Obama Lynching Party
Israel Adam Shamir
The honeymoon President Barack Obama has enjoyed with the media since his inauguration was abruptly over – after the Cairo Speech. After his promise of peace with the Islamic world, in no time this savior of America, the man who said Yes, We Can became increasingly lonely and besieged by an unlikely coalition of Zionists, the loony left and right-wing racists.
Barack Obama has become the bane of Israeli Jews, wrote the Jewish Forward’s Nathan Jeffai. Only 6% of Jewish Israelis consider his views pro-Israel, while over 50% see him as pro-Palestinian and about 30% consider him neutral. This President is lethal for both Israel and the free world, exclaimed the starry-eyed British Zionist columnist, Melanie Phillips. Obama, she said, is destroying “the security not just of Israel but the world through his reckless appeasement of Iran”. He “has actively undercut the Iranian democrats… Obama has decided America will ‘live with’ a nuclear Iran. Which leaves Israel hung out to dry”. There are hundreds, nay, thousands of such pieces, relentlessly attacking the President for trying to stop Israel’s abuse of Palestine. They turn the man who received some 80% of the Jewish vote into a black monster craving for Jewish blood.
The neocons attacked Obama because of his stand on Iran. When the President refused the pressure and did not try to de-legitimise the Iranian government, Paul Wolfowitz, the man behind the Iraq War personally demanded to see more blood.
However, the truly horrific power of the Lobby is in its ability to mobilize masses of people of ostensibly differing views and lead them to a single goal. After the Lobby began drawing his blood, certain left-wing writers and our internet media happily joined the Obama lynching party.
William Blum is not a neocon like Wolfowitz or Caroline Glick, he is a strong critic of the American Empire. Like more than a few American Jews, Blum compared Obama with Adolf Hitler. Blum is not that hard on Israel. He would not compare Zionists with Hitler. “Instead of getting tangled up in who (Israel or Palestinians) started the current mess”, he writes, as if it is an obscure point, he stresses that “Israel's existence is not at stake” and wonders about legacy of “the idealistic Zionist pioneers”. But Obama is a Hitler for Blum, because … Hitler also gave a speech for peace and against war (!?). For LaRouche, Obama is like Hitler for some other crazy reason. The mad Trot wing of the Lobby usually has its own, special reasons to be against enemies of the Jews, but their bottom line is always the same as for the stalwart Republican women group.
Blum typifies the left-wing Obama bashers. They do not care that Obama has been endorsed by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. They disregard the voice of Patrick Seale, the doyen of Middle East journalism, a friend of the Syrian Assads who was fully satisfied with Obama’s advances. They are surely more radical.
They complain that Obama did not actually congratulate Ahmadinejad and did not support him. They complain that he did not undo in a month everything that was done during last hundred years. They complain why he did not dismiss everybody who was somebody in Clinton administration. They complain why the US did not join Iran and North Korea in the Axis of Evil. They complain that Obama did not put all the Goldman Sachs staff into a maximum security prison, next to Bernie Madoff.
The Obama lynching party does not even try to be fair: any story can be provided with a misleading anti-Obama headline. Our friend Cynthia McKinney, the wonderful ex-Congresswoman and a Green Party presidential candidate, joined the Free Gaza run trying to break the Israeli-imposed Gaza siege. This was a noble and daring enterprise, alas, doomed to fail: as expected, the Israeli state-run pirates seized their ship in international waters and briefly jailed her before deporting her. The story was correctly written by the Free Gaza movement, but afterwards, it was forwarded and placed on our friends’ sites under false and misleading headline: “Obama State Dept. intervenes to block Free Gaza aid voyage”. (You can read it here and here, among the rest). The headline was not provided by the Free Gaza, as it appears. The US State Department actually did NOT intervene. The Left leg of the Lobby succeeded in smearing Obama – though the State Department is run by Mme Clinton, and President Obama can’t yet override her and all the rest. Other unwitting agents of the Lobby re-ran the same story under the headline “Obama okays Israel's piracy”. Nothing in the text (by Paul Craig Roberts) implies or justifies the headline.
Obama bashers ask why he did not send the Sixth Fleet to lift the Gaza siege, and why the Navy Seals did not protect Cynthia McKinney, and they conclude that the president “betrayed” Cynthia and Gaza. Instead, they could pay attention to the fact that the American mainstream media gave zero coverage to the Free Gaza plight. The Masters of Discourse, media lords, the networks are the guilty ones, not the President.
Government is the art of the possible, the art of compromise. Rulers need consensus, and consensus can’t be built if the media is hostile. American mainstream media is Jewish-owned and Jewish-operated, and it has its own red lines. Rulers who forget this get impeached or assassinated. When President J F Kennedy tried to stop and undo the Dimona Project, he was killed, and his position taken by Lyndon B Johnson, the most devout Zionist who allowed Israelis to build their nuclear arsenal and to attack the USS Liberty. If Obama were to send the Fleet, he would be assassinated, and his place would be taken by an arch-zionist Vice President Joe Biden. What’s worse, the American public would not understand his steps. A hostile media would not allow him to be understood.
