Uncle Sam and us -- hogwash from fact

“For the first time, we are witnessing an award with the nominee having done nothing to deserve it: rewarding someone for a wish that is very far from becoming reality.”

By Rajpal Abeynayake

(October 27, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The debate goes on about how Uncle Sam is treating us and how we should be treating Uncle Sam, and there are those who say that we should be more civil and less pesky. Some say that we should not call President Obama names, because, for one, thing Fidel Castro has lauded his Nobel Prize, and Hugo Chavez says there is an Obama 1 and an Obama 2 —— the good Obama and the other Obama.


Let’s see. As long as we are sure that leftist leaders in the Americas are the last word on how the rest of the world should react to President Barack Obama, let’s ascertain what Chavez himself has to say about Obama’s recent Nobel prize. Here is the low-down on that: CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela’s socialist leader Hugo Chavez said on Sunday that U.S. President Barack Obama had done nothing beyond wishful thinking to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. Chavez, who has mixed praise for Obama personally with criticism of his government’s “imperialist” policies, said he thought it was a mistake when he read the U.S. leader had won.

“What has Obama done to deserve this prize? The jury put store on his hope for a nuclear arms-free world, forgetting his role in perpetuating his battalions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his decision to install new military bases in Colombia,” Chavez wrote in a column.

“For the first time, we are witnessing an award with the nominee having done nothing to deserve it: rewarding someone for a wish that is very far from becoming reality.”
So for those who say that Fidel Castro has the last say on this matter, here is a leftist with far more democratic credentials than the ageing proponent of Fidelismo, saying that Obama’s Nobel was underserved, and yet we are all supposed to say ‘Amen’ to Fidel and be good boys and shut up about Obama, his peacemaking, and his foreign policy adventures since taking office?

I’m almost tempted to say, maybe in Cuba they would have done that. But that would be unkind.

Meanwhile, this no-frills condemnation (above) was from the same Chavez who is supposed to have said there is a Obama 1 and 2, an aspect we are told, we in Sri Lanka have crudely and ignorantly ignored.

I mean who are these people?

Here is almost the entire world saying that Obama should not have strayed into Afghanistan with such force, and we are not supposed to make that critique here in Colombo, in deference to Fidel? What is it, next time we’ll be asked to smoke Cuban cigars only?

Obama’s adventurism

I wasn’t fibbing either about that yawning and still growing list of those who are against Obama’s adventurism in Afghanistan, and this includes not just Tariq Ali but Chavez himself (Chavez 2?) and others as far afield as Conservative columnist George F. Will, who one would have thought, would be so hyper-wound about American security as right wing netherworld inhabitants often are wont to be. No, but even George F. Will says that Obama’s Afghanistan policy is a mistake - - and wait till you hear this — Joe Biden has been so vocal about Obama’s intervention in Afghanistan, that some columnists such as Arianna Huffington have asked Biden to put his money where his mouth is and resign his job as Vice President of the United States.

Yes, that’s right folks, the Vice President of the Untied States says that the Afghan policy is flawed (.....a recent Newsweek article opens by describing a Sept. 13 meeting between Biden, Obama and top national security advisors, with Biden comparing the amount of money spent this year on Afghanistan ($65 billion) to Pakistan ($2.25 billion). Biden then says: “Well, by my calculations that’s a 30-to-1 ratio in favour of Afghanistan. So I have a question. Al-Qaida is almost all in Pakistan, and Pakistan has nuclear weapons. And yet for every dollar we’re spending in Pakistan, we’re spending $30 in Afghanistan. Does that make strategic sense?”.)

Nether world lunatic

And now I can’t wait for so and so to say that Biden is a right wingnut, a nether world lunatic. But no, we are told that we cannot criticize Obama’s Afghan policy, because Obama has a right to oppose his terrorists the way we opposed ours. (As Biden says, Al-Qaida is almost all in Pakistan so what terrorists are Obama hunting in a foreign country, compared to the real terrorists that we hunted down in our country?) If we can’t do what the Vice President of the Untied States has done, which is to criticise Obama’s Afghan war, and are required to be more deferential about Obama’s polices, lest we rub him on the wrong side, or “appear to be crude’’, I suppose one day we would have to listen to such folks who lecture to us about this aspect, and censure the U. S Vice President himself, when he talks of Obama’s Afghan policy? “Shut up Biden, and sit-down.’’ After all, we have to always stick up for uncle Obama, never mind Uncle Sam?

