The Open Dimension

Commentary on social issues; politics; religion and spirituality

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Location: Laguna Hills, California, United States

I am a semi-retired psychotherapist/psychiatric social worker and certified hypnotherapist. Originally a practicing attorney, I changed careers during the 1980's. My interests include history, constitutional law, Hindustani classical music, yoga, meditation and spirituality.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Will The Real Barack Obama Please Stand Up?

It is one of the most remarkable transformations I have ever seen. What has happened to the man I voted for? Did something happen to him right after the inauguration? I don’t know. Was he re-programmed by the RNC? Water-boarded by the CIA? Brain-washed by the FBI? Is this the real Barack Obama I see or have they replaced him with a double? Why does this man look like Barack Obama but act like George W. Bush? Something is wrong. It’s just too much of a turn-around. Or is this what he was really like all the time? In which case this is truly a consummate actor.

Iraq. He was against the war from the outset and promised to end it with all due speed. Now he’s stalled completely on withdrawal, extending the war for at least two years and postponing significant troop reductions to the very end, presuming that there will be reductions at all. Afghanistan. After eight years of futility, he’s starting the war all over again with an additional 17,000 troops. Well, at least he’s allowing photos of the coffins coming home. He makes speeches from military bases talking about “victory with honor,” sounding like Bush and Cheney all rolled up into one. Were these his real heroes all the while?

Well, Obama certainly cannot be accused of being a bleeding-heart liberal. It came out a couple of days ago that he was proposing that war veterans should pay for their medical care with their own insurance. Not so good for veterans and their families since coverage would soon be depleted considering the extent of the care that would so often be required. Obama apparently backed off on his proposal, but only after veterans’ groups raised the roof. What is with this man?

According to a recent poll, 80% of this brilliant population supports Obama’s policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, so I am definitely in the minority. But considering that over 50% of this Einsteinian population thought that Iraq had something to do with 9-11 years after it was conclusively proved that it didn’t, I am not too worried about being in the minority. In fact it’s getting to the point that if I am with the majority on just about anything, I start to really worry about myself.

Then there’s the domestic side. As far as I can determine, Obama has gotten the best available advice on economic issues and seems to be going in the right direction- presuming that there is a right direction considering the devastating mess we’re in as the result of Republican laissez-faire corporatism- aided by Democratic laissez-faire corporatism. But did you hear him today talking about how outrageous it was that AIG executives were getting millions of dollars in bonuses? His statement was made after it had been clearly established that his own Treasury staffers had prevented Congress from placing strict limits on bonuses. Senator Dodd, refusing to play fall-guy, was I think the first to reveal that bit of information. So what are we to believe- that Obama had been blissfully unaware of all this and hence his righteous indignation? Not bloody likely; and it looks a lot more like righteous hypocrisy on Obama’s part. Or, stated otherwise, is it better for Obama to be the usual corporate frat man or to be just dopey? No, dopey I don’t think he is.

I voted for Obama and I still think he was the best choice. But I am more than just disappointed. Obama’s Iraq and Afghanistan policies are nothing resembling change. Iraq goes on for God knows how long and Afghanistan appears to be an endless morass. Bush might just as well still be in office as far as this condition of perpetual war is concerned. What conceivable benefit is there to all this except to the war industry and war-related industries, which are still raking in billions? And whom is Obama serving- them or us? He was ready to deprive veterans of their health benefits but seems all too ready to shovel how many more billions into the pockets of the military-industrial complex. Why is he so eager to prolong and to expand futile wars? Does anyone seriously believe that this has to be? Does anyone contend that this is the only solution to the hell that Bush and Cheney created? If Obama does, then he may have been the best choice but still a very bad choice.

Only President Obama can finally determine who he really is. He appears to be confused. I hope his perspective gets cleared up without delay. There’s an awful lot at stake.