July 18, 2013,
Hunting down truth-tellers (“leakers”) who blow the lid off of secret government spying and basically having trashed the 4th Amendment, force-feeding Gitmo hunger-striking detainees who’ve been deemed to be no threat and have been cleared for release but who are not released and still linger there, with the only option they have, to control their own bodies and not eat so that the world can see what’s going on or at the least, that the president can see what’s going on and fix it. Obama’s done nothing to inspire any “hope” and he’s certainly not made any substantive “Change”. The status quo is alive and well in Washington, D.C.
I can see that Obama, for whom I voted – twice – has really let me down; not only me but the whole country. Now, since all the “hope” and “change” has turned to “‘Ho and Chump” as nothing has been done to benefit the majority of Amerikans, we’re still killing civilians, still operating the prison at the Guantanamo Naval Base and now we find out that Obama’s been letting the spooks off the leash – we’re all being spied upon, our emails gone through. Who cares if the “content” of our phone calls and emails, etc. aren’t being surveilled (in real time, anyway)? The government, now, has access to all of the content. All they need to do is get a warrant, show some friendly judge – using one that Obama appointed wouldn’t hurt – and say they have “probable cause” and with the splash of some ink, BAM, they can read transcripts or listen to tapes of all the phone calls they want. Don’t believe the government henchmen when they mutter platitudes like “the NSA takes every precaution to ensure citizens’ privacy…” – what incentive(s) do they have to do so? With the new bogey of “terrorism”, they can scare people into giving up their rights: “If you don’t let us read all your mail and listen to your calls and be able to come in your residences anytime we need to (and we’d only do that if there were a serious, imminent threat) than there’s going to be an attack here in the US that is much bigger than 9/11” – “9/11” – that’s the new buzzwords: Just say “9/11” and “terrorism” over and over and over again until you have the country hypnotized with fear and you can do what you want. I hope I’m dead by the time we get to where we’re headed: a full-fledged police-state, with no other (stated) concern except “national security” and of course “money”.
So – what is the answer? Just take a look around the world and see the examples set by Libya, Egypt (which was a great takeback of their country. but the people lost, though, when they mistakenly gave power to theocrats who only care about their religion and not getting the secular business of running a modern country and, of course, we’ve all seen what Islamic theocracies come to when left unchecked (Iran) – I say “Islamic” theocracies because I don’t know of any modern day theocracies of any other religious persuasions. Anyway, after giving Morsi & Co. a chance, the majority of Egyptians got sick of his inept rule and rallied and protested – again – because that’s what works! It took a few weeks, but eventually, the army, of all things, actually did what the people wanted, for once – it took control of the situation and booted Morsi out of office. All the pro-Islamic Brotherhood factions called it a “coup d’etat” and said that the army was taking the power away – again – from the people, nullifying a democratically elected president and blah, blah, blah. But, if you look at reality, the army, in the person of General Sisi, saw that this guy, Morsi, was betraying the trust the public put in him when it voted him in in the first place. Now, technically, one could say it was a military “coup”, since it was the army who took the initiative and ousted the corrupt, foolish Morsi and, as a temporary measure, installed – NOT another military ruler, but: the head of Egyptian’s Supreme Court Adel Mansour, as president pro tem, until as such time as a formal election can be set up. So, when this action was taken and Morsi was removed from power, the mass protests, much of them taking place in the famous Tahrir Square, the place where previous protests against the late Hosni Mubarak went on, ended. The only whining and bitching came from the supporters of the Islamic Brotherhood and Morsi; they were the ones crying foul, calling it a “coup” and all that. The majority of Egyptians, who were extremely disappointed at the president who was elected, did not continue to protest after General Sisi took action. In fact, they were happy to have the army on the people’s side, finally. In the end, the lesson is that, yes, you must do what you can, the “right” way and vote, etc. – to try and get things done in a civilized manner. But when your voting leads to ushering in someone who turns out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and there seems to be justifiable reasons to want him out, you do what you can to stop the madness – all the usual democratic means, being exhausted, not listened to, ignored, you take to mounting general strikes – work stoppages, demonstrations, appeals to those in power to listen to the people and do their will and when those pleas go unacknowledged then what left is there to do? Assassination? That probably wouldn’t do, something that drastic would bring down some harsh reprisals – most likely, the military would come in and take over, full force, with the justification that things are dangerously out of order. So, that is not the way to go, You go back to what works: mass, angry protests. Fiery rhetoric and constant pressure. Never let up, never give up. And that is what the people of Egypt did when they saw their country being wrecked by Morsi, the theocrat, who, yes, was voted in, but a lot of dictators get into power via the ballot box. They’re like foreigners who come into a country “legally”, meaning they have a passport and the proper visa when they arrive, but when said visa and/or passport expires, they continue to stay in the country, “illegally”, after having been there awhile, they’ve gotten a job, made many friends and have blended in perfectly with the scene. This is a perfect metaphor for the ruler of a country who tries to justify his power by pointing to the fact that he won it by a “free and fair” election. Yeah – one election. After that he cancels all future elections, usually dissolves whatever parliament exists and consolidates his power among a clique of loyalists and cronies.
Obama has turned out to be a pale ghost of what we were promised in 2008 and again, in 2012 – after he won re-election in 2012, things are actually worse, because now Obama doesn’t have to pander to the right anymore. He can come out of his liberal shell and start getting things done for the country, especially with his allies in the Democratic-controlled senate. But none of that has happened. If Obama were really true to all the rhetoric he blew at us, this would be a different, better administration than the first one because he doesn’t ever have to worry about getting elected again. So why are there still people who think things are going to change? It’s been seven months now, since he was inaugurated for the second time. He’s not the person for whom I voted. I would never have voted for someone who hunts down “leakers” – people who have found repugnant, the secret policies of the administration – the rotten conditions of our prisons abroad, the force-feeding of detainees at Guantanamo who are on a hunger strike to protest the fact that over 80 detainees still trapped down there have been deemed to be no threat to the US and deserve to be released; but they’re still there, just lingering away, with no power to do anything about it. The only control they have is over their own bodies – or so they thought. These hunger strikes were supposed to be protests to open up eyes around the world to the abominable conditions they are in – they’re not even supposed to be there: they’re cases have all been deemed to be of no consequence to the US and they ought to be released. That is what the government itself said. But they’re still there. So what do the sadistic bastards at Gitmo do to these people, who are trying to get the world to hear their stories? They shut them up and stick needles in their arm to force feed them. That is a terrible tragedy. Ironic, though it may be – it is the prisoners’ choice to go on a hunger strike and if they wish to fast out of protest, the government has no right to force them to do otherwise. I say that is ironic because if it were opposite -if the prisoners were not being fed by the prison personnel, there would be a huge uproar. Still, the government knows that this is wrong, to force feed people on a hunger strike.
The one really good thing about electing Obama two times to office is that the Republicans were twice denied the White House. That is almost worth it. Especially Mitt Romney – I wouldn’t want to live in a country with Mitt Romney as president! -KM