Monday, June 27, 2011

Obama Channels Nixon

28 June 2011

by Jeff Huber

Richard Nixon’s “peace with honor” has evolved into Barack Obama’s “responsible conclusion.” 

Candidate Richard Nixon promised in 1968 that if elected president, he would end the war in Vietnam.  In 1972, President Nixon, campaigning for reelection, assured the nation that “peace is at hand.”  

"We've ended our
combat mission in
In 1973, Congress passed the War Power Resolution to check the ability of presidents to commit the United States to war without approval of the legislature.  Nixon’s veto of the Resolution was overridden by a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate. 

On 9 August 1974, Nixon resigned from the presidency to escape impeachment for obstruction of justice and violations of his Constitutional constraints related to the Watergate affair. 

On 23 April 1975, in a speech at Tulane University, President Gerald Ford declared that the war in Vietnam was “finished as far as America is concerned.”   

On 30 April 1975, newly installed South Vietnamese President Duong Van Minh surrendered to the North, seven years after Candidate Nixon promised to end the war and after 116 years of continuous war in that country.

The most toxic denizens of our polluted information environment are calling to have Obama impeached over his illegal war in Libya.  John V. Walsh, one of the paleo-hooligan at The American Conservative (one of my former gigs), recently called for Obama’s ouster on the basis that his disregard of the Constitution is in stark contrast to the understanding of and devotion to that document displayed by Tea Bag Barbie Palin and her adoring idolaters.  One of the wags at Gordon Liddy’s beloved Washington Times (to wit: Eugene G. Windchy) wails that we’re “in a constitutional crisis” because of the way Obama is stiff-arming the War Powers Resolution, the law that, ironically, Dick Cheney and other leading neocons argue is unconstitutional because it hinders presidents from encroaching on the legislature’s exclusive Constitutional prerogative to declare war. It’s funny how you didn’t hear Windchy or anybody else at the Washington Times puling about any constitutional crises when Big Dick was in the saddle.      

As distasteful as I find the agenda of the political right, I’m inclined to sympathize with their desire to rein in the totalitarian tenor of Obama’s reign, but impeach the guy?  Come on.  Not even Denny Kucinich has a serious notion of doing such a thing.  In the age of the New American Centurions, we don’t impeach presidents for taking us into illegal wars.  These days we only impeach presidents for their inability to keep their orbs and scepters in their pants.

We’ve been in a constitution crisis since 1950 when Harry Truman committed us to a full-blown war in Korea that ended in a negotiated tie with a foe that still flares up on us like a wicked case of facial herpes.  The constitutional crisis Obama has created is just another twig on the pyre of our republic.  And after the Bush and Cheney administration flushed shame and irony and truth and accountability and the bill of rights all the way to the Congressional Cafeteria, who will ever impeach anyone for anything ever again? 

Nor is it likely we’ll ever be able to vote the warmongers out of office.  If you’re not sharing a pillow with the war profits machine you don’t get elected.  Remember all that yak from candidate Obama about 16 months and we’re out of Iraq?  It isn’t happening.  Did you hear the yak from President Obama the other night about how he’s going to draw us down from the Bananastans?  That prevarication had barely left his mouth before King David Petraeus was telling the little war correspondents embedded up his rump about how, well, he’d go along with it, but it wasn’t the way he’d like things done, no sir, if Obama was listening to his generals he’d be drawing down a darn sight slower, that’s what, so when we lose in the Bananastans it won’t be King David’s fault, no sir, it will be on Obama’s head. 

It wasn't long after King David’s press ploy that Obama started this standard shuffling retreat, and Admiral Mike Mullen, the military’s top bull feather merchant, announced that generals Obama was giving commanders “wide latitude” to execute the president's “broad timelines.”  What were those broad timelines?  In Obama-speak: "Starting next month, we will be able to remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year."  What in the wide world of sports, arts and sciences is that supposed to mean?  I want to screen the video of that speech in slo-mo so I can see Obama’s tongue flicking in and out.  Donuts will get you dollars that by the end of this year, we’ll have replaced 10,000 uniformed cooks and bed makers with civilian contractors provided by KBR and Blackwater, and we’ll assign extra emergency medical technicians to our combat brigades there and re-designate them as “volunteer fire brigades,” wink, wink, nudge, nudge.      
Take us to your leader.

Obama has fed us another bowl of pet plop and told us it’s chocolate ice cream, but that’s not going to keep him from being reelected.  The only way South Side Slick won’t serve another term is if extra terrestrials reveal themselves to us and tell us that Obama not only wasn’t born in America, he wasn’t born on earth, and then produce the certified original copy of his Martian birth certificate to prove it. 

Support the troops.
The only way I see the public start demanding that we extract ourselves from what even Uncle Bob Gates admits are “wars of choice” (he’s “wary” of them now that he’s all but ensured that they never end) is if prominent political and media figures start stating in unvarnished patois that the likes of Obama and Gates and Mullen and Petraeus are using our troops as pawns, not to preserve our nation but to preserve the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned us would acquire “unwarranted influence” over government policy if we allowed it to. 

Lamentably, the chances of someone prominent enough to matter exercising that kind of moral courage are profoundly slimmer than the odds that the little green men will step out of the shadows. 

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.


  1. That's what I love about America: everything is a frickin' game, including our politics. It doesn't matter what the politicians do (or who they do it to) as long as your team "wins."

    It only seems silly and hypocritical for the wingnuts to be calling for Obama's impeachment, after uttering nary a peep during the reign of Emperor Cheney. Their arguments make perfect sense within the current paradigm of politics-as football. Obama is a blue, you see. When we get a red back in charge, then everything will be fine. It's all clearly explained right here:


  2. Once again, you give us an excellent commentary on the good old US of A.
    Thank you sir.
    Yes, when will any president ever get impeached? That process may have died with the gang of Cheney/Shrubbie. What a sad day that was. We are seeing just how much a disaster that gang was for the country. Gobomber has never ended any of the "programs" put in place by them. He has enlarged the wars of choice and even added some of his very own, Libya for example.
    If we thought that old Tricky Dick Nixon had an imperial presidency the current and last administrations put his to shame. At least Nixon didn't hire a bunch of mercenaries to go around the world demanding that the world conform to his wishes. Not that he and the war criminal Kissinger would not have enjoyed doing so.
    I fear that our old republic is now dead and buried. Long live the national security state.
    JP, the Mouseland story fits the USA as well as Canada. Thanks for the link.

  3. The documentary Why We Fight showcases Eisenhower's warnings. The movie's subject aligns well with this article. Hope you all like. About 1.5 hrs.

    Some guy read Toynbee's writing on the so-called sport of kings which afflicted Europe in the 18th century. Do you think it's afflicting USA? His video is poor quality but the audio is good and that's all that matters. Just 5 min. It's a nice intro to the Toynbee dude without reading all that.

  4. Great link, JP.

    CE, Amazing how Nixon seems downright cuddly now.

    ER, another great link.

    Thanks for stopping by and posting, gang.


  5. I am simply amazed at how great this writing is. Having only this morning found the "Pen and Sword" site, I've just finished reading several of the articles and am blown away by the quality. It's like Mark Twain on steroids. You dice and slice in a way that is sarcastically compelling, succinct, and incredibly accurate regarding the red/blue war machine. My hat's off to YOU sir.

  6. @Brutus:

    Huber's having a bad Monday if there are not three famously quotable sentences.

    Someone should start posting the gems to those "famous quotes" web sites, with proper attribution.

  7. @ Empire and Rebellion:

    Agreed. Sometimes honest assessment can sound sycophantic but, darn it, you could fill a book. I think he's channeling H.L. Mencken.