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Obama’s Hitlerian Comments @ West Point

In “Obama’s West Point speech: A prescription for unending war” Bill Van Auken exposes the folly of the corporate media in framing Obama’s recent speech as “an embrace of a more multilateral and less militaristic American foreign policy.”

Van Auken asserts that the media is presenting the supposed “farewell” to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as an indication of less US military aggression while Obama’s real foreign policy is embracing permanent global war “in pursuit of interests of the US financial elite”.

Van Auken:

... The media distortion is driven, on the one hand, by the partisan motives of Obama’s Republican rivals, who seek to portray him as weak-kneed, and, on the other, by the support from a wealthy and privileged “liberal” elite for wars of aggression waged under the banners of “human rights” and “democracy.”

The real content of the speech was in sync with the venue in which the president chose to deliver it. As is so often the case, the audience selected for what was supposedly a major foreign policy address was uniformed and captive, subject to military discipline. In this case, it was the graduating cadets of the US Military Academy, who are joining an officer corps that is entrusted with organizing and leading Washington’s global military interventions.


“The military that you have joined is and always will be the backbone” of US “leadership” on the world stage, Obama declared, providing his audience with a succinct definition of American militarism in the 21st century.

Say-anything Obama of course spoke out of both sides of his mouth at the commencement. He quoted Dwight Eisenhower who at the West Point commencement in 1947 declared: “War is mankind’s most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men.” Eisenhower’s speech had come not long after the conclusion of the Nuremberg trials. Eisenhower was condemning Nazi leaders for waging an aggressive war.

Van Auken:

In what immediately followed his quotation from Eisenhower, however, Obama elaborated a doctrine with which Adolf Hitler would have had little quarrel.

“The United States will use military force, unilaterally if necessary, when our core interests demand it—when our people are threatened, when our livelihoods are at stake, when the security of our allies is in danger… International opinion matters, but America should never ask permission to protect our people, our homeland, or our way of life.”

What are core interests to Obama? Defending Americans from imminent attack, that proverbial “clear and present danger”? No, no, no, no, no.

According to Van Auken “core interests of America” to Obama are “the access of its corporations and banks to markets, raw materials, cheap labor and profits”. Obama is asserting the right to intervene militarily on behalf of corporations and banks. The entities the Obama administration and Congress and let’s also throw in our judicial system actually represent.

Van Auken goes on:

When he [Obama] speaks of “our livelihoods” and “our way of life,” he is referring not to the ever-declining living standards of the American worker, but to the eight-figure compensation packages of American CEOs, whose fortunes are founded on the exploitation of the working populations and resources of the entire planet.

Obama’s craven and cynical rhetoric of the speech included references to “conscience.” The US would launch wars when there were issues that “STIR OUR CONSCIENCE” Obama declared. That’s rich.

Van Auken:

As recent history has proven, this “conscience” is highly flexible.

When unsubstantiated claims were made in 2011 that the Libyan military was on the verge of invading the rebellious eastern city of Benghazi and massacring its inhabitants, Washington and NATO launched a full-scale bombing campaign and proxy ground war that killed tens of thousands and ended with the overthrow and lynching of the country’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Today, having already succeeded in toppling the elected president of Ukraine, Washington is providing full support to a right-wing coup regime in Kiev as its sends troops and fascist thugs to invade the eastern city of Donetsk and massacre protesters there.

And while touting “America’s support for democracy and human rights” wherever Washington seeks to carry out regime-change, Obama included a specific exception for the Sisi regime in Egypt, which overthrew an elected president, has murdered thousands, jailed tens of thousands and outlawed the country’s largest political party. “In countries like Egypt, we acknowledge that our relationship is anchored in security interests,” he said.

Obama hearts authoritarian fascism.

Obama cited the necessity of “collective action” during the speech. With an absolutely straight face, he also spoke of “diplomacy” and “international law”:

“We have to broaden our tools to include diplomacy and development; sanctions and isolation; appeals to international law; and, if just, necessary and effective, multilateral military action.”

