Democracy And The Liberals

It’s funny how liberals view “free speech”. They are vexed by the lies and reactionary politics and prejudices spread and promoted by Fox News and rightwing radio talk shows, but to them having a TV network like Fox News or reactionary radio talk shows is a sign of having democracy and is considered a good thing. This also leads them to disparage the policies of the Cuban government which doesn’t share their view of “democracy”. 

It doesn’t occur to liberals that it’s one thing for a wacko to shout out nonsense like “Jesus loves you” at the corner of a street and a corporation founded on spreading and profiting from disinformation and exploiting and exacerbating people’s ignorance for its own narrow interests that go against the interests of the public. They also don’t understand that the “freedom of speech” that’s supposedly afforded to the people in capitalist societies is limited in scope and breadth, as well as being conditional. You have “freedom of speech” as long as you either don’t use it or if you do use it, you don’t cause any change or threaten to cause any change. “Freedom of expression”, which is monitored by the NSA in the first place, is ultimately capped and put an end to by a large number of heavily armed police when it takes the form of a protest on the streets demanding change.

What liberals also fail to understand is that it’s only in capitalism that corporations are independent entities with special rights and power that put them above the society and are free to use their accumulated money and power to impose their will on the society. In socialism, the physical and mental wellbeing, the needs and the future of the society isn’t left at the mercy of large omnipotent corporations. In socialism, resources are allocated according to and spent on meeting people’s needs, especially their urgent needs, rather than for the interests and based on the dictates and preferences of giant corporations. To allocate resources to creating a “Fox News”, there has to be a real and specific need and justification for it – physical, mental, educational, entertainment, etc. The mere existence of a Fox News in society that dominates the airways, in and of itself, isn’t proof of the need for having it. If Fox News didn’t exist, most would agree that there would be no need to spend badly needed resources to create it and give it such power and influence as their likes have over people and use it to spread lies and fear, but now that it has been created, through the sheer power of a vast amount of money, and does exist, then liberals’ attitude is: let it be. Not only “let it be”, but according to their worldview, it’s even a good thing to have it for “diversity” and “plurality” of opinions. To them, people’s needs and priorities and issues of war and peace and the future or wellbeing of the planet can all be subjected to and determined by the outcome of a “competition” of “ideas” and “opinions” amongst privately owned corporations (or their representatives in a government they own and control) over the airways and communication equipment which only large corporations can own and which the people themselves have no part of or influence over.

Liberals see my writing here, for example, as proof of my “free speech” and comparable to that of News Corporation or GE or Viacom or Disney. Their attitude about this issue is similar to their attitude about the so-called opportunities that “everyone” has in a capitalist society to strike it rich and enjoy the good life. In other words, I have the same opportunity to influence opinions as Fox News and the same opportunity to accumulate wealth and power as Exxon-Mobile and Bank of America, and the same opportunity to influence the politics and policies as the corporate lobbyists who have and use billions to get their laws passed. We all have the opportunity. How things actually shape up in society is all secondary, academic and even considered fair.

Even in the best case scenario of having a counterbalance (no MSNBC is  far from providing that counterbalance) to the corporate media, which we don’t, why do we need corporate networks whose mission is to perpetuate their own rule by spreading lies and disinformation and misinforming the public? 

Many liberals agree that giant multinational corporations commit “excesses” and degrade the environment for profits or push for wars or they have too much influence over politics and policies, but interestingly, aren’t bothered by their power of brainwashing, which they attribute to “freedom of expression”, not realizing that the first step in limiting their power is in limiting their power of influence and persuasion and the first step in creating a sane society is in having sane information. 

What’s Happening in Yemen?

  

Shia rebels known as Houthis, took the capital city of Sanaa and ran president Hadi out of the capital and into exile in the southern port of Aden. The conflict between the Houthis and the government of Yemen is “seen as part of a regional power struggle between Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia” wrote BBC when reporting the news. In reaction, Saudi Arabia mobilized 150,000 troops and 100 US supplied fighter jets and began bombing the country and the Houthis. According to reports, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan and Pakistan have joined the Saudis in the war and the US is aiding them by providing intelligence on the rebel locations to maximize the effects of the bombings.

