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Subject:How Obama Thinks
 

Forbes.com
On The Cover/Top Stories
How Obama Thinks
Dinesh D'Souza, 09.27.10, 12:00 AM ET
Barack Obama is the most antibusiness president in a generation, perhaps in
American history. Thanks to him the era of big government is back. Obama runs up
taxpayer debt not in the billions but in the trillions. He has expanded the
federal government's control over home mortgages, investment banking, health
care, autos and energy. The Weekly Standard summarizes Obama's approach as
omnipotence at home, impotence abroad.
The President's actions are so bizarre that they mystify his critics and
supporters alike. Consider this headline from the Aug. 18, 2009 issue of the
Wall Street Journal: "Obama Underwrites Offshore Drilling." Did you read that
correctly? You did. The Administration supports offshore drilling--but drilling
off the shores of Brazil. With Obama's backing, the U.S. Export-Import Bank
offered $2 billion in loans and guarantees to Brazil's state-owned oil company
Petrobras to finance exploration in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro--not so
the oil ends up in the U.S. He is funding Brazilian exploration so that the oil
can stay in Brazil.
More strange behavior: Obama's June 15, 2010 speech in response to the Gulf oil
spill focused not on cleanup strategies but rather on the fact that Americans
"consume more than 20% of the world's oil but have less than 2% of the world's
resources." Obama railed on about "America's century-long addiction to fossil
fuels." What does any of this have to do with the oil spill? Would the calamity
have been less of a problem if America consumed a mere 10% of the world's
resources?
The oddities go on and on. Obama's Administration has declared that even banks
that want to repay their bailout money may be refused permission to do so. Only
after the Obama team cleared a bank through the Fed's "stress test" was it
eligible to give taxpayers their money back. Even then, declared Treasury
Secretary Tim Geithner, the Administration might force banks to keep the money.
The President continues to push for stimulus even though hundreds of billions of
dollars in such funds seem to have done little. The unemployment rate when Obama
took office in January 2009 was 7.7%; now it is 9.5%. Yet he wants to spend even
more and is determined to foist the entire bill on Americans making $250,000 a
year or more. The rich, Obama insists, aren't paying their "fair share." This by
itself seems odd given that the top 1% of Americans pay 40% of all federal
income taxes; the next 9% of income earners pay another 30%. So the top 10% pays
70% of the taxes; the bottom 40% pays close to nothing. This does indeed seem
unfair--to the rich.
Obama's foreign policy is no less strange. He supports a $100 million mosque
scheduled to be built near the site where terrorists in the name of Islam
brought down the World Trade Center. Obama's rationale, that "our commitment to
religious freedom must be unshakable," seems utterly irrelevant to the issue of
why the proposed Cordoba House should be constructed at Ground Zero.
Recently the LondonTimes reported that the Obama Administration supported the
conditional release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber convicted in
connection with the deaths of 270 people, mostly Americans. This was an
eye-opener because when Scotland released Megrahi from prison and sent him home
to Libya in August 2009, the Obama Administration publicly and appropriately
complained. The Times, however, obtained a letter the Obama Administration sent
to Scotland a week before the event in which it said that releasing Megrahi on
"compassionate grounds" was acceptable as long as he was kept in Scotland and
would be "far preferable" to sending him back to Libya. Scottish officials
interpreted this to mean that U.S. objections to Megrahi's release were
"half-hearted." They released him to his home country, where he lives today as a
free man.
One more anomaly: A few months ago nasa Chief Charles Bolden announced that from
now on the primary mission of America's space agency would be to improve
relations with the Muslim world. Come again? Bolden said he got the word
directly from the President. "He wanted me to find a way to reach out to the
Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them
feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and
engineering." Bolden added that the International Space Station was a model for
nasa's future, since it was not just a U.S. operation but included the Russians
and the Chinese. Obama's redirection of the agency caused consternation among
former astronauts like Neil Armstrong and John Glenn, and even among the
President's supporters: Most people think of nasa's job as one of landing on the
moon and Mars and exploring other faraway destinations. Sure, we are for Islamic
self-esteem, but what on earth was Obama up to here?
Theories abound to explain the President's goals and actions. Critics in the
business community--including some Obama voters who now have buyer's
remorse--tend to focus on two main themes. The first is that Obama is clueless
about business. The second is that Obama is a socialist--not an out-and-out
Marxist, but something of a European-style socialist, with a penchant for
leveling and government redistribution.

