- In 2011, Obama continued the destructive pattern he followed
in years one and two. Throughout his tenure, he's done what supporters
- Across the board on domestic and foreign issues, he governed
to the right of George Bush. He's waged multiple imperial wars, plans others,
looted the nation's wealth, wrecked the economy, consigned growing millions
to impoverishment without jobs, and institutionalized tyranny to target
dissenters challenging political corruption, corporate crooks, or abuse
of power lawlessness.
- He also promotes regime change in Syria, Iran, Venezuela,
Lebanon, and other independent states. In addition, he targets Russia's
military strength and China's growing economic might. At the same time,
he supports ruthless, corrupt tyrants.
- Moreover, he authorized indefinitely detaining anyone
called a national security threat without charge (including US citizens).
He continues Bush's rendition and torture policies, authorized killing
US citizens abroad, (like Anwar Al-Awaki for opposing America's belligerency),
and deployed Special Forces death squads covertly to 120 or more countries.
- Notably, he destroyed hard won labor rights, wants education
commodified and made another business profit center, and wages war on whistleblowers,
dissenters, Muslims, Latino immigrants, and environmental and animal rights
activists called terrorists.
- Throughout his tenure, he's governed lawlessly for the
monied interests that own him. He hasn't disappointed at the expense of
core constituents and others deserving better.
- Year three: Obama's destructive agenda continued.
- Obama's Anti-Progressive Agenda
- In year three, like years one and two, he's been anti-progressive,
hard-right, reactionary, belligerent, and pro-corporate. He's pursued anti-populist
policies favoring wealth and privilege, not social justice when more than
ever it's needed.
- In contrast, progressive change demands social reforms
benefitting ordinary Americans, citizens having more control over government,
establishing comprehensive education and universal healthcare as fundamental
rights, curbing excessive corporate power, purging corruption and waste,
and ending imperial wars that ravage the world one country at a time or
- It also advocates supporting organized labor, preventing
exploitation of children, workers and minorities, environmental conservation,
equity and justice, and other democratic values.
- In contrast, Obama supports wealth and power, not populist
change. Throughout his tenure, he's been pro-war, pro-business (with Wall
Street atop the pecking order), anti-dissent, anti-democratic, anti-freedom,
anti-civil and human rights, anti-environmental sanity, and anti-government
of, by and for the people.
- After winning the most sweeping non-incumbent victory
in over 50 years, he broke every major promise made, imposed austerity
when stimulus is needed, escalated imperial wars, and hardened repression
to curb popular anger.
- James Petras calls him "the perfect incarnation
of Melville's Confidence Man. He catches your eye while he picks your pocket.
He gives thanks as he packs you off to war."
- He spurns human need, rule of law principles, other democratic
values, and right over wrong. Supporters expecting change in year four
or a second term are delusional and misguided. In fact, his worst policies
- Obamanomics: Waging War on American Workers
- In April 2011, Obama announced $4 trillion in largely
social spending budget cuts over the next 12 years. In December 2010, with
Democrats controlling both Houses, he extended Bush's super-rich tax cuts
after saying he'd end them.
- He also agreed to $38 billion in vital social services
cuts after promising to preserve them. They include:
- $3.5 billion from Children's Health Insurance Program
- $2.2 billion from nonprofit health insurance cooperatives;
- $600 million from community healthcare centers;
- $1 billion from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other disease
- $1.6 billion from EPA's clean/safe drinking water and
- $950 million from community development grants;
- $504 million from nutrition aid for poor Women, Infants,
and Children (WIC);
- $500 million from education programs;
- $390 million from home heating subsidies to the poor,
as well as $2.5 billion for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
announced in February;
- $350 million from labor programs, including grants for
community service jobs for seniors;
- other social service cuts;
- $786 million from FEMA first-responder funding;
- $407 million from energy efficiency and renewable energy
- $260 million from National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- $127 million from the National Park Service; and
- billions less for public infrastructure and transportation
spending, while increasing war appropriations by multiples more, including
for conquering and controlling Libya.
