President Obama's State of the Union 2012 address delivered on January 23, 2012 covered naturally the domestic economic and political conditions and international issues. Intending to remain in the White House for the second term, he tried to blame some of the problems of capitalist America on the lack of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress. With some minor differences, the speech was 90% a copy of his addresses in the previous years of his administration.
He made statements that were patently wrong. For example, he said, "Anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn't know what they're (sic) talking about." Apparently the president is either unaware of the facts about the U.S. or he is in denial. Do Obama and the Congresspersons know that:
- The U.S. is burdened by well over $15 trillion that exceeds the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $150 billion?
- The share of every American citizen in the national debt amounts to $48,810 and per taxpayer is $135, 257?
- The interest on this mountainous debt has reached $3,750 billion?
- The U.S. Defense Department this year and the wars in Afghanistan and keeping troops in Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain and those who have been sent to take up positions in the Persian Gulf contribute $704 billion to the national debt?
But this is not the entire U.S. government's foreign obligation. This year the U.S. Federal Budget Deficit rises to $1,305 billion!
If the national debt and the fiscal deficit were the only problems of the U.S., perhaps we would have given President Obama a break. Does he know that in the current year, 1,425,666 U.S. businesspersons and 874,500 families are going to meet the horrors of bankruptcy and foreclosure, respectively? On this aspect of the peoples' economic well-being, Ben Bernanke, head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, in his press conference on January 24, 2012, which was broadcast on CNBC, laid open that the total amount owed by homeowners who have had difficulty paying their monthly mortgage payments is estimated to be $700 billion. If the average price of a house is assumed to be around $200,000, a simple calculation leads us to discover that the number of this group of homeowners is 3.5 million families.
Many times over Obama has taken pride telling the nation that he is rich and successful in the world of business and would pay at the tax rate that the working class majority is subjected to. Is President Obama aware that out of the 141 million U.S. workforce, over 23 million or 16.5 percent are actually unemployed?
Perhaps someone should remind the U.S. plutocrats that each year, approximately 1.2 million students fail to graduate from high school, and more than half will be from major minority groups. Does Obama care to know, or is he spending his time managing U.S. wars and threatening Iran, Russia and China while about 7000 American children drop out every school day in this country that is supposed to be the "best democratic society in the history of mankind"?
In this relation Bloomberg.com on Dec. 7, 2010 wrote that "Fifteen-year-olds in the U.S. ranked 25th among peers from 34 countries on a math test and second in the middle (18th) in science and reading, while China's Shanghai topped the charts…". The Paris based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) wrote that the performance of China's Shanghai regime topped every country (37 of them in Europe) in all academic categories. It is not out of ignorance that someone says, "America is in decline" or that "our influence has waned…"
Measuring success by his yardstick, apparently he pays very little attention to the business of the country. Under his nose the U.S. net international investment position at year's end of 2010 was down by $2,471 billion, as the value of foreign investment in the U.S. continued to exceed the value of U.S. investment overseas.
Under this condition, foreign corporations (and not people), as part of their profits, levy claims on the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. But Mr. Obama has not told the nation what was the secret that he came across so much personal wealth. No wonder that the U.S. current account deficit in the third quarter of 2011 remained a hefty $110.3 billion. Could the occupiers of the White House and Capitol really resent the characterization of the U.S. capitalist system and its captains by the 99% as degenerate and parasitic?
If President Obama on his way to Martha's Vineyard for vacation cast a glance at the back alleys of such cities as Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland, he could see that on a given night, an estimated 672,000 people experience homelessness. This means 22 out of very 10,000 people are homeless in America. Out of those 672,000 about 42% absolutely lack shelter, meaning they live on the streets or in places not meant for human habitation.
If Barack Obama is too busy trying to liberate Iranian people and does not have the time to read the Chicago Tribune, he should be reminded, "food stamps have soared over the last decade," while the U.S. was pre-occupied with killing Afghani and Iraqi people. Now 44 million American people receive food subsidies!
