Guest Post: Obama’s Speech.

Susan here. This is a quote from Obama’s speech:

“To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain, and going still on a cold hospital floor. For sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough.”

My response is this:

Fuck you, Obama. Fuck you for trying to come to us on the Left when you need us, and then shitting on us when you don’t. You do NOT have my permission to bomb Syria, and you will NEVER get it. You will NOT get my permission to bomb Syria based upon a YouTube video that conveniently surfaced just as the UN weapons inspectors were checking into their Damascus hotel. There are hundreds of videos of the so-called Syrian opposition al-Qaeda “rebels” committing atrocities like beheading Christians, practicing cannibalism, and sawing a little girl’s arms and legs off while she is still alive. And yet, we are supposed to ignore these atrocities and focus on the one (conveniently-timed) atrocity that Assad would never actually be stupid enough to commit.

I am tired of your patronization. I am tired of your lies. I am tired of looking at your face. I am tired of hearing your voice. And I’m tired of you trying to soften up Syria for the kill, and slouching us inch by inch into World War III. Because unlike Libya in 2011 and Iraq in 2003, Syria has allies, allies who are likely to retaliate. If Iran retaliates, the price of oil will go sky high, and we will freeze in winter-time, and the price of just about every product will go up due to the higher cost of shipping. Because 50% of the world’s oil comes from the Persian Gulf. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, Mr. Obama. That’s what you pay that useless Cabinet of yours to do.

But since you did address Leftists such as myself in your speech, I will tell you this: The US used chemical weapons in Vietnam (Agent Orange), and used them again in Iraq and Afghanistan (White Phosphorus, Depleted Uranium). So we are in NO position to lecture others on the use of chemicals as weapons. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.


  • Don’t forget the same US government, although under a different Dear Leader, use tear gas and caused a fire on the Waco siege that left dozens of “its own citizens” dead, including children (did you think I was going to forget the children?). These folks have no shame.

    • Indeed, the atrocity at Waco, Texas should never be forgotten. Nor, even though it happened to a right-wing extremist, Ruby Ridge. But the one I find most interesting, perhaps because it is referenced so infrequently, even by what passes for the left, was the bombing of the MOVE house in Philadelphia. Literally dropping a bomb on a civilian target in the middle of a large city, and yet nobody ever thinks about it. Of course most of the victims were black, so there is that.

  • And his mannerisms! I HATE those. So tired of watching him “ahhh…” to think or for emphasis or whyever he makes all those DRAMATIC pauses. Ooo he’s so purposeful with his words! Or how about that serious face he is always making as if we are all just bratty children he has to put up with. “Oh, I’m working so hard for these kids, and I just can’t make them GET it! Why don’t they just accept that I know everything and just AGREE with me already?!” Patronizing, yes. I don’t think you’re dignified or impressive or intelligent or principled or whatever else you try to act like. Yes, now he is trying to guilt us into support. Maybe we would listen to you if you ever listened to the Left, but you’re a monster yourself. How about YOU stop killing?

  • The only writhing in death throes on the cold hospital floor is being done by our alleged “ideals and principles.”

  • aaronwilliams135
    September 11, 2013 7:08 AM

    Granted, Obama sucks, the US sucks, I suck (real bad), and Syria is a mess.

    You acknowledge that there are “al-Qaeda ‘rebels’ committing atrocities” over there.

    What is the plan on that? (setting aside for the moment 9/11 and other terror attacks here and in Europe) Will they be content to stay on their side of the pond?

    • Anything can and likely will happen, but I don’t think that worrying about the possibility of Syrian rebels coming over here to attack the United States should be a great concern at this point. This is one of those cans that every society really should kick down the road as far as possible.

      At this point, the real calculus for sane policymakers should be, what is in it for us? And really, the answer is, nothing much. If there is to be an oil pipelines across Syria in the near future, the odds are that whatever regime is in charge of the country will have some interest in selling that oil to us. So really, we should just stay out of this.

  • aaronwilliams135
    September 11, 2013 7:29 AM

    Ted, you beat me to it. I was just coming back to clarify that I was not trying to argue for anything in particular in Syria. I’m trying to get to the broader issue of Islamic fundamentalism.

    At what point do we do something about that? If we kick the can down the road, won’t it just become a bigger and bigger problem?

    • Aaron,
      I don’t know. And anyone who says that they know is lying. What I do know is that, so far, the rise of radical Islam has been greatly accelerated by American foreign policy, in all the ways that have been discussed at length here in the past: propping up authoritarian regimes, marginalizing socialists and other progressive factions in the Middle East, overthrowing democratically elected government, overthrowing authoritarian socialist regimes such as that of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, etc.

  • Yes, I forgot to mention Waco, which would have presented a fine example of domestic state-terrorism. As well as the MOVE people. As well as Randy Weaver. But, that’s how you get tyranny going, by practicing it first on two religious fringe groups and on one white-separatist family. People tend to look the other way when it’s done to “undesirables”, but then object when tyranny finally reaches them.

    Incidentally, the MOVE bombing happened under Reagan, Ruby Ridge under Bush the Father, and Waco under Clinton. State-terrorism is non-partisan.

  • @Aaron

    Al-Qaeda is in Syria, and that is the big 800-pound gorilla in the room that Obama expects everyone to ignore. But unfortunately for him, even Joe Sixpack can see this gorilla, and is not ignoring it.

  • Susan wrote a post I agree with 100%. The apocalypse must be near …

  • And, there is another atrocity going on in Syria. Those who speak the endangered language of Aramaic are being terrorized by those so-called rebels. But let’s just ignore that, right Obama?