________________________________

These theories aren't wrong so much as they are inadequate. Even if they could
account for Obama's domestic policy, they cannot explain his foreign policy. The
real problem with Obama is worse--much worse. But we have been blinded to his
real agenda because, across the political spectrum, we all seek to fit him into
some version of American history. In the process, we ignore Obama's own history.
Here is a man who spent his formative years--the first 17 years of his life--off
the American mainland, in Hawaii, Indonesia and Pakistan, with multiple
subsequent journeys to Africa.
A good way to discern what motivates Obama is to ask a simple question: What is
his dream? Is it the American dream? Is it Martin Luther King's dream? Or
something else?
It is certainly not the American dream as conceived by the founders. They
believed the nation was a "new order for the ages." A half-century later Alexis
de Tocqueville wrote of America as creating "a distinct species of mankind."
This is known as American exceptionalism. But when asked at a 2009 press
conference whether he believed in this ideal, Obama said no. America, he
suggested, is no more unique or exceptional than Britain or Greece or any other
country.
Perhaps, then, Obama shares Martin Luther King's dream of a color-blind society.
The President has benefited from that dream; he campaigned as a nonracial
candidate, and many Americans voted for him because he represents the
color-blind ideal. Even so, King's dream is not Obama's: The President never
champions the idea of color-blindness or race-neutrality. This inaction is not
merely tactical; the race issue simply isn't what drives Obama.
What then is Obama's dream? We don't have to speculate because the President
tells us himself in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father. According to
Obama, his dream is his father's dream. Notice that his title is not Dreams of
My Father but rather Dreams from My Father. Obama isn't writing about his
father's dreams; he is writing about the dreams he received from his father.
So who was Barack Obama Sr.? He was a Luo tribesman who grew up in Kenya and
studied at Harvard. He was a polygamist who had, over the course of his
lifetime, four wives and eight children. One of his sons, Mark Obama, has
accused him of abuse and wife-beating. He was also a regular drunk driver who
got into numerous accidents, killing a man in one and causing his own legs to be
amputated due to injury in another. In 1982 he got drunk at a bar in Nairobi and
drove into a tree, killing himself.
An odd choice, certainly, as an inspirational hero. But to his son, the elder
Obama represented a great and noble cause, the cause of anticolonialism. Obama
Sr. grew up during Africa's struggle to be free of European rule, and he was one
of the early generation of Africans chosen to study in America and then to shape
his country's future.
I know a great deal about anticolonialism, because I am a native of Mumbai,
India. I am part of the first Indian generation to be born after my country's
independence from the British. Anticolonialism was the rallying cry of Third
World politics for much of the second half of the 20th century. To most
Americans, however, anticolonialism is an unfamiliar idea, so let me explain it.
Anticolonialism is the doctrine that rich countries of the West got rich by
invading, occupying and looting poor countries of Asia, Africa and South
America. As one of Obama's acknowledged intellectual influences, Frantz Fanon,
wrote in The Wretched of the Earth, "The well-being and progress of Europe have
been built up with the sweat and the dead bodies of Negroes, Arabs, Indians and
the yellow races."

