Saturday, May 30, 2009

Taibbi on Gitmo

Matt Taibbi condemns Obama's equivocation on Gitmo:
Snatching people up by force and dumping them in rocks on [sic] the middle of the ocean without due process is the kind of thing that was last done by “civilized” cultures back in the days of the Roman Empire; since then it’s been the exclusive province of sociopathic third-world dictators like Stalin and Mobutu Sese Seko. It was absolutely imperative, from a public relations standpoint if nothing else, that Obama immediately epudiate these practices, design some kind of due process to deal with the already incarcerated prisoners, and show the world that what happened during the Bush years was an insane aberration, a result of our having accidentally elected an emotionally retarded sadist to the White House.
The blindingly obvious interpretation is not that the joining the Democratic party causes some sort of cognitive defect ("every time [Democrats] come to a fork in the road, they try to take it"), but rather that the ruling capitalist class considers "snatching people up by force and dumping them on rocks in the middle of the ocean" to be structurally and deeply desirable to protect their own interests.

Obama is no less than George W. Bush the representative and instrument not of the people, but of a faction of the bourgeoisie. Either Obama's faction itself requires indefinite detention, or it does not consider itself strong enough — despite Bush's catastrophically unpopular presidency and enormous public support for Obama the man — to oppose even these blatantly unpopular actions, actions counter to long-established foundational moral principles.

Reformism doesn't work. The interests of the capitalist class are ineluctably hostile to the interests of the masses of people. The capitalist class will implement "reforms" only when its very survival is at stake, only when some faction of the capitalist class clearly sees that its survival is at stake, only when that faction has sufficient political power to implement the reforms, and they will implement only those reforms minimally necessary to ensure their own survival.

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