Sunday, January 14, 2007


Reflections On Keith Olbermann And The President Who Cried Wolf

Recently Keith Olbermann of MSNBC’s "Countdown" in his monologue entitled “Bush's Legacy: The President Who Cried Wolf” (found here: weighed in on the course the Administration will follow in pursuit of its aims in the Middle East as laid down by President Bush in a nationally televised address to the country. While Mr. Olbermann’s indignation and incredulity over the path of escalation over diplomacy chosen by the Bush Admistration is certainly deserved, there are some real weaknesses inherent in his line of thinking. We can start with how he seperates the two party duopoly from the course the Admistration has followed since . . . well even before 9/11 and that he gives the mythical American people more credit than they're probably due.

The two party duopoly has supported all that this Administration has done from the start. They are not concerned about the lives of American soldiers, much less the lives of Iraqis. Put simply, both wings of the SINGLE party are committed to the maintainance and expansion of the American Empire. Their concerns are two fold. On one hand, they realize their "Project for a New American Century" has hit a major road block and, on the other hand, are deathly worried about the ramifications domestically and internationally of this massive failure of American Imperialism. As Black Commentator put it a while back; "the pirates are lost at sea and don't know how to find their way back."

I wonder if the war had been a "cake walk,” as originally claimed by the desktop warriors in Washington, The NY Times and The Washington Post, would the American People (meaning mostly white folks of course) have soured on the War? I would surmise, probably not. As Scott Ritter, of UN Weapons Inspector fame, put it: "the American people are not against war, they're against losing." A comment that succinctly captures the White Supremascist mindset not only of the American elite but also a major part of its White subjects who not having quite the same stakes at risk within the Empire will want to cut and run when things do not go smoothly. I think it is this glaring weakness that is at the heart of the tepid and frankly inane so called anti-war movement. A truly principled anti-war movement would be animated by a desire for restitution and justice FOR THE VICTIMS of this war. That the American military is hemorrhaging badly (not a bad thing in my estimation) would be a tertiary rationale not the core motivation. Regardless of failure or success, this war, like the war it is most frequently compared to: Vietnam, would not be any less a "Crime Against The Peace." It was began on the basis of lies and is simply about lucre and power. For this offence against humanity several Nazis were executed or imprisoned for life following their trials at Nuremburg. This is a truism that I think is frequently lost within the debate, centered as it is on American losses, amongst the so called Left in the US.

This brings me back to Mr. Olbermann. As indignant and on point as he sounds, the stance he takes in his commentary ultimately leads to a blind alley. He gives out free passes to some of the Republicans and essentially the entire Democratic Party who, by the way, could stop this war on a dime at this point by withholding funding or initiating impeachement proceedings. The problem is that the Republicans would blanch at such moves and, in any case, the mealy-mouthed Democrats have already made clear neither de-funding of the war nor impeachment is remotely on the table. They're just trying to cover their asses and tamp down dissent on their Left. In addition, Olbermann has nothing to say about the larger socio-economic system (YES, CAPITALISM!) that is at the heart of this resource war as well as many of the coming catastrophes of this 21st century. In the end, Olbermann's protestations, much like FDR's actions during the Great Depression of the thirties, seek more to contain the System's self-destructive tendencies and save it from itself than killing the disease that the System is upon humanity.

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