About this project
Consistently ahead of the pack, prolific writer Paul Street author of "The Empire's New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power" eloquently demystifies Obama's first year. The eye-opening facts, deep insights, and broad analysis Street provides will never be found on CNN, MSNBC or FOX.
To help demystify citizens hungry for the truth, Paul Street will be conducting a sizzling book tour in major northeast cities this August.
UPDATE** PLEASE SEE THE PAUL STREET WEBSITE AT www.paulstreet.org
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A sequel to Street’s Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics, this new book documents and assesses Obama’s newly emergent record on domestic and foreign politics against his original agenda for change. Although mainstream journalists have noted discrepancies between Obama’s original vision and reality, Paul Street uniquely measures Obama’s record against the expectations of the truly progressive agenda many of his supporters expected him to follow. Taken together, the list of Obama’s weakened policies is startling: his business-friendly measures with the economy, the lack of support for the growing mass of unemployed and poor, the dilution of his health reform agenda, the passage of a record-setting Pentagon budget, and the escalation of U.S. military violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Street’s account reveals these and many other indications of how deeply beholden Obama is to existing dominant domestic and global hierarchies and doctrines. His new book yields a perspective on Obama and current politics that is scarcely found in mainstream media.
Book Excerpts from "The Empires New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power"
Chapter 1: "Business as Usual"
The Obama’ administration’s record over its first year has been…“the violin model” with a vengeance. Obama has lectured Wall Street on the immorality of their bonuses and visited hard recession-hit towns like Elkhart, Indiana and Pomona, California to show solidarity with downtrodden working people. And then you give yet more of the public treasury and commons away to the Privileged Few, justifying the handouts as a noble expression of your “sensible,” “realistic,” and “pragmatic” commitment to rising above ideological divisions to “get things done” for the American people. Funny how the nation’s “pragmatist”-in chief has kept getting things done for the rich and powerful above all. My mind and soul have recurrently gone numb as yet one more populist-, progressive-, and peaceful- sounding Obama campaign promise after another got drowned in the icy waters of business and imperial rule during the first year of Obama’s presidency….
Chapter 2: "Empire's New Clothes"
Dead civilians – the topic Afghan President Karzai so impolitely raised with his new boss in Washington – have been a real problem for Obama. The new president’s escalation of deadly attacks on insurgents who live intermingled with civilians has brought a predictable increase in “collateral damage” in South Asia. An especially graphic and politically difficult episode came in the first week of May 2009. That’s when U.S. air-strikes killed more 140 civilians in Bola Boluk, a village western Afghanistan’s Farah Province. Ninety-three of the dead villagers torn apart by U.S. explosives were children. Just 22 were males 18 years or older. As the New York Times reported:
In a phone call played on a loudspeaker on Wednesday to outraged members of the Afghan Parliament, the governor of Farah Province, Rohul Amin, said that as many as 130 civilians had been killed, according to a legislator, Mohammad Naim Farahi. Afghan lawmakers immediately called for an agreement regulating foreign military operations in the country.
“The governor said that the villagers have brought two tractor trailers full of pieces of human bodies to his office to prove the casualties that had occurred,” Mr. Farahi said.
“Everyone at the governor’s office was crying, watching that shocking scene.”
Mr. Farahi said he had talked to someone he knew personally who had counted 113 bodies being buried, including those of many women and children. Later, more bodies were pulled from the rubble and some victims who had been taken to the hospital died, he said.