Houthis also known as Ansar Allah (Partisans of God), practice a branch of Shia Islam known as Zaidism and constitute about a third of the population of Yemen, living mostly in the North. They take their name from Hussein Badr al-Din al-Houthi who led an uprising of the Zaidis in 2004, in which he was killed. Since then, they have had a few more revolts against the central government.

The political conflict unfolding in Yemen, which is the poorest nation in Middle East, is nothing new. The country has seen decades of civil strife and unrest due to poverty, uneven access to resources by different sectors of the society, corruption and political instability. According to the same BBC report, “unemployment, high food prices and limited social services mean more than 10 million Yemenis are believed to be food insecure”. 

One of the byproducts of such inequality, poverty and political instability has been the active presence of an Al Qaeda associate group known as Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is opposed to both the toppled president and the Houthis. Bring in imperialism headed by the U.S. to this mix, which as usual, sees the solution to just about every situation in bombing attacks against those it sees as its enemies, and we get the chaos we see in Yemen, today. The Obama Administration has for years conducted bombings by unmanned drones in Yemen, supposedly against AQAP forces in the country, which they determine who is and isn’t an Al Qaeda supporter in this nation of constant civil war, unrest and imperialist intervention. 

As the US continued its drone attacks, supposedly against AQAP, however, it has remained mum about its close allies, the Saudis, as they continued to finance and promote Sunni jihadis, including what gave rise to Al Qaeda and its latest variant, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to promote the extremist and fundamentalist version of their Wahhabi branch of Sunni Islam. 

As the Houthis advanced and took the capital, the U.S. pulled its special operations forces out of the country, but it didn’t quit its intervention; it just left the job of pushing back and defeating the Houthis to the Saudis, who in recent years have taken a much more aggressive posture in the region. The purported reason for the Sauidis’ involvement is to counter the supposedly growing influence of Shia Iran in the region. However, the situation and alliances being formed isn’t entirely along religious lines. The Saudi ruling dynasty has long aligned itself with imperialism in order to maintain its grip on power and the wealth it enjoys by selling its vast oil reserves. More and more, this alliance has meant intervention in the political strifes in the region on behalf of imperialism, a role Israel has played even more prominently. When a pro-democracy uprising broke out in 2011 against the US backed kingdom in Bahrain where the US has a large naval base, right at the doorsteps of Iran, the Saudi Kingdom sent troops to crush it. They have also been one of the main supporters and financiers of the terrorist groups, including the ISIS that are fighting the Syrian government, which the U.S. and its allies want to see overthrown. They have also gone against the demands of other member nations of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to dramatically increase their oil supply in order to lower its price and hurt Russian, Iranian and Venezuelan economies. Saudi Arabia has also taken a position in support of the military dictatorship of General Al Sissi in Egypt, the kingdom in Jordan and the despotic sheikdoms in the Gulf, all US puppets and allies, all complicit about Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians. Saudis themselves have been a silent partner of Israel, as they both try to overthrow the Assad government in Syria. Against this pro-imperialist alliance which besides Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan and Egypt, also includes Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE and Turkey, stand the governments of Iran and Syria and the Hezbollah of Lebanon. Although Iran herself has a medieval and autocratic government and Syria is by no means a model of democracy, they’re not politically and militarily allied with imperialism. They do not allow military bases and advisors of the US to decide for them their politics and policies, from how they vote in the UN to which nations they form and maintain relations with to who they sign their oil contracts with to what trade agreements they get into and who they buy their weapons from to how they relate with and treat multinational corporations. It matters not to imperialism who their allies are and what they do to their people. They can be the most brutal and misogynist dictators who cut the arms and legs of people for petty crime and jail, torture and execute journalists who criticize the corrupt leadership and who deny women even the right to drive. They can even help and support terrorists. None of that matters, as long as they cooperate with imperialist plans for world domination and crush their own pro democracy and anti imperialist uprisings and revolutions, which would be a barrier to imperialist exploitation and plunder. Just look to see which countries are on the US list of states sponsoring terrorism. You will not see Saudi Arabia, which is a big sponsor of Sunni terrorists or Israel which routinely assassinates Palestinian leaders, but Cuba, which has not committed a single act of terrorism, unless one considers helping repel the occupation forces of apartheid South Africa from then newly independent nation of Angola in early 1960’s, an act of terror, for which Nelson Mandela couldn’t thank Cubans enough. Really, he couldn’t have thanked them enough. 

