OBAMA: A HOLLOW PRESIDENT

By Uli Schmetzer
          February 12, 2010 - Remember the catch phrases:  â€œA Nation healed…..a world repaired….an
America that believes again…..�
     That was Barack Obama, stentorian voice, masterful delivery, the right message to create lumps in our
throats and make not just America but the world barrack for Barack and his pledge of “a change we can
believe in.�
      
A year later President Obama has turned out to be just another super-salesman, not unlike
one of those smooth-tongued wiz kids who sell hedge funds as financial windfalls or speculate
with your pension fund on pyramid schemes. Obama the reformer, Obama the peacemaker, has
defected into the camp of the war-mongers and the corporate jackals stubbornly clinging to the
status quo as their type of ravenous corporate capitalism enslaves the world around them.
        Instead of pulling troops from Afghanistan and Iraq Obama is putting 30,000 more in, following the
footsteps of other U.S. presidents who pledged to end wars as candidates but fueled them as presidents. This
first Afro-American president seems to have become a disciple of bygone rulers who believed wars and more
wars are the safety valve for a collapsing economy and a growing public debt. These are the kind of wars we
now have in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and probably soon in Somalia, Yemen, the entire Horn of Africa and
with some bad luck also Iran.
       
Instead of pressuring the Israelis to make an honest settlement with the Palestinians, the
core of our troubles with the Moslem world, he has allowed Israel to guide U.S. foreign policy in
the Middle East just as his predecessors did. In fact he is surrounded by the same pro-Israel
cabal, some with Israeli passports, who served under the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton.
        Instead of bringing back the Glass-Steagall Act which banned banks from speculating with the money of
depositors (imposed after the 1929 financial crash, largely caused by speculation with deposits) Obama-
president allowed banks and financial institutions to run just as they had prior to the 2008 crash, also caused
by speculation on deposits.
        (The Glass-Steagall Act was revoked in 1999 by the Clinton administration. Some who helped revoke it
now serve under Obama.)
        
Instead of punishing the financial adventures of companies like J.P Morgan and Goldman
Sachs (bailed out by the government) the new President allowed their dubious investment
methods - often blamed for the home loan and lending crash in 2008 – to continue, so virtually
ensuring America and the world will face another financial crisis, probably far more disastrous
then the last one.
           As a candidate he called ‘obscene’ the multi-million dollar bonuses such corporations paid their
CEOs. But this month when the CEOs of Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase were paid $17 million in
bonuses the President described this excessive rewarding as part of ‘our free market system.�
            Obama’s administration has backed down on much heralded and overdue reforms after being
buffeted by heavily-funded corporate lobby groups opposed to any major changes of regulations that would
cut their profits and cripple their free-wheeling financial schemes.
            
Today U.S. democracy is firmly in the hands of Corporate America after the U.S. Supreme
Court this month ruled that corporate companies could contribute funds to local, state and federal
elections. In fact not only U.S. corporations but also foreign corporations can now become
political donors.
             The five judges who voted for this amazing new corporate power and eroded real democracy with
their verdict must be named for posterity: Sam Alito, Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and
Clarence Thomas.  Their ruling means corporations can now open their treasury spigots to fund candidates
or parties defending or promoting their ‘special interests.’
            As for the promise of ‘a nation healed’ America and the world are far more divided today then
they were a year ago. The poverty gap between developed and developing nations is rapidly closing. The U.
S. now has 40 million of its citizen living on hand-out food stamps.
           Interest groups, like the medical and pharmaceutical profession, have diluted the President’s
much heralded health reform to a trickle that barely reaches 10 million in a developed country shockingly in
arrears on public health care.  
           One cannot help but feel the 44th president of the United States may have been the last great hope
of bringing a measure of justice to a world where profit-capitalism has run amok and corporations have
dismantled democracy and usurped its powers.
           In the wake of Barack Obama’s unfulfilled promises - delivered so eloquently and at a time when a
discredited America desperately looked for a savior - who is going to believe in another tailor-made Messiah -
even if the puppet masters trot out a native Red Indian Chief, feathers and all, next time?
ends