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Free Obama (No Kidding)

I spent the morning reading every single posted idea, many of the comments, and then posted my own five ideas and thought to leave it at that. However, during the mowing of the lawn it came to me. Idea first, then the short explanation

Free Obama. Simple, straight-forward, and the ONE THING that we can all focus on to achieve ALL of the ideas posted so far.

Right now, President Barack Obama is president in name only. He is being guided, controlled, constrained, influenced, lied to--by whatever attribute one might wish, he is anything but free. He is also, according to one of my sources, mindful of being assassinated if he attempts too radical a departure from the agenda that has been set for him by Wall Street and the four big complexes that own the US federal government: Wall Street fronted by the Fed and Treasury, military-intelligence, prison-slavery, and hospital-pharamaceutical.

There can be no more telling proof of the validity of my concern for his well-being that the fact thatupon entering office he immediately abandoned what little status he had given to non-partisan, post-partisan, trans-partisan, and immediately became the puppet of the winner-take-all Democratic mafia who--this is the important bit--place higher importance on keeping the two-party monopoly of power alive, than they do on serving the public.

FACT: Obama was elected by 30% of the eligible voters. 56.4 or so of those eligible voted, with a bare majority within that number. 70% of us did not vote for him.

FACT: 39% of eligible voters are now Independent, with the Democratic party falling to 33% and the Republican Party to the mid 20% range.

FACT: The two party criminal system controls every aspect of the election process and has betrayed the public trust in gerrymandering and manipulating all aspects so as to keep incumbents in power and deny Independents access to debates at any level.

FACT: Secrecy in Washington is used to keep power in the hands of those who have betrayed the public trust, from Senators and Representatives to intelligence officials doing warrantless wiretapping and torture, to contractors cheating the military.

FACT: I put a memorandum under Obama's door in Des Moines, with the gentle support of the hotel staff which gave me a room next to his despite the hotel being sold out, and the Secret Service detail, to whom I introduced myself. That memorandum told him two things:

A) You have to embrace all the parties, not just the two criminal parties. The Libertarians, Greens, Reforms, Independents, and even the Socialists. Diversity matters, inclusiveness matters. Re-establish democracy in America.

B) You cannot allow Congress, lobbyists, or Wall Street to set the agenda. You need to have a strategic analytic model that mandates a coherent strategy for addressing all ten high-level threats to humanity across all twelve core policy areas, while doing outreach to the eight demographic challengers that will set the future. Without the model, you will be bounced off the walls.

And so it came to pass. In his first 100 days Obama turned into a look-alike of George Bush, "going along" with the idiocy of bailing out Wall Street, surging in Afghanistan, keeping Guantanamo open, and so on. He is not well-informed, he is not in charge, and at this rate he will be the stake in the heart of the Democratic Party that Dick Cheney was to the Republican Party. Who would have thought...

So I say, FREE OBAMA. Make it a bumper sticker. Make it a meme. He needs to know that 100% is a lot better than 30%, and that 100% is achievable if he will BE President to We the People, not to those who lied, cheated, and bought (still waiting for the accounting on that last $300 million) the election for him.

Captive to others? Right now, yes. BE the President, pass Electoral Reform in time for 2010, and lead America back to its Constitutional greatness as a Republic Of, By, and For We the People.

WHO IS Robert David STEELE Vivas to say something so utterly outrageous?

Recovering spy, #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, CEO of OSS.Net and Earth Intelligence Network.

Learn more at www.oss.net and www.earth-intelligence.net which was created to give Obama the model.

All of my books are free online as well as on sale at Amazon, the three I recommend for citizens are:

NEW CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: Personal, Public, & Political at www.oss.net/BOOKS

COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace at www.oss.net/CIB

ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig at www.oss.net/PIG with an annotated bibliography of 500+ books on reality

I pray for this country every day. We need to reach Obama in a way that no one close to him is capable of comprehending because with the exception of his wife, everyone around him is in love with power, not the USA.

Submitted by 5 years ago

Comments (46)

  1. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Fight the negative votes---there are 3,000 people monitoring this web site to vote against anything that might reduce Democratic-Republican lock on power. This is amusing. The last gasp of the monster, on its own sword.

    5 years ago
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  2. There are 3000 people monitoring this site for anti-two party initiatives? Are you speculating or have you heard that the two parties are actually dedicating volunteers and/or staff to influence the voting?

    5 years ago
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  3. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Carrick, a combination of speculation and evaluation. I dedicated a half day to this site, which is still in its infancy, and I am a long-time observer of Amazon non-fiction voting, where blocks of Jewish and neo-con and other voters are active. This site is a GREAT idea, marginally executed, marginally advertised, that scares the "closed circle" mafia to death because they know they are a whisker away from being shut down by an outraged independent citizenry. Look and judge for yourself. The ideas that can be implemented without breaking the backs of the two parties are getting more votes, the ideas that directly threaten the two party system are being killed.....as best I have seen so far.

    5 years ago
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  4. Robert,

    Love it. Thanks for bringing some sanity, reality, and common sense to the ideas for this website. Thanks for commenting on my ideaabout a scientific look at 911. I am familiar with patriots question 911.

    Steve

    5 years ago
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  5. Gotcha.

    Well, I was curious b/c I posted what I consider to be a pretty reasonable, easily executed, and highly useful idea on elections security, and it has repeatedly been voted to zero.

    No feedback either, so I can't tell whether the idea if the idea is poorly developed, or if it just rubs some people the wrong way. This morning I wondered if I was vaguely naive. Now I wonder if I'm vaguely paranoid. It's only had a total of 8 votes thugh. Its idea #400 "Citizens' elections security..."

    5 years ago
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  6. Robert,

    I couldn't agree with you more about freeing Obama, although I don't have a clue on how to go about it. I think a key fact to keep in mind is the way his grandmother died on the eve of his inauguration, just as Clinton's mother died on the eve of his inauguration. Coincidence? Probably just as much as Wellstone dying in a small plane crash in the same manner as Mel Carnahan. I believe that the death of his grandmother, just as he was stepping into office, was a diabolical maneuver to keep him in line, with the threat that it could happen to him or to anyone he loves. You have to keep in mind the threats made against his life while he was in Hawaii before he took office as well. The people in power behind the scenes are utterly ruthless and terribly evil, more evil than people can scan on their radar.

    5 years ago
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  7. Free Obama? That works for me. I gave it a thumbs-up. Prosecute Bush, restore the constitution, end the wars... I'm in favor of the the whole shopping list.

    Unfortunately, no one will ever hear your message until everyone understands

    "Who Owns the Media?" Idea #664. http://opengov.ideascale.com/akira/dtd/3276-4049

    Freedom of the press is the one key to everything.

    5 years ago
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  8. Why do we think the Obama administration is not in on the game here? He seems to want to pick winners and losers and acts very much the party animal. And its true that 70% of the nation's voters never voted for him. Either way, I would be more inclined to empower individual voters through technology and make political leaders subservient to their collective will, at least on all non-national security issues.

    But we need a technology that converges and concentrates that power and insures it cannot be hijacked by the gatekeepers. MoveOn, KOS, HuffingtonPost, etc. are not grassroots institutions, they are strictly controlled hierarchies that serve the interests of their gatekeepers. The parties are the same way.

