Nope, I didn’t make up that title, CNN did that for me.
As I explained in a different post: Obama is leaving the White House.
Time for our independent and oh so objective “media” to go into myth-making overdrive.
As I have explained elsewhere, I am not particularly impressed by Obama.
Most Presidents are pretty bad, some more so than others.
In my own country, the Netherlands, the same rules apply.
Our (Prime) Ministers (and politicians in general) all suck as well.
And just like in the US, it really doesn’t matter much which party they belong to.
The CNN documentary is different from the History Channel documentary although both present the Obama Presidency in the exact same frame.
CNN is more of a cheerleader than the History Channel, in my humble opinion.
But the drivel is pretty much the same.
What follows is a rather lengthy review.
The first 10 minutes of the documentary is mostly identity politics.
Obama – as the 1st black President of the US – means a huge change for America.
The US has somehow crossed the rubicon and become an earthly paradise of progress, diversity and tolerance.
We then (oddly) immediately dive into racism?
What was whispered before, is now spoken out loud.
Did racism make the Republicans so resistant to all of Obama’s policies?
This is followed by a listing of “racial” incidents and “controversies” that were really hyped up by the corporate media…
… and US politicians themselves.
Obama – like any President – will have a lot of detractors, people who don’t like him.
We are presented with just the crazy fringe. The Birther-movement, people calling Obama a racist, a black panther, a socialist.
Complete lunatics walking around in odd clothing with ridiculous signs proclaiming insane things.
(Apparently all of this scared the Obama Administration so much, that they didn’t dare to breach the topic of race for several years).
We then fast forward to 2012 and dive into the George Zimmernan debacle.
(Apparently in between nothing noteworthy “racial” happened, according to CNN and Fareed Zakaria).
After seeing mostly black people angry and protesting followed by white people defending the shooting of an unarmed teenager because he was wearing a “thug”-hoodie, we immediately skip to the Charleston Church shooting. In that case a deranged person who “wanted to start a race war” shot nine (9) innocent black people in a fucking church!
It is now 2015… we’ve moved through seven (7) years of Obama Presidency … and it is only now, after the church shooting, that Obama finally feels free and emboldened enough to “speak freely about race”. As CNN has clearly shown us, before 2015, this was simply impossible, given the racist state of the country and the “fear” this caused in the Obama Administration.
It is here that Obama ‘spontaneously’ breaks into “amazing grace”.
It’s a gorgeous song.
I have heard several renditions that give me goosebumps. This is not one of them.
He comes off as a media-whore.
His rendition is followed by a very succesful black media-personality breaking into tears.
(While wearing a ridiculously expensive, suit and purple silk tie, worth more than my monthly income).
Obama’s rendition of “amazing grace” is a “rediscovering of who this country is”.
We’re 22 minutes in.
I have seen nothing but race, ethnicity and identity-politics.
We then skip back to 2008.
We see the US economy collapse. CNN saved money on this segment and actually uses some of the exact same speakers as the History Channel documentary. They even show some of the exact same images. When “the media” settles on a frame, they tend to use it as a blunt instrument and hammer you over the head with it. We (again) see Obama seeking Republican “support” at the US Congress, but alas.
The Republicans had already made up their minds.
Because of politics, power and … (of course) race.
Obama then singledhandedly “saves” the US automobile industry (General Motors) and of course the US (and world) financial system.
He does this by handing these “industries” close to a trillion dollars in taxpayer money.
This is the largest transfer of wealth, from the public, to the private corporate sector, in world history.
(The poster says: Where does National Income go? In our country it goes to the workers. In the West it goes to the capitalists).
The banks were “stabilized” and “credit began flowing to main street”.
It’s all nonsense. The crash from 2008 was like a global structural adjustment program. It wiped out much of “main street”‘s wealth – pensions, mortgages, savings, stock-options etc. Main street has not managed to recover that “wealth” and never will. The huge bailout also meant deep cuts under “austerity measures” the world over, gutting social programs everywhere, making sure the elderly, the sick, the weak, the lower educated and future generations are screwed.
If an industry or sector requires close to trillion dollars in taxpayer bailout money to keep its head above water?
That industry doesn’t deserve to exist.