Obama had built-in limitations: without Biden as the surety, he would never have been allowed to win. Without Axelrod and Rahm, he would not be allowed to rule. These limitations are the direct result of America being formed, educated and guided by its pre-eminently Jewish elites of the last fifty years. The majority of Americans are pro-Israel and are pro-Jewish. This can change, but probably not as fast and as drastically as some would like. This is not only the Congress that is devoted to Jewish causes: a few generations of Americans have been brought up on Hollywood brainwashing, Holocaust stories and Israel worship. By speaking against the settlements, Obama already came very close to the red line no American leader may cross but at his great peril. He may do more, and he should be pushed to do more, but it is the Lobby and its media lords who should be attacked, not the President.
We should be more aware of the distortions created by Obama would-be lynchers. The coup d’etat in Honduras was presented as “Obama’s First Coup d’Etat” by many sites who swallowed the crypto-Zionist Trot lie - actually, Obama condemned the coup immediately. Our friend and expert on Latin America, Maria Poumier, writes in a penetrating essay Obama did not invade Honduras:
“The putsch in Honduras failed, thanks to Obama. This is the view of Fidel Castro and of Chavez. The coup was planned by the Zionist Lobby, by Miami neocons, who want to push the blame on Obama… but Chavez and Fidel [Mme Poumier has an access to both leaders] greet with enthusiasm the “chavization of Obama”. A Cuban analyst interprets the events in Honduras as “a sign of the declining American Empire’s loss of control”. After the failure to radio-control a civil war in Iran, partly because of the coolness and unwillingness of Obama, it is a new rout for the hawks, so let us be happy with our success.”
Maria Poumier admits that “Obama’s freedom of action is very limited. Neither the CIA nor the Pentagon wants to obey him. Zionists in the Democrat Party intended to manage him. But they miscalculated. He is not a raw material for their schemes… Obama may rule as a king by divine right, being endorsed by the people of the whole world, and he knows it. He is torn between two possible roles: to be the Chavez or Ahmadinejad of the north, or to stick to the role that was envisaged by the original scenario, the role of a modernizing instrument of the malicious empire. A king can be a good king if the people support him and push him in the right direction. He can achieve nothing, if the intellectuals succeed in antagonising the people against him.”
I am worried that the Lobby succeeded in activating so many forces against Obama. The most outspoken enemies of Jews also got hitched up to the wagon. Not only they are infiltrated, they are easy to manipulate. A reference to Rahm Emanuel would suffice for them to join in the Lobby’s attack on the president. They spread malicious jokes about Rahm commanding Obama and gleefully number all the Jews in the Administration. I once witnessed the same modus operandi in action against Vladimir Putin. The Russian president was ferociously attacked for exiling and jailing Jewish oligarchs, and at the same time, the Lobby’s agents spread around pictures of Putin in a kippa and listed the Jews in his administration. The idea is to undermine the people’s trust in the President, be it Putin or Obama.
Putin and Obama are due to meet this week. They may compare notes: how to survive the Lobby’s attack; and Putin, not the most brilliant of the two, nevertheless may give sound advice. Putin won by removing the mass media from the oligarchs’ clutches. They lost their TV stations, and after that they were not dangerous anymore. They still have their regional newspapers, and they as hostile to Putin as ever, but without TV they can’t hypnotise the mass man.
The same advice could be given by Chavez – it is thanks to his satellite TV network TELESUR, the putschists in Honduras failed to get international recognition. Now Chavez intends to take the media away from the hostile media lords. This should be done in the US, too. Free media is not necessarily a Jewish-owned one, after all!
“No, I will not take part in the lapidation of Obama”, concludes Maria Poumier, and I second her decision: I would not take part in the lynching. I agree with the view of our friend Gilad Atzmon, who wrote:
“President Obama seems to realise what is going on. He knows about the humiliation, he knows about the starvation of Gaza. The fact that he allows himself to juxtapose the Holocaust and Gaza proves that he is a million years ahead of most Palestinian solidarity campaigners who are reluctant to engage in this necessary equation just to avoid offending one Jew or another.
The president has still long way to go. And yet, President Obama has made a major step in the last few days. He is now marching America towards humanism. He reclaims the American ideology of liberty. I salute the man, I salute the great intellect, I salute the humanist. Gladly I am to admit that God has blessed America. But someone had better take very good care of the safety of its president. He has some fierce and relentless enemies out there. And as we know, they do not stop on red!”
The enemies of Obama are indeed plentiful, from out-and-out racists who hate to be ruled by a black, to Zionists who are afraid Obama will take an independent course, to loony radicals of the left and of the right. We should stop them, not add to their numbers.
From Peter Edel, the Netherlands
After reading this article I was kind of surprised to see what you wrote about Lyndon Larouche. So far I was under the impression that you agreed on many points with the Larouche people, but apparently you came to change your mind on Larouche. I'm wondering what it was that made you come to this. I suppose it was not only the article about Obama. Personally I still don't know what to think of Larouche. Sometimes the points which are made in magazines like EIR make much sense to me, but there are also times when I'm under the impression that these people are a bunch of lunies. Anyway, everything that considers Larouche is important to me. The latter because I quoted one of their articles about ADL/B'nai B'rith in an article many years ago and was prosecuted by the Dutch justice department on the initiative of the Dutch branch of ADL (called "CIDI") because of it (for which I wasn't convicted by the way).
Shamir replied: exactly my feeling. LaRouche sometimes sounds sane and right, next day a loony.
From Frank Scott, California
Re: lynching obama
perhaps even more than here , obama is seen by many who live outside of america as a fresh beginning... after eight years of a murderous mentally and linguistically disadvantaged dullard, his personal charm , witty demeanor and intelligent youthfulness lead to sighs of relief, but also dangerous forgetfulness as to what he truly represents and what he has been hired to perform as his foremost duty... even those who know he represents a failing system still entertain hopes that his differing style will save many lives and it may, but it will take many others while doing so...
just as affirmative action promotes a relative few individuals while leaving massive social problems untouched, obama brings a soaring, hopeful feeling to some who are in relative material comfort, but will not likely be complemented by much joy and exultation in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, where mass violence increases even as it supposedly declines in Iraq ...
most of this faithful belief in the man unfortunately relies on form and style more than real substance and content...he makes wonderful speeches which persuade people of his sincerity while they also more clearly reveal his political skill at saying many pleasant things to many different people, all at the same time and even with generalizations and oversimplifications contradicting one another...this is a generous gift, to some, but a malevolent weapon, to others... though i concur with my brother shamir that too many are blaming this individual for systemic problems that existed before he was hired and are not considering the limitations placed upon him by the real powers controlling that system, at the same time many are not paying close enough attention to the fact that he was hired by the owners and perpetuators of that system because they felt him best suited for the job , and he merely represents a more sophisticated and seemingly reasonable hand at the steering wheel of their vessel...unfortunat ely that vessel is not some cruise ship taking us all to a land of leisure, peace and social justice, but more and more it appears to be like the Titanic ; grievously damaged beyond repair and bound to sink, but with its owners demanding against all material evidence that it be salvaged, and damn the crew, the passengers and the rest of the world in the process of trying to keep this monstrosity on top of , rather than under the waters is has polluted to the point of global poisoning...
these owners and their managers have anointed this new captain not just to maintain the wrecked ship, but stop any mutinous crew members from the process of abandoning if not totally rebuilding the ship...the present attempted return, if that, to a modified social democratic state with ample support for capital and a few crumbs thrown to the population, is much too late...it worked when more fully practiced during the last great economic crisis in the 20th century, before the world war, but we are in a different time and space and any continuation of profit-for-few and loss-for-many capitalism will ultimately mean further destruction of our ecological and economic foundation, with an environment increasingly formed of raw sewage and hundreds of millions of formerly middle class people reduced to the status of the billions now suffering morally criminal poverty in the face of first world luxury...
the explosions of violence provoked by desperation will not become more gentle if soothing speeches are being made at the headquarters of the global menace, and the sooner we realize this the sooner we will not imply that poor obama is up against “them” and “they” will kill him if he dares try to affect real change, and face the fact that he will do nothing, absolutely nothing, but try to maintain the corruption he has been hired to perpetuate, until and unless we begin to demand that change must be made...making excuses for this poor little president who is up against zionist, wasp , rosicrucian, mafia or any other power real or imagined implies we might as well all just shut up and surrender, since this power is so almighty and overwhelming, what can we do when the man in the most powerful office in the country, and still, the world, is helpless to do anything that will offend his masters?...
of course he is not a pharaoh or an emperor or some other religious figure from even more ignorant than present prehistory, believed by his people to be a god on earth, but he possess more individual power than anyone else on earth, and what he chooses to do with that power is what he was trained , educated , selected and elected to do : maintain, not change the system that is destroying the planet and its people...
obama made what was called a brilliant speech at a democratic convention just a few years ago, though it only did what such speeches are supposed to and always do: say that we - whatever group is convening - are good and great and well meaning and though we have many problems we are progressing and will go even further if we continue the improving great work of...bla bla bla fill in the name of whatever group the speech is being made to...after that quick introduction to the general public, this multi-culturally progressive, physically appealing and charming half white orator - who is reduced to near stammering inarticulateness when forced to think on his feet - has been canonized into the greatest speech maker since the legendary orator at the sermon on the mount and has with incredible speed been propelled from nowhere into the highest office of the empire...anyone who believes this happened because he was swept up in a wave of euphoric desire for radical change, provoked by global masses miraculously energized by a speech, should really put a down payment on a bridge...bulletin: we did not elect ralph nader!
those millions the world over who are positively moved by Obama’s rhetoric need to become more mindful of how he is negatively moved by forces far less numerous than they but far more powerful and dangerous the longer they tolerate his airy words covering base practices... while my american heart never soared at the ascension of this man, i was happy at the pleasures expressed by so many at his victory, with a joy and camaraderie that was a hopeful sign of possible progress for humanity coming from america, instead of just everywhere else...but that calls for a kind of political organization that is not yet here in america, and though far advanced in other places it is still lacking among too many who are in danger of getting lost in the aura of the man and forgetting that no matter how charming and different and more intelligent he is than the previous chairman of empire - and what a difficult task that is, to be more intelligent than a dreadful buffoon? - he represents a continuation of all that is fast falling apart and only cosmetic change that will put lipstick and rouge on a decaying corpse but do nothing to mask the stench that may consume us all if we do not clean up our minds, our act and our world...