    5 years ago
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  9. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    I am arranging for FREE OBAMA bumper stickers and also looking into FREE OBAMA 9-11 money.

    5 years ago
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  10. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Thank you for your comment, which brought me back to this rapdily drowning site.

    "House Negro" is a termed coined by the pastors of color when they detected his having been "captured" by the mafia determined to beat the Republicans at any cost. In my own circles, it is considered both humorous and appropriate, not disrespectful.

    You will find an annotated bibliography of roughly 500 non-fiction books that back up this post at www.oss.net/PIG. As much as I appreciate your well-intentioned rant, you know too little to be so indignant about what is actually a very legitimate concern among all those who recognize that the two "main" political parties are the major obstacle to the achievement of Democracy. If you look at every "decision" Obama has made, each decision is a "mafia" decision not an Obama decision. He is being fed packages of information that drive him in the direction they want him to go, and since you don't seem to have noticed, please note that on all the major themes, his policies are precisely those of George Bush led by Dick Cheney, only he is blowing even more money we do not have on Wall Street firms that *should* be closed down. We should be insuring individual Americans from the bottom up, not these monstrous badly managed firms that have bought a safety net they do not deserve and we cannot afford.

    5 years ago
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  11. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    I've gone ahead and changed it, recognizing that your reaction is probably representative of an important demographic. Bibliography and more at www.oss.net/PIG (free book, in chapters, ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig).

    5 years ago
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  12. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Do your homework. You are ranting. That's your demographic.

    5 years ago
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  13. I'm with Sam Mehrani, misguided as he is, in that we need a realistic approach. No one wants to hear the conspiracy rants. It doesn't matter that they are true. The sleeping masses need to be spoon-feed. The solution to all of our issues on this website is to restore freedom of the press. Let the masses know WHO OWNS THE MEDIA, Idea #664, http://opengov.ideascale.com/akira/dtd/3276-4049

    It's the only way to free Obama.

    5 years ago
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  14. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Anyone who wants to have a name in this forum can just go to their profile.

    ttahiti, I appreciate your good intentions but the media is owned by five corporations, and to take the Iraq war as an example, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post all refused--I am told--$100,000 paid in advance full page ads against the war. There are a number of data pathologies and information asymmetries that you can consider at www.oss.net/HACK.

    There are some very good folks that do spoon-feeding, I am not one of them.

    With best wishes,

    Robert

    5 years ago
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  15. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Herb Meyer actually understands both the world of government and the world of intelligence. Here is his spoon-feeding version of what is going on.

    May 20, 2009

    Revolution

    By Herbert E. Meyer

    During the last 30 years we Americans have been so politically divided that some of us have called this left-right, liberal-conservative split a "culture war" or even a "second Civil War." These descriptions are no longer accurate. The precise, technical word for what is happening in the United States today is revolution.

    Because of our country's history, we tend to think of revolutions as military conflicts, and of the revolutionaries as the good guys; the image of Minutemen fighting valiantly against the British forces at Lexington and Concord lies deep within our DNA. But sometimes -- quite often, actually -- revolutions aren't military conflicts, and the good guys are the ones trying to keep the revolution from happening. In January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany by its elected president; he would spend the next two years consolidating his power with the legislative connivance of his political allies in the Reichstag. In October 1917, Lenin and his Bolsheviks took control of Russia from Kerensky and his Social Democrats -- who had overthrown the Czar earlier that year -- entirely through parliamentary maneuvering in Russia's fledgling Duma.

    What defines a revolution -- and this is the crucial point to grasp -- is that when it's over a country has changed not merely its leaders and its laws, but its operating system.

    Since most of us think of computers when we hear the phrase "operating system" let me use this analogy to illuminate my point: Every computer has an operating system, and most of us are using either the Microsoft or the Apple operating system. If you want to do something with your computer -- send an email, watch a DVD, read an online essay like this one -- you must do it the way your computer's operating system is designed to work.

    No operating system is perfect, which is why Microsoft and Apple send updates to their customers from time to time. And every so often these companies launch new versions of their operating systems that incorporate a lot of modifications at once. Can you change the operating system you use? Of course you can. Two years ago I threw out every Microsoft-based machine in our company's office and replaced them with Apple products. Last month I met a corporate CEO who had just done the opposite, and replaced the Apple computers in his office with ones that run on the Microsoft operating system.

    Democracies and Dictatorships

    Now, just as computers have operating systems so too do countries. In fact, countries have dual operating systems - one political and the other economic. Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of each: Politically you can be a democracy or a dictatorship, and economically you can have either a free market or a command economy. Because countries don't buy their operating systems off the shelf, the way we buy our computer operating systems, each country develops its own versions. This is why our country's democracy is somewhat different from Canada's, which in turn is slightly different from Australia's, and so forth. These countries all have free-market economies, but again they aren't quite the same. Still, the similarities among democracies and free-market economies are more striking than the differences. Likewise, while no two dictatorships are the same, and no two command economies work in exactly the same way, the differences among them are comparatively trivial.

    Since no country's operating systems are perfect, can they be improved? Of course they can. Every time our Congress passes a new law, or enacts a new regulation -- or whenever the Supreme Court issues an opinion -- that's the equivalent of an update to our political or economic operating system. Can you change a country's operating system? Yes, you can. And the precise, technical word for replacing one political or economic operating system with another is -- revolution.

    When politics in a democracy is normal, the political parties all agree to preserve the operating system while they compete to improve it. This is what is actually happening when one party in Congress introduces a new piece of healthcare or education legislation and the other party opposes it or introduces its own healthcare or education bill, or when two candidates for the Senate argue over whether or not to change our immigration laws. Honorable people often will disagree about what to do -- sometimes quite strongly, just as the software engineers at Microsoft and Apple will sometimes argue through the night about whether a proposed change in the operating system's code is an improvement or just "kludge." But in normal politics the outer limits of all these disagreements are marked by a shared commitment to preserving and improving the operating system.

    In abnormal politics, the objective of one party isn't to improve the operating system, but to overthrow it.

    With this analogy in mind, now we can see clearly what's been happening in the United States during the last three decades. While conservatives have been working to improve our democracy and our free-market economy, liberals have been working to replace our democracy with a dictatorship, and our free-market economy with a command economy controlled by the government. The liberals couldn't say this aloud, because if they did the American people would have tossed them out of office on their ears. So the liberals worked covertly, feigning support for democracy and for the free market while working diligently to undermine both.

    This is why our politics has been so partisan, so vicious, and so deadlocked. This is why words have lost their meaning in Washington, why we can never get to the bottom of anything, why we lurch from one manufactured scandal to another. It's all been part of a decades-long effort by the liberals to throw sand in our eyes -- to keep us from seeing clearly where they really want to take us. (And this explains why, when we question their judgment on some issue, they go berserk and accuse us of questioning their patriotism. They're afraid we're on the verge of catching on. If you want to have some fun, the next time you're chatting with a liberal and he goes nuts when you call him a socialist, say to him: "I'm so sorry you're offended. Please tell me, what is there about socialism you don't like?" You won't get a coherent answer; he'll just accuse you of a hate crime.)

