Sunday, January 20, 2013

Will Obama's Second Term Be As Disastrous As The First As He Expanded The Global War On Terror and Still Uses Torture (Lite?)

So in a few hours President Obama will have his public and formal inauguration for his second term. The Hope is still that he commit himself to more progressive policies but we think that is a long shop the odds are in favor of those whom he now identifies with the Wall Street thugs and Banksters and Big Business and the Arms and intelligence industry sometimes referred to as Eisenhower did as The Military Industrial Complex.

So just because President Obama throws progressives and liberals a few bones doesn't mean that one should bury your head in the sand and stop criticizing Obama when he fails to live up to the promises he has made over the past five or six years.

Yes he may pass some decent enforceable gun control laws and give a nod to Don't Ask Don't Tell or Gay Marriage but what other positive things has Obama done.

Obama continues what is now the unpopular War on Drugs, He did nothing to help the millions of Americans who's homes were foreclosed, he has continued the egregious spying on US citizens , while putting Indefinite Detention into law along with Targeted Assassinations and renditions and the use of Interrogation Techniques which are considered (whether Obama thinks so or not)by International Law to be torture or tantamount to torture ie sleep deprivation,sensory deprivation, sensory overload , extended solitary confinement , verbal and physical abuse (Bradley Manning and hundreds of others esp in some legal limbo world ie Iraq, Afghanistan, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib or held in top secret facilities around the globe.)

Obama has done nothing to reduce the exponentially growing prison population which is disproportionately mad up of visible minorities Blacks and Latinos and is just another form of servitude for African Americans and on and on it goes.

So far Obama is a big disappointment. But maybe we can hop for a change of heart since he need not go out and raise money for his next campaign since this is his last as president which ends in January 2017.

Monday is also celebrated as Martin Luther King Day but Obama is far from being the one to carry the handed on torch of the King legacy. Obama is not on the side of the poor or minorities or on the side of freedom of assembly or freedom of speech and seems in fact to be dismissive of both when they are carried out by average American citizens ie The Occupy Movement which he allowed or encouraged the FBI, Homeland Security , CIA , and local police forces to crush with a vengeance etc.

Why if this is not true didn't Obama ever make a statement defending the hundreds of thousands of protesters taking part in the Occupy Movement.

Obama surely new that these federal departments were infiltrating and spying on members of this movement and that the FBI and Homeland Security were passing on baseless intel for instance alerting local police that the Occupy Movement was an extremist unAmerican organization and its motives including massive destruction of property and even a coordinated attack in various cities and towns to kill police officers. We now know that this propaganda war of disinformation came not from local police but higher up but did this include the White House we may never know.

We know from Obama's reliance on Drone attacks that like the Pentagon he has no regard for innocent civilians killed in these attacks.

Obama has over the past four years gone after Whistleblowers and protesters with a vengeance.

Obama is still spying on millions of Americans via warrantless wiretaps and accessing messages and communication on the internet as Bush did before him.

And as for American dissidents Aaron Swartz who committed suicide recently who had been hounded by federal prosecutors possibly under the direction of the Department of Justice and possibly the White House Irtself is one of the more recent victims of Obama's war on internet freedom and on whistleblowers ie Bradley Manning, Assange & wikileaks.

Obama has given the green light on assassinations and kidnappings (renditions) in other sovereign nations which contravene international law .

Obama has also given the green light to the abuse and torture of prisoners of war referred to dismissively as detainees.

Merely giving a dubious legal veneer for the use of Drone strikes and the use of other weapons such as Cluster Bombs and White Phosphorus and other incendiary weapons .

Obama is merely doing what Bush did and giving himself legal cover but given the disproportionate destruction and killing of civilians is a reason for doubting the US is using these weapons somewhat cavalierly in considering the deaths of innocent citizens does not factor into the carrying out of these so-called targeted killings.

As for the belief that the USA is still under attack by Al Qaeda, the Taliban or others is a bit of a stretch. What Obama and his legal staff contend is that any attack on US troops or civilians stationed in Afghanistan or elewhere is a further act of war even though the USA illegally and more importantly invaded Iraq bases on false deliberately fabricated evidence and therefore under the rules of war or even of "a just war" all actions resulting from that initial illegal act are themselves more crimes to be added to the initial crime of an unwarranted war of aggression against a country which was not an imminent threat to the USA or American allies.

Obama has had an Abysmal record on wantonly killing civilians just to make him look tough on terrorism.

Few terrorists are actually killed by these brutal Drone attacks.

