Obama on Hypocrisy…

by Kim Petersen
Source: Dissident Voice

At a joint press conference with Mexican president Felipe Calderon and Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, United States president Barack Obama had some testy words for people who criticized him for lack of action on the Honduran coup.

The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we’re always intervening and the Yankees need to get out of Latin America. You can’t have it both ways.

If these critics think that it’s appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate, then I think what that indicates is that maybe there’s some hypocrisy involved in their approach to U.S.-Latin American relations that certainly is not going to guide my administration’s policies.

I agree with Obama that hypocrisy stinks, and it should not be a part of his administration – or any administration.

In the case of Honduras, Obama rejects calls for tougher sanctions. However, he has not shirked from continuing tough sanctions on, for example, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar.

Hypocrisy, as most people know, is when you say one thing and contradict it. Dictionary.com defines it, primarily, as “a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.”

Obama has presented himself as an opponent of hypocrisy. If, indeed, this is true, then one would expect that Obama does not reverse himself on stated policy, and, certainly, he should never break a promise … otherwise that would be hypocrisy about opposition to hypocrisy.

So when Obama stated, early on, that he opposed the war in Iraq it would be expected that he would not waver from such a belief, and, certainly, he would not engage in prolongation of a war or the aftermath occupation. But low-level warfare continues in Iraq as does the occupation.

In fact, as a Senator, Obama voted to approve every war appropriation the Bush administration put forward.

Nevertheless, to attract the antiwar vote, Obama said he would get US combat troops out of Iraq in 2009. Obama has since backtracked on this and is committed to keeping enough soldiers in Iraq for “counter-terrorism” measures.

Obama also courted the labor movement while campaigning. He promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. After the election, Obama reversed his stance on NAFTA. Further displeasing to Labor, Obama appears also to have stepped back from the card check provision in the Employee Free Choice Act.

The tragedy of opting for lesser evilism is that the people get evil.

Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at: kim@dissidentvoice.org. Read other articles by Kim, or visit Kim’s website.


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