i feel like i’m repeating myself. i am repeating myself. but i’m making myself sick from repeating myself. nauseous, really. oh, no, wait–the nausea is coming from the hypocritical, deceitful, immoral president elect barack obama. not that i ever drank even one sip of the koolaid that killed off whatever remaining strand of leftists there were in the u.s. i wonder how they will write off the official naming of obama’s national hawkish team:

eric holder attorney general
robert gates secretary of defense
hillary clinton secretary of state
janet napolitano secretary of homeland security
susan rice american ambassador to united nations
james jones national security adviser

here is a report on al jazeera that focuses on clinton’s nomination:

the clip doesn’t show much. it doesn’t talk about the myriad problems of the entire team. it doesn’t show the press conference after the announcement. one reporter called obama on his hypocrisy in relation to the recent events in mumbai. he asked if india has the same right as the u.s. to strike pakistan without working with the pakistani government. obama, in his usual hypocritical fashion, responded in relation to the u.s. (he refused to respond about india) “i think that sovereign nations have the right to protect themselves.” interesting. in what way is the u.s. “defending” itself exactly when it bombs pakistan in what has become a rather routine practice?

side note: as was to be expected as soon as news about the indian interrogation was released to the media who got blamed? pakistan. it seems to me that indian interrogation of a suspect to reveal something other than an answer like “let’s blame pakistan” is like a lebanese interrogation of a suspect to reveal something other than an answer like “let’s blame syria.” though vijay prashad has a different idea about how to respond (though i think we should add obama to the war mongering response to such actions):

Disoriented, like a musth elephant, the State seeks easy solutions: more draconian legislation, more fiery rhetoric, and more warmongering. The Congress-led Government is pushed from the Right by the BJP, who seem to want an instant attack on Pakistan, a sort of Bush reaction to 911. Those in the government in charge of intelligence and security have been sacked. Discussions are in process for how to move forward. The Communists caution against hasty action, and have urged the government to make a motion to the UN rather than to the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani Worker Communist Party sends its condolences and says, “Crimes of such barbarity must make people realize that the moment has arrived for the people of both India and Pakistan to develop a unified commitment towards peace and harmony in the world and to combat extremism and terrorism in all its shades and colors.” The call for unity seems remote in these times, and yet, utterly necessary. Hopes slumber even in those who take aim for the debauched. More blood feeds the beast; it is food, shelter and conviviality that transform it into a neighbor.

equally frustrating is the way clinton today in her acceptance speech and others in the west have been clamoring to claim the attacks in mumbai as their own. there is a wonderful rejection of this by kanishk tharoor:

But in my opinion this is definitively not a “9/11” for India, and it cannot be slotted comfortably into the larger puzzle of the “war on terrorism”. From a Western perspective, the events in Mumbai acquired real international significance only after it became clear that the militants targeted British and American citizens in the Taj and Oberoi hotels, as well as Jewish families in the Nariman House high-rise. There were echoes, to be sure, of Bali in 2002 and the US embassy bombings Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam in 1998. But I found it almost surreal to comb the front pages of many British newspapers on Thursday morning. It was as if India was merely another faceless arena for the clash between the West and radical Islam.

Mumbai does not belong in the same continuum of Islamist attacks on Western targets abroad such as that in Bali. Make no mistake, this was a blow aimed at India as much, if not more, than at the West. The terrorists singled out iconic landmarks in downtown Mumbai, including the Taj Hotel, which sits next to the majestic Gateway of India, a symbol of India’s historical openness to the world. South Mumbai is the hub of business and cultural activity in India’s cosmopolitan financial capital. To bring death and destruction here is to strike at the country’s image of itself as an aspiring world power.

back to the main story: so at the press conference this is what obama had to say for himself:

“We will strengthen our capacity to defeat our enemies and support our friends. We will renew old alliances and forge new and enduring partnerships.”

