Saturday, January 05, 2008

Huffingtonian hopes Blackwater doesn't kill Obama

Joseph A. Palermo, an assistant professor of history at California State University-Sacramento, waxes paranoid at Huffpo today:
In 1968, when [Robert] Kennedy was gaining momentum and piling up primary victories it looked as though he would win the presidential nomination. But before he could be safely ensconced inside "the bubble" of 24-hour federal protection he was assassinated. And his progressive challenge to the war in Vietnam and to poverty at home was stopped in its tracks.

In 2008, [Barack] Obama is gaining momentum, and hopefully people inside his organization are cognizant of the fact that he constitutes a very real threat to the likes of Blackwater, Dyncorps, Halliburton, and the hundreds of other private companies currently profiteering from the Iraq occupation.

Blackwater, that reactionary private mercenary outfit headed by the right-wing Christian nationalist Erik Prince stands to lose big time with an Obama presidency. Under George W. Bush Blackwater went from a marginal company with about $27 million in government contracts to a behemoth currently receiving over $1 billion in federal largesse. . . .

Under an Obama Administration Blackwater would no doubt be cut down to size along with Bush's other crony capitalist entities. The Blackwater Boys no doubt have close friends and ideological soul mates deep inside the federal security services.

In 1968, immediately following the killing of Robert Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson signed an executive order providing Secret Service protection to all viable presidential candidates. His decision came as a result of the RFK assassination. But it was too late to prevent a tiny piece of lead from disfranchising millions of American voters.

When the political winds blow toward radical change our recent history shows that there's a tendency for popular leaders on the left to face some form of unexplained tragedy. Let's hope the primary campaigns of 2008 only mirror those of 1968 in their grassroots energy, enthusiasm, and vision for the future.
Some form of unexplained tragedy. Remember, this is an assistant professor of history, (notwithstanding that it's at California State University-Sacramento).

Update: Of course, I'm worried myself that some whackjob will take a shot at Obama. He's had Secret Service protection since May, but if I were it (the Secret Service) I wouldn't let Obama out of the house unless he was wearing something like this. Or even this.

(via the, er, Violence Worker)

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