While public attention was diverted by whether or not Florida pastor Terry Jones and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf had reached a compromise, a report critical to our national security went virtually unnoticed. Mr. Jones, under some pressure from most of the civilized world, offered to withdraw his threat to immolate a stack of Korans in exchange for Mr. Rauf’s relocation of Park 51 – the planned mosque complex he proposes to tower over the World Trade Center site. Understandably, the press preferred to cover the spectacle between Mr. Jones and Mr. Rauf, especially as it played out on live television like a bizarre parody of “Let’s Make a Deal.”
Culture wars, after all, make more scintillating copy than the earnest prose of yet another advisory report. But were it not for the distraction caused by the Jones-Rauf media circus, we might have focused our attention on “Assessing the Terrorist Threat,” a timely evaluation conducted for the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. This sobering report, issued under the auspices of the Bipartisan Policy Center by former 9/11 Commission leaders Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, has enormous implications for America’s counterterrorist policies.
New bad news:
What the media call “homegrown terrorism” is the “new normal” for terrorism attacks. In the past year, al Qaeda-affiliated groups have tried to blow up a U.S. airliner, replicate the London and Madrid commuter bombings in the New York subway system, detonate a vehicle bomb in Times Square and carry out numerous other attacks inside our borders. “Last year was a watershed in terrorist attacks and plots in the United States, with a record total of 11 jihadist attacks, jihadist-inspired plots, or efforts by Americans to travel overseas to obtain terrorist training,” the report says. “They included two actual attacks [at Fort Hood, Texas, which claimed the lives of 13 people, and the shooting of two U.S. military recruiters in Little Rock, Ark.], five serious but disrupted plots, and four incidents involving groups of Americans conspiring to travel abroad to receive terrorist training. … This level of threat is likely to persist for years to come.”
It gets worse: Al Qaeda-related groups have created a recruitment pipeline inside America, according to the report. Three American citizens – Adnan el Shukrijumah, Omar Hammami and Anwar al-Awlaki – are top commanders of al Qaeda affiliates in the Arabian Peninsula, Somalia and Yemen. From foreign havens, this trio oversees active recruitment drives among radicalized Muslims of various ethnic backgrounds in immigrant communities across our country. Their intimate knowledge of American society is applied to clandestine operations within our borders, terrorist training, the selection of targets and planning of attacks. According to the report, no single U.S. agency – not the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, FBI, CIA or Department of Homeland Security – is accountable for coordinating our response to this emerging threat.
A final implication of the Kean-Hamilton report concerns the American Civil Liberty Union’s lawsuit to limit the CIA’s use of drones to assassinate American terrorists such as Anwar al-Awlaki. If these new terrorist operations are to be employed by U.S. citizens and the ACLU prevails, we will have committed unilateral disarmament.
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~ I went to HS with MANY Gaylords. I married one. They became to rough for my taste. All the gangs took a drastic turn in about 67′ JUST like in West Side Story. The part of the “Powwow” at Doc’s candy store, where Riff & the boys showed how choice of weapons escalated, from rocks, to knives, to zipguns. Well, I’m here to tell you that is what happened. We went from knuckles (like Tony), to bangers using knives/guns. After I lost 2 friends at Hamlin Park from a rival gang shooting them, I became the chicken I truly was. Although you wouldn’t have known that in 65′ when I was ‘jumped in’ by a Latin Queen, the first white girl to be one, me the second.
I was part of a gang we called the Crystals. To show you how unschooled we were in ganglife, we did not even make the “Old Skool” list of gangs. That’s what happened after we all saw West Side Story. We were small. Hung out at our own ‘Doc’s” called Crystals Candy Shop, so thats what we called ourselves. It was 65′ & we believed in the bare-knuckles, in your face gang fighting. Then we crossed paths with Simon City a mile away in the Humboldt Park neighborhood where they originally formed. The other gang that had a ‘rep’ of bad news was The Disciples, in line after The Latin Kings. We were no match for them, believe me. And it got dangerous even at school, because we had to watch what ‘colors’ we wore, where we hung out. Don’t scratch her nose, because THAT could be misinterpreted as throwing up a gang sign. It became a chore even going to classes!
So in tday’s world the reputed gang members in Elgin had an unusual run-in with police last week.
Rather than being taken into custody or even tersely questioned, the gang members each were simply given a sheet of paper.
