1 Dec 2008

Masks of Empire by Mumia Abu-Jamal

[col. writ. 11/23/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

It would be easy to succumb to the euphoria of the hour.

Easy. Too easy.

Despite this effluvia of euphoria, blown higher by a media that has learned its role of servitude to power all too well, we have seen reasons to be concerned.

Media reportage and cheers of purported cabinet choices (from a media that claimed to have learned its lesson about cheerleading after the Iraq debacle), should give us pause, for they seem designed more for reassurance than to change.

The heavy concentration of Clintonites evokes 'back-to-the-future' ,more than a new day. And while it's true that, after the madcap governance of George W. Bush, almost anything looks preferable, it's also true that many of the problems facing the U.S. had their beginnings (or exacerbation) during the Wm. Clinton presidency. This may be seen in the promotion and passage of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) under Clinton, through the rubrics of free trade and globalization, which hollowed out national manufacturing, as businesses fled abroad in search of cheaper labor (and more profits).

For while labor gave Clinton their votes he gave his loyalties to the bankers, and served their interests first and foremost.

Similarly, while labor swarmed to (then-candidate) Barack Obama's side, if initial reports are correct, Friedmanites are dominating his economic team. These are economists and pro-business types who fundamentally believe that economies are self-regulating, and thus, their emergence as economic advisers are the continuation of the same policies that led to the present market meltdown.

On foreign policy a Clinton has arisen. Change? Not so much.

So distasteful has been the Bush era, that the '90's look nice by comparison.

Yet, these are not so much policy moves as they are political moves, meant to placate and soothe party rivalries rubbed raw during and intense primary election season.

It is meant to communicate to allies and enemies alike, not change, but continuity.

It is meant to show that although the face at the top has changed, its essence remains the same.

--(c) '08 maj

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