Wednesday, September 21, 2011

President Obama at the UN opposing Palestinian recognition and preaching austerity economics

President Obama addressing the United Nations General Assembly today at 29:30 in the video below:

We acted together to avert a depression in 2009. We must take urgent and coordinated action once more. Here in the United States I've announced a plan to put Americans back to work and jump-start our economy, at the same time as I'm committed to substantially reducing our deficits over time. [my emphasis]


Obama is too committed to the neoliberal/Washington Consensus/free-market/deregulation ideology to maintain his jobs emphasis for very long, it appears. He probably really does think we avoided the depression that we're actually experiencing. But if he expects to campaign as a champion of job creation against the Republicans, I just don't see how that will work if he constantly steps on the jobs message by pairing it - even in the same sentence - with making big cuts to bring down the deficit. In this speech, he gives a standard spiel about the glories of free-market economics. (28:00)

As one would expect, his UN speech contained a lot of boilerplate about peace, human rights and democracy. And rhetorical praise of the Arab Awakening.

But the Nobel Peace Prize winner reminds us early on that we still have to tremble in fear of the might Al Qa'ida, though "its leadership has been degraded." (6:00) He praises "the moral force of nonviolence" (10:15), then moves immediately into justifying his Libya War.

As expected, he spent a significant part of the speech justifying the US support for the Israeli position against the UN recognizing Palestine as a state. (18:40) "Peace is hard work," he said, recalling President Bush's famous debate gaffe in 2004 about how being President is hard work. He meant this as a scolding to the Palestinians for taking their demand for recognition to the United Nations.

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