A month after George W. Bush was awarded with a Liberty Medal for his “commitment to veterans”, Barack Obama was honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights group for “giving Americans hope”. It take a heavy serving of chutzpah and an extra heaping of gall to praise either men, Bush’s only commitment to veterans was sentencing them to a life of PTSD vis-a-vis wars based on lies and Obama’s only contribution to optimism were the false hopes he peddled on his way to the White House.
There is only one unforgivable sin in politics and that is the mistake of telling the truth. All other transgressions are always swept under the rug for politicians who toe the establishment line. Such is the case with Obama who rose to power by pretending to present an alternative vision to the paradigm of unjustified wars, government intrusion and corporate friendly policies that typified Bush’s tenure. The words Obama read on Teleprompters never matched his deeds, he spent eight years continuing Bush’s legacy of bloodshed, imperialism and unabashed globalism.
The mendacity of Bush is well-documented even as Trump mania has induced amnesia among legions of Dubya’s former detractors to view him as a lovable bumbler. However, as egregious as Bush’s legacy was, in a lot of ways it was Obama who doubled down and cemented the era of too big to fail, perpetual bailouts for banksters, eviscerated due process and justified the targeting of civilians by unleashing drones throughout the Middle East and Africa.
Not only did Obama push a drone first and ask questions later posture, he actually bragged about it. According to Mark Halperin’s book “Double Down”, Obama told his aides that “he’s really good at killing people” while discussing drone strikes. At another moment that revealed Obama’s heart, he joked at the White House Correspondents Dinner about droning the Jonah brothers. Behind Obama’s million dollar smile and well-choreographed public appearances is a ruthless demeanor; one that allowed him to throw his grandmother and his church under the bus in order to protect his path to the presidency.
What has been lost among the incessant focus on Trump and the public’s derangement over the infant in the White House is a true accounting of previous administrations actions and how the tenets of endless wars and unchecked globalism have remained unchanged. This is the smoke and mirrors of our politics, though the personalities who sit in the Oval Office alternate, policies are fixed in place. The one thing that Trump has succeeded in is ripping off the mask of our politics and showing the world the true face of our governance.
A tragic farce, that is the only way I can describe the way some are pretending to be concerned about Yemen all the sudden after they spent years looking the other way while Obama was giving a green light to Saudi Arabia. The hypocrisy of Democrats on this front matches the fraudulence of Donald Trump, but even this symbolic gesture of reigning in the unlimited powers of the presidency to wreak havoc around the world will soon fade away, after all, there is nothing as bipartisan in Washington DC as the war profiteering and heeding the wishes of the plutocratic class.
As much as the establishment tries to pin the ills of the world on Trump and spins exotic narratives of Russian interference, the truth is that Trump would not be president today if Obama did not expend his political capital catering to Wall Street while he cratered Main Street with his trickle up economic schemes. We also have Hillary Clinton and her toadies in corporate media to thank for their pied piper strategy. The pervasive sense of hopelessness that wafts in the air today is a byproduct of Obama’s audacity and the duplicity of opinion leaders across the political spectrum #JobWellDrone. Click To Tweet
It is fitting actually that Obama was presented the Ripple of Hope by the RFK Human Rights group, after all this is the same man who was given the Nobel Peace Prize only to go on and unleash 20,000 bombs around the world. The difference between a devil and a saint is the difference the vanquished and the vanquisher, history truly is written by the winners with the blood of the defeated.
Optics and rhetoric can turn deceive us into believing anything—hope is a most potent narcotic::
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.