Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The "Hope & No Change" Psychopath Obama in Dallas: Platitudes and lies on police killings

"In all likelihood, someone somewhere in the US was the 

victim of a summary execution at the hands of the police in 

the period of time consumed by the Dallas memorial service."

Obama in Dallas: Platitudes and lies on police killings

Obama in Dallas: Platitudes and lies on police killings

By Bill Van Auken 
13 July 2016
The American people are long past any reasonable expectation of a US president delivering a speech offering an honest explanation of any aspect of the crisis of American capitalist society. That being said, the address delivered by President Barack Obama to a memorial service for the five Dallas policemen shot dead last Thursday during a protest against the police killings earlier in the week of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota plumbed new depths of dishonesty and demagogy.
This was the 14th such address given by Obama in the wake of a mass killing—including Fort Hood, Texas (twice); Aurora, Colorado; Newtown, Connecticut; Charleston, South Carolina; San Bernardino, California; Orlando, Florida and several others in between.
On this occasion, he was assisted by former President George W. Bush, who gave warm-up remarks that were every bit as dishonest and reactionary as those of his successor.
These events have become so ritualized that the media cynically refers to Obama as the “consoler in chief.” The speech in Dallas, much like those that came before it, involved random quotes from the Bible—“The Scripture says...”—delivered in the poorly imitated style of a Baptist minister, and included thumbnail sketches of the victims and the insistence that the latest outburst of homicidal violence is not representative of “the America that I know.”
It was the black activist H. Rap Brown who famously stated that “violence is as American as cherry pie.” In terms of police killings, which take place at the rate more than three a day, this is today more true than ever. In all likelihood, someone somewhere in the US was 

the victim of a summary execution at the hands of the police 

in the period of time consumed by the Dallas memorial 

The “America” that Obama knows is that of 

the military-intelligence apparatus, the 

political establishment and the financial 

oligarchy. It does not suffer from violence. It 

inflicts it, both at home and abroad.
To deliver an honest speech, Obama would have been obliged to dispense with the Bible quotes and tell those gathered in the Dallas church something along the following lines:
“Asking me to speak here is like asking a murderer to deliver a sermon for his victim. The bloody events of the past week, from the police killings that have sparked nationwide protests to the gunning down of the cops here in Dallas, are either the direct product of, or blowback from, the policies pursued by my administration and that of my fellow war criminal sitting here on the stage beside me.”
No less ritualistic than Obama’s actual speech was the reaction of the corporate media, which declared it “eloquent” and “emotional.” Really? Obama himself was compelled to admit the inadequacy of his own words and intimated that he was getting sick of delivering the same vacuous remarks over and over again. What passed for emotion was the occasional forced change in the timbre of his voice as he spewed out his empty blather.
His explanation for the killing of the Dallas cops was the endlessly repeated, all-purpose invocation of “Evil.” The shooter was “demented” and “vicious,” and “there is evil in this world,” which is “why we need police departments.”
But Micah Johnson, the man who did the shooting, was, as in many less publicized cases, one of the more than 2 million Americans who have been sent into—and in most cases traumatized by—the neocolonial wars begun by Bush and continued by Obama in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was trained as a killer by the US military and, from the accounts of his family and friends, returned from Afghanistan a changed man, depressed, withdrawn and angry.
The endless eruption of violence and mass killing in the US is bound up with the unceasing violence unleashed by US imperialism abroad, the victims of which in the Middle East and Afghanistan number in the millions. Obama, who inveighed in Dallas against “senseless violence,” regularly selects victims for his administration’s drone assassination program, which has claimed the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children. The notion that mass murder is a legitimate means of resolving problems originates at the pinnacle of the American state.
To the extent that there was a coherent message in Obama’s address, it was an attempt to portray America as a society riven by racial tensions, and to cast police killings themselves as entirely a matter of racism—not just the racist and backward attitudes of police officers, but something embedded in the psyche of literally every American.
“If we’re honest, perhaps we’ve heard prejudice in our own heads and felt it in our own hearts,” he said. “None of us is entirely innocent. No institution is entirely immune, and that includes our police departments. We know this.”
This is a libel against the American people. Attitudes on race have undergone immense changes over the past half-century. Police departments themselves are integrated, with many, like the one in Dallas, headed by black chiefs. Yet police killings continue and increase in number.
This is because, notwithstanding the racial injustices suffered by African-Americans at the hands of the police, the fundamental question is not race, but class. The one thing that virtually all of the victims of fatal police shootings in the US—more than half of whom are white—have in common is that they are all drawn from the working class and the poor. One can be certain that if the opposite were true, and police were regularly gunning down Wall Street bankers and hedge fund financiers, the problem would be corrected in short order.
In the final analysis, America’s police represent the “thin blue line” protecting the interests of an immensely wealthy financial oligarchy from masses of working people living either in or on the brink of poverty. As social polarization and inequality have reached unprecedented levels, the police have been turned into a militarized force, officially deemed part of Washington’s “total army.”
The Obama administration has continued and expanded the transfer of weapons of war from the Pentagon to local police departments. Meanwhile, it has routinely rejected calls for killer cops to be prosecuted under federal civil rights laws and invariably opposed every attempt to bring police violence cases before the Supreme Court.
Touting the virtues of American democracy, Obama declared that “in this country, we don’t have soldiers in the streets or militias setting the rules.” The images of police in military-style gear confronting demonstrators from Ferguson, Missouri two years ago to Baton Rouge, Louisiana today tell a very different story. The distinction between cops and troops increasingly consists of little more than their insignia, and with increasing frequency local police are joined by soldiers to suppress protests.
Obama came perilously close to indicating the real roots of social tensions in the US when he declared that the police were being relied upon to do “too much,” under conditions in which: “As a society, we choose to under-invest in decent schools. We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment. We refuse to fund drug treatment and mental health programs.”
He continued, “We tell them [the police] to keep those neighborhoods in check at all costs and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience; don’t make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind.”
The great lie, however, is the attempt to present this “we” as the American people as a whole. Another slander! American working people did not choose to deprive their children’s schools of funding, wipe out decent jobs, slash food stamps and unemployment benefits, and gut vital social programs.
These are deliberate policies, supported by 

