And This Year’s Oscar Goes To… Barack Obama by Finian Cunningham

Barack Obama - Caricature

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

by Finian Cunningham
Featured Writers
Dandelion Salad
April 23, 2011

If Ronald Reagan was known as the actor who became a president, then perhaps Barack Obama should become known as the president who became an actor.

For every facial movement evinced, every gesture of the hand, every word enunciated by the 44th president turns out to be a complete charade.

This is the guy who ran for the presidency presenting himself before the US nation, hand on heart, as the candidate who would end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; end the killing of civilians in those countries; and the brutalizing of young American men. Two years on, Obama has donned the costume of US commander-in-chief with ever-frightening zeal. Far from ending the wars, Obama has not only ramped up America’s foreign wars of aggression, he has expanded them into new territories, including Pakistan, Libya and East Africa, adding countless more innocent lives to Washington’s global death toll.

This is the guy who promised to close the American gulag of Guantanamo Bay where hundreds of men have been rendered by kidnapping from various parts of the world, tortured and held without trial, not one of them convicted. Two years on, promise broken. US rendition and torture is still standard practice, a fact to which American soldier Bradley Manning can testify simply because he showed the moral courage to tell the truth about such US crimes against humanity.

This is the guy who promised with unctuous sincerity to make a new beginning in US foreign policy, to respect universal human rights. “Universal human rights begin in the lives of each and every individual,” he intoned with his by-now clichéd solemn voice and face. Two years on, US foreign policy has even less regard for human rights both abroad and at home. In Gaza, the world’s largest outdoor concentration camp besieged by the US-fuelled Israeli war machine, Obama’s rhetoric on respecting the rights of human beings stands as a grotesque mockery. Elsewhere in the Muslim world, this guy is seen as the genial peacemaker who let his mask slip to reveal an ugly warmongering face like all his other predecessors.

This is the guy who pretends to offer the best deal to the US public over the budget deficit by gallantly fending off Republican axemen. “I won’t slash you by $6 trillion, I’ll only slash you by $4 trilllion,” to paraphrase his fake logic. As if this is a benign alternative that the American people just can’t refuse. So the guy who once upon a time supposedly broke his heart over Chicago’s inner-city poor will now unleash massive austerity on many more of America’s poor and ground-down working class, by slashing $4 trillion worth of Medicaid and Medicare, public education, social welfare and jobs. Nowhere does our supposed chivalrous and cerebral hero Obama appear to be able or willing to think outside the box in which the corporate aristocracy has entombed their political vampires on Capitol Hill. How about ending the trillion-dollar wars he was supposed to end? Or re-appropriating the trillions of dollars that he lavished on the banksters? Or reversing tax breaks for the already obscenely wealthy. These alternatives would make a lot more economic sense, justice and peace than Obama’s attack on the very people who voted him in to make a change.

Above all, this is the guy who has shown that he can lie with a pious face, smile sweetly when he refers to murdering innocent people with aerial drones, and can almost bring a tear to the eye when he talks about “not being able to ignore humanitarian values in Libya” [while then proceeding to oversee the bombing of civilians in that country and in the same breath not giving a pause to murder of civilians by a US ally in Bahrain].

So at the next Oscar ceremony, a special category should be opened for Barack Obama, the acting president of the USA. He can then hang that along with his Noble peace prize – which, come to think of it, could be nominated for “funniest screenplay ever”.

Finian Cunningham is a journalist and musician


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Kucinich Responds to Defense Department Moving Pfc. Bradley Manning to a Maximum Security Prison at Fort Leavenworth

Don’t Cut Entitlements – Cut the Military By Timothy V. Gatto

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17 thoughts on “And This Year’s Oscar Goes To… Barack Obama by Finian Cunningham

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  2. Instead of checking Uncle Tom’s birth certificate, what should be checked: did he really graduate as a lawyer? His remarks about Manning’s guilt are highly questionable and controversial, to say the least.

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  6. Calling Obama an actor is rather kind, I think. Usually I consider him the king of hypocrites, an archetypal man to illustrate someone who does not walk his talk, or as a liar, a killer, a thief, a criminal, a lackey, a servant, a traitor. Yeah, he’s an actor. Anyone who still believes his act needs to take a reality check and look at the difference between his words and deeds. He reminds me of another president: Richard Nixon, “I’m not a crook! I’m not a liar!”

  7. Blaming Obama for everything is as silly as was always blaming G W Bush. We all know how things are accomplished in high level politics, etc. A writer such as yourself can do your own research to provide a balanced perspective.

    I admit time has past and things are changing differently than typically expected, however, a simple Google search brought easy links to begin a true research. Common sense seems it is better to review sources from all views before indulging in promoting your own view. (Albeit more reputable than these beginning ones.)

    • how does one spell ”war criminal”? or ”crimes against humanity ” , or ”more torture at Gitmo”,
      i know how we can spell these words and sum them up in one word –IMPEACH.

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  9. I would agree with this over all IF you had balanced your information with the good he has done also.

      • How is any intelligent person supposed to take such a remark seriously? I’m done. I do not do senseless bias.

        • Not sure what you mean. I put “good” in quotation marks because it is a very subjective word.

          Can we compare his policies to that of the Bush admin’s policies? Not much difference, in my opinion. It is mostly a continuation of the Bush admin. If you think his admin has done some “good” things, please list them.

