Forces Executing Kids in Afghanistan? Americans Don't Even
Know to Ask
4 January 2010
By Dave Lindorff
You know, the year 2009 started out kind of nicely. We
watched Barack Obama take the oath of office,
serenaded by the awesome Aretha Franklin (wearing her
awesome hat), after first hearing Pete Seeger sing the
real Woody Guthrie verses to "This Land Is Your Land"
on the steps of the Lincoln Monument.
And we saw Congress pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay
Act, to correct a scum-sucking decision by the US
Supreme Court's conservative woman-hating,
corporation-loving majority that said women (and
minorities and the elderly) couldn't sue for pay
discrimination unless they acted within six months of
the initiation of the violation, even if they didn't
learn about it until years later.
But basically, that was it. The promise of an Obama
Presidency, and of the huge new Democratic majorities
in the House and Senate, came and went like the puff
of dust from a dessiccated puffball, leaving behind
nothing but a leathery dry little husk of fungus--an
apt description of Democrats in Washington today.
Since then we had the pathetic stimulus package that
hasn't stimulated, and the continuation of the
Bush/Paulson bank bailout--the gift that keeps on
giving to Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, B of A, Wells
Fargo and the other greedhead banks that created the
current financial disaster that has thrown a fifth of
the American workforce out of their jobs and that has
put a quarter of all homeowners underwater, with
mortgage balances larger than the value of their
shrivelled homes. We've got a whole new war--actually
the old mini-war in Afghanistan now ramped up by Obama
and his Democratic backers into a major war--and the
old war in Iraq sill chugging along, and maybe even a
new one in Yemen or a bigger one in Iran. And of
course we've got no health care reform, though they're
calling the crappy legislation working its way through
Senate and House "health care reform."
What a sorry joke.
You can't wish anyone a Happy New Year tonight with a
straight face. How can it be happy if we're blowing up
innocent people, our own young soldiers, and a couple
hundred billion dollars of taxpayer money in the
coming year for nothing except to allow Obama to prove
how tough he is? How can it be happy if the criminal
banking syndicates are having their best year ever,
and if their executives are raking in obscene bonuses,
while homeowners cannot even refinance their crooked
mortgages while rates are being kept low? How can it
be happy if what Congress and the President are
calling a health reform bill is going to leave tens of
millions of Americans uninsured, while it extorts
hundreds of billions from the rest of us in order to
subsidize crummy insurance for poor people--insurance
that they too will have to pay for with money they
don't have, or face heavy fines from the IRS? This is
health reform? Please.
No. Let's face it: 2010 is going to be a terrible
year. Count on it.
The only hope is that maybe we somnolent Americans
will fianlly be shaken from our television-induced
torpor by a further economic crash, by the complete
takeover of our government by corporate interests, and
by the increasing death toll of American military
personnel in Afghanistan, and will finally rise up and
reject it all.
Imagine millions marching on Washington to demand a
public jobs program, and Medicare for All! Imagine
millions of people sitting down and blocking the main
entrance to the Pentagon. Imagine President Obama
being shouted down when he tries to give a public
address--not by one lone House representative shouting
out "liar!" but by the assembled masses. Imagine the
needy public and young idealistic physicians taking
over hospitals and dispensing free care. Imagine
voters simply turning out of office every member of
Congress who voted for war funding, the health care
bill or the bank bailout. That would virtually mean a
clean sweep of Congress, which is what we need right
And that's what we need in 2010. Not a Happy New Year,
but a radical and explosive one.
So that's my wish to one and all. Get pissed. Take
action. Let's make 2010 a year we can cheer about!