It is highly unlikely that Barack Obama has any answers at all

Publié le par hort

Presidential Politics and the Crisis in Social Relations
Wed, 5 Mar 2008
Once in awhile my analysis of current events hits this discussion board, but it may be necessary to suffer my shortcomings in order to place a Dialectical/African Materialist critique on current events in America. And important events that happen in America always reverberate around the globe.
The ongoing presidential race is critical because there seems to be an historic, philosophical shift in the thinking of the American electorate. It is no small coincidence, since the crisis in social relations has drastically deepened over the two terms of the Bush Administration. Anybody who doesn’t define this period in human development as a crisis in social relations is out of touch with reality. Because the crisis in social relations occurs at the convergence of class struggle, that is, at the point of production; that is where the value that working people have created is taken away by the government, the employers and other drains on capital.
For a few examples, look at the shrinking dollar, parasitic bank loans, taxes, rising gas prices, and the Imperialist wars. So in answer to the deepening crisis, this president and his party have turned America into a bunker for Imperialism. Everywhere lurk boogymen and terrorists in business suits, forcing working class people to hunker down.
Surprisingly, people haven’t turned to Millenarianism in reaction to what is going on, despite the attempts of clergy and politicians toward this tendency. Millenarianism is belief in the end time, that events in society are out of the control and purview of humanity, and that contradictions will be solved by the coming of a Mahdi or a Christ figure or some other savior. People were scared of Huckabee because of his crackpot religious views, since he may hold some fruitcake notion of bringing on the Apocalypse. Finally, he has conceded.
Most of the other presidential candidates have been dusted because the American people want change. Yet confidence in Barack Obama or the Imperialist system does not provide any durable answers, either.
Take a brief look back when the Pittsburgh BRC held one of America’s first anti-war forums in November 2001, in advance of the US invasion of Afghanistan. We had assumed this stance because ample evidence existed that the United States had built the Taliban and put Osama bin Laden in charge of its Al Qaida narco-terrorism network. As early as 1979 or 1980, President Jimmy Carter directed his defense secretary Zbigniew Brzeziniski to support the anti-socialist insurgency there.
The US-support of the proto-Taliban mujahiddeen continued on thru the Reagan years, with Ronald Reagan himself referring to the then-mujahiddeen as “freedom fighters” opposing the Soviet invasion. This is the same Ronald Reagan that the GOP wants to put on Mt. Rushmore; this same pig tanked the economy in 1981, designated ketchup a vegetable, and invaded Grenada. Reagan made a behind-the-scenes deal with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to free the “hostages” on his inauguration day, despite upholding the front that Iran was a terrorist state. Reagan also was the man behind CIA-Iran-Contra Guns for Drugs, a scandal for which he should have been impeached and his name execrated from all history.
Around that time, fundamentalist Christian minister Pat Robertson - who also put out a hit on Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez - called for contributions so the mujahiddeen could be supplied with Stingers and other sophisticated weaponry. Simultaneously, the mujahiddeen were producing hashish and opium as cash crops to fund their “insurgency”.
This state of affairs grinded on thru the George HW Bush Administration until the Soviet withdrawal, and is contextualized somewhat in the movie Charlie Wilson‘s War. The super patriot Michael Vickers, portrayed in the movie, played and still plays a major role in US “anti-terrorist” operations in Afghanistan. He was the guy who orchestrated the Taliban and Al Qaida. The CIA president, Bush 41, perceived that US support of the proto-Taliban contributed to the Soviet pullout; when the USSR collapsed in the 90s, Bush predicted it would result in a “peace dividend.”
While Americans and the World had all that background at the time of 2001 September 11, many people rapidly got caught up in the anti-Arab, anti-Muslim fervor. Yet we in the BRC did not. We brought it to the table that following November and rightly described the Afghan invasion as US colonialism. In fact, US channels to the Taliban and Al Qaida were solid just up to September 11, as George W Bush’s administration had just delivered a large bribe to the Taliban to stop opium poppy production. Little Haiti (Pittsburgh BRC) was not quite up to speed on every detail; nevertheless, we had enough background to hold this historical conference in a principled manner.
Against this light, Barack Obama’s contention that the war in Irak - another obvious colonial expedition - “distracted us from effectively prosecuting the war against the Taliban and Al Qaida”, offers a patently wrong-headed analysis. Such a contention reflects the philosophy of political expedience, conveniently forgetting the foul US-Taliban link.
Barack Obama cannot allow contradictions to fully express themselves in order to arrive at the correct (most practical) analysis and solution. He has to carry on in the Imperialist tradition of all other presidents. Knowing this, knowing how Americans have taken to him, and knowing that only a revolution in this country can change the course of history, we must demand clarity and honesty.
America’s crisis in social relations occurs at the convergence of the class struggle which defines capitalist social relations. This country’s ruling class understands as a strategy the steps and turns Imperialism must take to maintain its grip on power. Obama’s chance to become president lies in America’s belief in its Constitution, a document not worth the paper it’s written on. Those so-called constitutional rights, which many people believe US soldiers are fighting and dying for, may be revoked at any time. The Patriot Act and other laws undermine the very basis of American constitutional fiction; and remember, the Constitution once labeled blacks as 3/5ths of a white person. It still justifies the confinement of American Indians to reservations; what became of their rights?
Black organizers have a responsibility to change this process so that power can be placed in the hands of the masses. If democracy truly is majority representation, then when will black working and poor people have a revolutionary republic of our own? Obama does not represent the last best hope of anybody except Imperialism.
Obama exists to fill a political vacuum. That vacuum would, in reality, be filled by Millenarianism or deepening reaction of the Rudy “911” Guiliani sort or some other nonsense if Obama hadn’t come along. However, that doesn’t make his stance relevant or sincere. It does not separate him from other presidents who arose at similar critical periods in this nation’s history, such as Abraham Lincoln or FDR or JFK. What links Obama with FDR and JFK is this message of hope. It represents a hollow hope for everyone except the ruling class. America’s Imperialist system cannot truly depart from the droning march of “BUSINESS AS USUAL”.
What can Obama do besides pay lip service to stem the hemorrhaging US export of capital in the form of monies, commodities and jobs that has historically determined the path of the Imperialist stage of capitalism? His opposition to NAFTA will only hurt stateside capitalism, because capital export is an economic trend that he cannot reverse without getting killed.
America cannot afford to “lose face” in the World by accepting another military defeat in a small country, this time by a fractured colony of US Imperialism. How will Obama or any other presidential candidate withdraw troops from Irak without tempting the complete disintegration of that abysmally destabilized state? If Irak disintegrates, Islamic fanaticism will perceive it as a victory and threaten Europe, India and Africa. America will go into isolation. That alone will end in the death of Imperialism, not succeeded by a workers revolution, but by a reactionary, backwards sub-imperialism. Talk about a Catch 22.
And why hasn’t Obama proposed any theory to resolve conflicts in Sudan, the Congo, Kenya, Palestine and other critical areas? Black people have a responsibility to ask these questions. We need to know what relief will Hurricane Katrina victims obtain under his proposed Administration? Will he go beyond the call for a moratorium on home foreclosures and grant amnesty?
I want to know if Obama will go beyond just opening ties to North Korea and Cuba so that humanitarian aid can move those societies forward. And will Obama open the jails so that our political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal and prisoners of war like Maroon Shoats will breath fresh air again? Who really thinks Obama has the answer to these questions; it is highly unlikely that Barack Obama has any answers at all.
 Reparations / Election Debates
Thu, 6 Mar 2008
As the media and local conversation are dominated by the election, congress deliberates on testimony from the H.R. 40 hearing. Foul play has already been declared in certain areas in the election, yet, African-Americans continue to cast their votes, as they should. But let’s recognize H.R. 40 hearing coverage should equal that of the election, as it is vital to the future of Black America and race relations in our nation . N’COBRA and H.R. 40 advocates should take a lead role in articulating and publicizing H.R. 40 testimony, but it appears as though we can use some help in that area. H.R. 40 asks congress to form a commission to study the injuries of slavery, the impact it has on African-Americans today and to suggest remedies to cure those ills. This would enable us to create programs for rehabilitation to heal deep emotional scars, examining Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS) and compensation to reform social and economic deficiency. This is a major task that includes repairing damage over the last 500 years. There is no easy way, it will not come over night and there is no singular solution, but it must be done. The solution should be tailored to fit the scope of the crime. Since the crimes are profound and cover generations reparations should equal that stratum.
This means reparations should consist of various social programs for a variety of reasons. African-Americans should receive a cash settlement for unpaid slave labor and reimbursement for contributions in the form of slave crops, achievements and inventions, because America has reaped benefits to the tune of tens of trillions of dollars from these forms of exploitation. Now, the most important function in reparations is for African-Americans to gain knowledge of their spiritual and cultural heritage along with attaining liberation and independence. They should build institutions to incorporate these values into their lives. This should be done by developing an infrastructure designated on land set aside for reparations purposes. African-Americans need a spiritual and cultural revival as well as enforcement of 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. This should come by way of land and infrastructure to make up for enduring abuse of power, conferred dominance, preferential treatment, unearned privileges, social disadvantages and lost economic opportunities.
Blacks and all Americans will benefit much more from reparations than electing the next president. We should demand black churches, organizations, leaders and those who claim to be liberal or sympathetic to Black people, and their call for truth and reconciliation; to expose, evaluate and mobilize around the H.R. 40 testimony, with the same zeal and compassion as they are on the election trail. African-Americans can reach an equal status and gain respect as equal human beings with reparations. This is the best way for African-Americans to reach equality with hopes of renewing peaceful and prosperous relations with others, especially those who have exploited them. This is a reflection of a scriptural perspective on reparations for it is lawful and right, (Ezekiel 33:15-16). The act of repentance works in conjunction with goodwill towards all people and we can heal the wounds of slavery. This will help us to eventually eliminate the undercurrent of racial tension and inequality in our beloved nation, which has become evident in the rise of hate crimes. Let the healing begin.

Yes, H.R. 40 can serve a purpose but we should have reparations debates in addition to H.R. 40 testimony since blacks, whites and others know that blacks have suffered the most, worst and longest injustice in this country. When you factor in racism, slavery and segregation in addition to new found injustice that others and blacks are harmed by, you find an overwhelming reason to award African-American Reparations! Reparations are in order to change patterns and social constructs of racial imbalance that institutionally excludes blacks and prevents them from receiving equal treatment under the law, so yes, let the healing begin with reparations.
In memory of our ancestors,         

Brotha Pruitt
Reparations Leader and Chairman
Committee for African American Reparations (CAAR)
Reparations Union Lobbying Association (RULA)

Publié dans African diaspora

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