Tag Archives: “we do big things”

The (Jessica) Lynching of Osama bin Laden

Wow. You expected this kind of shit from the unelected Bush regime, with its lies about and cover-ups regarding the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman sagas, but you (or at least I) expected more from the Obama administration.

Until now I have held off on repeating any of the details that have been released regarding Osama bin Laden’s actual moment of death because I was skeptical of them – and for good cause, because now, they are reporting, apparently bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot dead in the head and did not use one of his wives as a “human shield.”

The “human shield” charge especially was repeated all over the corporately owned and controlled mass media, because it fit in nicely with the pre-existing jingoistic narrative of bin Laden as actually being a “coward” instead of a bad-ass — a charge that is probably more false than true and that says a lot more about Americans’ actual collective level of courage than it does about bin Laden’s. (Americans, after all, kill with high-tech weaponry and they usually kill from a distance. [Which makes American killing “civilized,” you see, while the less technologically advantaged “terrorists” often if not usually kill others more closely and personally, which makes them “terrorists,” as does the fact that they’re not Americans.])

Anyway, so now the latest word is that bin Laden was unarmed and that the woman who was shot dead along with him was not his wife, but was another woman, and that his wife was injured in the firefight, but was not used by bin Laden as a “human shield.”  

These are just basic facts of what the fuck happened. You would think that the “transparent” Obama administration would have done a much better job of getting out accurate information about such a momentous news event.

And the fact (well, the fact du jour, anyway…) that bin Laden was unarmed raises the legal, moral and ethical question of whether or not he should have been captured and brought to trial instead of executed on the spot. Does a “civilized” nation of “laws” and “order” and “human rights” execute someone who is unarmed, even someone like Osama bin Laden, on the spot?

I recognize the huge problems, including, of course, security issues, that putting bin Laden on trial would have presented. But do we have principles or not? Do we mean what we say in our Constitution about human rights — including the right to a fair trial and the right not to be summarily executed, no matter what it is believed that you have done – or don’t we?

All of this — the initial misinformation about bin Laden’s summary execution, the apparent fact that bin Laden could have been taken alive — makes Barack Obama way too much like George W. (“W” for “Wanted Dead or Alive”) Bush for my sense of right and wrong, and I have to wonder how much of bin Laden’s execution was calculated to benefit Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

I mean, fuck: In January, Team Obama did indeed roll out, as part of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, the lame meme of “We do big things” in the State of the Union Address. Yesterday, Obama said of bin Laden’s execution, “Today we are reminded that as a nation there is nothing we can’t do.”

I mean, that looks like a link to me. It’s fairly apparent that Team Obama sat around and pondered: Hmmm… How can we fit Osama bin Laden’s death into our re-election campaign narrative?

Even in this great age of cynicism, that’s some sick shit, in my book.

Again, I’m not crying that Osama bin Laden is dead, but we cannot claim to be a “civilized” nation that respects human rights and laws and at the same time do shit like summarily execute the “bad guys.” (As far as body counts of innocents go, we Americans actually are the biggest global bad guys, but because we’re Americans, we’re fucking saints.)  

And to watch Barack Obama act as though he went over to Pakistan and got bin Laden himself – when that long, hard work was done by other people, including some who apparently put themselves at the potential risk of great injury or death – is nauseating, especially when Obama apparently plans to use bin Laden’s scalp for political gain.

But that is the history of the slimy political opportunist Obama: taking credit for others’ work, such as how he only rode, all the way to the White House, the wave that Howard Dean had created with the left-leaning “netroots.”

Now, it appears, it is the execution of Osama bin Laden that is going to keep Obama in the Oval Office for another four years.

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This is our BIG T-shirt moment!

T-shirt

The new Team Obama T-shirt is yours for a donation of $25 or more!

Confession: I purchased and I wore a white-lettered-on-black “got hope?” T-shirt before Barack Obama was elected in November 2008. In public. Repeatedly.

That was back when I had hope.

Now, Team Obama, I see from a shameless fundraising e-mail that I received today, is asking us to wear a T-shirt (pictured above) that reads: “WE DO BIG THINGS.” With the “BIG” really BIG.

“We do big things” comes right from Obama’s recent State of the Union address, of course. He ended his address thusly:

…We do big things.

From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future.

We are a nation that says, “I might not have a lot of money, but I have this great idea for a new company. I might not come from a family of college graduates, but I will be the first to get my degree. I might not know those people in trouble, but I think I can help them, and I need to try. I’m not sure how we’ll reach that better place beyond the horizon, but I know we’ll get there. I know we will.”

We do big things.

The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.

Thank you, God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.

Sadly, the State of the Union address apparently now is just a vehicle with which to roll out new empty slogans to slap on T-shirts and other campaign gear.

As I recently noted, “hope” and “change” — or, as Repugnican Tea Party queen Sarah Palin once put it, “that hopey-changey stuff” — doesn’t cut it anymore, so now we have “winning the future” and “we do big things.” (Palin once again has mocked the shameless sloganeering, pointing out that “winning the future” would be “WTF.”

What we have with Team Obama, unfortunately, is marketing slogans, not presidential leadership. (And when Sarah “Inflammatory Political Rhetoric Endangers No One But Your Inflammatory Political Rhetoric Endangers Me” Palin is making valid criticisms of you, you’re in trouble.) 

Worst of all where Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address is concerned, the state of our union is not strong, and Obama has neither the stomach nor the balls to seriously confront what I see as the nation’s three main problems (not in a particular order):

  • Corporateers whose tentacles now reach into every imaginable aspect of our lives and who won’t stop until they privatize absofuckinglutely everything — and who would charge us for the very air that we breathe if they could.
  • War profiteers and others within the military-industrial complex who keep us at perpetual war for perpetual war profiteering. (The members of the Repugnican Tea Party were fine with the BushCheneyCorp’s runaway government spending because it benefited the war profiteers, but any government spending on the people — having the audacity to use the people’s money to benefit them — the ringleaders of the Repugnican Tea Party cannot abide.)
  • Millions of baby boomers who are poised to wipe out Social Security and Medicare and other resources, leaving nothing for those who follow them.

These are powerful, intertwined lobbies, and without standing up to these lobbies, there is no solving the nation’s real problems — such as the federal budget deficit, which is caused by runaway spending by the military-industrial complex (with all of its corporate contractor cronies) and by treasonous tax evasion by the corporateers and the super-rich, and climate change, which many if not most of the boomers don’t care about because they figure that the worst of it will come after their lifetimes, and about which the polluting corporations don’t give a shit, because they put their profits far above both people and the very planet itself. 

But standing up to these lobbies Team Obama refuses to do. Team Obama would never offend the boomers or the corporateers and the war profiteers who are destroying the nation, as Team Obama wants their campaign contribution$ and their votes.

Instead, the members of Team Obama wax nostalgic about about “Sputnik moments” and “winning the future” — even while their staunch refusal to confront our real problems dooms our future.

We can’t “do BIG things” when we can’t even do the comparatively little things, such as provide our citizens with meaningful, well-compensated work (no, long stints as cannon fodder in the Middle East don’t count), decent health care that doesn’t put them into bankruptcy, and an affordable, quality college education free of the corporate student loan sharks and the textbook industry butt-rapists that surround our young people, viewing them only as victims to bleed dry. 

It’s enough to make one proclaim: WTF?

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