Saturday, November 08, 2008

Forget Those Lefty Sell-Outs Who Helped Elect Obama

In recent decades it has become more and more inevitable that American 'democracy' will hardly provide substantive choices between contenders for political power at any level of political engagement.

The recent election and elevation of President-elect Obama is perhaps the most striking example of the narrowing of choice and consciousness.

Somewhere in his election stumping Obama started quoting Reagan and disagreeing with Bill Clinton only to reverse the order when it became necessary to advertize the democratic brand.

Yesterday the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, congratulated Obama on his "success". Later in the day Obama responded by showing his hawkish side and talking about Iran's nuclear ambitions and the danger it imposes on the 'world'.

Whose f*cking world was my first thought as I watched Obama sound just like George W. Bush?

Obama obviously knows the rules of being a tough American: He can't sound weak when dealing with the 'evil' likes of Ahmadinejad. Afterall, Israel and its powerful friends in Washington D.C. are watching.

If Obama was an alternative choice he would have gone beyond the usual imperial impulse to act like a dense and arrogant American. But then again, Obama is not an alternative to American stupidity and inhumane arrogance.

Pablo Ouziel has written an excellent article that is critical of "intellectuals" of the left who have failed to see the narrowing of the purpose between the two major parties.

He blames lefty intellectuals for advocating (he is speaking of Chomsky and Zinn among others) that folks vote for the lesser of two evils.

The outcome Ouziel says is that "what has taken place is the union between those opposed to imperial ideology and those endorsing it." This "union", he stresses, is a more significant characterization of late American politics than the election of its first black president.

Exactly. And it is a bloody "union" too ... one that implcates those who should have known better yet sold their ideals to narrow and superficial interests.

Intellectuals like Chomsky and Zinn have sold their ideals short and serious questions must be asked about their worth in directing anti-imperial action. But I would not stop there.

There are many other less public lefty figures (and ordinary lefty citizens) who voted for Obama knowing that he offers nothing more than a continuation of the disastrious US foreign policy in the Middle East, for example.

Ouziel cites a quote from James Petras to describe the left leaning intellectuals who voted for Obama:
"They are what C. Wright Mills called ‘crackpot realists’, abdicating their responsibility as critical intellectuals. In purporting to support the ‘lesser evil’ they are promoting the ‘greater evil’: The continuation of four more years of deepening recession, colonial wars and popular alienation."
"Crackpot realists" and more I would say.

When US bombs of death rain down on the occupied innocents in Iraq and Afghnanistan, and when Obama turns his attention away from the bloodshed in Palestine, where will the left's conscience find respite?

Nowhere is my thinking.

And please, save me the flimsy rationalization that the time is right now for a concerted lobbying of the Obama machine to improve the substance of American brutality and imperialism.

The stakes are more complicated. Obama can no less turn his back on AIPAC than the capitalist class that created his duplicitous ass.

Still, in a Darwinian sense the flock of those who are supposed comrades in struggle have been significantly thinned with the election of Obama.

The left vote for this son of the empire requires that committed anti-imperial soldiers discard the empty support of these compromised politicos.

There really is no time to waste on those who say they are committed to change but act so contrary to that political impulse and agenda.



Dade said...

I'll have to muse on this passionate post for a while. But I will say this: the relief that millions of Americans, (indeed, millions of people throughout the world) upon seeing the end of the Bush administration is real. It's genuine. It's joyful.

I urge you, my friend, don't judge us too harshly if the relief we feel in our souls prevents us from confronting certain realities.

Ridwan said...

Hello Dade. Thanks kindly for your comment. I do not mean, of course, to malign anyone.

I am too happy to see the Bush administration come to an end. Unfortunately more people will die as the days count down to January 20th.

I think though that liberals, progressives, leftys, etc, should not conflate the end of the Bush administration with the rise of Obama.

Obama is being celebrated for the wrong reason if that is what we are left with.

Obama does not offer a decisive break with the brutal policies of Bush.

I also think that those who voted for Obama should recognize that the critique offered here is relevant.

Nonetheless, I respect your view and thank you kindly for making your voice heard here.

In friendship and peace,

E. said...

I think there must be a mistake -- didn't Chomsky endorse McKinney??

Ridwan said...

Hi E. Chomsky did tell folks to vote for the lesser evil and speak to the fact that Obama is the lesser evil.

That said, it is reported that he voted for McKinney. Though I do not know that he confirmed his vote.

Thanks for looking in,