Black Agenda Report 4 May 2011: Obama Killing Spree / Brazil in Haiti / Obama Needs Birthers

4 May 2011 — BAR – News, commentary and analysis from the black left

Osama, Obama and Bush: Apt Comparisons, Missed Opportunities

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
bush-to-obama.jpgIllustration by Leon Kuhn. More of his work at
This weekend the White House announced the extrajudicial killing of Osama Bin Laden, and the secret disposal of his body at sea. Are we any safer now? And would it be any different if George W. Bush were making the same announcement four years ago?

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Killing Gaddafi’s Grandbabies

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
When the U.S. and Europeans needed a way to get on the “right” side of the Arab Awakening – and thereby crush it – they chose to re-demonize Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi as the evil from which the Euro-Americans would rescue North Africa. “Gaddafi was perfect, having long existed in cartoon form for western consumption.” Killing Gaddafi’s son and three grandchildren was no crime, since “in American eyes they are no more different than satanic versions of Daffy Duck’s cartoon nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.”

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Freedom Rider: Obama’s Killing Spree

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Illustration by Mike Fluggenock. Find much more of his work at
Obama is certainly living the thug life, an international gangster without parallel. What is to lesser humans a planet is, to Obama, a spherical theater of war, a free-fire zone. With two more notches in his gun, the First Black President is ensuring that Black Americans will be viewed as just another brand of ugly, violent Americans set loose on the world. And “the Peace Prize winner will once again give a lofty, well written speech about why it makes no sense to be peaceful.”

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Brazil’s Haitian Training Ground

by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre
When there’s a need to gain national prestige, curry favor with imperial power, or seize the opportunity to train your soldiers to occupy other people’s countries, why not try Haiti. To prove it can play with the big imperial boys, the United States and France, Brazil took on a major role in imprisoning the Haitian nation. “Brazil is participating in the usurpation of Haitian sovereignty – and the usurpation of Haitian sovereignty is an affront to the sovereignty of all Black People.”

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Osama bin Laden, Marshall “Eddie” Conway and the National Identity

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared Ball
What kind of nation finds “renewal” in targeted assassination, reaffirmation of its destiny in the ritualized killing of the ultimate “Other”? Must the U.S. national mission consist of paying $2 billion a week to blow up the poorest people in the world? How about simply changing the country’s public policy so as to make sure that Obama is actually responsible for less death and destruction than the so-called leading terrorist now recently and apparently deceased.

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Why Obama Needs the Birthers

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Far from harboring a desperate desire to rid himself of the Birther plague, Barack Obama needs them to divert attention from an economy that is “as bad as most people living have ever experienced.” Obama will have great difficulty running on his economic record, and does not fundamentally differ on economically from Republicans. But, “when compared to the Birthers and other assorted racists in the GOP, Obama appears to be the only civilized person in the room.”

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The Phony Anti-War Movement

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The U.S. anti-war movement was always a lot less than it appeared to be. At its height, activists claimed that the sheer weight of visible public opinion would shake power relationships to the very foundation. But it turned out that many of the anti-war legions were actually comprised of partisan Democrats who only opposed Republican wars. “For the phony anti-warrior, imperialism with a Democratic face, is just fine.”

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Marketing the Removal of Poor People in New Orleans

by Jay Arena
Ethnic cleansing is difficult and devious work, requiring a kind of choreography of lies by all parties involved in the Black and Poor Removal Project. The corporate media understand their roles perfectly. “Developers and public officials—and journalists like Ouroussoff—now expound on theories of ‘deconcentrating poverty,’ drawn from academic sociology, to explain why driving poor people from their homes is actually a benevolent enterprise.”

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Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of May 2, 2011

Obama Morphs Into “Liberal Republican”
President Obama has “been following a general strategy of agreeing with Republicans at almost every point all through his time in power,” says Thomas Ferguson, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts. “It’s tragic, in the sense that Obama was elected with people thinking that they were going to have a transformative presidency on the model of the New Deal, and instead they got what’s really a liberal Republican administration. Dr. Ferguson believes Obama has done permanent damage to progressive politics. “After two years in power,” Obama’s team “owns this recession, and I have a bad feeling we’re going to live with it for a generation,” says Ferguson, “because it’s been used to discredit the whole idea of government acting on the economy.”
Education is Not a Business, Says DC Teachers Leader
“For-profit entities,” including corporate-owned media, “preach the idea that market-driven approaches are the beginning and end of all things,” says Nathan Saunders, president of the Washington Teachers Union. “Not all things that happen in the private sector are good. Look at the housing industry. It was run by Wall Street, and look what happened.”
Democrats No Salvation for Labor
Labor activists that believe the Democratic Party will rescue them from the GOP onslaught “are wrong,” says Paul Street, author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. “Democratic governors are going after public workers’ benefits and salaries in California and New York, and in other Democrat-controlled states, and at the federal level there’s a politician named Barack Obama who’s put a pay freeze on public workers.”
Who Owns Africa? Apparently, White People Still Do
Speaking at a New York City forum titled “Fifty Years After Uhuru, Who Owns Africa?” Black Star News publisher Milton Allimadi said Britain, France and the United States are intent on reestablishing control over Libya’s immense wealth. Why would anti-Gaddafi rebels in Benghazi agree to accept an African Union peace plan, “when France and Great Britain are willing to do their fighting for them?”
Dr. Jared Ball pans Manning Marable’s biography of Malcolm X, calling it “a eulogy for revolutionary ideas, so carefully put to rest throughout its pages.”

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