This is a debate I have had with Srini for close to a year now and so there is not much new which I can say here. My argument has been that USA is an imperialist State and whichever Government is in power, it will have to implement policies which protect and promote the cause of imperialism both domestically and on a world scale.
I can see the logic of Srini's contention that often there would be a situation where the policy pronouncements of one candidate will be better (from the perspective of the anti-imperialists) than those of the other. Such policy pronouncements may provide crucial relief or space for manoeuvre for anti-imperialist movements, States, etc. But such instances are rare and need to be well argued out. This has not been done here.
In the absence of a clear demonstration of how Obama will be better than McCain in the manner in which his administration will run US imperialism, any analysis which makes him look better/ softer / more humane than his opponent runs the grave risk of sugar coating US imperialism itself. Therefore I find it difficult to accept any analysis which demonises the far-right and thus humanises liberal imperialism. Anything less than an all out attack on the top managers of US imperialism, irrespective of their purported differences, is unacceptable from an anti-imperialist standpoint.
Regarding the issue of race itself, Barack Obama is not the initiator, or even the leader, of Black emancipation. He is the symbol of the acknowledgement by the US ruling class that one and a half centuries after slavery was formally ended, they need to integrate the Black middle class into the US 'mainstream' (or what we would call 'ruling class alliance'). He also represents, because of this, an attempt by the US ruling class to divide, buy off and bottle up the radical aspects of Black politics in the US. In racial terms, one could say that Obama is White-America's way of buying peace with the more demanding, "like-us", sections of Black America. He is, to use a loose analogy, the Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi of White-America. In this sense, Barack Obama is the inheritor of the legacy of Condi Rice and Colin Powell. It is therefore not surprising that Powell endorsed Obama and the latter happily accepted his endorsement. (just to remind you of Colin Powell http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/3/1632-the-bagman-c...)
It is therefore, in my opinion, highly unfortunate that you have ended up with an analysis which, indirectly but clearly, supports Obama and shows him in good light. I would have hoped that an article on Obama and Race would expose these charades of imperialism rather than telling its readers how one candidate for running imperialism is softer, more humane and more intelligent than the other. But then your article, and Sainath's, have provided the space for a much needed debate.
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