We’re 32 minutes in and I have seen Obama redefine “race in America”, even “redefine what we are as a country” and he singlehandedly “saved” the world economy.
This President is something else !
We then move forward to 2011.
Obama moves “the troops” out of Iraq, just like “he promised’ but then things go to hell.
The Rise of ISIS.
Obama – and his “intelligence radar” were of course “surprised” by the Rise of ISIS. (Obama still insists on calling them “ISIL” because he is an elitist snob and being an elitist snob only really has merit when you constantly show that to people, including ethnically diverse people such as Fareed Zacharia).
It’s odd that it surprised the US. Patrick Cockburn wrote an entire book about ISIS before and during their rise in legible English. Various journalists also wrote an abundance of very alarming reports about that very same “rise”.
ISIS are then (sigh, again) described as “masters of the Internet”.
The Big Lie is as follows.
It’s not that Muslims (who live in the West) are crazy and therefore susceptible to the medieval madness that is ISIS.
It is because ISIS are “masters of the Internet”.
That’s why all those Muslims from Europe travel to Syria and join the Jihad.
Extremists in Iraq… just as US troops move out?
And then extremists in Syria?
How the fuck did that happen?
These are non-denominational “extremists”, they are not Mulsim-extremists.
The people travelling there are victims from the “masters of the Internet”, they are also not Muslim-extremists.
There are literally 100s of books about the “Middle East” that explain the region quite well. There are no real countries there, most were formed by the British after the first World War. People may live in Iraq, or Egypt, or Syria, but ethnicity, tribalism and religion (identity politics) really determine where their loyalty lies. Scholars, academics, researchers, anthropologists and journalists have been predicting for years that the entire region will go up in ethnic and religious strive as soon as the (petroleum) dictators (who have run the region for decades) are removed from power.
I read a prediction. In 2003. Right before the invasion of Iraq. It said Iraq would become "balkanized" and become 3 countries. A Kurdisch North. A (small) Sunni Center. And a Shia South. I'm sure you'll be able to find lots of those online. Try Google.
But the Obama Administration and the “intelligence radar” were unfortunately unable to Google and read some books, papers and articles in English.
(Most of which are availble online, for free).
Needless to say, the barbarism that is (the Rise of) ISIS, also needs to be rewritten as a victory.
Obama got Asad to give up his chemical weapons, so we get the “Red Line” nonsense.
In reality, Asad got rid of his chemical weapons so he could continue his war and most of those munitions were costing a fucking bundle to maintain safely.
After this wonderful “victory”, ISIS oddly expands their power, funds, territory and madness.
They also begin their terrorist offensive, causing millions of people to flee their homes.
The EU refugee-crisis and wave of terrorist attacks that plague Europe are mentioned.
We see horrifying images of refugees.
We do not see the any images of terrorist attacks in Europe.
Obama is quite clear on the matter.
Did we make the best decision out of all the bad options?
The answer is yes.
CNN then matter-of-factly mentions that the “crisis” in Syria and Iraq continues to this day.
During his Presidency Obama refused to call it “Islamic Terror” or “Muslim Terror”.
He kept insisting these people are
not religiously motivated.
We then get the Sandy Hook massacre.
Some crazy fuckhead goes into an elementary school and shoots and kills 20 children aged 6-7.
(He also killed 6 people working at the school).
He failed to pass any firearm legislation. By the time it became a priority, he simply did not have the political capital.
Thanks CNN !
A “Presidential Historian” then explains to us simple folks that the President has to make hard and very complex choices regarding priorities. He is either “gaining capital” or he is “losing capital”, if he doesn’t set the right priorities. So, if the President “goes for” gun control, he “may lose something else”. The Democrats had lost the mid-term elections of 2010. The House and the Senate became Republican. But even then, after losing so many seats to the Republicans, faced with losing all that “political capital”, Obama still found a way to act “without Congress” and make the first “move on gun control in decades”.
We are then told… ominously….
But now… it could all easily be reversed. President Elect Donald Trump has vowed that their will be no gun restrictions.
We then get loads of mass-shootings, guns, people crying, just horriffic imagery.
After the Newtown shooting, Obama then finally “acts”.
Unfortunately, those damn Republicans, and the dragon that is the NRA, stopped Obama’s legislation, which came up 5 votes short of being passed.
