Ron Ridenour

About Ron Ridenour
Short stories



[December 9, 2009]

Speech held at rally against US Embassy in Copenhagen

Many years before Barack Obama was born, millions of black, white, brown, red and yellow civil rights and liberationist activists fought for the simple right for black people to vote. In 1964, I was one of 1000 activists in Mississippi campaigning for this basic democratic right.

That Freedom Summer hundreds were jailed. We were beaten and some were tortured and murdered by racist civilians and policemen. Obama was three years old then. Nearly half a century later, he became the first black (mulatto) president of the United States of America.

This is a fantastic victory for anti-racism, for racial equality, and was celebrated by millions of people, including nearly the entire black population throughout the world.

But it was not, and is not, a victory for the working class regardless of color. Nor did it make any inroads into curbing capitalism—the exploitation of labor for unlimited profit for the rich—or imperialism and its constant wars. We live in a state of permanent war and Obama continues this system, as he must, because no president of the USA can significantly moderate or abolish that brutal system. It is of no consequence what one’s color, gender or sexual preference is. Changing or abolishing capitalism, and imperialism, can only occur when gigantic numbers of productive and service workers wake up and fight for such. And we must do so with our own political parties not the dominating capitalist parties, Democratic or Republican, or in Denmark with the current array of political parties.

Tomorrow this black president for capitalism and its wars-for-profit will receive the so-called Nobel Peace Prize. This is an absurd hypocrisy, even more so as it occurs just days after he announced sending 30,000 more murdering US troops to Afghanistan where the resistance forces, fighting for their country’s legitimate sovereignty, will righteously receive them with weaponry.

The media fails to mention that this is the second time Obama has sent additional troops to Afghanistan. Within his first 100 days in office, he ordered an additional 17,000 troops to supplement the 38,000 then present. Soon, there will be nearly 100,000 US troops and some 40,000 more from other countries, including the Banana Republic of Denmark.

This so-called Operation Enduring Freedom will be Obama’s Vietnam backfire. One thousand US troops and CIA agents have been killed of the 1600 killed from 24 invading countries, including 30 Danes. Usually neglected in the death statistics are the 30,000 Afghanistan civilians and patriotic insurgents murdered, plus the 6000 Afghan lackey soldiers and police.

Not only has Obama drastically escalated Bush’s invasion of a nation with no evidence of responsibility for the Twin Towers attack, but he has extended warring into Pakistan where thousands more are being murdered.

We must not forget that he has lied about his promises to get out of Iraq. There are 124,000 U.S. troops fighting this illegal, brutal war. All other “partner” nations have withdrawn their troops, besides some “instructors”. And while Obama claims he will be reducing this force, he neglects to tell us that there are180,000 “private contracts”, that is, hired paramilitary killers.
Statistics published by Brookings Institution (October 1, 2009) show that 4,366 US troops have died there and 31,571 are seriously wounded. Other sources show that upwards to 1.5 million Iraqis have been murdered by US and NATO troops plus the murderous partners in crime, Israel and Iran. Each US soldier sent to Iraq costs $390,000 a year, which the working class pays for in taxes.

While Bush was tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama takes up imperialism’s demand for blood in Latin America. The nine ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Latin America) countries have formed a cooperative trade, political and social network in the past five years and are making deep inroads into capitalism’s territory. Bush was powerless to combat this development started by Cuba and Venezuela, in 2004. But the “black” president saw a weak link in Honduras, where the oligarchy and the thoroughly US-dominated military, organized a coup d´etat with Obama’s generals assisting. Then came the illegal elections a week ago, held under an armed curfew, which Obama announced as legitimate even as the real president (Manuel Zelaya) and his patriotic supporters in the hundreds of thousands sought to have him reinstated.

This farce occurred as Obama signed an agreement with the US’s staunchest Latin American ally, Colombia’s drug-trafficking president Álvaro Uribe, to occupy seven military bases with US troops and advisors, including two new bases “needed” to replace the Yankee base in Ecuador, one of the ALBA countries, which threw the Yankees out.

The “black” president ran on a peace ticket, which he has reversed. Nor has he fulfilled any other of his somewhat progressive campaign promises, such as closing down Guantanamo’s torture factory.

When it comes to the climate changes, their causes and solutions, he is as pro-capitalism as Bush. He favors Big Business by refusing to reduce COs emissions substantially and he refuses to recognize the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, which 187 states ratified. The US is responsible for 36% of human made gas emissions. And his wars, with the profitable weapons industry, are the major polluter of many chemicals—deadly not only to human beings but the entire Mother Earth.

What we should learn from Obama’s first year in office is that no one man or woman—president of the USA or any other powerful entity—regardless of race, color or creed can change or abolish the capitalist economic system, which is the very basis for imperialism’s expansion through wars. It is capitalism itself which we must individually and collectively take on, in each and every locality, nation state and worldwide.

I close with the words of Bolivia’s Evo Morales, the world’s first indigenous president, excerpted from his 10 Commandments:

Commandment nr. 1: To End with Capitalism

“If we want to start a serious and sincere discussion on climate change we should know that it is about the struggle between two ways of living, between two cultures: the culture of trash and death, versus the culture of life and peace. This is the core of the discussion on climate change. In order to preserve the planet, life and the human species, we must end Capitalism!"


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