The bombs they drop are either massive in size or are the banned Cluster bombs which are meant not for a precision attack but for the maximization of destruction and killing and maiming.

The 'Obama Doctrine' argues that any male 15 years of age or older killed in a Drone attack even absent any evidence is to be counted as an enemy combatant or terrorist. This way Obama can show that the killings and destruction were not disproportionate to the military objective.

It is just like going into a village for example killing everyone because you have intel saying the Taliban or other enemy of the USA is operating out of that village.
If we strictly apply the "Obama Doctrine" the US troops would enter the village round up all the men and boys 15 years or older and then execute them on the spot which there is lots of evidence to suggest that US troops are committing such atrocities. So we get repeats of Vietnam's Mi Li massacre and USA's scorched earth policy.

Obama also insists the number of civilians killed in Drone attacks not be reported accurately. And if no terrorists or enemy combatants are killed this is ignored or characterized by a military /technical error so those killed can go to their graves knowing they were not the ones being targeted but this can never be the case given the counting method of the Obama doctrine.

Obama as we now have come to understand uses similar bogus legal arguments to defend what he has ordered. Claiming the entire Globe as the Theater of War any attack on any US soldier or personnel can be construed as an act of war.

But as Obama's lawyers argue that each nation has the right to self-defense when unjustly attacked this creates a slight problem since the people of Iraq believed that the US attacked. conquered and occupied Iraq without just cause. And all acts committed by US troops and its allies are merely more war crimes to be added to the crime of "A War Of Aggression" , this can also be applied to Afghanistan, Pakistan , Libya etc. If American troops were not occupying through force the various nations they would not be in harm's way. America desire to rule the world has blinded it to its international obligations to uphold International Law not just in the letter of the law but also in the spirit of the law.

Like George W. Bush Obama as a legal expert sees the law as something to be manipulated to serve his and America's immoral agenda of spreading chaos and destroying peaceful movements for basic reforms in sovereign nations.

In Syria the Obama administration would prefer to have America's friend Bashir Assad retake control of the nation but if not the US does not want the pro-democratic elements to oust Assad and put in place a more just leader and governm,ent though less friendly to the USA government.

80% of drone strike victims innocent civilians

Published on 18 Oct 2012 RT

The majority of people killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan are not militants, according to the country's Interior Minister. Rehman Malik said 80 per cent of more than two thousand people who have died as a result of strikes were civilians. RT talks to Ahmed Quraishi from PakNationalists Forum, Pakistan's first political lobbying group.

US assassination drone strikes kill 64 in Yemen in 3 days
USA also backed the one party Faux elections in Yemen
Published on 12 Mar 2012

US assassination drone strikes have killed at least 64 people in southern Yemen during attacks in the past three days on the provinces of Abyan and Bayda.

John Yoo's Doppleganger working as Obama's legal adviser Koh given his argument s whatever the USA does militarily or how it treats POWs or its massive destruction of infrastructure, schools, government offices, hospitals, roads buildings occupied by NGOs and journalists and other humanitarian workers or on ambulances and other emergency vehicles or to attacking those first responders who go to where there has just been attacked.

John Yoo's lies and fabrications and the abuse of legal language and rhetoric to say that in essence whatever the president does is by definition legal. This is the argument Nixon clung to as did those like Ollie North in the Iran/Contra scandal.

Now the question is if Obamaand his pet lawyers are just signing off on whatever he wants.

"We all practiced law here" says Conyers

Hearing on Torture with Addington & Yoo: Conyers' Questions

Uploaded on 26 Jun 2008

The Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties holds a hearing, "From the Department of Justice to Guantanamo Bay: Administration Lawyers and Administration Interrogation Rules, Part III." Witnesses will include David Addington, Chief of Staff to the Vice President; John Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer who wrote a now-repudiated memo allowing the harsh interrogations; and Christopher Schroeder, Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law and Public Policy Studies at Duke University. Chairman John Conyers questions the witnesses.

By the way this testimony should have led to further investigation and the trial and possible internment of these lawyers and other working directly with the White House and those in the CIA and the Military who are guilty by following the these illegal and questionable and unreasonable orders from the White House .

This now has become Obama's crime after the fact and the defendant of these possible war criminals. Obama did this not as he claims to save the country from creating more turmoil but really he just wanted to first be accepted by all of those departments such as the CIA, FBI, Special Forces, Black Ops, Paid Mercenaries ie Blackwater and The Military chain of command. It is easier for all concerned in Obama and the view of most Americans now to bury these war crimes and crimes against humanity while Obama adds his own war crimes and crimes against humanity.

