The Dark Side and the World We Operate In

When Obama was elected president, masses of Yale students gathered on Old Campus and celebrated the at-the-time-believed-to-be coming end of Bush's conservative tyranny and senseless wars. I didn't celebrate, for I saw Obama as merely another corporate candidate. The very fact that Obama was treated kindly by many mainstream sources was enough to convince me that the man was bought and paid for. But of course, that was merely a conspiracy theory, how could the Land of the Free have a controlled media?

But the media in the US is heavily controlled through: "Comcast owns NBC; Disney owns ABC; and News Corporation owns Fox Broadcasting Company. Comcast owns NBC, Telemundo, E Entertainment, Versus, 14 television stations, Universal Pictures, and Hulu. Disney holdings include 10 television stations, 277 radio stations, ABC, ESPN, A&E, the History Channel, Lifetime, Discover magazine, Bassmaster magazine, Hyperion publishing, Touchstone Pictures, Pixar Animation, and Miramax Film Corp. Viacom owns 10 television stations, The Movie Channel, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, TV Land, MTV, VH1, and Paramount Pictures. CBS owns 30 TV stations, Smithsonian Channel, Showtime, The Movie Channel and Paramount Network Television. News Corp. owns 27 television stations, the Fox Network and Fox News Channel, FX, National Geographic Channel, The Wall Street Journal, TV Guide, the New York Post, DirecTV, the publisher HarperCollins, film production company Twentieth Century Fox and the social networking website MySpace. Time Warner owns HBO, CNN, the Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Time magazine, Turner Broadcasting and DC Comics."

There is negligible hope that a truly independent candidate can crack the corporate ceiling unless he cozies up to the financial elite as well as the national security establishment. A man who is not vouched for by the lobbies of some of our Middle Eastern allies will likewise be ignored by the mainstream media. What is supposed to be on paper a free Republic becomes in reality a puppet dictatorship of intersecting business and military interests.  

One late Spring day I found myself inside of the library, stacking books when a Muslim friend in a headscarf asked me what I thought Obama's chances were of beating Hillary Clinton. I told her that his victory was certain and she became elated. That elation was everywhere, and even the smartest of college students were under his spell. The man was promising more war in Afghanistan and delivering sermons against Al-Qaeda, yet the mainstream media painted him as a harbinger of peace.

Even before Obama was elected, I began planning my escape from the United States. Our foreign policy had convinced me that the only moral thing to do was to not pay taxes to the federal government. To do so would be the same as offering "material support" to an imperial power in a senseless crusade. In the back of my heart I held out some small hope that things would improve, but it seems to be the case that even if the United States were to disengage from the international arena, the actions Obama undertook during his first term, and which he continues to undertake, have created an unstable world where America no longer is seen as a force for just, moral undertakings.

The world changed after Obama was elected; the people were optimistic and willing to give post-Bush America a second chance. The world was willing to tolerate a year or two of war, remaining largely sympathetic in Obama's promise that he was merely trying to finish America's military endeavors in the most sensible way possible. But years passed and more information came to the public fore showing us how Obama always knew he was going to be a war time president, one who, like Bush, had his own, very loose interpretation of international law.

By January of last year, I was already certain that Obama had made the world a more dangerous place, one in which large powers are increasingly willing to use covert force. I wrote: "We have probably already entered a phase that historians may describe as the Second Cold War, or if it escalates further... World War III. This time around, however, there won't be trenches. There won't be masses of foot soldiers behind a blitzkrieg. This new war will be fought on classified grounds, behind classified rules, with classified technologies, and by individuals with classified alliances."

When Putin's troops entered Crimea, they went in silently and without revealing their identities. An op-ed in the Washington Post pointed out: "Putin is no longer bound by the constraints of nation-state warfare. Years of confrontations with separatists, militants, terrorists and stateless actors influenced his thinking. In Crimea, Putin debuted a pop-up war — nimble and covert — that is likely to be the design of the future."

Though the op-ed makes it seem as if Putin has learned this on his own, by observing "separatist, militants, and terrorists" the reality is that the United States has invaded numerous Muslim countries since the attacks of September the 11th in a discreet manner not too unlike Putin's. As former vice-president Dick Cheney said in 2005: "We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will. We've got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if we're going to be successful. That's the world these folks operate in, and so it's going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective." 

Cheney noticed the kind of world that we live in, and it seems that Putin can see the same thing. Cheney's view of the world forms the core of Obama's drone program; as such, Putin simply has his own "dark side" operation, one which does not involve drones.

When Obama was elected, he had the power to create a safer world, but in the end he turned out to be a politician looking to get re-elected. Obama's re-election and his continued war in the dark side has created a more dangerous world, one in which the military superpowers operate in extra-legal territory.

ABC News: "Russia and the United States locked in a Duel of Super Powers."
Just this week, ABC reported that it was: "Game on between the two superpowers after Crimea voted to break away from Ukraine." A graphic thereafter informed us that it was "Cold War" time again. And, thanks to Cheney and Obama, that seems to be the world we operate in.