Patrick Martin of wsws has posted a provocative article on Barack Obama’s campaign use of the “take out” of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Martin:
There is something particularly degrading about the use of a state killing—in which dozens of heavily armed special ops troops mowed down the fugitive in front of his wives and children—to promote a political campaign. Obama presents himself, not so much even as commander-in-chief, but as “hitman-in-chief,” appealing to the worst social instincts.
In speeches, interviews and a seven-minute web video narrated by former President Bill Clinton, the Obama campaign has hailed his decision to order the commando raid one year ago today on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, while suggesting that Republican Mitt Romney would not have made that choice.
The campaign began last Thursday with a speech by Vice President Joseph Biden at New York University, in which he declared that the bumper sticker slogan for Obama’s re-election could be: “Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive,” while claiming that for Romney, the opposite would be the case.
On Friday, the Obama campaign released the web video titled “One Chance,” in which former President Clinton praised Obama as the “decider-in-chief” for ordering the raid in which a team of Navy Seals gunned down bin Laden and several members of his family. The ad then asks, “Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?”
The public relations blitz culminated Monday night in an interview with Obama broadcast on NBC Nightly News, conducted in the White House Situation Room, where Obama, Biden and other officials gathered on the night of May 1, 2011 (early May 2 in Pakistan) to monitor the progress of the commando attack in Abbottabad.
Martin explains that Biden’s crude bumper sticker message does summarize an administration that employs reckless military violence and a willingness to bail out banks and corporations “at the expense of working people.”
When the operation to kill bin Laden was accomplished a year ago, the Obama administration seized on this “success” as the defining event of his presidency. This act of state killing has become the template for increasingly monstrous and aggressive actions by American imperialism, going well beyond anything attempted by the Bush administration. In his State of the Union speech in January, Obama cited the Navy Seals as a model for the operations of the US government in every sphere.
The raid on Abbottabad came just as the US-NATO bombing of Libya was building up, eventually culminating in the imperialist-backed overthrow and lynch mob murder of Muammar Gaddafi. Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen, was incinerated by a drone-fired missile in Yemen. Now the US is fomenting civil war in Syria and deploying warships and bombers to strike against Iran.
So Barack Obama who has assumed the absolute right to target ANYONE HE SEES FIT and is using deadly remote-controlled drone missiles to ensure imperial colonization is pushing for validation of such atrocities from Democrats of questionable conscience who will join ranks with the Republican people of questionable conscience on these issues of executive power illegitimacy and mass cruelty.
Yes sirree, the legacy Dem NEO-LIBS have come through for him! They have enthusiastically embraced Obama’s anti-humane militarism and imperialism. Blood Lust R Us? This jumps the shark even of “situational ethics” in my mind. “Thou shalt not kill” apparently “quaint”. No wonder John Yoo is still bullet proof to his monstrous enabling of torture with a Democratic legacy party that has joined Dick Cheney’s dark side.
Martin calls out the usual faux-liberal media bullshit to celebrate US imperialism:
This finds clear expression in the liberal and left-liberal media. The New York Times devoted the front page of its “Sunday Review” section to a paean to Obama as the “Warrior In Chief,” written by Peter L. Bergen, author of a newly published book taking a behind-the-scenes look at the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, and glorifying the raid by the Navy Seals that was its culmination.
The commentary began, “The president who won the Nobel Peace Prize less than nine months after his inauguration has turned out to be one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.” That is quite a statement, given the record of Obama’s immediate predecessors: Reagan (Lebanon, Grenada, Nicaragua, Libya); Bush senior (Panama, the Gulf War, Somalia); Clinton (Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, bombing Iraq); and Bush junior (Iraq, Afghanistan).
Similar praise of the bin Laden operation rolled in from other pro-Obama media. Rolling Stone magazine devoted its cover to an interview with the president, conducted by publisher Jann Wenner, who wrote that Obama “plans to run on his remarkable record of accomplishments,” one of which is “killing Osama bin Laden.”
Arianna Huffington, multimillionaire editor-in-chief of Huffington Post, criticized Obama’s use of the bin Laden killing for campaign purposes, but referred to the assassination itself as “the great news we had a year ago.”
These layers are rallying to the Obama reelection campaign not despite, but because of, its resort to ever-increasing levels of state violence, against those targeted by American imperialism around the world, and against the working class at home, when it moves into struggles against corporate America and its political representatives like Obama.
How low of the Democratic Party to use jingoism to try to cheerlead on a leadership that has only worsened the economic quicksand Americans are struggling against along with committing international war crimes defying our Constitution and international law and the Geneva conventions! Of course, Obama and the Dem Party can count on the titillators of the corporate media to bang the drums for such AMORALITY! Hey, maybe Will Smith will play "military-cowboy-global-sheriff" Obama in the ultimate historically disinforming movie of it all?
Patrick Martin’s conclusion:
The Obama administration and the Democratic Party are making it abundantly clear that they have absolutely nothing to offer American working people confronting the worst economic disaster in generations. Instead, they put themselves forward as the champions of militarism, assassination and war.
The struggle against imperialist war cannot be waged through any section of the bourgeois political establishment. A genuine antiwar movement is inseparable from the mobilization of the working class as an independent political force, against the profit system and the American ruling class.
[cross-posted on correntewire and sacramento for democracy]