Sunday, June 12, 2011

Obama's Slipping Popularity

Obama's Sinking Popularity - by Stephen Lendman

Except for bankers, war profiteers, other corporate favorites, and America's super-rich, it's hard imagining why anyone supports a president backing policies harming so many at home and abroad.

The good news perhaps is that growing numbers are awakening, the latest June 7 - 9 Zogby International poll showing recent lows in Obama's popularity:

-- 56% disapprove of his job as president; 43% approve;

-- 39% say he deserves reelection; 52% want change;

-- congressional approval also dropped to 17%, a testimony to mass public disdain; and

-- given America's direction, waging multiple imperial wars at the expense of vital homeland needs, expect an angrier public reaction ahead as pain levels rise.

Human need always trumps other concerns, especially when vast national resources aren't used to relieve it, many millions left on their own sink or swim when they most need help. War profiteering and other corporate priorities come first.

However, Main Street America is mired in depression. High unemployment and underemployment are unaddressed. For millions, depravation is extreme. Double digit inflation is rising. One in six Americans face hunger, yet Obama and lawmakers demand austerity when stimulus is needed.

Progressive Radio News Hour commentator economist Jack Rasmus sees bad current conditions worsening, saying:

-- early 2011 consumption growth fell sharply compared to 2010 levels - from 4 - 2.2%; rising gas prices accounted for 60% of it;

-- inflation adjusted real spending remained flat;

-- retail sales are weak;

-- rising food, energy, healthcare, education, and local taxes have been punishing;

-- except for the wealthiest 10% of households, most others are struggling to get by, many without employment or enough of it;

-- housing is mired in depression, as bad or worse than the 1930s with no end of it in sight; and

-- the so-called post-mid-2009 recovery has been "the weakest and most lopsided....in the post-1945 period." But you'd never know it from TV touts, extolling what a small minority enjoy, all others not their concern.

America, in fact, is declining, not rising. Rasmus predicts "a major economic relapse" ahead as Washington plans painful domestic budget cuts (including raping essential entitlements and other vital social services) to sustain out-of-control war making and reward the nation's super rich already with too much.

As a result, the American dream is a bad joke. In his June 11 commentary, analyst Bob Chapman says its "lifeblood is being sucked out by free (not fair) trade, (predatory) globalization, offshoring and outsourcing" manufacturing and other jobs, leaving fewer employment opportunities at home for growing numbers (including new graduates) wondering how they'll ever get by.

In fact, 11.7 million new millennium manufacturing jobs disappeared as well as 440,000 businesses, mostly small and mid-sized ones trampled by corporate giants.

June 11 on the Progressive Radio News Hour, Professor John Kozy discussed his latest article titled, "Business and Jobs," saying predatory capitalism is unsustainable:

"In two short centuries, it:

-- turned human beings into beasts of burden and their rulers into mere teamsters;

-- polluted the earth's atmosphere, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans;

-- extinguished uncounted species;

-- exterminated millions of human beings (for profit);" and

-- keeps exhausting unrenewable natural resources wastefully.

Moreover, under Bush, Obama, and complicit lawmakers, the process accelerated. No wonder growing millions are mad, perhaps heading for rebellion as pain levels become intolerable while America's super rich prosper. Inevitably that assures trouble though no one can predict when or what spark will set it off.

Last December, months of Middle East uprisings began after Tunisian national Mohammed Bouazizi, an unemployed graduate working as a vegetable seller, self-immolated in front of government offices in Sidi Bouzid, protesting police confiscation of his merchandise for operating without a permit.

Middle East/North Africa intifadas followed in over a dozen countries from Morocco and Algeria to Egypt, Oman and Yemen. The process shows no signs of abating, addressing intolerable poverty, unemployment, corruption, and repression millions want ended despite brutal crackdowns trying to stop them, including imperial US intervention to safeguard the region for capital.

Besides Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, America's bloody Libyan/Yemen wars have taken a horrendous toll, slaughtering human beings to save them - bombing, droning, assassinating, and immiserating millions in conflicts with no end.

Not enough for outgoing Defense Secretary Gates, a war criminal by any standard, criticizing NATO members as shirkers. On June 10, New York Times writers Thom Shanker and Steven Erlanger headlined, "Blunt US Warning Reveals Deep Strains in NATO," saying:

Gates chastised member states for not devoting enough resources to war making, deceitfully calling it "defense," no matter NATO's offensive mandate from inception, inventing enemies when none exist. Among other targets, they include Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya, waging illegal wars for plunder, a policy New York Times editorials ignore, including its latest titled, "Talking Truth to NATO," saying:

Gates is right. "NATO's shockingly wobbly performance over Libya" alone "should leave no doubt about the Europeans' weaknesses."