    Obama's Two-Front Offensive

    With the election of Barack Obama as president, the liberals have launched a massive, two-front offensive they believe will end in victory. They have judged that our public education system is so degraded that only a few Americans are left who even understand what a democracy is, and how the free market actually works. They are convinced that the majority of Americans are too frightened by the current recession to care about preserving the principles that made us the most powerful, productive and innovative country the world has ever known. In short, the liberals are reaching for victory because they believe that history now is on their side.

    The speed of their offensive is breathtaking.

    At the core of democracy is the rule of law, and we have already lost it. The liberals lecture us incessantly that everything is "relative," but that's not true; some things are absolutes. You cannot claim to be faithful to your spouse because you never cheat on her -- except when you're in London on business. And you cannot claim to have the rule of law if the government can set aside the rule of law when it decides that "special circumstances" have arisen that warrant illegality. When the President and his aides handed ownership of Chrysler Corp. to the United Auto Workers union, they tried to avoid sending that beleaguered company into bankruptcy by muscling its bondholders into accepting less money for their assets than the law entitled them to collect. These contracts, and the law under which they were signed, were mere obstacles to a thuggish President bent on paying off his political supporters.

    It's going to get much worse, fast. President Obama has told us time and again that among his criteria for choosing Federal judges will be "empathy." Empathy is a wonderful quality in any human being, but a judge's job is to rule according to the law. Once our courts are presided over by judges who will reach verdicts based on how they feel about an issue -- such as abortion or the right of citizens to bear arms -- the law will be whatever the judges wish it to be; the rule of law will become an empty phrase rather than the architecture of our civilization.

    We have lost our free-market economy as quickly as we have lost the rule of law. Money is to an economy what blood is to a body; life and death resides within the organ that controls its flow. The government already owns our country's leading banks, which means the government now controls our economy. (And in all fairness to President Obama, it was the Bush administration that started us down this ghastly road.) One indicator of the Obama administration's real objective: When some banks that had taken federal money attempted to repay their loans, the Treasury Department refused to accept repayment and step aside. This shows the government's goal isn't to prop up the banks, but rather to control them.

    Here, too, things are going to get much worse, fast. The government now owns General Motors Corp., is reaching for control of insurance companies, and has launched plans to take over our country's healthcare industry. It even wants authority to set the salaries of executives in industries that, at least for now, aren't being subsidized or underwritten by the government.

    Put all this together, and what we have in our country today isn't a democracy and it isn't a free-market economy. Reader, what we have now is a revolution.

    This revolution won't be stopped, and our country won't be rescued, by the Republicans in Washington. This isn't because they lack the votes. It's because most of them are careerist hacks who've been playing footsie with the Democrats for too long; with very few exceptions they lack the intellectual firepower to articulate the present danger, and the political courage to stand up to this Administration and really fight. But for the absence of frock coats and pince-nez glasses, these Republicans in Washington remind me of those bumbling Weimar Republic politicians in Berlin who never grasped where Hitler and the Nazis were going until it was too late to stop them, or of those hapless Mensheviks in Moscow's Duma who let themselves be tossed into history's dustbin by Lenin and his Bolsheviks. (Yes, of course I realize it's explosive to keep bringing up the Nazis and the Bolsheviks in an essay about the Democrats. I'm not doing this to be incendiary; I'm doing this to be accurate.)

    The Future's in Our Hands

    Our country's future now lies within our own hands -- yours, mine, all of us who comprise what the Washington insiders sneeringly call the grass roots. Good, because unless I'm very much mistaken the liberals have over-estimated their strength. There still are more of us than there are of them. I mean ordinary, decent Americans from across the political spectrum who may disagree about specific issues, but who understand who we are and how we became who we are; who love our country, have a genius for self-organizing, and won't let the United States go down without a fight.

    We need to launch a counter-offensive, so to speak, and the place to start is at the local level. Working with our county and state political parties when we can -- or working around them when we must -- our objective will be to elect as many people as we can to public office who understand what a democracy is and how the free market works. This will include city council members, county commissioners, school board members, judges, sheriffs and even members of the local parks commission. With the strength and political momentum their elections will provide, we can surge to the state level and then -- before it's too late -- take back the power in Washington DC.

    I know this isn't the kind of battle most of us want to fight; we would rather watch the talking heads slug it out on Fox News than stand on a street corner handing out campaign flyers. And given our country's history, for a while it will be uncomfortable to find ourselves fighting against the revolution and for the status quo. But we'll get used to this as we make our case over and over again -- to our friends, our neighbors, at barbeques and PTA meetings and at public rallies like those marvelous April tea parties that drove the liberals insane. And we'll draw strength as our ranks swell with new recruits.

    The alternative to launching this kind of peaceful and political counter-attack is horrific. Right now sales of guns and ammunition are rising sharply. This reflects an intuitive grasp by grass-roots Americans of what history teaches may lie ahead. It was only after the Nazis had secured their grip on power in Germany, and only after the Bolsheviks had seized control of Russia, that they set out to disarm and destroy the vast numbers of ordinary citizens who - to the astonishment and fury of the revolutionaries -- just wouldn't go along.

    That's when the real shooting started, and when blood began flowing in the streets.

    Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council. He holds the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, which is the Intelligence Community's highest honor. He is author of The Cure for Poverty and How to Analyze Information.

    5 years ago
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  16. I TAKE IT BACK. Sam's ok. Except the part where I'm referred to as "He." (Neo: "I thought you were a guy." Trinity: "Most guys do.")

    But moving right along -- cool site (couchideas). Unfortunately, my laptop is alergic to YouTube. It shuts down after a minute. I really need to get that fixed. I risked it for a few seconds of "The George Bush We Forgot." I'd have to kick my kid off his computer to really check it out. Maybe while he's in school...

    5 years ago
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  17. Herbert E. Meyer has some interesting writings, is clever and makes some great points. He is definately an ideologue though and seems to have an agenda. To him things are black and white. He gives some facts, then forms an opinion and claims those as facts. He ideas are "feel good" and appeal to those who go along with the "good guy bad guy" or "cowboy and indian" image of the USA. I believe he means well, just not my type of leader. I like those who seek the truth and face reality.

    5 years ago
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  18. Um... Most of David's explanation worked for me, except for the the labels. And the misplaced blame. I tend to be mostly "liberal" on the usual, knee-jerk social issues (I don't think I know anyone who will admit to voting for McCain) but lately I've been having trouble getting excited about any of that...

    It ain't the liberals or the conservatives. Or the Republicans or Democrats. The whole thing is a fraud. There's only one party now, and it doesn't represent anyone out here.

    Reading David's post is like an agnostic listening to someone rant about the devil. I agree that the things you describe are evil, but I have to substitute words that make sense in every sentence and eventually it gets so tangled that it just doesn't work.

    How can you possibly blame the liberals for the past eight years?

    We elected Obama out of desperation, because no one is happy with the way things are going.

    None of the old labels make sense any more. The two-party system died years ago.

    5 years ago
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  19. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    For information. The commentary is from Chuck Spinney, featured on cover of TIME in 1980's as the ultimate truth-teller on Pentagon fraud, waste, and abuse. It merits comment that the below remarks address the "non-partisan" bureaucracy that is inter-locked (as are most non-profits) with the existing two-party hack system that excludes all other parties as well as external ideas & concerns.

