Obamarama – The Emperor’s Orientalist Striptease

The text of Obama’s full speech is here.

And here are my notes, scattered widdershins in the detritus of a surly Friday afternoon after wasting good dreamtime in today’s early hours to listen to Obama’s imperious snake oil salesmanship live. His neocolonisation of history and efforts to turn Arab spring into neoliberal winter were impressively transparent. With seductive offers of finance infrastructure and job creation, Enterprise Funds and ‘a comprehensive Trade and Investment Partnership Initiative in the Middle East and North Africa;, Obama sounded more interventionist than any neocon.

Did you appreciate how Obama took oil exports out of the equation? ‘If you take out oil exports, this region of over 400 million people exports roughly the same amount as Switzerland.’ That’s US oil he’s talking about. It will pay for the sleazy neoliberal debt dependency structures he was touting and of course maintain existing US/EU arms sales to the region which are calibrated by Israel’s US congressionally legislated, guaranteed Qualitative Military Edge.

This had to be the most ironic line: ‘Prosperity also requires tearing down walls that stand in the way of progress – the corruption of elites who steal from their people’. Ahem. Wall Street? Goldman Sachs, Enron, Kellogg Root, Halliburton, Blackwater … plenty to be working on back home, Obama.

Obama on Palestine

Obama: ‘Palestinians have walked away from talks.’ Well, Obama, you failed to put your professedly impotent foot down on settlement activity, what do you think Palestinians should do about the theft of their land?

Obama: ‘For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection. And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.’

Israel is doing the lion’s share of delegitimising itself through its criminal atrocities. Obama’s unctuous moral vacuity is suited to a sycophantic AIPAC audience, not to people in the ME.

Obama: ‘We support a set of universal rights. Those rights include free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; equality for men and women under the rule of law; and the right to choose your own leaders — whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus; Sanaa or Tehran. ‘ BUT NOT IN PALESTINE OR ISRAEL. Does he even comprehend his moral hypocrisy?

Obama: ‘Because democracy depends not only on elections, but also strong and accountable institutions, and respect for the rights of minorities.’ Except when the minorities are Palestinians in Israel.

Again, Obama declared fake US impotence as a peacemaker between Israel and Palestinians, instead supporting Nutanyahoo’s disgraceful de-militarised bantustan plan, though not IDF presence in the Jordan Valley.

Obama: ‘As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself — by itself — against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. The duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.’

Obama: ‘But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians.’

Obama is assenting to Lieberman’s sinister interim plan. Israel gets the territory and the security. Palestinians get a de-militarised, defenceless bantustan. That’s fair?

How can a ‘sovereign’ state not have the right to defend itself against a monstrous predator neighbour, whose representative, Danny Danon, the very morning of Obama’s speech trumpeted Israel’s incipient genocidal intent?

For the US, ongoing division between Palestinians and Israelis works out well in a regional context. It keeps Israel weak. A combined Palestinian/Israeli entity would have the potential to challenge US regional power. So Obama can pretend to have his hands tied by the nasty Israel lobby, and still blither sleazily about universal human rights and fake sovereignty for Palestinians which are really both sacrificed for the shibboleth of Israeli ‘security’. So the ‘peace process’ masquerade continues to be insulated by the hegemon, enabling more happy years of land theft and genocide by Israel.

The interests of the ruling US and zioelite are complementary. Obama can throw his hands up and say the US is unable to impose a solution, and absolve himself from promoting justice or human rights for Palestinians – the cognitive dissonance between professed US values and practice is the same old hypocrisy of empire, which pretends nobility whilst exploiting vulnerable people to serve its own ‘interests’ (read interests of its ruling elite and cronies).

Obama: ‘That is the choice that must be made — not simply in this conflict, but across the entire region — a choice between hate and hope; between the shackles of the past, and the promise of the future’.

