Summary: Nobel laureate President Obama visits Laos to the acclaim of the US press. Maximilian Forte looks beneath the celebrity glitter to see harsher truths about our neoliberal elites. It takes the vision of an anthropologist to see through their hypocrisy, pretenses, and lies.
By Maximilian C. Forte.
From Zero Anthropology. Reposted with his generous permission.
“Obama, the cerebral son of an anthropologist” — this is how the Associated Press touted soon to be ex-president Barack Obama on his visit to Laos this week. The AP went even further, declaring Obama’s approach “soft diplomacy”. One has to wonder where all of the “soft diplomacy” was in the seven brutal wars simultaneously fought by Obama (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria), a number of them pursued illegally (either in violation of international law, or domestically in violation of the War Powers Act), and all with disastrous consequences.
However, it’s good that the AP declared — because this was the real point of their boosterism: “If there was a single day that demonstrated just how different Obama is from Donald Trump this might have been it”. I agree, but it’s not Obama that will survive the comparison. Unfortunately, anthropology also gets a bad name thanks to Obama and the AP.
At a town hall meeting in Laos, Obama took another opportunity to air American laundry in front of a foreign audience. Apparently, Obama feels that the best way he can find sympathetic anti-Trump audiences is by going to the other side of the planet.
Obama praised “multiculturalism,” which as a cerebral former teacher of constitutional law, he would know has no support in the US Constitution. He was asked about “e pluribus unum,” from an Indonesian woman, and he garbled his answer with evasive and anodyne platitudes. According to another AP report…