Friday, February 20, 2009

Obama's 'Seven Days in May' Moment

By Robert Parry
February 20, 2009

Only one month into his presidency, Barack Obama is finding himself confronting not only George W. Bush’s left-behind crises but an array of influential enemies in the military, financial circles, the political world and the media – determined to thwart Obama’s agenda for “change.”

Read on.

16 comments:

James Young said...

Ooooooo, moonbat paranoia!

Anonymous said...

Obama's secret weapon has yet to be utilized: namely, millions of direct email addresses that will allow him to mobilize the populous against opposition. But, I have a message for the American people. Obama cannot bring change alone; he must rely on the people who brought him to the White House. These voters must get vocal and active and make life miserable for the president's opposition - - whatever the source. It's America's fight, not just his. We are all in this together. This is the gunfight at the okay corrale, the fight to determine who will run the town - - the people or the well-armed elites.

Anonymous said...

I got a message for James Young. Get an education before you lose your country. It's dingbats like you who have allowed this infection to fester in the first place. Stop being the growth medium and start acting like an antibiotic.

Anonymous said...

Well said Anonymous. This James is an idiot to take on one of the best informed investigative reporters in the country. He wears the emotional, economic and peer-based scars for his efforts. How many scars does James have? Maybe the one used as a brain.

James Young said...

Get an education? Bold words from an anonymous coward (or cowards; likely the former) whose educational achievements probably justify anonymity. You moonbats have complained about Bush for eight years, yet endorse the most radical expansion of government in American history. Clearly, "liberty" is a concept in which you are in desperate need of remedial instruction.

majii said...

To James Young: it seems your main goal is to get emotional reactions from those who do not agree with you. Good luck with that. If you cannot offer solutions to America's problems, STFU, and let those who really care handle the situation. And just so that you know, because you are a fellow American, you're welcome to stay and enjoy the results.
Anonymous, I'm with you every step of the way. We've allowed these thugs to ruin our country and a large part of the world with their lying, deceitful ways. They think nothing of using America and the world as their own personal fiefdom.

grandma lizzy d said...

Read this again:

“A network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilizing public opinion against Obama's decision.”

This is not just "reported." This plan is already being implemented. And a BigGovCorp media, along with rabble rousing radical radio, are happy to oblige.

While we allow a private civilian to express any opinion related to policy and politics, we do NOT allow that from our military generals, for very good reasons.

Those generals who are plotting to undermine the authority of their Commander in Chief should be relieved of their commands, immediately, and then arrested and tried for treason in time of war.

Some "politically unacceptable" changes (to BigGovCorp moguls of wealth and power)will have to occur soon if we are to be saved from the fascist BigGovCorp coup.

Decision time is here! Do you let your military generals boss your President around? Or not?

We should ALL be out in the streets marching around with signs that say "FIRE the GENERALS! NOW! Contrary to popular belief, no general and no bank and no automobile manufacturer is irreplaceable.

The American People are being demeaned by the suggestion that we are dependent on liars, cheats and thieves for our survival. It's time to say so! BigGovCorp, including the generals, needs to be taught a lesson--that We the People will NOT allow our liberty to be taken from us.

Time to use the e-mail network for planning active and very peaceful demonstrations, not just tea and conversation. Then we'll see if the generals will use the airplanes to drop threatening leaflets upon us.

NYCartist said...

Isn't the President the "boss" and Commander in Chief? Hasn't a President fired a General since MacArthur?

Chalmers Johnson wrote his last book in the trilogy, "Nemesis" before Obama was elected, but the same dilemma remains: the huge worldwide military is expensive, the temptation to curtain dissent from below, the public remains...Can we sustain our republic?

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that Obama will have a "Seven Days in May." The Republican opposition has long ceased to be "loyal" and is out for permanent power at any price.

Annette said...

Very informative and interesting read. I am glad to see someone is writing this and glad to have found it. Thank you for writing about it. As Anon # 1 said it is time for all of us supporters to start getting together and pushing this forward.

