May 19, 2007

The Compleat Phony, Warmongering Cad

I suppose I must swallow my gorge, and give credit where it's due. Barack Obama may well be the most entirely nauseating politician to come along in a quite a while. Consider:

500 points for cheap, reprehensible gay-baiting -- if it's terrible when Ann Coulter does it (and it is), it's just as terrible when Obama does it.

1,000 points for regurgitating all the myths of "American exceptionalism" without omitting even a single element -- and without including one original thought. It's a measure of Obama's marketing skills, or of the intellectual wasteland that is our political culture today, or both, that a large number of people believe Obama has "new" ideas, when every vapid phrase he employs dates back almost a century.

An as yet undetermined number of points for warmongering in that special way beloved by Democrats -- you know: Hey, this war in Iraq stinks because it's so incompetently managed. Not that we have anything against wars of conquest in principle, which we assure you we don't. Still, we don't want another war, and we don't want to be forced to attack Iran, for Pete's sake! But if we do have to, Iran will have made us! And we remember how fabulously successful sanctions always are, so that's why I'm proposing this:
Neo-conservatives, some of whom have claimed to see hopeful glimmers in Sen. Barack Obama's foreign-policy positions of the kind of interventionism that gets them excited, should be further heartened by the presidential hopeful's sponsorship of a new bill that, if passed, is certain to increase tensions not only with Iran, but with Washington's European allies as well.

The bill, the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007, would require the federal government to publish a list of U.S. overseas subsidiaries and foreign companies that have invested more than $20 million dollars in Iran's energy sector. It would also authorize state and local governments to divest the assets of their pension and other funds from any company on that list and protect fund managers who divest from listed companies from lawsuits by investors unhappy with the results.

"The Iranian governments uses the billions of dollars it earns from its oil and gas industry to build its nuclear program and to fund terrorist groups that export its militaristic and radical ideology to Iraq and throughout the Middle East," Obama said in a statement released by his office this week. "Pressuring companies to cut their financial ties with Iran is critical to ensuring that sanctions have their intended result."

The bill, which was also introduced in the House of Representatives by Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Lantos and Financial Services chairman Barney Frank, is part of a much broader national divestment campaign spearheaded by some of the most hawkish neo-conservative groups, notably Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy (CSP); the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, as well as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). I wrote about the neo-con role in driving the divestment campaign last week.


Acutely aware of public disenchantment with Iraq and opposition to an attack on Iran and convinced that the UN Security Council will never be willing to impose serious sanctions of its own, neo-conservatives, in apparent co-ordination with the right-wing "Israel Lobby," have been trying for much of the past year to rally support for tougher unilateral economic sanctions, including divestment, against Iran. Determined to sabotage any move by ascendant "realists" in the Bush administration to seriously engage Tehran, they have depicted the unilateral sanctions as the logical middle ground between engagement and military action.


Of course, in the context of domestic politics, Democratic presidential hopefuls like Obama are eager to show that, even as they join the growing clamor for an early withdrawal from Iraq and oppose war against Iran (while insisting, along with the administration, that all options should remain on the table), they remain "tough on Iran" – even if that could well make war before the end of Bush's term more likely, rather than less.
I think I'll award Obama 5,000 extra-special bonus points -- for his advocacy of policies that have completely failed in the very recent past, his embrace of the lethally mistaken ideas that have led to almost a century of destruction and death across the globe, and his total refusal to question even one premise of "conventional wisdom."

Quite a piece of work, that Mr. Obama. Why, he's perfectly awful. Just as with movie reviews, his campaign strategists can omit the rest of that last sentence, and simply pluck out:



I always try to be helpful.