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Monday, September 13, 2010

How Obama thinks and how it affects Israel

Indian-born Dinesh D'Souza writes an important article that explains President Obama's way of thinking about both foreign and domestic policy. D'Souza looks at Obama's writings, at his father's writings and explains that Obama is trying to carry out his father's anti-colonialist dreams and that we are all paying the price for it.
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.


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?"


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.
Read the whole thing. Then see below.

Where does Israel fit into this? It seems that Victor Davis Hanson got it partly right when he wrote:
Does Team Obama really believe that a murderous autocratic cabal like Hamas is merely different from a democratic constitutional republic like Israel? At best we have naiveté at the helm (Obama thinks he can mesmerize misunderstood killers), at worst, a genuine feeling that Israel is an aggressive, Western imperialist power exploiting indigenous people of color who simply wish to be free--in other words, the Rev. Wright-Bill Ayers-Rashid Khalidi view of the Middle East.
If D'Souza is correct (and what he writes is certainly plausible), it should be clear that Obama views Israel - like the United States - as a post-colonial country that is "an aggressive, Western imperialist power exploiting indigenous people of color who simply wish to be free." But Hanson got one detail wrong. Obama doesn't look at us that way because of Wright, Ayers and Khalidi. They just reinforced the view of Israel that Obama already had in his blood from his Kenyan father.



At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, his mom was a leftie and he was her constant ward, dragged from pillar to post and getting a definite "post-American" upbringing (mommie, not daddie, schlepped him off to Indonesia) before entering the independently anti-colonialist hotbed of leftie American academia. It seems a little overwrought to drag in his father to explain much of anything. However much he may have tried to idealize dad, dad was the abusive lout who abandoned him.

At 12:40 AM, Blogger Captain.H said...

I read a column yesterday (think it was at Hot Air, or linked from there) which I can't find in my browser history now. I'd link to it if I could find it. :-(

Anyway, in the article, the journalist author recounts a very recent telephone interview with the Kenyan Ambassador to the US. In the interview, the Ambassador tells him about the Obama center being built at Obama's birthplace in Kenya. If anyone wants to google for it, there's also a streaming video out there of Obama's Kenyan grandmother saying she was present at his birth in Kenya.


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