I saw this Ricks on every show and wondered what his agenda was.. Even Rachel and KO were taken in by his story. It made no sense to me, he was telling the complete opposite of all that had been told before.. but no one noticed this?? even James Young is not questioning that?? The Surge of which all the neo cons brag didn't work?? That's what he said.
And no I don't think it is paranoia.. look at the Clinton years... it looks like history repeating itself to me... Cantor talking to Newt and getting his direction as to how to oppose Pres. Obama just as Newt opposed Pres. Clinton... like I said history repeating...

libhom said...

If we want real change, we need to pressure Obama from below. We also need to find ways to pressure the corporate interests into going along with it.

Bill from Saginaw said...

Enough is enough.

Even Robert Parry now lets slip a short reference to how "cable TV personalities are stoking a populist anger" against Barack Obama. Both Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd used the same term in this Sunday's Op-Ed columns. News reports, news analysis, and opinion pieces everywhere reference how Rick Santelli's rant on a CNBC business news segment last Thursday ignited (what Robert Parry terms) a "sudden brushfire" of popular backlash against the White House's proposed housing program.

Give me a break.

This former investment banker turned TV talking head and his floor trader jerk buddies no more symbolize the mood and concerns of grassroots America than the John Birch Society ever did.

Why is this issue-framing neo con propaganda stunt being dignified and legitimized by repeatedly calling it "populist"?

Populism is based upon appeal to the masses - rhetoric or demagoguery that is potentially dangerous because it stirs up the rabble by playing to fears or prejudices widely held by many people.

Nobody in my neighborhood, my place of employment, church, coffe shop, local tavern, or even at my local country club are picking up torches and pitchforks to march off in outraged opposition to residential mortgage foreclosure relief. Sudden populist brushfire backlash? My sweet ass.

How did the repetitive, total misuse of a common descriptive political term - populism - become attached to Santelli's rant, and then wind up being inserted into so many articles, in so many media news sources, by so many writers and editors, in such an incredibly short period of time?

The balance of Robert Parry's article is great, especially the analogy to Jimmy Carter being undermined from within his own national security establishment.

But enough with the populism label already.

Bill from Saginaw

Anonymous said...

Will Jimmy Carter be President Barack Obama's role model on how to bring peace to the Middle East?

Some, especially in Israel, view that prospect with apprehension. Others, like Ralph Nader, have greeted the possibility with enthusiasm, urging Mr. Obama to rely on Mr. Carter's "wise and seasoned counsel" in dealings with the volatile region. After all, Mr. Carter is renowned as the master craftsman of the historic accord between Egypt's Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin at Camp David in September 1978, which opened the way for a formal peace agreement three months later.


The myth of Camp David hangs heavy over American foreign policy, and it's easy to see why. Of all the attempts to forge a Middle East peace, the 1978 treaty between Egypt and Israel has proved the most durable. Mr. Carter's admirers extol Camp David as an example of how one man's vision and negotiating skill brought former enemies together at the peace table, and as proof that a president can guide America toward a kinder, humbler foreign policy. Camp David was indeed Mr. Carter's one major foreign policy accomplishment amid a string of disasters including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the rise of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and Ayatollah Khomeini's ascent in Iran.

But the truth about Camp David belies this myth. The truth is that Mr. Carter never wanted an Egyptian-Israeli agreement, fought hard against it, and only agreed to go along with the process when it became clear that the rest of his foreign policy was in a shambles and he desperately needed to log a success.

As presidential candidate, Jimmy Carter was sharply critical of the kind of step-by-step personal diplomacy which had been practiced by his predecessors Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. President Carter's preferred Middle East policy was to insist on a comprehensive settlement among all concerned parties -- including the Arab states' leading patron, the Soviet Union -- and to disparage Nixonian incrementalism.

Mr. Carter and his advisers all assumed that the key to peace in the region was to make Israel pull back to its pre-1967 borders and accept the principle of Palestinian self-determination in exchange for a guarantee of Israel's security. Nothing less than a comprehensive settlement, it was argued, could ward off future wars -- and there could be no agreement without the Soviets at the bargaining table. This was a policy that, if implemented, would have thrust the Cold War directly into the heart of Middle East politics. Nixon and Mr. Kissinger had strained to achieve the opposite.

