by Finian Cunningham
August 1, 2011
Finian Cunningham is a Global
Research Correspondent based in Belfast, Ireland.
An earlier version of this article was published
by Borhan News Agency
If there is one thing that the office of
Barack Obama demonstrates it is that democracy does not exist in
the United States.
This may seem a rather outlandish statement. For many
people, the fact that the 44th president is the first black man to preside
over the White House - with its American colonial-style architecture - is a
tribute to the triumph of U.S. democracy.
But many other more telling facts indicate that Obama is but a figurehead of
an unelected government in the U.S.
unelected power of corporate elites
- commercial, financial, military - governs with the same core policies
regardless of who is sitting in the White House.
Whether these policies are
on social, economic or foreign matters, the elected president must obey the
direction ordained by the unelected elite. That kind of untrammeled power
structure conforms more closely in practice to dictatorship, not democracy.
As Michael Hudson and Ellen Brown reveal in their analyses of the
debacle, Obama is pathetically doing the bidding of Wall Street
- much like
an errand boy  .
“The debt crisis was created, not by a social safety net
bought and paid for by the taxpayers, but by a banking system taken over by
Wall Street gamblers.
The gamblers lost their bets and were bailed out at
the expense of the taxpayers; and if anyone should be held to account, it is
“The debt ceiling crisis is a manufactured one, engineered to extort
concessions that will lock the middle class in debt peonage for decades to
come. Congress is empowered by the Constitution to issue the money it needs
to pay its debts.”
Obama’s servile toeing of Wall Street’s line is not the behavior of a free
leader boldly defending the interests of the people and the greater good.
Rather, his behavior is that of one doing what he is told to do
- and doing
it with grateful deference.
In this way, of course, Obama is hardly different from
his predecessors. But
of difference is just how blatant the White House is now appearing to
function as a mere tool of the rich and powerful elite.
The irony is that Obama’s election was presented as a potent symbol of
The truth is that the two-party system has become a
threadbare cover for immense feebleness when it comes to serving the diktat
of elite power as opposed to the good of the people.
“The most powerful
office in the world” would be more accurately referenced as “the most feeble
purveyor of elite interests”.
Obama’s presence in the White House indulges a superficial moral/political
correctness while the masters whip us all into austere servitude.
U.S. “war on terror” is another illustration of America’s dictatorship of
the elite - and Obama’s pathetic servile role of carrying out the masters’
orders in defiance of the will of the people.
Recall that Obama’s bid for presidential election in 2008 was avowedly based
on ending the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He also denounced his
George W Bush over the use of special powers that enabled
such aberrations as the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp and a host of
draconian home security policies infringing on civil rights
Obama also signaled in his inaugural speech - reiterated again soon after in
Cairo - that under his watch the U.S. was resetting foreign policy - turning
away from the militarist policies of Bush to a more enlightened approach for
settling conflicts with the Muslim World and Iran in particular.
unclench their fist, we will extend our hand,” Obama declared with seemingly
But on every count, Obama has reneged on his supposed opposition to the
“war on terror”.
Indeed, under his watch, the U.S. has expanded its
foreign policy - which is apparently predicated on the belief that,
democracy is threatened by Islamic extremism”.
Obama has done nothing to
roll back draconian home security policies, indeed appears to have extended
them. And he continues his predecessor’s deception of
conflating Iran and
its alleged nuclear ambitions as part of this phony “Islamic extremists”
To perform such a disgraceful U-turn on so many election promises, the
presidency of Barack Obama is clear proof that the holder of office in the
White House is not the one who is setting policy - rather, he is following
policy that is set by unelected others.
When news broke about
the massacre in Norway where more than 70 people were
killed in a twin bomb and gun attack, Obama reacted like an automaton of the
unelected power system, instead of like an independent, reasonable political
leader. Even though it was clear within hours of the atrocity that the
perpetrator was a blond-haired Norwegian with fascist and deeply Islamophobic views, nevertheless Obama reacted immediately to present it as
an act of Islamic terrorism.
Speaking from the White House, Obama said:
“It's a reminder that the entire
international community has a stake in preventing this kind of terror from
occurring, and that we have to work co-operatively together both on
intelligence and in terms of prevention of these kinds of horrible attacks.”
The president may not have used the words “Islamic terrorism” but it is
clear that he was invoking the massacre as part of the “war on terror” which
is predicated on the notion of Islamic terrorism.
In this mindset, Obama was not alone.
British Prime Minister David Cameron
moved into action stations, saying that British intelligence would help
their Norwegian counterparts to track down the culprits - again implying
that the perpetrators were part of an international organization - which in
war on terror code means an Islamic organization.
The U.S. and British news media also jumped to the conclusion that the
Norwegian attacks must have something to with Al Qaeda or some other
That such a widespread and erroneous reflex response from Western political
leaders and news media - the so-called free press - can be elicited so
uncritically shows how trenchantly the war on terror and its Islamophobic
mindset are embedded.
The consequences of this are deeply disturbing.
For a start, such a mindset
of the Western political and media establishment can only lead to further Islamophobia in these societies. There were reports of hate attacks against
ordinary Muslims across Europe immediately after the Norway atrocity, no
doubt caused by the malign and erroneous way that politicians and the media
attributed the incident to Islamists.
Even more disturbing is that the war on terror mindset fomented by Western
governments and media over the past 10 years has led to the creation of
lunatic fascist psychopaths like
Anders Behring Breivik who carried out the
Norway mass murder.
Breivik and others like him think that Europe and the
must be defended from some kind of Muslim threat.
This kind of logic does
not conjure from thin air. It is rather the logical conclusion of the war on
terror mindset that Western governments and news media have pushed down the
throats of their citizens for a decade.
The sad part is that the majority of Western citizens are not convinced by
the phony crusading of their governments and media, nor of the alleged
threat of Islamic extremists. Most people realize that whatever Islamic
extremists operate, they are either a creation of Western intelligence or a
backlash against Western imperialism.
That is why Obama’s avowed election
promises to end America’s criminal wars and reset foreign policy on a more
reasonable, democratic footing got him elected.
The even sadder part is that as Obama’s ineffectual election shows, the U.S.
(and its Western lackeys) is being driven further and further into
bankrupting, criminal wars of aggression that will cause more victims of
violence and social mayhem at home and abroad. And it’s all because
democracy in the U.S. (and elsewhere in the West) is non-existent.
The U.S. is a
dictatorship. And Mr Obama is too ineffectual (save for the masters) and
irrelevant to be even loosely called its dictator.