Of Arms and the Man: War-Profiteers and Progressives Make Common Cause for Obama
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Written by Chris Floyd   
Saturday, 12 March 2011 23:49

Do you want to know why Barack Obama will be re-elected President of the United States?

It is not because he has signaled his willingness to eviscerate the last remaining shreds of the sparse "safety net" of social programs set in train by the New Deal.

It is not because he has shown which side he is on in the elite's war against workers who serve the public by freezing federal salaries.

It is not because he has appointed Wall Street insiders to guide not only his economic policies but the daily operations of the entire executive branch.

It is not because he has ordered the murder of hundreds of defenseless Pakistani civilians through sneak attacks by drone missiles on their homes.

It is not because he actually stands up in public and defends the torture of an American soldier incarcerated for releasing a few shards of truth about the war crimes committed by a previous administration.

Of course, all these desperate attempts to kowtow, bow, cringe and scurry before the vicious, ruthless, bloodsoaked, bloodthirsty elites of this howlingly dysfunctional society will indeed stand Barack Obama in good stead as he seeks another term as a "safe pair of hands" for the American Imperium. But the real clincher for our militarist Dominationists will be this (from Fortune):

Thanks to a surge in overseas demand, the F-15 and other aging U.S. weapons systems are hotter than they've been in years. The Department of Defense last year told Congress of plans to sell up to $103 billion in weapons to overseas buyers, a staggering rise from an average of $13 billion a year between 1995 and 2005 ...

As defense giants like Boeing, Raytheon  and Lockheed Martin increasingly seek to peddle their wares to well-financed (sometimes by the U.S.) international customers, they have a surprising ally: the President. "Obama is much more favorably disposed to arms exports than any of the previous Democratic administrations," says Loren Thompson, a veteran defense consultant. Or, as Jeff Abramson, deputy director of the Arms Control Association, puts it: "There's an Obama arms bazaar going on."

...the Obama team has hustled to pave the way for big sales like the Saudi deal; the President himself recently sought to secure a pending $4 billion aircraft deal with India. Obama is also backing a massive push to rewrite the rules that govern arms exports, a process that some say will reduce oversight of U.S. weapons sales.

Obama in his first term is peddling almost 10 times as many weapons of death, destruction, repression and suffering than George W. Bush in his second term at the helm of the world-engulfing American War Machine. This is the reason why our Masters of War gave more money to Obama than to John McCain in 2008. The historic agent of hope and change had obviously clued them in on how well he would serve their sinister interests.

And the bulk of the Obama arms bazaar is going to one of the most repressive, hidebound, extremist regimes on earth: Saudi Arabia. The Saudi royals make the odious Moammar Gaddafy look like Thomas Jefferson in comparison. Yet Obama has gifted them with one of the biggest arms deals in human history. What will the Saudis do with these weapons? They will, like Gaddafy, turn them against their own people should they dare rise up against the ethnic, religious, economic, gender and political repression that stifles them.

What can you say about this sort of thing? It is sickening beyond words. It is a total -- even gleeful -- abdication to the very worst instincts of our common human kind: grasping greed, domination, brutality, corruption, and a pervasive, corrosive nihilism drained of compassion, of empathy, of all but the most base, most bestial impulses.

Yet even now, the "progressive blogosphere" is ablaze with partisan fervor bent toward a single goal: the re-election of Barack Obama in 2012. Because if Obama is not re-elected, we might get a president who ... kowtows to Wall Street, tortures Americans, kills innocent people -- that is, who actually, literally, physically has children torn into splatters and shreds of viscera and bone -- and sells arms to tyrants. And if we don't support this, if we don't "stop bitching and get to work" making sure that this continues, then we could end up with a Republican president who kowtows to Wall Street, tortures Americans, shreds innocent children into viscera and sells arms to tyrants. And that would be just terrible.

(I must confess here a lamentable failure of imagination. I simply cannot get my mind around the concept of progressive lovers of humanity who support the shredding of innocent children into splatters of viscera and bone. I simply cannot fathom progressive defenders of freedom and human rights who pledge themselves to arms peddlers dealing weapons to brutal regimes that have a proven record of using them against the legitimate demands and aspirations of their people. No doubt I lack some genetic component or neuronal constellation that would make all of this clear to me. But, stunted as I am, it looks like the most blinkered, willfully ignorant, Tea Partyish partisan extremism to me.)

In any case, it is good to see the bipartisanship that has long been the Holy Grail of the Potomac political class now taking shape at last. With both progressives and war-profiteering plutocrats making common cause on his behalf, the re-election of Barack Obama looks more certain all the time.

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