This was the stage for Barack Obama to mount his campaign, and he committed himself early to weaseling on war. He couldn’t risk being male-baited as antiwar, but he had to be anti-Bush. Solution: Call Iraq the wrong war, Afghanistan the right war, and blame Bush for inappropriate emphasis.
A sensible tactical decision, given that most people in the US had never opposed the occupation of Afghanistan and most were turning against the debacle in Iraq. That the tables got turned on him with the so-called “success of the Surge” by Republicans was still insufficient to overcome the bitter public feeling against George W. Bush for not being a winner; and Barack Obama rode his campaign juggernaut into the White House with the Afghan monkey already on his back.
Barack Obama may have had a choice in this matter, I’ll contend… in some parallel universe. But whoever was going to be President of the United States did not have a choice, given the actual conditions. So President Obama never had a choice. These folks know political operations, and they know their constraints.
Antiwar emasculates, and Obama had had to overcome the race question enough to jump through the electoral hoops. Overcoming black stereotypes was edgy enough at this juncture, there could be no question of his martial masculinity. He had to show his balls as his bona fides. But there is another reason that President Obama has to stay at war.
War is necessary for our way of life.
No viable candidate for POTUS can be antiwar right now, because so many American voters secretly know that preserving our current way of life requires war. And we don’t know any other way of life.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
"War is necessary for our way of life"
Go read Stan Goff at Feral Scholar, on "Obama's War & the Game". Here's a short excerpt: