Who is Barry anyway?

Pbama leftFrance’s President Sarcozy, on meeting Obama in 2009, found him to be “unoriginal, unsubstantial and overrated.” I also recall him portraying Obama as a weak man, but no time this morning to run that down.

A new book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Double Down, quotes Obama as saying “I’m really good at killing people, ” in reference to the Pentagon’s drone program. That could be sardonic and cynical, of course.

But imagine a weak man who likes killing from a distance, free of reprisal. That is a coward.

Maybe so, maybe not. I am writing this because it is my belief that the president is an unimportant man in our system, hired to be the public face of a killing machine and a mirror for our own illusions. Such a man was Ronald Reagan, unschooled, unoriginal, even stupid about many things, hired to play a role. So addled was he by Alzheimer’s in his second term that he could not place countries on the map. “He” was the collective work of PR people, montage of TV images, no more in charge than a naked emperor.

Obama could be real, decisive, courageous. He could be fake, indecisive (not that his “decisions” matter), but effective as a communicator. He could be in the employ not of the American people but of a power behind our government, those who offed JFK and gave us 9/11.

In that case, he willingly took office knowing there would be a gun at his head, also knowing it would never have to be fired. That would make him a charlatan and a traitor.

14 thoughts on “Who is Barry anyway?

  1. What bothers me the most is by the actions of our imperial presidents we’ve turned once loving nations into bitter rivals.

    I’m afraid, by watching their newscasts, that the damage is too great.


  2. But Barry O. has a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Reagan: you spend a lot of time dwelling on someone who supposedly was a helpless tool.

    Presidents are largely stuck with the institutional zeitgeist they inherit. In the case of the fed gov’t, that would be beltway progressive-ism. You believe there is some consciousness behind it all, guiding the thing. I suppose this gives you the hope that people of your bent could get a hold of the thing and remake things to your liking. This just reminds me that we all need fantasies we can nurse.


    1. Reagan was important in my own political maturity, to understand that an image could be invented and used via TV to govern for eight years. When he left office he dropped off the map, never interviewed again. I don’t think they wanted us to see how little there actually was there.

      It is amazing, as you demonstrate, how our system is built around money and influence, and yet you act as if presidents are accidents who come to office with their own agendas. It’s as if money doesn’t exist! For that reason, I cannot watch any movie or TV show that has politicians as characters, as they are always portrayed as acting independently of their money sources. Even Napoleon had bankers behind him.


    2. Your answer is a bit non sequitur-ish. I’ve never denied the influence of money on politics.
      But those with money are at least some kind of a meritocracy, and I’m not sure that sans money things would be that much different. England, Sweden, et al have kept money out to some extent, and they have the same cultural rot we do. There are other forces at work: the permanent bureaucracy; judiciary; education establishment. Just because we elect Ralph Nadar to satisfy your eagerness isn’t going to change much.


      1. Nader would only play the role of third party, the one that the others have to bargain with to attain majority status. I fully realize that a majority of Americans would not elect him. It’s a way of preserving minority rights in a one-party state, which is why Democrats loathed him.

        You throw out too many general comments with no substance beyond stereotypes behind them. Money=meritocracy? I seriously doubt that trust babies merit much attention, and really, W? I recently wrote a short post about England based on Carroll Quigley’s writings, and money IS their system. This is why they are unhinged and a force for deceit and treachery. As Bertrand Russell, a British intellectual of some merit opined, the British aristocracy unleashed as much horror on the world as Stalin.

        The others – permanent bureaucracy, just a stereotype in your mind as you have it firmly in place that government produces no value. Educators create more wealth than bankers, easily.

        Gotta go, 14 hour trip coming up.


      2. I am not being pejorative when I mention those permanent institutions that play a role in politics. Congressional staffers and civil servants have a lot to say about how things work in the gov’t. The movers and shakers are all routed through the academy. Do you not think those designing the curriculum are aware of their chance to influence policy? Do you disagree that lawyers have their hands on power in some significant way?

        Money=meritocracy? I seriously doubt that trust fund babies attend much merit, and really, W?

        I am aware of such limitations, and the problems of running a society based on high bidders and low bidders. I was pointing out that at least the thing isn’t a kakistocracy.

        As Bertrand Russell, a British intellectual of some merit opined, the British aristocracy unleashed as much horror on the world as Stalin.

        He tossed it out there to give us something to think about. If you had a choice of paths: one towards a world run by Churchill, and one towards a world run by Stalin, which would you choose? You are kind of anxious to deflect criticism away from your ideological buddies.


        1. I would refer specifically to British duplicity in allowing the Nazis to arm and attack Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway and Denmark, and France even as they had a 100,000 ready to attack USSR, all the while hoping that Hitler would destroy Russia, the US would enter the war … Without the Brits, we could have avoided much often at slaughter. (Neville Chamberlain was not a fool and merely carried out Britain’s dual policy of appeasement to allow Hitler to amass armaments and resources.

          I am glad you know Russell’s mind, but honestly think you just pulled that out of …

          Re investor class – they are necessary but cannot control their own impulses, in case you are not paying attention to the bubbles we’ve experienced since 1980. They should not govern.


