Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

[Fake] Letter from the Norwegian Nobel Committee to President Barack Obama

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Reported in The Intercept, apparently as a parody but not identified as such:

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

It was late in the evening when we first learned of your decision Friday to deploy an additional 1,500 troops to Iraq. Sorry, we were catching up on the latest episode of “Lilyhammer.” But, seriously, is that a tradition in the States? Releasing such news late on a Friday with the fatuous hope people would forget by Monday? But on second thought, after perusing the American media, it’s possible such schemes may be effective. There appears to be more concern over one Ebola patient— in a country of 316 million people— than the news that your administration is invading Iraq all over again.

Did you forget the words you spoke in Chicago on October 2, 2002? “What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. . . That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics”. Were those your words or merely the pandering musings of a state senator with grander political ambitions? If so, you succeeded. Because in 2011, as President, you announced the “end” of the Iraq War, and you boasted “The tide of war is receding”. Was that a twisted joke? You have bombed 7 predominately Muslim countries. That’s not to mention the thousands killed because of your imperialist policies or the Americans you have targeted with military drones, and without due process.

Did you also forget your speech on that crisp December day five years ago next month? “Nevertheless, I am convinced that adhering to standards, international standards, strengthens those who do, and isolates and weakens those who don’t.” You certainly haven’t followed said standards; it doesn’t appear you ever even intended to. After all, your expansion of executive war powers will be the biggest stain on your floundering presidency. Worse than George W. Bush.

You are the most undeserving Nobel Peace Prize winner since the odious, war-mongering Henry Kissinger. What company you keep! We were delusional dupes for giving the Peace Prize to him and you both. That is all. Now, back to “Lilyhammer.”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee
Drammensveien 19 NO-0255 OSLO

And if Glennon’s book is accurate, and certainly the reviewer mentions no howlers he made, then Obama is simply incapable of meeting the demands: the deep-state second government of our security apparatus, and the security apparatus is the combined might of a great many agencies with a common mindset, a lot of overlap of training, a sense of working for the right cause (righteousness)—a great meme except that it evolves into, “And since we are doing this for good, we can do any damn thing we want, so long as it is for the good,” and (perhaps unsurprisingly) quite a wide range of things turn out to be for the good—some that you’d probably not suspect, such as torture. But that’s absolutely necessary. And that applies, BTW, to suspects, because waiting for a warrant or even looking for probable cause—that’s the sort of red tape that lets the bad guys get away, and bringing it up makes you a bad guy sympathizer.

Worse yet, all that apparatus is just a tool. The control lies with those of extreme wealth, the tiny minority that have the resources to purchase a national newspaper—and being published in DC, perhaps the national newspaper (though it’s been declining badly)—as a hobby, or the Koch brothers, Sheldon Aldelson, and others more or less openly bidding for control of the overt government.

It’s amazing to see it playing out in reality—more intense and complex than Game of Thrones, and yet people don’t seem interested—cf. recent mid-term election. Perhaps they’ve now figured that it doesn’t make any difference?, though it certainly could: a solid majority in Congress can indeed pass laws, and things can happen, but it requires a common will. I recall from an earlier blog post on the fall of the Berlin Wall two different things. First this passage:

What had changed was the self-assurance of the people. By autumn 1989, the protest movement had gained sufficient confidence to take advantage of this incompetence. The people already knew the authorities would back down: A month earlier, peaceful protesters in Leipzig had turned out in such overwhelming numbers that the security forces, which we now know had planned a Tiananmen-style crackdown, had backed off.

And they knew they could trust each other. Stasi interrogators had once asked a prisoner named Katrin Hattenhauer, a young rebel, how she and her fellow dissidents held together despite all of the Stasi’s actions against them. She replied that shared suffering welded people together more strongly than shared success: “Where the hammer has come down, whatever is underneath is going to hold together.”

And then a thought-provoking comment from “Umbrella”:

I am writing from Hong Kong, a Westernised-city within the holds of China. The situation is a bit inverted, we are just a tiny city in the midst of the concrete dragon which is China, lead by a group of government puppets who are intertwined with the 41 tycoons who control 70% of our GDP. Every day, I hear from my parents, my in-laws, my bosses, “The student movement and protests are no use, don’t fight with China, it is a regime that is omnipotent, ruthless and rich. Just give up.” But what they fail to see, or are too scared to see, is that our future is not defined by those who refuse to change, but by those who will fight for change.

That security mindset controls the combined might of the following: police (local, county, state), security personnel (bodyguards, armed property guards, armed response units in private security, and, of course, in many states any citizen who fears for his life is free to use deadly force, so perhaps they count as a way to keep people fearful, since fearful people tend to want even more security: it’s a self-licking ice-cream cone. [edit: It just occurred to me that only some people become more fearful when reading of stand-your-ground killings—I feel sure that in others it arouses a different feeling, a wondering about what it feels like, to stand your ground—followed by rereading the parts about “feeling in fear for your life.” Must remember that. – LG] But to continue: to those add: the military, FBI, Secret Service, DEA, Border Patrol, IRS, CIA, NSA, and all the other intelligence agencies (military, private), SWAT teams (now operating as private-corporation independent entities—businesses—under contract to several police forces), the independent mercenary forces (Blackwater/Xe Services/Academi/? (candidates for the next namechange required by war crimes such as slaughter of civilians). I’m sure there are others.

That’s just part of the second government against which Obama cannot act. The review blogged earlier observes:

As Glennon points out, presidents get to name fewer than 250 political appointees among the Defense Department’s nearly 700,000 civilian employees, with hundreds more drawn from a national security bureaucracy that comprise “America’s Trumanite network” — in effect, on matters of national security, a second government.

That’s the part that requires the heavy lifting by Congress, the courts, the Executive to break down and remold.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 November 2014 at 3:56 pm

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