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Obama = Bush (and every other President of the past 60 years)

1 December 2009

President Obama is sending 35,000 more troops into harm’s way in Afghanistan.

Dress it up any way you like (and Obama has, in many cases using similar or exactly the same verbiage as Bush did). The fact of the matter is that the U.S. has been, first and foremost, a war-mongering country, just about continually, since World War II.

That’s the country’s reason for being. To wage war and in the process pad its bona fides as an empire. Spreading democracy is a crock. Overthrowing evil regimes is a crock (we just replace ‘em with equally bad ones, than have to go in and invade again a few years later). It’s the act of war itself that drives Washington, that drives bloodthirsty politicians and greedy lobbyists and soulless pundits. It sells papers, generates billion-dollar contracts and justifies the massive war machine we’ve built up.

Extending health care to millions of Americans is a colossal waste, we’re told. Reforming a broken education system into something that can start to compete with other 1st-World nations, much less actually catch and pass them, is a luxury we can’t afford. Crumbling infrastructure projects will be dealt with — maybe, eventually, and only a few of them. Never mind that making huge strides in these badly needed domestic initiatives would cost less, in many cases, than what we flush down the toilet each year in Iraq, and soon, Afghanistan.

Looking forward to Obama accepting his Nobel Peace Prize next week. Kudos, well deserved. Maybe someone will bonk him on the head with it and knock some sense into him.

UPDATE: Forgot to point out the lovely way people like Sen. Evan Bayh justify war as a moral necessity, yet prattle on about how awesomely fiscally conservative they are. There is nothing fiscally conservative about invading another country. It’s the least fiscally conservative thing a government could ever do.

If you want to argue for spreading the glory of the great and mighty United States in the name of God, go nuts. But don’t pretend you’re for tightening budgets. You’re for pointless violence, and by extension, Beltway acceptance. That’s it.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. jcjblog permalink
    1 December 2009 11:03 am

    You’re right; I wrote about Afghanistan myself this morning http://jimjividen.blogspot.com/2009/12/quick-afghanistan-take.html.

    It’s discouraging.

  2. pipkin42 permalink
    1 December 2009 11:20 am

    I have not read a more spot-on piece of writing in a while. Thank you.

  3. Gary permalink
    1 December 2009 12:03 pm

    No country in the history of the planet has brought more freedom to more people than the USA.

    • Jonah permalink*
      1 December 2009 12:08 pm

      If you want to make that argument, sure.

      But is the price of that freedom worth, say, hundreds of thousands of lives either lost, displaced or both, in Iraq? The mounting numbers of deaths of men, women and children in Afghanistan?

      One can be a leader in spreading freedom and also a leader in diplomacy and intelligent decision making. These two concepts needn’t be mutually exclusive.

    • mrokjazztokyo permalink
      1 December 2009 9:17 pm

      Really Gary? Like in El Salvador? Indonesia? Zaire? Philipines? Vietnam? We brought “freedom” to these places? Jeez, pick up a history book, would ya?

      I am ashamed so many of my fellow Americans agree with the nonsense you put forth.

      Great job, Jonah.Obama is a disgrace.

  4. piratebb permalink
    2 December 2009 2:16 pm

    I don’t think gary’s comments are nonsense.He stated the U.S. has brought more freedom than any other country.In order for you to disagree with him and win anybody’s merits in your opinion,tell us a country that has done more.
    Your statements lead me to believe that you are ashamed of your country not the people that agree with his statements.

    Everybody is entitled to an opinion and as jonah has said,he agrees with gary’s statement.Jonah doesn’t like war .I don’t think any american likes war.

    • mrokjazztokyo permalink
      2 December 2009 8:45 pm

      Piratebb,

      Gary’s statement is totally nonsensical. What does he mean by “brought freedom”? Did US foreign oplicy over the years bring “freedom” to the Philipines while we supported Marcos? Or to Iran while sponsoring a coup and installing the Shah? Or when we had Patrice Lumumba killed in the Congo then supported the dictator Mobutu? Or how about when 2.5+ million Vietnamese were killed in the Vietnam War? These are historical facts, the millions killed were real people. Think they agree with your thoughts about the US bringing “freedom”?

      The arrogance and ignorance of so many Americans just astonishes me.
      (And no, I do not “hate” America. I hate the government, big difference.)

