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This Isn’t News. This Is War Crimes Apologia.

By Caitlyn Johnstone | Medium | December 18, 2018

The fact that George W Bush has given Michelle Obama two pieces of candy is once again making headlines in mainstream outlets like Time, The Hill, and Newsweek. He has not given her any new pieces of candy since the last time he did so at his father’s funeral. He also has not ceased to be the man who facilitated the murder of a million Iraqis and inflicted a whole new level of military expansionism and Orwellian surveillance upon our world. As near as I can tell, the only reason this story is once again making headlines is because Michelle Obama and the mainstream media have decided to bring it up again.

“He has the presence of mind and the sense of humor to bring me a mint, and he made it a point to give me that mint right then and there and that’s the beauty of George Bush,” Obama said of the war criminal in conversation at the SAP Center over the weekend, which we apparently need to know about because the news is telling us about it.

“We’re all Americans. We all care about our family and our kids, and we’re trying to get ahead,” Obama continued. “And that’s how I feel about [Bush]. You know? He’s a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man.”

If you’re starting to feel like attempts to rehabilitate George W Bush’s image are being aggressively shoved down your throat by the mass media at every opportunity, it’s because that is exactly what is happening. Every few weeks there’s a new deluge of headlines explaining to consumers of mainstream media why they should love the 43rd president because he’s such a cutesy wootsey cuddle pie, and completely forget about the piles upon piles of human corpses he is responsible for creating for no legitimate reason at all. The last Bush appreciation blitz was less than two weeks ago.

And there is a reason for this. Make no mistake, this relentless, aggressive campaign to rehabilitate George W Bush whether you like it or not is actually a campaign to rehabilitate what he did and the mass media’s unforgivable complicity in it.

The mass media failed spectacularly to practice due diligence and hold power to account in the lead-up to the illegal and unconscionable Iraq invasion, not just the ghouls at Fox News but respected centrist outlets like CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post as well. Bogus government reports were passed on uncritically and unquestioned, antiwar demonstrations with hundreds of thousands of protesters were ignored and downplayed, and the words “Saddam Hussein” and “9/11” were deliberately mentioned in the same breath so frequently that seven out of ten Americans still believed Saddam was responsible for the September 11 attacks months after the Iraq invasion had occurred.

In an environment where the New York Times is instructing its readers how to “help fight the information wars” against Russia, the BBC is coaching its audience to scream the word “whataboutism” whenever a skeptic of establishment Russia narratives brings up Iraq, and the US Secretary of Defense is claiming that Putin is trying to “undermine America’s moral authority,” the massive credibility hit that imperial media and institutions took by deceiving the world into the destruction of Iraq matters. Propaganda is a lot more important in cold war than in hot war since avoiding direct military confrontation limits the options of the participants, and Iraq is a giant bullet hole in the narrative of US moral authority which Moscow is rightly all too happy to point out.

Without the claim of moral authority, none of America’s manipulations against Russia make any sense. It’s absurd for America to spend years shrieking about Russian election meddling after it openly rigged Russia’s elections in the nineties, unless America claims that it rigged Russia’s elections for moral reasons while Russia rigged America’s elections for immoral reasons. It makes no sense to have mainstream western media outlets uncritically manufacturing support for wars and coaching their audiences on how to help government agencies fight “information wars” against Russia while also criticizing RT as “state media”, unless you can say that western media functions as an arm of the US government for moral reasons while RT does so for immoral reasons. It makes no sense for the US to criticize Russian military interventionism when the US is vastly more guilty of vastly more egregious forms of military interventionism, unless the US can claim its interventionism is moral while Russia’s is immoral.

For this reason it’s been necessary to rehabilitate the image of the Iraq invasion, and since there is no aspect of the Iraq invasion itself that isn’t soaked in blood and gore, they are rehabilitating its most recognizable face instead. Mainstream media outlets are doing this both to restore their own credibility and the credibility of the US world order they serve, in order to help secure crucial narrative control as we slide ever closer to a direct military confrontation with Russia and/or China.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world, and Iraq is a major weak point in the US-centralized empire’s narrative control. When you see a political insider like Michelle Obama constantly facilitating the mass media’s fixation on how cuddly wuddly George W Bush has become, you are not witnessing a heartwarming moment, you are not witnessing redemption, and you are most certainly not witnessing the news. You are witnessing war propaganda, plain and simple.