”lynching” obama, even figuratively, is as stupid and mean as vigilante murder of anyone, but forcefully demanding that he act for the people and not capital is what we need to do, and simply defending him from systemic limitations will only prolong our growing , and more deadly, global problems ...we can never forget that it is the system, not the man, but with all the limitations of individuality, like every and any american president this man has more power than any other in the world, and if he continues to use it for that system, he is and remains nothing more or less than our grievous enemy.
From Syd Walker, Australia
I like your recent article about Obama a lot. I agree so strongly that there's an agenda afoot to weaken Obama and his commitment to new polices, and not all authors of this agenda are well motivated. Anyone who imagined he would try to overturn 100 years of history in a few months was deluded to start with, as you eloqently pointed out.
One of your respondents mentioned Denis Kuchinich. I rather like what I've seen of Kuchinich also. In a straight choice, I'd probably have chosen Kuchinich over Obama.
But Obama had/has what decent men like Kuchinch didn't have - a real chance of winning and taking power from the maniacs in the upper echelons of the Republican Party who'd held sway for eight years. I would like a world in which guys such as Kuchinich stood a good chance of becoming President. But we have to get there by steps until collosal leaps become a real option.
On a different topic, you may like to check out:
Getting back to roots: How I became a Semite at
Feedback very welcome.
From Syed Zaidi, Delhi
Shamir, here is a challenge to your views on Obama and Honduras. It also includes an observation by James Petras, whom you have cited approvingly many times, that, tellingly, Obama has refused to meet Zelaya. I confess I am puzzled by your recent stance. I do expect you to be optimistic. That is your nature. But I also expect you to respect facts.
In reply to Ken Freeland's excellent post you say, "CFR is not Jewish-dominated, and never was. It is still a bastion of WASP power." Would you grant that the dominant role in founding CFR was played by the Rockefellers? Then how about taking a look at this material? http://www.israelec t.com/reference/ WillieMartin/ NEWS-11.htm
A related point. The term Zionist means a lot more than support for the occupation of Palestine. It was Hitler, I believe, who pointed out that the Jewish desire for a state of their own in Palestine was for the protection of their global interests through the blessings of sovereignty. There are two versions of Zionism, both ultimately dominated by the Rothschilds and their associates. The financial element is the substrate, and perhaps it now finds that hardcore Zionism is holding back its global interests. Come on, Shamir, where is the WASP power? Gone the way of Charles Freeman. The de-industrializatio n of America is a Jewish, usury-dominated project. And Obama is a willing puppet in this game. Where is the evidence of his being anything more than that? -- wishful thinking does not amount to evidence. Even if hardcore Zionists assassinate Obama, that will not prove that he is basically serving American interests.
Shamir replied: every person of some renown is being considered a Jew by somebody. Rockefeller, Stalin, Hitler, Lenin, Churchill, Obama all the way back to Dante. So I am undewhelmed by this link. More importantly, Netanyahu considers even Rahm and Axelrod being “self-hating Jews”, ie antisemites: http://www.haaretz. com/hasen/ spages/1098853. html
From Ken Freeland
I would like to continue the dialogue/debate in response to your Obama Lynching Party piece. In replying to my piece, in which I asserted that Obama was a charter member of the Jewish-dominated Council of Foreign Relations, you argued not once, but twice; "And finally, CFR is not Jewish-dominated, and never was. It is still a bastion of WASP power."
In rebuttal, I submit the following roster, from
Who Controls the Council on Foreign
Of the president and the forty(40) members of the Council on Foreign Relations board of directors, twenty-four( 24) are Jews or have Jewish spouses. This is a numerical representation of 60%. Jews are approximately 2% of the United States population. This means that Jews are over-represented on the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations by a factor of 30 times, or 3,000 percent. This extreme numerical over-representation of Jews on the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations cannot be explained away as a coincidence or as the result of mere random chance. You must ask yourself how such an incredibly small and extremely unrepresentative minority ethnic group that only represents 2% of the American population could so dominate this important and influential think tank.
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OK, Adam, said on that score. If you can debunk the above, please do so, otherwise accept that the CFR is now Jewish-dominated.
Now, my second response is this piece below by brilliant commentator Hesham Talawi. I think he provides the best analysis I have seen for the flap over Obama in Israel on the one hand, but on the other hand for the support Obama has for his position from Left-Zionist Jews, of whom Rahm Emmanuel may well be an eminent example. The current right-wing drift in Israel is too much for many diaspora Jews, who rightly fear the repercussions for themselves. The world has turned against Israel, especially after Gaza, and diaspora Jews are discomfited. Obama does NOT risk his Jewish base by acting on their behalf to rein in Israel's excesses. So long as he does not question the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state (the common ground of Left and Right Zionists) and propounds the two-state solution (the Left-Zionist paradigm of choice), all is well with his political base.
But the thing is, Adam, that anti-imperialists such as myself have never been a part of his political base, and never will be. Exposing his imperialist policies to the world is no different from doing the same when George Bush I was in office, even though he did truly stand up to Israel, and deserves applause for having done so. Every American president since McKinley has pretty much been an imperialist. And every responsible American intellectual since Thoreau and Mark Twain have been anti-imperialist, and, to paraphrase Mark Twain, ne'er the twain shall meet. Obama has his own agenda… it is inimical to the anti-imperialist agenda, but it may have some benefits, such as restraining Israel's excesses, and ultimately providing some surcease for the beleaguered people of Palestine. It is not his real purpose to aid them, but it may in fact be the effect of his policies, which have crasser motivations.
