Monday, January 23, 2017

Today's Links

Today's quote: "Trump won the old fashioned way. He went right to the heart of white American angst about immigration and white survival and the economic insecurity that they feel they should not suffer. But he is in over his head. Trump is not only a political novice but he is thin skinned and oafish." Margaret Kimberley


If Hillary had won, the drone strikes would have continued. The wars would have continued. The spying would continue. Prohibition would continue. Whistleblowers would continue being prosecuted and hunted down. And minorities would continue bearing the brunt of these policies, both in the US and across the world. The difference is that in such a scenario, Democrats, if the last eight years are any indication, would remain silent -- as they did under Obama -- offering bare minimum concern and vilifying anyone attacking their beloved president as some sort of hater. Cities across the US would remain free of protests, and for another 4-8 years, Democrats would continue doing absolutely nothing to end the same horrifying policies now promoted by a Republican." Jon Reynolds

The definition of a "legitimate" President is dependent on the lens of the inquirer. If one looks through the lens of the ruling class, a legitimate President manages the crisis of the imperialist system of exploitation under relative terms of social peace. The expectation is that working class and oppressed people will continue to validate this definition in the name of American Exceptionalism."  Danny Haiphong

"Supporters of Barack Obama, and liberals in general, are disingenuous frauds. They had no issues protesting the likes of the amoral warmongering George W. Bush or the racist xenophobe, Donald J. Trump, however when it comes to Barack Obama they can find no reason to protest his mass murdering escapades. Obama supporters were recently nostalgic and teary eyed after he gave his last major speech as president of the United States, yet can find little reason to shed tears over the masses of civilians who were destroyed directly as a result of Obama’s policies. Where were the emotions and tears when men, women and children were getting blown to bits by USA drone attacks, indiscriminate air strikes and bombs?

Those who protested the racist and xenophobic Trump, but not Obama or Clinton, are nothing more that disingenuous frauds and amoral cowards."   Solomon Comissiong

"Donald Trump won enough votes to secure an Electoral College victory in large part because white America latched on to his promise to make their lives great again. He also garnered support because he tapped into the angst of the age. Decades of deindustrialization, trade deals and a poverty producing “gig economy” have created unemployment and financial insecurity for a majority of Americans. Unlike Hillary Clinton, Trump spoke to these concerns." ...

“Decades of deindustrialization, trade deals and a poverty producing “gig economy” have created unemployment and financial insecurity for a majority of Americans.”Margaret Kimberley

“The Obama-Clinton camp of the ruling class views the current Russian state as a threat to US global hegemony.”...“The ruling class loyal to the Democrats has used Trump as an excuse to blame Russia for Hillary Clinton's defeat and distract the public from the real enemy of humanity: US imperialism.”...

Russia did not systematically rob the working class in the US, nor did it erect the largest police and prison state in the world. Russia is not waging endless warfare around the world at the expense of billions. All of this belongs on the shoulders of US imperialism and it is time we make this clear as the era of Trump nears." Some Guidance on the Russia Question

Obama’s fascism -- of the same brand as the Clintons’ -- is global-obsessed, because it needs to feed on the whole planet to survive. It’s a cosmopolitan, world-stealing Dracula, that cannot imagine life on Earth without itself in charge. It no longer indulges heavily in ideological justifications for its predations; whatever detracts from its hegemony is the enemy. Increasingly, it is engaged in a War Against All.  Most recently, it simultaneously attacked both Russia and Donald Trump’s apartheid branch of fascists.
One fascist is fond of race war. The other isn’t so picky." Locating Fascism on the Home Map

Political hysteria has its ironies. President Obama has just signed into law a new office of government propaganda that is intended to prevent any warming of relations with Russia under a Trump administration. But, President Trump will appoint the head of the office. The Democrats apparently expect Trump to cooperate with their plan to undermine his foreign policy, “silence dissent and create a network of propaganda partners” to badmouth Russia. 

All of the casualties, the sieges, the hunger and the frantic search for refuge can be placed at America’s feet.”
Obama thought that Hillary Clinton would win and complete his regime change plans. Not only did she lose and deprive him of his third term but the hollowness of his legacy is clear. Obviously “hope and change” was a marketing tag line meant to hide his commitment to the world wide neoliberal project.. Margaret Kimberley                       




1--The Trump effect has rallied US markets – but it's based on illusion Robert Shiller


2--‘Astana peace talks: Syrian govt & armed opposition at same table breakthrough’


“This will divide them; this will be a fractional point of division and a point of future bickering between them,” she added. “We might see them on the ground battling after such a meeting.”