The reason the US sells the Saudis some of its most advanced weaponry, which they have been buying in the billions, funneling some of their oil money into the coffers of US weapons manufacturers, isn’t just economic, but also strategic. Same is true about their so-called “economic aid” to Egypt, which is mostly to the Egyptian military to the tune of $2 billion a year to buy US weapons from US weapons makers – money that goes from US taxpayers and makes a trip back to weapons makers. Again, that’s just a side benefit; the real purpose is strategic: to expand the reach and hegemony of the collective of the corporate empire.

if you read or watch the news in empire’s media, what you learn is that Iran is causing the unrest in Yemen by supporting a rebellious Shia group and that Saudis who are Sunni and want to limit Iran’s influence decided on their own to bomb the rebels and reinstate the “elected president”. In other words it’s all about religion, Iran’s interference and Saudis “reasonable” bombing reaction. Nothing about poverty, unemployment, corrupt leaders tapped and kept in power by empire’s military support and empire’s pact with the most depraved, corrupt and brutal despots found on Earth for the long term interests of multinational corporations and their empire.

Racism and American White Liberals

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Steve Kornacki was discussing on MSNBC Dick Cheney’s comment that Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were “playing the race card”. He had three guests: two African Americans and one white, which including the host, made the participants two whites and two blacks. When the question of whether or not Republicans’ unrelenting animosity and opposition with Obama and his black cabinet members and nominees like Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch was brought up, as almost always and without a surprise, the white liberals took the position that Republicans’ unprecedented contempt, disrespect and opposition with Obama and his nominees, even when there are no reasons for their opposition, such as against Ms. Lynch, though wrong, was not due to racism. Despite desperate attempts by the well spoken black guests to get them to understand that race did play a major role in their attitudes, the white liberals did not get it.

Chris Hays, another white liberal with a show on MSNBC, said on his show that “race is not a real and physical thing” and that “there is no such thing as race”, but “racism is very much real”. It’s good that he acknowledges that racism does exist and is real, but he thinks to be against racism, you must be blind and not see any differences in physical attributes such as skin color or other visible physical features. In fact, some use the bogus “color blindness” to deny the need for remedies such as “affirmative action”. Some even go as far as using the
“color blindness” argument to deny the existence of racism, altogether, including their own. Some are of the opinion that if you just ignore racism, it’ll just fade away, that racism continues to exist because we discuss it. Some even think race is something you can adopt and pretend you’re black which I suppose would be a good way of showing you’re not a racist: hey I can’t be racist because “I’m actually black”. That’s exactly what Jay Smooth, founder of hiphopmusic.com claimed on Chris Hayes’ show on Wednesday. When Hays showed Mr. Smooth’s YouTube video lecture on “How to Tell Someone They Sound Racist”, his other guest, Nancy Giles from CBS News, who is African American, teased him for trying to sound and act like blacks in his video to which Mr. Smooth replied “I’m actually black, but you assumed otherwise”. What he seems to be advising in his video, which Mr. Hays agreed with, is that instead of calling someone racist, it’s better to just tell them that what they said was racist. Wow what an enlightening yet concept. I knew dealing with racism had to be so simple and everyone complicated it. But, of course, it’s easy for Mr. Smooth and Mr. Hays, despite all their good intentions – and I do believe Chris Hays does have his heart in the right place – to not call someone who’s racist a racist. It’s always funny when two white people, one of whom pretends to be black, speak louder about racism than the only other person there who is black. Mr. Smooth may have some good advice on racism, but I have one for him: dude, if you don’t look black you ain’t black. If you look like a white guy moving and talking like blacks and enjoying rap music and you even founded a Web site dedicated to rap music, you’re still white.