Van Auken:

This scenario fits precisely the roadmap followed by Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, in mobilizing his “coalition of the willing” to wage the “war of choice” against Iraq.

Everything put forward by Obama is a repudiation of international law and an endorsement of the policy of aggressive war practiced by the Nazis three-quarters of a century ago.

Maybe we should do a comparison list of Hitler’s vanquished and blood-bathed countries against Bush’s and now Obama’s?

Van Auken asks, “In how many countries is the US already carrying out military interventions and proxy wars?”

Obama announced before giving the West Point speech that almost 10,000 troops will be REMAINING in Afghanistan after the “formal” end of the US occupation at the end of this year. That there will be an indefinite residual force in Afghanistan.

In Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and God and America’s Special Ops death squads know where else drone strikes and night raids are being carried out.

US forces are infiltrating even more of Africa under the pretext of tracking down Kony, finding the Nigerian school girls or simply going after Islamist terrorists.

"American terrorism” cushioned by the propagandizing media label as “humanitarian intervention” must wage war on real terrorists that US violence has created and/or unwittingly enabled (or willfully enabled when craven ends justified craven means and alliances with real terrorists were called for at least temporarily) or "terrorists" who are not really terrorists but hapless citizens of a country who are in the way of rapacious, psychopathic corporatists and their pimped out American and European politicians.

The Obama administration “instigated a coup” in Ukraine.

It has economically and militarily threatened Russia, a nuclear power.

It has sent ground troops into Poland and former Soviet republics.

It has deployed war ships in the Black Sea.

It has provoked China with “naval exercises and B-52 fly-bys”.

Right now Obama’s administration is busily formulating plans to deploy US forces to Syria to train and arm the so-called moderate “rebels” a/k/a “jihadist terrorists” there for its full global spectrum dominance mantra of REGIME CHANGE for Syria or any country defiant enough not to surrender to the US/NATO will.

The US is colluding with and enabling al Qaeda in Syria as it is colluding with and enabling neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

The US will prolong the civil war in Syria and escalate the destruction and carnage there.

The US is helping to set up a civil war in Ukraine, though it hopes the Nazi/oligarch fascist junta can quickly and ruthlessly CRUSH citizen protesters objecting to their country becoming the next US/NATO puppet. Get that iron military and economic occupying boot on the necks of all Ukrainians asap.

Van Auken:

In his speech, Obama called for the creation of a new $5 billion “Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund” to promote interventions and arm and train repressive forces in the Middle East, Africa and anywhere else on the planet that falls within the crosshairs of the White House.

Isn’t that special? Domestic recovery in the US ignored for the sake of creating global death squads.

Obama also took the time during the speech to defend his drone assassination program. Van Auken estimates this program has claimed at least 5,000 mostly civilian victims.

Van Auken labeled Obama’s claim “obscene” that his drone strikes are carried out where there is “a near certainty of no civilian casualties.”

The executive branch under say-anything Obama has assumed the right to enjoy unlimited power to launch wars and drone assassinations, including against American citizens. Congressional and judicial authorization is not necessary. Neither is public approval, although the corporate media as propagandists effectively whip up jingoism among low information Americans. Look at the demonization of Putin as a truly demonic US administration goes about with its colossal, multi-tentacled operation for full spectrum global dominance.


Van Auken accuses Congress of being nothing more than “a rubber stamp for the US war machine.”

Why wouldn’t it be? Again, Congress represents the war-profiteering financial elite as much as the fully pimped out executive and judicial branches.

As for the constitutional rights of the American people, Van Auken mourns that the “last vestiges of democracy” “must be dispensed with” “in order to impose conditions of war, inequality and economic austerity.”

Van Auken:

Obama’s high-flown rhetoric about the US having passed through its “long season of war” notwithstanding, what his speech indicates more than anything is that American imperialism is preparing a global catastrophe of unprecedented dimensions.

But then again, there’s always the comforting rationalization that Obama is a “lesser evil” version of Hitler, and maybe you’re okay with that.

