Archive for the 'US foreign policy' Category


Great Moments in Black History: #20

Dr. Martin Luther King, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”


Great Moments in Black History: #15

Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) goes 1 against 420.


Let’s welcome Elizabeth Warren to the top 5


It’s been a while since I felt the need to shake things up on my top 5 white girls list. Like any self-respecting angry populist, Ms. Warren has been on my radar for some time now.  After her appearance on The Daily Show, I wanted her to make me some hot cocoa and further explain how she was going to make those bad men pay for locking me and my hypothetical children into a lifetime of wage slavery at the hands of Capital One, Citibank, etc. After reading this piece in the latest Rolling Stone, and this Q & A on CounterPunch, I knew it was time to give her a spot.

Also, it will now be known as the Top 5 White Women list.  Much classier; especially given the new tilt of the list towards more serious issues.  And now, the new list.

  1. Bjork – Having said that, there is very little that I take as seriously as music.
  2. Amy Goodman – The more I read, the more documentaries I watch, the more conversations I have with interesting people at random parties and events, the more I find  myself saying or thinking, “I know about that because of Amy Goodman.”  Either through her work on Democracy Now or her talks and books, I can’t think of any single person other than Noam Chomsky who has introduced me to so many national and global news stories, socio-political issues, amazing thinkers and activists, and exposed the failings and lies of so many scoundrels and scalawags.
  3. Elizabeth Warren – It’s that serious.  Getting Wall Street under control should be one of the highest priorities of every global citizen.
  4. Shiela Kuehl – Former California State Senator who introduced SB 840; legislation that would establish a state single payer health care system.  Twice, the bill passed both houses of the legislature only to be vetoed by The Governator.  Last year, Senator Mark Leno re-introduced “The California Universal Healthcare Act.” SB 810, as it is now called, was passed by the Senate in January.  Also, Kuehl played Zelda on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
  5. Ruth Jones – Co-creator, co-writer and co-star of the BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey.  My favorite performer on one of my favorite shows of recent years.  The accents can be a bit tough to penetrate, but if you can figure out what they’re saying on The Wire or in any Guy Ritchie film, you’ll be fine.

And that’s what’s occurring.


A Memo to America

Barack Obama is not your favorite uncle.

He’s not your BFF. He’s not a rock star. He’s not the short, but scrappy white guy who comes off the bench for your college basketball team to the delight of the student section.

He’s an elected official. He’s a civil servant. He works for you. It is both your right and your responsibility to scrutinize and question every single policy decision he makes. It is both your right and your responsibility to parse every public statement he gives. Our population’s failure to do these things is what gave BushCo the freedom to lie, cheat and steal this country into both the financial and moral bankruptcy. Failure to do so under the current administration will only make it worse. What we need from you is not knee-jerk defense of Barack Obama. What we need from you, fellow citizen, is vigilance.

A quick recap of what’s at stake:

  • The financial sector is a shambles of foreclosed homes, insolvent banks and hundreds of thousands of recently unemployed men and women. Once again, the big guy has bent the little guy over and sodomized him with rolled up hundred dollar bills. Once again, he’s going to get away with it.
  • Speaking of financial matters, half of all bankruptcies in this country are caused by medical bills. The wealthiest nation in history has a health care system which The World Health Organization ranked lower than Costa Rica, Morocco, Colombia and 33 other countries when it last produced it’s rankings in 2000. Silly socialists.
  • Our love affair with rockets and tanks has left us with a bloated defense budget that is almost as large as the military expenditures of all the other countries in the world combined. We’ve been in Iraq longer than we were in WW II. During that time, we’ve murdered and/or caused the deaths of as many as a million people, displaced hundreds of thousands more, made cannon fodder of 4,000 Americans, created countless terrorists and spent as many as $3 trillion, according to some estimates. But if we leave too soon, you know…things might really fall apart.
  • Despite our legal, moral and tactical failing in Iraq, we’re poised to redouble our efforts in that other illegal, immoral war of aggression in Afghanistan with a troop surge for that specific campaign and an increase in military spending in general. If at first you don’t succeed…
  • Some Americans still hold on to the arrogant, ignorant notion that our homosexual brothers and sisters do not have the exact same rights as everyone else. (Do you think Barack and Michelle would have settled for a civil union?) While the nation’s gaze was focused on the passage of Proposition 8 in California—a heinous and hateful piece of legislation, to be sure—Arkansas, Florida and Arizona passed laws making it illegal for homosexual couples to adopt. Much better that thousands of children continue to be shuffled to and from various foster homes and orphanages, lest they end of living with a couple of dikes, huh?
  • Oh yeah. Cops are still murdering Black men in the street.