Liberals seem to have their hearts in the right place, but I’d much prefer if they had their brains in the right place. I’ve come to the conclusion that white liberals are incapable of understanding the society and social forces and phenomena, period, whether it’s social classes or political economy or imperialism or racism. I therefore believe that white liberals will not and cannot lead any social movement which among its demands also includes an end to racism or to even move the society towards ending racism. That will have to be done by black revolutionary leaders, not those who like Obama claim racism is no more or that racism is somehow the fault of the victims of racism or those who claim to be black. And given the centrality of the question of racism in the US and in US politics on all levels, I believe a movement for defeating racism, which first and foremost, among others, will take the form of countering police brutality, will have to be led by black leaders. It is with this understanding that we must support wholeheartedly militant black resistance against racist cops from Ferguson to New York. I don’t mean to downplay the importance of a movement like Occupy Wall Street. That’s also important. But it would have to link up with uprisings like the one in Ferguson and look to Ferguson-like movements for leadership.

Washington Post Defends Netanyahu and Makes a Case for War with Iran

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What’s unfortunately being lost even among many on the left in all the talk about the so-called “negotiations” between the world powers and Iran about Iran’s nuclear program is that the U.S. which, let’s face it, is the main reason for and initiator of the “negotiations”, doesn’t negotiate honestly and in good faith to reach an agreement to avoid war. The US negotiates to set the grounds for war.

What’s the use of history if we’re going to completely ignore it and pretend the world came into existence just today? For years, the UN atomic energy agency known as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), under the US pressure, negotiated the terms and conditions for the most intrusive and thorough inspections of all the Iraqi sites that might possibly be involved in producing the nuclear bomb. No site, no matter how sensitive and what its function, was off limits. While the Iraqi government was being forced to reveal everything and anything that it possessed in terms of military capabilities – or lack thereof – and equipment and arms depots, as well as their locations, to the West and specifically to the US which would later attack it using that very same information, it was also under heavy and devastating economic sanctions and embargo which, directly and solely, affected the Iraqi population, impoverishing them in the millions and denying them even basic medical supplies and drugs. Iraqi doctors didn’t even have anesthetics to perform surgery and according to a report by the UN, which every once in a while gets the courage to say something the US might not like, which usually results in the initiators of the report losing their position at the UN, half a million Iraqi children lost their lives. What the U.S. and its allies did to Iraq, under both Democrsts and Republicans, in the course of two decades, was nothing short of genocide. What credibility does such a genocidal government as the United States of America have to negotiate about the nuclear program of another Middle East nation?

Hear it from the horse’s mouth: The Washington Post prominently printed an opinion on Monday that openly and unabashedly advocated war with Iran. It didn’t say if such and such happens we should attack Iran; it said we should sacrifice some American lives and go to war with Iran, not even mentioning how many Iranians would be sacrificed. What does it mean when a major newspaper prints such a piece? Would it print a piece by ISIS terrorists advocating the beheading of Americans, or even a sane and sober piece by an anti-Zionist calling for an end to the apartheid state of Israel or one that exposes US atrocities and calls for a popular uprising to overthrow the genocidal government in Washington to end all wars? Or how about a piece prominently printed in the paper calling for an end to all US wars and closing of its hundreds of military bases around the world that are used to wage endless wars? I thought it was about freedom of speech!

But, that’s not where the Post leaves it at. In an editorial, printed after Netanyahu’s speech to US Congress, its board of editors insists that Obama has an “obligation” to answer the “serious” and “valid” arguments raised by Netanyahu, which basically says: don’t negotiate with Iran and don’t come to any agreement. Netanyahu wants the US to add the condition – if it’s going to negotiate at all – that Iran not aid terrorism, which means to not side with Palestinians as Israel continues its ethnic cleansing and genocide in occupied Palestine. Just the idea of blaming another state for terrorism by the Zionist state of Israel is outrageous, if not ludicrous and laughable.