…Jews in the US and around the world have realized the “existential threat” Israel poses to worldwide Jewry as a result of its behavior. Powerful Jewish interests on the left and the Right know what “the Lobby” in Washington is doing must be stopped at least temporarily until they can regroup and the world fall back asleep. More and more people in the USA are learning from the likes of Mearsheimer and Walt rather than from Fox and CNN, and those leaders know it is only a matter of time before the masses in the US start (rightly or wrongly) to better understand the realities of how their political and economic systems truly function and turn against Jewish interests in the USA. The Jewish people–as smart as they are–are trying now to change the course of history by accepting the fact that the dream of greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates must be abandoned–for the moment.
…Some in the Jewish community believe Israel is putting the whole Jewish people in danger with its policies towards the Palestinians and it must be stopped. Despite the racist, bigoted, violent statements being leveled against him by Israelis and Jews the world over, the fact nevertheless is that Obama is “God’s messenger” sent to the Jewish people, a modern-day messiah or the “second coming of Moses” if you will. The Jews must leave this track of destruction which will lead them to the same end they have experienced in centuries past–isolation and expulsion. They must come out and be free from the grip of their perennially- mad leaders whose only real goal–apart of waging war against non-Jews–is devising new schemes for bringing persecution and oppression on their own. Obama must lead them through and out of this “Red River”.
Shamir replied: Perhaps. I also wrote about the shift to left-wing Jews. As for CFR, I would not go no into analysis of individuals, but it is not that simple. A person considered a Jew by the site you quote may not consider himself being one. To the best of my understanding, CFR is not a Jewish body, though there are Jews on its board. Until some years ago, there were no Jews there at all, so now there is some shift but hardly radical.
Obama’s Rollback Strategy:
Honduras, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan (and the Boomerang Effect)
The recent events in Honduras and Iran, which pit democratically elected regimes against pro-US military and civilian actors intent on overthrowing them can best be understood as part of a larger White House strategy designed to rollback the gains achieved by opposition government and movements during the Bush years.
In a manner reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s New Cold War policies, Obama has vastly increased the military budget, increased the number of combat troops, targeted new regions for military intervention and backed military coups in regions traditionally controlled by the US . However Obama’s rollback strategy occurs in a very different international and domestic context. Unlike Reagan, Obama faces a prolonged and profound recession/depressio n, massive fiscal and trade deficits, a declining role in the world economy and loss of political dominance in Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia and elsewhere. While Reagan faced off against a decaying Soviet Communist regime, Obama confronts surging world-wide opposition from a variety of independent secular, clerical, nationalist, liberal democratic and socialist electoral regimes and social movements anchored in local struggles.
Obama’s rollback strategy is evident from his very first pronouncements, promising to reassert US dominance (‘leadership’) in the Middle East, his projection of massive military power in Afghanistan and military expansion in Pakistan and the destabilization of regimes through deep intervention by proxies as in Iran and Honduras.
Obama’s pursuit of the rollback strategy operates a multi-track policy of overt military intervention, covert ‘civil society’ operations and soft-sell, seemingly benign diplomatic rhetoric, which relies heavily on mass media propaganda. Major ongoing events illustrate the rollback policies in action.
In Afghanistan, Obama has more than doubled the US military forces from 32,000 to 68,000. In the first week of July his military commanders launched the biggest single military offensive in decades in the southern Afghan province of Helmand to displace indigenous resistance and governance.
In Pakistan, the Obama-Clinton-Holbrooke regime successfully put maximum pressure on their newly installed client Zedari regime to launch a massive military offensive and rollback the long-standing influence of Islamic resistance forces in the Northwest frontier regions, while US drones and Special Forces commandoes routinely bomb and assault villages and local Pashtun leaders suspected of supporting the resistance.
In Iraq, the Obama regime engages in a farcical ploy, reconfiguring the urban map of Baghdad to include US military bases and operations and pass off the result as “retiring troops’ to their barracks”. Obama’s multi-billion- dollar investment in long-term, large-scale military infrastructure, including bases, airfields and compounds speaks to a ‘permanent’ imperial presence, not to his campaign promises of a programmed withdrawal. While ‘staging’ fixed election between US-certified client candidates is the norm in Iraq and Afghanistan where the presence of US troops guarantees a colonial victory, in Iran and Honduras, Washington resorts to covert operations to destabilize or overthrow incumbent Presidents who do not support Obama’s rollback policies.
The covert and not-so-invisible operation in Iran found expression in a failed electoral challenge followed by ‘mass street demonstrations’ centered on the claim that the electoral victory of the incumbent anti-imperialist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a result of ‘electoral fraud’. Western mass media played a major role during the electoral campaign exclusively providing favorable coverage of the opposition and negative accounts of the incumbent regime. The mass media blanketed the ‘news’ with pro-demonstrator propaganda, selectively presenting coverage to de-legitimize the elections and elected officials, echoing the charges of ‘fraud’. The propaganda success of the US-orchestrated destabilization campaign even found an echo among broad sections of what passes for the US ‘left’ who ignored the massive, coordinated US financing of key Iranian groups and politicos engaged in the street protests. Neo-conservative, liberal and itinerant leftist ‘free-lance journalists’, like Reese Erlich, defended the destabilization effort from their own particular vantage point as ‘a popular democratic movement against electoral fraud.’