[cross-posted on open salon]

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hyperpolarizer's picture
Submitted by hyperpolarizer on

Inasmuch as Obama spoke of ongoing terrorist threats, the most obvious to my mind are those provoked by his ongoing drone attacks, which serve no function other than to sow dragons' teeth. In the context of reconstituting our nation on a permanent wartime footing, civilian casualties in drone attacks are therefore intentional, and intended to provoke deadly responses in some unspecified future. They are also war crimes and terrorist acts in and of themselves.

All this said, I would still not apply the adjective 'Hitlerian'; there are and have been plenty of sociopathic war criminals who do not rise to that level.

Submitted by lambert on

... if we've got "Obama-esque" :-) And for bonus points, we avoid the calls to throw a flag on Godwin's Law.

Myself, I'd deprecate Hitler because whatever the United States has become or is becoming, I'd like to leave open it's a new form of state (and not a fascist state). Perhaps the US is "innovative" and "disruptive" with regard to the older form of the nation-state. If so, then Hitler is an inappropriate metaphor, which is not the same as saying that Obama is a good guy with his heart in the right place, because he's so very not.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

"Hitlerian" should probably be reserved for people who advocate genocide, and kill tens of millions of people.

Just sayin'. And yeah, if this is what a "lesser" version of Hitler is, then I'm definitely ok with that. Huh?

I don't have any love lost for Obama, at all, he is a tool for one facet of the oligarchy, but I think I was right to have voted for him last time over Romney. I said then my only reason was to prevent war with Iran, which Romney was adamantly for, and I believed Obama was marginally against. We have not had a war with Iran. Thin gruel, Hobson's Choice.

Not saying everybody needed to follow my example. It was my choice. I'm really glad you are here keeping their feet to the flames.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

Thanks for the feedback.

Global full spectrum dominance. Sounds Hitlerian to me! Diplomacy and conflict resolution not useful though he claims he is not using the military like a hammer, that is exactly what he is doing. Community organizer my ass.

I agree with Glen Ford in that Obama is the more effective evil than the "more evilists" as opposed to the "lesser evilists." He keeps getting cut more and more slack, given more benefits of the doubt. Look at the casualties. Look at the arrogant and murderous military behaviors and budget, and those shock that we actually know about. There is a sadism and a hypocrisy of such a profound depth.

And the moral left has been totally disenfranchised by the "pragmatic" so-called "progressives", knee-jerk defenders of Obama and his PERSONALITY in spite of all the anti-constitutional things he has done and the ruthless hegemony and droning and Gitmo enslavement, etc.

So, I stand by the Hitler accusation. Obama's chameleon-likeness, but the real serious and grounding one for him is chillingly Hitlerian. Obama inspires sirens of cognitive dissonance. Listening and watching him is like watching one of those commercials that shows happy people in a meadow using a touted product but another voice is warning at same time it may cause suicide or projectile vomiting or whatever. WTF????

I see the US with the psychopathic prioritization of corporatism and militarized corporatism heading for lock down authoritarian fascism to become nazi-like and the fact that I am writing angrily shows the closing window is still open. But as I have said at times here, Obama has brought his sled to the slippery slope of fascism.

I can't get a clear read on what correntewire people feel about Obama's foreign policy.

It horrifies me, his profound lack of empathy, his heart of darkness, and the hegemony is now ramped up and regime change and death squads and drones and mercenaries and special ops are causing suffering and mayhem. Of course, he is in a psychopathic hyper-masculinized military culture. But that shouldn't mean he gets a pass.

For God's sakes, Obama administration is working with Al-Qaida and Neo-Nazis. What does the man have to do to inspire condemnation for God's sakes???

Here is part of a comment I made at open salon in part referring to a blog I did a while back here and there on Obama's dysfunctional childhood and how that begat his amoral zombie-ism.

First, this is a quote from By Joachim Hagopian:

"Psychopaths at the very top of this power pyramid will only allow like minded psychopaths into their inner club sanctum. This moral betrayal by those wielding the most power and control on earth must be stopped. Since they are too sick in their deviant pathology to ever change their evil ways on their own, it is left up to us who are guided by a common moral compass to courageously step up and hold these psychopaths accountable for their crimes against humanity. This can only be achieved with the distinct advantage that as just 1% of the total population, the psychopaths and oligarchs are overwhelmingly outnumbered by those of us 99% who are committed to doing what is right in making a positive difference on this earth plane before all is lost."

This from a blog I did a while back:

quoted material from:

[Robert J.] Burrowes suggests that Obama reveals evidence for his capacity for the atrocities in the aforementioned list in his autobiography. He calls the book a “delusional account of his early life.”

Burrowes points out that Obama makes reference to a violent maternal grandfather and to key behavioral descriptions of himself in contexts that reveal his emotional states. Burrowes believes that Obama reveals with this book a will “to leave his past behind without dealing with the effects of the violence he suffered.”

So what happens with Barack Obama not dealing with the effects of the childhood violence he suffered?

The entire globe is now suffering from those unprocessed childhood to adulthood feelings!

Burrowes declares that Obama’s unexpressed fury at his father for abandoning him left young Barack with “a gaping hole in his sense of self-worth.” It also gave him a “deep sense of powerlessness and a large measure of self-hatred, too.”

Burrowes concludes:

“.... given the extraordinary unpleasantness of these feelings and without support and preferably encouragement to feel them, he unconsciously suppressed his awareness of these as well. But they live in him still.”

Burrowes continues on with how Obama reveals it was his mother who was mainly responsible for teaching him to suppress his awareness of his feelings. Burrowes surmises that listening to child Barack’s feelings frightened his mother, maybe stirring up her fear of her own repressed feelings. She pressed Barack into not feeling his legitimate feelings of hurt and anger, in particular, regarding the abandonment of him by his father by contradicting his perceptions of his father and “offering justifications for his father’s behavior.”


"His mother didn't understand the enormous healing power of crying when you feel sad, of consciously feeling scared when something frightening happens to you and of expressing one's legitimate anger when one has been 'done over'. Barack had been abandoned! How would you feel? She didn't understand that evolution intended us to have feelings partly to guide us and partly as a 'safety release valve' so that we can move on from trauma to lead a productive and fulfilling life. Unfortunately, by suppressing his awareness of his feelings (even though the feelings themselves cannot be suppressed out of existence) throughout his childhood and in adult life, they became deeply embedded in his unconscious and play the major role in generating his now-warped behaviours without him even knowing it."



"... because the young Barack's suppressed anger was also warped by the fear and pain he experienced as a result of the violence he suffered as a child, he now acts vindictively towards people who have the courage to tell the truth, such as Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. Because he lacks the courage to act on the truth himself, and people such as Manning and Snowden expose the contradiction between how he wants to be perceived (both by himself and others), and how he actually is, he now inflicts unnecessary and/or excessive violence on those who have the courage to do what his own fear prevents him from doing. For Obama, the truth of Manning and Snowden is, literally, terrifying and he will go to great lengths to silence it."


"The adult Obama lacks integrity: his mind is not integrated in such a way that memories, thoughts, feelings and conscience function seamlessly to drive his behaviour in a consistent direction. And this is why he is such a useful tool of those corporate elites who selected him to govern the United States. Like most people who (unconsciously) feel unloved (an outcome of the fact that loving his father didn't gain him love in return), he now has the unconscious desire to please and to gain approval. And Obama wants this approval from his corporate masters (not merely American voters); it's not love but it's better than nothing. In turn, he has the pleasant face and oratory which they can use to both mask and 'sell' their ruthless exploitation of the people of America and elsewhere around the world, including when he must lie outright to do so (as he did when he denied that the NSA spies on US citizens)."


"The reason that the adult Obama has no conscience and feels little or no love, compassion, empathy and/or sympathy for the victims of his government's violence is simply the logical outcome of his own childhood which was largely devoid of genuine love, compassion, empathy and sympathy."

"This is another reason why the adult Obama is so violent, both internationally and even domestically. As Obama oversees the increasing militarization of US society and the systematic dismantling of the social contract - the removal of centuries-old constitutional protections and the ongoing encroachments on human rights and civil liberties (including those which protected American citizens from arbitrary detention or execution by their own government), the dramatic expansion of poverty and homelessness, the spying on fellow Americans, the ongoing consolidation of predatory corporate governance - we are simply witnessing the logical outcome of the violence he suffered as a child."

Burrowes stresses the importance of citizens as well as Obama appreciating that “like all perpetrators of violence, he was terrorised and brutalised as a child“.

Burrowes asserts we MUST as citizens non-violently resist Obama's "killing and exploitation!”

best, libby

ps. I just noticed a nickname for Hillary Clinton -- "Killery" -- gun running via Libya and Turkey to Al Qaeda in Syria? She's made her mafia bones with her kills.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on over intellectualized irrelevance. A pointless subjective nothing.
What is important/relevant is what he's done/doing.
If I may suggest; you need to calm down and coldly look at the situation.
Obama is only a tool, a willing tool, for powers far darker than you portray.
If you think Obama has any real power then you miss the whole picture.
The oligarchic grip is all encompassing and the financial system is the driver of everything.
A society that produces nothing in the grip of an industry that produces nothing.
Again, if I may suggest; you need to dive way deeper than these shallow waters.
It's way worse than even your rage suggests; like beyond redemption...
Keep raging but don't lose your rationality...

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

Any regime will fall without the support of willing tools and the co-operation of significant numbers of the society who appear individually to be powerless. Condemning the tools is a tiny but important part of resistance.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

Don't disagree; my point was the power behind the tools.

Submitted by lambert on

Authoritarian followership is a useful tool in the toolkit.

That said, yes, way worse than we imagine, and rage and rationality....

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

And when you call Obama "Hitlerian", it is WRONG, no matter how forcefully you believe it. It degrades the Holocaust, it degrades Hitler's crimes (just as calling Obama Pol Pot would do) and it ultimately misses the point of accurately describing what is going down.

Lambert is absolutely correct that what we are looking at now is a new, advanced form of oligarchy-state. It takes what it needs from any ideology it likes in furtherance of it's own power. Unlike Hitler, ruling through propagandistic, eugenic, nationalistic utopianism, Obama is a servant of one facet of the greed-masters who now control our world, and no amount of propaganda is needed. The MOTU aren't beholden to any law or contract or any other damn thing, those are what are used to control absolutely everyone in this society that isn't an oligarch. It isn't about philosophy or racism or any political "ism", it merely pure distilled greed and power and the marriage of the two in service to each of their own needs.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

I don't deserve to be patronized for being emotional.

Being emotional does not prevent being rational. Our anti-feeling over-masculinized culture likes to encourage that take.

In fact I'm feeling that being non-emotional is closer to irrationality especially these days.

Hitler was beloved by many intelligent Germans as he put his new world order in place. There was an arc to Hitler's destructiveness. As there is an arc to Obama's.

Not genocide happening under Obama? Why? Because the media doesn't tally up the dead formally?

If you think examining a toxic leader's background indoctrination is a petty waste of time, you are missing an examination of the roots of evil. What makes a dangerous authoritarian.

And as Alice Miller has so profoundly studied, what makes AUTHORITARIAN FOLLOWERS. That deserves a study too since this Stockholmed Syndrome citizenry is losing us our democracy.

I don't minimize what Hitler and the Nazis did.


And I see that not only knee-jerk Obama apologists are not the only ones lost in the fog of Obama mania.

I am calling out the rapid totalitarianism getting set up in this country.

Obama is not working alone, just as Hitler did not work alone. In fact Hitler had even the help of American corporatists in his quest for full spectrum dominance..

I am messaging something very ominous. Global nsa surveillance. Imperious drone and secret ops strikes wherever the executive branch so deems. Torture. Loss of habaes corpus. Rendition. Detention.

Sorry to disturb the comfort zone and yes we each have the right to prioritize the dangers we see and the big picture of the dismantling of our republic -- the coalescence of a new, tragic and pathologicallyd driven oppression. Some are at the mercy of it now. But apparently not enough to warrant full out outrage by far too many who should know better.

My thoughts.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

I'm doing the opposite of patronizing you. I'm openly disagreeing with you on your equation of Obama to Hitler. I think it is wrong, I think it is demeaning to Holocaust survivors and I think it is not helpful. I'm pretty clear on that and it isn't patronizing in any way. I have also said I appreciate and agree with a lot of your posts, but disagree here. That is also not patronizing.

You have strong feelings on this? Fine, so do I, I feel you are wrong.

Submitted by lambert on

And if I can get past the router problems and the trolling to write the 24 or so posts I need to write on the 12-Point Platform, I'll get to the reasons to:

1) Gut the military establishment and

2) Gut the "bringing the war back home" stuff like the Drug War and the surveillance state.

The people who run this apparatus are truly vile.

NOTE On the Hitler analogy, I don't think it's a good one, as I said. One thing that I think it different is the existence of "Davos Man" -- an explicitly post- and transnational anti-democratic ruling class that uses our states as flags of convenience and our cities as pieds a terre (sorry for both the spelling and the metaphor). No massacre or genocide will occur without the approval, tacit or explicit, of Davos Man. That is different from Hitler's day.

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

Growing up just after WWII when the shock of what had been done in Germany was still fresh, I remember lots of warnings about simply regarding Hitler and the Nazis as monsters or dismissing them as aberrations. Germany was an advanced, cultured country. What happened was a warning to us all to be ever vigilant against inhumanity and barbarism.

Since then, all thought, analysis, history lessons have been banished. Hitler is the unique, all-time great evil, simply the handy box of mental poison for any objection to use of force, placed outside history. I don't agree with this. The U.S. is a nation based on genocide -- it did not have the technology in the 19th century to carry out the mass exterminations that became possible in the 21st century. And yet rather than consider the consequences of our actions, we wrap ourselves in the righteousness of having liberated the concentration camps rather than in the evil of having sent smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans, or having slaughtered the herds of bison explicitly to starve them. The thought and much of the process behind the Nazi atrocities were adaptations of colonial dominance to internal and neighboring areas. Nazis updated imperial atrocities from their predecessors, and those who follow are updating again (Davos man) but it's the same strain.

I think proper respect for Holocaust victims should take seriously the vow "Never again", and that vow should not be so narrowly construed as to make it meaningless. Otherwise, what did their suffering do? Become the excuse for slaughtering other despised peoples? To give meaning to previous suffering, one has to look at how imperial states subordinate the lives of those who stand in their way to their own desires and power, so that it can be stopped.

Above is the argument for thinking about the way we speak about and regard our leaders as we remember the atrocities of former empires and empire wannabees. On the other hand, the "Hitler is uniquely evil" strain has been so adopted (as even Hannah Arendt learned when she wrote Eichmann in Jerusalem) that fighting the battle doesn't seem worthwhile, or likely to do much other than making some people very angry.

I do think about it a lot though. We are at least suspicious of Germans who received honors from Hitler. I must say I have some problems when I see Americans that I do admire getting something like the Presidential Medal of Honor from Bush or Obama. It's troubling.

Submitted by lambert on

... without a myth of slaughter or genocide at the heart of it, at least in the West.

If you think that the real Revolution was what we call the Civil War, our myth would be the Gettysburg Address....

mellon's picture
Submitted by mellon on

Hitler's "breathing room" concept that he used at the beginning to justify his takeover of the countries to his east. Its completely different, because its money-based.

Our policy isn't racial, its based on investors. As in capitalism. Anyone who invests money is an investor. Anybody willing to spend the money can buy the tanker ship filled with natural gas or the life saving drug or the clean water. WTO rules prohibit the US's current policy of reserving it for our one continent, depite the desire of investors to invest much more in it.

Chain doesn't refer to physical chains. Supply chain is a business planning concept. See http://wwwwhitehousegov/sites/default/files/national_strategy_for_global...