Obama would have to address school-shootings again… and again.
Finally, in January 2016 Obama bypasses Congress and issues an executive order. At the press-conference Obama breaks down. He looks tired and worn down. He starts crying. I felt really sorry for the guy. He looked like he had an absolute shit-week.
We then get Donald Trump fuming…
And now… even his executive orders are under threat.
Donald Trump is gonna reverse everything Obama did!??!
That means there will be no legacy!??!
We then go back to identity politics and apparently these go all the way up to the US supreme court.
Obama appointed the first Hispanic American Supreme Court Judge.
He then followed that up with appointing another woman supreme court judge.
I may look grey. But that is what a feminist looks like.
And now, if Donald Trump appoints a conservative, all of Obama’s legacy could go up in flames.
His social agenda, his diversity agenda, his progressiveness, his LGBTQ rights agenda, his halo, his sainthood.
All of it.
We then get a concerted yet contrived effort to show Obama’s “quiet moves behind the scenes” slowly working towards “marriage-equality”, which he opposed, but we’re told only because he knew the country “couldn’t absorb that much change” (yet). We see various (social) changes being presented as Obama’s victories, helped on the topic of (universal, genderless) “love” by none other than Joe Biden.
But alas, the supreme court is a mess, so all of this #Legacy could go straight to hell.
We’re about 60 minutes in, we have 45 minutes more of this vulgar propaganda to dredge through, so strap in.
Fareed Zacharia and CNN are quite clear. Obama is a “cool” President. His “laser-like focus” on Al-Qaeda avoided “big messy wars” , his foreign policy was “cool”, much like Barack Obama himself. Oddly enough – CNN admits – he did preside over the collapse of Syria, the birth, sorry… “rise” of ISIS but…
… now that Donald Trump is taking over?
We get a President with a very different temperament.
(Not “cool” eds.)
To “understand” this situation we need to go waaay back to “the beginning” when a young, up and coming kid Senator in Chicago (named Barack Obama) made a speech to a group of hippy, bohemian looking people in 2003 opposing the war in Iraq? Well yes and… ehm no. He doesn’t oppose the war or just war.. no… war is just fine. What Obama opposes, as he speeches with fire and brimstone, is… “dumb wars”.
I don't like "dumb wars" either.
We are then clearly shown that Barack Obama “was on the right side of history”, by opposing the Iraq war and (oddly) subsequently letting the region go to shit, moving US troops out to focus “laser-like” on “Al Qaeda” resulting in millions of Muslim refugees flooding Europe and numerous ISIS terrorist attacks in the US, EU, Middle East, Turkey and South Asia, as well as the complete, utter, total and absolute destruction of a large part of Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Syria. Those areas are never going to rebuild. It’s just sand and rubble. There is nothing left, but death, misery and medieval Islamic superstition.
He wanted America to learn from the war and rethink its role as a global superpower.
“We send 23 year olds and eh,… they lose limbs and eh… some don’t come back”.
He really said that (at 1:04:00 eds.)
We then move to Afghanistan, where Obama also wanted to apply his rational and “cool” foreign policy.
We then get some metrics.
175.000 troops in Afghanistan & Iraq in 2009.
15.000 troops in 2016.
1,500,000 refugees in Europe in 2016.
More to come in the years ahead.
... But he [Obama] was no peacenik...
(Which is strange, since they just hammered home the point that he was?)
He [Obama] had a dramatically different approach to war compared with his predecessors.
We get the Kill List… the “bios and pictures of these people, sort of like baseball cards”… that the “cool” President then reviews and decides to have killed with Drone Strikes.
The US massively expands and escalates its Drone Wars.
The CIA gets what it wants!
Barack Obama: There are bad guys out there.
Spoken like John Wayne.
Which is a really clever and high-brow little “bridge” to “wanted dead or alive”-territory and the worst “bad guy of all”, Osama bin Laden.
Going ahead, killing bin Laden in that Pakistani prison, was…
emblemetic of decision-making….
Obama’s Presidency rested in the hands of a helicopter pilot.
… as is empirically and irrefutably proven by Fareed Zacharia and CNN.
We're an hour and 15 mins in and nobody, and I do mean nobody, has mentioned Islam.
