Ralph Nader criticizes Obama’s lawless militarism

| January 28, 2012 | 5 Replies

On Democracy Now, Ralph Nader criticized President Obama’s stark militarism:

Responding to President Obama’s State of the Union address, longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader says Obama’s criticism of income inequality and Wall Street excess fail to live up to his record in office. “[Obama] says one thing and does another,” Nader says. “Where has he been for over three years? He’s had the Justice Department. There are existing laws that could prosecute and convict Wall Street crooks. He hasn’t sent more than one or two to jail.” On foreign policy, Nader says, “I think his lawless militarism, that started the speech and ended the speech, was truly astonishing. [Obama] was very committed to projecting the American empire, in Obama terms.”

Nader argues that Iraq was not a victory (as Obama claimed), given that we have allowed one million Iraqis to die and essentially destroyed the country. He has sent American soldiers on “lawless militarism” and then draped them as though they were Iwo Jima heroes.

Nader calls Obama a “political coward,” because he was unwilling to even mention the Occupy movement, the major citizen movement of our time. Obama cannot utter the word “poverty,” but refers only to the “middle class,” which is shrinking into poverty. Nader asserts that Obama’s claims that he will prosecute financial fraud are vapid, given that he hasn’t done anything significant in this area for years, and he hasn’t pushed for the necessary financing to staff a meaningful financial crimes unit.

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Category: Military, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich and his wife, Anne Jay, live in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising their two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Adam Herman says:

    It’s weird that he would make a comparison to Iwo Jima given that by his own logic, the war against Japan was a miserable failure because we destroyed the country.

    I understand what he’s getting at, the war against Japan was justified, whereas the war in Iraq was not, but in both cases we fulfilled our objectives, so the President claiming it as a victory is valid.

  2. hxj says:

    Adam – Our war was a victory? By what standard? Iraq is beset by a vicious sectarian civil war fueled by a primarily Shi’ite military the US created. Over a million internal refugees have been displaced and over a million more have fled the country. There are 2 million orphans, 2 million widows, and now 50% of the people live in slum-like conditions.

    Our objectives were to disarm Saddam’s WMDs… weapons which never existed in the first place. There is literally no way to claim that Iraq was a victory, it is now ranked as the 4th most corrupt country on Earth.

    Sources:

    http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/12/21/washington-flails-as-chaos-threatens-iraq-will-iran-stoke-or-douse-the-fires/

    http://web.mit.edu/humancostiraq/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/al-qaeda-allied-group-claims-responsibility-for-baghdad-bombings/2011/12/27/gIQAHVxAKP_story.html?hpid=z4

  3. Adam Herman says:

    True, but it is also on a path to a more decent government that doesn’t threaten its neighbors.

    The Iraq war is complicated enough that anyone can claim anything about it. Your points are perfectly valid, but so are the President’s. The insurgents completely failed to drive us out, if anything they prolonged our stay and left the former regime elements too weak to challenge the new government. The primary threats to the new government are sectarian groups, rather than Saddam’s old cronies.

  4. Adam Herman says:

    The objective to remove the regime and replace it with one that doesn’t threaten our interests.

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