By Sherwood Ross- BLN Contributing Writer
Can President Obama be serious when he says he accepts the Nobel Peace Prize as “an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people of all nations”?
Among “all nations” does he include the people of Iraq? Polls show folks there overwhelmingly want the U.S. to get out. Apparently, they didn’t care for their dose of “American leadership.” Does Obama’s “all nations” include Okinawa, which the U.S. has occupied for 64 years and refuses to leave?
Does “all nations” include Diego Garcia, whose inhabitants the U.S. forced from their island homes in the Indian Ocean, (as Time magazine has reported,) and whose dogs we gassed for good measure? (President Bush later used that base to attack Afghanistan, the better to dominate the oil-rich Middle East.)
Since he’s been in office only a short time, when Obama speaks of “an affirmation of American leadership” is he referring to the eight years of warmongering by his predecessor George W. Bush, who tore up every international treaty he could lay his hands on? In fact, global public opinion polls identified Bush as one of the most feared public figures on the planet. What kind of “leadership” is it when one UN member invades another based on lies and kills a million of its people, steals it blind, and shatters its economy? Calling that “leadership” is a bit wide of the mark.
Perhaps Obama is referring to the “leadership” of his friend Bill Clinton, who let half a million Iraqi children starve to death during his White House watch and who inaugurated the rendition kidnappings of men off the streets of foreign countries---men who were subsequently tortured and denied legal rights and representation?
“Leaders,” of course, are supposed to have followers. But a CNN poll September 15th found that 58 percent of Americans oppose the war in Afghanistan. That war is as illegal as the war in Iraq, yet President Obama is deliberating about whether to escalate it, not whether to end it.
Obama’s statement accepting the Nobel is as misleading as his remarks to the CIA last April 16th when he praised the Agency and hailed the U.S. as “a nation of laws” when today it is, in fact, the world’s principal law-breaker. The fact is, the charismatic new president appears to see the world through the dark glasses of the CIA and has aligned himself with the Agency’s imperialist agenda. Given Obama’s past employment, this is not that odd.
According to Wikipedia, upon graduating from Columbia University, Obama for a year “held a position as a research associate” in Business International Corp., a CIA front organization. The company is alleged to have kindly paid off Obama’s college loans for him. Obama worked in BIC’s financial services division, where he edited “Financing Foreign Operations,” a global reference service, and wrote for “Business International Money Report,” a weekly financial newsletter. According to an article in the October issue of Rock Creek Free Press, of Washington, D.C., reporter Wayne Madsen writes, “Through its contacts with leading liberals around the world, BIC sought to recruit those on the left as CIA agents and assets.” At any rate, the New York Times reported in 1977 that a BIC company official admitted providing “cover” for CIA employees.
The CIA, of course, has long been tied in with advancing the interests of the oil industry. Its Middle East station chief Kermit Roosevelt in 1953 stage-managed the overthrow of the democratic government of Iran after it nationalized its oil industry, as it had every right to do, especially when they were being cheated like mad.
As the CIA works largely under cover, many of its activities such as the torture in Iraq and Afghanistan prisons are concealed from public view. So Obama, as a former CIA asset, protects the Agency by not calling their alleged torturers to account, by withholding photographs of their nauseating handiwork, and by praising the bandits in public. One way to tell who really runs a country is to look to see which, if any, of its citizens are above the law. In America, those people are headquartered in Langley, Virginia. #
(Sherwood Ross formerly reported for the Chicago Daily News, wire services, and national magazines. Reach him at email@example.com)
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