Calling operation Libya for their own "defense," less than half of NATO's 28 members are participating, leaving America, Britain and France to "carry the main burden....A two-tiered military alliance is really no alliance at all," said The Times instead of forcefully denouncing lawless aggression against a nonbelligerent state.

NATO's specialty, in fact, should give members pause why they belong to an organization criminally complicit in crimes of war and against humanity, ones America's major media dismissively call "defense," reporting managed news, not facts.

For example, Gaddafi is accused of killing his own people, contradicting Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen in March refuting it. Mullen, in fact, said "(w)e've seen no confirmation whatsoever." There's still none, but don't expect America's media to explain.

Yet Obama claimed "humanitarian" justification for intervening in Libya, saying "innocent men and women face(d) brutality and death at the hands of their own government."

In fact, no crisis existed until America arrived - on depleted uranium contaminated cruise missiles, bombs and shells, not white horses promoting peace and democratic values, what Washington tolerates nowhere, including at home.

Human Rights Watch also refuted reports about Gaddafi deliberately killing civilians, saying his forces target rebels, what independent observers confirm. In contrast, NATO bombing causes mass casualties, ones America's media deny, including Washington Post writer Simon Denyer's June 6 article headlined, "Libya government fails to prove claims of NATO casualties," saying:

"....Gaddafi's government churns out daily propaganda about the alliance supposedly inflicting civilian casualties....But it has failed to show foreign journalists more than a handful of dead or wounded people."

Denyer and other major media reporters are in Tripoli and other Libyan cities, easily able to corroborate Gaddafi's claim independent observers also there do regularly. Former Congresswoman/Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, for example, provides truth dispatch updates from Libya, saying:

"The situation on the ground in Tripoli....could not be more different from what is being portrayed by Western news networks and newspapers," shamefully suppressing facts about daily NATO war crimes, including mass casualties, atrocities, and human suffering.

Her fact finding team includes former MPs and French professors, gathering video and other evidence of NATO bombings. They cause widespread civilian deaths, many hospitalized injured survivors, and extensive destruction of non-military targets, including houses "completely destroyed."

Those affected ask "why," a young woman saying "I don't understand why they want to kill us," not knowing it's about imperial conquest, colonization and exploitation, no matter the death and destruction to achieve it.

America's major media won't explain, or about rebel insurgents committing gang rapes in areas they control, as well as killing pro-regime sympathizers on the spot for not supporting NATO. They say nothing about mass carnage inflicted, blaming Gaddafi for Western war crimes, a daily nightmare for affected Libyans never mentioned in their reports.

Libya, in fact, is being systematically destroyed, balkanized, and plundered, an inconvenient truth major media news won't discuss, perpetuating the myth about humanitarian intervention. The lawless destruction, death and injury count tell a different tale.

A Final Comment

On June 9, Gaddafi wrote members of Congress, urging a ceasefire, saying:

Funding "humanitarian relief and assistance in fostering and furthering accommodation between the internal parties within Libya....are at odds."

"We are ready to sit at the table with appropriate internal interlocutors lead by the United States. Let's stop the destruction and begin the negotiations to find a peaceful solution for Libya. I appeal to you, as the great Democracy, to assist us to determine our future as a people. Our nation must not be colonized again by Europeans. Our country must not be divided again. Help us to achieve our own self determination."

Gaddafi specifically blamed France for wanting to seize Libyan oil, saying it "seeks to advance its own commercial interests" at the expense of America.

In addition, he warned that the Transitional National Council (TNC) has ties to Islamic extremists. Most are foreign nationals who've committed horrific atrocities against Libyan civilians during the conflict.

Early responses showed his outreach fell largely on deaf ears. Speaker Boehner's spokesman called it incoherent, "reinforc(ing) that Gaddafi must go."

Senate Majority Leader Reid's communication director was just as dismissive, saying "we don't much care what he has to say unless it includes a resignation."

Most important is NATO calling Gaddafi a legitimate target, confirming Washington's commitment to eliminate him belligerently or by Hague show trial.

Doing so will facilitate America's grand scheme, colonizing and plundering Libya like all US vassal states, its resources, material wealth and people exploited for profit.

That's the dark truth America's media won't explain, including Washington's self-annointed right to attack any nation preemptively to fight terrorism. Hopefully thoughtful millions will spread the word, sound the alarm, and do something in time to stop it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.