Interestingly, the man who ultimately prevented this Carter-led calamity from unfolding was Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

After the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Sadat decided that Egypt needed to start from scratch in its relationship with Israel. Sadat found natural allies in Nixon and Mr. Kissinger after throwing out his Soviet patrons in 1972. With American support, he came to a disengagement agreement with Israel in 1973, and again in 1975. The culmination of this process was Sadat's historic trip to Jerusalem in November 1977, where he discussed a separate peace between Egypt and Israel, and forestalled Mr. Carter's plan for a Geneva peace conference.

It was this trip -- not Camp David -- that marked the true seismic shift in Middle East relations since Israel's founding. It came as an unwelcome surprise to the Carter foreign policy team, who still wanted their grandiose Geneva conference. In fact, for the better part of 1977, as Israel and Egypt negotiated, the White House persisted in acting as if nothing had happened. Even after Sadat's trip to Jerusalem, Mr. Carter announced that "a separate peace agreement between Egypt and Israel is not desirable."

But by the autumn of 1978, the rest of Mr. Carter's foreign policy had crumbled. He had pushed through an unpopular giveaway of the Panama Canal, allowed the Sandinistas to take power in Nicaragua as proxies of Cuba, and stood by while chaos grew in the Shah's Iran. Desperate for some kind of foreign policy success in order to bolster his chances for re-election in 1980, Mr. Carter finally decided to elbow his way into the game by setting up a meeting between Sadat and Begin at Camp David.

The rest of the story is now the stuff of legend: For 13 days Mr. Carter acted as the go-between for the two leaders. Yet for all their bluster and intransigence in public, Begin and Sadat were more than ready for a deal once they understood that the U.S. would do whatever was necessary to stop the Soviet Union and its Arab allies, such as the PLO, from derailing a peace. An agreement was hammered out for an Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai, coupled with vague language about Palestinian "autonomy." The item Mr. Carter had really wanted on the agenda -- a Palestinian state -- was kept at arm's length.

Camp David worked because it avoided all of Mr. Carter's usual foreign policy mistakes, particularly his insistence on a comprehensive solution. Instead, Sadat and Begin pursued limited goals. The agreement stressed a step-by-step process instead of insisting on immediate dramatic results. It excluded noncooperative entities like Syria and the PLO, rather than trying to accommodate their demands. And for once, Mr. Carter chose to operate behind the scenes à la Mr. Kissinger, instead of waging a media war through public statements and gestures. (The press were barred from the Camp David proceedings).

Above all and most significantly, Camp David sought peace instead of "justice." Liberals say there can be no peace without justice. But to many justice means the end of Israel or the creation of a separate Palestinian state. Sadat and Begin, in the teeth of Mr.Carter's own instincts both then and now, established at Camp David a sounder principle for negotiating peace. The chaos and violence in today's Gaza proves just how fatal trying to advance other formulations can be.

The true story of Camp David is one of two ironies. The first is that, far from being a symbol of a more modest foreign policy, Camp David rested on an assertion of go-it-alone American power. Both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush would be bitterly criticized later for following this winning technique. The second irony is that if any one man deserves credit for Camp David, it is not Jimmy Carter but Anwar Sadat. It was Sadat who managed to save Mr. Carter from himself and revealed the true secret about forging peace in the Middle East: The Palestinian issue is the doom, not the starting point, for lasting stability in the region.

Mr. Herman is the author of "Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age" (Bantam, 2008).

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering the penalty of subordinates being in contempt of their superior (commander).
Bush had his selfmade policies .. (TASERS).,
But.. is there actual legal protocol for the present misconduct? It is threatening the security of the nation. The conduct of Rebublicans is reckless., and dangerous. It's very scary for us citizens.

somebody said...

What is the penalty of subordinates being in contempt of their superior (commander).
Bush had self-made policies .. (TASERS).,
But.. is there actual legal protocol for the present misconduct? It's reckless., dangerous, and a threat to our security.

Anonymous said...

get grip