But, there is a more sinister reason behind that “argument” by Netanyahu, which isn’t really new and which the Post wants Obama to seriously consider and explain why he won’t heed his advice. Netanyahu is calling for the Iranian government to not only freeze its entire nuclear program, which is completely legal under the terms of the UN sanctioned Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and which according to both US and Israeli intelligence isn’t for developing the bomb and according to IAEA there is no sign of developing the bomb, and stop for ever, but to also change its “ideology” and not “support “terrorism”, which means Palestinians and to basically align itself with the policies of the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, which means that the regime must change. In other words, the condition for not doing regime change must be regime change. With such condition on avoiding war, you’d never run out of an excuse for war.

This is what Netanyahu argued vociferously to US Congress and received big standing ovations for, which the Post says must be listened to and discussed and considered.

How screwed up and depraved are things in this country and how low, degenerate, wicked and morally bankrupt has this nation sunk to that a war criminal who bombs a defenseless population and kills babies gives a speech to a joint session of Congress and receives 50 standing ovations and one of its most prestigious and widely circulated newspapers openly advocates yet another war on top of all the others? Today, poll after poll, shows that the majority of the population of the world, which is billions of people, detest the US and what it’s doing around the world. Everyday, more people come to realize that the US is the number one enemy of all humanity. Are they all wrong?

As the Empire’s soldiers are killing people overseas and its police are killing blacks in all US cities and as people are getting poorer, giant corporations and their shareholders are getting richer, while their media continues to brainwash people and prepare for another genocidal war. But, make no mistake: I’m not pessimistic and have no fear about the future because with every deafening beat of the drums of war, the Empire is nearing the end of its wicked and vile existence from the pages of human history, pages written with the blood of countless innocent people who were sacrificed for riches and profits for a handful few.

Obama declares Venezuela a “threat to US National Security”!

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During anti-government demonstrations last year in Venezuela, which the government said was fomented by the CIA, 43 people died, including demonstrators, government supporters and police. In February, the mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, was arrested for being involved in a U.S.-backed coup plot. The government also announced the arrest of a number of Americans for engaging in espionage and recruitment activities and President Nicolas Madura accused the U.S. of plotting a coup against the democratically elected government. He announced a series of defensive measures in order to make it harder for the CIA to continue its operations in the country, including visa requirements for U.S. citizens and restricting and downsizing of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. Then, just the other day, President Obama signed an executive order imposing sanctions on 7 top Venezuelan officials, in response to “the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by” Venezuela! Meanwhile, US ally Saudi Arabia continues to dump oil on the market, which keeps oil prices low and causes an economic crisis in the country. The two pronged strategy of economic sabotage followed by stirring up unrest and protests by paid mercenaries in Venezuela is a sign that Washington has decided to make its move now for regime change there. They must have sensed some vulnerability that might give them an opening, but more importantly, they probably figure it’s now or never, as the country moves to solidify its fledgling socialism.

When US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked about President Madura’s allegation that the US is trying to stage a coup there, she said: “As a matter of long standing policy the United States does not support transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal”, which elicited laughter among reporters present at the briefing.

This wasn’t the first time Ms. Psaki was being laughed at. As part of her condemnation of Russia and President Putin, which she has frequently done in her position as State Department spokesperson, she once denounced the Crimea referendum, which let its residents decide whether to rejoin Russia or not, as “carousel voting”, which means a form of fraudulent voting when groups of voters are driven around to various polling places so they can cast multiple ballots. When a reporter asked her for clarification, it became clear that she didn’t know what the expression meant! She then admitted that she was just reading what “our team” had written! “I’ll check and see what our team meant”, she added!

What is clear about the inner workings of the Empire is that what they decide as a “team” in their conference rooms has nothing to do with values and principles which they frequently proclaim to their people and the world. They have long term plans and everything they do or say is in line with and in the service and for the purpose of meeting their objectives and achieving their political and geopolitical goals. But, they can only tell so many lies and for so long. Their lies are getting pretty old. Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked Ms. Psaki rhetorically, just how long of “a longstanding” policy was she talking about.