both major capitalist parties and 

implemented by the Obama administration 

with the aim of imposing the full burden of 

the capitalist crisis on the backs of the 

working class and transferring vast amounts 

of wealth from the bottom of the income 

ladder to the top.
He cynically told his audience, “In the end, it’s not about finding policies that work,” but rather about reaching “consensus” and “finding the will to make change.” The main issue was the “need to open our hearts to each other” and “see in each other a common humanity.”
Anyone expecting the corrupt, parasitical and ruthless oligarchy that Obama represents to “open its heart” or see in those it oppresses “a common humanity” is in for a rude awakening. The only path to the eradication of police violence and all forms of racial discrimination is the fight to unite the working class of every race and nationality in a common struggle to put an end to the capitalist system.

BERNIE SANDERS: HILLARY CLINTON'S TOOTHLESS LAP DOG FADES AWAY................................................


Now that his race is officially run, his campaign can be 

summarized succinctly: he called for revolution and 

surrendered immediately.  He didn’t want to talk about the 

scandals, the lies, the money, Benghazi, the foundation, 

Clinton’s unexceptional record, or her own private war on 

women.  Absolutely no talk about Bill.  He would mention 

Wall Street, but ever so mildly.

Read more: 

Democratic platform deal sets stage for Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton

Democratic platform deal sets stage for Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton

By Jerry White 
12 July 2016
Bernie Sanders’ expected endorsement of Hillary Clinton today at a joint event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire is the culmination of a weeks-long effort by the candidate, who calls himself a “democratic socialist,” to convince supporters that his “political revolution” has shifted the Democratic Party and Clinton herself to the left.
The joint campaign appearance follows a weekend of political theatre in Orlando, Florida, where the Clinton-controlled Democratic Party platform committee agreed to a number of amendments to the party’s 2016 platform proposed by the Sanders camp. The 35-page document, which will be finalized and ratified at the Democratic Party national convention in Philadelphia later this month, is nonbinding and of zero significance in terms of the policies of the next president.
It has been decades since the official platforms adopted by the two parties of American big business, the Democrats and Republicans, were seen by the parties themselves or the political and media establishment as a whole as anything more than window dressing. This year, however, Sanders has sought to portray the document and the convention itself as having great political import. He is doing so in furtherance of his effort to divert the popular disgust with the political system and desire for an anticapitalist alternative that was reflected in the broad support for his campaign back behind the Democratic Party and its right-wing candidate.
Having won more than 20 state primaries and caucuses and 13 million votes based on his denunciations of the economic and political domination of the “billionaire class,” Sanders faces the difficult task of convincing his supporters to back a candidate who speaks for Wall Street and the Pentagon war machine.
“We have made enormous strides,” Sanders said of the weekend platform committee meeting. “Thanks to the millions of people across the country who got involved in the political process—many for the first time—we now have the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”
This ridiculous claim was echoed by various news outlets, from Fortune (“How Bernie is Flexing his Muscles on the Democratic Party”) and Slate (“The Democratic Platform Is a Monument to Bernie Sanders’ Campaign”) to NBC News (“Democrats Advance Most Progressive Platform in Party History”).
Even if one assumed that the platform had some bearing on the actual policies to be pursued, one would look in vain for anything remotely hinting at socialism or even serious social reform. Even by the standards of Democratic platforms spanning the decades between the Great Depression and the 1960s, when the Democratic Party, under pressure from militant mass struggles of the working class, oversaw a series of social reforms, the document approved over the weekend is right-wing.
A Sanders-backed amendment, for example,

