Comments: Peace Just In Time

And what happened to the lesser of two evils theory? All along people were saying that Obama though not perfect would be better than the Bush presidency. Yet all it has done is to make people complacent or more complacent. Now that Obama will be president things will be better, that’s quite an assumption. So now when Obama repeats his lies about Iran and Gaza fewer question those lies because they are coming from Mr. Hope and Change. It just may well be that Obama will be worse than Bush merely by the fact that his lies are more convincing than when they came from Bush.

Posted by Rob Payne at January 17, 2009 04:27 PM

Here's a prediction

Massive fails of the likes never seen in the business of making predictions.

Don't be so eager to make predictions. Haven't you ever heard the saying about never trusting a time traveler? Oh I guess I just made it up then.

Posted by tim at January 17, 2009 06:52 PM

Oh I don’t know, if you consider that the system would not allow anyone to become president who was any threat at all to the system it isn’t so much of a prediction as an observation.

Also considering Obama’s rather pathetic and unremarkable record in Congress, his appointments as prez-elect, and his rhetoric on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, and Russia not to mention Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security I think it is quite obvious what Obama is. Oh, I didn’t make any of this up.

Posted by Rob Payne at January 17, 2009 07:45 PM

Plastics? Or plastic explosives.

Posted by Bob In Pacifica at January 17, 2009 09:22 PM

Ain't it neat, America can turn the BLOOD in Gaza on and off at a whim.

Posted by Mike Meyer at January 17, 2009 10:11 PM

It's really amazing how Israel's vital security needs which justify the killing of hundreds of civilians will be met just in time for Obama's inauguration. I mean, what are the odds?

Posted by Donald Johnson at January 17, 2009 10:37 PM

the coup
is way bigger than Bush
or even Cheney.
Maybe we're still in it.
Maybe an election wasn't enough to stop it.
As to Caruso's main points there, in addition to not creating problems with the new administration, the Israelis shutting down the Gazan mini-Holocaust sets President Smokey up as more powerful than Israel, someone they're afraid of, someone they respect, so later, when they want to use him as a beard for their nuclear lunging at Iran and elsewhere, it will be a lot more convincing.
If you blur the demographics and the extraneous signifiers enough Obama and Bush are remarkably similar American figures.

Posted by roy belmont at January 17, 2009 10:48 PM

roy belmont: If Israel bombs Iran it will be because they were PAID to do so by U&I. Most likely it will go off as part of a co-ordinated effort with the USA.

Posted by Mike Meyer at January 17, 2009 11:28 PM

Yeah, "peace". Which means their soldiers are still inside Gaza and their blockade still controls what (food & medicine) gets into Gaza and which people (and products) go out.

That doesn't sound very "peace"ful to me.

Why, exactly, is there any expectation of Hamas not doing everything it can to break the blockade?

Israel will come at Gaza again when they're even hungrier and most of the wounded are dead.

Any support of Israel in any way is immoral.

Posted by Dena Shunra at January 17, 2009 11:59 PM

The ceasefire by Israel may have nothing to do with Abraham Obama.

"A unilateral ceasefire does not mean ending the (Israeli) aggression and ending the siege. These constitute acts of war and so this will not mean an end to resistance," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Reuters in Gaza.

He also criticised Israel for taking a unilateral approach rather than entering into a deal with Egyptian mediators: "It is an attempt to pre-empt the Egyptian efforts and any other efforts that seek to achieve a withdrawal of the occupying forces, an end to the siege and a ceasefire."

And the IDF troops indeed are staying in Gaza.

"We are holding our fire, but will remain vigilant," he said, "We've met our military objectives and are now holding our fire, but Hamas may fire at the forces and the home front. The army will remain deployed in Gaza and is prepared to continue and even expand the operation if needed. Israel's citizens must also be prepared."

--Ehud Barak,2506,L-3657782,00.html

Also thing aren’t so hunky dory between the U.S. and Israel as one may think. Bush recently refused to give bunker buster bombs to Israel and also refused to give Israel permission to fly over Iraq to reach Iran so that they could attack their nuclear facilities.

