Tag Archives: Barack Obama
Obama suggested that a “red line” has been crossed when Bashar al-Assad‘s government forces used sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent, reportedly on his own citizens.
My first reaction to this news came in the form of a question. From which country did Syria obtain sarin gas? I’m not sure if it’s from the U.S., but one has to wonder.
Remember in 2003 when the Bush administration invaded Iraq on the pretense of “weapons of mass destruction”? Many of Saddam Hussein’s cache of chemical weapons were actually handed to him by the U.S. government during the run-up to the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.
So basically, the U.S. government supplied the Iraqi government with weapons of mass destruction only to see Saddam Hussein, the former president of Iraq, use the chemical weapons on his own Kurdish Iraqi citizens.
In doing so, the U.S. became an accomplice in a crime against humanity because Americans provided Hussein with the weapons that were used during the attack. Here is an interesting excerpt from a CNN article:
It is an interesting spin to think the U.S. government watched on as their “allies” used chemical weapons, only to now hold a “red line” for intervention over the very same weapons.
Perhaps the times have changed?
Some important questions to ponder are: What kind of support will President Obama provide to “the rebels”? What kind of weapons will be transferred?
American weapons might get in the hands of the wrong people, only to see more crimes against humanity occur under the U.S.’s watch.
Who wants that?
Tags: Accomplice, Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, D.C., Gas, Iran-Iraq War, Iraq, Kurds, Nerve agent, President Obama, Red Line, Saddam Hussein, Sarin, Sarin gas, Syria, Syrian Civil War, The Rebels, United States, Washington, Weapons of Mass Destruction
2001 was a dark year for Americans.
But the Nation lost much more than that in 2001.
Literally, the Patriot Act stands for something like “Uniting and Strengthening America.”
This is False.
The Patriot Act was designed to steal our ability to live freely and without the Government looking over our shoulders.
The Government wants our freedom. It actually wants everything! Like much of the American nation, it is suffering from the horrible disease known as Excess.
I am thinking about who is watching me, why they are watching me, what they are watching of me, how they are watching me, and even what they might do with me if they do not like what they see!
Are “they” tagging this article? Am I a terrorist? An enemy of the state? Should I even care?
I think about wiretaps, searching my footprint, and surveillance.
Am I not American? Should I not be thinking about liberty?
I also dream about a truer freedom.
Tags: Americans, Barack Obama, CIA, George W. Bush, Intelligence, New Patriot Act, NSA, Op Ed, Opinion, Patriot Act, Pentagon, Politics, Security, Strengthening America, United States, USA PATRIOT Act
Richard Falk, an American professor of international law at Princeton University, recently suggested that US foreign policy is to blame for the Boston Marathon bombings. His sentiments remind me of Noam Chomsky’s famous quote about terrorism: “Everybody’s worried about terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way; stop participating in it.”
Do you agree with Falk’s words?
The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world. In some respects the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen, especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations to others in the world, starting with the Middle East. Some of us naively hoped that Obama’s Cairo speech of 2009 was to be beginning of such a process of renewal, and although timid in many ways, it was yet possessed of a tonality candidly acknowledged that relations with the Islamic world needed a fundamental moves by the US Government for the sake of reconciliation, including the adoption of a far more balanced approach to the Palestine/Israel impasse.
Falk’s full post can be read here
Tags: Barack Obama, Blowback, Boston Marathon, Boston Marathon bombings, Global politics news, International Relations, Middle East, Noam Chomsky, Princeton University, Richard Falk, Terrorism, United Nations Human Rights Council, United States, US foreign policy, US politics news
Renowned scholar Akbar Ahmed discusses his new book The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam and elaborates on the devastating consequences of the U.S.’s drone bombing campaign in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Tags: Akbar Ahmed, Barack Obama, Children, Civilians, Death count, Documentary, Drone War, Pakistan, Pashtuns, Short documentary, The Thistle and the Drone: How America's War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam, Tribal areas of Pakistan, Tribal societies, War, War on Terror, Waziristan, wrong enemy, wrong methods, Wrong war
In the fall of 2012, I wrote a piece here that addressed the issue of secession across America. My interest in this subject only grew as I read about how the movement has expanded since Obama’s re-election. I’m following these events closely, so I figured I’d keep track of them here.
Sean Hannity predicts secession, Fox Nation, (January 15th, 2013)
On his Friday radio show, conservative talker and Fox News host Sean Hannity warned that the United States may fall apart if tax rates remain high.