For the first time, the opposition delegation in Astana also includes field commanders from the militant groups, as opposed to political representatives. That – according to Osman – offers a much better prospect for the negotiations compared to previous Syria peace talks, including those in Geneva.
She explains: “We saw political representatives who always ask the same question: “Do they have an actual say in what is going on the ground? Do they have an influence toward the people, the groups, the armed opposition that is functioning on the ground in the battlefield inside of Syria?” That was the main question, and the answer was always: “No.” It was only people wearing suits, having talks, saying whatever they want in front of the media, in front of their backers – whether they are Gulf backers or Western backers in the face of the Syrian government. And always nothing happens...”

“Previously the political figures of the opposition had no influence on the ground in any way whatsoever. The commanders of the armed groups didn’t receive orders or refused to receive orders from those politicians living in exile, who say that they represent the opposition when indeed they don’t represent these armed groups – I don’t know who actually represents them. Some of them have close ties with Turkey,” Rizk said.

Vladimir Putin realized that if you really want to reach a solution, you have to have Turkey involved. It was kind of a bargain: involve Turkey and make some concessions. For example, we saw one of the Turkish officials – Deputy Prime Minister [Mehmet Simsek] in Davos saying that we can no longer insist that President Bashar Assad steps down. At the same time Turkey got one benefit, which was that the YPG, the Kurdish units are not represented,” the expert said.


3--The search for common ground?


The negotiations came to fruition after the three nations - Russia, Turkey and Iran - brokered a partial ceasefire between the Syrian government and some opposition groups last month. The deal managed to significantly restrain the intensity of hostilities in Syria, but both the government and the rebels regularly complain of violations.
The truce however, does not include such terrorist groups as Al Nusra Front or Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), with IS currently engaged in a massive offensive against government forces in the Deir ez-Zor province.

4--Tulsi Gabbard goes to Syria


A veteran of the Iraq War and major in the Hawaii National Guard, Gabbard “has long been committed to peace and ending counterproductive, interventionist wars,” her spokesperson Emily Latimer said in a statement Wednesday.
Gabbard has been a vocal critic of outgoing President Barack Obama’s policy of demanding the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad and blaming his government for the bloody war with Islamist rebels.
"As a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, and as an individual committed to doing all she can to promote and work for peace, she felt it was important to meet with a number of individuals and groups including religious leaders, humanitarian workers, refugees and government and community leaders," Latimer said in a statement.


5--The Obama Legacy: A Temporary Deformity of Black Minds on War and Peace


In June of 2011, more than half the Congressional Black Caucus, 24 members, gave President Obama their full assent to the continued NATO bombing of Libya, which had already destroyed the infrastructure of what had been Africa’s most prosperous nation. Thirty-one Black congresspersons voted to continue spending money on the regime change operation, with only six CBC members -- John Conyers, Jr. (MI); Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL); Barbara Lee (CA); Laura Richardson (CA); Bobby Scott (VA); and Maxine Waters (CA) -- rejecting the aggression, outright. (See BAR, July 2, 2011, “Black Caucus on Libya War: The Good, the Confused, and the Hopeless.”) The “peace” faction in the CBC proved to be tiny, indeed -- only one-seventh of the caucus membership....

Prior to Barack Obama’s two warmongering terms in the White House, it would have been impossible to imagine that virtually the whole of the Black political (misleadership) class, and an unknown portion of the African American rank and file, would be mimicking the CIA, ranting and raving about some bogus Russian threat to American “democracy.” But, this, too, shall pass. There is a deep objective, as well as historical, basis for broad Black opposition to U.S. imperial wars. We can expect the Obama era’s gross deformity in Black attitudes towards war and peace to be corrected once the artificial aura of “Blackness” is removed from the White House -- that is, when Black people no longer have strong emotional reasons to identify with U.S. State Power

On the domestic front, Obama deported more immigrants than any previous president, supplied military hardware to the police, backed an unprecedented expansion of electronic surveillance, and oversaw the greatest transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich in American history.

6--What constitutes "legitimate" president?


Perhaps the best example of a "legitimate" US President under imperialism is leaving office on January 20th. Barack Obama has consistently met all the criteria for what makes a President legitimate in the hearts and minds of the ruling class. Obama managed the crisis under terms that handsomely rewarded his capitalist masters. The "first Black President" worked diligently for Wall Street, transferring the most wealth to the top 1 percent from the rest of the population in US history. Obama achieved a new record for the most transfers of military weaponry to racist police forces that occupy Black American cities. He deployed US Special Forces to 70 percent of the world's nations, with a staggering 1600 percent increase in Special Operations Forces in Africa from 2006 until the present. These forces helped Obama drop over 26,000 bombs in 2016.

