Our April issue featured the story “The Audacity of Vagueness: Barack Obama and Latin America,” by Nikolas Kozloff of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Wrote Kozloff: “Barack Obama, the likely Democratic nominee, has not been very eager to comprehensively address Latin America as an issue. In recent years, the region has undergone a major tectonic shift towards the left, surely prompting many to wonder how the young Illinois Senator might deal with progressive change throughout the hemisphere were he elected to the White House. Would he seek to continue the rabidly hawkish stance of the Bush administration towards such nations as Venezuela, or could he be convinced to broker a rapprochement?” We have noted before Obama’s alarmingly bellicose rhetoric on Pakistan. Our April Exit Poll was: “Are you rooting for Barack Obama? With or without grave misgivings?” As an Extra Credit question, we asked: “Will Cheney pull an ‘October Surprise‘?” We received the following responses:
From Marcia Slatkin, Shoreham, NY:
For Obama, with few misgivings. The spirit he engenders compensates. And, quite possibly an October surprise. It’s their only hope.
World War 4 Report replies: That depends who “they” are. The hawks should be very happy with McCain, who shouldn’t be written off by any means. And, if his Pakistan comments are any indication, they might even be able to get along with Obama…
From Michael G., somewhere in cyberspace:
Rooting for Obama. Had reservations, but no longer. Least he’s not stupid enough to let a few hundred thousand zealots in Miami dictate his Latin America policy.
World War 4 Report replies: We also hope President Obama will pursue a more enlightened Latin America policy. But we dissent from the notion that the Cuban exile community “dictates” the current policy, just like we dissent from the conventional wisdom that the Israel Lobby dictates US Middle East policy. In both cases, US imperialism has its own imperatives—in the case of Latin America, containing the revolutionary contagion (or what Noam Chomsky calls the “threat of a good example”).
From Jan B. Newman in Clinton, Montana:
I would like to hear Barrack come out strongly against the atrocities in Tibet. To date I have not heard him make a statement on this very important issue.
World War 4 Report replies: Obama was the first presidential candidate to issue a statement on the repression in Tibet—on March 14, days after the uprising began. The statement calls for no specific actions such as sanctions or a boycott of the Beijing Olympics—but the other candidates aren’t calling for that either. Here is the statement, from Obama’s website:
Statement of Senator Barack Obama on the situation in Tibet
Chicago, IL — “I am deeply disturbed by reports of a crackdown and arrests ordered by Chinese authorities in the wake of peaceful protests by Tibetan Buddhist monks. I condemn the use of violence to put down peaceful protests, and call on the Chinese government to respect the basic human rights of the people of Tibet, and to account for the whereabouts of detained Buddhist monks.
These events come on the 49th anniversary of the exile of the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, the Dalai Lama. They demonstrate the continuing frustration of the Tibetan people at the way in which Beijing has ruled Tibet. There has been an informal dialogue between Chinese leaders and the Dalai Lama’s representatives over the past six years. It is good that they have been talking, but China has thus far shown no flexibility on the substance of those discussions. Indeed, it has delayed in scheduling the latest round, despite the willingness of the Tibetans to continue dialogue.
If Tibetans are to live in harmony with the rest of China’s people, their religion and culture must be respected and protected. Tibet should enjoy genuine and meaningful autonomy. The Dalai Lama should be invited to visit China, as part of a process leading to his return.
This is the year of the Beijing Olympics. It represents an opportunity for China to show the world what it has accomplished in the last several decades. Those accomplishments have been extraordinary and China’s people have a right to be proud of them, but the events in Tibet these last few days unfortunately show a different face of China. Now is the time for Beijing to take steps that would change the image people have of China later this year by changing the reality of how they treat Tibet and Tibetans. Now is the time to respect the human rights and religious freedom of the people of Tibet.”
From Tim Slater, in Bavaria, Germany:
» Exit Poll: Are you rooting for Barack Obama?
It has been a long time since I rooted for any Demican or Republocrat…
» Extra Credit: Will Cheney pull an “October Surprise”?
False-flag operation? I wouldn’t put it past him!
World War 4 Report replies: You appear to contradict yourself, Tim. If the “Demicans and Republocrats” are so identical, why would it be necessary for Cheney to pull a “false-flag operation”?
From Margery Coffey, in Rosalie, Nebraska:
I am leaning towards Obama since all my real choices have quit the race. I definately prefer him over Billary. I don’t like either one’s health care plan and would prefer them far stronger on the anti-war position. What I like is Obama’s willingness to listen and to change. I hope there is more of it.
Extra Credit: Will Cheney pull an “October Surprise”?
Already in the works. They are showcasing Gitmo trials.
World War 4 Report replies: We meant something a little more dramatic. Which brings us to the next response…
From JG, in New York City:
Exit Poll: Are you rooting for Barack Obama? With or without grave misgivings?
Hell yes. He’s an awesome middle finger to the entire Reagan coalition. Misgivings about what? That he won’t turn out to be FDR or that he’ll be closer to Wall Street than Hillary (whatever) or more psycho than McCain (unlikely)? Or that his nomination virtually guarantees the election of McCain? Yeah, that’s weird, but Hillary is very hard to root for and an Edwards-Kuchinich ticket would also have lost and was unlikely anyway.
Extra Credit: Will Cheney pull an “October Surprise”?
Unclear what you mean. I followed the link. Do I think Cheney is planning a dirty bomb in Saudi Arabia? No. A false flag operation in the US to declare martial law cancel the election and round up all the Democrats and put everyone in camps? No. I just don’t feel he has the full support of the US military and local police departments on that. Claiming some piece of twisted metal proves the Iranians are the source of all the worlds evil and bombing them while he still can. Hell yes, if he thinks he can get away with it. He can make good money selling the military the bombs as usual.
World War 4 Report replies: “Misgivings about what?” Well, Obama’s bellicose rhetoric on Pakistan is rather alarming, no? And the October Surprise link did not indicate that “Cheney is planning a dirty bomb in Saudi Arabia.” The Saudis are preparing for radioactive fallout from US air-strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, which we think is terribly plausible… So yeah, file under “Hell yes” for us as well, unfortunately…
From Laurie Starfire, in Eugene, Oregon:
Of course my voting for Barack will land him in the white house.
sure… I also believe the voting boxes aren’t rigged.
And after he gets into office, we will start seeing Climate Changing pollution come to an end, the water will stop being polluted, biofuels will stop being the source of destruction for the last of the rainforests and clean water supplies will be replenished… we’ll pull out of Iraq, we’ll have health care for all, the crumbling infrastructure will be rebuilt, employing all those who’ve taken a hit due to housing market crashes and NAFTA, and people will stop being subsidized for buying hummers.
World War 4 Report replies: Do we perhaps detect a slight note of sarcasm?