“The states are now fighting and battling against their own federal government,” Hannity said. ”Same thing with individuals. If you live in a state like New York, New Jersey, California [or] one of these high-tax states [where] 60-plus cents of every dollar goes to taxes, you’ll say, ‘What the hell am I doing this for?’”
Welcome to the new Civil War, Salon, (January 5th, 2013)
So even though it’s a truism of American public discourse that the Civil War never ended, it’s also literally true. We’re still reaping the whirlwind from that long-ago conflict, and now we face a new Civil War, one focused on divisive political issues of the 21st century – most notably the rights and liberties of women and LGBT people – but rooted in toxic rhetoric and ideas inherited from the 19th century.
The desperate, outnumbered neo-Confederacy continues its fantasy of rising again, Pam’s House Blend (January 6th, 2013)
And as we’ve seen with the war on women (womb-controlling legislative efforts around the country, rape apologists, and media blowhards like Rush Limbaugh), the desperate gay-bashing by professional anti-LGBTs even as losses mount as civil equality advances — the Right’s efforts are nearly bunker-mentality, and the neo-Confederacy has leaned heavily on misogyny and racism (and guns) as its teddy bear, a security blanket. They are in full emotional meltdown
Vox Day calls for new secessionist political party, Right Wing Watch (December 3rd)
Is the secession of several American states truly unthinkable? Is the breakup of the United States of America really outside the boundaries of historically reasonable possibility?
Some would point to the amount of time that has passed since the Civil War, when the question was last considered. It has been 147 years since Americans attempted to exert their right to self-determination and leave the United States. However, it has been 305 years since the Scottish Parliament passed the Union with England Act in 1707, and even if Scotland does not vote to break up the Union in the referendum tentatively scheduled for 2014, the fact that the Scottish people are seriously considering an exit from a Union that is twice as old as the forcible one imposed by Abraham Lincoln should suffice to prove that the age of the U.S. does not render a potential breakup theoretically or practically impossible.
Ron Paul: ‘Secession is a deeply American principle’, Politico (November 19th)
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Monday that secession was a “deeply American principle,” amid a growing number of people petitioning the White House to let their states secede from the U.S.
“Secession is a deeply American principle. This country was born through secession. Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those ‘traitors’ became our country’s greatest patriots,” the former presidential candidate wrote in a post on his House website. “There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents.”
Secession: Legitimate or sour grapes? (Video), CNN (November 17th)
People in all 50 states have signed petitions to secede from the U.S., but are threats legitimate or just sour grapes?
In a largely symbolic show of protest against Washington’s policies, secession petitions filed by no less than 20 US states are being touted as some defining comment on the state of American society today. However, coming on the heels of the re-election of President Barack Obama for a second term, this is a predictable form to test those who feel he is undeserving of the second term. The response to petitions however, has been so large that it may require an official response from the administration. These petitions, buttressed by the most difficult economic conditions since the Great Depression, mean that all is not rosy for the second time re-elected President, nor is his re-election a source of great joy for the hundreds of thousands who have signed the petition.
‘Residents In All 50 States File Petitions To Secede From United States’, Huffington Post (November 14th)
There is, of course, no reason to take these secession petitions at all seriously. There is probably a fourteen-syllable German word that precisely captures the combination of juvenile whining, sour grapes and goofy anti-government fervor that drove an infinitesimal number of Americans to submit and support these petitions, but the word that the kids in America use to describe this is “butthurt.”
‘White House to respond after 70,000 demand secession of Texas from US’, RT (November 13th)
Less than a day after RT first reported that a petition demanding the secession of The Lone Star State from the US was on track to cross the 25,000 signature threshold to warrant an official response, the tally of people requesting the speedy removal of Texas from the United States tripled, going from 21,777 signees to 72,861 in under 24 hours.
‘More than 30 states have a serious secession movement’, Glenn Beck (November 13th)
The White House website contains a section dedicated to letting the people’s voice be heard. Got an idea for a petition? Got enough signatures? The White House promises it will “be reviewed” and that they will “issue a response” to it. Should be interesting to see how the White House responds to the thirty plus states who have garnered enough signatures to secede from the United States.
‘Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them’, White House website (November 12th)
Mr. President, please sign an executive order such that each American citizen who signed a petition from any state to secede from the USA shall have their citizenship stripped and be peacefully deported.