    • buddaley permalink
      2 December 2009 10:25 pm

      Every imperial power has claimed it brought more benefits to its subjects, victims, beneficiaries, whatever you want to call them, than any other power ever had. And in every case, whether you liked what they stood for or not, there was some truth to it.

      The British claimed to bring parliamentary gov’t, industrial technology and western “civilization” to the world. Napolean brought law codes, constitutions, rational administration and economic integration and deposed corrupt monarchs and parasitic aristocracies, Spain brought the true faith, Rome brought roads, peace, aqueducts,, efficient administration and one can go on and on.

      But if you believe that the object of their conquests and extension of their power was to benefit the world, or that there were no concomitant evils that vitiated the achievements, then you are not living in a real world. And if you think that the enemies they fought were battled in order to keep the world safe for democracy or for civilization or for law and order or any other such stuff that makes up patriotic oratory, you are also dreaming.

      Ex post facto, those justifications are dredged up and repeated to legitimize wars. Dangers are exaggerated and principles are asserted, and in every case there is some truth in them. After all, Hitler invaded Poland because of Polish aggression and persecution of its German inhabitants, and he was not 100% wrong about that.

      This is not cynicism or hate America or simple minded pacifism. It is simply a refusal to be swept up by bullshit and simplistic sloganeering.

  5. piratebb permalink
    3 December 2009 1:56 pm

    So the statement,that america has brought freedom to more people than any other nation,has gone from nonsense to bullshit and simplistic sloganeering.

    Sorry, my belief in the constitution of the U.S. will not let my accept this.

    • mrokjazztokyo permalink
      3 December 2009 8:29 pm

      The US Constitution is a grea document..but that is all it is, so far..remember, it took decades and a fraticidal civil war to end slavery. Another 50 years for women to get the vote, and another 40 years after that for Southern blacks to vote freely..the US is a great project that has a LONG way to go to live up to it’s ideals.

      And, you have yet to counter any of our points about US imperial wars overseas..

    • buddaley permalink
      4 December 2009 8:43 am

      What does the U.S. Constitution say about invading (or sponsoring the invasion of) foreign countries?

      And what specific data do you have that supports your statement about bringing freedom to more people than any other nation? Is there some comparative study done that demonstrates such a generalization, that defines its terms, that ranks degrees of freedom, that evaluates the cost of bringing such freedom?

      Of course such statements are nonsense, bullshit and simplistic sloganeering, and belief does not trump thinking.

  6. snotnosedbaseballblogger permalink
    4 December 2009 3:13 pm

    I suspect that unfortunately human nature makes a perpetually attempt at peace through strength a necessity. Unfortunately, I suspect that because of the capitalist system that promotes competition and innovation–our defense technology is superior to that of most other nations–the United States is called upon to keep the world’s resources and people from falling into the hands of more self-serving governments than the U.S. government.

    Humans, in my view, are all naturally selfish and motivated by power. Our Constitution and ideals seem to protect our citizens from themselves as good as or better than most other countries. (That’s not to say our ideals are limited to our country; many other countries share our ideals.) So in order to keep human selfishness and motivation for power in check, countries like the U.S. must be aggressive in promoting their ideals. And because the U.S. has superior resources and technology and holds up these ideals, it is the country that unfortunately is obligated to take the lead in using force against those who will likely never accept the ideals the U.S. holds sacred.

    That’s not to say the U.S. hasn’t made questionable decision regarding the use of their military. But the world is a complex place. Unfortunately it’s not so easy to take the chance that other humans will not be so motivated by selfishness and power that they threaten to destroy the entire world or at least threaten countries that share U.S. ideals. If the U.S. allows their ideals to be overtaken by other ideals that do not promote as much freedom (like Islamic extremism), the dominoes continue to fall and the threat to the U.S. becomes greater and greater.

  7. snotnosedbaseballblogger permalink
    4 December 2009 3:33 pm

    “If you want to make that argument, sure.

    “But is the price of that freedom worth, say, hundreds of thousands of lives either lost, displaced or both, in Iraq? The mounting numbers of deaths of men, women and children in Afghanistan?

    “One can be a leader in spreading freedom and also a leader in diplomacy and intelligent decision making. These two concepts needn’t be mutually exclusive.”