Posted by Rob Payne at January 18, 2009 03:38 AM

It just may well be that Obama will be worse than Bush merely by the fact that his lies are more convincing than when they came from Bush.

This was precisely my opinion during the interminable election campaign, and the reason why I suggested to a number of people that it would be far better in the long run to vote for McCain, since his election would drive the final nail into the coffin of the myth of American exceptionalism and benevolence, and the rest of the world might finally get the idea.

Moreover, by ditching their faith in the US as the saviour of mankind, it might actually allow us all to get busy and save the world and civilisation while there's still time and resources. With the election of Obama, my fear is that the world will continue on its present course, lulled by its belief that the US is now in the right hands and that everything will be all right after all, until it's too late to do anything to stop what appears to be the inevitable catastrophe.

Boy, did I get shit for that. But I still think I was right.

Posted by NomadUK (formerly Mike) at January 18, 2009 06:20 AM

it would be far better in the long run to vote for McCain, since his election would drive the final nail into the coffin of the myth of American exceptionalism and benevolence, and the rest of the world might finally get the idea.

I thought the rest of the world had already figured this out. If there's anyone outside the U.S. who's still holding on to the "myth of American exceptionalism and benevolence" after eight years of George Bush, I don't see how inflicting another four or eight years of McCain/Palin on them could make any difference.

Posted by SteveB at January 18, 2009 10:26 AM

The way I see it is that the foreign policies of both Obama and McCain are equally horrendous. The main difference is style rather than substance. The danger with Barak Lincoln is that he will do as much damage as McCain but will do a better job of selling it to the American public which in effect moves us further from making any progress in halting American imperialism. While I agree that Obama is worse for the reason stated above I would just add that it is not our job to save the world. That is exactly the kind of world view held by Americans that needs to be buried six feet under. It is not only astonishingly arrogant to believe such a thing but is incredibly wrong-headed as well. Often “benevolent” interference with other people’s lives is more damaging than malevolent interference. The assumption behind benevolent imperialism is that America is somehow superior to other cultures. I think that ought to be questioned. The world does not need to be “saved” and most especially not by Americans be they Democrat, Republican, moderate, liberal, or conservative.

Posted by Rob Payne at January 18, 2009 12:16 PM

I think you sell the public short. As a result of the Iraq debacle, most Americans are now deeply wary and skeptical of any additional military adventurism, no matter who's selling it. If Jesus H. Christ said we needed to attack Iran, I don't think the public would go for it (whether our useless Congress would go for it is a separate question.)

On Gaza, I think anyone who is sufficiently immune to propaganda to oppose what Israel is doing isn't going to change their position to supporting Israel because of Obama.

In general, I think the public does learn from history, and what the public is willing to buy does constrain our "leaders" to some extent.

Posted by SteveB at January 18, 2009 12:58 PM


I’m not so sure I’m selling the public short and the reasons I don’t are that they have an incredibly short memory nor are they very good at paying attention to what is going down. Most get their news in short little blurbs from local TV news outlets so their awareness may not be as great as you may believe it to be.

Even after the bloody debacle of the Vietnam War people were gung-ho for the first Gulf War with H.W. Bush. They were also gung-ho for the invasion of Iraq under W. Bush. It was really only after that they began to see that it was not a “successful” war that public opinion turned against it. If the Iraq War had gone the way the neocons had thought it would, as in short, public opinion would have remained positive for the invasion.

I would agree that the American public will likely not change its support for the massacre in Gaza because of Obama. And that would be because Obama has already shown his support for the Israel assault on Gaza and as you well know he keeps repeating lies about the nature of the beast so no, I wouldn’t expect any change in public opinion on that.