    Has Obama has gone off the policy cliff by irreversibly increasing the

    US footprint in Afghanistan-Pakistan theater of operations (not to

    mention the domestic policy cliff by bailing out the few wealthy

    banksters who precipitated the financial meltdown that is now trashing

    the economic hopes and dreams of the mass of non-wealthy Americans)?

    The attached report in McClatchy Newspapers illustrates the staying

    power of the permanent pol-mil nomenklatura in Versailles on the

    Potomac (an accurate if mixed metaphor). The Bushian plans to build a

    super presence in Pakistan that have been gestating for at least three

    years remain alive and well. Obama might yet be able to save himself

    from the ignominious fate these plans imply, but he would have to move

    decisively to change course before the end of year, when he will be

    faced with approving these appropriations. Unfortunately, decisive

    moves are not in the cards. The only possible incentive for such

    moves would be a massive catastrophe or faux pas, and with the

    "policy" building blocks now in place, and it is far more likely that

    such an incident would precipitate reactions that reinforce the

    disastrous pathway Obama has been embarked on.

    So, after a hundred plus days, say goodbye to "change we can believe

    in" and hello to "business as usual."

    Analogies are dangerous, because bad analogies can capture the

    Orientation of a decision makers OODA loop, and seduce him/her to see

    and act on the connections he/she wants to see, rather than those that

    exist -- a problem that was extreme during the reign of Mad King

    George. But this kind of analogical thinking is also evident in the

    Obama Administration's strange belief that a "diplomatic surge" in AF-

    Pak will produce a parallel success to the the sham success the

    military surge in Iraq (which was hardly a surge, and more based on

    bribing Sunnis to switch sides, by Iran's pressure on Moktada al-Sadr

    to stand down, and by the successful ethnic cleansing Iraq's mixed

    Sunni/Shia neighborhoods) at a time, ironically, when the Iraqi

    "surge" is showing signs of coming unglued.

    Recognizing this danger of misplaced analogies, I am wondering if

    Obama is beginning to look more like Emperor Claudius than President

    Abraham Lincoln -- an analogy first suggested to me by Tom Cleaver, a

    democratic activist, an Obama supporter and indefatigable Obama fund

    raiser. Whereas Lincoln help to create a new birth to American

    democracy, Claudius was a best a speed bump on the slippery slope to

    ruin. Like Claudius, Obama is clearly better his predecessor, but as

    in the case of Claudius, Obama faces a very low bar for comparison

    (Claudius' predecessor was Caligula). And being better is not enough,

    because like Claudius, Obama is not making (or can not make) the hard

    political changes needed to evolve a salutary pathway into the

    future. And in not doing so, like Claudius, Obama may be a precursor

    to an evolution wherein more corrupt successors -- remember,

    Claudius' immediate successor was Nero -- continue to lead the

    (American) Empire deeper into the darkness of decay and ultimate ruin.

    But then maybe my OODA loop is distorted by the fact that I am now

    surrounded by detritus of dead empires, after a passage thru the

    historic Dardanelles, passing Gallipoli on my port side and Troy on my

    starboard side and Byzantium in front of me.

    Chuck

    -------------------------

    Iraq redux? Obama seeks funds for Pakistan super-embassy

    By Saeed Shah and Warren P. Strobel

    McClatchy Newspapers

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    ISLAMABAD — The U.S. is embarking on a $1 billion crash program to

    expand its diplomatic presence in Pakistan and neighboring

    Afghanistan, another sign that the Obama administration is making a

    costly, long-term commitment to war-torn South Asia, U.S. officials

    said Wednesday.

    The White House has asked Congress for — and seems likely to receive —

    $736 million to build a new U.S. embassy in Islamabad, along with

    permanent housing for U.S. government civilians and new office space

    in the Pakistani capital.

    The scale of the projects rivals the giant U.S. Embassy in Baghdad,

    which was completed last year after construction delays at a cost of

    $740 million.

    Senior State Department officials said the expanded diplomatic

    presence is needed to replace overcrowded, dilapidated and unsafe

    facilities and to support a "surge" of civilian officials into

    Afghanistan and Pakistan ordered by President Barack Obama and

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    Other major projects are planned for Kabul, Afghanistan; and for the

    Pakistani cities of Lahore and Peshawar. In Peshawar, the U.S.

    government is negotiating the purchase of a five-star hotel that would

    house a new U.S. consulate.

    Funds for the projects are included in a 2009 supplemental spending

    bill that the House of Representatives and the Senate have passed in

    slightly different forms.

    Obama has repeatedly stated that stabilizing Pakistan and Afghanistan,

    the countries from which al Qaida and the Taliban operate, is vital to

    U.S. national security. He's ordered thousands of additional troops to

    Afghanistan and is proposing substantially increased aid to both

    countries.

    In Pakistan, however, large parts of the population are hostile to the

    U.S. presence in the region — despite receiving billions of dollars in

    aid from Washington since 2001 — and anti-American groups and

    politicians are likely to seize on the expanded diplomatic presence in

    Islamabad as evidence of American "imperial designs."

    "This is a replay of Baghdad," said Khurshid Ahmad, a member of

    Pakistan's upper house of parliament for Jamaat-e-Islami, one of the

    country's two main religious political parties. "This (Islamabad

    embassy) is more (space) than they should need. It's for the micro and

    macro management of Pakistan, and using Pakistan for pushing the

    American agenda in Central Asia."

    In Baghdad and other dangerous locales, U.S. diplomats have sometimes

    found themselves cut off from the population in heavily fortified

    compounds surrounded by blast walls, concertina wire and armed guards.

    "If you're going to have people live in a car bomb-prone place, your

    are driven to not have a light footprint," said Ronald Neumann, a

    former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and the president of the

    American Academy of Diplomacy. Neumann called the planned expansions

    "generally pretty justified."

    In Islamabad, according to State Department budget documents, the plan

    calls for the rapid construction of a $111 million new office annex to

    accommodate 330 workers; $197 million to build 156 permanent and 80

    temporary housing units; and a $405 million replacement of the main

    embassy building. The existing embassy, in the capital's leafy

    diplomatic enclave, was badly damaged in a 1979 assault by Pakistani

    students.

    The U.S. government also plans to revamp its consular buildings in the

    eastern city of Lahore and in Peshawar, the regional capital of the

    militancy plagued North West Frontier Province. The consulate in the

    southern megacity of Karachi has just been relocated into a new

    purpose-built accommodation.

    A senior State Department official confirmed that the U.S. plan for

    the consulate in Peshawar involves the purchase of the luxury Pearl

    Continental hotel. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity

    because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

    The Pearl Contintental is the city's only five-star hotel, set in its

    own expansive grounds, with a swimming pool. It's owned by Pakistani

    tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani.

    Peshawar is an important station for gathering intelligence on the

    tribal area that surrounds the city on three sides and is a base for

    al Qaida and the Taliban. The area also will be a focus for expanded

    U.S. aid programs, and the American mission in Peshawar has already

    expanded from three U.S. diplomats to several dozen.