‘Red Staters (and More) Already Talking Secession After Obama Victory’, Alternet (November 12th)
On the WhiteHouse.gov petition-writing tool, a large number of people have put forward petitions “peacefully demanding” that their states, including Texas and Louisiana, be removed from the Union. These two have garnered tens of thousands of signatures already, while others–which aren’t all predictable, and include states like New York and Michigan– have only a few thousand signees each.
‘Alabama joins the Secessionist Movement’, Daily Kos (November 10th)
In order to remove any doubt that Alabama is a backward, racist place to live, now a petition is being circulated at whitehouse.gov, seeking permission for Alabama to secede from the United States and form its own government.
‘Race and Beyond: Secession Isn’t the Answer’, Center for American Progress (August 14th)
I am a Southerner and proud of it. I’m also a black American and proud of it, too. Is there an inherent contradiction? Not one that I can see.
‘Should the South secede’, Salon (August 12th)
According to Chuck Thompson, a veteran travel writer who toured the American South, a degree of mutual enmity between Northerners and Southerners continues to be a source of cultural tension and political gridlock. We remain divided even as we have grown to become the world’s superpower. In his new book, Better Off Without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession, Thompson argues that it may be time for a divorce – to shake hands and go our separate ways.
The United States is not and never has been a ‘Christian nation’. America’s Founding Fathers explicitly designed the country on pluralist grounds and encouraged Americans to accept people of all religious backgrounds.
This is why the actions of a junior high school teacher named Linda White of Mississippi are so anti-American. White told her students not to vote for Barack Obama because he’s Muslim. She instead told her students to vote for Mitt Romney because he’s Christian.
Whether Obama is Muslim or not is beside the point. The President’s religious background shouldn’t matter in a Presidential election or any American election for that matter. What matters, to me at least, is that he or she upholds the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and sustains the egalitarian principles put forth by the Founding Fathers.
White, nonetheless, has committed the ultimate crime of polluting an American classroom with a myth that could potentially corrupt the youth into thinking that America is only for Christians. To encourage young Americans to vote for candidates based on their religious background paves the way for an American future of exclusivity and intolerance, which, ironically, are two issues the Founding Fathers hoped to erase from the world.
Discriminating against someone because of their religious beliefs is the most fundamentally anti-American thing an American could possibly do. The President could be Hindu, Buddhist, Scientologist, or Atheist for all I care. What matters in leaders, especially the President, is their character and conduct.
- One Film 9/11 article promoting Founding Fathers and Islam in Common Ground News Service (onefilm911.wordpress.com)
Tags: American identity, Barack Obama, Christian right, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Founding Fathers, Islamophobia, Linda White, List of national founders, Mississippi, Muslim, Obama, Obama is Muslim, Religion of President, Religious tolerance, Romney, United States
In this post from yesterday, I provided a glimpse into what you could expect in Round 2 of the Obama vs. Romney debates. One of the reasons why I wrote that post was due to my confidence in knowing what the issues would be and how Obama and Romney were going to handle themselves. And the reason why I knew? Because I read a lot and the media has been hounding Obama to do this and for Romney to do that.
Let’s not forget that the media has complete control over politicians and the American public. Both are like slaves to it. So it should come as no surprise that I was able to predict what each candidate would say and how they would act because the media has already demanded certain things of them. Below are some of the quotes directly from my post and second some headlines throughout the media. Check out the similarities.
1. Obama ‘needs to appear aggressive and attack Romney… He needs to have energy, confidence, and that twinkle in his eye… In a nutshell, Obama will come out with more fire. Romney will stand firm in the wave of attacks’.
New York Times:
The Detroit News:
The Vancouver Sun:
The Los Angeles Times:
2. ‘In the end, the press will also report that it was basically a draw, though, again, the slight edge will go to Obama because he basically wasn’t asleep at the podium like he was a few weeks ago… But who knows. Romney is known for dropping incredible gaffes’.
The New York Times:
The Los Angeles Times:
The New York Times:
3. ‘But who knows. Romney is known for dropping incredible gaffes. All it takes is one really stupid in front of the camera to ruin any politician’.
The Huffington Post:
The Denver Post:
Tags: Barack Obama, CNN, Fox News, Huffington Post, Influence of media on American politics, Los Angeles Times, Mitt Romney, New York Times, Obama, Obama vs. Romney, Predicting presidential debates, Romney, Round 2 Obama vs. Romney, The Guardian, United States, Who Won the Debate? Predictability in American politics
What Obama has to do to win:
- He needs to appear aggressive and attack Romney and his winner-take-all society.
