Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hate spineless? Remember shameless

Many of us are disappointed with Barack Obama's administration as they exhibit all the political courage of any wet-finger wind-direction opportunists. Escalating the doomed and bloody occupation of a nation that has never allowed this for too long--Afghanistan--bombing tribal people to death in Pakistan in order to save US pilots from any risk whatsoever, taking a loooooong sllllllllow retreat from a nation that was illegally invaded and occupied, and failing to close Guantanamo, much less prosecute US war criminals who violated international law signed and ratified and made the supreme law of our land. In all these matters and more, the Obama administration has lacked the backbone necessary to stake out something better and then see it through.

However, let's glance now and then at the alternative, the shameless warmongering corporado war profiteering Republicans, embodied this week by Joe Barton (the one with the obviously patriotic tie), a Texas Republican congressman. He doesn't merely apologize for the environmental criminal corporations, he apologizes to them. In the clip in NYT he manages to apologize to BP executive Hayward three times for Obama setting up an escrow fund for the victims of the BP oil gusher, about which BP has certifiably lied many times already.

Phil Berrigan, militant nonviolent co-founder of the draft board raid movement and the Plowshares direct disarmament movement, and co-founder of Jonah House nonviolent resistance community, watched the national and international news on TV one evening at the old row house in Baltimore. I was visiting. It was in the Caspar Weinberger-Ed Meese-James Watt era. The instant it finished he snapped it off and turned to stare at me, shaking his head, and said, "Shameless. They're shameless, Tom."

Aye, Phil, bless your memory, they still are.

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