CONTINUNITY OF ADMINISTRATIONS SEEMS ON DECK IN DC
Why Does Barack Obama FollowThe George W Bush Playbook?
By Danny Schechter
Author of PLUNDER
Do the initials C.O.G mean anything to you? That acronym stands for Continuity of Government. We heard about it back in 2001 when Dick Cheney was taken to that undisclosed location just in case the White House went up in smoke again like it did in 1812 (Reference from the must see new Britfilm, "In The Loop"). The government's main commitment in times of disaster is preserving itself. (God forbid that people find out that the country could go on without the government in its present humongus configuration!)
But who would have thunk that C.O.G would morph into C.O.A., (Continuity of Administration) with the Obamatons building rather than destroying the agendas they inherited?
Everyday brings news of the latest Presidential two-step: one step forward, one and a half steps back. Despite the loonies who denounce him as a Socialist (of the Kenyan variety, no less) the man at the top is about system maintenance more than system change. In policy after policy, he seems to feint left before moving right.
George Bush must be beside himself yukking it up as he smokes his doobies down in Texas, laughing at how the WHO were once again proven wrong. (He is now being quoted as calling his dog Barney the "son I never had.")
Yup, many of us seem to have been fooled again. You betcha.
The only people who are not disillusioned are those who had no illusions to begin with. Isn't it obvious that power may seem to reside in the White House but it is effectively constrained by the real power centersa cautious Bureaucracy, an overblown Military, avaricious Big Industries and the fraud factories on Wall Street?
That's where the clout is. That's where most of the political donations came from. He ignores these complexes at his peril, although, alas, he already seems to share many of their assumptions and worldviews.
Iftekhar A. Khan, a scribe in Pakistan writes about this reality.
"Many who thought Obama would change US policies in Iraq and Afghanistan have been disappointed. Obama and Brown don't formulate policies; reps of powerful interest groups do. How could Robert Gates, who outlasted Bush regime, take a U-turn on the AfPak strategy he himself devised? He has been at the centre stage of conceiving and planning the brutal military offensive Panther's Claw in Helmand - Southern Afghanistan. Richard Holbrooke on the AfPak scene is another face for Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld."
When I was coming of political age, I was influenced by the work of C. Wright Mills who wrote about the Power Elite as a permanent government of special interests and institutions. Building on that, a former President of SDS, Carl Oglesby, came up with a theorybook that discussed the war within and between those elites.
Oglesby saw the conflict in regional terms with the new wealth of the Oil Aristocracywho he called the Cowboys based in the Southern tier, battling the old wealth of Wall Street, powercrats he called The "Yankees.
Herb Calhoun describes his argument, set against the background of the assassinations of the 60's as growing out of these elite conflicts: