Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obama's Inheritance

Jehad Nga
"Operation Steel Curtain, Iraq 2006"

Art collector, patron, humanitarian advocate and all-around-great-guy James Wagner is also a longtime blogger. Every so often, he posts a short essay on JamesWagner.com that warrants wide distribution. (Lacking significant broadcast reach, I can only recommend those posts here.)

James' thoughts regarding the election of Barack Hussein Obama parallel my own, and he states the case much more succinctly than I could. I include some excerpts below.
"We endured eight disastrous years of a Bush presidency, years which saw both the haughty ascendancy and the ignoble collapse of the unmourned Late Capitalist, Neoconservative and Republican regime. Nothing of importance or worth in our own Republic or in much of the rest of the world has escaped the depredations of its arrogance, its sententiousness, its dominion and its greed. I had believed for years that no fundamental political change would occur until we had sunk into a genuine economic depression, and I had gloomily predicted the change would be toward some form of Fascism."

"I hadn't anticipated the confluence of the dramatic events of the last year and the exceptional capabilities of Barack Hussein Obama...But in order to rebuild institutions, restore well-being and a belief in the future, the new President will have to pull off something like a major revolution."

"Without that full recognition of the seriousness of our crisis, and with the continuing strength of contemporary skeptics, dinosaurs and reactionaries, including the fact that almost as many people didn't vote for him as did, Obama will almost certainly have to push through what must be, and almost certain will be, an extremely progressive agenda while not making it look too radical, and he will have to do it in a way that will disarm and even enlist on its behalf as many of its potential adversaries as possible."

"I know there will be mistakes, as FDR made mistakes, but, and call me Pollyanna again, I believe he will pull it off, partly because of what I have just written, but also because he will have so much help (both enthusiastic and skilled), and because we have come to such a pass that we all really want to see him to succeed: Regardless of our diversity, and despite the vast range in our individual conditions and current fortunes, none of us can afford the cost of failure. We'll have to be in there with him."
Pony up, people. We've got work to do.

Read the full post here.

Peter van Agtmael
"A teenager injured as his house is searched by US forces, Iraq 2006."

Also, I recommend James' post on the Battlespace project's unpublished photographs from our "three wars." I have included three of the images in this post, but I highly recommend readers visit Battlespace to view more of the profound images. Be forewarned that many of the images are deeply troubling. I feel cold and wretched looking at some; it's hard not to cry, and sometimes the only thing for it.

Balazs Gardi
"Kunar province, Afghanistan. Survivors of a US airstrike."

Photo credits: all pictures ripped from Battlespace website


Michael said...

Indeed. I wouldn't rule out the fascism threat just yet. History provides ample examples of reformist governments being ousted by authoritarian regimes. Look, for example, at the fairly liberal-minded Russian government that fell to the Bolsheviks or the Weimar republic that was destroyed by the Nazis. Granted there are innumerable other factors that contributed their respective falls, but I think the point is valid. Hard-line, right wing backlash can be a real bitch, and those of us with a reformist mindset would be wise not to forget it.

No amount of Homeland Security can entirely protect us, and, like our allies worldwide, we will probably be forced to learn to live with periodic attacks.

It is my hope that our newly elected government will not have to face a 9-11 type crisis. If it does, however,I hope that we the American people will be brave enough to weather that storm without succumbing to fear-based appeal of authoritarian rulers.

zzi said...

Remember there are close to a billion people that would love to destroy us including your lovely photos.

Hungry Hyaena said...


Well said.


Remember that there are between 10 and 100 trillion cells in your body, any one of which could, at any time, become cancerous. Do you rage against that possibility, living in constant fear of the attack that may or may not come?

I don't mean to sound snarky. The parallel is not, as I see it, unreasonable.

Donald Frazell said...

One billion people do NOT want to destroy us. Most Muslims are angry and want the US to stop supporting Irael over Islamic concerns, but that does not mean they all hate us. Saddam did not hate us, though he certainly was no Muslim, he wanted us to be economically healthy, so he could take as much of our money as he could and be King of the Arabs, the Caliph. And control the flow of oil.

Sunnis turned on Al Qaeda in Irq, and Shiites are their enemies. Al Qaeda is a buncha brigands, we glorified them into a real threat, when they are not.

The Soviet Union was a potential threat, but we learned to coexist under mutual assured destruction, til communism inevitably fell. We just are not ants, and cannot live communally, experiment is such have always failed. We cannot be trained in this way, for better or worse.

We are a mix of socialism and capitalism, neither works on their own. We forgot this, and the wisdom of Keynesian economics. You spend your way out of a recession through government spending for jobs and unemployment insurance, then pay it off when times get good. Our credit cards are maxed out, and now going into a potential depression. Not good, really not good, and entirely of our own greed and creation.

Cutting taxes during time of war is unheard of in human history, greed and avarice while our boys die. Decadence, which we have become. We msut rebuild, slowly and both liberals and conservativse shut the hell up, they are the ones who create these issues. Obama has prepared the left by telling them much will have to wait, to another term even. Will they be patient, or caus issues that wil resurrect te conservative movement. Both are stupid and selfish. Will Obama save capitalism as FDR did, so we can again prosper, but along more constructive lines and set to deal with problems of limited fuel, global warming, and dwindling food resources? The center must hold.

zzi said...

Oh I forgot Israel is an apartheid nation.

Will Obama save capitalism as FDR did . . .

Even UCLA said recently that FDR prolonged the Depression.