- Moreover, Obama agreed to more draconian FY 2012 cuts
and corporate tax breaks as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling before
reaching its mid-May limit. More as well over the next 12 years, including:
- $4 trillion overall;
- $770 billion from education, environmental, transportation,
and other infrastructure cuts, as well as lower wages and benefits for
federal workers when they need more, not less;
- $480 billion from Medicare and Medicaid, besides another
$1 trillion from Obamacare;
- $360 billion from mandated domestic programs, including
food stamps, home heating assistance, income for the poor and disabled,
federal pension insurance, and farm subsidies; and
- $400 billion from military-related spending from unneeded
weapons, as well as healthcare and other benefits for active service members
- Priority Pentagon items remain untouched to assure annual
budget increases, generous supplemental add-ons, and secret open-checkbook
intelligence allocations for numerous nefarious purposes.
- As a result, people needs are on the chopping block for
elimination to satisfy the insatiable appetites of Wall Street, war profiteers,
other corporate favorites, and America's super-rich. Obama's fully on board.
- Eliminating Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and
- Political Washington hard-liners want them ended to transfer
maximum public and private wealth to the recipients explained above.
- Claims about Social Security and Medicare going broke
are duplicitous. In fact, both programs are sound when responsibly administered.
Nonetheless, they're on the chopping block for elimination, beginning with
benefit cuts, then privatizations to let corporate crooks profit at the
expense of beneficiaries.
- Obama tasked two deficit hawks for the job. They head
his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRF) - former
Senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, former Clinton White House Chief
of Staff. They're part of an 18-member team of like-minded members.
- They recommended sharp tax reductions for business and
super-rich elites. They also want deep Medicare cuts, co-pay increases,
Social Security's retirement age raised, and lower cost-of-living increases
among other draconian proposals harming ordinary people enormously.
- They're coming and much more under bipartisan agreement
to slash trillions of dollars from domestic spending over the next decade.
- By law, automatic $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years
will start in 2013. They're to be equally divided between defense and domestic
- In fact, expect sustained military spending at the expense
of gutting America's social contract. Either way, lost purchasing power
means less spending, fewer jobs, and greater public anger than today's
- In fact, deficit cutting is secondary. Key is protecting
corporate handouts and Bush era tax cuts, as well as expanding them for
business and upper-bracket earners.
- Obama supports making ordinary Americans and seniors
bear the burden so corporations and rich folks are spared. As usual, he
talks tough, then caves, no matter the harm and injustice caused.
- America's Permanent War Agenda
- In inflation adjusted dollars, annual defense spending
more than doubled under George Bush. They've kept rising under Obama despite
growing budget cutting pressures, at a time America's national debt burden
is much higher than acknowledged.
- It hardly matters, given the military/industrial complex's
power to demand what it wants with Obama in tow to provide it. He also
advanced America's imperium destructively across North Africa, the Middle
East and Central Asia to Russia's borders.
- After a decade, Afghanistan is now America's longest
war. No end of conflict is in sight. Withdrawing US forces from Iraq concealed
their regional repositioning and continued presence on major bases America
will keep operating.
- In fact, increased force levels are planned on one or
more Libyan bases, larger contingents in Kuwait, expanded ties with Saudi
Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Oman, and a greater overall regional
footprint to establish an enhanced "security architecture" to
integrate air, ground, and naval units for future combat missions.
- Throughout 2011, Obama bears direct responsibility for
committing one of history's greatest crimes against Libya. NATO's killing
machine under US direction dispatched truth by calling naked aggression
against a nonbelligerent country the responsibility to protect.
- When is war not war? It's when cold-blooded killing is
called the right thing. It's when major media scoundrels cheerlead it,
lies substitute for truth, and when public apathy lets criminal politicians,
crime boss presidents, and NATO killers cause mass deaths, destruction
and human misery with impunity.
- Objectives included replacing an independent regime with
a client one; colonizing, occupying, pillaging, and raping Libya for profit;
controlling its resources; excluding China and Russia from access; privatizing
its enterprises; exploiting its people; ending Jamahiriya social benefits;
and letting America establish strategically located North African bases
among other reasons for waging war.
- Also at issue is Washington's Greater Middle East agenda.
One country at a time is ravaged toward achieving America's goal of unchallenged
regional dominance to Russia and China's borders.
- Years earlier, constructive chaos was planned to redraw
regional lines to achieve key geopolitical goals. Wars followed, shifting
from one target to another. Obama's pursued them more aggressively than
Bush and plans more, no matter their lawlessness or body count.
- Syria's now targeted. Washington replicated its Libya
model. Heavily armed insurgents are involved. So are Turkey, Jordan, Saudi
Arabia, Lebanon's March 14 alliance, other Arab League partners, and Israel.
- Regime change is planned, with or without war. Expect
it if other measures fail. Internal and external forces are involved. In
Libya, NATO formed the Transitional National Council (TNC) to replace Gaddafi
and Jamahiriya government. Proxy Syrian National Council (SNC) members
were enlisted to replace Bashar al-Assad's regime after it's ousted.
- Disturbing reports surfaced about hundreds of US and
NATO Special Forces massed on Syria's border. Using them perhaps with air
power is planned if sanctions and internal insurgency fail.
- Anti-Iranian rhetoric is also heated. America claims
Tehran threatens world peace. In October, Washington falsely charged Iran
with plotting to kill Saudi Arabia's US ambassador.
- In November, outdated, forged, long ago discredited,
and perhaps nonexistent documents were used to claim Iran's developing
nuclear weapons. According to America's latest March 2011 intelligence
estimate, no credible evidence proves it. Instead, baseless accusations
may precede replicating Libya's model to target Iran belligerently.
- On December 15, Manhattan Federal Judge George Daniels
said he'll sign an order accusing Iran, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda of 9/11
- In response to a lawsuit brought by family members of
9/11 victims, he claimed Iran provided material support to Al Qaeda, based
on spurious testimonies from three Iranian defectors whose affidavits remained
sealed during court proceedings.
- Testimonies given were false. Iran, Hezbollah and Al
Qaeda had nothing to do with a plot hatched in Washington to initiate America's
global war on terror. Ravaging the world one country at a time was planned.
Syria and Iran may be next.
- Supporting Dangerous Nuclear Power
- Despite Fukushima's multiples worse disaster than Chernobyl,
Obama supports jump-starting nuclear power construction. In 2008, candidate
Obama said unless a "safe way to produce (and store) nuclear energy
(is found), then absolutely we shouldn't build more plants....I am much
more interested in solar and wind and bio-diesel (to produce) clean energy
and (new) jobs."
- At the same time, he accepted generous industry contributions,
as well as earlier for his 2004 Senate campaign. As president, he now supports
tens of billions of dollars in industry loan guarantees for new facilities
- free money. He's committed to accelerating new construction. It's been
halted since Three Mile Island in 1979. Numerous takers are lining up to
- Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other officials downplay
the hazards, including 23 US nuclear plants at 16 locations using the same
failed GE-designed Mark 1 containment vessels as Fukushima. Earlier, the
NRC called them susceptible to explosions and failure because of cost-cutting
- No matter the risks, Obama's an unabashed nuclear power
supporter. He believes no new regulatory oversight is needed. He's endangering
public safety promoting it. It should be abandoned in favor safer, clean,
- Partnering with Israeli Lawlessness
- Obama calls his commitment to Israel "unshakable."
Claiming he's done more than anyone, he said:
- "I am proud to say that no US administration has
done more in support of Israel's security than ours. Don't let anybody
tell you otherwise. It is a fact." America's "led the way."
Whatever Israel wants it gets, including more military and other foreign
aid than all other countries combined.
- No wonder James Petras calls him "America's first
Jewish president." He "crossed the River Jordan," backing
its "colonial power in a strategic region of the" world, no matter
how threatening "to world peace (and) democratic values...."
- He partners with Israel's worst crimes and provides assured
Security Council vetoes of measures harming its interests.
- Like past administrations, he also supplies annual billions
of dollars in aid, state-of-the-art weapons and munitions, the latest technology,
intelligence, interest-free loans, special privileges afforded no other
nations, and other generous benefits.
- Moreover, despite hard economic times, he approved more
in Washington's FY 2012 budget bill. It provides $236 million for Israel's
missile defense programs, including Arrow-2, Arrow-3, and David's Sling.
- Beholden to America's powerful Israeli Lobby, world peace
and America's own interests are threatened.
- Jeopardizing Internet Freedom
- Candidate Obama promised to "(s)upport the principle
of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the
- As president, his FCC, congressional Democrats, and political
extremists threaten it. On May 12, Senator Patrick Leahy (D. VT) introduced
"S. 968: Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and
Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP)." Referred
to the Judiciary Committee, May 26 hearings were held. So far, no further
action was taken.
- Leahy calls it a measure to "protect the investment
American companies make in developing brands and creating content and will
protect the jobs associated with those investments."
- In fact, it introduces new censorship provisions that
violate First Amendment freedoms, without which all others are at risk.
- If enacted, Internet service providers (ISPs), search
engines, and other information location tools must block user access to
sites accused of very loosely defined copyright infringement.
- On October 26, Rep. Lamar Smith (R. TX) introduced "HR
3261: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA): To promote prosperity, creativity,
entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of US property,
and for other purposes."
- Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, no further
action so far was taken. In enacted, SOPA will sabotage the domain name
system. It may also eliminate DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) safe
harbors that spur economic growth and online creativity.
- Along with Leahy's PROTECT-IP Act, SOPA will force ISPs
to disappear certain websites, endangering Internet security.
- At issue is targeting free expression. It's not about
curbing online piracy or promoting prosperity, creativity and entrepreneurship.
An appointed Internet czar would decide if US interests are harmed at the
expense of user rights and providers serving them.
- After promising to protect Net Neutrality, expect Obama
to end it if these measures pass.
- Legislating Tyranny
- In mid-December, Congress passed the FY 2012 National
Defense Authorization Act. It includes little reported harsh police state
provisions. After earlier promising a veto, Obama signed them into law.
Another promise made, another broken. His betrayal record stays intact.
- Henceforth, anyone anywhere, including US citizens, may
be indefinitely held without charge or trial, based solely on suspicions,
spurious allegations or none at all.
- No reasonable proof is needed, just suspicions that those
detained pose threats. As a result, indefinite detentions can follow mere
membership (past or present) or support for suspect organizations.
- Presidents now have unchecked dictatorial powers to arrest,
interrogate and indefinitely detain law-abiding citizens if accused of
potentially posing a threat.
- Constitutional, statute and international laws won't
apply. Martial law will replace them if so ordered.
- As a result, US military personnel anywhere in the world
may arrest US citizens and others, throw them in military dungeons, and
hold them indefinitely outside constitutionally mandated civil protections,
including habeas rights, due process, and other judicial procedures.
- In other words, presidents may order anyone arrested
and imprisoned for life without charge or trial. Tyranny arrived in America.
Abuse of power replaced rule of law protections, despite three post-9/11
Supreme Court decisions supporting habeas and other constitutional protections
in civil courts for anyone charged with crimes.
- A Final Comment
- Obama exceeded the worst of George Bush. With another
year in office and likely reelection, he'll continue waging permanent wars,
flaunting democratic values, imposing repressive police state harshness,
concentrating wealth and power disproportionately, destroying the nation's
middle class, turning workers into serfs, and making the country more than
ever unfit to live in.
- It's happening under a president promising change unless
public outrage stops him. Sustaining pressure without letup is crucial
for as long as it takes. There's no other way.
- Quitting's not an option! There can't be to have any
chance for success!
- The alternative is Orwell's vision of "a boot stamping
on a human face forever." If preventing that isn't job one, what is?
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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