President Obama still following American foreign policy playbook by propping up dictators and authoritarian regimes in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia , Bahrain even though these governments are anti-democratic reform and treat all dissidents and critics as if they were the enemy. And Obama appears to agree to the brutal cack down on protest in Bahrain , Saudi Arabia while criticizing similar crackdowns on protesters in Iran.

Glenn Greenwald argues the US is not in favor of the pro-democracy, pro-reform protests which were referred to as the Arab Spring. Unfortunately Obama is more interested in increasing US presence and hegemony in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa in the further expansion of the American Empire.

Brookings' Bruce Riedel Urges Intensified US Support For Saudi Despots By Glenn Greenwald OPEDnews. Jan. 19,2013

...When they speak publicly, the mavens of the Foreign Policy Community -- whose primary function is to justify US militarism and aggression -- typically disguise their real beliefs and objectives with specialized obfuscating jargon. But every now and then, they have an outburst of uncharacteristic candor that clarifies their actual worldview. Such is the case with a remarkably clear memorandum to President Obama that Riedel(Bruce Riedel. A 30-year CIA officer and adviser to the last four US presidents, he is now a senior fellow at the wing of the Brookings Institution ) just authored and Brookings published regarding the extremely close US alliance with the regime in Saudi Arabia.

Riedel begins by noting that "Saudi Arabia is the world's last absolute monarchy" and "like Louis XIV, King Abdallah has complete authority." Moreover, "the Saudi royal family has shown no interest in sharing power or in an elected legislature." The Saudi regime not only imposes total repression on its own people but is also vital, he argues, in maintaining tyranny in multiple neighboring states: "they have helped ensure that revolution has not unseated any Arab monarch" and "the other monarchs of Arabia would inevitably be in jeopardy if revolution comes to Saudi Arabia." Specifically:

"The Sunni minority in Bahrain could not last without Saudi money and tanks. Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are city-states that would be unable to defend themselves against a Saudi revolutionary regime, despite all their money."

...Indeed, the Obama administration has continuously lavished the Saudi Kingdom with a record amount of arms and other weapons, and has done the same for the Bahraini tyranny. He has done all this while maintaining close-as-ever alliances with the Gulf State despots as they crush their own democratic movements.

As always, the rationale for this steadfast US support for Arab tyranny is dubious at best. Riedel notes that "while the United States can live without Saudi oil, China, India, Japan and Europe cannot" -- but it's absurd to think that whoever rules Saudi Arabia would refuse to sell its oil on the world market. Riedel also argues that "the CIA war against al-Qaida is heavily dependent on the Kingdom" -- that gets closer to the truth, but it just shows how this endless "war" is the author of most of America's bad acts in the region, and it's ironic indeed that the only government with valid links to the 9/11 perpetrators has become the closest US ally in the "war on terror," while governments with no such links -- starting with Iran -- have become perpetual US enemies.

... the point here is not to object to US support for the world's worst dictators; it is, instead, to urge that this reality be acknowledged. Despite this obvious truth -- that the US has no objection whatsoever to tyranny but rather loves and supports it when tyrants are faithful to its interests -- hordes of foreign policy "experts" shamelessly pretend that the US and its NATO allies are committed to spreading freedom and democracy and fighting despotism in order to justify every new US and NATO intervention.

Just listen to the patently deceitful rhetoric that spews forth from US political leaders and their servants in the Foreign Policy Community when it comes time to rail against anti-US regimes in Libya, Syria and Iran. That the US and its NATO allies -- eager benefactors of the world's worst tyrants -- are opposed to those regimes out of concern for democracy and human rights is a pretense, a conceit, so glaring and obvious that it really defies belief that people are willing to advocate it in public with a straight face. Even Riedel notes the real reason for those interventions: the Saudis, he writes, are "pragmatists and have backed revolutions in Libya and Syria that undermine longstanding enemies of the Kingdom, especially Iran."

...Critically, this propaganda about the commitment to human rights and democracy of the US and its NATO allies is aimed at, and only works on, the domestic populations of those countries. People in the region where these pro-tyranny policies are imposed by Nato members are fully aware of this reality, as public opinion polls unambiguously prove. But when there exists a massive apparatus of self-proclaimed experts calling itself the Foreign Policy Community that exists to propagate these myths, and a US media that similarly views the world through the prism of the US government, it is easy to see why these myths, despite how patently absurd they are, work so effectively.
And so it goes,

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