Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama: Don't Blame it on the West

At his inaugural address yesterday President Obama's rhetoric was reminiscent of his predecessor Mr. Bush; "We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you," he said.

The arrogance and hypocrisy of the statement is discouraging. President Obama continued, "To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West -- know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."

I wonder when the "West" will accept some of the blame for the ill will that it has garnered for its actions in the global south and in the Middle East. When will the "West" admit to the lies, the disinformation, the interventions, the invasions, the slaughter of innocents, the empire building... when will the "West" realize that the size of its military industrial complex will not guarantee that its towers will be safe and its people secure? Only a "new era of diplomacy" can.

Sure President Obama had some positive things to say, as when he addressed "the Muslim world" with words of reconciliation and hope; "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect."

Perhaps the new U.S. president refers to the unholy terror visited on the Palestinian people of Gaza these past four weeks... maybe the "West" will seek a "new way" that will not involve the unleashing of one of the world's most lethal military and its arsenal of weapons (equipped and supported by its protector, the U.S.) on a hapless civilian population (shades of Iraq's bombardment, which also included cluster bombs, white phosphorus and depleted uranium)? The slaughter of over 1300 people, most of them women and children has not brought Israel any closer to winning the "respect" of the world nor as it cowered or defeated the will of Palestinians.

It is probably a dream to hope that the outgoing Bush administration will be held accountable for its crimes against humanity. That is not what the new U.S. president was implying when he said, "To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." One can only hope that the Republicans in the U.S. legislature will not obstruct the new administration in its efforts to create new jobs and bring in a new era of a green economy that is less dependent on oil and carbon bi-products.

Obama said, "America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words." Unfortunately, timeless words will not address the United States' "hardships." Perhaps the new U.S. president should visit the question; Why has the U.S. met with such hardship of late? What about the senseless war in Iraq and the planned escalation in Afghanistan, the loss of manufacturing jobs through neo-liberal policies, the stagnant wages, the unregulated greed and corruption... ?

What about accountability? The truth shall set you free... then a reconciliation can take place that will see that U.S. and international laws are respected and upheld for future generations.

The speech was a stern "call to action" for U.S. citizens; as well as recriminations and a holding out of an "olive branch" to "the Muslims" (wonder if any of those are left in Palestine?)... but what would have carried it to the next level would have been if it held less hypocrisy, more truth and most importantly more soul and corny as it sounds... more LOVE. Where is the love?

The good Reverend Joseph Lowery spoke of love. He said in his benediction, "And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance." The narrow scope of his focus is unfortunate because his concluding remarks made clear that he was referring to people within the confines of the U.S. borders.
"Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- (laughter) -- when yellow will be mellow -- (laughter) -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- (laughter) -- and when white will embrace what is right."
Rest in peace and love Dr. Martin Luther King--who's January 15th birthday was celebrated on Monday, January 19, a day before the swearing in of President Barack Obama. Would that President Obama had paid tribute to Dr. King by quoting from his speech entitled "Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence."
"This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls "enemy," for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers."
It is encouraging for the world that even though the U.S.'s new "Commander and Chief" was not forthcoming with the love, his supporters, be they U.S. born or internationally bred, were. They have warmly embraced the new "leader of the free world" and wish him the best. Hopefully, with their love, support and civic involvement -- "a change is gonna come."


AL said...

Obamas message to iran, emboldens them, let me explain, in the middle east men are commanding you only go to the negotiating table when you have lost, you are saying to them that i can't fight you, you win, lets talk, aggressive is always a better stance, bush my not have the most personal integrity as far as whats right or wrong but he got that part right when dealing with the muslim men in that part of the region, alot of my co workers in michigan come from that region of the world.

thezenhaitian said...

Talking to those you consider to be your enemies is the only way to resolve issues. That is the only reasonable and civilized way to conduct diplomacy and avoid war.

Of course, if you want war, as you seem to be advocating here, with your "aggressive is always a better stance," than not talking would be the way to go.