The right/left cheerleaders of US destabilization projects fail to address several key explanatory factors:
1. None, for example, discuss the fact that several weeks before the election a rigorous survey conducted by two US pollsters revealed an electoral outcome very near to the actual voting result, including in the ethnic provinces where the opposition claimed fraud.
2. None of the critics discussed the $400 million dollars allocated by the Bush Administration to finance regime change, domestic destabilization and cross border terror operations. Many of the students and ‘civil society’ NGO’s in the demonstrations received funding from overseas foundations and NGO’s – which in turn were funded by the US government.
3. The charge of electoral fraud was cooked up after the results of the vote count were announced. In the entire run-up to the election, especially when the opposition believed they would win the elections – neither the student protesters nor the Western mass media nor the freelance journalists claimed impending fraud. During the entire day of voting, with opposition party observers at each polling place, no claims of voter intimidation or fraud were noted by the media, international observers or left backers of the opposition. Opposition party observers were present to monitor the entire vote count and yet, with only rare exception, no claims of vote rigging were made at the time. In fact, with the exception of one dubious claim by free-lance journalist Reese Erlich, none of the world’s media claimed ballot box stuffing. And even Erlich’s claims were admittedly based on unsubstantiated ‘anecdotal accounts’ from anonymous sources among his contacts in the opposition.
4. During the first week of protests in Tehran, the US, EU and Israeli leaders did not question the validity of the election outcome. Instead, they condemned the regime’s repression of the protestors. Clearly their well-informed embassies and intelligence operative provided a more accurate and systematic assessment of the Iranian voter preferences than the propaganda spun by the Western mass media and the useful idiots among the Anglo-American left.
The US-backed electoral and street opposition in Iran was designed to push to the limits a destabilization campaign, with the intention of rolling back Iranian influence in the Middle East, undermining Tehran’s opposition to US military intervention in the Gulf, its occupation of Iraq and , above all, Iran’s challenge to Israel’s projection of military power in the region. Anti-Iran propaganda and policy making has been heavily influenced for years on a daily basis by the entire pro-Israel power configuration in the US. This includes the 51 Presidents of the Major America Jewish Organizations with over a million members and several thousand full-time functionaries, scores of editorial writers and commentators dominating the opinion pages of the influential Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times as well as the yellow tabloid press.
Obama’s policy of roll back of Iranian influence counted on a two-step process: Supporting a coalition of clerical dissidents, pro-Western liberals, dissident democrats and right-wing surrogates of the US. Once in office, Washington would push the dissident clerics toward alliances with their strategic allies among pro-Western liberals and rightists, who would then shift policy in accordance with US imperial and Israeli colonial interests by cutting off support for Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, Venezuela, the Iraqi resistance and embrace the pro-US Saudi-Iraqi- -Jordan-Egypt clients. In other words, Obama’s roll back policy is designed to relocate Iran to the pre-1979 political alignment.
Obama’s roll back of critical elected regimes to impose pliant clients found further expression in the recent military coup in Honduras. The use of the high command in the Honduras military and Washington’s long-standing ties with the local oligarchy, who control the Congress and Supreme Court, facilitated the process and obviated the need for direct US intervention—as was the case in other recent coup efforts. Unlike Haiti where the US marines intervened to oust democratically elected Bertrand Aristide, only a decade ago,and openly backed the failed coup against President Chavez in 2002, and more recently, funded the botched coup against the President-elect Evo Morales in September 2008, the circumstances of US involvement in Honduras were more discrete in order to allow for ‘credible denial’.
The ‘structural presence’ and motives of the US with regard to ousted President Zelaya are readily identifiable. Historically the US has trained and socialized almost the entire Honduran officer corps and maintained deep penetration at all senior levels through daily consultation and common strategic planning. Through its military base in Honduras, the Pentagon’s military intelligence operatives have intimate contacts to pursue policies as well as to keep track of all polical moves by all political actors. Because Honduras is so heavily colonized, it has served as an important base for US military intervention in the region: In 1954 the successful US-backed coup against the democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz was launched from Honduras. In 1961 the US-orchestrated Cuban exile invasion of Cuba was launched from Honduras. From 1981-1989, the US financed and trained over 20,000 ‘Contra’ mercenaries in Honduras which comprised the army of death squads to attack the democratically elected Nicaraguan Sandinista government. During the first seven years of the Chavez government, Honduran regimes were staunchly allied with Washington against the populist Caracas regime.
Obviously no military coups ever occurred or could occur against any US puppet regime in Honduras. The key to the shift in US policy toward Honduras occurred in 2007-2008 when the Liberal President Zelaya decided to improved relations with Venezuela in order to secure generous petro-subsidies and foreign aid from Caracas. Subsequently Zelaya joined ‘Petro-Caribe’, a Venezuelan-organize d Caribbean and Central American association to provide long-term, low-cost oil and gas to meet the energy needs of member countries. In more recent days, Zelaya joined ALBA, a regional integration organization sponsored by President Chavez to promote greater trade and investment among its member countries in opposition to the US-promoted regional free trade pact, known as ALCA.