Obama, Amerikkka and Israel are shackled by the past, they are the shackles of the past and present, and offer no promise except that of more shackles – of neoliberal debt and oppression. No choice there, so I choose to hope that sufficient people see through the obnoxious fascist and imperialist rhetoric to the present need for resistance to tyranny and imperialism. Yes, Obama, ‘tyranny does fall’, and so will Israel and Amerikkka. Your words are drivel from an empire which has long since lost its vigour, an untrustworthy, exploitative, racist entity without a soul.

Just walk away, folks, the naked empire is doomed by its complicity with oppression, it has little to offer but more oppression.


Ali Abunimah on Al Jazeera English 20/5/11:

“peace process is dead, two state solution is dead, buried today, not for the first time’ @avinunu on @ajenglish
‘nothing is enough for nutanyahoo, nothing is enough for israel, time for sanctions & BDS’ @avinunu on @AJEnglish
the world’s superpower has no intention of bringing Israel to heel; Israeli intransigence is what is staying in the way of peace.’ @avinunu
?’US is really not going to stand up for itself and certainly not for the Palestinians.’ @avinunu on @AJEnglish

Related Links

Netanyahu assures Likud about his commitment to all settlements
Obama: Leadership in the passive voice
Can fascists claim to understand reality? Netanyahu: US ‘does not understand reality’
Obama n’a pas séduit la twittosphère arabe – #Printemps arabe – Blog LeMonde.fr
Photos from Tahrir Square Cairo May 20 protest – Obama and Nutanyahoo need to take a squiz toot sweet.
Joseph Massad – The future of the Arab uprisings :

‘The US-supported repression in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, and in the United Arab Emirates goes hand in hand with the Euro-American-Qatari intervention in Libya to safeguard the oil wells for Western companies once a new government is in place.

While it is true that revolutionaries make their own history, as Karl Marx famously put it, “they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past.”

Guarding against the co-optation of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions is the hope of all Arabs today.

The Illusion of A Revolution Won Is So Painful In Reality

The question is, will the international community finance a military takeover in Egypt despite massive public support for a democratic, civilian-run government?

Egypt has officially requested financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund to meet an expected $10 billion to $12 billion funding shortfall between now and June 2012, an IMF official said Thursday. “We are negotiating with IMF for loans of between $3-4 billion and with World Bank for about $2.2 billion,” Finance Minister Samir Redwan said.

If these loans are granted, Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will have been given a giant green light to dismiss Egyptians’ grievances and continue to be a ruthless, controlling army instead of a loyal army.

The second wave of Egyptian Revolution is already scheduled for May 27.’

Here’s the egyptian scenario the neocolonial vampires will be trying to take advantage of:

‘People are blaming the revolution for new oil crises despite this is not the first time it happens , in fact some people tend to forget in the past few years of Mubarak we have even more worse crises. Where was the revolution when people were actually killing each other to get a loaf of bread during the time of Mubarak !?’

Netanyahu’s Israel is on course to become a pariah state
Rashid Khalidi: A more democratic Arab world, should that be the outcome of the revolutionary events of the past five months, will be far less tolerant of U.S. acquiescence in a fifth decade of illegal Israeli occupation and a seventh of Palestinian dispossession.