While I do agree that the public has lost its taste for foreign military adventures that would only be because as I already said of the “failure” in Iraq and that they are now more concerned with the economy than anything else which they rightly associate with the Iraq War. If circumstances were different however they could easily be sold on more wars by Obama, all too easily. And whether they support more interventions or not that is what they will be getting as Obama plans to escalate the war in Afghanistan. So I cannot agree that the public learns from the past any more than our national leaders do.

Posted by Rob Payne at January 18, 2009 01:47 PM

ALL WARS are expensive because one cannot afford to loose them. IF a war runs on very long it sucks the wallet dry. That's where that saying of 'gettin' yer belly full of war' comes from. What it ACTUALLY means is YOU've either just intered "The Stoneage" OR YOUR cards are maxed and the ole wallet's empty.

Posted by Mike Meyer at January 18, 2009 04:01 PM

Even after the bloody debacle of the Vietnam War people were gung-ho for the first Gulf War with H.W. Bush.

The Vietnam war ended in '75, and the Gulf war started in '91. What happened in the intervening 16 years was a patient, disciplined program by our ruling class to rebuild the credibility of the U.S. military, and to rehabilitate the idea of military force as a useful tool of foreign policy. So, first a couple of small, "successful" wars - Grenada and Panama - and then a big, "successful" war - the Gulf war. We can expect the same thing to happen again, but the opportunities for small, successful wars seem pretty limited. Countries where Obama might try to make a case for 'humanitarian" intervention - like Sudan - don't offer much prospect of military success.

While I do agree that the public has lost its taste for foreign military adventures that would only be because as I already said of the “failure” in Iraq...

But that's how it always works. Imperial powers never give up their possessions for the "right" reasons, they give up their possessions because occupied people resist occupation. The Iraqi people have already done their part in resisting the occupation; our job is now to build on their work by doing what we can to keep our country out of future wars.

Posted by SteveB at January 18, 2009 05:05 PM


our job is now to build on their work by doing what we can to keep our country out of future wars.

Yes, we should be working to stop future wars perpetrated by our government but I don’t believe that this will be achieved through politics alone. The U.S. has been involved in imperialism, the lion’s share beginning with our invasion of the Philippines at the beginning of the twentieth century, which was then greatly accelerated after the end of the Second World War. In fact, so much so, that it is ingrained in our very culture which brings me to a point I would like to make which is that in order to change what we do as a nation we need to change our culture. This is a monumental task that no one person can cause to come about and it will take lots and lots of time. It certainly will not happen in our lifetime. The state of our politics is a result of our culture, our world views, not the other way around. We are a nation of arrogant bullies whether we care to admit that or not and this simply has to change. To start changing it we might start by not teaching our children to be arrogant bullies, that might does not make right, that thinking of the military as a useful tool to enlighten the world is a gigantic mistake. I think it will be small steps like these that in the end can bring about a permanent and significant change rather than supporting those politicians who we correctly or mistakenly consider to be the lesser of two evils.

Posted by Rob Payne at January 18, 2009 08:11 PM

a bit like the hostages being released the day reagan gets in...

Posted by sam, err, usamah at January 18, 2009 09:37 PM

yeap, the Israeli troops will be out of Gaza in time for the inauguration - and GUESS WHAT????? reporters will be allowed in on inauguration day... they are thinking that Americans, and the world, will be focused on Obama.

Posted by Susan - NC at January 19, 2009 04:42 AM

And Israel won’t have to make any concessions to Gaza after withdrawing, how convenient for them.

For now, Gaza's situation looks much as it did before the conflict - armed standoff and a dim future for the 1.5 million people fenced inside the strip by a blockade aimed at punishing Islamist Hamas for rocket fire and ambitions to destroy Israel.

Actually things don’t look exactly as they did with more than 1,300 Palestinians murdered by Israel, their infrastructure destroyed and 4,000 homes destroyed. Such a deal. I suppose that is the price for defying almighty Israel. Next thing Israel will be saying Gaza should take responsibility for what just happened much as our leaders are saying Iraq needs to stand up and take responsibility for what we did to them.