“Under Obama, imperialism's most egregious crimes found room to flourish.”

Obama was a gift to the imperialist system, which before his first term began was stuck in both political and economic turmoil.  Under Obama, imperialism's most egregious crimes found room to flourish. Not one banker was punished for the economic collapse of 2007-08. In fact, trillions of dollars were sent to Wall Street's coffers while working class and oppressed people were left with an economy dominated by low-wage and contract jobs. The real unemployment rate sits at 23 percent as millions of people have gone uncounted by official unemployment statisticians. But imperialism had plenty of opportunity over this time to spend trillions militarizing the Russian borderfunding and arming jihadists, and renovating the US nuclear arsenal

Under Obama, the ruling class won and the people lost big. Yet despite this development, popular protest was relatively small in size and duration. The Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements brought police terror, white supremacy, and inequality back into the political discourse, but were unable to develop a solid organizational and ideological basis from which to win material victories. The anti-war movement was completely suppressed, and the LGBTQ and women's movements were consumed under the Democratic Party umbrella. All of this can be traced back to the "legitimate" Presidency of Barack Obama. His rule ensured that radical and revolutionary political alternatives would have no breathing room under the weight of political symbolism and neo-liberal dogma.

“It appears that no amount of information will stop the Democrats’ push for Trump to abandon his rhetorical gestures of peace with Russia and continue the dangerous war against Russia that began under Obama.”
Obama popularized oppression and exploitation among a large section of the electorate for the majority of his Administration. Workers and oppressed people struggled in disorganized silence.  And even when popular protest ensued, few activists held Obama accountable for things like mass incarceration or the continued protection of the banks. The Obama period has been the highest expression of the Democratic Party's transformation into the War Party and the most legitimate party of imperialism. Trump's ascendancy has brought this reality out of the darkness and into the light.

The definition of a "legitimate" President is dependent on the lens of the inquirer. If one looks through the lens of the ruling class, a legitimate President manages the crisis of the imperialist system of exploitation under relative terms of social peace. The expectation is that working class and oppressed people will continue to validate this definition in the name of American Exceptionalism. However, there has never been a US President that has genuinely governed in the interests of humanity. The imperialist state is an organ of class rule. It is organized to protect the interests of the capitalist class and suppress the interests of the working class and oppressed. The coming period holds much potential for the further development of radical insurgency. The effort by the Obama camp of the ruling class to legitimize the Presidential seat is nothing but an attempt to stifle the insurgency.

7--As Obama Exits the White House, Never Forget His Destructive Imperialist Legacy


During his eight-year tenure as Commander in Chief, Barack Obama has bombed seven different countries. He has also executed countless drone attacks that have taken countless civilian lives in places like Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Barack Obama has ordered extrajudicial executions of American citizens throughout the globe, including one of a 15-year-old boy.  However as nefarious and destructive as his presidential legacy is, he continues to command the unconditional support of masses of mindless supporters....

During the last couple of years alone his administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. These bombs killed a great many innocent civilians.  Barack Obama even joked about the use of predator drones at a White House Correspondents Dinner.  This is beyond sadistic and twisted, yet in the backwards society of the US, people laugh along with the jokes, not once thinking about those whose lives were destroyed by way of those drone strikes. Many Americans are well trained, like programmable robots, not to feel any kind of emotion for those who have perished due to US military escapades.
Like many previous US presidents, Barack Obama has committed heinous human rights violations and war crimes. However, his actions are ignored or considered excusable. The media and his cultish supporters are responsible for this....

Those who protested the racist and xenophobic Trump, but not Obama or Clinton, are nothing more that disingenuous frauds and amoral cowards

8--Freedom Rider: Contradiction in the Time of Trump


That is why many progressives have shamed themselves into idolizing the CIA and NSA. Liberals now follow anyone who can help to fill the Democrats empty suits. The Democrats pile disgrace on top of disgrace and now attack Trump from the right with their Russian hacking hoax.
The truth is that Donald Trump won’t be able to keep the ship from sinking either. The system is in an active state of collapse. Perhaps Trump can rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic for a time but ultimately he will fail too. In that process the levels of confusion will increase and the contradictions will be more evident.

