Jim Douglass: Can a Peacemaking President Take On the Pentagon? (Part 7)

The most important book for any American to read is JFK and the Unspeakable: Who Killed Him and Why it Matters by James D. Douglass.

Douglass’ investigation into the secret papers finally released during the Clinton era begin to uncover a deadly “family pattern” of behavior in the highest levels of political power. Now, Douglass has written an important article for Tikkun magazine that looks at how the pattern is being repeated again between President Obama, Gen. Petraeus, and Afghanistan.

Below is Part 7: Can a Peacemaking President Take On the Pentagon?

Barack Obama is a very smart and sometimes courageous man. Why did he submit to his generals by widening a disastrous war? Did he think he could at least use his waning power to improve the domestic state of the union, while hoping he could eventually find a way out of our downward spiral of war in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq?

If so, he will finally have to say no, for the sake of us all, to his generals and the powers behind them. They will always want the troops to fight more battles “for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives” toward the end of “trillions of dollars worth of minerals” on a new Silk Road.

Can any president of the United States turn toward peace without being threatened, set up, and “if necessary” (from the standpoint of our national security state), assassinated?

Because of our unwillingness to connect the dots of Dallas with those of Washington, U.S. citizens have been unable to raise that post-JFK question to consciousness. In the Washington of Barack Obama, where some speak of a president’s assassination casually and others deliberately, it is time that we dealt with the question in a serious way. John Kennedy did. From his frequent remarks anticipating his own death, friends said he was obsessed by it. He seems rather to have seen his death in a remarkably detached way in a time of darkness, accepting his own demise “if necessary” (from the standpoint of his conscience) as the simple consequence of doing his duty.

Once we face the why of Kennedy’s assassination, never really mysterious and now a story documented by the mass of files made public by the Assassination Records Review Board, we can deal with an obvious question that has likely passed through the mind of Barack Obama: can a peacemaking president survive a warmaking state? A conscientious president’s survival, and the carrying out of peace initiatives against the grain of his government and corporate power, is entwined with the survival of every human being on earth. The president’s vulnerability, while he tries to turn a massive Washington warship toward peace and disarmament, is an unspeakable fact of our politics.

But the other side of the unspeakable is ourselves. Our sense of despair, when we see a president’s reluctance to choose what may kill him, raises questions about ourselves.–James Douglass, from JFK, Obama, and the Unspeakable

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