February 03, 2009

Obama's first murder

When I was at a much more impressionable age, I saw the famous TV series, Holocaust. I think it was it. But it could have been another similar series. I remember nothing, zilch, from these nine and a half hours of melodrama except one scene, in which the SS character shoots and kills his first defenseless victim. In the version I have in my head, which might be way off the real version, his mentor tells him as he hesitates to shoot, "the first one is always the hardest."

What brought back that fleeting image was William Blum's tribute to Obama's first week in office.

The Obamania bubble should already have begun to lose some air with the multiple US bombings of Pakistan within the first few days following the inauguration. The Pentagon briefed the White House of its plans, and the White House had no objection. So bombs away — Barack Obama's first war crime. The dozens of victims were, of course, all bad people, including all the women and children. As with all these bombings, we'll never know the names of all the victims — It's doubtful that even Pakistan knows — or what crimes they had committed to deserve the death penalty. Some poor Pakistani probably earned a nice fee for telling the authorities that so-and-so bad guy lived in that house over there; too bad for all the others who happened to live with the bad guy, assuming of course that the bad guy himself actually lived in that house over there.

The new White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, declined to answer questions about the first airstrikes, saying "I'm not going to get into these matters."1 Where have we heard that before? (B Blum)

Congratulation Barack, your first murder! You are making us all so proud of you. [wiping a tear from the corner of my left eye]

I want to believe that you hesitated for a brief half second before you said O.K. But don't you worry a thing, "the first one is always the hardest."

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