Since Washington defined Venezuela as a threat and alternative to its hegemony in Latin America, Zelaya’s alignment with Chavez on economic issues and his criticism of US intervention turned him into a likely target for US coup planners eager to make Zelaya an example and concerned about their access to Honduran military bases as their traditional launching point for intervention in the region.
Washington wrongly assumed that a coup in a small Central American ‘banana republic’ (indeed the original banana republic) would not provoke any major outcry. They believed that Central American ‘roll-back’ would serve as a warning to other independent- minded regimes in the Caribbean and Central American region of what awaits them if they align with Venezuela.
The mechanics of the coup are well-known and public: The Honduran military seized President Zelaya and ‘exiled’ him to Costa Rica; the oligarchs appointed one of their own in Congress as the interim ‘President’ while their colleagues in the Supreme Court provided bogus legality.
Latin American governments from the left to the right condemned the coup and called for the re-instatement of the legally-elected President. President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, not willing to disown their clients, condemned unspecified ‘violence’ and called for ‘negotiations’ between the powerful usurpers and the weakened exile President – a clear recognition of the legitimate role of the Honduran generals as interlocutors.
After the United Nations General Assembly condemned the coup and, along with the Organization of American States, demanded Zelay’s re-instatement, Obama and Secretary Clinton finally condemned the ousting of Zelaya but they refused to call it a ‘coup’, which according to US legislation would have automatically led to a complete suspension of their annual ($80 million) military and economic aid package to Honduras. While Zelaya met with all the Latin American heads of state, President Obama and Secretary Clinton turned him over to a lesser functionary in order not to weaken their allies in Honduran Junta. All the countries in the OAS withdrew their Ambassadors…except the US, whose embassy began to negotiate with the Junta to see how they might salvage the situation in which both were increasingly isolated – especially in the face of Honduras’ expulsion from the OAS.
Whether Zelaya eventually returns to office or whether the US-backed junta continues in office for an extended period of time, while Obama and Clinton sabotage his immediate return through prolonged negotiations, the key issue of the US-promoted ‘roll-back’ has been extremely costly diplomatically as well as politically.
The US backed coup in Honduras demonstrates that unlike the 1980’s when President Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada and President George Bush (Papa) invaded Panama, the situation and political profile of Latin America (and the rest of the world) has changed drastically. Back then the military and pro-US regimes in the region generally approved of US interventions and collaborated; a few protested mildly. Today the center-left and even rightist electoral regimes oppose military coups anywhere as a potential threat to their own futures.
Equally important, given the grave economic crisis and increasing social polarization, the last thing the incumbent regimes want is bloody domestic unrest, stimulated by crude US imperial interventions. Finally, the capitalist classes in Latin America’s center-left countries want stability because they can shift the balance of power via elections (as in the recent cases in Panama, Argentina) and pro-US military regimes can upset their growing trade ties with China, the Middle East and Venezuela/Bolivia.
Obama’s global roll-back strategy includes building offensive missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, not far from the Russian border. Concomitantly Obama is pushing hard to incorporate Ukraine and Georgia in NATO, which will increase US military pressure on Russia’s southern flank. Taking advantage of Russian President Dimitry Medvedev’s ‘malleability’ (in the footsteps of Mikail Gorbachev) Washington has secured free passage of US troops and arms through Russia to the Afghan front, Moscow’s approval for new sanction against Iran, and recognition and support for the US puppet regime in Baghdad. Russian defense officials will likely question Medvedev’s obsequious behavior as Obama moves ahead with his plans to station nuclear missiles 5 minutes from Moscow.
Roll-Back: Predictable Failures and the Boomerang Effect
Obama’s roll-back strategy is counting on a revival of right-wing mass politics to ‘legitimize’ the re-assertion of US dominance. In Argentina throughout 2008, hundreds of thousands of lower and upper-middle class demonstrators took to the streets in the interior of the country under the leadership of pro-US big landowners associations to destabilize the ‘center-left’ Fernandez regime. In Bolivia, hundreds of thousands of middle class students, business-people, landowners and NGO affiliates, centered in Santa Cruz and four other wealthy provinces and heavily funded by US Ambassador Goldberg, Agency for International Development and the National Endowment for Democracy took to the streets, wrecking havoc and murdering over 30 indigenous supporters of President Morales in an effort to oust him from power. Similar rightist mass demonstrations have taken place in Venezuela in the past and more recently in Honduras and Iran.
The notion that mass demonstrations of the well-to-do screaming ‘democracy’ gives legitimacy to US-backed destabilization efforts against its democratically- elected adversaries is an idea promulgated by cynical propagandists in the mass media and parroted by gullible ‘progressive’ free-lance journalists who have never understood the class basis of mass politics.
Obama’s Honduran coup and the US-funded destabilization effort in Iran have much in common. Both take place against electoral processes in which critics of US policies defeated pro-Washington social forces. Having lost the ‘electoral option’ Obama’s roll-back looks to extra-parliamentary ‘mass politics’ to legitimize elite effort to seize power: In Iran by dissident clerics and in Honduras by the generals and oligarchs.
In both Honduras and Iran, Washington’s foreign policy goals were the same: To roll-back regimes whose leaders rejected US tutelage. In Honduras, the coup serves as a ‘lesson’ to intimidate other Central American and Caribbean countries who exit from the US camp and join Venezuelan-led economic integration programs.Obama’s message is clear: such moves will result in US orchestrated sabotage and retaliation.