    In all, the administration requested $806 million for diplomatic

    construction and security in Pakistan.

    "For the strong commitment the U.S. is making in the country of

    Pakistan, we need the necessary platform to fulfill our diplomatic

    mission," said Jonathan Blyth of the State Department's Overseas

    Buildings Operations bureau. "The embassy is in need of upgrading and

    expansion to meet our future mission requirements."

    A senior Pakistani official said the expansion has been under

    discussion for three years. "Pakistanis understand the need for having

    diplomatic missions expanding and the Americans always have had an

    enclave in Islamabad," said the official, who requested anonymity

    because he wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly. "Will

    some people exploit it? They will."

    In Kabul, the U.S. government is negotiating an $87 million purchase

    of a 30- to 40-acre parcel of land to expand the embassy. The Senate

    version of the appropriations bill omits all but $10 million of those

    funds.

    (Shah is a McClatchy special correspondent. Jonathan S. Landay

    contributed to this article.)

    5 years ago
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  20. Yep. All that and more. Preaching to the choir about A tale told by an idiot.

    It ain't goin no where if you can't put it in a sound-bite, and then it only gets shoved aside by ridicule and other nonsense. The people don't know, can't know, without freedom of the press, and we won't get that until they know that they don't already have it. This whole forum is just reinforcing the illusion that we have the First Amendment, when we do not.

    5 years ago
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  21. I did that. “Who Owns the Media,” Idea #664, http://opengov.ideascale.com/akira/dtd/3276-4049

    A simple, accessible way to let the people know that the major media is not free at all; that it is completely controlled by people who are not our friends. They ask us to focus on circuses and want us to bicker over petty nonsense while they destroy everything that matters.

    Nothing is likely to come out of this forum. What do you want to bet they completely ignore “End Imperial Presidency,” Idea #571, http://opengov.ideascale.com/akira/dtd/3161-4049. As far as votes go, it's near the top of the list. It will never make it to phase two.

    5 years ago
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  22. Good luck on that "objective education & psychological stability." The fields of education and psychology are just a screwed up as every other system. The lunatics are running the asylum. I've been working on that at the local school level. I won't live to see the benefits. We need something more simple, objective and immediate.

    5 years ago
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  23. Wonderful and truthful observation and fact. We all know the president is run by the radical left, i.e. Pelosi, Gettlefinge of the UAW, Sorryos of moveon.org, ACORN, NOW, ACLU, EPA, Gore, etc. It is time for OUR president to start acting on his own and for the entire United States of America and not just the liberal state of America. He is really bending over to the special interest groups who are running our country into the ground.

    If Obama would just start acting as our leader and not running around campaigning for this democrat or that special project then those 70% of the people who did not vote for him might change their minds. He needs to be set free from these radical groups.

    5 years ago
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  24. Radical left? Nobody wants any of this crap. How can you possibly blame the liberals for the past eight years or for continuing manifest destiny? None of the old labels make sense any more. The leaders of the two parties merged long ago and don't represent any of us any more. It doesn't matter who or where you are, we're all equally screwed. Bickering over old divisions and blaming is just the distraction that is allowing them to do whatever they want.

    5 years ago
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  25. Can I take my vote back? I want to free Obama, but this stuff is creeping me out.

    Also in that link: "But passengers on the fourth plane... fought back, and the plane went down in rural Pennsylvania... In other words, the only hijacked airplane that failed to hit its target on Sept. 11 was the one where informed citizens were able to take direct action. It gave proof that our national security establishment is broken."

    That was such an inspiring story. The only problem is that it never happened. Those phone calls were frauds, technologically impossible at the time. We have no way of knowing what really happened. (One popular rumor is that it was shot down by someone who was disobeying a direct order from Chaney.)

    I'm afraid of terrorists, but the Arab variety only wish they were so important. The most dangerous terrorists are in Washington. Who can I call for that?

    5 years ago
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  26. For transparency sake? Ok.

    Deeply ashamed to be a US citizen. I'm nobody, got no book to sell. I thought of it once, but my audience wouldn't pay for it. Got no website or blog. 53-year old mom. Former Special Ed teacher. Member of the Board of Trustees at my kid's school. Recently self-diagnosed Aspie = severe allergy to fascism (we are not a disease, we are the cure). The stuff I usually want to rant about is related to the monstrocities known as the education and psychology industries. Not much overlap between those topics and this one, except that the whole culture is sick and twisted, from top to bottom.

    5 years ago
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  27. No other nation has ever been big enough or strong enough to be this evil...

    Sorry, all. This is hijacking. I'll do my off-topic ranting at WrongPlanet.org and other places.

    5 years ago
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  28. Where is all this transparency? we vaguely breezed over some of the evil doers, and threats that control Obamas agenda, some of the most important was omitted altogether, like,PNAC,JINSA,AIPAC, And other powerful evil neocon (most not even from our country) supporters that control our country.

    A simple problem, gov. officials intentionally broke the laws.. A simple solution, prosecute, it doesn't matter who you are. does it?? what if it was me, or a neighbor, Lets stop all this nonsense of looking ahead and not behind. Our gov. cannot recover without prosecuting these criminals

    Guy P Fraser

    Cola SC

    5 years ago
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  29. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    May 29, 2009 12:19 PM PDT

    A Cybersecurity Quiz: Can you tell Obama from Bush?

    by Declan McCullagh

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10252263-38.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20

    The U.S. president has announced a comprehensive cybersecurity

    strategy for the federal government, saying Internet-based threats

    have risen "dramatically" and the country "must act to reduce our

    vulnerabilities."

    A 76-page White House document calls for a new way of looking at

    Internet and computer security, saying that private-public

    partnerships are necessary, collaboration with international

    organizations will be vital, and that privacy and civil liberties must

    be respected in the process.

    Sound familiar? The year was 2003, and the president was George W.

    Bush, who wrote the introduction to what he called a "National

    Strategy to Secure Cyberspace."

    On Friday, President Obama announced his 76-page "Cyberspace Policy

    Review" -- with precisely the same number of pages as his

    predecessor's -- at an event at the White House.

    While the Bush document discusses centralizing cybersecurity

    responsibilities in the Department of Homeland Security and the Obama

    document shifts them to the White House, the two reports are

    remarkably similar. Perhaps this should be no surprise: Obama selected

    Melissa Hathaway, who worked for the director of national intelligence

    in the Bush administration and was director of an Bush-era "Cyber Task

    Force," to conduct the review.

    To test your political acumen, we've taken excerpts from both and

    placed them side-by side in the following chart. Can you tell which

    quotations come from which administration? (An answer key is at the

    end.)

    5 years ago
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  30. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Comment:

    REPOSTED as not seeing it, the first intelligent on-topic remark after carries, thank you.

    Where is all this transparency? we vaguely breezed over some of the evil doers, and threats that control Obamas agenda, some of the most important was omitted altogether, like,PNAC,JINSA,AIPAC, And other powerful evil neocon (most not even from our country) supporters that control our country.

    A simple problem, gov. officials intentionally broke the laws.. A simple solution, prosecute, it doesn't matter who you are. does it?? what if it was me, or a neighbor, Lets stop all this nonsense of looking ahead and not behind. Our gov. cannot recover without prosecuting these criminals

    Guy P Fraser

    Cola SC

    5 years ago
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    0 Disagreed
  31. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    I created this suggestion, and the meme "Free Obama" for good reason.

    You children with your ranting are off-topic and irritating. You have no clue about the depth of my reading or life experience, you are shallow, annoying, and will henceforth be ignored.

    If and when you can bring yourself to think, start with the annotated bibliography at www.oss.net/PIG.

    I have no doubt, "Sam," that you are the kind of troll who will then systematically vote negatively for each of my non-fiction reviews, most of which you will not understand.

    PLEASE. stop hijacking a serious idea with your persistent childish uninformed nonsense. Go poop in someone else's sandbox. I will not be seeing any more of your annoying automated emails so if you stay here, you are talking to yourself. Have fun.

    5 years ago
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  32. Sorry about the hijacking. Private messaging would have made more sense, but in this format it's not available. Still, we could have ranted elsewhere.

    The main point is that no one can be trusted with that kind of power. Ghandi himself couldn't handle it. I had an irrational hope that Obama would voluntarily give it up, which is kind of like asking Frodo to risk everything just to throw the thing into Mount Doom. Not a realistic request. The fact that I can't think of a way to make it happen is not a reason to give up and not try. That's what brainstorming is about.

    "Not everything is a conspiracy..." Actually, it is. We are living in the Age of Bull***. That is the economic basis of life. No one can survive today without being connected to some kind of scam. But that's a complaint about our times and human nature in general and not a reasonable part of this topic.

    "Can you write one thing on this site that isn't drowned with conspiracy theories and just maybe you will be taken seriously by the majority..." True, cosmetics must be considered before you can take it on the road. I would imagine that as part of "phase two." Rants that are not directly helpful to the topic should be avoided. Whether they are true or not isn't really the point. People will insist on focusing on distracting details as an excuse the reject and pretend they don't get the main point.

    As in so much of what's happening today, the main point is too hard to see because it is too big and too horrific to believe. Have we already passed the point of no return? Is there anything to be gained by fretting about something that can't be solved? It's easier to kill the messenger. How do you combat willful ignorance?

    5 years ago
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  33. We have a one party system. America's ruling party is the Council on Foreign Relations. With a membership that has probably never been higher than 15 ten thousandths of one percent of the population,it has dominated every administration since at least FDR's. It also controls the media and manages to keep itself almost entirely out of encyclopedias despite its significance in American politics. Its shock troop spin-off, the Trilateral Commission provided at least four key people to each candidates campaign. TC Henry Kissinger was McCain's foreign policy advisor and TC Brzezinski filled the role for Obama. No matter who wins the presidential elections, we lose. The same is true for most congressional elections.

    5 years ago
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  34. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Sort of agree, the CFP is certainly a "Members Only" meeting ground for the two-party system and its Wall Street masters but they are a service, not the power. The Trilateral Commission comes closer--Obama is a repeat of the Carter coronation by the Brzezinski crowd, and Obama is going along for multiple reasons including love of the job and fear of assassination if he breaks ranks. I actually believe in his goodness and potential, but right now he is under control and not allowed to stray. Books I would recommend to you are Senator Coburn's Breach of Trust on Congress and Peter Peterson's Running on Empty on the two party system. Rule by Secrecy and Crossing the Rubicon have valuable perspectives, while I tend to pull back from the total conspiracy theory, there is unquestionably a lock on power by a "bi-partisan" system that is, as Grover Norquist likes to say, code for screwing the taxpayer. Right now the federal government is a wealth transfer system from the individual taxpayer to the corporations and the banks, and thinks like welfare and social security are going bankrupt and are in any case a form of shell game, like fool's good sprinkled on the ground in front of the dead mine.

    5 years ago
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  35. Personally, I don't think there is an ounce of decency in the man. He is the consummate politician. He knows the route to power, even if it is only the exercise of it for someone else. He gets to be the man the naive think is running America.

    Ironically, I switched from Libertarian to Democrat just to vote for him, or really, to vote against Hillary. I didn't want to see the Rhodes Scholar back in the White House, even as first gentlemen. I hoped that at least we would not have another Anglophile driving us to war for Mutha England. I was told by Patrick Wood who co-authored "Trilaterals Over Washington" with Antony Sutton that I'd made a mistake. Obama was the annointed one. I think that's why the Reps picked one of the worst candidates they could find. I often joke that Reagan was dead the last year in office but everybody thought he was sleeping and didn't want to wake him. I didn't think McCain was going to live through the campaign.

    I don't lack reading material. I've got about 1000 books in my library. Many I just use for reference, many I've read, and many I've perused and didn't think worth reading, but there's about 50 to 100 I'd like to get to someday. More than likely I'll be dead before that. I also have everything that's on Yamaguchy.netfirms.com downloaded. Most of them are good reading.

    I realize that the CFR is just the paid servant of the ruling class, but then, so are the "two" parties.

    I don't know if you're old enough to have seen this enough times to pick up on it, but every so often one party or the other is pronounced dead giving hope to a "third" party. Somehow, I don't know if by organ transplant from the "other" party, the dead party is resurrected. This has happened several times in my life.

    5 years ago
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  36. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    I am neutral on Obama. Apart from a decent family, I am not willing to hold anyone to blame for "going along" with forces they perceive as more powerful than them *up to the point* where they start hurting others. Shinseki and Powell both hurt as all by not standing up to leaders they knew to be liars and nakedly amoral. Obama right now is in the cat bird seat IF and only if he "betrays" the money that bought him in and restores the connection between We the People (all of us) and our government.

    Right now he is in a "closed circle" and everything that reaches him is carefully screened. The young were swept up in the theater of Obama at the same time that the Bushies betrayed McCain and Palin--the latter should have been pitched as "First Mom, All Ears" not sliced up and fed to the press as she was. McCain has cut corner too, on the POW/MIA issue, for example, but on balance I consider him to be "less controllable" than Obama.

    I am beginning to think that the substitute for government regulation that is now possible is public information and public intelligence ("true cost" of everything. Government is collapsing because DC is trying to micro-manage everything and spending more and more on achieving less and less. The Fed and the federal government are inept when it comes to resilience, adaptability, and so on.

    Your last comment grabs me. Animal Farm really nailed it, and I do believe all of this is theater. Today Pravda of all places had an editorial on the USA going communist and below is a paragraph from that editorial:

    -----------BEGIN QUOTES----------------

    It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

    First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a Burger King burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.

    Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another.

    The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

    ----------END QUOTES---------------

    I have designed a FREE OBAMA sticker, negotiating now for a nation-wide price at all FedExKinko's, and talking to a publicist that has been "donated" to this cause about how to roll out the FREE OBAMA campaign. One thing I am certain of: no one next to Obama less his wife can be trusted to advise him in the public interest, only their own and that of their financial masters. We need to break him out of jail or watch him die in captivity.

    Gald to see your comment and have a chance to interact.

