The Democrats squandered their majority and deserved to lose big in the midterms. In defense of the party, their lack of vision is largely due to the fact that the banking industry is running the show. Make no mistake of course, new speaker Boehner and the Republicans are committed to these very same interests, so it's business as usual in the Beltway. The pressing question now is how much further to the right can Obama possibly go? Will he listen to Netanyahu and attack Iran? During the '08 campaign, candidate Obama stressed that all options were "on the table."
This week Obama embarked on a tour of Asia. In India, with a couple hundred U.S. corporate executives in tow, the Nobel laureate addressed a special session of parliament and had the audacity to claim to have been inspired by Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence. This was met with cheers from the Indian parliament, one of the world's largest importers of conventional weaponry. Meanwhile, in nearby Pakistan his predator drones were exploding. So much for satyagraha, Gandhi's form of resistance.
Next stop for our leader was his former home of Indonesia where he recently reinstated military aid to the country's red berets known as Kopassus. The aid had been cut years ago due to a litany of human rights abuses. The Obama administration insists Kopassus has reformed, a claim countered by journalist Allan Nairn. Nairn has long reported on the Indonesian military's murderous ways and on the same day as Obama's visit, Nairn posted leaked documents on his website exposing Kopassus as far from reformed. These U.S.-backed red berets are apparently targeting churches and referring to civilian dissidents as "enemy."
Ever since former President Ford greenlighted Indonesia's genocidal invasion of East Timor, one U.S. administration after another has provided aid and training to the Indonesian military in violation of international and domestic laws. This is just one more example of Obama's presidential continuity.