calling for an increase in the federal 

minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15, itself a completely inadequate measure that would leave workers in poverty, is diluted and qualified by language stating that it “should” be implemented “over time.”
Another Sanders proposal that was approved calls for the Department of Justice to investigate all shootings involving police officers. The Obama Justice Department has investigated a number of recent police killings of unarmed workers and youth and failed to indict a single killer cop. These token investigations are designed to contain popular anger over police violence and divert attention from the ongoing militarization of police departments across the country.
On those issues where even a token statement would have actual political consequences, such as criticism of Israel’s savage policy toward the Palestinians or opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, the platform committee squelched amendments from the Sanders camp and the Vermont senator quickly acquiesced.
A Sanders proposal to include a statement in the platform calling for an end to Israel’s “occupation and illegal settlements” in Palestine was shot down by the Clinton-controlled committee. When Sanders supporters in the public galleries protested, the police were sent in to shut them up.
Even though such mild criticism of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land is standard fare for most European governments, the Democratic Party can brook no such gesture of disapproval. This in itself exposes the right-wing and militarist character of any administration headed by former secretary of state Clinton, who already has the blood of hundreds of thousands of victims of American imperialism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia on her hands.
Last March, Clinton delivered a bellicose speech to a conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where she pledged to increase military and economic aid to Israel and threatened war with Iran. She denounced Palestinian terror attacks on Israelis while defending Israeli invasions, bombings and targeted assassinations that have killed tens of thousands, including the 2014 invasion of Gaza. She equated criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and backed efforts by Zionist organizations to ban anti-Israel protests on US college campuses.
A Sanders amendment to block the Trans-Pacific Partnership from coming up for a vote in Congress was similarly rejected. Even though Clinton has come out against TPP, in an effort, like Sanders, to divert social anger over plant closings down the path of economic nationalism, the trade pact enjoys the consensus support of the corporate and financial elite and the Obama administration, and is seen as a means of advancing Washington’s economic and military offensive against China.
Sanders did not challenge other sections of the platform critical to the needs of American imperialism. The document hailed by Sanders as the most progressive in the party’s history states: “Democrats believe America must continue to have the strongest military in the world.” It calls for an escalation of the wars in Iraq and Syria, the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and further provocations against Russia and China. It sanctions the Obama policy of perpetual warfare as well as increasing domestic spying and repression in the name of the “war on terror.”
Sanders pointed to Clinton’s adoption of two proposals following backroom negotiations between the two camps as evidence that his “political revolution” was working and Clinton was moving to the left. One was a call for people over 55 to be given the option of buying into Medicare. Another was support for the addition of a “public option” to Obamacare, and a third was a proposal to make public colleges and universities tuition-free for students from families with annual incomes up to $125,000. These proposals, which would do nothing to halt the assault on working people’s health care and little to make college more affordable for working-class youth, would have virtually no chance of being passed by Congress and implemented.
The final act of the platform committee meeting revealed the 

widespread hatred of Clinton among Sanders supporters and

workers and youth more generally, and the difficulties both 

Sanders and Clinton face in convincing those who rallied 

behind the supposedly “socialist” senator to vote for the 

Democratic nominee. The two camps had agreed in advance 

on an amendment naming Clinton as the Democratic 

candidate, but when the proposal was announced, the 

resulting uproar among Sanders backers in the audience 

forced the platform committee to withdraw it.'