Obama said his appointees “share my pragmatism about the use of power, and my sense of purpose about America’s role as a leader in the world.”

reading between the lines: power will still be used (read: military power). he made this abundantly clear when he responded to a question about withdrawing troops from iraq when questioned by a reporter in the audience. obama said: keep in mind what i said in the campaign. i said i would remove our combat troops from iraq in 16 months with the understanding that it might be necessary to keep residual forces in iraq. the sofa passed points us in the right direction.”

yes, this is same we cannot believe in. we now have a war cabinet. a hawkish cabinet. 4 more years of the same: more death, violence, destruction in the middle east. but that’s okay i guess, because americans are so self-centered that they think only about themselves and care nothing for the rest of the world’s hunger and starvation. for the massacres that they create or give other people the tools to create them.

but americans also care very little for people who seek economic or other forms of refuge in the u.s. who do so because of america’s economic or political interventions around the world. this is clear by obama’s choice for homeland security secretary:

AARTI SHAHANI: I think we should take pause and look at Governor Napolitano. She’s right now being celebrated as a liberal on immigration who can finally breathe some fresh air into a very hateful debate. The fact about Janet Napolitano is that she’s the leading democratic hawk on immigration. Her legacy in Arizona has been two-fold and I think it’s important to look at the nuance here. She rose to power politically as a prosecutor. She rose to power politically under Bill Clinton as Attorney General. She won the governorship in 2003. Soon after she won the governorship of Arizona, which is the leading immigration enforcement state, I mean if you want to understand what is the future of immigration enforcement, look at the state of Arizona and what it’s done. In her state, there were basically white supremacist groups trying to pass, and effectively passing a bill called Proposition 200 through ballot initiative. Proposition 200 back in November of 2004 required that just about any public servant start calling in a suspected undocumented person for deportation. It’s sort of the prelude to the Sensenbrenner bill that people blew up about in 2005. Governor Napolitano looked at this bill and she said this is hateful, this is wrong and she didn’t veto it, but sort of vetoed it by dragging her feet on its implementation.

Now the punch line comes when to save political capital or to try to regain political capital because there was a lot of falling out over her move there, she said, “Listen, I’m not against cracking down on illegal immigrants. I’m just saying we should crack down on the right types of illegal immigrants. And she introduced her own tough on immigration platform Now, that platform is two-fold. Part of it is enhanced border enforcement. The fact is that she called border crossing a national security crisis, the first governor to do that in US history, wanted to bring in Homeland Security resources to protect against this border crossing.

Now the other piece of the story that I think people are not familiar with is she that actually made a name for herself in Homeland Security circles by regularly writing to Chertoff and lobbying him to bring not just more border security resources to Arizona but ICE resources to Arizona, specifically Governor Napolitano wanted to see it an increase of interior immigration enforcement in Phoenix areas outside of border communities. She was the first governor to broker a 287-G agreement with ICE. Now, I’m not sure how many people know what 287-G is about, But basically, it was a tiny piece of law passed by Bill Clinton back in 1996. It was resurrected by ICE as a leading pilot project to devolve immigration enforcement from Federal to local hands, that is to bring the border into the interior so to speak. So Governor Napolitano was the first Democrat, the first one in the country to say we want 287-g in our state. And she opened up the door toall of the local enforcement, stopping while brown stuff we’re seeing in Arizona. She has a very peculiar relationship with Joe Arpaio. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County is known as a total–the toughest sheriff in America, is what he calls himself. That’s his autobiography. Janet Napolitano readily went to Joe Arpaio back in 2005 and said, for our immigration agenda we need some of your jails because he runs a tent city, for which he was being sued left and right. We need some of your jails. And Joe Arpaio said to her, if we have to we’ll build jails from here down to Mexico to hold the immigrants you want to pick up.

i think that imran garda said it best on al jazeera: “the only change is between obama on the campaign trail and president-elect obama.”

it is telling that no one from house or senate who voted against iraq war have been chosen for any of these positions. obama mentioned today that he chose a cabinet of rivals. but it’s not. all of these people are hawkish, supported the iraq war, supported the lies about weapons of mass destruction in iraq. with a conflict between iran and the u.s. looming this does not bode well.

where is the opposition? the public pressure? the outrage? i must go. i’m feeling sick.


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