________________________________

Anticolonialists hold that even when countries secure political independence
they remain economically dependent on their former captors. This dependence is
called neocolonialism, a term defined by the African statesman Kwame Nkrumah
(1909--72) in his book Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. Nkrumah,
Ghana's first president, writes that poor countries may be nominally free, but
they continue to be manipulated from abroad by powerful corporate and
plutocratic elites. These forces of neocolonialism oppress not only Third World
people but also citizens in their own countries. Obviously the solution is to
resist and overthrow the oppressors. This was the anticolonial ideology of
Barack Obama Sr. and many in his generation, including many of my own relatives
in India.
Obama Sr. was an economist, and in 1965 he published an important article in the
East Africa Journal called "Problems Facing Our Socialism." Obama Sr. wasn't a
doctrinaire socialist; rather, he saw state appropriation of wealth as a
necessary means to achieve the anticolonial objective of taking resources away
from the foreign looters and restoring them to the people of Africa. For Obama
Sr. this was an issue of national autonomy. "Is it the African who owns this
country? If he does, then why should he not control the economic means of growth
in this country?"
As he put it, "We need to eliminate power structures that have been built
through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control
a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now." The senior Obama proposed
that the state confiscate private land and raise taxes with no upper limit. In
fact, he insisted that "theoretically there is nothing that can stop the
government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from
the government commensurate with their income which is taxed."
Remarkably, President Obama, who knows his father's history very well, has never
mentioned his father's article. Even more remarkably, there has been virtually
no reporting on a document that seems directly relevant to what the junior Obama
is doing in the White House.
While the senior Obama called for Africa to free itself from the neocolonial
influence of Europe and specifically Britain, he knew when he came to America in
1959 that the global balance of power was shifting. Even then, he recognized
what has become a new tenet of anticolonialist ideology: Today's neocolonial
leader is not Europe but America. As the late Palestinian scholar Edward
Said--who was one of Obama's teachers at Columbia University--wrote in Culture
and Imperialism, "The United States has replaced the earlier great empires and
is the dominant outside force."
From the anticolonial perspective, American imperialism is on a rampage. For a
while, U.S. power was checked by the Soviet Union, but since the end of the Cold
War, America has been the sole superpower. Moreover, 9/11 provided the occasion
for America to invade and occupy two countries, Iraq and Afghanistan, and also
to seek political and economic domination in the same way the French and the
British empires once did. So in the anticolonial view, America is now the rogue
elephant that subjugates and tramples the people of the world.
It may seem incredible to suggest that the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama
Sr. is espoused by his son, the President of the United States. That is what I
am saying. From a very young age and through his formative years, Obama learned
to see America as a force for global domination and destruction. He came to view
America's military as an instrument of neocolonial occupation. He adopted his
father's position that capitalism and free markets are code words for economic
plunder. Obama grew to perceive the rich as an oppressive class, a kind of
neocolonial power within America. In his worldview, profits are a measure of how
effectively you have ripped off the rest of society, and America's power in the
world is a measure of how selfishly it consumes the globe's resources and how
ruthlessly it bullies and dominates the rest of the planet.
For Obama, the solutions are simple. He must work to wring the neocolonialism
out of America and the West. And here is where our anticolonial understanding of
Obama really takes off, because it provides a vital key to explaining not only
his major policy actions but also the little details that no other theory can
adequately account for.
Why support oil drilling off the coast of Brazil but not in America? Obama
believes that the West uses a disproportionate share of the world's energy
resources, so he wants neocolonial America to have less and the former colonized
countries to have more. More broadly, his proposal for carbon taxes has little
to do with whether the planet is getting warmer or colder; it is simply a way to
penalize, and therefore reduce, America's carbon consumption. Both as a U.S.
Senator and in his speech, as President, to the United Nations, Obama has
proposed that the West massively subsidize energy production in the developing
world.

________________________________

Rejecting the socialist formula, Obama has shown no intention to nationalize the
investment banks or the health sector. Rather, he seeks to decolonize these
institutions, and this means bringing them under the government's leash. That's
why Obama retains the right to refuse bailout paybacks--so that he can maintain
his control. For Obama, health insurance companies on their own are oppressive
racketeers, but once they submitted to federal oversight he was happy to do
business with them. He even promised them expanded business as a result of his
law forcing every American to buy health insurance.
If Obama shares his father's anticolonial crusade, that would explain why he
wants people who are already paying close to 50% of their income in overall
taxes to pay even more. The anticolonialist believes that since the rich have
prospered at the expense of others, their wealth doesn't really belong to them;
therefore whatever can be extracted from them is automatically just. Recall what
Obama Sr. said in his 1965 paper: There is no tax rate too high, and even a 100%
rate is justified under certain circumstances.
Obama supports the Ground Zero mosque because to him 9/11 is the event that
unleashed the American bogey and pushed us into Iraq and Afghanistan. He views
some of the Muslims who are fighting against America abroad as resisters of U.S.
imperialism. Certainly that is the way the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset
al-Megrahi portrayed himself at his trial. Obama's perception of him as an
anticolonial resister would explain why he gave tacit approval for this murderer
of hundreds of Americans to be released from captivity.
Finally, nasa. No explanation other than anticolonialism makes sense of Obama's
curious mandate to convert a space agency into a Muslim and international
outreach. We can see how well our theory works by recalling the moon landing of
Apollo 11 in 1969. "One small step for man," Neil Armstrong said. "One giant
leap for mankind."
But that's not how the rest of the world saw it. I was 8 years old at the time
and living in my native India. I remember my grandfather telling me about the
great race between America and Russia to put a man on the moon. Clearly America
had won, and this was one giant leap not for mankind but for the U.S. If Obama
shares this view, it's no wonder he wants to blunt nasa's space program, to
divert it from a symbol of American greatness into a more modest public
relations program.
Clearly the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. goes a long way to explain
the actions and policies of his son in the Oval Office. And we can be doubly
sure about his father's influence because those who know Obama well testify to
it. His "granny" Sarah Obama (not his real grandmother but one of his
grandfather's other wives) told Newsweek, "I look at him and I see all the same
things--he has taken everything from his father. The son is realizing everything
the father wanted. The dreams of the father are still alive in the son."
In his own writings Obama stresses the centrality of his father not only to his
beliefs and values but to his very identity. He calls his memoir "the record of
a personal, interior journey--a boy's search for his father and through that
search a workable meaning for his life as a black American." And again, "It was
into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the
attributes I sought in myself." Even though his father was absent for virtually
all his life, Obama writes, "My father's voice had nevertheless remained
untainted, inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval. You do not
work hard enough, Barry. You must help in your people's struggle. Wake up, black
man!"
The climax of Obama's narrative is when he goes to Kenya and weeps at his
father's grave. It is riveting: "When my tears were finally spent," he writes,
"I felt a calmness wash over me. I felt the circle finally close. I realized
that who I was, what I cared about, was no longer just a matter of intellect or
obligation, no longer a construct of words. I saw that my life in America--the
black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I'd felt as a boy, the
frustration and hope I'd witnessed in Chicago--all of it was connected with this
small piece of earth an ocean away, connected by more than the accident of a
name or the color of my skin. The pain that I felt was my father's pain."
In an eerie conclusion, Obama writes that "I sat at my father's grave and spoke
to him through Africa's red soil." In a sense, through the earth itself, he
communes with his father and receives his father's spirit. Obama takes on his
father's struggle, not by recovering his body but by embracing his cause. He
decides that where Obama Sr. failed, he will succeed. Obama Sr.'s hatred of the
colonial system becomes Obama Jr.'s hatred; his botched attempt to set the world
right defines his son's objective. Through a kind of sacramental rite at the
family tomb, the father's struggle becomes the son's birthright.