Live Tweets of Note

@amities the game plan is always to keep the region from unifying and thus alienating control of the resources
RT @avinunu: The best Marshall Plan would be an orderly US withdrawal from other peoples’ countries and business. #mespeech
Just say “NO” to yankee dollars – the interest never goes away & they take the farm as well
Never trust a smiling imperialist with tankloads of cash
RT @Henry_Kissinger: Preview of Obama’s speech: We support freedom in Iran, Libya & Israel but not in Bahrain, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi, Yemen & Palestine. Got it? V @avinunu
RT @ANagdi: People demand the #SCAF to turn down the #USA aid. #Jan25 #TahrirTv #ArabSpring #May27 #Egypt #MEspeech @BarackObama @YosriFouda
Hillary Shillary dress matches the Israeli flag nicely #mespeech
Protests to politics, Hillary? you mean that, that protests aren’t political??? #mespeech
Obama: square by square, town by town, country by country, … is he a real estate agent? #mespeech
Accurate spotting there mate 🙂 RT @JNewsLondon: he’s quoting Qaddafi’s ‘zenga zenga’ – I wonder if he realizes #mespeech
RT @hocinedim: Well done Obama, not mentioning #Bahrain and #Yemen. That’s not obvious and completely transparent. #mespeech
broaden our approach, mutual interests, mutual respect … stability, fault lines – newspeak #mespeech
RT @LowkeyMusic1: The eloquent voice of an empire in decline.. #mespeech
focus the world as it should be … with humility #newspeak #mespeech
universal rights, peaceful assembly, freedom of religion, right to choose your own leaders l… bye bye saudi dictators? #mespeech
Libya … well, fk me dead, the rebels took up arms too, obama … which violence do you oppose again? #mespeech
The syrian govt does what the israeli govt does too – why only criticise syria, Obama?? eh eh ?? #mespeech
Obama is neocolonising history #mespeech
RT @kungfujew18: “If you take the risks” to reach democracy “the US will support you” — and in Palestine? #MEspeech
Politics alone has not put protesters into the streets? #orientalism #mespeech
RT @HybridStates Obama’s “tough talk” to Israel is essentially a national blow-job. #mehspeech hahahaaa
RT @hocinedim: If anyone still thought that the peace process and 2-state solution were alive Obama quashed those hopes. #mespeech
RT @JNewsLondon: Time for the region to take the lead. Time for Arabs to stand for justice. #MEspeech
RT @avinunu: Obama: “All men are created equal” and “recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” Huh? WTF? #mespeech
RT @avinunu: How is Obama’s #mespeech different from Bush’s Freedom Agenda? Oh yeah, it isn’t.
RT @hocinedim: Now Obama made it clear that the US continues to be an counter-revolutionary force, can his Arab cheerleaders STFU? #mespeech
RT @Ultra_Bravo: if US supports 1967 borders, why is it opposing palestine’s declaration of state at the UN? #MEspeech #thingsthatdontmakesense
RT @Remroum: Dear #Obama: check out this Israeli “hate & violence” rt @theimeu Butt of a Rifle in His Face: http://bit.ly/larsBK
RT @sahoura: Obama mentioned “delegitimization” more than international law #Palestine #mespeech via @benabyad
RT @benabyad: “moving forwrd on basis of territory/security = foundation 4 resolving other issues” Obama endorsed Lieberman’s “interim” plan
RT @rowanahmed: dear supreme council of the armedforces,we have had enough from and if u didn’t already notice all Egyptians hate u so may u plz leave #scaf

Palestine / Israel Links

Stealing Palestinian Land Dunam by Dunam
Over 62 percent of the Arab citizens of Israel

believe Jews are a foreign imprint on the Middle East and are destined to be replaced by Palestinians, and a similar proportion believe that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state.

Among Arabs, 71% said they blamed Jews for the hardships suffered by Palestinians during and after the “Nakba” in 1948. The survey also found that the percentage of Arabs taking part in “Nakba Day” commemorations rose from 12.9% in 2003 to 36.1% in 2010. In addition, 37.8% of Arabs polled in the survey said they didn’t believe that millions of Jews had been the victims of a campaign of genocide waged by Nazi Germany.

Among Jewish respondents, 57.7% said they didn’t believe that a disaster of any sort happened to the Palestinians in 1948, and 68.1% expressed their opposition to public Nakba commemorations.

Also, 66.8% said the Palestinians bore the blunt of the blame for the continued conflict between Jews and Arabs.

Among Jewish respondents, 32.6% said they supported a cancellation of the voting rights of Arab citizens, and 16.5% said they were against the rights of an Arab minority to live in Israel.’

Palestinian refugees making high fashion
Ali Abunimah: DePaul students vote by large margin to ban Sabra hummus
Oregon: Protesters call for store to boycott Israeli goods

Other Links

Victorian ALP takes on Gillard in state conference stoush
Ron Paul and the Dysfunction of the American Left
The Sucker Punch of Right/Left Coalitions
The Queen as Revelation

NB This blog post was annotated on Cameron Reilly’s No Illusions Podcast #26 – #RaptureFAIL podcast