[Marxism] From the latest anti-Empire report by William Blum

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Apr 4 15:16:05 MDT 2009


The ideology of Barack Obama

In the past two months:

--US Vice President Joe Biden was asked by reporters at a summit in 
Chile if Washington plans to put an end to the near-50-year-old economic 
embargo against Cuba. He replied "No."10

--Israeli authorities broke up a series of Palestinian cultural events 
in Jerusalem, disrupting a children's march and bursting balloons at a 
schoolyard celebration.11 There has not been, nor will there be, any 
embargo of any kind by the United States against Israel. Nor will 
President Obama make any comment about what he really feels about 
invading a children's party and bursting their balloons.

--The White House and the Pentagon appear to be having a competition 
over who can announce the most troops being sent to Afghanistan. Is 
anyone keeping a body count?

--US drones continue to drop bombs on people's homes and wedding parties 
in Pakistan. No one in Washington publicly admits to this or comments in 
any way about the legality or morality of it all.

--Bolivia and Ecuador have expelled American diplomats for what their 
hosts saw as conspiring to undermine the government.

Any number of other examples can be given of how alike the foreign 
policies of the Bush and Obama administrations are, how little, if any, 
change has occurred; certainly nothing of any significance. Yet, my 
saying such a thing is precisely what most often bothers Obama 
supporters who read or hear my comments. They're in love with the man 
with the toothpaste-advertisement smile, who's "smart" (whatever that 
means), who plays basketball, and is not George W. Bush, and his wife 
who puts her arm around the queen of England.

Obama's popularity around the world is enhanced, to an important extent, 
by the fact that he has endeavored to conceal or obscure his real 
ideology. As an example, in early March, in an interview with the New 
York Times, he was asked: "Is there a one word name for your philosophy? 
If you're not a socialist, are you a liberal? Are you progressive? One 
word?"

"No, I'm not going to engage in that," replied the president.12

The next day he called the Times reporter, telling him: "It was hard for 
me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist 
question". Obama then gave the reporter several examples of why his 
policies show that he isn't a socialist.13

He didn't have to convince me. Obama's centrist bent is clear to anyone 
who bothers to look. But after the Times incident — which apparently 
bothered him — he may have felt the need to be more clear about his 
ideological leanings to avoid any further silly "socialist" episodes. 
The next day, meeting at the White House with members of the New 
Democrat Coalition, a group of centrist Democratic members of the House, 
Obama said at one point: "I am a New Democrat."14

Most conservatives will probably continue to see him as a dangerous 
leftist. They should be happy that Obama is the president and not any 
kind of real progressive or socialist or even a genuine liberal, but the 
right wing is greedy.

full: http://www.killinghope.org/bblum6/aer68.html




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