- He needs to have energy, confidence, and that twinkle in his eye.
- He needs to specifically hit Romney on his 47% comments.
- He also needs to specifically hit Romney on his activities at Bain Capital.
- He needs to compare Romney to Bush and the neo-conservative foreign policy agenda.
What Romney has to do to win:
- He needs to hammer Obama on Benghazi and other foreign policy issues.
- He needs to act presidential and handle himself as he did during the first debate.
- He needs to come across as moderate on social issues (abortion and same-sex marriage).
- He needs to emphasize where exactly his policies differ from Obama’s.
- He needs to compare Obama to a weak and ineffective leader like Jimmy Carter.
In a nutshell, Obama will come out with more fire. Romney will stand firm in the wave of attacks.
The press will report that Obama has made a slight comeback. Obama can’t do any worse than he did in the first debate, so it’s nowhere but up for him. Romney has to be steady and emphasis why he’s different from Obama. He just needs to not mess up.
In the end, the press will also report that it was basically a draw, though, again, the slight edge will go to Obama because he basically wasn’t asleep at the podium like he was a few weeks ago.
But who knows. Romney is known for dropping incredible gaffes. All it takes is one really stupid in front of the camera to ruin any politician.
Tags: Bain Capital, Barack Obama, Benghazi, Foreign policy issues, Jimmy Carter, Mitt Romney, News and opinion, Obama, Obama like Jimmy Carter, Obama vs. Romney, Presidential debate, Romney, Romney and the 47%, Romney is neoconservative, Second debate, United States, Winner
To be a member of the Know Nothing Party, one had to be ‘a native born citizen, a Protestant, born of Protestant parents, reared under Protestant influence, and not united in marriage with a Roman Catholic’. In addition, members of the Know Nothing Party had to take a pledge to prevent ‘the insidious policy of the Church of Rome, an all other foreign influences against the institutions of our country, by placing in all offices in the gift of the people, whether by election or appointment, none but native-born Protestant citizens’.
Similarly, Tea Party members have stressed the importance of ‘taking our country back’ from ‘them’; ‘them’ often being immigrants, undocumented people, Muslims, homosexuals, socialists and communists (to name a few). Tea Party members often stress the importance of America’s ‘Protestant origins’ and oftentimes suggest that the Founders never intended to separate church and state. Tea Party members often attack Islam as being ‘un-democratic’ and antithetical to ‘American values’. Tea Party members often accuse Barack Obama, who is not ‘American enough’, of being a ‘secret Muslim’ because his middle name is Hussein and he spent time growing up in countries with Muslims. Tea Party members also spread the conspiracy that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the American government and that Americans will soon be dominated by the tyranny of ‘Islamists’ like the Muslim Brotherhood.
The rhetoric between these two parties is eerily similar.
The Know Nothing Party eventually became irrelevant, perhaps because too many Americans looked beyond their unproductive rhetoric of racism and discrimination.
Time will only tell if the Tea Party experiences a similar fate.
Tags: American, Barack Obama, Christian, Comparison, Culture, History, Islamism, John McCain, Know Nothing, Know Nothing Party, Muslim, Muslim Brotherhood, National identity, Politics, Protestant, Religion, Republican, Tea, Tea Party, United States
Dear my Israeli donor friends,
I have some ideas. Don’t tell ANYONE what I’m about to propose.
Donate $10 million to my campaign and the US will strike Iranian nuclear sites with missiles by February 2013. Of course that’s if I’m elected President.
Donate $40 million to my campaign and the US will invade Iran with boots on the ground by February 2013. Of course that’s if I’m elected President.
Donate $70 million to my campaign and the US will nuke Iran by February 2013. Of course that’s if I’m elected President
So what will it be, gentlemen?
Tags: Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Campaign, Closed Doors, Election, Invasion, Iran, Israel, Israeli donors, Jerusalem, Jewish donors, Middle East, Mitt Romney, Neoconservative, Nuclear weapons, Politics, Republicans, Romney, United States, War
This commentary from Mitt Romney about the US’s Anglo-Saxon American heritage is both tasteless and dangerous. It’s a trick right out of Samuel Huntington‘s Who Are We? Romney is racializing the 2012 presidential race and creating a hierarchy of ethnic groups in the US (with Anglo-Saxon being at the top of course). His talk of ‘whiteness’ and bringing up the birth certificate issue insinuates how Obama’s not really ‘American’ enough because of the colour of his skin. Certainly Romney is suggesting that he’s more ‘American’ than Obama because he isn’t black and doesn’t have African ancestors.