As recently as in 2002, there was a coup against then President-elect Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. The US wasted no time to publicly announce its support for the coup and the military officials who committed it against a democratically elected president. That’s what makes Ms. Psaki’s statement so laughable, especially when discussing Venezuela. It was only due to Chavez’ tremendous popular support that the coup failed and the President was freed and returned to lead the nation.

Apparently and clearly, Ms. Psaki was once again reading what her “team” had written for her. And, on this point, I can help her so she doesn’t have to go back and ask her team what they meant when they wrote for her to say: “As a matter of long standing policy the United States does not support transitions by non-constitutional means”. The fact is, Ms. Psaki, your team lies and you were hired to tell their lies. And, what’s unfortunate for you is that whether you’re truly so ignorant as to not know the truth or like your team are deliberately lying, many people around the world know the truth and their number is increasing, everyday.

Now, one may argue that maybe Venezuela’s government’s accusation that the U.S. is trying to foment unrest and cause mayhem followed by a coup as they have done in so many places including in Ukraine or as they tried to do in Venezuela was false. Maybe. But, here’s what we do know: the US has made it clear that they want the Madura Administration gone. The CIA does have an active presence there, as it does in just about every country in the world. And, the U.S. has supported a coup there in the past. Is it possible that this time the US has no role in orchestrating unrest and sabotage? Sure! It’s also possible that as you sit in your room and read this, suddenly all the molecules of the air will gather in a corner away from you and you will suffocate to death.

While President Obama was issuing those sanctions on Venezuelan officials for violating demonstrators’ human rights, he was sending arms, bullets and riot gear to the government of Bahrain to crush the pro-democracy protests there. Why? Because their team decided so. And between the time he imposed those sanctions in Venezuela and when he announced without a trace of shame – at least none visible – that Venezuela is a serious threat to “US national security”, dozens of people were beheaded in Saudi Arabia, some of them for speaking up against the tyrannical and medieval kingdom which enjoys good relations with the US and is helping the Empire squeeze Venezuela’s economy! Those beheadings to US policy makers aren’t violation of human rights, Venezuela’s arrest of CIA mercenaries is! You see, it’s Venezuela that’s trying to foment unrest and sabotage and conduct a military coup that would violently overthrow the U.S. government and establish a pro-Venezuela military dictatorship in Washington, not the other way around! That’s why Obama says Venezuela is a threat to US national security, rather than the US being a serious and immediate threat to the national security of Venezuela!

State of “Race Relations” in an Age of Black Presidency

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If you ask people what’s the most important aspect of the Obama presidency, many would mention the fact that he is the first black president. The fact that this is even considered a “major achievement” or at the very least a significant event in American history by most people says much about the state of the so called “race relations”, which is nothing but a euphemism for plain old racism in this country. After all, “relations” implies reciprocity, whereas racism is anything but reciprocal. The fact is that, substantively, Obama’s presidency, from the point of view of long term US policies, has been nothing but routine, ordinary and completely within the framework of the military industrial complex and along the lines of his predecessors since World War II, including and especially George W. Bush. Substantively, it’s been in fact so ordinary that it can be categorized as bland, boring and predictable, like most Hollywood movies whose ending can be predicted from the very first minutes of the film. The nature of Obama’s presidency too could be and indeed was predicted by some on the left, including myself back in 2007.

But, in a society where racism is as much a part of the American culture as munching on popcorn and guzzling down a huge cup of Coke in theaters and where such an absurd and nonsensical question as “Is America ready for a black president” can be seriously asked by TV personalities and somehow understood and even answered by their viewers, race is bound to overshadow just about anything that happens here. While Obama did pledge his allegiance to the ruling class of billionaires even before his candidacy and assured them of his faithful and unwavering servitude when in office, his race was a factor even for the class of multibillionaires when they decided to give him their support. Not that the ruling class isn’t racist – it very much is – but it knows when to use race to its advantage. And an advantage his race indeed was as it was used to give the appearance that racism was no more, as well as to win the acquiesce and pacifism of the black community. There is precedence to this. President Nixon was a known Jew hater, but significantly increased US aid to the “Jewish state” because of the role Israel played in support of US imperialism in the strategically vital region of Middle East. Racism is practiced by the white supremacist class of billionaires, but not to its own economic or strategic detriment. Obama’s winning of presidential elections twice with the financial help of this class is a testament to that.