________________________________

Colonialism today is a dead issue. No one cares about it except the man in the
White House. He is the last anticolonial. Emerging market economies such as
China, India, Chile and Indonesia have solved the problem of backwardness; they
are exploiting their labor advantage and growing much faster than the U.S. If
America is going to remain on top, we have to compete in an increasingly tough
environment.
But instead of readying us for the challenge, our President is trapped in his
father's time machine. Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the
dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African
socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his
anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation's agenda through the
reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son makes it happen, but he candidly
admits he is only living out his father's dream. The invisible father provides
the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is
governed by a ghost.
Dinesh D'Souza, the president of the King's College in New York City, is the
author of the forthcoming bookThe Roots of Obama's Rage (Regnery Publishing).


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was waiting for this piece of trash to show up here.

gruaud said...

Shorter:

"This is what i think he thinks, because I
just wrote a book about Obama and that's
the entire premise. These hatchet jobs
don't just write themselves, people!"

CharlieE said...

D'Souza also claims in his new book that President Obama, a self-made millionaire, hates rich people.

cognitive dissident said...

MediaMatters disproves ten of D'Souza's assertions here, for anyone who's interested...

ferschitz said...

D'Souza: I lie like a rug (in more ways than one) for sweet sweet payola from the Koch brothers. This propoganda really writes itself since I never have to be factual, truthful or remotely ethical, which is right up the T-Party alley. Enjoy the fantasies, baggers, cuz I wrote them just for you.. now pay up & vote for the way the GOP tells you to!

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah. Illogical, poorly-written, misleading, meandering. But it trashes a Democrat, so who cares?

This, folks, is the type of person the right "invests" in. He made his way up the food chain of right-wing-funded institutions, starting with the conservative-funded Dartmouth Review way back when, progressing through the Heritage-funded Policy Review, and, after a stint in the Reagan adminsitration, on to the corporate-funded American Enterprise Institute and corporate-funded Hoover Institute.

Yes, folks, that's the "free market" at work. If you dedicate your career to spouting propaganda for giant corporations and the super-rich, the giant corporations and the super-rich will pend some of their gazillions to sponsor you through your whole damn career.

Anonymous said...

"How Obama Thinks"

Not really. It's how the wealthy oligarchs pay rightwing whores like D'Souza to make up a bunch of racist bull hockey and peddle it to the RushGlenn set, who never bother to really read it all the way through (too many words they don't understand) but get to sit around their PCs feeling all angry at that N*****.

Ironically, it's written by a whore who could also have the epitaph hurled at him (D'Souza). Wonder how many righties realize that D'Souza is what they used to call the house "n" word?? That's all D'Souza is to the oligarchs. Guess D'Souza enjoys groveling before his white masters of the universe... 'spose they pay him well on the way outta of the bedroom.

Tootseye said...

blah blah... Barack the magic Kenyan negro... blah blah...

Valeyard said...

I originally heard about this from a Paul Krugman blog post that sums up my opinion neatly -- utter lunacy has overtaken both our politicians and the media.

ferschitz said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/business/media/25forbes.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=dinesh&st=cse

Forbes didn't fact-check D'Souza laughingly called "article." This NYT article debunks most of the bull hockey lies of D'Souza... not that T-tardz will bother with inconvenient facts & truth when lies & racist fantasies are what they want spoon-fed to them 24/7 by the likes of our Oligarchs at Forbes & Fox.

 
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