Excuse the fuck out of me if I take a second from admiring how Black and cool my president is to spend time worrying about the actual issues.

“But, Nick. Obama just got into the White House! He didn’t cause all that other stuff!”

As a United States Senator, Obama was complicit in and/or did absolutely nothing to resolve most of the aforementioned issues. (The fact that he was not in the Senate for the Iraq war vote and has said repeatedly that he would not have voted for it is balanced out by the fact that he voted to give President Bush every single dollar he wanted to fight the war.) He may not have been the guy holding Jodie Foster down on the pool table, but he was definitely cheering by the bar.

If I have to hear, read or see one more pundit falling back on some version of that toothless “he just got elected” canard, I’m going to challenge Stephon Marbury to a head-butting competition.

The next friend or family member who allows that idiotic, “He just said that to get elected”, The Spook Who Sat by the Door theory to escape their lips should be given the Ludovico technique from A Clockwork Orange with the violent images replaced with Noam Chomsky speeches.

Yes, the Obamas seem to be a well-adjusted, loving, beautiful family. Who gives a fuck? We have more important things to talk about than what sort of dog Malia and Sasha will get or whether or not Barack is smoking again.

The campaign is over. “Yes we can” should be removed from your vocabulary and deposited in the dust bin of political propaganda forever. Take that limited edition Shepard Fairy print down off your fucking wall, roll it up really tight, and shove it up your ass. You don’t make idols out of employees. The time has come for Americans to stop being cheerleaders and start being play by play analysts. (Think Hubie Brown, not Dick Vitale.)

What America needs is more informed, passionate debate on the merits of the issues. What America does not need is more mealy-mouthed defenses of Barack Obama.


Let’s check in on that other war, shall we?

You know.  The one that Obama thinks is the "the right battlefield."  How’s that working out?  If you’re an Afghan civilian, not so well. 

BBC News:

There is convincing evidence that 60 children and 30 adults were killed in a US air strike in western Afghanistan last Friday, the United Nations says.  

But I’m sure that once he’s elected and increases military spending and shifts more troops into Afghanistan, things there will get much, much better.  Just like they did in Iraq!



Is this the kind of change he’s talking about?

Last week, everybody’s All-American, Barack Obama, had this to say about his foreign policy ideas.

"The truth is that my foreign policy is actually a return to the traditional bipartisan realistic policy of George Bush’s father, of John F. Kennedy, of, in some ways, Ronald Reagan."

Ummm…someone should really explain to the Senator how many people around the world were murdered either directly by the US military or indirectly as a result of our weapons or cover actions thanks to the "traditional bipartisan realistic" policy of those esteemed leaders.

Here’s an example of Reagan’s foreign policy at work. It focuses on Nicaragua, but spend a few minutes on YouTube or Google video and you can find similar news stories and documentaries about Vietnam, East Timor, El Salvador, Chile ,etc that tell the same story.  Unfortunately, what passes for a journalism in this country are inane, unimportant stories about what Obama’s preacher said, or how many idiotic Americans still think he’s a Muslim instead of substantive critique of his position on the issues. Fuck that guy.

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