But, while his presidency had a calming effect on the black community, it couldn’t have been without its blowback among the racist whites who’d answer “hell no” to “Is America ready” question. Of course, a more appropriate question to ask would have been: “Is America ready to continue the policies of his predecessors like Bush and Cheney?”, rather than one that diverts attention from the substance to the skin color. But the corporate media isn’t interested in asking substantive questions. It’s interested in protecting the interests of the class it’s a part of. The fact is that skin color alone was never a reliable judge of people’s allegiances, positions, principles or their humanity. Many a slave never wasted a moment to fetch the whip for their master when whipping of another slave was in order. Obama is such a slave.

But, in a society where racism has been used to divide the poor for many generations, the presidency of a black man was bound to generate an outcry. The best indication of the displeasure of many of the whites with having a black president is how far some racist Republican politicians from the South are willing to go to undermine, discredit, humiliate and oppose Obama, despite his servitude to the white ruling class. It matters little to these politicians that the president has served the wealthy whites as well as or even better than any before him. They simply can’t restrain and hide their contempt for him and “his kind”. Since the beginning of his presidency, questions were raised about his birthplace, whether he really did graduate from Harvard and whether he really was Christian. Well known politicians like the former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani also questioned his “love for his country”. The answer of course depends on what’s exactly meant by country, but that’s another story.

While many would argue that these politicians’ vitriol towards Obama is solely due to policy differences, I beg to differ. Race has a lot to do with such animosity. President Clinton was a Democrat too and, in some respects, more liberal than Obama. Yet, he never generated as much hatred and contempt among the whites as has Obama. Just yesterday, it was reported by news organizations that 47 Republican Senators signed and sent Iranian officials a letter which besides being ignorantly condescending and ignorant of international laws and even of the rules and duties of different branches of the US government, basically told Iranians not to waste their time negotiating with Obama over Iran’s nuclear program because they, not Obama, are the ones who matter and they are going to ignore and toss aside any pending agreement between the two countries. This comes at the heels of the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner inviting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of the US Congress in opposition to the ongoing negotiations between the Administration and Iran, without even notifying the President about the invitation. To top it all off, Republican leaders also skipped the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March in Selma. These actions by members of an opposing party are unprecedented. Again, they may be attributed to policy differences, but, I disagree. Race does play a role here and a major one at that as it does about just about everything else.

Not only Obama’s presidency did not improve “race relations” (i.e.: racism), it actually made things worse. His presidency served to give the appearance of diminished racism (what racism if a black man can be the president?) and gave the space to its actual growth and intensification, as it incited many whites to more fiercely cling to their long held racism. A recent poll showed that almost 40% of Americans believe “race relations” are worse now than before Obama’s presidency. But, you don’t need a poll to know that. Just look at how frequently young black men are shot and killed on the streets by police who are nothing but dangerous killer gangs legally carrying guns with the legal protection of district attorneys and courts. The fact is: racism is as strong as ever and a black president put in office with the help of billionaire CEO’s, intent on serving their interests would not and could not change that.

Now, we are being told it’s time for a woman president, meaning of course Hillary Clinton. And once again, substance and policies are being ignored and sacrificed in order to put the attention and focus on the gender so it can be said: US broke the glass ceiling, too, that “we as a nation have come a long way”. Yes, “we” have. “We” are now engaged in multiple and endless wars killing brown people everyday, aiding an apartheid settler state with its ongoing genocide, killing and incarcerating black youth in the thousands while letting fraudster bankers walk free, spying on the citizens, jailing whistle blowers, attacking women’s rights while continuing to pay them less than men for the same work and criminalizing immigrants. Income and wealth inequality and hunger and poverty is as high as ever. The middle class has all but disappeared and people’s standard of living continues to decline, with millions not able to afford healthcare expenses even with Obamacare. Education has become out of reach for many and college graduates can’t find a decent job even after undertaking huge debts to finance their higher education, while billions and trillions are spent on wars. And racism is as strong as ever. But, no matter because the presidency of a woman like Hillary Clinton will be a major step forward, just as it was with the first black president.

