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The Hindu's surprising criticism of Obama
pramod kde
pramodbiligiri
I am surprised to see so much criticism of Obama in The Hindu's Op-Ed page of late. There were a couple of articles last week (sorry, no link), and today a great one by someone called Aijaz Ahmad. And he didn't even have to touch on economics.

"One of the most alarming aspects of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy plank is his unwavering commitment to escalating the war in Afghanistan and his repeated declarations that he reserves the unilateral right to widen U.S. bombing campaigns in northwestern Pakistan, with or without the consent of the Pakistanis"

"his pursuit of support from Israel and the Israeli lobby in the U.S. has been relentless. Uri Avnery, the veteran Israeli writer and peace activist, described Mr. Obama’s appearance at the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the chief organisation of the Israeli lobby, as one that “broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning.” His refusal to allow Jimmy Carter, a former President, to speak from the platform of the Democratic Party Convention for fear of a backlash from the Israeli lobby,..."

"Huge sums came from Washington lobbyists and lawyers, the communication industry and the electronics industry, healthcare-related private interests, nuclear and pharmaceutical industries, and so on." (I will give him the benefit of doubt on this. He's inspired lots of individual donors too)

"Since becoming a U.S. Senator in 2005, however, he has voted in favour of every war appropriation bill that the Bush administration brought forth."

"He was the Editor of the Harvard Law Review, taught law at Chicago University, and was a civil rights lawyer before coming into politics. However, as a Senator he had no difficulty in voting for the Patriot Act 2, possibly the most sweeping attack on civil liberties in recent U.S. history."

"he voted in favour of the recent bailout plan which gifts hundreds of billions of dollars to the very financial institutions which caused the recent meltdown. And now as President-elect he has urged the Bush administration to bail out General Motors as well."

He brings up a book written by Obama's strangely militaristic Chief of Staff: "The authors write there: “We need to fortify the military’s ‘thin green line’ around the world by adding to the U.S. Special Forces and Marines, and by expanding the U.S. Army... we must protect our homeland by creating a new domestic counterterrorism force like Britain’s M15.” Mr. Obama has adopted the plan for just such an expansion"

Finally,

"What is clear, though, is that the kind of military policies Mr. Obama is advocating are incompatible with the kind of investments he proposes to re-build America’s failing physical and social infrastructure. Something will have to give."

In Ron Paul's words, "All empires fail because of economic reasons"

might sound like a fanboy

halfbrain

2008-11-19 05:08 am (UTC)

I don't think Obama will escalate the war in Afghanistan as is feared. I see all his statements as pre-election rhetoric. He's been saying for quite some time that the war there is more important, while at the same time stressing on the diplomatic aspect of it.

As for Israel, I saw his speech at the Israel PAC and was alarmed. Very hawkish, and almost as if the whole problem was caused by the Palestinians. Am suspicious about his views on Israel, but am also open to the view that it was more political double-speak. Seeing all the election stats, it definitely seems to have worked!

about the war bills - whether he was american enough was doubted after 2 yrs of the election cycle. imagine if he had said he didnt support further spending for the troops.

he's making noises about an automakers bailout too now. the perils of populism :D

didn't know about his support for the patriot act. in the interviews i've seen of him, he has spoken about civil liberties, but no one has grilled him to lay all cards on the table.

atleast the US media is impartial - it treated mccain with great respect as war hero, and treats obama with great respect as the messaih :D

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/11/18/bipartisanship/

check the updates at the end too. very disappointing.

the more things change, the more they remain the same!

Obama said he'll close Guantanamo and stop torture. That was one good commitment to civil liberties.

About his populism, yeah. That's why I wrote he will say anything to get elected.

I was very disappointed regarding his stance on bailing out the auto industry. If he sticks to his word on the other dangerous things he's said he'll do..then US won't get much better.

Thanks for the Glenn Greenwald link. He's brilliant as usual. People are fooling themselves if they believe there's any partisanship in US politics.

I am worried India is going the same way - people who are fed up with Congress think the BJP is an alternative. Heh.

Re: speaking of change

halfbrain

2008-11-20 12:41 pm (UTC)

i did that many many years back. then realised the BJP was as nasty as the congress.

i now worry that we are going to get 5 more years of no progress next year.

about the auto bailout - i don't like the idea myself. everyone & their uncle was telling the idiots to bring about changes for many years, but nothing was done. the downside is if the 3 close, millions will loose their jobs. the dems will cease to exist if they let that happen.

as a chinaman would say, we live in interesting times :D

"interesting times" - totally agree :)

Re: might sound like a fanboy

(Anonymous)

2008-11-19 07:38 am (UTC)

The Afghan war esclation is not a rhetoric -it is his primary goal. He wants to pull out of Iraq(good) but wants to move as many soldiers as possible to Afghanistan (not good).He said this as recently as last week.So it isnt just pre poll rhetoric.

Like they say,there isnt any different: McSame, McBama -just another statist -with darker skin.

(Deleted comment)

Re: might sound like a fanboy

halfbrain

2008-11-20 12:42 pm (UTC)

i compared their treatment of john mccain as a 'war hero' who would do anything for the military.

rolling stone was the only dissenting voice i read.

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