        2. they had a 100,000 ready to attack USSR

          Amateurs think tactics, professionals think logistics.

          In hindsight there were points where German militarism could have (maybe) been headed off by France and Britain. That doesn’t mean their policy was to attack the Sovs. You are stretching.

          Bertrand Russell is not the last word on these matters.


          1. The Brits played the situation to the hilt. Their public wanted Hitler stopped while their aristocrats wanted him strengthened, an attack on the Russians the ultimate gain. They always played alliance with the second greatest power against the first, but open alliance with the Nazis was not done in public. US bankers including Bush ancestors also supported Hitler.

            Of course there are factions in every country. The dominant ones supported Hitler.

            The expeditionary force was to cross Norway into Finland to attack the USSR. this brought about the German attack on Norway to preempt it, as Germany needed iron ore from that region.

            Russell is a serious reference regarding his own countrymen. All empires imagine themselves noble and high- minded, including our own. It takes a Russell to describe reality – barbarians.


          2. The expeditionary force was to cross Norway into Finland to attack the USSR. this brought about the German attack on Norway to preempt it, as Germany needed iron ore from that region.

            More of your silliness. You can’t move troops that way and have any kind of an effective fighting force. The general staff knows this. Politicians like to sweep their hands over a map and announce great pincer movements: Churchill was big on having a grand attack through Greece and the Balkans, but such things horrified his generals, who knew the area had poor roads and scant support infrastructure. Luckily, they talked him out of such silliness, but Churchill did get a lot of troops sent to the area in the early stages of the war.

            I’m sure you can find plans for all kinds of attacks and alliances. What we need to keep in mind is the modal policy.

            Nazism was popular pre-WWII, but so was communism among the intellectual class.

            There was a strong dislike of the aristocracy among British intellectuals of this era as they reflected on the horrors of WWI and the revealed dis-utility of colonies — and the connection here to the aristocracy. But to call them barbarians may miss the mark. Conflict is one of the movers of human society; one needs to be in the game; you don’t always know at what level it needs to be played.


          3. There was indeed a split among the aristocracy in Britain, with Chamberlain heading the majority who wanted to see Germany given all it needed to enable the Russian attack. His motives can only be seen from his actions, but others were quite open about it. The 100,000 man expeditionary force was quite real, and only awaited Finland’s request for assistance, which never came. Troops do indeed get assembled that way, especially prior to Work War II, when most generals were still in trench warfare mode.

            Russia had tried to negotiate with Finland, but the Brits were everywhere undermining everything, and it appears the Fins refused knowing they would have outside assistance. That force was to land, cross Norway and attack Russia from that side. It was not an invasion force, but rather an expeditionary force with supply lines to defend Finland. Stalin invaded Finland, naked aggression. the Brits were furious, ergo the task force. The Germans, fearing loss of critical iron ore supply lines, 20+% high quality Swedish ore! took Norway and Denmark! ergo the expeditionary force could not traverse.

            And indeed, as you say, there were alliances formed back and forth, countries trying to secure sir borders. I count maybe twenty that were formed, dissolved, proved to be pointless, etc. Hitler made them, as did Stalin, Romania, Austria and Hungary, Turkey, Italy and Spain and the Czechs, French, but throughout the Brits were behind the scenes setting things to go their way. It may be true that they did not know the horrors that awaited, but they played a very large part in bringing it about. They surely never planned to cede their empire.

            Russell might also be referring to the Boar war, the millions of famine deaths in India and refusal to allow them to develop … It’s a long seedy history. But like all of the imperial mindset, they regard themselves as noblemen carrying the white man’s burden. S elf-delusion is a large part of imperial hubris.

            I love your attitude that colonies are seen as a drain on mother countries. This is why they line up to go to war with one another … Each is more anxious than the other to be drained.


          4. Countries may fight over their colonies but it is not because they are such great money makers.

            Who ever made any money from their colonies, relative to the gains from simply trading? Russia? Portugal? France? They’ve been easily eclipsed economically by (essentially) non colonizers like Germany and Japan. What net economic gain did France ever get from its colonies? Looks more like a place where they tossed a lot of blood and treasure in exchange for a few bragging rights. I’ll grant you Spain getting gold from the New World; but that was as much a curse as a blessing. The things usually cost more than they are worth. The psychological boost is pretty high, though. Nothing like bossing people around to give you some swagger.

            (Britain under Chamberlain) wanted to see Germany given all it needed to enable the Russian attack.

            They had a funny way of showing it, with the naval blockade and the declaration of war after the invasion of Poland.

            The 100,000 man expeditionary force was quite real

            No. It was a political promise. The Brits only promised 20,000 troops for the theater.

            Russia had tried to negotiate with Finland…

            A quaint notion.

            … but the Brits were everywhere undermining everything

            What evidence do you have that the Brits had anything to do with the run up to this conflict?

            The Germans…took Norway and Denmark; ergo the expeditionary force could not traverse.

            This happened after Finland signed a peace treaty with the Sovs.


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