The Audacity of Shamelessness: Obama Pretends to Care About Military Suicides
Empathy-challenged (war criminal) Obama is pretending he cares about military suicides.
I waited a few days to write this to see if my intensely bitter reaction to Obama's last week’s press conference would subside. It has not. In fact reading about the pride some progressives feel about Obama’s shamelessly hypocritical grandstanding sickens me even further.
One of the reasons slot machines in Vegas have so much power to keep you engaged is that just when you’re ready to surrender to the reality of your no-win misery a few coins drop down the slot and you unwisely stay engaged rather than cut your losses and leave.
I hope Obama’s reversal of the longstanding policy not to send condolence letters to families of those in the military who have committed suicide is not one of those “trust me for my humanity” moments to keep his “he’s the lesser of two evils” team Dem apologists inspired and ladling out the thin gruel of “the Democratic Party is for the non-elites” propaganda. Such moments of faux-empathy as we approach election 2012 is to encourage all of us of the bipartisanly abused citizenry to get lost amidst the trees of Obama’s slick faux-humane rhetoric and not see the cold-blooded big picture of what his administration (just like Bush’s before it) is actually doing to destroy human life and/or welfare GLOBALLY.
A week ago Wednesday, golden tongued Obama said:
"As Commander in Chief, I am deeply grateful for the service of all our men and women in uniform, and grieve for the loss of those who suffer from the wounds of war - seen and unseen,"
In 2010, there were at least 468 suspected suicides by active duty and reserve troops it has been reported.
Obama cleverly and cowardly doesn’t utter the word “suicide” in his press conference, mind you. Too much reality for Obama.
Why did those suicides happen? Trust he will NEVER initiate a national conversation on the REAL causes of those psychic wounds. Like how maybe participating in a sociopathic killing culture and the trauma of killings of innocent people for corporate exploitation has something to do with THOSE UNSEEN WOUNDS OF WAR!!! Those poor victims of their own hands BEFORE being victims of a massively merciless sociopathic military and corporatist-cronied government leadership!
Also, Obama grandly disclosed he is working on expanding the mental health budget of the military. Rich words coming from a war criminal and someone who sold out serious health care for all Americans so cavalierly to the coporatists. Maybe he and his fellow white- and khaki-collared criminals sitting on piles and piles of shamelessly ill-gotten gains and the corpses of hundreds of thousands of human beings, men, women and children, should partake of that mental health help for the salvation of the rest of us. Mental health care for their profoundly arrested moral developments and colossal ego-manias.
Let me throw my additional disgust in as to Obama’s flaunting that “as-Commander-in-Chief” crap. I always thought that title was primarily “ceremonial,” a checks and balance reminder to the military brass that they did not have the unconditional power to steer the United States to gratuitous war or wars, plural is more appropriate for our time. They have to answer to the executive and legislative branches of government. President Obama instead of upholding that profound responsibility to rein in the military has decided to indulge in gratuitous and deadly, deadly war gaming full throttle. He has toxically enmeshed his administration with the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, as well as handily creating and enabling God knows what web of killer black ops citizens' rights and foreign citizens' rights destroying networks.
Despite the amiable soft spoken manipulations of his press conferences, you must notice Obama throws around his faux-Commander in Chief identity to excess.
Obama who illegally abuses his executive power even to assassinating Americans HE deems guilty abroad, without their due process. Yeah, Obama is not the first to do this undoubtedly, but he is the first to flaunt it in the face of the Constitution and the Americans who voted him in as supposed potential champion of their rights.
Now he throws a few faux-compassionate crumbs to the suicidal victims of the war madness he promotes. Maybe that will bring him some shameless points for reelection.
As for the War in Afghanistan, Obama’s “good” war, Derrick Crowe sums up the amorality and incompetence of that war:
" ...they're conscripting tax money that we send to D.C. every year for the purpose of building our nation together into policies that we don't support and which kill people for whom we feel no malice. In fact, the strategies and tactics are so ill-conceived that they're putting our money into the hands of insurgents who kill U.S. troops.
According to Bill Van Auken, since the Afghanistan War began, 1,562 American troops have lost their lives there, together with another 874 British, Canadian and other foreign troops. OVER HALF of those deaths took place since Obama has been in office.
Van Auken also reports that in 2010, 171 of all the casualties brought to the Landstuhl US military hospital in Germany underwent amputations, 11 percent of the total, while 61 of those wounded soldiers lost more than one limb. The rate of multiple amputations suffered by troops TRIPLED between 2009 and 2010.
Last year on average eight Afghan civilians were killed every single day according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan Van Auken goes on to point out.
