It's just objectively true that there is no country in the world -- anywhere -- that threatens to attack and bomb other countries as routinely and blithely as the U.S. does. What rational leader wouldn't want to obtain nuclear weapons in a world where the "superpower" is run by people like Dan Coates and Chuck Robb who threaten to attack and bomb whatever countries they want? Even the Coats/Robb Op-Ed argues that Iranian proliferation would be so threatening to the U.S. because "the ability to quickly assemble a nuclear weapon would effectively give Iran a nuclear deterrent" -- in other words, they'd have the ability to deter a U.S. attack on their country, and we can't have that.Credit where it's due. It cuts to the bone. And yet I once again have to point out how plainly these observations illustrate the futility of voting for Barack Obama--how they illustrate the violent complicity inherent in giving positive affirmation, a vote of moral legitimacy, to these monsters through exercise of your political franchise. I'll say it again: abstention is the honorable course of action.
And then there is the supreme irony that Coats, Robb and their war-threatening comrades justify an attack on Iran by referencing U.N. Resolutions which Iran is putatively violating, even though Article 2 of the U.N. Charter explicitly provides that "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." Yet Supremely Serious Bipartisan Leaders like Coats and Robb who shape U.S. foreign policy -- along with the rest of our political establishment -- routinely violate that provision more than any other country in the world, by constantly threatening to invade and bomb a whole roster of other nations.
Glenn Greenwald is almost infinitely more perceptive (certainly less willfully self-deluded) on these matters than the average Democratic partisan, less yet self-described internet "progressive", and I'm going to try to refrain from putting words in his mouth or checks on his ballot. Nonetheless, note how his observations typify a certain brand of left-libertarian thought that surveys the political scene, gets spooked by the Republican selection of Captain Ahab and Vaslav Nijinski for their presidential ticket, and decides to cast its lot with Obama despite all of the above-excerpted realizations. Obama's articulate, thoughtful, deliberatory demeanor are transmuted into moral rectitude, whitewashing the more troubling understanding that gnaws at the fringe of conscience: that of John McCain and Barack Obama, Obama is the greater monster.
Fresh off Ollie Stone's latest minimum opus, popular sentiment has once again seized on the idea of George W.'s life as a villanelle of Oedipal moments, but it's actually John McCain, jerk-off scion of a long line of martial notables, who embodies that miasma of Freudian failures and resentments. A failure in the military, he redeemed himself by enduring captivity, a feat of personal courage which he parlayed into a career as a more-corrupt-than-average politician. Possessing only a second-rate intellect and third-rate personality, he evaded damage from scandal by taking the easy high road under duress, admitting tangential wrongdoing, and expressing contrition. He cultivated the press merely by treating them as social equals when he was in their company--it really is that easy--and acquired his reputation for independence by taking some very mildly heterodox stands on issues of niggling importance: for instance, campaign finance reform. He sometimes claims that acceding to the fact of human impact on the global climate was a mark of brave political independence, but if that is so, then so is standing before the Congress of the United States and declaring that the sky is blue, the water wet.
But to the reluctant Obama supporters, the hedging anti-imperial types, McCain's bellicosity is the central issue, and they delude themselves into believing that the principle danger of a McCain administration is that he would "start more wars." That may or may not be true, and given the current political climate, any Republican administration, particularly his, would be hamstrung by the factional corridor politics of the American imperial court in Washington. The characteristic of McCain's jingoism to bear in mind, though, is that it actually represents the unintegrated, incoherent mindset and world-view of most ordinary Americans; an unstirred suspension of nationalist pride, cultural ignorance, fear of otherness, and flag-waving military pride. None of these is good, but they all occur simultaneously in minds prone to dissipation, inaction, indecision, and fear of consequence.
Obama, meanwhile, has all the marks of a man with an integrated and coherent view of the central issues to the maintenance of American hegemony, and he should be expected to pursue the project of American dominance with more focus and more success. I won't make bones about it. By the standard American-history-text measures, I expect an Obama presidency to be a successful one, surely at least a gradual reversion to mean. This will please his partisan supporters and most progressives (read: Restorationists), who will remain blithely oblivious to what precisely it represents: the more skillfully executed subjugation of other peoples to the needs of the American empire. To those who claim to oppose the American imperial project, that should be the focus of opposition.
The moral rubric is a simple one: carefully constructed, premeditated crimes are in almost every case worse than "crimes of passion." A man who kills his wife in a terrible, heated fight is bad; a man who plots to have her murdered, make it look like an accident, collect the insurance, and keep her wealth is worse. What frightens me is not the prospect of a failed, erratic President, but of a successful, steady one.