The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Written early in 2010 and initially published in September 2010, The Obama Syndrome predicted the Obama administration’s historic midterm defeat. But unlike myriad commentators who have since pinned responsibility for that Democratic Party collapse on the “reform” president’s lack of firm resolve, Ali’s critique located the problem in Obama’s notion of reform itself. Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency by promising to escalate the war in Afghanistan, and his economic team brought the architects of the financial crisis into the White House. Small wonder then that the “War on Terror”—torture in Bagram, occupation in Iraq, appeasement in Israel, and escalation in Pakistan—continues. And that Wall Street and the country’s biggest corporations have all profited at the expense of America’s working class and poor.
Now a thoroughly updated paperback continues the story through the midterms, including a trenchant analysis of the Tea Party, and Obama’s decision to continue with his predecessor’s tax cuts for the rich. Ali asks whether—in the absence of a progressive upheaval from below—US politics is permanently mired in moderate Republicanism. Already called “a comprehensive account” of the problems with Obama (The Huffington Post), this new edition is sure to provide a more “powerful boost to Obama dissenters on the left” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
boycott, divestment and sanction till the apartheid structures of Israel are dismantled. Practically, there is little or no chance of this in the immediate future. In all probability what lies ahead is the convergence—already being hailed in Haaretz as even more enlightened than Rabin—of Obama and Netanyahu on a final solution of “Palestinian” entities Israel can live with, and Palestine can die in. Netanyahu and Ehud Barak needed Obama to push through their plan. Obama needed them in order to
that education would prove to be an exception. As Clinton Democrats, they had already established a consensus with Bush on this issue many years ago. In the March 2001 issue of the Democratic Leadership Council’s Blueprint Magazine, Andrew Rotherham had boasted that “Mr. Bush’s education agenda is largely a New Democratic one … The new education bill, which is regarded widely as ‘Bush’s education initiative,’ was largely written by Democratic Sens. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Evan Bayh (Ind.),
was clever. It worked. Underlying it was a sleight of hand: Wright was supposedly angered by past injustices, and everyone could agree on that. After all, most in the United States, except for the deranged, now agree (at least in public) that lynching black people was not a good thing. If the anger was related to past sins alone, then few could blame the pastor. He belonged to a generation that had suffered. But Wright’s depiction of present-day America as a land of triple evil—economic
was tragically predictable. An economically backward state embarked on creating structures that institutionalized austerity and universalized scarcity. Promoting industrialization via state enterprises might have been helpful had it not been for the imposition of a total ban on petty-commodity production. To this was added a state monopoly on all modes of communication, strict control over what was allowed to be said or published, and the exclusion of all parties other than the Yemeni Socialist
capitalists, the shrewd imperialists, knew that the only way people would run towards the fox would be if you showed them a wolf. So they created a ghastly alternative. Malcolm X, Paris, November 23, 1964 1 AN UNPRECEDENTED HISTORICAL EVENT Three decades ago when Ronald Reagan was elected president of the United States, it was difficult for most progressive observers to imagine that the actor-celebrity’s period in office would mark the beginnings of a new consensus at home and abroad,