James Petras wrote of Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan: “She would likely favor your indefinite detention if you support the right of Palestinians (“terrorism”) to struggle against the Israeli occupation…” Petras also stresses how, Kagan would seriously support Obama’s “police powers”, which are beginning to eclipse those of Bush, still to the incredible denial of his apologists.
Oh, joy. A pleasant-faced female warrior for America’s War Against Empathy. One more vote in a terrifying corporate-crony SCOTUS. One more anti-feminist neofeminist.
Before she even joins the Court, a majority of judges (3 to 6) have set up the likes of Jimmy Carter – along with other, less high profile humanitarian activists – to be regarded as “terrorists”. The corporate-person-loving judges have, with the vagueness and broad sweep of the “material support” clause in their latest ruling, enabled our ever-intensifying police state to arrest and prosecute “inconvenient to the administration” peace advocates in the name of "terrorism" which is surreally ironic and insane but happening nonetheless.
Will those against torture risk ultimate torture? Sound paranoid? Did you have any idea that torture had become a wide scale institutionalized evil under Bush, still going on in overt, lesser levels and covert, just as serious levels by Obama?
Of course, a war criminal nation would get there soon enough, declaring war on its real enemies, the promoters of peace. Bush’s gutting of the Constitution, as well as Obama’s et al. The corporate, conservative agenda wants perpetual war, a chaotic globe at war that fills the coffers of the oil companies, Halliburtons, Blackwaters, Lockheed Martins, arms makers and dealers, other opportunistic contractors and mercenaries, amoral Gucci-wearing egotistical chickenhawk politicians, etc.
Petras stresses that the climate in Washington is one for criminalizing all those, in particular, who are critical of Israel. The ruling class equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism The climate is also in favor of criminalizing those working to end the corporate-agenda gratuitous wars. And the corporations destroying the ecosystem as well as the homelands and livelihoods of millions with ever increasing numbers.
Ironic. Most American citizens have empathy for Gaza, are very anxious to end the Middle East wars and want control of psychopathic industry, but our “representatives” in the three branches? Not so much. Not so VERY much. Willing to eliminate civil and human rights to protect their vested, lucrative, and amoral interests.
So, if one is concerned with the Gazan devastation by Israel or its strident war mongering about Iran there is a real threat for that person of conscience in the fast-hardening soft fascism that is America.
Getting back to Petras’ take on Kagan, Petras is clearly disgusted with Kagan as Obama’s choice for other reasons. He says of her academic publication record, it “might give her a fighting chance for tenure at a first rate correspondence law school in the Texas Panhandle.” But, she is a useful, Israel-placating crony for Obama. Obama respects cronyism. Is quite loyal and demands loyalty in return. Too bad he has no cronyism inclinations toward the citizenry.
Petras points out that the greatest enthusiasm about Kagan from her supporters was for her ability to settle things down among the “squabbling faculty at Harvard Law School when she served as Dean.” He also points out she raised $400 million in fundraising while there, which Petras claims must have distracted Ms. Kagan from serious writing. But that is another perk for her, considering this seems a purely political appointment. Her social networking. Her sense of loyalty. And her lack of broad ideological surface area for attack.
Petras also points out that during Kagan’s Harvard history she appointed Jack Goldsmith to the faculty, a “notorious Bush torture advocate.” Petras also stresses that though she had a thin resume, she had references from the likes of Larry Summers, Judge Abner Mikva and Rahm Emmanuel.
Petras also takes aim not only at Kagan, but the Ivy League officials who have proved from profoundly incompetent to diabolical in both Bush and Obama regimes. Petras doesn’t pull his punches on this score. He writes:
“Kagan’s nomination to the US Supreme Court is not exceptional if we consider many of Bush and now Obama’s choices of advisers and officials in top policymaking posts. Many of these officials combined their diplomas from Ivy League universities with their absolutely disastrous performances in public office, which no amount of mass media puff pieces could obscure. These Ivy League mediocrities include the foreign policy advocates for the destructive and unending wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan and the leading economic advisers and officials responsible for the current financial debacles. The names are familiar enough: Wolfowitz, Feith, Abrams, Levey, Greenspan, Axelrod, Emmanuel, Indyk, Ross, Summers, Rubin, et al: Prestigious credentials with mediocre, or worse, performances. What is the basis of their rise? What explains their ascent to the most influential positions in the US power structure?”
One hypothesis is nepotism . . . of a certain kind. Elena Kagan got tenure at the august halls of the University of Chicago in 1995 on the basis of one substantive article and one brief piece, neither outstanding. With this underwhelming record of legal scholarship, she became visiting professorship at the Harvard Law School, published only two more articles (one in Harvard Law Review) and received tenure. Prima facie evidence strongly suggests that Kagan’s ties to the staunchly Zionist faculty at both Chicago and Harvard Law Schools (and not her intellectual prowess) account for her meteoric promotions to tenure, deanship and now the US Supreme Court, over the heads of hundreds of other highly qualified candidates with far superior academic publication records and broader practical judicial experience.
The public utterances and political writings of innumerable Harvard, Princeton, Chicago, Yale, John Hopkins professors, whether it be on the speculative economy, Israel’s Middle East wars, preventative detention, broad presidential powers and constitutional freedoms are marked by a singular mediocrity, mendacity and an excess of hot air reeking of the barnyard.
From an article that originally appeared on Corrente.