“Most of them didn’t understand,” Elgin Police Sgt. Jim Lalley said. “They were left behind holding a piece of paper, and they had no idea what it was.”
The gang members were served with summonses, ordering them to appear in civil court next month. The Elgin Latin Kings weren’t being arrested. But they were being sued.
~Oh, the stories I have about the Latin Kings & particularly the Latin Queens, who “I” ran with in 1966 ! Now, the frightening part of Latino gangs is how the are infiltrated with the likes of MS-13
Today, Kane County State’s Attorney John Barsanti, along with county law enforcement personnel and police and government officials from Elgin, detailed a plan to use the power of the civil court system to make it harder for gang members to conduct their activities.
Elgin is seeking monetary damages from the gang, but the officials said the real value was the part of the suit that would bar the named gang members from associating with one another.
If a judge bars those associations, an Elgin police officer who then sees two or more gang members together in violation of the court order would be empowered to detain and search them, and perhaps find drugs or weapons that would lead to felony charges.
But even violating the civil ban on association could result in misdemeanor charges or contempt of court citations, said Patrick Crimmins, an Elgin attorney and former gang prosecutor who is heading up the lawsuit effort for Barsanti.
“I hope to cause (Sheriff) Pat Perez problems by filling his jail with gang members jailed for contempt,” Crimmins said.
Crimmins, Barsanti and the others assembled at a news briefing on the lawsuit said they were not under the illusion that the suit presented a silver bullet against gangs. But all said it would provide another tool to make gang members’ lives more difficult.
“Anything that helps get at the gangs and let them know Elgin is a place where they don’t have a future is a help to us,” Mayor Edward Schock said.
A civil injunction would give police authority to keep gang members from openly congregating around parks or schools.
Police usually lack that authority unless they see a gang member who, for example, has been barred from gang contact through the criminal courts as a condition of bond, probation or parole. But when a gang member clears parole or probation, officials said, he is free to openly associate with other gang members.
Barsanti said the effort may be expanded to additional gangs and gang members in the Elgin and Carpentersville area, as well as Aurora. DuPage County officials have brought similar suits against gang members.
~Chicago Needs to take a page from it’s neighbor town of Elgin…U.S. drug indictment targets Little Village gang. For many years I was part of a Volunteer Project CB Patrol. Believe it or not it was in part sponsored by Richard Mell ( Blago’s father-in-law) One of our most dangerous routes was the gang infested area in the 14th CPD. We literally had gang members running after our vehicles down the street when we were spotted. This area, near Humboldt Park was JUST as dangerous as Little Village ( which btw was Daley’s old neck of the woods., which he abandoned for upper crust Lake Shore Drive AKA as LSD lol). Anyway, we worked closely with the gang crimes division in two large districts. And I’m here to tell you, I get the frustration of Elgin & being resourceful as suing these punks
A 15-month investigation into the Gangster 2-6 Nation street gang ended Wednesday with the arrest of 19 alleged gang members in Berwyn and Chicago, as well as two alleged gang associates. Warrant searches at four locations Wednesday resulted in the seizure of a dozen rifles and handguns, a kilo of cocaine, marijuana plants and $21,000 in cash, authorities said.
As part of the same investigation, dubbed “Operation Shady Business,” authorities in June seized 101 marijuana plants from an alleged “grow house” in the 7000 block of West 74th Place. The federal indictment outlines more than a year of recorded conversations and undercover drug buys, purporting to show a wide-ranging operation that trafficked in cocaine, marijuana and firearms.
The U.S. attorney’s office will hold a press conference this morning to announce an eight-count indictment, along with agents from the DEA, Chicago Police Department, IRS and Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Bank Also Agrees to Implement Internal Money Laundering Controls to Comply with Federal Bank Secrecy Act
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, NEIL M. BAROFSKY, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“SIGTARP”), and JANICE K. FEDARCYK, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that the GOLDWATER BANK, N.A. (“GOLDWATER BANK”), located in Scottsdale, Arizona, entered into a settlement agreement requiring it to forfeit $733,804.92 to resolve civil forfeiture claims alleging that the funds are traceable to property involved in money laundering, to proceeds of an illegal online gambling business, and to property used to operate an illegal online gambling business. GOLDWATER BANK previously received funds through the Capital Purchase Program of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”). As part of the settlement, GOLDWATER BANK agreed to implement anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act controls to safeguard the investment made by U.S. taxpayers in the bank against future risks.
