Obama, The Prince of Bait and SwitchOnward!
John Pilger (Dissident Voice: July 30, 2008)
... The US and its allies are dropping record numbers of bombs on Afghanistan. This is not news. In the first half of this year, 1,853 bombs were dropped: more than all the bombs of 2006 and most of 2007. “The most frequently used bombs,” the Air Force Times reports, “are the 500lb and 2,000lb satellite-guided. . . ” Without this one-sided onslaught, the resurgence of the Taliban, it is clear, might not have happened. Even Hamid Karzai, America’s and Britain’s puppet, has said so. The presence and the aggression of foreigners have all but united a resistance that now includes former warlords once on the CIA’s payroll.
The scandal of this would be headline news, were it not for what George W Bush’s former spokesman Scott McClellan has called “complicit enablers” — journalists who serve as little more than official amplifiers. Having declared Afghanistan a “good war”, the complicit enablers are now anointing Barack Obama as he tours the bloodfests in Afghanistan and Iraq. What they never say is that Obama is a bomber.
In the New York Times on 14 July, in an article spun to appear as if he is ending the war in Iraq, Obama demanded more war in Afghanistan and, in effect, an invasion of Pakistan. He wants more combat troops, more helicopters, more bombs. Bush may be on his way out, but the Republicans have built an ideological machine that transcends the loss of electoral power — because their collaborators are, as the American writer Mike Whitney put it succinctly, “bait-and-switch” Democrats, of whom Obama is the prince.
Those who write of Obama that “when it comes to international affairs, he will be a huge improvement on Bush” demonstrate the same willful naivety that backed the bait-and-switch of Bill Clinton — and Tony Blair. Of Blair, wrote the late Hugo Young in 1997, “ideology has surrendered entirely to ‘values’. . . there are no sacred cows [and] no fossilized limits to the ground over which the mind might range in search of a better Britain. . .”
Eleven years and five wars later, at least a million people lie dead. Barack Obama is the American Blair. That he is a smooth operator and a black man is irrelevant. He is of an enduring, rampant system whose drum majors and cheer squads never see, or want to see, the consequences of 500lb bombs dropped unerringly on mud, stone and straw houses.