It’s ironic and at the same time quite telling that as the photo shows, President Obama gave his commemoration speech in front of a bridge that was built in honor of and bears the name of a Confederate general, Edmund Pettus, who was the Grand Dragon of Alabama Ku Klux Klan!

Netanyahu’s “Bullshit” Lies

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Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress was such “bullshit” (not my word) and so full of lies that even an Israeli former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, called it “bullshit”. Whatever the theocratic, medieval and undemocratic regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran is, which is to the detriment of the Iranian people, it’s not a threat to either Israel or its neighbors or to the regional stability or world peace. Those are the hallmarks and defining attributes of the apartheid state of Israel and its protectorate government in Washington, which regularly engage in unprovoked wars, bombings, mass murder and assassinations. It’s ironic and inversion of the truth to blame Iran for threatening Israel when, as Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told NBC reporter Ann Curry, who was interviewing him, it’s Israel that’s “threatening Iran almost on a daily basis”.

It’s ironic and disingenuous to accuse Iran of supporting terrorism, as US corporate reporters like Curry do when they repeat Netanyahu’s baseless allegations, when the U.S. and the apartheid regime support Islamist terror groups like ISIS and Al Nusra to try to overthrow the Assad government in Syria before changing course and going to war against them when and only when their own assets and interests in Iraq, such as the Kurdish oil that goes to Israel, are threatened by the terror group, not to mention that it was the CIA and Mossad of Israel that assassinated four nuclear scientists on the streets of Tehran a few years ago, which US media didn’t even bother to mention, or the bombing of a Hezbollah convoy within Syria two weeks ago, or the joint US-Israeli cyberattack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2010 that caused explosions. Imagine if it were the other way around: that Iran assassinated Israeli nuclear scientists or conducted a cyberattack against the U.S. or if Russia assassinated scientists in Ukraine.

It’s also dishonest and self serving for US media to not mention the fact that while Netanyahu is pressing for war on Iran, as he did in 2002 against Iraq, this time presumably to stop Iran from getting the nuclear bomb, which both the U.S. and Israel’s own intelligence services have said that it’s not and has not decided to develop, Israel herself possesses in excess of 200 such bombs and has rejected all offers to make Middle East free of nuclear weapons. As Mr. Zarif pointed out, Netanyahu has been saying that Iran will get the nuclear bomb in 2 to 3 years since 1992 and said it again in 2012. He also said in 2002 that Iraq was trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction and that if Iraq’s government wasn’t overthrown, the region would be destabilized, terrorism would grow and Iran’s influence in the region would increase. Maybe he meant to say just the opposite because that’s exactly what happened since the US invasion and occupation of the country. Now, he wants a war on Iran supposedly to undo the consequences of the war which he pushed for in the first place. That takes quite an audacity on his part and a Congress totally detached from reality and buried in a pile of lies and “bullshit” to invite him to speak to a joint session and give him 50 standing ovations. Actually, it takes a political class just like him.

It’s not surprising for a mass murderer and war criminal like Netanyahu who orders the indiscriminate bombing of the defenseless and besieged people of Gaza that results in 2000 deaths including 500 children and a thousand women to push for another US war in the region. That’s what warmongers and psychopathic mass murderers do. But, what does it say about US corporate media reporters when they repeat such lies and fabrications and US political establishment, both Democrats and Republicans, when they embrace and defend him? The fact is: everything that Netanyahu or all the other leaders of the racist and apartheid Zionist entity do is within the general policy framework of US imperialism. It’s just that sometimes the hit man you hire is more zealous about killing and more anxious to murder than you are. Sometimes, you find yourself having to keep saying to him: wait, not now, back off for now. The fact is: all the talk of Israel making its own decisions is just “bullshit”. We must focus on the real culprit: the US government.

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