Through its backing of the military coup, Washington reminds all the countries of Latin America that the US still has the capability to implement its policies through the Latin American military elites, even as its own armed forces are tied down in wars and occupations in Asia and the Middle East and its economic presence is declining. Likewise in the Middle East, Obama’s destabilization of the Iranian regime is meant to intimidate Syria and other critics of US imperial policy and reassure Israel(and the Zionist power configuration in the US ) that Iran remains high on the US roll-back agenda.
Obama’s roll-back policies in many crucial ways follow in the steps of President Ronald Reagan (1981-89). Like Reagan, Obama’s presidency takes place in a time of US retreat, declining power and the advance of anti-imperialist politics. Reagan faced the aftermath of the US defeat in Indo-China, the successful spread of anti-colonial revolutions in Southern Africa (especially Angola and Mozambique), a successful democratic revolt in Afghanistan and a victorious social revolution in Nicaragua and major revolutionary movements in El Salvador and Guatemala. Like Obama today, Reagan set in motion a murderous military strategy of rolling-back these changes in order to undermine, destabilize and destroy the adversaries to US empire.
Obama faces a similar set of adversarial conditions in the current post-Bush period: - Democratic advances throughout Latin America with new regional integration projects excluding the US; defeats and stalemates in the Middle East and South Asia; a revived and strengthened Russia projecting power in the former Soviet republics; declining US influence over NATO military commitments , a loss of political, economic, military and diplomatic credibility as a result of the Wall Street-induced global economic depression and prolonged un-successful regional wars.
Contrary to Obama, Ronald Reagan’s roll-back took place under favorable circumstances. In Afghanistan Reagan secured the support of the entire conservative Muslim world and operated through the key Afghan feudal-tribal leaders against a Soviet-backed, urban-based reformist regime in Kabul. Obama is in the reverse position in Afghanistan. His military occupation is opposed by the vast majority of Afghans and most of the Muslim population in Asia.
Reagan’s roll-back in Central America, especially his Contra-mercenary invasion of Nicaragua, had the backing of Honduras and all the pro-US military dictatorships in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Brazil, as well as rightwing civilian government in the region. In contrast, Obama’s roll-back coup in Honduras and beyond face democratic electoral regimes throughout the region, an alliance of left nationalist regimes led by Venezuela and regional economic and diplomatic organizations staunchly opposed to any return to US domination and intervention. Obama’s roll-back strategy finds itself in total political isolation in the entire region.
Obama’s roll-back policies cannot wield the economic ‘Big Stick’ to force regimes in the Middle East and Asia to support his policies. Now there are alternative Asian markets, Chinese foreign investments, the deepening US depression and the disinvestment of overseas US banks and multi-nationals. Unlike Reagan, Obama cannot combine economic carrots with the military stick. Obama has to rely on the less effective and costly military option at a time when the rest of the world has no interest or will in projecting military power in regions of little economic significance or where they can attain market access via economic agreements.
Obama’s launch of the global roll-back strategy has boomeranged, even in its initial stage. In Afghanistan, the big troop build-up and the massive offensive into ‘Taliban’ strongholds has not led to any major military victories or even confrontations. The resistance has retired, blended in with the local population and will likely resort to prolonged decentralized, small-scale war of attrition designed to tie down several thousand troops in a sea of hostile Afghans, bleeding the US economy, increasing casualties, resolving nothing and eventually trying the patience of the US public now deeply immersed in job losses and rapidly declining living standards.
The coup, carried out by the US-backed Honduran military, has already re-affirmed US political and diplomatic isolation in the Hemisphere. The Obama regime is the only major country to retain an Ambassador in Honduras, the only country which refuses to regard the military take-over as a ‘coup’, and the only country to continue economic and military aid. Rather than establish an example of the US’ power to intimidate neighboring countries, the coup has strengthened the belief among all South and Central American countries that Washington is attempting to return to the ‘bad old days’ of pro-US military regimes, economic pillage and monopolized markets.
What Obama’s foreign policy advisers have failed to understand is that they can’t put their ‘Humpty Dumpty’ together again; they cannot return to the days of Reagan’s roll-back, Clinton’s unilateral bombing of Iraq,Yugoslavia ana Somalia and his pillage of Latin America.
No major region, alliance or country will follow the US in its armed colonial occupation in peripheral (Afghanistan/ Pakistan) or even central (Iran) countries, even as they join the US in economic sanctions, propaganda wars and electoral destabilization efforts against Iran.
No Latin American country will tolerate another US military putsch against a democratically elected president, even national populist regimes which diverge from US economic and diplomatic policies. The great fear and loathing of the US-backed coup stems from the entire Latin American political class’ memory of the nightmare years of US backed military dictatorships.
Obama’s military offensive, his roll-back strategy to recover imperial power is accelerating the decline of the American Republic. His administration’s isolation is increasingly evidenced by his dependence on Israel-Firsters who occupy his Administration and the Congress as well as influential pro-Israel pundits in the mass media who identify roll-back with Israel’s own seizure of Palestinian land and military threats to Iran.
Roll-back has boomeranged: Instead of regaining the imperial presence, Obama has submerged the republic and, with it, the American people into greater misery and instability.