Current U.S. Policy in the Mideast and Africa
President Obama boastfully prided his administration for being able to destroy and devastate the economy, kill hundreds of thousands of people and tear apart the social fabric of these countries: Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. We recall that in his campaign for the White House rhetoric he chastised G.W. Bush for waging a "dumb war" but that he would wage a "smart war." He and his Defense Secretary Hillary Clinton particularly drew satisfaction from murdering Moamar Ghaddafi, the leader of Libya. How ironic that the first Black Man in the White House authorized and paid NATO for the destruction of one of the most developed countries on the African continent. If he were intelligent enough, he would know that "all wars are dumb."
With regard to "ending the Iraq war," Obama, instead of clearly informing the American people, who deserve to know about the U.S. troop positions and sizes in Iraq, in the Persian Gulf and Kuwait, just like G.W. Bush in imitating Don Quixote, congratulated himself for killing Osama bin Laden and pushing al Qaeda out of Afghanistan into North Africa.
Two things are doubtlessly clear: that the U.S. following more than a nine-year war did not have a clear cut victory in either Iraq or Afghanistan and is now planning to take the war to the Persian Gulf and the southern littoral part of Iran. With an eye to aggress against Iran and destroy its economy by pretending that Washington is eliminating the 'danger' of Iran's nuclear facilities, the Obama Administration has begun to extend U.S. military presence in SIX COUNTRIES in the region of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. GCC is a set of newly re-hashed U.S. colonies ruled by the most dependent and reactionary Arab rulers – headed by King and at the same time Prime Minister Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, who doesn't like women driving cars.
As far as U.S. troop sizes in Iraq and GCC countries are concerned, the reports by the administration, the Department of Defense (read: WAR) and the corporate media are intentionally kept fuzzy, that the troop build up in Kuwait, which has been going on for months, remains inconspicuous.
With regard to U.S.-Iran policy, Obama repeated the usual State Department's anti-Iran diatribe, the legacy of George Bush. He resurrected the most putrid and morally corrupt formulation and framework of U.S. foreign policy, devoid of the minutest grain of facts that allegedly Iran has intended to manufacture nuclear bombs.
In Obama's State of the Union wrap-up, the U.S. president makes a series of illegitimate deductions and existential threats against Iran. He claims that the Iranian "regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions…."
The U.S. government habitually has claimed that the imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran is not intended to harm the Iranian people. But even the conservative editors of the Financial Times, America's premier "coalition of the willing" don't believe it when on January 25th, 2012, following in the footsteps of the U.S. policymakers, they wrote that, "though banning imports of Iranian oil and freezing (Iran's) Central bank assets will inflict great pain on a (the) population….the West is right to turn up the pressure." To demonstrate his blind loyalty to U.S. militarism, Obama pulls out the century-old U.S. foreign policy dagger and like a true American Democrat declares, "I will take no options off the table…"
As Pepe Escobar, the famous Latin American political analyst who writes regularly in Asia Times, wrote in Znet, the isolation of Iran in the international community is a "myth." More than ever in the last one hundred years, Iran today has built honest, healthy and reliable relations with the developing countries of China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Pakistan and Brazil. Does Obama know that the young population of these six countries constitutes more than half of the world's population? The growth rates of all of them are much higher than the U.S., Britain, France and Italy. Furthermore, Iran is in the process of building solid alliances with the most progressive and open-minded governments of Latin America, in the so-called backyard of the United States. Is Iran or is the U.S. and UK isolated in the eyes of the 99% world humanity? By every indication the most aggressive countries of the world headed by the U.S. are disliked and distrusted by the masses around the globe.
Ardeshir Ommani, President of the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC), is a writer and political analyst with a background in Political Economy. AIFC was created in 2004 to promote peace and dialogue between the U.S. and Iran, and prevent any NATO instigated war on the Iranian people