And I see loads of Muslim terror.
After such horror, depravity, Islamic terror, war, ethnic strive and human suffering… it makes perfect sense to move to healthcare.
Obama is not somebody who causes harm… (NO)… he is a President who cares deeply about human health and well-being.
(Those wars were just kinda there and they somehow kinda got away from him).
Fareed Zacharia is a doctor, an M.D. I think it’s called.
This is the story of the epic battle to pass Obamacare.
We then get loads of wheeling and dealing and bumpersitckers and….
… The idealist had become a steely-eyed pragmatist.
(All of a sudden).
After watering down his “health care reform” for months, it finally gets passed.
Soon to be repealed by the Trump Administration.
It is Barack Obama’s… signature achievement…
(For a few more weeks? Is CNN sniffing glue?)
We’re about an hour and a half in.
Obama has been busy “redefining who we are as a country”, as a not-peacenik, rational, “cool” tempered President, saving the nation and the world, from itself.
Time to start caring about the planet as a whole and really prop up that halo.
He came to the White House committed to stopping the car from going over the cliff.
The pattern is similar. Obama has a “bold” agenda and the recalcitrant Republicans fuck it up. Besides, the dumb American public doesn’t care about Climate Change.
So Obama the environmentalist and Hillary the eco-warrior “go it alone”.
He almost saved the world (from itself), but….
The Clean Air Act was delayed by the identity-politics in the Supreme court.
And now… evil President Trump will “rescind it”.
But… “America is a Climate Leader”.
We then move to another “bold agenda”, the Iran Nuclear Deal.
There are plenty of countries that enrich Uranium. My own country, the Netherlands, enriches Uranium via Unesco. It was at Unesco, late 1970s, early 1980s, in the Netherlands, that Dr. Abdul Khan stole plans for centrifuges and bomb-schematics to build the Islamic nuclear bomb for Pakistan. It’s not illegal to enrich uranium. If it were up to me, NO COUNTRY, would enrich uranium. Israel enriches uranium. Israel has 100s of nuclear weapons and a large segment of the Israeli population are completely crazy religious zealots, just like in Iran.
The Iran nuclear deal is no particular victory, it’s the US finally using common sense.
Iran pauses their enrichment program in return for the harsh and completely illegal sanctions (in effect since 1979) being lifted.
It also means great news for big business.
Since the nuclear deal major EU and US business-interests have been flocking to the Ayatollahs, all drooling to do deals.
Boeing cut a deal for new planes for Iranian airlines, worth 100s of billions of dollars.
Iran is rich in oil, minerals and their infrastructure needs an upgrade.
A mining-“boom” is expected.
The Iranian rich – and there are plenty of those – would like to join the rest of the world’s rich and fully emerse themselves in conspicuous consumption.
Gucci, Ferrari, Rolex and other luxury brands all want to do business with the Ayatollahs.
The Dutch foreign Minister travelled to Iran with a group of Dutch captains of Industry, shaking hands, wheeling and dealing.
Regular people don’t get much out of the deal.
Rich people do.
Again those pesky Republicans try to stop the deal, but fail.
Another major threat removed, without firing a single shot.
So removing Asad’s chemical weapons is one threat and this is then the second.
Neither of these “threats” struck me as particularly serious.
But also this unprecedented deal… is in jeopardy.
Because Donald Trump (sigh)… will rip up the deal.
(Just like George W. Bush did with a lot of Clinton's policies).
Then Fareed Zacharia comes with his own thoughts on Obama’s Legacy.
(Yes, with a capital L).
Fareed goes off his meds.
In 2010 Obama, the snob, invites the most distinguished Presidential Historians to the White House.
Obama wants to learn from his predecessors, but is mostly interested in “the accomplishments of Ronald Reagan”.
.. and it’s better to gauge those “accomplishments” from high-brow historians than to say… look at his record.
The illegal terrorist wars in Central America, Iran-Contra, the crack-cocaine epidemic, the S&L scandal, the sharp escalation of the arm’s race, arming and training the Mujahedeen, the homeless epidemic, his past as a cold-warrior Communist denouncer in Hollywood. his work as an actor in PR/advertising for major US companies etc.