According to the Complaint and Stipulation and Order of Settlement filed in Manhattan federal court:
Between January and May 2009, more than $13,335,248.91 in funds traceable to Pokerstars, an online gambling company based in the Isle of Man, and other offshore online gambling companies were deposited in a bank account at GOLDWATER BANK held by ALLIED WALLET, INC. These funds were traceable to several sources, including wire transfers from outside the United States by individuals and entities who knew that (a) the funds involved represented the proceeds of the illegal transmission of gambling information and the operation of an illegal gambling business, (b) the transfers were made in order to promote the carrying on of an illegal gambling business, and (c) the transfers were designed in part to conceal or disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the proceeds of the illegal transmission of gambling information and operation of an illegal gambling business.
During this same time period, ALLIED WALLET, INC., paid GOLDWATER BANK for processing automated clearing house (“ACH”) transactions, including payments in the form of ACH transactions to and from the bank accounts of online gamblers located in the United States who were using Pokerstars.com and other gambling websites to engage in online gambling. These ACS transactions typically involved payments from players to the gambling websites for credits used in online gambling and payments to the players for their online gambling winnings.
On August 16, 2010, ALLIED WALLET, INC., ALLIED SYSTEMS, INC., and their owner AHMAD KHAWAJA entered into a settlement agreement requiring them to forfeit the $13,335,248.91 traceable to Pokerstars and other offshore online gambling companies.
GOLDWATER BANK asserts that it did not know that the ACH transactions requested by ALLIED WALLET, INC., were being made to promote an illegal online gambling business. However, GOLDWATER BANK has agreed to forfeit $733,804.92, an amount equal to the net income that it received to process these ACH transactions. In addition, in order to safeguard the United States’ investment in the bank through TARP, GOLDWATER BANK has agreed to develop and implement internal anti-money laundering procedures, to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act, and to create internal training programs and an independent audit function to ensure that its compliance is effective.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “Today’s forfeiture underscores that banks, particularly TARP recipients like Goldwater Bank, should not profit from the fruits of criminal conduct. The internal controls that Goldwater Bank must implement will help to ensure that such conduct will not be repeated. We will continue to work with our partners at SIGTARP and the FBI to ensure that financial institutions remain ever vigilant regarding the provenance of the funds that they process.”
TARP Special Inspector General NEIL M. BAROFSKY said: “Today’s charges and settlement should send a powerful message to TARP recipients that they will be held strictly accountable for any misdeeds while they stand as custodians of taxpayer dollars. SIGTARP commends the leadership of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for his continued use of both civil and criminal remedies to protect taxpayer interests.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge JANICE K. FEDARCYK said: “Although Goldwater Bank denies guilty knowledge of its role in facilitating an illegal online gambling business, it was paid to execute transactions that were essential to the operation of this criminal enterprise. The forfeiture settlement means the bank won’t profit by providing this service. The FBI remains committed to vigorous enforcement of the laws against illegal online gambling.”
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of SIGTARP and the FBI in the case.
This forfeiture action is being handled by the Office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys JEFFREY ALBERTS and ARLO DEVLIN-BROWN are in charge of the prosecution.
United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York
America is “under attack” by a non-violent “stealth jihad,” a panel of national security analysts warned in a new report that claimed fundamentalists are trying to bring Islamic law known as “Shariah” to the United States.
The report, sponsored by the Center for Security Policy and touted by a handful of conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday, said that the violent threat posed by Al Qaeda and other terror groups is outmatched by the threat from jihadists allegedly trying to change American society from within.
“This form of warfare includes multi-layered cultural subversion, the co-opting of senior leaders, influence operations and propaganda and other means of insinuating Shariah into Western societies,” the study said.
“Just as we cannot say all Muslims hold a certain view based on the actions of a radical fringe … it would be unwise to discount the malicious intentions of those that wish to subvert American law,” Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., said at a press conference Wednesday.
The study urged government to be more vigilant by threatening Shariah-promoting imams with investigation and monitoring the contents of school textbooks.
The report cited as warning signs the deadly Fort Hood shooting as well as a recent case where a New Jersey judge rejected a woman’s request for a restraining order against her husband whom she claimed sexually abused her. In the New Jersey case, the judge ruled that the husband acted according to his Muslim beliefs; the decision was overturned in July by New Jersey’s Appellate Court.
