Today, sixteen individuals received the highest civilian honor bestowed upon by the US government. The Presidential Medal of Freedom was given to such activists as social justice and peace promoter Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. Another man was granted this honor today, posthumously. Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in 1978, also received this award for his steadfast activism for gay rights and equality.
Now this is a nice thing, to grant such honors to such worthy people. But I have to wonder, why is President Obama giving awards to champions of holistic sustainability, when we also learned this day that Obama is going back on his campaign promise to not reauthorize NAFTA.
NAFTA is a cornerstone piece of the Clinton legacy that is by definition neolibral politics that promote "free-trade" through globalization, which essentially one of the more non-free policies out there. Ever wonder why Mexicans have to import cheaper corn from the US, grown with pesticides and GMO's when they have a plentiful amount in their own country...NAFTA, and other means of "free-trade" are anything but free. However, they do promote class stratification, perpetuate the power of elites, and overall help to strengthen a hegemonic structure, if that's what he's really going for.
So I wonder how Obama could award such honors to those fighting the status quo oppressive systems that be, illuminating their great work and the odds they've overcome in struggles for peace, justice and sustainability, and at the same time work to instill policy that undermines any effort for true holistic sustainability? Maybe the nine peace activists that were arrested this week at the US military base Mount McCoy will help us understand where he's coming from? I mean, protesting the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan along with the US stockpile of nuclear weapons, especially on the sixty-fourth anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a worthy endeavor to bring to light the struggles the globe still faces to bring real freedom to the lives of our total biotic community. I wonder what will happen when they stand trial on federal trespass charges? And I wonder how the NAFTA proceedings will unfold...maybe with a little help from the WTO and IMF?
The contradictions and steps backwards continue to astound me with Mr. Obama, although I'd be lying through my teeth if I didn't have a feeling this was obviously going to happen. Can't completely kill Hope, but...