"Which is worse? The wolf who cries before eating the lamb or the wolf who does not."— Leo Tolstoy

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Audacity of Mendacity: GWO Compares Himself with MLK | The White House Dossier

The White House Dossier reports that in an exclusive fundraiser on August 11th George W. Obama compared himself and his "struggles" to the struggles of Dr. Martin Luther King:
And now that King has his own memorial on the Mall I think that we forget when he was alive there was nobody who was more vilified, nobody who was more controversial, nobody who was more despairing at times. There was a decade that followed the great successes of Birmingham and Selma in which he was just struggling, fighting the good fight, and scorned, and many folks angry. But what he understood, what kept him going, was that the arc of moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. But it doesn’t bend on its own. It bends because all of us are putting our hand on the arc and we are bending it in that direction. And it takes time. And it’s hard work. And there are frustrations.
The President's comparison is surprising given the fact that he was thoroughly shamed for his use of King's "arc of history" rhetoric in  an op-ed by Drew Westin that appeared in The New York Times on August 7th :
The president is fond of referring to “the arc of history,” paraphrasing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous statement that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics — in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time — he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation.
Westin's op-ed dealt primarily with President Obama's handling of the economy.  Clearly, President Obama has no aversion to conflict when it involves unmanned predator drones flying from secret CIA bases.  When confronting Iran, China or Russia on the world stage his foreign policy exhibits a familiar neo-liberal Chamberlinesque aversion to conflict.  Instead of demanding that the Soviet Union "tear down this wall," President Obama would likely have suggested that we work together to build a bridge over the wall, which would still be standing.

In evaluating George W. Obama's comparison of himself to Dr. Martin Luther King we should ask the following question as it relates to each of Obama's recent policies in his War on Terror: What would MLK have done if he were President?

Would MLK be operating a secret torture prison in Somalia?

Would MLK have sanctioned extra-judicial killing by unmanned predator drones?

Would MLK be involved in wars in Irag, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya?

Would MLK have honored his promise to close Guantanimo Bay prison?

Would MLK, the victim of illegal surveillance by the FBI, have authorized  large scale domestic surveillance programs

Would MLK have blocked, by executive order, ground breaking legislation that imposed wide ranging economic sanctions against countries that use child soldiers as slave labor? Would MLK have allowed the United States to do business with countries that enslave black children?

By this time in the presidency of George W. Bush there were regular anti-war protests, and the country was only involved in two wars.  Today, civilians are being killed in six different countries by CIA predator drones, U.S. soldiers continue to be killed in increasing numbers, and if you read the major newspapers and watch the major news networks the streets in American cities seem to be as silent as a ghost town in the Nevada desert.

Where are the protests? Where is the outrage? The protests and the outrage are there, according to  John Hanrahan of the Neiman Center at Harvard University, but are not being covered by an Obama friendly press. 

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