“Still, the fact that such a reversal was necessary is instructive,” the Shariah report said.
Democrats were able to take their share of the news cycle not merely by nominating scandal-plagued Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., to run for reelection, but by picking perhaps the absolute most appropriate image they could in this political climate: a target. Have a look.
Looks like the Democrats just gave themselves a “D.” Which some may feel is generous. Is the circle around it supposed to be more Obama iconography?
This follows on the heels of whispers that Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine would have a major announcement today. Here’s CNN in full scoop mode:
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine plans to make what’s being billed as a major announcement Wednesday about the future of the party, according to a Democratic source with knowledge of the speech.
The source tells CNN that Kaine will announce something that will excite Democrats across the country. Kaine’s event comes as Democrats face the difficult task of holding onto their majorities in the House and Senate this November.
The speech, scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at George Washington University, happens around the same time that Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele kicks of a major bus tour in support of Republicans running in the midterm elections. But the source says that the timing of Kaine event was in the works well before the date of Steele’s kickoff was announced.
Congrats, CNN. You helped get earned media for the unveiling of a marketing campaign of a floundering but dominant political party. But wait! Tim Kaine says it’s no mere marketing campaign. From the announcement blogpost:
Some may think: it’s just a logo—it’s just a brand. Well I don’t believe the Democratic Party is a logo or a brand—we are much more than that. We are Democrats. We create change that matters. Ours is a party of ideas and ideals, of policies and people, history and purpose. So call it what you will—this new identity for our party captures the spirit that unites us all. Democrats—all of us—are working for the change that matters.
It’s true though. Democrats are making change that matters. They’ve managed to energize the Tea Party movement to do such things that even Christine O’Donnell was able to raise $500,000 in one day; Republican nominee Sharron Angle is actually neck-and-neck with the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev; Sarah Palin has been stunningly on target with her endorsements of candidates; and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is looking more and more like a kingmaker.
Great job guys. And nice logo. It’s the worst recession of many people’s lifetimes and the Democrats are actually doodling.
* “Uhhhh – BWHAHAHAHA! The Repubs are EATING YOUR LUNCH. And you’re redesigning your LOGO!? Why not just hand them the keys?
* Oh yeah. A nice “It’s All Bush’s Fault!” should go along with this logo. Brilliant!
* Looks like a copyright symbol with a typo.
* “Change that Matters”? You mean CHANGE THE SUBJECT?
What major announcement can this failed political hack make that will have any affect. Obama and his Dem socialist buddies have had enough time to screw it up.
* 30-YR ARMY VETERAN FOR THE TRUTH! September 14th, 2010 4:53 pm ET
The only thing he could say to excite this nation would be that OBAMA is leaving to join Bin Laden his boss and taking Pelosa, Reid, Biden, Clinton and Emanuel with him to be buried up to their heads then stoned to, “till something do we part.” Call this a hateful Racist GOP. After 50 years of being a Democrat AND READING YOU IDIOTS COMMENTS ON ALL REPUBLICANS ARE RACIST you are right. I AM MADDER THAN HELL FOR ALL THE RIDICULE YOU OBAMANITES HAVE BESTOWED UPON ONE GREAT WOMAN, PALIN THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. OBAMA COULDN’T WEAR HER SANDELS WITHOUT STEPPING IN SOMETHING DISGUSTING. CHANGE, CHANGE, CHANGE. OH YEAH HE HAD THAT RIGHT. I HOPE THEY HAVEN’T CLOSED THE COTTON FIELDS. FOR HE WILL HAVE TO LOOK FOR A JOB COME 2012.
* Lost September 14th, 2010 4:52 pm ET
Whatever it is, pretty certain 95% of it will be a lie.
~Bravo to Forbes for having the cajones to publish this! The President isn’t exactly a socialist. So what’s driving his hostility to private enterprise? Look to his roots.
~ Links are provided by JP .
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 London Times 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!”
~Shades of NAACP & NBPP
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.
~ I left a comment on his article, he needs encouragement and prayers for MSM etc. are all degrading him. I’m sure he has had threats, because that’s how the looney left rolls. It’s easy to sign up & leave a comment & I encourage you to do so. A Special thanks to Dinesh D’Souza, who wrote this piece for Forbes ! He is the president of the King’s College in New York City, is the author of the forthcoming book The Roots of Obama’s Rage (Regnery Publishing). ~JP