This blog contains material I wrote and posted on between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Open Letters to Barack Obama : 2010


Dear Barack

I hope you won’t think I’m taking liberties, but Mr President-Elect of the World Barack Hussein Obama is a mouthful to say, and besides, you’re only three degrees of separation from me anyway, so that makes us kind of on informal terms, doesn’t it?

 Anyway, Barack old boy, congratulations and all that, don’t you know, for all that you’ve done. Yes, I know the length of your journey, as yet incomplete, to the White House. Hell, I bet there are Native Americans in the depths of the Amazon basin who know all about the length of your journey to the White House. The media have been soaking us in it. But, all the same, let me add my voice to the millions. Congratulations.

OK, now that we’ve got that bit over, shall I offer a few gratuitous words, Barack old man? I know you must be exhausted and all that, and want to soak in the sweet savour of your victory, but bear with me just a minute or three. This little missive will not take longer than that to read.

Now, Barack old boy, I know you’re an African-American in the truest sense of the term, half-and-half exactly, and you’ve had to fight the entire Establishment to get where you are. It’s a feat indeed, because of a reason that dare not speak its name. I’m sure you’ve noticed some things, but for all that, let me point them out.

Everyone, I’m sure, your principal opponent included, will agree with me that you were the better candidate. You’re young, Barack, you’re charming, intelligent, handsome, you voted against invading Iraq, and you have an inestimable advantage: you aren’t a member of a party tainted by the malign presence of George W Bush, the invisible shadow behind these polls. In fact, that is the principal reason why the nations of the world are falling over themselves welcoming your win: they’re ecstatic at the end of Bush more than they’re welcoming you. If it were a chimpanzee who won, they would welcome that too. Anyoneis better than Bush as far as the world is concerned. You were, like Hillary Clinton, more a marketing strategy by the Democratic Party than a tectonic shift in US politics. I’m sure you recognise that.

Also, Barack old boy, I’m sure you’ll agree that you didn’t exactly waltz into the White House, did you? Any candidate for the US Presidency has to have some particular attributes: he has to be photogenic, has to have an attractive wife and a minimum of two children, or he’s going to lose the anti-gay vote; and has to be an in-your-face, church-going Christian, else he’ll lose the Christian vote. And you certainly had to make the grade there too. There are other things you had to do, which I’m sure went against your undoubtedly liberal instincts: you had to publicly and explicitly support the war-criminal so-called state of “Israel” and donate East Jerusalem (about which even the “Israelis” are having second thoughts, as I’m sure you know, since, unlike your ex-vice-opponent, you do read the papers) to the zionazis. Otherwise you’d lose the Jewish vote. You had to say you’d keep fighting in Afghanistan, and invade Pakistan as well, or you’d lose the jingoistic vote. Yes, you certainly had to shift and change your stance, Barack, and certainly against your liberal instincts. I believe that you are a convinced liberal inside yourself. You – with your background – couldn’t be otherwise. But what you’ve gone through only foreshadows what you will go through when in “power”.

While I’m on the subject, Barack ol’ man, let me remind you that even though you were the better candidate by far than your ageing, erratic, self-styled “maverick” opponent who supports the attack on Iraq and wants the occupation to last a hundred years more, even though you had all the advantages of a nation sick of Bush and war, even though the economic collapse drove the final nail through your opponent’s coffin, even though you swept the electoral college, you still only won 52% of the popular vote. I’m sure you’re very aware of that fact. Just 52% of those who cast their vote (and that was only 64% of the US population, something considered a “high voter turnout”), which is not too different than what your now-hated soon-to-be-predecessor, George W Bush, got in 2004, voted for you. Remember that when you sound off about the American Dream, will you? You are the preferred choice of about 33% of the US population. One of every three Americans voted for you.

Of course, the African-American population is wild with enthusiasm about your win. One can’t grudge them that. What will it actually translate into for them, though? Will it change the inner-city ghettoes to urban paradises? Will black children stop being drawn into gangs because of lack of opportunity? Will the jails stop being crammed full of African-American people? Will the police stop shooting young black men on pure suspicion? No, no, no and no.

Of course, Barack, you must be making plans for your time in office. You must have plans, aspirations, hopes and dreams, and that’s fine. Just remember that those plans, aspirations, hopes and dreams will remain plans, aspirations, hopes and dreams. They won’t translate too well into reality, and for a simple reason. You aren’t going to be allowed a free hand, whatever you think. I’m sorry to pour cold water over your party, my friend, but there is a nasty word that we need to remember. That word’s called T-O-K-E-N. Yeah.

A token, you know, has to prove his worth as a token. He has to bend over backward to please those who put him where he is. If he’s black, he has to prove himself whiter than white. If he’s suspected to be a Muslim because of an “unfortunate” middle name, he has to show that he’s more Christian than the Pope or whoever his church head is. He can’t show the slightest trace of feeling for people who share his ethnicity or his alleged religion, even if that feeling is natural and deserved, even if a white Christian in his position would show that feeling and more. Do you understand?

You know as well as I do that a US President’s first term in power is basically an extended period of campaigning for his second. I don’t know if you’re one of those rare people who don’t want a second term, who think one time is enough, but seeing your undoubted ambition and drive, I kind of doubt it. And, of course, as everyone and his nanny goat knows, you declined public financing for private funding. Many people sent you what they could afford, a few dollars or a few thousand. But that wouldn’t get you far. You had to have accessed funds from corporate houses. You owe them. They own you.

So, just as a theoretical construct, let’s imagine you’ve decided that the world needs massive cuts in carbon emissions if it is to be saved. This means that industries are going to have to clean up their act. That, in turn, means that the owners of those industries will have to spend a lot of money, and in turn means that if they want to remain competitively priced, their profits will drop. But they own you, Barack, so they’ll squeeze, and since you want another term in office you’ll quietly fold. Yes you will.

All right, so you’re going to exit Iraq. That’s fine. You’ll cut your losses, declare a wholly spurious “victory”, and run. The nation will be behind you on that, and the world will be so glad to see an end to that horrible and shameful episode in your nation’s history that they won’t push too hard about future adventures. Maybe you won’t even want any future adventures. Maybe you will even see sense and accept that you’ve lost Afghanistan as well as Iraq. But, whatever you yourself want, that’s not going to happen. The military-industrial complex owns your office, and your vice-president is there to keep an eye on you. And talking about your vice-president...he voted for the invasion, and your party did doodly-squat to end the war despite being in control of Congress, as we all know - don't we?

I won’t go on much longer, Barack, because you’ll want to be getting on with some relaxation and then begin planning out your cabinet. But please listen to me, just for a minute more. Do you remember Al Gore? You should. He won the election in 2000 by half a million votes but lost the presidency because of how your so-called “democracy” works. Well, Mr Gore is one of the most respected environmental activists on the planet today. His stock is infinitely higher than if he had occupied the Oval Office. George W Bush – looking back – has done him a tremendous service by stealing the election from him.

Just make sure that people don’t look back and say, in a few years’ time, that it would have been better for your sake if you’d lost.     

I remain, in fact, a well-wisher of yours.

                                                                                      Bill the Butcher

PS Meanwhile, till your inauguration, stay away from windows and balconies. Some people who were hoping you'd lose might want to make sure you won't taste the fruit of victory. I'm not sure you're President material, but you'd make a piss-poor martyr. 



Dear President of the World Barack Obama

I would like to extend to you a full and open-hearted welcome to India, and hope you have a lovely time here on your Imperial visit. Please note what a wonderful nation we are, with nice, free vistas for you to admire, broad roads and friendly people who don’t ask you any nasty questions. I truly, and without sarcasm, hope that you have a great time, Mr President.

Before I get down to business, then, let me tell you just a bit about my antecedents. I believe that you are an American-born, legitimate election winner. I also believe that you are an intelligent man. I freely give you those points.

I was a longtime opponent of your predecessor, whom I count as a war criminal, and the end of whose presidency I cheered as I thought things couldn’t, at least, get worse. Not that I altogether welcomed your advent, either; I remember writing an open letter to you back in November 2008 making some predictions about pitfalls you’d face and probably succumb to.

Well, sir, may I offer my congratulations: you have not only succumbed to those pitfalls, you have handily exceeded my worst expectations. You have, if I may say so, out-Bushed Bush at his worst, and you didn’t have the excuse he had, of being too addled to know what he was doing.

Dear President of the World Obama, I welcomed you here, and as a private person you are, of course, most welcome.

But as the leader of the Empire, sir, you are not welcome at all.

You are not welcome because, under your watch, the wars your predecessor deliberately and wantonly started are raging worse than ever. You are not welcome because you are complicit, as the so-called Commander-in-Chief of your Empire’s forces, in the war crimes those forces commit. You are not welcome because you are, ultimately, responsible for the actions of your juniors, because you have not reined them in.

Do you know the precise, exact moment the honeymoon really ended for you, President Obama? It was the same moment when you, while expanding and deepening the illegitimate wars your predecessor started, still managed, without a blush, to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. It was the moment when those innocents who had, fervently, hoped that your election really promised a new dawn were forced to take another look. And, unlike your predecessor, who, while an absolutely  evil man, at least stuck to the policies he embarked on, you bend with the wind and try to be all things to all men.

Just like any cheap politician, and not the Emperor who rules over us.

I refer, of course, to the people of the world. We are not citizens of your Empire, sir, so your domestic policies are immaterial to us. We aren’t directly affected by whether Americans can own guns, have access to abortions, or learn evolution in school, and the like. We are, however, very interested in not having American bombs dropping on our heads in the middle of the night. Nor do we want our resources given away to American-owned companies for a song, or our governments to follow policies dictated from Wall Street and Washington instead of those we voted for them to follow.

Let me promise you, sir, that it’s not out of our hatred for freedom that we object to this. It’s just the way we are.

Also, sir, I should like to point out that we have, frankly, had enough of endless wars. They don’t make us happy; they don’t make us feel safe; they worry and weary us. Again, please excuse my temerity in seeking to challenge your Empire’s right to wage perpetual war. We do not wish to ask you to make your Homeland less secure. By all means, bomb away, sir, but not on our heads, if you please.

Dear President Obama, I said before that you are an intelligent man. I therefore find it curious that you have not thought it fit to reflect on the fact that you, who are allegedly the Greatest Man in the World, have to be protected by a virtual army [1] from every threat from poison gas to air attacks to coconuts falling on your head. Yes, that’s right.Coconuts falling on your head [2].

I don’t know if you’ve thought fit to reflect on the fact that your predecessor, a truly evil man, and rightly reviled worldwide, never needed quite this much security on his trips here. I wonder if you ask yourself if shutting down Indian cities and putting millions of people to very real hardship is something you should be doing. And I wonder whether, if such a lot of effort has to go into keeping you alive once you step out of the boundaries of the Empire, you ought to step out at all.

I also wonder if you know (actually, I’ll bet you can’t help knowing, given that your security ring is part of the process) of the fact that Indian students chosen to interact with you have been vetted to ensure they have neither the intelligence nor the strength of character to ask you potentially embarrassing questions (such as why, if you think Afghanistan is the “right war”, you’re following policies formulated by Bush everywhere in the world). Do you find it embarrassing that you are being protected from having to answer questions put to you by seventeen-year-old kids, I wonder?

Also, while I’m on the subject, even as abjectly pro-Empire a dispensation as India’s ruling class seems to have given up on this visit of yours as anything of substance [3], so, is it worth it? Perhaps, just possibly, not.

But, Mr President, take heart. I am not here to belittle you. I don’t think you a criminal, nor do I want you displaced from your position as Master of the World. Instead, I wish you a second term as well, and may you be followed by successors who follow your policies, to the letter. It seems as though your generals are convinced they will; the greatest hero of our time, the military genius David Petraeus, has proclaimed that Unending War will consume your children’s generation.

And should you fail, despair not; for if, as your remaining supporters, such of them as still exist, aver, your opponents are even worse than you, then the fate of your personal presidency is of no moment. They will outdo you at your worst, and that is surely a good thing.

So, please, sir, go right ahead doing as you have been doing. You are the best hope of the world; for your system, and your policies, will drive your Empire into bankruptcy [4], and lead to its vanishing from the face of the earth.  

And also, please don't forget to pat our so-called Prime Minister, who, as you know, has never won so much as a municipal election in his life, like a pet dog. He likes it. Your predecessor did it to him and he told him that all Indians loved him.

You, too, want all Indians to love you, do you not?

Yours very sincerely,

                                                                  Bill the Butcher





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