Archive for the ‘OBAMA’S MODEST ACHIEVEMENTS’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: DO AMERICANS SHARE OBAMA’S DREAM? A QUESTION I REGARD AS NAIVE   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JUSTIN WEBB IN THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

America is a very conservative country. That is why the great journalist William Shirer, covering events in NAZI Germany, asked whether America would not itself become a fascist country by election.

‘Right-wing’ has characterized its entire history, except for a brief period of the Franklin Roosevelt era.

The nation’s history is characterized by conquest – although its victims were weak compared to those taken on by, say, Germany, including native people, Spanish settlers, and Mexicans – and extreme acquisitiveness. Those are facts largely glossed over in general histories, and few abroad truly appreciate them. They are facts also glossed over in all Fourth of July speeches by local Congressmen and Senators looking for campaign funds.

The higher-sounding words of America’s main founding documents have always been treated the same way most Christians treat the Gospels – that is, they are recited, praised, engraved on monuments, and immediately ignored in day-to-day matters.

And, after all, it is the most superstitiously religious advanced nation on earth, and nothing good comes out of superstition, except fear and killing of every description, killing of devils, killing of communists, killing of Muslims, killing of native people, and killing of any threat perceived by religious paranoia.

And further, the U.S. establishment – really a government within a government, including the CIA, the FBI, the NIA, the Pentagon, and at least a dozen other intelligence agencies not generally known – is not going to permit drastic change. It has things the way it wants them and works daily to keep them so.

The Pentagon alone spends the entire GDP of some countries each year, and it has on many past occasions obstructed presidential policies. The CIA spends a fortune and makes a significant part of its occupation the overthrowing of governments, the interfering in elections abroad (as its doing in places like Iran today), and the getting rid of unwanted foreign leaders. And these powerful institutions are supported by America’s immensely rich Borgia-like families. Does anyone seriously believe such forces will tolerate any real shift in American goals and budgets?

Obama cannot possibly change those circumstances, and without changing those circumstances there is no way he can take significant measures towards creating a more humane and decent America. Kennedy was probably the last president hoping to achieve such huge changes.

Obama has put a pleasant and intelligent face on a government that for eight years was guided by thugs and ignoramuses, and he established a precedent for people of color that gives the U.S. further bragging rights about principles.

Going beyond those modest achievements brings an American leader into highly dangerous territory.