The Nation's Alex Cockburn: Against Obama/Vote Libertarian

by

comment
unknown.jpg

This another good example of how the hard Right and hard Left often agree, as Alexander Cockburn's assessment of what lies ahead under a President Barack Obama reflects my own predictions, and his distaste for American global empire is similar to mine, my choice for president Chuck Baldwin, and my two greatest contemporary political heroes, Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul. Writes Cockburn:

"In these last days I've been scraping around, trying to muster a single positive reason to encourage a vote for Obama.

Obama invokes change. Yet never has the dead hand of the past had a "reform" candidate so firmly by the windpipe. Is it possible to confront America's problems without talking about the arms budget, now entirely out of control? The Pentagon is spending more than at any point since the end of World War II. In "real dollars" the $635 billion appropriated in fiscal 2007 is 5 percent above the previous all-time high, reached in 1952. Depending on how you count them, the Empire has somewhere between 700 and 1,000 overseas bases. Obama wants to enlarge the armed services by 90,000. He pledges to escalate the US war in Afghanistan; to attack Pakistan's sovereign territory if it obstructs any unilateral US mission to kill Osama bin Laden; and to wage a war against terror in a hundred countries, creating for this purpose a new international intelligence and law enforcement "infrastructure" to take down terrorist networks. A fresh start? Where does this differ from Bush's commitment to Congress on September 20, 2001, to an ongoing "war on terror" against "every terrorist group of global reach" and "any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism"?

Obama's liberal defenders comfort themselves with the thought that "he had to say that to get elected." He didn't. After eight years of Bush, Americans are receptive to reassessing America's imperial role. Obama has shunned this opportunity.

Whatever drawdown of troops in Iraq that does take place in the event of Obama's victory will be a brief hiccup amid the blare and thunder of fresh "resolve." In the event of Obama's victory, the most immediate consequence overseas will most likely be brusque imperial reassertion. Already Joe Biden, the shopworn poster boy for Israeli intransigence and cold war hysteria, is yelping stridently about the new administration's "mettle" being tested in the first six months by the Russians and their surrogates.

After eight years of unrelenting assault on constitutional liberties by Bush and Cheney, public and judicial enthusiasm for tyranny has waned. Obama has preferred to stand with Bush and Cheney. In February, seeking a liberal profile in the primaries, Obama stood against warrantless wiretapping. His support for liberty did not survive its second trimester; he aborted it with a vote for warrantless wiretapping. The man who voted to reaffirm the Patriot Act declared that "the ability to monitor and track individuals who want to attack the United States is a vital counterterrorism tool."

In substantive terms Obama's run has been the negation of almost every decent progressive principle, a negation achieved with scarcely a bleat of protest from the progressives seeking to hold him to account.

So no, this is not an exciting or liberating moment in America's politics such as was possible after the Bush years. If you want a memento of what could be exciting, I suggest you go to the website of the Nader-Gonzalez campaign and read its platform, particularly on popular participation and initiative. Or read the portions of Libertarian Bob Barr's platform on foreign policy and constitutional rights."

Read Cockburn's entire column

Add a comment