The majority of Afghanistan people are enraged and demoralized over their US-cultivated government’s corruption, incompetence and gross abuses. Derrick Crowe writes:
“If we were looking for a legitimate government in Afghanistan, it's crystal clear that we backed the wrong horse. Hamid Karzai and his family are neck-deep in any number of corruption scandals, the most glaring of which involves the largest private bank in Afghanistan and a sweeping control fraud scheme that has already resulted in unrest across the country. (That scandal, by the way, is likely to result in a U.S.-taxpayer-funded bank bailout for Kabulbank, according to white-collar crime expert Bill Black.) The Karzai administration is an embarrassment of illegitimacy and cronyism, and the local tentacles of the Kabul cartel are as likely to inspire people to join the insurgency as they are to win over popular support.”
Bill Van Auken offers this insight to the reality of the “hearts and minds” situation among the Afghans:
... After nearly 10 years of occupation, broad sections of the Afghan population who have no connection with the Taliban are seething with hatred for US and other foreign troops, and this is finding deadly expression in attacks by members of the security forces who are supposedly Washington’s allies.
There have been 20 such incidents of men in Afghan security force uniforms turning their weapons on US and other foreign troops since March 2009, four of them taking place this month.
These attacks have a devastating effect on the morale of American forces in Afghanistan and call sharply into question the purported strategy of the Pentagon and the Obama administration of preparing a US withdrawal by training Afghan security forces to take the place of the foreign occupation.
This from Seymour Hersch:
The Der Spiegel photographs [kill team victims] also help to explain why the American war in Afghanistan can probably never be “won,” in my view, just as we did not win in Vietnam. Terrible things happen in war, and terrible things are happening every day in Afghanistan, as Americans continue to conduct nightly assassination raids and have escalated the number of bombing sorties. There are also reports of suspected Taliban sympathizers we turn over to Afghan police and soldiers being tortured or worse. This will be a long haul; revenge in Afghan society does not have to come immediately. We could end up not knowing who hit us, or why, a decade or two from now.
These statistics, again from Van Auken: 35,000 US Air Force and Navy warplane close air support “sorties” occurred in 2010. 35,000!!! Bombing and strafing runs set new records with every month. In January 2010 there were 157 attacks. In January 2011 there were 387. The Pentagon is now waging a fullout, “massive” air war! (of course, massive air war means more “collateral damage” a/k/a slaughter of civilians).
As for Congress' abandonment of conscience, Brian Becker writes:
At these moments, the money-gouging corrupt politicians of both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C.—from Tea Party Republicans to most Democratic Party politicians—mainly put aside all differences to join the chorus of the holy condemning the targeted demon as the troops are assembled, the war planes take to the skies and the cruise missiles crash into their targets. They are patriotic to the Empire and realize that their privileged and pampered employment as the “people’s representatives” can be quickly ended if they resolutely defy the war makers and their mass media propaganda machine. They, too, can be demonized if they step too far out of line.
Brian Becker quotes from an April 16th article in the Washington Post about the surge and the counterinsurgency program in Afghanistan. On supposedly negotiating security pacts with Afghanistan tribal elders:
“You can’t just convince them through projects and goodwill,” another Marine officer said. “You have to show up at their door with two companies of Marines and start killing people. That’s how you start convincing them.”
The officer was discussing how the U.S. strategy succeeded in the signing of a security pact between elders of the Alikozai area in southern Afghanistan and the U.S.-backed Karzai government.
Many hundreds of young men from the Alikozai area were killed in an onslaught by U.S./NATO troops in months leading up the agreement, according to the Washington Post account.
“We started stacking bodies like cordwood,” said an officer in Sangin, who like other Marines asked for anonymity to speak frankly. “And they came to a point where they said, ‘Holy [expletive], there aren’t that many of us left.’”
The Washington Post is an enthusiastic supporter of the expanding war in Afghanistan. The newspaper editorial policy insists that the war is necessary for an improvement in the lives of average Afghans.
Like other U.S. corporate-owned media outlets, the Post pretends that the U.S. counter-insurgency strategy is aimed at winning the hearts and minds of impoverished Afghan villagers. Its own reports about war strategy, however, reveal that the Pentagon cares as much about Afghan villages as it did about those in Vietnam that were razed and burned by U.S. troops to “save them” from falling under the control of Vietnamese communists.
Finally, the financial cost of the War in Afghanistan according to Derrick Crowe:
The costs of this pile of failure are huge. It costs us $1 million per troop, per year to maintain our occupation of Afghanistan. That's $2 billion every week. Politicians at the federal level are contemplating ugly cuts to social safety nets, while politicians at the state level are already shredding programs that protect people suffering in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. In this context, the admonitions from the White House and the Pentagon to be patient while this misbegotten strategy limps along the progress-road-to-nowhere seem perverse. The American people have been patient for roughly a decade now, but that patience has run out.
Is a majority of this population really going to enable Obama to enjoy another war-mongering four years in office? Obama who not only gave the mind-numbingly amoral crimes of the Bush regime a pass but has now accumulated his own critical mass of them.
Obama, a heartless, "overachieving" militarist.
Forgive me for not eating this latest p-r shit and smiling.