Arms Dealer Obama Will Win by Default
By Robert Scheer
Barack Obama will be re-elected not as a vindication of his policies but because the Republicans are incapable of providing a reasonable challenge to his flawed performance. On the central issue of our time—reigning in the greed of the multinational corporations, led by the financial sector and the defense industry—a Republican presidential victor, with the possible exception of the now-sidelined Ron Paul, would do far less to challenge the kleptocracy of corporate-dominated governance.
As compared to front-runner Mitt Romney, who wants to derail even Obama’s tepid efforts at regulating Wall Street, and who seeks ever more wasteful increases in military spending, the incumbent president appears relatively enlightened, but that is cold comfort.
Not only has Obama been a savior of the banking conglomerates that so generously financed his campaign, but he also has proved to be equally as solicitous of the needs of the military-industrial complex. He entered his re-election year by signing a $662 billion defense authorization bill that strips away some of our most fundamental liberties and keeps military spending at Cold War levels, and by approving a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
Those two actions represent an obvious contradiction, since the attack on American soil that kept defense spending so high in the post-9/11 decade was carried out by 15 Saudis and four other men directed by Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi primarily using funding from his native land. Now
This is the same Saudi monarchy that rushed its forces into
The rationale for the first big arms deal with the tyrannical Saudi monarchy since 1992 is that a better-armed Sunni theocracy is needed to counter the threat from the Shiite theocracy in
The real reason for this deal is that it is the only sort of jobs program that Democrats are capable of pushing through an obstructive Congress. The administration boasts that the arms package will result in 50,000 jobs in 44 states, underscoring the warning from Dwight Eisenhower, the last progressive Republican president, about the power of a military-industrial complex that has tentacles in every congressional district. As Sen. Claire McCaskill of
A Democrat running for re-election, McCaskill added, “These are important jobs in our community. I will continue advocating for sales of Boeing products wherever appropriate.” Being a good Democrat, she doesn’t reference Boeing’s profits, which are increasingly dependent upon arming the rest of the world.
That’s the win-win of government-generated profits and jobs on which the Democrats are counting to defeat the Republicans, both through campaign contributions from the more rational among the wealthy and the votes of ordinary people who, despite being seriously hurt in this economy, have nowhere else to turn.
This article was published at NationofChange at: http://www.nationofchange.org/arms-dealer-obama-will-win-default-1325862035. All rights are reserved.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs