Thursday, August 28, 2014

Could Obama's Legacy Be Destroyed by His Ukraine Policy?

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Could Obama's Legacy Be Destroyed by His Ukraine Policy? What to Do About It --

By (about the author)  
Eric Zuesse
The Ukrainian Government prior to the coup had been economically sustained by borrowing both from Russia to the east, and also from the EU and U.S. to the west (with a substantial portion of the U.S. portion of that debt consisting of IMF loans -- the U.S. Government is the major donor to the IMF). These loans were, ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, largely being pocketed by the well-connected former communist nomenklatura or insiders who had been given formerly state-owned industries during the Harvard-designed privatization program throughout the former U.S.S.R. These new oligarchs (such as the current Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who received the Leninska Kuznya shipyard and some state-owned chocolate factories, as well as a few other companies in retailing and news-media) got the benefits of those loans and socked away much of their consequent accumulating wealth in offshore tax-havens, so that the mounting sovereign debt of Ukraine is already crushing the Ukrainian population by severe cutbacks in Government expenditures for social services, road maintenance, and other government services, while those oligarchs have palatial residences in Western Europe. The public, in other words, suffer the debts, while the "oligarchs" or aristocrats (the former communist insiders) are now multi-billionaires; and one of them, Ihor Kolomoysky, was assigned a crucial Governorship, from which post he has largely masterminded and overseen the ethnic-cleansing campaign, which is clearing away the local residents in the land-area of the gas-fields Furthermore, in order for Ukraine to pay its debts, it is selling off the assets that had formerly produced income for Ukraine (largely for Ukraine's skimming oligarchs) such as selling off the gas pipelines that carry gas from Russia to Europe. The biggest portion of Ukraine's income was the transit-fees from these pipelines, and now these fees will go to investors in Europe and America, instead of to Ukraine. But Ukraine needs this money desperately right now, because the EU won't extend more credit, and the U.S. is already beginning to wake up to its disaster in Ukraine.
So: this costly war will leave behind a failed-state in northwestern Ukraine, and a separatist southeast, which will likely seek and receive membership in the Russian Federation. The perhaps more than a million refugees from Obama's ethnic-cleansing program in the southeast will probably return to and rebuild their bombed-out land, and likely receive a kind of Russian Marshall Plan to assist in that effort.
Looking back, it won't be any sort of feather in Obama's cap, but instead a black mark that will be comparable to, and perhaps even bigger than, George W. Bush's catastrophe in Iraq.
Already, Obama's economic legacy is economic stagnation for all but America's richest 1%, who gained in income 31.4% while the bottom 99% flatlined a mere 0.4% during the Obama Administration's first three years. To call that flatlining for the bottom 99% an "economic recovery" is to lie, which is what Obama and professional economists routinely do. And, normally, in an economic recovery after a crash, the bottom 99% do far better than do the top 1%, not far worse. This was the direct result of Obama's continuing Bush's policies of a bailout for the banksters, and a failout for the borrowers and investors. Also, the peddle-to-the metal at the Fed was and is a huge upward redistribution of wealth. So, President Obama's liberal rhetoric on his claimed concern about "equality in America" rings hollow, if not fraudulent.
A President like this will be rated at or near the bottom by historians. Perhaps he's just a less honest version of George W. Bush, the latter having made no bones about his conservatism. At least Bush was honest about that. Obama has lied about the most basic things of all: what he believes, what he actually cares about, as shown by the decisions that he has made in office. His policies display him as being like George W. Bush but a better liar from the standpoint of liberals, who have been taken in by his lies.
The disaster of his Presidency is now likely to produce electoral losses for the Democratic Party in November, which result will then be a certain kind of poetic justice for a Party whose principles are so fraudulent that not even a single Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives has introduced a bill of impeachment to remove him from office. That failure is equivalent to the entire Democratic Party accepting the deep stain on the Democratic Party's progressive brand, a stain that means: "We're all fakes. Obama's policies, his actual record, reflect our conservative values. He's not a Republican-in-verbal-disguise. He really is one of us, even after his having been the first U.S. President to place outright nazis into control of a foreign government."
The only thing that can significantly reduce the mounting cynicism in this country is for a House Democrat to introduce a bill of impeachment against perhaps the worst President in American history. It would be to say: "He's not really a Democrat, at heart; he's just a very effective liar." If Democrats want to retain control of the Senate, they'll need to disown and remove this stain upon it. For the 2014 elections, and the 2016 Presidential election, this will signal the end of the corrupt Clinton-Obama "Democratic" Party, and the rebirth of the FDR Democratic Party, a Party that truly was progressive and anti-fascist.
It would end the Clinton-Obama one-Party, conservative-Party, corporate-Party, U.S. political system. But without that change, the U.S. has no realistic hope. If Obama continues to be accepted as a Democrat, then the final two years of his Presidency will be spent signing into law numerous far-right bills that have passed both houses of Congress -- a Republican House and a Republican Senate. He'll have a field day signing so many fascist bills into law. It will be the most conservative Government in American history. The Democratic Party will be dead. And democracy in America will be just a nostalgic memory for Americans who are old enough to remember what it was like. What it was like was progress for and in America. What we will have ever afterwards is dictatorship for and in America. The choice is up to each and every current Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Even before the Ukrainian junta-Government's collapsing, Americans are more favorable toward impeachment of Barack Obama than they ever were toward impeachment of Bill Clinton, or even of George W. Bush -- and no House Democrat even introduced a bill to impeach even him. (Does the Democratic Party not stand for anything at all?) The demand for Obama's impeachment will only grow, if there turn out to be two Republican-controlled Houses of Congress -- and, then, the bill to impeach will inevitably be a Republican one, with Republican (not Democratic) reasons. The only opportunity for the Democratic Party to restore itself and America, will have been missed.
At present, Democrats are so despondent, Gallup headlined on August 27th, "Republicans' 'Thought' to 2014 Election Exceeds Democrats': GOP advantage more similar to those in 2002 and 2010 than in 2006," and reported that, "Republicans (42%) are much more engaged than Democrats (27%) in the election at this point." Whereas Republican voters feel that they have an ideology (conservatism) to vote for, Democratic voters feel that they have only an ideology to vote against (conservatism) -- and little even remains to distinguish between congressional Republicans and the "Democratic" President Obama on it. If Democrats in Congress support a President who is the first one ever to install outright nazism in a foreign country, then why vote at all?
November 2014 is shaping up to be a bloodbath for the Democratic Party. (See this "Over the past two cycles, the president's job approval has explained 58 percent of the variance in competitive Senate races in any given state," and also the 6-to-1 odds of Republicans taking over the Senate; so, there will probably be two Republican houses.) There's only one way to avoid it. Is there even a single House Democrat who will stand up and do what must be done to avoid an electoral bloodbath for the entire Party? We'll soon know.
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