December 20, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 3 Comments

What Obama Has Wrought

By Glen Ford | Black Agenda Report | September 5, 2012

Most people don’t want to be a perceived as party-poopers – which is why the principled folks that have protested the evil antics of the corporate, imperial parties, in Tampa and Charlotte, are so much to be admired. Frankly, who wants to be the one to point out, in the middle of the festivities, that Michelle Obama was just a Chicago Daley machine hack lawyer who was rewarded with a quarter million dollar a year job of neutralizing community complaints against the omnivorous University of Chicago Hospitals? She resigned from her $50,000 seat on the board of directors of Tree-House Foods, a major Wal-Mart supplier, early in her husband’s presidential campaign. But, once in the White House, the First Lady quickly returned to flaking for Wal-Mart, praising the anti-union “death star” behemoth’s inner city groceries offensive as part of her White House healthy foods booster duties.

She also serves on the board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the corporate foreign policy outfit to which her husband dutifully reported, each year, in his pucker-up to the presidency. The Obama’s are a global capital-loving couple, two cynical lawyers on hire to the wealthiest and the ghastliest. They are no nicer or nastier than the Romneys and the Ryans, although the man of the house bombs babies and keeps a kill list. Yet, former “green jobs” czar Van Jones, a convention night chatterer on CNN who was fired by Obama for no good reason, chokes up when he speaks of the Black family that fronts for America – a huge act of national camouflage.

It is as useless to anchor a serious political discussion to this year’s Democratic and Republican convention speeches, as to plan the liberation of humanity during Mardi Gras. Truth is no more welcome at the former than sobriety is at the latter. So, forget the conventions and their multi-layered lies. Here are a few highlights of what Barack Obama has inflicted on the nation and the world:

Preventive Detention

George Bush could not have pulled off such an evisceration of the Bill of Rights, if only because the Democrats and an aroused street would not have allowed it. Bush knew better than to mount a full-court legislative assault on habeas corpus, and instead simply asserted that preventive detention is inherent in the powers of the presidency during times of war. It was left to Obama to pass actual legislation nullifying domestic rule of law – with no serious Democratic opposition.

Redefining War

Obama “led from behind” a 7-month Euro-American air and proxy ground war against the sovereign nation of Libya, culminating in the murder, after many attempts, of the nation’s leader. The president informed Congress that the military operation was not subject to the War Powers Act, because it had not been a “war” at all, since no Americans were known to have been killed. The doctrine was thus established – again, with little Democratic opposition – that wars are defined by the extent of U.S. casualties, no matter how many thousands of foreigners are slaughtered.

War Without Borders

Obama’s drone war policies, greatly expanded from that inherited from Bush, have vastly undermined accepted standards of international law. This president reserves the right to strike against non-state targets anywhere in the world, with whatever technical means at his disposal, without regard to the imminence of threat to the United States. The doctrine constitutes an ongoing war against peace – the highest of all crimes, now an everyday practice of the U.S.

The Merger of Banks and State

The Obama administration, with the Federal Reserve functioning as a component of the executive branch, has funneled at least $16 trillion to domestic and international banking institutions, much of it through a virtually “free money” policy that could well become permanent. This ongoing “rescue” of finance capital is unprecedented in sheer scope and in the blurring of lines between Wall Street and the State. The routine transfer of multi-billions in securities and debts and assets of all kinds between the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve and corporate accounts, has created de facto structures of governance that may be described as institutional forms of fascism.

These are world-shaking works of Obama-ism. Even Obama’s “lesser” crimes are astounding: his early calls for austerity and entitlement-axing (two weeks before his inauguration) and determined pursuit of a Grand Accommodation with the GOP (a $4 trillion deal that the Republicans rejected, in the summer of 2011) reveal a politician intent on ushering in a smoother, more rational corporate hegemony over a thoroughly pacified civil society. Part and parcel of that pacification is the de-professionalization of teaching – an ambition far beyond de-unionization.

Of course, Obama begins with the delegitimization of Black struggle, as in his 2004 Democratic Convention speech (”…there is no Black America…only the United States of America.”) To the extent that the nation’s most progressive, anti-war constituency can be neutralized, all of Obama’s corporate and military goals become more doable. The key to understanding America has always been race. With Obama, the corporate rulers have found the key that fits their needs at a time of (terminal) crisis. He is the more effective evil.

Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

September 5, 2012 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 1 Comment