Tags: American culture, Anglo-Saxon, Barack Obama, Ethnic groups, German American, Hierarchy, Mitt Romney, Myth, News, Obama, Opinion, Politics, Racializing, Racism, Romney, Samuel Huntington, United States, White Anglo Saxon Protestant, Who Are We?
I have actually never voted in an American election, whether it be local, state, or national. I am not even registered to vote, but this is not stopping me from commenting on the state of American democracy and the 2012 elections.
Democrats and Republicans: Two ‘different’ parties with essentially the same fundamental principles and entities – corporate America, Wall Street, and the Military Industrial Complex – which make them tick. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that these parties have driven the US into the ground. I have thought for some time that American politics needs a jolt of new blood. Americans could use a third-party.
So why not vote for the Green Party in the 2012 elections? The Green Party is not dependent on donations from corporations, nor are they seeking to expand the wars around the world which are bogging the US. The Green Party candidate for President, Jill Stein, says the American people deserve ‘real public servants who listen to the people – not to the corporate lobbyists that funnel campaign checks into the big war chests’.
President Obama or Governor Romney have never said anything that is this refreshing.
If Americans are to experience real change – the change they seek and desperately need – they have to do the unthinkable and vote for a party with an entirely different platform.
To see a brighter day, you should choose a new captain and avoid the people who drove you into the storm.
One thing that I find puzzling is the notion that Obama ‘isn’t as bad as Bush’ when it comes to death, destruction, and
the illegality of US foreign policy. For me, when I indulge in such conversations to prove why Obama is actually quite similar to Bush in these regards, I tend to use the not so covert drone war in Pakistan as the primary defense mechanism. Often missing, however, in my argument is any mention of Obama’s not so covert drone war in Yemen. The use of drones, it should be mentioned, are deemed illegal by many writers, Bill Quigley at Counterpunch being one of many.
In case you haven’t noticed, I run another blog for an Introduction to Sociology course for first year students here at Trinity College Dublin. I try to post something 4 or 5 times per week to keep students engaged in current events and other academic insights.
My latest post explores the question ‘Can President Obama be Irish?’
This question ‘what does it mean to be Irish?’ has perplexed us (myself and the students) for a few weeks now.
To read my notes, ponder my questions, and actually watch President Obama’s speech itself, please click on Intro to Sociology.
I want to share my thoughts on the findings of a recent Republican poll in the states of Mississippi and Alabama.
For starters, the Mississippi poll found that 52% of Mississippians believe that Obama is a Muslim. The poll also found that 36% ‘weren’t sure’.
A similar poll in Alabama found that 45% of Alabamians believe that Obama is a Muslim. 41% weren’t sure.
I think this matter is problematic not for the poll results, though they are indeed telling, but more so for the question itself.
‘Do you think Obama is a Muslim?’
The question, and indeed the poll results, no doubt insinuates that there is something wrong with being Muslim and that, in essence, there is something wrong with a President being Muslim. The question is also anti-American because it doesn’t allow enough space for ‘Muslim’ and ‘American’ to fuse into an identity. The point is that ‘Muslim’ and ‘American’ are not, by any means, incompatible.
For example, during my experience in Journey into America with Akbar Ahmed, I looked at the gravestones of Muslim Americans at Arlington National Cemetery. Many Muslim Americans died for the USA during the Iraq War. I’m not supporting the Iraq War here by any means, but what bigger sacrifice can a citizen make than dying for his or her own country?
The Founding Fathers, no doubt, would be disappointed in Mississippians and Alabamians.
My point here is: Why does it even matter what religion Obama is?
If the President of the USA was a Hindu, it wouldn’t bother me. If the President of the USA was an Atheist, it wouldn’t bother me. If the President of the USA was a Mormon, it wouldn’t bother me.
I want the President of the USA to do the right thing. Doing the right thing doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a Christian or this-faith-or-that.
I should also note that I don’t think Obama has been a great President, for many reasons, but I would never have a problem with his religious beliefs because that, in theory, would be anti-American.