Change Is Not in the Air

On January 20, 2009 President Barack Obama took over the Oval Office after riding a wave of voter support and momentum that was generated by his YES WE CAN campaign. And a defeated and lame duck George W. Bush crawled back to his Crawford ranch for some tree trimming. However, since President Obama’s inauguration it appears he has forgotten his campaign message, and simply took a well-known play out of the old political campaign playbook—and that is: do and say whatever is needed to win the election.

For instance, Xe Services, formerly the infamous Blackwater, continues to garner government contracts (along with other private security contractors), allowing them to continue working alongside US military forces in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Guantanamo Bay detention facility is still in operation even though President Obama issued an executive order in January 2009 to close the prison within a year. The Patriot Act, which chipped away at Americans’ civil liberties during the Bush Administration, had three sections of it extended by President Obama in February 2010. And finally, Bagram Air Base, a known US torture facility operating in Afghanistan and dubbed Obama’s Guantanamo, functions as if the Bush Administration were still running the place. In April 2009, the Obama Administration appealed a US District Court ruling that some detainees at Bagram Air Force Base are entitled to challenge the reasons for their detentions.

So it appears that Obama’s YES WE CAN doctrine really hasn’t come to fruition, which is why there are more anti-war protests scheduled for this weekend, which marks the seventh anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

On Saturday, March 20, 2010, thousands of people will take to the streets in Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles (among others) to protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sponsored by the Answer Coalition the Los Angeles march will begin at 12 noon at the intersection of Vine and Hollywood Boulevard. And if it’s like years prior, this Saturday’s march will certainly be an emotionally charged event, providing plenty of opportunities for photographers to capture some important moments in history. So if you’re in the Los Angeles area on Saturday, be sure stop by Hollywood and Vine for a good ol’ American protest.

Photography by discarted

5 Responses to “Change Is Not in the Air”

  1. 1 Dallascaper March 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    At least the usual freak show will give photographers a chance to snap some of the wildlife. From a practical point of view, the protester’s efforts are a waste of time. Bush ignored the protesters, and Obama will do the same. I guess protesting gives the powerless a chance to blow off some steam; however, the powers-that-be will continue to do what they want – continue the Bush Doctrine.

  2. 2 discarted March 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Very true Dallascaper.

    It seems like the only thing protests are really good at accomplishing are causing traffic and upsetting people who aren’t participating.

  3. 3 DT March 18, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    I initially supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan, because we had been attacked. In Iraq, because Saddam was a monster who had ignored the terms of the first Gulf War cease fire, as well as U.N. law, for over a decade. I presumed they would be well executed wars, and by that I mean: rapid victory followed by rapid, well planned reconstruction, followed by a rapid EXIT.

    I now thoroughly regret supporting these wars. Politicians from both major parties have dragged them out for unrelated purposes while wasting lives and money, all under the banner of patriotism and war on terror. I see a glimmer of hope that we will eventually be out of Iraq and that their new government will succeed in the long run, but the cost was far higher than it should have been and we should have been out years ago.

    These wars have been one, long, gigantic, painful cluster f***. And as terrible as 9/11 was, we have sacrificed far, far too much in the name of the “war on terror”, including treasured liberties we may never get back.

    As for Obama: he is Bush in Democrat clothing. I didn’t care for either candidate but when Obama won I thought “Well, maybe he will end the wars, end the Patriot Act, and balance the budget.” He has expanded the wars, expanded the Patriot Act, and after one year of Democrat rule the U.S. is technically bankrupt.

    Right now I abhor both political parties and would like to see them both demolished in favor of new parties. I tend to favor the Libertarians who, I will note, were against both wars.

    It is a sad time in America.

    (Sorry to use your blog as a soap box. I’m just so depressed over the state of the nation right now that I can’t help but go off.)

  4. 4 discarted March 18, 2010 at 8:13 pm


    Our soap box is your soap box. Stop by any time.

    Excellent comment.

  1. 1 Blackwater Watch » Blog Archive » No We Can't? « Trackback on March 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm

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