Archives for December 2009

An Open Letter to President Obama

Note: Some of my readers took me to task about this post (comments) suggesting that I wasn’t being fair to President Obama.  Perhaps they are right and I was too hard on him.  I was angry.  So bear that in mind, read the comments, and take it all with a grain of salt.

In your speech today at Oslo receiving the Nobel Peace prize you spoke of having a “clear eyed” look at the needs of the world.  But the speech itself made it clear that either you don’t have a “clear eyed” look yourself or you are simply spinning words together to cover a war mongering heart.

You speak of “moral compass”, but I wonder if you have lost yours.

You suggest that the moral principle of all religions, to do unto others as you would have them do unto yourself, should be paramount.  Clearly then, we must want Afghani and Pakistani people to send unmanned drones into our homes and market places, our weddings.

You speak of “enlightened self-interest”.  I see plenty of self-interest on the part of the large corporations and oil industry, the weapons industry, but nothing about this is enlightened.  You dare to speak of “human folly” and do not include yourself, and yet you have become the major “fool” of the corporations.

You speak of the “world rallying around us” in Afghanistan and during the Kuwaiti war.  Like most elites you seem to think that the moneyed people of the world encompass the whole world.  You seem to think that the northern nations are the “world” and to forget the southern ones.  Like so many others, the poorer people of the world are not real to you.  They are the disposable ones.  They haven’t been “rallying around”, but you don’t seem to notice.

And, too, many of us who are a part of those northern nations, many of us who are United States citizens, did not “rally” around the war in Kuwait or the war in Afghanistan.

You speak of civil wars where a government is warring against its own citizens and yet you are willing to continue warring against those same citizens in Afghanistan, and your own citizens in this country.  This morning, interspersed with your speech, was an emergency call by our local food pantry for blankets because there is not enough room in the shelters for all the people who are homeless and cold.   You think it is not warring against your own citizens when you spend trillions of dollars on war and wall street and don’t seem to have enough to provide the basic needs of your own citizens?  (Not to speak of the thousands of people in jail who really just needed a better education, more medical and psychological care, etc., all of which could be paid for by one tenth of the amount of money spent on “defense” in this country.)

You speak of civil wars in countries like Somalia and seem blind to the causes of these wars, the rape of their countries by colonization, the continued rape by large corporations.  If we want the wars to stop we must stop our exploitation of these people.

You speak of us as if we were the “peace keepers” of the world.  The wars we make have nothing to do with keeping peace for the people of the world.  We are nothing but hired mercenaries for the large corporate interests.

You say that peace requires sacrifice!  Yes,  but it is the corporations, the oil industry and the weapons industry who are the ones who need to sacrifice!  Not our young men and women, not the citizens of Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, not our poor, not our education system, not the very well being of the earth itself which you will allow these same major corporations to kill with their wanton disregard of the needs of our planet.

Take a deep breath, everyone — including me!  Let it out with a sigh.  Shake a hand, and then another one, shake everything and do a little babbling to let out those frustrations! (For more on breathing, shaking and babbling to to )

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