Reagan was a transformational President. He changed America’s trajectory in ways that Nixon and Clinton could not.
that was Obama’s aspiration as well.
… to change the trajectory of America.
Fareed then looks into the camera and asks us, the consumers of this fine piece of propaganda:
This is how the media says “goodbye”, this is how big business says “thank you”. When rich, important people retire, die, or move on, the “media” will give them a proper sendoff. George Michael was a perverted junkie who lied about his sexual preferences for decades. He is now described as a human rights activist. Carrie Fisher was a junkie, alcoholic, deranged woman, who is now hailed as a champion and activist for bipolar disorders. (She admittedly kept doing drugs and alcohol, her urn was shaped like a Prozac pill). David Bowie, close to 70 yrs old, knew he had liver-cancer, due to decades of drug- and alcohol abuse but decided to have another child – with a woman 30 years his junior, so he could record another album and then milk his illness and dedicate the entire album to his “son”, the child he will never raise. He also named the album Lazarus, since he figured he’d die before its release. That (unfortunately) didn’t happen, making the title less pretentious, but more annoying.
The cult of personality dicatates that our leaders, authors, sportsheroes and celebrities are unique and “transformational” figures.
They are special, gifted people with bold agendas and profound thoughts.
As they leave us, they are hallowed by objective and dispassionate experts, such as CNN and Fareed Zacharia.
For many parting heroes (especially politicians) it means start making real money.
In the Netherlands, our most famous and well liked PM, Mr. Wim Kok, an ex-union organizer and of course, rational, progressive, tolerant, cool-headed person, didn’t know how to use the mouse of a computer. He was handed the mouse and tried to use it as a remote-control. (I am not making this up). A young child standing next to him had to fucking explain to him how to use it.
He liked to work with pen and paper and “dictate” stuff. He lived a simple life, used a bike, did his own grocery shopping. A real “man of the people”. He rode the Clinton-boom and called it “Poldermodel”. Under his wonderful and progressive leadership, loads of rules were relaxed, odd financial schemes were entered and the entire thing eventually came to a crashing halt. This was 1992-1999-ish. When he left office, Bill Clinton did a speech (prerecorded). Bil Clinton praised Wim Kok and… Wim Kok had tears in his eyes. He too was completely consumed by the cult of personality… of the previous lovable, tolerant, progressive US President.
After leaving office Wim Kok was offered seats on the boards of the most powerful corporate entities in our country.
He was affectionately called: “The most powerful commissionar” (It’s called commissaris in Dutch) “in the Netherlands”.
Chauffeur, private cars, investment bankers, board meetings with a lovely bonus-package and stock-options.
He became quite well to do.
The Clintons are a good example in the US. Their foundation facilitates access and favors in Washington. Their Wall Street speeches were quite disgusting.
The Clintons made more than a 100 million dollars since leaving office.
Upon leaving office, Barack and Michelle Obama move into the richest neighborhood in Washington. Their youngest daughter will finish her expensive private education, while their oldest daughter will take a “break” year where she will work for various prestigious foundations, further boosting her media-persona and marketability, before attending Harvard, the most expensive University in the US. Michelle moves in with her “team”, they will look at endeavours, causes and projects for the First Lady to champion, while making money off them. There will probably be a book deal, with millions of dollars in advance and I would not be surprised if there will be a foundation, doing various socially responsible things, while making money.
Barack Obama is in a league of his own. He is an absolute superstar and probably the most recognized, well-liked person on earth.
His celebrity-status, his “brand”, marketability, likebility and cult of personality (especially abroad) are bar none.
Barack Obama wasn’t just some President.
This guy was a superhero.
He will also… become filthy rich.
Against insurmountable odds and fierce resistance, Barack Obama changed the trajectory of America.
And saved the world.
As the not-peacenik, post-race, eco-warrior, transformational, rational, cool, intellectual, icon… Saint Barack Obama leaves the White House…
… our future looks very dire indeed….
This is another milestone for SlimK1nd.
This is the longest post/review evah!
I clock it at 3937 words.
The guy who did the Obama Hope Poster has just released a new series of posters before Trump takes office.
It’s identity-politics, ethnicity and diversity galore.
(Needless to say, the posters are already being called “brilliant”).