    5 years ago
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  37. I do blame those who go along. Many years ago I was raising cane with our 8th District Democratic Congressman, who I'd named Re-Pete because he was a carbon copy of the Republican who preceded him, also named Pete. The Democratic party sent feelers to me about my interest in a job in Washington. I told them I was not for sale. I could have been a Washington fat cat with a sexcretary on each knee, but I'm not the type to go along. I ask no reward for sticking to my principles other than that, when they bury me in Potter's Field, someone put a little marker on my grave that says, "Here Lies PhreedomPhan -- Owner of His Soul."

    I don't know about McCain. I suspect he knew he was to be sacrificed at the altar of the new Messiah. Palin may not have known. On the other hand she may have been promised something in the future for being a sacrificial lamb now.

    Back in the seventies I used to have some fun with regulation loving friends. They liked to parrot the then popular mantra, "Big business controls government." I would tell them I agreed comletely, which I did and do, and would ask "What's the solution?" Almost invariably, "Give Congress more power to control big business." Well, Duh!! If big business controls the government and you give more power to the government, who are you giving the power to? I think that's part of the reason the growth of the big corporations seemed to parallel the growth of regulation. That also ties in with the growth of Marxism. I have long said that Communism (Russian & Chinese), Fabian Socialism (British & American), and Fascism (German & Italian) were just slightly variant forms of the ultimate capitalist monopoly. Under them the state would own or control everything and the capitalists would own the state.

    I'm enjoying the exchange too. Do you have a blog? I'd like to see it. If your interested, I have two. I think you might find some things that might interest you there.

    http://PhreedomPhan-lostliberty.blogspot.com

    http://phreedomphan-americasenemies.blogspot.com

    Rick

    BTW, you're not related to the Bob Steele that tamed the wild west with Hoot Gibson and Ken Maynard are you?

    5 years ago
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  38. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Whence the Terror Hysteria?

    Follow the Money

    by Philip Giraldi, June 02, 2009

    Email This | Print This | Share This | Comment

    One of the unique pleasures of living near our nation’s capital is to

    sit down with the first morning cup of coffee, open the Washington

    Post, and flip through the full-page ads placed by defense

    contractors. The ads almost always feature dedicated young soldiers,

    fierce bald eagles, and American flags. They extol our heroic

    warriors and note how they, the contractors, are on the front line

    defending freedom and the American way. They do not mention that the

    ads are paid for by the taxpayers, courtesy of the huge profits

    generated by unneeded defense spending. Their CEOs and shareholders

    must smile when they see the ads. The rest of us shouldn’t.

    This is not to suggest that defense contractors don’t do a lot of

    good in the world. They support armies of lobbyists and contribute to

    congressmen who otherwise would have to find real work. They make

    sure that the pundits and ideologues who promote a vigorous defense

    of American interests at home and abroad are well-funded through

    their contributions to think-tanks like the American Enterprise

    Institute, the Hudson Institute, and Frank Gaffney’s ubiquitous

    Center for Security Policy. They hold gala dinners and invite Bush

    administration hacks and blue dog Democrats to speak, paying them

    generous honoraria to make sure they have comfortable retirements.

    They sometimes show incredible ingenuity, figuring out how to make

    gasoline that costs $1.13 per gallon in Kuwait cost $8 when it

    arrives in Iraq a day later. They produce ships and planes and

    missile systems that America doesn’t need, but doing so surely keeps

    workers in their factories in key congressional constituencies from

    having to file for unemployment. It’s a win-win.

    And defense contractors know how to make people afraid and keep them

    that way. The next war, against Iran, will no doubt be prepped by

    claims that Tehran was involved in 9/11 and that it is the principal

    supporter of al-Qaeda. Those Persians are "killing our soldiers." And

    nothing much changes when you flip from Republican to Democrat. Even

    if the Global War on Terror (GWOT) is now being referred to as

    Overseas Contingency Operations, there has been no shift in how

    Washington approaches the terrorism problem. Overseas Contingency

    Operations are just as big a business as was GWOT; they are designed

    to make money and create good jobs for a lot of people. If one opens

    that same Washington Post featuring the full-page self-congratulatory

    ads and turns to the employment pages, the few jobs available in this

    recession-wracked economy are in the quarter-page listings for

    defense contractors. Squeezing money from the taxpayers or borrowing

    it from foreigners appears to be the entirety of Washington’s local

    economy.

    This huge war-driven economy is particularly difficult to comprehend

    given that the principal enemy is neither a foreign country nor a

    coalition of states. Contemporary terrorism is best describable as

    the tactic employed by a loosely wired political movement. There are

    no accurate statistics on how many terrorists there are in the world,

    but it is safe to assume that there are probably no more than several

    thousand Salafists, Islamic extremists who have an international

    agenda that makes them ideological foes of the United States and its

    allies. Al-Qaeda is one of several Salafist groups.

    Those several thousand militants are most often engaged in carrying

    out actions against their own countries of origin. They are

    essentially stateless even when they take up residence somewhere.

    They are harried, arrested, and killed whenever possible by every

    police force and intelligence service in the world. They have

    occasional successes but more often find themselves running from one

    safehouse or cave to another to avoid detection. Ideologically

    speaking, they are a force whose time has passed, with ever fewer

    young people attracted to the revolutionary rhetoric. Apart from

    places like Afghanistan, where carrying a rifle is the only job

    available, new recruits are few and far between.

    These couple of thousand terrorists should be the principal target of

    United States counterterrorism efforts, which should focus on good

    police work and intelligence operations combined with cooperation

    with friendly governments working to the same end. But the United

    States instead apparently prefers to use an elephant to swat a fly.

    The buildup of the new U.S. military commands in Africa and Latin

    America continues with no peace dividend in sight, as if the 101st

    Airborne provides a viable solution to a band of militants hiding in

    a hut or in the jungle. The Pentagon budget under President Barack

    Obama has gone up by 12 percent, not down, and exceeds $581 billion,

    excluding special appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan. The

    intelligence budget is in excess of $70 billion, and Homeland

    Security costs $43 billion annually. Other agencies and bureaus, such

    as the Department of Energy, have their own security budgets. Much of

    this spending is directly or indirectly attributable to the terrorist

    threat or, to put it more accurately, the perception of the terrorist

    threat.

    The inflated cost of doing business in the age of terror means that

    U.S. taxpayers are spending as much as $200 billion per year in a not

    completely successful attempt to deal with a couple of thousand

    terrorists scattered around the world. Dividing the money spent by

    the number of terrorists suggests an astonishing $100 million or so

    per terrorist per year. Is this money well spent? The defense

    contractors and Beltway bandits who have gotten fat on government

    contracts think so. But anyone not directly profiting from the status

    quo would likely look at the "business model" and conclude that it

    might work far better to buy each terrorist a nice villa on the

    Riviera with a Mercedes parked out front and give his kids a full

    scholarship to Harvard to make the problem go away.

    To shift the failed counterterrorism paradigm, the first thing

    President Obama should do is delegitimize the fear merchants with a

    dose of reality. His intelligence briefings should be telling him

    that while terrorism is a serious problem, it is not an "existential"

    threat, as the currently fashionable expression has it. Obama should

    calm the waters by telling the American people that terrorism is a

    containable problem that is in decline anyway. He should reduce

    everyone’s blood pressure by observing that terrorism cannot

    seriously damage the United States unless we Americans let it do so

    by ruining our economy using borrowed money in a futile attempt to

    spend our way into some kind of terrorism-free nirvana.