    Isn’t it at least conceivable that the price of freedom is worth lives, unfortunately? I wish it weren’t the case but it seems like it may be. For instance, look at the thousands of Cubans who have risked their lives on shoddy, homemade rafts in order to gain more freedom.

    I’m all for diplomacy and intelligent decision making, in fact I would prefer it. But can diplomacy and intelligent decision making work against someone who believes his god instructs and rewards him for blowing himself up in order to kill those who don’t share his beliefs?

  8. spudrph permalink
    5 December 2009 9:43 pm

    SNBB-“But can diplomacy and intelligent decision making work against someone who believes his god instructs and rewards him for blowing himself up in order to kill those who don’t share his beliefs?”

    Could it possibly hurt? Could it possibly be worse than what we’re doing now? How would we even know, since we’ve never tried it?

  9. snotnosedbaseballblogger permalink
    7 December 2009 7:41 pm

    spudrph, I think the problem is diplomacy depends a lot on one’s word. And how can you trust someone who is willing to blow himself or his cronies up in order to kill your citizens? No U.S. Commander in Chief wants to become the next Neville Chamberlain.

    Anyone who wants to say the situation in Afghanistan isn’t comparable to the situation with Nazi Germany, I would just ask you to look at the goals of these members of radical Islam. They want to destroy Israel and all of Western civilization.

    Again, unfortunately that’s the reality of the world full of selfish and power-hungry human beings. There is not an easy solution (like diplomacy) to certain problems, or sometimes it’s even more risky to not wage war than to wage war. As horrible as war is, sometimes not waging war is more horrible. And unfortunately no one has a crystal ball to know the future. So we have to go on what we do know, namely that a group of people seem to be willing to stop at nothing in an attempt to destroy Western civilization and Israel and anyone else who doesn’t believe in their brand of Islam.

  10. mrokjazztokyo permalink
    7 December 2009 8:52 pm

    Snotnosedbaseballblogger,
    Equating Islamic radicals with Nazi Germany shows that you do not understand modern history. To say that a couple hundred radicals, spread arcross the globe with no army, no nation, no industrial base..this is equal to the Wehrmacht??

    Secondly, there is one very simple way to make these idiots lose whatever support they have: stop invading Muslim countries. Stop interfereing in the Middle East, end the occupation of Palestine by Israel. Let Afghanistan and Pakistan sort out their own problems. Use our vast military budget to help people around the globe and not to install bases.

    I’m not sure where you are or where you have traveled, but I can assure you, more people on this globe are anti-American because of these pointless, criminal wars carried out but Nush & Obama. One billion + Muslims and you let a handful of maniacs dictate foreign policy..it’s insane and will only lead to more and more carnage.

    Lastly..Obama is now officially a war criminal. 50,000+ more troops in Afghanistan..and they say they want to bring peace!

  11. snotnosedbaseballblogger permalink
    9 December 2009 3:24 pm

    mrokjazztokyo, they are like Nazi’s in that they want to destroy Israel and all of Western civilization or convert them to their beliefs.

    This “handful” of Islamic radicals already killed, what, 3,000 American civilians? And if you live in an American city, do you want to take the chance that this “handful” of Islamic radicals wouldn’t use nuclear weapons, or any other type of weapon for that matter, to kill as many Americans as possible?

    If a handful of maniacs seems perfectly willing to destroy your entire civilization, it seems appropriate that they dictate the foreign policy of the US.

  12. mrokjazztokyo permalink
    9 December 2009 8:38 pm

    Snotnose, with all due repsect..your argument makes no sense at all. There was no Israel during the Nazi era..Nazi ideology was one of racial superiority, they wanted to extermiinate Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, Slavs..they themselves WERE “western civilization” (meaningless term).

    These Al-Qaeda assholes are nothing at all like Nazis..it’s absurd to use that comparison. The whole problem really is not too dificult to solve: stop supporting Israel’s occupation of Palestine (Israel has over 150 nuclear warheads, I think they can defend themselves), stop interfereing in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.

    Lastly..3000 people died on 9/11…how many innocent Muslims have we killed in response? Easily 100 times that number..

    I suppose we should stop here and not clog Jonah’s blog with out politics. After all, he needs more space for Expos nostalgia and Simpsons references :)

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