  • aaronwilliams135
    September 11, 2013 1:03 PM

    Ted. Good points. And thanks for being brave and honest enough to say, “I don’t know”.

    I don’t know either. I tend to favor a more pro-active, pre-emptive approach, but who knows. As you say, these actions often make things worse.

    In the long run though, maybe it has to get worse before it gets better. Maybe we will ultimately have to fight it out. And the longer we wait, the more powerful they become, etc. Even if the US withdrew and stood down across the region, I don’t think that those guys (radical islamists) are going to suddenly “get religion”, so to speak, and decide to become peaceniks.

  • I think someone has to piece together the YouTube videos of the children suffering from the gas attack in Syria with the Vietnam clip of the little girl running down a dirt road with half her skin burned off by Napalm. It needs to be posted on YouTube and go viral – the American people have to have their reality bubble burst.

  • Aaron,

    There will probably always be violent religious fanatics. They’re not something that can be eradicated, and that’s OK because they’re not the real problem, which is their ability to recruit “normal” people into their ranks. With more benevolent, even-handed policies towards the countries in question, fanatics lose a lot of rhetorical ammunition. It is much simpler and more effective to withdraw our troops and seal our borders than to continue meddling. It is still possible to pay attention to what happens there and give actual humanitarian aid, so it wouldn’t count as “ignoring” them just because we decided to push intervention to an actual last resort. You sound like a neocon honestly. “We gotta fight ’em over there so we don’t have to fight ’em here!” I really don’t see in this century the kind of war of the worlds, clash of civilizations, epic crusade apocalyptic showdown you seem to insinuate.

  • aaronwilliams135
    September 12, 2013 8:09 AM


    For me, I guess, there is just something about Religious fanatics…. Mistreatment of women, gays, and non-believers? People who riot over cartoons? The guys who killed Theo van Gogh; Daniel Pearl; and the other video-beheading victims? The guys who hacked apart that British soldier a while back, and on and on. I don’t know. It bugs me mucho. “Get off my lawn!”, I says, “You daggum religious fanatics!” Oh well.

    That said though, you make a persuasive argument. I am going to take it for a test drive and see how it feels.

  • Aaron,

    I appreciate your response. Believe me; I have always held that ANY fanaticism is inherently dangerous. I’m militantly atheist. However, in the past several years, I’ve shifted my focus and ire to those who fancy themselves “Masters of the Universe” because they’re so much more powerful and even more damaging. In this country, religion is used as a wedge issue, a distraction from important politics. Fundamentalists don’t realize they are tools of the elite for the old divide and conquer…

  • aaronwilliams135
    September 11, 2013 at 7:29 AM
    At what point do we do something about [Islamic fundamentalism]?”

    We start now — by not helping it.

    Rall is right to say that it isn’t clear how to directly destroy fundamentalism — and that goes for fundamentalism in any religion and even any elitist rightwing movement — but it’s obvious what must be done in general: the interests of a narrow elite cannot be given any place in foreign policy. Repressive regimes breed from aristocratic impulses.

    I strongly suspect that in the absence of imperialism, fundies die hard. Fundies thrive in authoritarian regimes.

    Mainstream punditry’s everlasting frauds indicate that “meddling” can lead to “blowback.” Not so much: when your purpose is to screw over a bunch of innocent people in a country and the result of your involvement creates thugs that duly screw those people over, you can’t say that the mission failed. People pretend or assume that fundies are a phenomenon onto themselves. Not so.

    Remember: (externally-imposed) imperialism is why China is a totalitarian state right now. If Mao’s ideology had been religious instead of secular, would it make a goddamn difference? No. Fundamentalism is religious, but it has no real faith behind it. It isn’t a code of honor. Like any rightwing movement, it slaps an ideology (or religion — the difference is negligible) on a set of selfish motivations and goes to town. People, including academics, get caught up on bullshit like the doctrines the fundies or political movements extol — but since they never follow those doctrines, who gives a fuck? Rightwingers like to harp on the “socialist” part of National Socialist, but everyone who’s not down with the trolling knows that that part of the name was simply a lie, because Nazis are fucking liars. If you roll up in a foreign country with anti-populist policies and gain an ally in an anti-populist movement and prop that movement up, how the hell are you going to be shocked when that movement continues to be anti-populist when you leave? And who gives a fuck whether that movement considers itself secular or sacred?

    So there’s no point in musing “how do we stop fundamentalism?” if you aren’t willing to slap down an aristocratic foreign policy first. I really, really hate to admit it, but humans are absolute shit when it comes to mobilizing against narrow elites, and the best leaders we have produced, with rare exceptions, fail to recognize this targeting as their central cause. Hugo Chavez caught on to this point and it literally saved his life: without poor people marching on his behalf, that coup would have murdered him.

    So, interestingly enough, there’s not much point in engaging with the Obama vs. Repug narrative. No matter who wins, the outcome will be the same. They both really fucking hate you. They, like most aristocrats, hate you in a deep and abiding way. They are rivals with each other. You are the enemy — just like the people of Syria are the enemy. They will quarrel with their rivals, but they will act against their enemies, period.

    If every exterminator in town kills roaches by leaving them perfectly wholesome cupcakes all over your house, you don’t debate which exterminators leave the most effective cupcakes. You stop calling those insane motherfuckers. Now, does this tell you how to kill roaches? Nope. But at least now you have a freakn’ shot at the endeavor.

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