I tell you, you do not get this kind off blind Obamabot, even right inside the White House, go ask Joe Biden about that.

As for Castro, it appears the old fox has given Obama the benefit of the doubt at the moment, which we all do too, but it’s also worth remembering that Castro is the arch strategist, and perhaps all his damning by faint praise regards Obama, has got to do with Castro’s legitimate intent of seeing Obama possibly evolving into an American version of Gorbachav —— a man who can deconstruct a state from within and reinvent it in an altogether different image. Castro is being kind, crafty and perhaps a tad sarcastic when he says for instance that the Nobel is deserved by Obama “due to the genocidal polices of past US leaders.’’ There you go, it’s not for what Obama has done, but for what Obama has not done that Castro legitimises the Obama Nobel — a back-handed compliment if ever there was one, showing very well that the wily Castro is not in raptures about Obama half as much as those groupies who fawn on him here in faraway Colombo make out he is.

In any case, the Obamabots who hector us on the non gentrified ostensibly hoi polloi lumpen Sri Lankan classes who have criticized Obama, or have had the unmitigated gall to criticise this young, supra divine almost messianic being, are also now claiming that we have editorialised referring to Obama as a ‘house nigger’ and a “clown.’’ The exact quotes as they occur in the two editorials say otherwise:

Gross politically incorrect comment

The first one states “said Butenis that Clinton had not specified ‘who’’ meaning that the Sri Lankan government had not been pointedly mentioned. We suppose if the Sri Lankan foreign secretary states “America is run by a bunch of house niggers’’, he can still say by way of explanation that one Mr. Obama was not specifically mentioned.

Now this our foreign secretary or none in our country would ever say, but this brand of gross politically incorrect comment represents the general flavour of bad taste in the mouth that Hillary Clinton and many American officials regularly leave, when they make intemperate, insensitive and patently off the remit comments about UN member nations.

The second editorial referred to states “that’s why Obama appears not merely a hypocrite but also a clown....”

Obviously the editorialist’s intent in the first quoted instance was to deplore the politically incorrect description of Obama, but here we have someone’s uncalled for sleight of hand that tries to make it appear as if we are the ones who referred to Obama by the epithet “house nigger.” Nothing can be further from the truth as the same quoted sentence states explicitly that “this is the kind of gross and politically incorrect comment we do not approve of.’’ Gross and politically incorrect, we say, savvy?

In the 2nd instance, Obama was not editorially called a clown but it was stated that Obama “appears to be a clown’’ doing what he does, and saying what he says, about a certain specific matter .i.e.; Calling Tissainayagam an emblematic case of someone who is in jail for exercise of free speech, when the US continues to keep journalists detained in Iraq sans any due process whatsoever. I suppose at this rate, we would be forbidden from using figurative speech when writing about the US president, something Obama himself would say, is fiercely defended by the 1st amendment rights in his country.

We are also lectured to on the basis that our society, political formations and intelligentsia, in calling a spade a spade and criticising president Obama —— even when such a critique is due —— would be risking “eroding our military’s relations with the US and the benefits, material, professional and strategic, we reap from those ties. ‘’

That’s rich, coming from the sorts of persons who in global forums lectured to Israel at the height of Sri Lanka war against terrorists, on matters entirely unrelated to Sri Lanka, risking an unnecessary alienation, at that point, of Israel from Sri Lanka, which could have jeopardised the entire war effort no less —— considering the powerful influence Israel and the Israeli lobby has on the same Unites States, that there is so much breast beating going on over now.

Considering all, I think we can all do without the lectures on civility values and inter-state relations from those who advocate, in the name of civility, a ingratiating spinelessness from the intelligentsia of this country, who can call a spade a spade, and also keep their own counsel on what’s civil and uncivil crude and unparliamentary without having a supercilious starry-eyed Castronick judge them on such matters.

(The writer, chief editor of the Lakbima News, weekly news paper based in Colombo)
-Sri Lanka Guardian