone with eyes that it doesn't matter what the UN thinks --- if the US wants to invade a country it's damned well going to do it. "Asking" the UN is a mere formality. I think most of the nations of the world got that "message" loud and clear.

Obama, in his speech, noted his own opposition to the war, but went on to defend its mission.

"We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain," Obama argued. In fact, the U.S. forced Iraq to privatize its oil industry, which had previously been under the control of the state, and further required that it accept foreign ownership of the industry. The effort to transfer the resources to the control of multinational, largely U.S.-based oil companies has been hampered in part by the decade of violence unleashed by the invasion.

Yes, we invaded a sovereign nation and killed many thousands of its people for their own good. Pay no attention to the litany of lies our government told to justify it.

I heard the speech this morning and nearly choked when I heard President Obama --- the man whose rationale for running for president in the first place was based upon his superior judgement compared to anyone who voted for that misbegotten war --- now standing before the international community and defending that travesty and drawing a fatuous moral distinction between what we did just a decade ago and what is happening in Russia today. I am embarrassed for him. And for the United States.

He went on to say that we left Iraq so we're not bad guy imperialists (like you know who) which is one of America's traditional claims to excuse our special brand of imperialism: we had good intentions and at least we didn't turn them into an American colony. Bully for us. The people who lost their families in any of these wars are unlikely to be moved by the fact that we remove our soldiers from the territory once our wet work is done.

Grim concludes with this upbeat current report about the results of our glorious adventure:

The president's paean to Iraqi democracy comes one day after the entire board of the country's electoral commission resigned en masse, protesting political interference and, according to Reuters, "casting doubt on a nationwide vote scheduled for next month." Critics have accused Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of a systematic effort to remove opponents from the ballot.

Across Iraq, 68 people were killed the same day the commissioners stepped down.

Words fucking fail me.


cahuenga said...

Great post Steve.

And seriously, concentrate on hookers and blow. I'm afraid we are far too outnumbered to change anything at this point.

Jonathan F. King said...

Why are people astonished when the CEO of an international conglomerate maintains the same postures and policies of his predecessors? Because he told the shareholders some years ago that he'd do things differently? It is to laugh. You don't get to run the big ship USA in the first place if anyone who matters thinks you'll change anything; that's all determined long before any poster child persuades the suckers to cast their votes for Change.

That said, this really was audacious, even by Barry's shameless standards. I'm glad you're appalled.

Anna said...

And, as Digby always says, it's The Village. Obama, in his premiere Democratic Convention speech (2000?...can't remember) that people were ecstatic about (and which, even at the time, smelled bad to me) came across as a Villager-in-training. He's now the King of the Village, and I'm not surprised by today's "very strange" in the slightest.

...and, as Avedon's fond of saying, "pitchforks and torches!"

We're fucked.

cthulhu said...

Steve, the only thing that surprises me is that you're surprised. When Obama decided to commit US resources to the civil war in Libya, he didn't even bother to ask Congress; at least Bush got a Congressional resolution. And all of that "bright red line" bullshit in Syria? Remember, the Russians support Assad, and no doubt enjoying some schadenfreunde at our powerlessness right now.

Maybe all of us, of all parties, should study Washington's farewell speech in more detail before embarking on any more foreign adventures...

Voxtron said...

This power pop site seems to have less and less to do with power pop. Politics?

steve simels said...

Just bummed out.

Check here tomorrow for some actual fun.

GLLinMO said...

Smoke and mirrors plus the proverbial good haircut only get one so far. One cannot even say that this exposes the "true Obama", unless you like to believe that in both the national and global sense, the guy is in way over his head.

'Course on the other side of our political spectrum, heads are all up their asses.

Too old for hookers or blow. So it'll be anther bottle of wine.

Roadmaster said...

Jonathan King - agreed that the CEO is just espousing the continuity message. All the more concern over the speculation on who the REAL Board of Directors is for this enterprise. It sure isn't Congress, and is WAY sure as Hell ain't the electorate.

I'll opt for stacks of vinyl, gin & tonics, and frozen custard to expedite my departure from this mortal coil.

Roadmaster said...

Oh, and granted that it would only be symbolic - but the Nobel folks should rescind their Peace Prize Award to the non-GWB...Who now speaks in support of the GWB.


Hannes A. Jónsson said...

I' bored...with the U.S.A.

Anonymous said...

All these years you kept warning me about Obama and I wouldn't listen… well now I see it and it's very, very upsetting.

Allan R.

Brooklyn Girl said...

How does Obama explain Afghanistan? Because we are still there, with no end in sight.

Nice of him to close Gitmo, though. Oh wait, he didn't.

I feel bad for kids in their 20s. Really, we tried to make it better ---

Brooklyn Girl said...

How does Obama explain Afghanistan? Because we are still there, with no end in sight.

Nice of him to close Gitmo, though. Oh wait, he didn't.

I feel bad for kids in their 20s. Really, we tried to make it better ---

Brooklyn Girl said...

Sorry for the double entry --- the commenting system lied. Simels, feel free to delete ---

Anonymous said...

To be fair to Obama, he tried to close Gitmo but Congress blocked it.

While he has been disappointing on a number of issues (no Wall Street prosecutions???), he has been a million times better than Bush/Cheney. Those were dark times.