    If Obama truly wants to change the perception of terrorism, he first

    has to cut off the flood of money that makes the whole anti-terrorism

    effort a huge feeding trough for defense contractors and other

    parasites who would not exist but for the flow of cash. The full-page

    ads in the Post gushing with faux-patriotism don’t mean a thing

    except that the military-industrial complex has a lot of money to

    burn courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. Without the money feeding the

    contrived narrative about the global threat, the whole terrorism

    mythology will wither and die. The contractors can go home and

    hopefully find something useful to do, such as giving something back

    to the American people who have made them rich. America can stop

    getting involved willy-nilly in other people’s quarrels overseas and

    might even be able to return to being a normal country with normal

    people aspiring to normal things.=

    5 years ago
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  39. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    From a senior colleague:

    It was not my intention to contact you quite so soon, but I think the “bumper sticker” that you so kindly shared goes to the heart of the problem. The duopoly that has been running this country is made possible because wheather a Democrat or Republican is elected President; the elected is immediately enveloped by either the Democratic or Republican branch of a more or less homogenous policy establishment that sets the real agenda for both foreign and domestic policies (including intelligence policy).

    This establishment is primarily interested in ensuring a more or less seamless system of governance. The congress is under the spell of this same establishment (indeed congressional staffers move effortlessly from their staff jobs to the establishment and back again).

    The sort of reforms that you are advocating, no matter how cogent or necessary, would endanger the status quo and the comfortable niche that the duopoly establishment currently occupies. The way the U.S. Government works any suggestions related to policy and governance must go through this establishment. Figure the odds.

    5 years ago
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    0 Disagreed
  40. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    www.freeobama.net and www.freeobama.org now in my possession. installing word press and making them totally available to the public to load bumper stick ideas, discuss how he can be freed from the mafia that has him under virtual control, etcetera.

    5 years ago
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  41. It'll never fly. Not because your assessment of the situation is incorrect, but because no one can hear such a concentrated version of the truth, mixed with rants that are not necessary and are counter-productive. I'm with you, but you'll attract more bees with a little diplomacy.

    5 years ago
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  42. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    A worthy comment that I have heard before. At 56, with multiple life experiences and credentials, I came to the conclusion that "diplomacy" is ccode for "goping along." Take David Walker, for example, who told me in an email that "how you [compalain] matters." This is a guy that spent seven years telling Congress politely that the USA was going involvent, finally declaring in 2007 that the USA WAS insolvent (both Senators McCain and Obama ignored him), and then--finally--he quit when he got offered a cushy job withte Peterson Foundation to "educate" the public on the budget. That was two years ago and I have not seen anything worth a damn come out of the Peterson foundation--Walker appears to be making a movie and loving the black tie crowd.

    We do not live in a democracy. We live is a country that has been run into the ground by a mix of political and financial "pals" who have committed treason (in time of war) and multiple impeachable offenses across both parties, not least of which was the complete abdication by BOTH parties in Congress of Article 1 of the Constitution, allowing Dick Cheney to run an imperial presidency.

    Today Obama is trapped in a closed circle, very much to his liking I am sure, but he is capable of more if we can break him out.

    With respect, I appreciate your comment very much, but it is not realistic. It is going to take 50 million pissed off Independents aligning with 50 million "very disappointed" Cultural Creatives to take this government back in 2010, and I don't see it happening if everyone plays nice.

    Look at Bloomberg as an example. He got sucked into the bi-partisan nonsense, and blew a perfectly good chance to become President by not sticking them them that brought him to power, the Unified Independents. He betrayed them and they are not supporting his third term run. I went to Oklahoma to watch Bloomberg make a fool of himself with a mix of Democratic and Republican has-beens (Sam Nunn was the only person still breathing on stage).

    This is real simple: first, we get Obama's attention and make it clear that 2010 will NOT be a two-party election. Then we ask him to pass the eight point electoral reform act as the price for keeping one third of Congress Democratic. If he does not, I believe we should dismiss 80% of Congress, to include recall elections for those Senators not up for re-election in 2010.

    5 years ago
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  43. Devoid of actual implementation details and specifics relevant to government change. Plugs own book, which is sold for profit. Contains many of the hallmarks of advertising and populist propaganda.

    Voting down.

    5 years ago
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    0 Disagreed
  44. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Good grief. I guess you missed the part where all my books are free online.

    This has actually sparked a wonderfully constructive dialog offline away from the trolls, and I summarize the highlights below:

    1. Striking out at the two criminal parties, while accurate, is not helpful.

    2. More helpful is the "resist the borg" meme, and I am working on both a book and a bumper sticker along those lines, to be presented (free--remember that part) at www.freeobama.org.

    3. The more I read about him, the more I am seeing him as a slick willie counterpart to the village idiot fielded before him, which just goes to show, who is president really does not change a thing.

    Resist the borg!

    5 years ago
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  45. I tried freeobama.org. It's empty. What is one supposed to do there?

    5 years ago
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  46. Robert David STEELE Vivas Idea Submitter

    Being very deliberate in consultation with others. In a day or so, say for sure by early next week when I do a nation-wide press release, freeobama.org will point to freeobama.net, and you will find a site that is at least a word press open to all, and am hoping to include a voting system.

    We are looking at the software behind this specific site here (Open Government) but it does not allow for clustering and linking ideas and comments which is something I really want (e.g. all the marijuana comments here should be clustered into one umbrella parent with siblings).

    The change in my own thinking that has occurred as a result of extensive dialog away from this site is that the focus needs to be on helping everyone see the full range of the Borg--it's not just the two political parties that have sold out and breached the public trust, not just the Federal Reserve, not just the insurance companies, etc. It is an entire system that separates the haves from the have nots, and as I learned from Deer Hunting with Jesus, it is present in every small town across America, not just in the big cities with their urban poor.

    What we are talking about here is a paradigm shift. Cheney was not enough. Obama fooled most of the young and all the idealists unwilling to look too closely. Now we are at a point where I believe two conclusions can be drawn:

    1) Obama has the power to embrace the 39% independents and the roughly 30% moderates from each of the two bi-opoly powers, and BE the President. He could actually have a transpartisan Cabinet, an Open Source Agency instead of a CIA, and a Congress with one third Independents that do not caucus with one of the two bi-opoly powers. He could subject the Fed to GAO srutiny while planning to wind it down, enact the Electoral Reform Act in time for 2010, etcetera.

    2) If Obama chooses not to embrace the larger public and the demand for a restoration of the Constitution and the Republic, then I believe we face a national crisis in which 2010 will be the beginning of a break-up, with states like Alaska, Hawaii, and Vermont withdrawing from the United STATES of America, many states like Montana and Oklahoma nullifying federal regulations that are often stupid and sometimes criminal (like mandated ceilings on environmental regulation, instead of floors) and at some point--this is inevitable--I see a massive tax revolt across the country.

    So, we live in interesting times.

    Sorry to disappoint on the website today, I want to be certain it is a neutral friendly place before it goes up. I plan to avoid any posting myself, but will respond to comments and moderate the trolls.

    5 years ago
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    0 Disagreed

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