    • Thank you for taking the time to write your comment. With respect, the article was written in the style of a polemic which is a personal view on a subject. I am unshamed in promoting my view on Barack Obama as an individual who has broken promises and the trust of millions of voters, has expanded illegal wars of aggression, has personally ordered the increased use of aerial drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan that result in the death of hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children; Obama has overseen an administration that has lavished trillions of dollars on criminal bankers, and now to try to reduce the country’s deficit after lavishing so much money on wars and the criminal banking system, he is promoting a campaign of massive austerity on ordinary working and poor citizens (the people who voted for him). Yes, of course, as one other comment pointed out, this is not all due to one person, Obama; it is the system of corrupt wealthy politicians, whether Democrat or Republican, that have become willing servants for the wealthy and powerful bankster and the military-inustrial complex. Nevertheless, Obama as with all the other individual operators of this system of exploitation and death, must be held personally accoutable for its many evil manifestations, both in the US and around the world. These realities need to be stated clearly and boldly to reinforce the facts that these are huge crimes against humanity. You know, choosing to ply wealthy criminal bankers with trillions of dollars that result in millions of people in the US losing jobs, losing their homes, going hungry, dying from lack of medical care, drying from not being to able to heat their homes… etc etc., such politics is in my view blatantly criminal. I would respectly ask you to think of the many, many individuals who are suffering in very real ways by the bi-partisan slavish promotion and operation of America’s political system of exploitation and death, also know as capitalism. I say to you that it should be very, very hard to adopt a view or reaoning that in some way mitigates these crimes with “balance”. How can any one think in such a way as to diminish the awfulness of official US policies? I think American people need to be very clear and real about the evil repressive nature of Washington’s government for the rich and war-making elte. To think that there is anything good in this system of death is delusional and only permits such a system to continue in its crimes. The ordinary, good citizens of the US need to reject the exploitative, death-dealing sytem that has reigned for decades and begin forming their own independent political solutions. I would hope that the style of writing that I adopted in the article can help readers see these realities more clearly and thereby help them make conclusions that are unencumbered by distracting and irrelvant “balances’ that end up concealing the heinous realities of US government, whether Democrat or Republican, whether headed by Bush, Obama or Mickey Mouse.
      If you wish to pursue this conversation further you are very welcome.


      • Dear Finian, Your article and your comment were both well written, and said what so very many of us are thinking,, but have any of us suspected yet that President Obama is possibly trying to make a stand against those very same things that we see are so incorrect ? Is it possible that what we are seeing is a federal government so totally out of control that not even a well intentioned newly elected president can get a handle on it ? How many does he actually have standing with him as he tries to get control ?
        Yes,, I am truly saddened and shocked with the Obama announcement of “humanitarian” cruise missiles being sent into Libya . Two years ago I would have bet a thousand dollars that this would not have been possible with Obama as president.
        What I truly think we are seeing and witnessing today , is a president who is simply overwhelmed by the military/industrial/oil/Pentagon revolving door of influence that has accumulated so much power since Eisenhower , and that there is very little even a president of the United States can do about it . A few months ago I was angry at what seemed like a huge betrayal by Obama. Today,, I just worry about his personal safety, realizing that he is in the driver’s seat,, and the elected “spokesperson” for a federal government that is so very out of control ,, much more than any one of us can comprehend or possibly imagine. We all see where JFK wound up when he told the military he didn’t want them to play war in Vietnam. Almost one half of all of our exports are military related items or services. Obama just might be the loneliest man in the world, sitting in that White House right at this moment. We can rant and rave about Obama ,, because, indeed, it does seem at times, like an incredible betrayal by someone we all had hoped would prosecute the Cheney/Bush team for lying us into war ,, but in reality,, who do we see willing to make a stand with him, and risk a chance at losing it all ? The pressure on him must be unimaginable. Can I imagine a stressed out Obama coming out in front of the cameras and almost in a nervous breakdown type of cathartic release, telling us all that it is just not possible for him to do the things he realizes need to be done because he has simply not enough control and influence to do them ? Yes,, sadly I can imagine that. Put yourself in his shoes for an hour or so,, as I have tried to imagine,, with oil companies able to zoom up gas prices at any moment,, with an entire mil/industrial group ready to lay off forty thousand workers at the drop of a hat,, with an American public that for the most part, has an attention span of a gnat, and who stays about as connected to world events and politics as your average American dog . It is not all poor Obama’s fault ,,, for surely he has walked into the proverbial Lion’s Den . If Jesus Christ were elected in 2012 He would be running up against the same road blocks, threats, and blackmailing that must be going on today as we write. Is he that great of an actor ? Methinks not. I think at this moment he is just about as shellshocked as any soldier coming out of Iraq or Afghanistan. I think he is still reeling from the pressure being put on him . Of course,, I wait for that most candid interview when he just throws up his hands, and tells all of us,,”You know what folks,, Washington D.C. is just so out of control I want to quit right now,, get my family and myself the hell out of here,, and watch this implosion of one hell of an incorrect empire from the safety of a foreign shore!”
        Ant quite truthfully,, I wouldn’t blame him one bit . What did we really expect that one man could do ,, and how realistic was it to have these kinds of expectations of him ? I think we, as well as Obama,, were being frightfully naive. Happy Easter to all ,, keep trying to believe that peace is possible,, for that is surely what He would want us all to continue to believe. ( That wasn’t quite Bible Thumping was it ??).

        • Perhaps you are right Tim . Perhaps I am being too kind . We need a fighter in the White House,, not a negotiator.

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