Re: Michael Moore on the First Episode of the New Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Please watch this video first as this blog post is a response to it:

As many of you are aware Keith Olbermann has returned to anchoring the news in a new show on Current, an internet broadcasting company. As many of you are also aware Olbermann was released from his contract with MSNBC by Comcast once they took over the 24 hour news channel. No reason has been given yet as to why he was released from his contract, but many believe it is because Olbermann carries a progressive liberal message, while Comcast is a very large donator to the Republican Party.

I like many people were happy to see that Olbermann return to broadcasting. Though he is not a Marxist, or even an anti-capitalist, he is certainly one among the liberal establishment of personalities whom I can say I believe is genuine and honest in what he says. When I hear him speak, I believe he does want to change the world and make it a better place. It is unfortunate that he does not carry that desire all the way through and see that it is the capitalist system itself that causes the contradictions that prevent us from having that better world.

He definitely has his own unique way of bringing his message to people, one that I confess had originally emulated and then altered until I found my own way of delivering a different message.

So I was happy to watch the first edition of Countdown to see what kind of message he would bring now that he had left network television. I’ve suspected that he was restraining himself in someway just by the fact that he was on a corporate owned media outlet and had to “play the game”. Now on Current, he is unfettered by the restrictions mainstream media places on opinion. It will be interesting to see what he will be saying now that he is uncensored.

The first guest on Olbermann’s first show was Michael Moore, author of several books and creator/director of several movies including Bowling for Columbine, Sicko and Capitalism: A Love Story. He is also a long time contributor to the show and a friend of Olbermann. The topic on which they spoke of was the invasion of Libya and the American role in it. Quite frankly I was disappointed in what Michael Moore said, I was expecting Moore to be more anti-war and anti-imperialist.

The first question Olbermann asked Moore was why President Obama used an executive order to become involved in Libya as opposed to going through Congress. Moore replied that it was easier that way, in doing so he avoided the red tape. I agree to an extent, sure it is easier, because if he had gone through Congress, the people would have had time to react and begin protesting such actions and questions would be asked. There is also the fact that not everyone in Congress would agree with beginning a new war. (Face reality, its a war not some kind of aid program to so-called rebels.)

Interestingly Moore points out how according to the Constitution, Congress makes the decision about going to war or not. However he says that its “a little strange in this case” that Obama would do such a thing given that he is a Constitutional lawyer. He also said that if Obama’s desire to “aid the rebels” was just, he’d be able to make a good case before Congress to get approval. We all know he probably wasn’t going to get approval, that’s why he never did it.

Moore also correctly mentioned that in recent history Presidents have declared war without going to Congress for approval, and that he was of the opinion that Obama was going to do things differently. I think Moore genuinely believed that Obama was going to do things the way they are supposed to be done. I find that really naive coming from a man like him. We all know why Presidents don’t go to Congress for approval, and we all knew that wasn’t going to change, but it seems Moore did.

Immediately after Moore criticized Congress for its lack of leadership and initiative. He said that the Supreme Court isn’t supposed to be making laws but they are, and Congress is not stepping in to stop them. He spoke about how corporations are legally persons, and now corporations can buy politicians with the removal of restrictions on campaign donations. Essentially equating speech with money, money is now the new speech. Again this has been going on for sometime now, corporations have always basically owned politicians and the entire political process. Again, it seems as though Michael Moore is being naive. I just don’t understand how he doesn’t see this as always being the way it was.

Olbermann then asked Moore if he thought Senator John McCain was right in saying that America had a duty protect “people being slaughtered”. Moore replied that you always do whether they were a group of people in country or just someone out on the street getting beaten. Of course they showed their liberal-esk imperialist leanings by not even asking whether not not people were being slaughtered. Neither one bothered to mention the fact that the French press had revealed that the French Government had been sending weapons to the so-called rebels before the French and NATO involvement was announced or hostilities began. Neither one bothered to discuss or even bring up that the so-called rebels were being funded and supported by the US. I think its very telling that they didn’t mention/discuss this fact. This is one of those times when the liberal media is supporting imperialism while making it seem like their questioning it, when they’re really not.

Moore does make a good point when he calls out the leadership for NATO to admit they’re trying to kill Gaddafi. Its really is a ridiculous farce to pretend as though killing him is not the goal. Almost every day a military installation he is suspected of being in is hit by bombs, or a home of his is being hit by bombs. Its actually quite transparent that killing Gaddafi is of greater priority than actually attacking Libyan troops commiting the so-called slaughters.

Again Moore asks why isn’t Obama just being honest and going to Congress and making the case for killing him. Well, there’s a good reason of that as well, because its political assassination and that is a terrorist act according to the Patriot Act and international law. Its kind of frustrating that Moore doesn’t seem to understand the fallacy of his own question: “Why is Obama not making the case for an illegal action?” Because its illegal to being with. You don’t go to the police and make a case for murdering someone who isn’t an immediate threat to you. I don’t believe that Moor doesn’t understand that, I believe that he’s in a way, looking the other way on this one. He’s doing it either because: 1. He believes in removing Gaddafi, or 2. He covering for a Liberal President.

It is interesting to note here how they are not questing the whether or not the invasion of Libya is justified or not, they’re just operating under the assumption that it is. Ironically (or appropriately) enough, this is the same stance held by those in the Conservative Bush administration concerning the war on Iraq. They spent zero time discussing the morality of the plan to invade and instead just hammered home this idea of an immediate threat. There was no discussion of it, just fist pounding in support. The same is happening here in the liberal pro-imperialist way, it just has its own flavour to distinguish it from the Conservative pro-imperialism.

Moore also correctly points out that there are several other people and regimes in the world which would also fall under the same description as the Gaddafi government. Moore questions why these other people/regimes have not been invaded as well. One, I would like to know the people and regimes Moore was referring to. Two, the answer as to why these other regimes/people are not invaded is obvious. Like NATO turning a blind eye to the Rwandan genocide, there’s little if any resources to exploit. Libya being a large player in the energy sector, in the form of oil, is also not being mentioned by either Olbermann or Moore.

Here is where Moore exposes his support for liberal-imperialism:

Olbermann then asked Moore a good question: is there a difference between Obama cherry picking reasons and legal support for going to war in Libya and how Bush cherry picked reasons and legal support for going to war in Iraq. Moore replied saying that he thinks Obama really cares about the people in Libya and wants to do the right thing. This is an outright laughable stance to claim the imperialists have. I mean after all the supply forces and operations began right in the oil producing region. Moore then also said that Bush knowingly lied (which he did) about the reasons and intelligence used in justifying the invasion of Iraq. However this time around its different, Moore said Obama may have “over-hyped a little the strength of Gaddafi’s forces”. Once again no thought whatsoever into whether or not these are actually rebels and not pawns of Western imperialist powers despite the solid evidence of it, (the weapons form France). This lack of discussion about such a very important point shows they (Moore and Olbermann) are deliberately keeping this information off the air. This is turning into another Iraq but they’re trying to make it appear different this time because its a Democrat President in the White House, attempting to keep up the illusion that there is a difference between the two parties and that you really do have choice at the polls.

What this interview on the first episode of the new Countdown shows us is that imperialism really is in the heart of the Liberal establishment, and that imperialism lives in the ruling class no matter how liberal or conservative they may appear. But its totally different this time.

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