The initial response of the Obama Pentagon to this horrific incident – one among many such mass U.S. aerial killings in Afghanistan since October 2001 – was to absurdly blame the civilian deaths on “Taliban grenades.” Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed deep “regret” about the loss of innocent life, but the administration refused to issue an apology or acknowledge U.S. responsibility for the blasting apart of civilian bodies in Farah Province. …By sharp contrast, Obama had just offered a full apology and fired a White House official because that official had scared New Yorkers with an ill-advised Air Force One photo-shoot flyover of Manhattan that reminded people of 9/11. The disparity was extraordinary: frightening New Yorkers led to a full presidential apology and the discharge of a White House staffer. Killing more than 100 Afghan civilians did not require any apology. Nobody had to be fired. And the Pentagon was permitted to advance preposterous claims about how the civilians died – stories that taken seriously by "mainstream" (corporate-imperial war and entertainment) media. Orwell, Vonnegut, and Kafka would have been impressed. The U.S. subsequently conducted a dubious “investigation” of the Bola Boluk slaughter that reduced the civilian body count drastically and blamed the Taliban for putting civilians in the way of U.S. bombs.
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*BROADEN AUDIENCE: Based predominately in Iowa and Chicago Paul Street's in-person and media appearances have been primarily restricted to these two locations. The time is ripe for Paul Street to regionally expand, thus the creation of the Great Northeast Demystification Tour was born -- with an objective of hitting all major northeast cities.
*ATTRACT MEDIA: A secondary goal is for the tour to 'create buzz' to open doors to broader media outfits.
*ADVANCE STATURE: Paul Street has the talent and capacity to emerge as the next generations leading left intellectual in the tradition of Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and John Pilger. These great men emerged in a different political climate and in another era. The political climate and corporate media lock-down make it more challenging for the next generation of great left thinkers to emerge and advance. This tour will help alter that.
*TAKE MESSAGE ON THE ROAD: The plan is to conduct his crisp, hard-hitting, non-nonsense talks to major cities in the northeast corridor which include (but are not limited to): NYC, Philadelphia, DC, Boston, Providence, and Portland.
*MULTIPLE LOCATIONS PER CITY: The plan is to conduct more than one talk per city. The venues will be independent bookstores, larger bookstore chains, as well as appearances at radical left organizations.
*RADIO AND TV APPEARANCES: To secure radio interviews and television appearances with networks and stations in the northeast.
*REPORTING FROM THE ROAD: After each appearance photos, videos, impressions, and stories will be shared with readers who can comment and discuss.
*SOCIAL MEDIA: There will be heavy reliance on readers, supporters, fans, activists to post, blog, tweet, and report to others -- this is a team effort!
NEED: As an independent writer, there is no financial backing from any sponsoring organization or political group. The purpose of this KICKSTARTER project is to request that readers, supporters, backers of Paul and the message he wishes to deliver -- can assist by backing and helping to get the word out. In effect, this support will be his "sponsoring organization".
*THE BASICS: Lodging, travel, and dining. Travel is among the costliest which will include airfare, tolls, gas, and public transit fees. Every effort will be made to secure low-cost and budget conscience lodging, travel and dining. Use of public transit will be maximized.Offers by individuals for lodging in their homes and providing meals have been graciously accepted to defray costs.
*BOOKS: Purchasing and distributing copies of "The Empire's New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power" for media interview preparation.
More links and information on Paul and his work:
The Rustbelt Radical's Truth-Teller of the Year Award Goes to Paul Street
Paul Street’s next book is The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, July/August 2010).
Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2008)
Street is also the author of Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (Boulder,CO: Paradigm, 2008); Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis (New York : Rowman & Littlefiel...d, 2007); SegregatedSchool: Educational Apartheid in the Post-Civil Rights Era ( New York: Routledge, 2005); and more.
On Black Agenda Report
AUDIO LECTURE: SOCIALISM CONFERENCE 2010
Chicago - Palmer House: June 18 on "Obama and Black Politics Today"
AUDIO: RADIO INTERVIEW THE AUTHORITY SMASHING HOUR 12/11/09
Chuck Mertz of This is Hell! interviews Paul Street brilliantly dissects the Tea Party and wonders,'What Populist Uprising?'
(*Note: Paul's segment begins about 38 minutes in)
Paul Street on Barack Obama's Militaristic Rhetoric and American Imperialism
Paul Street speaks on the Barack Obama phenomenon, electoral Politics in the U.S., and Iraq among other things.
Chapter structure and opening quotes: "The Empire's New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power" by Paul Street
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