Posted by Rob Payne at January 19, 2009 05:23 AM

Rob Payne:
Yes, I agree that these long-term cultural changes (which are really the work of social movements) are much more important that electoral politics.

One cultural change that I'm encouraged by is the now widespread acceptance of the idea that wars will be accompanied by anti-war movements. One enormous barrier that anti-Vietnam-war activists had to deal with that we do not is that a majority of Americans at the time felt that there was something fundamentally illegitimate and outrageous about protesting against a war while "our boys" were "over there fighting and dying for us." Today, this idea is confined to a relatively small percentage of Americans. Most now accept that dissent during wartime is a legitimate expression of a democratic system, and I think support for this idea has grown tremendously in the past six years, because the anti-war protesters, after all, were right.

Posted by SteveB at January 19, 2009 10:42 AM


The Vietnam War protests are a good example because there were protests over the invasion of Iraq before it occurred, a result of the Vietnam protests, while with the Vietnam War it was only after the war had been going for some time before people began to protest. So that is a step in the right direction. If nothing else the Vietnam protests helped make people more aware and it was a change in a positive direction.

The creation of America itself was a result of imperialism where the native population was decimated and finally dominated by white Europeans with an economy that was based on slavery. It took a long time to do away with slavery but it did happen though sadly for the Native Americans many are still consigned to a bleak poverty at least for those who remain on reservations. For those Native Americans that chose to assimilate into the white man’s world it was a choice of having to give up their traditional culture. Not very nice.

The history of Native Americans also shows how benevolent intervention can be horrendous. It was decided by people who wanted to “help” the Native Americans that the only real choice for Indians was to assimilate them into white culture. Their mode of doing so was to remove Indian children from their parents and send them to private schools where they were badly mistreated and sometimes sexually abused. They were even forbidden to speak their native tongue and the results were awful. This is very reminiscent of the present day desire for “humanitarian” interventions in cultures that are not even understood by those who wish to “help” them.

Posted by Rob Payne at January 19, 2009 11:37 AM

Dena, you might want to look at this:

And Rob, Nomad,what do you want for the U.S. if I may ask?

Posted by Jenny at January 19, 2009 10:10 PM

And Rob, Nomad,what do you want for the U.S. if I may ask?

An end to over one hundred years of imperialism, murder, and mayhem.

To stop supporting Israel and its sixty year racist war against the Palestinians.

To get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and Iraq today.

To apologize to the people of Iraq for destroying their country.

An end to racism here in the States.

An end to the torture of prisoners.

An end to homeland security and spying on U.S. citizens.


Prosecution of Bush and his entire administration as well as the Democrats for aiding and abetting the breaking of international law while pursuing an illegal war against a nation that had done nothing against us and the murder of over one million Iraqi people.

And to just grow the hell up.

If possible.

So what do you want Jenny?

Posted by Rob Payne at January 19, 2009 10:47 PM

To get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and Iraq today.

Sorry about the typo.

Posted by Rob Payne at January 19, 2009 10:50 PM

Rob:How is this to be acomplished? Do we even need a leader? Are you in favor for proletarian rule?

Posted by Jenny at January 20, 2009 02:13 PM

No Jenny, I’m not a communist or a Marxist though a dictatorship of the proletariat would only be a transitional state between a capitalist state and a communist state so your question doesn’t make much sense as in do I believe in a transitional state?

No, I don’t believe we need a leader nor do we need a government.

In fact Jenny, there have been cultures that had neither leaders nor governments and they managed to get along just fine. To imagine that the only possibility for human beings is to live in a state of leaders and followers is an incredibly narrow and cynical view.

As for the things I mentioned in answer to your first question and how it could be accomplished the answer is that as things stand today they simply cannot be accomplished, but then you already knew that or I would hope you did.

I noticed that you refused to answer my question – what do you want Jenny? You instead chose to answer with three more questions. So I repeat, what do you want Jenny?

Posted by Rob Payne at January 20, 2009 03:20 PM