Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hypocrisy driven by Fear

During the Bush administration I have seen the same faces protesting in the suburbs of Philadelphia, in center city Philadelphia, Washington DC and NYC. It was not just the war on/in Iraq that took us to the streets but the warrantless surveillance of citizens, Guantanamo, torture of prisoners,water boarding, women rights to choose, gay rights -to name a few- Simply put, we spent 8 years protesting beginning with the shameful fiasco of the 2000 Election
We were good at pointing out lies and injustice and making our voices heard (well, at least we tried).
Today we Have the man we voted for and the whole world knows that he inherited Bush's mess. But today president Obama is a Noble Peace Prize winner and while some of us argue that we should not criticize him - as he does all he can and perhaps he knows things we don't know and that's why he is sending 30.000 more troops in Afghanistan - most of us agree that he does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. But here is where the hypocrisy surfaces: Among all of us only a minority has the courage to openly criticize our President for accepting this prize or better, for not openly criticize the Nobel Prize Committee and this pisses me off!

The bottom line is that the people with whom I have protested for justice for 8 years are adopting the Right Wing attitude that their man they put in the White House in 2000 and 2004 could not do anything wrong and since he was the President and the Commander in chief should no be criticized. They didn't. Republicans stick for each other, no matter what!
The argument today from the quiet Left is that we shouldn't give anything to the Sarah Palin's crowd. This argument does not make us better than those we criticized.
Sticking for each other - no matter what- is not the voice of justice. By continuing doing so, we are losing our collective voice I once believed was never to be called hypocrisy driven by fear.
We must stand for Justice, no matter who is in power.
Will you again SPEAK OUT?


Jenny Hanniver said...

Part 2: While I was stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1962 I underwent a life-changing experience caused by JFK's inexperience. He was one of our weakest presidents, unable to pass civil rights legislation, unable to address poverty in America, mostly because his notion of handling the inheritance of American imperialism was to sponsor the "white man's burden" of patronizing "aid". He couldn't make overseas friends that way because he couldn't stop imperialism and push it back, whatever his own inclinations. If bad foreign policy plans were already rolling JFK let them go forward, allowing the invasion of the Bay of Pigs which made us look foolishly bumbling. JFK was a brinkman or he followed the suggestions of brinkmen advisors.

Both, I think. His decisions nearly got us into WWIII in October 1962--the missile crisis. As you may recall, the US stationed nuclear missiles in Turkey 30 miles from the Soviet border, so they reciprocated with missiles in Cuba, 90 miles from Florida. I was an officer at CINCPACFLT at the time, we slept at our desks for several nights & learned that we'd probably die in at least two Soviet H-bomb strikes on Oahu before the weekend. Elderly Khruschchev, a dictator and shoe-pounder not famed for self-control, unbelievably was the one who controlled himself and exerted wisdom. If Khruschchev hadn't, if Kennedy had remained in Dr Strangelove mode, we'd all be dead or painfully eking out subsistence on a ruined world. I never forgave Kennedy & vowed never to vote for him again. About 75% of the Intelligence officers at CINCPAC and CINCPACFLT, all the younger ones (who knew precisely what had been planned in Washington and had analyzed every Soviet message that had been intercepted) quickly resigned from the service after the missile crisis. They were unable, because of secrecy laws, to tell the rest of us exactly why they were so disillusioned, but they were angry and disgusted. One of them told me, "Vietnam is going to be next," before he departed. Not exactly a military secret if we followed current events--we all realized a mess in Vietnam was likely, and that the US would be shoving yet another monstrous dictator on the backs of unwilling people.

Excuses galore have been made for JFK, articles & books written to make him look more mature as a statesman even during the Cuba missile crisis, but when they show him doing a lot of hand-wringing even they admit that he was willing to sacrifice our entire nation and the world to support exaggerated Cold War fears. For several days and almost sleepless nights I existed at the heart of darkness caused by overconfident Kennedy macho and/or youthful inability to win arguments with his Cabinet. I do not want someone so lacking in experience in the position of Commander in Chief in the nuke era.

I think that Obama isn't as macho as JFK, but he's still a guy, and I was immediately turned off by his selection of Chicago underboss Emmanuel as chief of staff. Now he's surrounded by other NeoCon, militarist, ultra-rich imperialists who want to keep the booty flowing to the multinationals and civilian contractors, and of course, to Wall Street, Big Ag, Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big This-and-That. Even Atty Gen Holder, a fine legalist, is dragging his feet on prosecution of the top torturers. Habeas Corpus has not been restored, and the reason seems to be that both parties prefer to have an emperor instead of a Constitutional president. That disgusts me, and it's why we need a new party.

Jenny Hanniver said...

Part 3: Why were so many of my Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan peace-vet friends suspicious of Obama from the start? I campaigned for him. Many other veterans refused to, and a lot of them voted for McKinney, whom I admire but who was no challenge to McCain. It's because the combat soldiers and marines didn't live in fear of death for a mere few days as I did--but for months and years. They don't trust any so-called "Centrist" Democrat's (or any Republican's) rhetoric and promises--except for the bad ones, like Obama's misbegotten promise to send more troops to Afghanistan. There are "I told you so" blogsites all over the net with angry veteran input. The peace veteran groups began with good-will dependent on action from the White House, but IVAW is disillusioned. (See, VFP has given up support (see, VVAW is publishing criticisms (see, although not protesting as actively as I would prefer. Even the moderate, non-Left Veterans for Common Sense has given up and is critical. (See I held off judging the issue of Afghanistan, hoping Obama would choose a wiser course, but he didn't. The troop buildup, at a time of intense poverty, unemployment, overwhelmed military and veterans healthcare, a failed national healthcare reform and deep debt at home, couldn't have been more unwise. The Nobel prize was an irritant too. Almost everyone I know is at least upset at the award and the speech outraged many.

What worries me most is the disillusion of all those eager, idealistic young people who turned out in record numbers in 2008--for "hope" that's faded. They didn't vote this year, and unless Obama fires his blind, deaf and dumb handlers they won't come out in 2010 either, except for candidates supported by the resurgent SDS, or perhaps for Rightist Libertarians. A whole generation may be lost to the Democrats, who could have retained them by walking the walk, not just talking the talk. The Right's resurgence may fizzle, but it has weapons, wealth and fanatics, and major wins could entrench it as a Hitlerian, totalitarian permanence. If our country turns hopelessly defunct as a democracy 90% of it will be Bush's doing, but Obama will get the public blame. Obama, I am sure, is a moral, intelligent, and well-meaning man, as were other Democrats who kept slogging through our dreadful "American century" foreign policy, drowning ever deeper in the Big Muddy. Without outspoken leadership from a brave president--a prospect fading fast--I see no possibility of a turnaround unless we choose to entirely withdraw from both political parties and form another.