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Absolving Obama, or The Lamentable Sigh of the Depressed Progressive

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But it's not just Obama. Sadly, all our presidents are poor, powerless men, hemmed in by similar circumstances. As Digby tells us:

He certainly isn't the first president to find himself in that situation. America's military empire has perhaps been the most "exceptional" thing about us in recent decades.

Why, I suppose even poor, powerless George W. Bush found himself in such a hemming situation, forced by his own rhetoric and bullshit "red lines" to invade Iraq. And poor old Big Dawg Bill Clinton found himself forced  to press the sanctions on Iraq that killed more than half a million children. And .....

It is all, as Digby says, very depressing. Depressing that America keeps going around the world fomenting war, chaos, bloodshed, instability and ruin, bankrupting its own people in the process while stuffing the pockets of war profiteers. And depressing too that none of our presidents apparently have the power to stop this from happening. They are all "hemmed in by circumstances," by the American military empire ... that same military empire that each one of them fought tooth and nail to get control of. 

Digby concludes:

I hope he resists the pressures that Lynch illustrates above [i.e., sliding into ever-deeper involvement]. But the first step is always the hardest. The next ones will probably be easier which argues for not taking the step in the first place.

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I must confess that my first reaction to the news that Obama is intervening militarily in Syria -- I'm sorry, that circumstances  are intervening militarily in Syria -- was not exactly a sigh. But hey, maybe Digby's right. For really, what else can we do, but sigh and shrug and frown a little frown? He's "our guy" after all, right? Not perfect, but the best "we" can do for now, right? "We" fought like hell to re-elect him, so when he does something stupid, destructive, repressive or murderous, what else can you do? Turn on him? Leave the progressive "tribe"? God forbid! No, "we" can do so much more from inside  the tent, bringing progressive pressure to bear by judicious but respectful criticism (and maybe some on-line petitions or something), tempered with "our" general support. Right? Right?


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Chris Floyd is an American journalist. His work has appeared in print and online in venues all over the world, including The Nation, Counterpunch, Columbia Journalism Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Il Manifesto, the Moscow Times and many (more...)

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Laugh out loud!!! Do you really think Obama is a p... by Deborah Dills on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 2:20:18 AM
" I must confess that my first reaction to the new... by BFalcon on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 10:49:43 AM
The "military machine" is not the main problem. It... by E. J. N. on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 12:51:56 PM
The real circumstances are that he isn't in contro... by Mel Smith on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 12:54:08 PM
as real as the equator. The only evidence I saw re... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 1:13:13 PM
The equator is real, defined by observed physical ... by Richard Pietrasz on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 3:18:49 PM
Or I give America until around the time of Thanks ... by Michael Dewey on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 2:04:04 PM
Ok, Chris..tnx...But the underlying point, imo, is... by Samuel Scharff on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 3:02:40 PM
Terrific job! Its great to be simultaneously amuse... by Stephen Unger on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 5:03:03 PM
appears to be on auto pilot now. You could put alm... by intotheabyss on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 6:37:01 PM
Presidents employe generals at their pleasure. If ... by James Tennier on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 7:28:14 PM
I don't vote for obvious shills and imperialists. ... by Joe Giambrone on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 8:45:29 PM
Truman eventually fired MacArthur, but only after ... by Richard Pietrasz on Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 2:07:25 PM
This is, as the world phrases it, an "escalation" ... by Joe Giambrone on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 8:41:10 PM
The U.S. and Russia are once again at odds over th... by E. J. N. on Monday, Jun 17, 2013 at 10:10:35 PM
The finest sarcasm reveals the Truth by exposing t... by Jack Flanders on Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 7:09:07 AM
Truly a biting bit of saracasm,i loved the piece.O... by liberalsrock on Tuesday, Jun 18, 2013 at 8:43:59 AM