AMY GOODMAN: Robert Scheer, your last chapter, “Sucking Up to the Bankers: Crisis Handoff from Bush to Obama”””has Obama done anything different about the economy than Bush, do you feel?
ROBERT SCHEER: No. Obama has been a disaster. And I say this as someone who was suckered into contributing to his campaign financially. You know, my wife maxed out in her contributions, pushing those buttons every time. I still get emails from the Obama campaign telling “We’re winning here, we’re winning there.” But it’s been a disaster.
Meanwhile President Obama’s occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan continue apace at the cost of trillions of dollars; trillions Americans could have pumped into schools, roads, jobs, buying houses, and so much more. Obama’s drone war against Pakistan and killings in Yemen and Somalia go on and on. Clearly the US will not be on the road to justice until its leaders are tried for war crimes and sitting in prison. AWARE’s most recent flier tells the tale. The financial cost is more than the American economy can bear.
Update (2010-09-10, 2010-09-11): Terry Jones is a pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, a small church in Gainesville, Florida which planned to mark September 11, 2010 by burning printed Qur’ans. Recently President Barack Obama said that Dove World Outreach Center’s protest “could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan”. Democracy Now! and the BBC report that Defense Secretary Robert Gates echoed Obama’s sentiment to Pastor Jones by phone. The BBC also notes that some unnamed person from “[t]he FBI had visited Mr Jones to urge him to reconsider his plans“. Obama explained the logic behind his statement to ABC News: “this is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda. You know, you could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan.”. The BBC quotes Obama saying “We’ve got an obligation to send a very clear message that this kind of behaviour or threat of action puts our young men and women in harm’s way.”.
Obama, Gates, and their sympathizers who oppose Jones’ protest on these grounds are shamefully trying to deflect responsibility for the continued Iraq & Afghanistan occupations and the Pakistan drone attacks onto Jones’ misguided protest. Amazing how Jones’ small protest captures so much American corporate media attention and is blamed for so much while anti-war activists struggle for national coverage. This alone tells us that there’s something about Jones’ message that is acceptable to corporate media while anti-war protests are not acceptable for corporate media to cover—if you challenge the occupation on ethical grounds you must be kept away from the mic but if your message can be co-opted by those who benefit from war, your effort may be called news. Whether Al Qaeda or anyone else, the occupations and attacks are “a recruitment bonanza” for anyone who wants to end American occupation. The American occupation proceeded under former US President George W. Bush. People are unwilling to be occupied and occupiers have no rights. This desire for freedom in turn “puts our young men and women in harm’s way”. Occupation and a thirst for war are two of the strongest links tying together the two major corporate parties in the US. Burning Qur’ans is notably intolerant but non-lethal and incredibly minor in comparison to occupation. As Jones told CNN, “We are burning the book. We are not killing someone. We are not murdering people.”.