Your philosophy would probably work best if you were incarcerated in a prison with violent criminals and were not living in a world of nations organized under local and international laws. This is the way that Bush, Jr operated and it did not work than and it will not work now.

AL said...

If negotiating worked with syria ,iran and iraq. Israel would not have to keep such an large advanced military.To tell israel to disarm in that region would mean suicide for israel. For someone to be christian or jewish in one of those countries with sharia law you are relagated to second class citizenship or dhimmitude sharia law requires from non muslims a humble demeanor, eyes lowered, a hurried pace and they have to give way to muslims on the street, remain standing in their presence and keep silent, only speaking to them when given permission. They are forbidden to defend themselves if attacked, or to raise a hand against a muslim on pain of having it amputated. Also non muslims have to pay a special tax called jizya, today muslims in europe steal the property of europeans or destroy it because europeans are not paying the jizya to muslims even though muslims recieve huge welfare payments. I should emphasize that all of these principles are not merely of historical interest but are indeed still applied against non muslims in modern Iran, Pakistan and saudi arabia to name but a few countries. Significantly dhimmitude forbids the dhimmi from arming themselves. Converts do not enjoy the same rights as people who are born muslims, besides giving up all the freedoms in the bill of rights.If dhimmitude does not appeal to you, your only remaining option under muslim rule is to fight for you freedom. Watch the youtube video titled "What Islam Is Not" and you will get a clear picture of what i am saying. The source you can look in to is by author wells earl draughon. Bye for now.

thezenhaitian said...

Great lesson in Sharia law, but the American citizens were given a number of reasons for going into Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan... none involved Sharia Law or the Muslim faith. Though Bush, Jr. did drop the C bomb - as in Crusade. He implied that it was a war of Christians vs. Muslims. Is that what you are advocating here, a religious war?

Most people in America have no religious affiliation and have no interest in fighting a religious war. So take your fanatical concern about how people conduct their cultural affairs, religion and government and apply it to improving your own country first.

You may have noticed that the infrastructure is crumbling, the education system is failing, millions of Americans have no health insurance, unemployment is rising to astronomical heights, the economy is in the toilet...

You should probably get more worked up about that, because when the US fighting forces come back to a country in shambles, it will hardly matter that they straightened out the heathens in Muslim/Arab countries. Not that this is a goal that is even possible. But then perpetual war is the goal for this American gov't, isn't it?

AL said...

Actually your president said that america is a secular country, america was founded on judeo christian values. War has already been declared on the west whether we want it or not, so why not fight them?

thezenhaitian said...

Secular - Definition: not connected or controlled by the church.

You mean President Barack Obama?. If you live in the U.S. as you say, he's your president too.

Al said, "War has already been declared on the west whether we want it or not, so why not fight them?"
Al, no one is stopping you. The army, navy and air force are looking for "a few good men," you should enlist to fight "them." And I am sure that unlike Bush and Cheney who were chickenhawks, you will do the fighting.

A look into the events of 9/11 may lead you to conclude that the Arabs probably did not attack us. Here is just one compelling question to ask yourself:
Why did the WTC buildings pancake down in 10 seconds - the speed of an object falling through the air? How can that happen, when the floors below were supposedly intact?

AL said...

I would join if i did not have a family to look after, maybe 911 was a set up maybe it was not. Serving your country is one of the greatest honors a person can do. Here is some good news montana just passed legislation that basically says that any gun manufactured in montana and that does not cross state lines cannot be regulated by the federal government, this is one of the first shots against the federal government and the obama administration, it is also a victory for states rights against an out of control federal government. Utah is following suit and hopefully other states get on board to protect gun rights against an obama adminstration. The GOP is trying to pass legislation to keep terrorist out of america and i agree, i will have more info on this soon, peace.

thezenhaitian said...

Don't let that stop you, Al. There are many men and women serving in the armed forces who have families. Since you are pushing so "aggressively" for war, you should put your ass on the line like they do.

The U.S. Department of Justice statistics show that Violence by Gang Members 1993-2003 are decreasing - so why are there so many *minorities* in jail? Half of the people in jails are non-violent criminals (no guns). Minorities are disproportionately represented, particularly Black males -- "even though they make up less than 10 percent of the overall US population."

Instead of obsessing about *Obama taking the guns*, this is the chilling, scary, unjust system that should be keeping you up at night. The fact that the US has a two-tier criminal justice system. One law for the *majority* (white) and a crushing, oppressive law for the *minority* (Black and Latino).

GUNS ARE NOT BANNED ANYWHERE IN THE US.We need to ban assault weapons and other high powered weapons. There are too many guns in our communities. They are increasingly contributing to crimes like mass murder/suicides, homicides, thefts and other violent crimes. (See statistics below).

You have not provided any proof that Montana or any other state is revising their gun laws. I cannot take your word for it, since your statistics have been questionable in the past. If you have such proof and you know how to post a link to it, please do.

There needs to be more control on guns, not less. I have posted elsewhere, the horrific toll that gun violence has on the US population, but I'll post it again for emphasis and your information (see below).

The Feds are only enforcing 2 out of 22 of the gun laws currently on the books. Right now they are selectively prosecuting only 2% of federal gun crimes. Eighty-five (85%) percent of cases prosecuted relate to street criminals in possession of firearms.

We all know that "street" criminals is code for minorities, so the Feds are choosing to selectively prosecute minorities. That would be you Al, if you are being honest when you say that you are Black (I have my doubts). Hopefully, you will not be one of those caught up in this institutionalized racism.

"Ignored are laws intended to punish illegal gun trafficking, firearm theft, corrupt gun dealers, lying on a criminal background check form, obliterating firearm serial numbers, selling guns to minors and possessing a gun in a school zone." -- NEAHI.org_____________________________________

More sobering statistics: Gun Violence in our communities.
Children and Gun Violence
* America is losing too many children to gun violence. Between 1979 and 2001, gunfire killed 90,000 children and teens in America. (Children's Defense Fund and National Center for Health Statistics)
* In one year, more children and teens died from gunfire than from cancer, pneumonia, influenza, asthma, and HIV/AIDS combined. (Children's Defense Fund)
* The rate of firearm deaths among kids under age 15 is almost 12 times higher in the United States than in 25 other industrialized countries combined. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

America and Gun Violence
* Every day, more than 80 Americans die from gun violence. (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence)
* The rate of firearm deaths among kids under age 15 is almost 12 times higher in the United States than in 25 other industrialized countries combined. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
* American kids are 16 times more likely to be murdered with a gun, 11 times more likely to commit suicide with a gun, and nine times more likely to die from a firearm accident than children in 25 other industrialized countries combined. (Centers for Disease Control)


The minorities or gangs are not committing the majority of "violent crimes."
- Violent crimes for which victims identified the offender to be a gang member peaked in 1996 at 10% of all violent crime and decreased until 1998 to about 6%, not significantly changing since.

- On average for each year, gang members committed about 373,000 of the 6.6 million violent victimizations. Nonfatal violent acts measured include rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.

- Victims believed that perpetrators were not gang members in 55% of all nonfatal violent crimes between 1998 and 2003, and victims were unsure of gang affiliation in 37%.

- The 1998-2003 average is lower than that for the 1993-96 period, when victims in about 9% of all
violent crimes believed the offenders to have been gang members.

- Violence by perceived gang members declined over most of the 11-year period, falling from a 1994 peak of about 1.1 million violent victimizations (5.2 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older) to 341,000 (1.4 per 1,000) in 2003.

Tragedy after tragedy with guns... a map of high profile GUN VIOLENCE in the US since 1997.

I worry about you Al. Maybe you should get some help for your irrational fear of a gun ban. On a totally unrelated matter, do you own a bulletproof vest?

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