This is not the moment to prop up failure. It is the moment to name and abandon it once and for all. Progressives ought to kick the Democrats while they are down. There should be no more elections in which neo-liberalism and empire get support from the left. They must be rejected out of hand and progressives must demand what they claim to want. One side must step away from confusion and contradiction and work for true change


9--Obama’s Last Presidential Lies


“On his watch, no federal charges were brought against any killer cops.”
The First Black President acknowledged that many Americans are “convinced that their government only serves the interests of the powerful.” But, he didn’t take any of the blame, even though it was under his administration that Wall Street bankers were deemed “too big to jail,” or even to indict. In the same dishonest fashion, Obama declared on Tuesday that “We need to uphold laws against discrimination...and in our criminal justice system” -- when, on his watch, no federal charges were brought against any killer cops, except one who had already been indicted by local authorities.

Obama got downright cocky in defense of Obamacare, the rightwing Republican health program that Obama adopted as his own. The president said: “If anybody can put together a plan that is demonstrably better, I will support it.” But don’t bet any money on the letter and spirit of Obama’s promises on health care. Back in 2003, when Bruce Dixon and I asked him if he favored a single payer health care system, Obama answered that he favored “universal health care for all Americans” and intended to introduce or sponsor legislation toward that end.” He kept saying that for the next five years, until he was elected president, and then proceeded to isolate and crush supporters of single payer, to the delight of the insurance and drug industries, which no longer had to fear single payer. Obama is sneaky, that way..

Finally, Obama bragged that the U.S. has “taken out thousands of terrorists, including bin Laden.” What he didn’t say was that his administration presided over the jihadist takeovers of Libya and much of Syria and Iraq. The truth is that tens of thousands of jihadists have been trained, armed, financed and protected by the United States and its allies – not under Bush, but under Obama, making him fully responsible for the deaths of half a million people in those three countries, alone. Not to mention Obama’s other wars. But, I’ve run out of time. The good thing is, so has Obama.

10--Some Guidance on the Russia Question


“The conflict between Obama and Trump is really a conflict between competing factions of the capitalist class.”
Every action on the part of Washington during Obama's second term has indicated that the Ukraine-model is the Administration’s desired outcome for Russia. The Obama-Clinton camp of the ruling class views the current Russian state as a threat to US global hegemony. This explains why, even in the last days of its tenure, the Obama Administration has amplified the war narrative against Russia. The conflict between Obama and Trump is really a conflict between competing factions of the capitalist class. Trump believes that a peaceful relationship with Russia will benefit the profits of his capitalist partners, while Obama and his camp see a destabilized Russia as a boon for the banks and military contractors which have supported him so handsomely.

Vladimir Putin and the United Russia Party's rise to power in the 21st century ultimately broke US domination over Russia.”

11--Locating Fascism on the Home Map                         


The merciless downsizing of the American worker is a central element of Obama’s legacy.”

Barack Obama was a savior – of a drowning ruling class. Under his administration, Wall Street rose from near-death to new heights of speculative frenzy, awash in capital brutally extracted from the vanishing assets and past and future earnings of the vast majority of the population, or gifted in the form of trillions in free money at corporate-only Federal Reserve windows. The Big Casino, reduced to a rubble of its own contradictions in 2008, ushered in the New Year just shy of the once-fantastical 20,000 mark. Analysts credited Donald Trump’s victory for the bankers’ bacchanal, but it was Obama who made the party possible by overseeing the restructuring of the U.S. economy to accommodate and encourage the hyper-consolidation of capital -- another way to describe the deliberate deepening of economic (and political) inequality.

The merciless downsizing of the American worker is a central element of Obama’s legacy. Real wages had been frozen or declining for decades. However, economic restructuring in the Age of Obama demanded that millions of workers be crushed all the way through the floor to a lower level of hell: temporary, contract, not-really-a-job, part-time “gig” employment. If the 1930s squatter shanty-towns called “Hoovervilles” were testaments to President Herbert Hoover’s economic policies, then the maddeningly precarious, no guaranteed hours, no benefits, zero job security, fraction of a shift, arbitrarily scheduled employment of today should be called ObamaJobs. A new study by economists at Princeton and Harvard universities shows that an astounding 94 percent of the 10 million jobs created during the First Black President’s two terms in office were ObamaJobs. This sub-sector of employment increased by almost half under Obama, from 10.7% of the working population to 15.8%.

The structural lowering of the employment floor to a precariat sub-basement makes all workers more insecure and less able to bargain with the bosses.”

According to the study, one million fewer people are working under any kind of formal employment than before the Great Recession. The researchers also calculate that Obama’s claim of creating 15 million new jobs is off by 5 million.

Low income workers, especially females, were hurt worst under the ObamaJobs regime. But, the structural lowering of the employment floor to a precariat sub-basement makes all workers more insecure and less able to bargain with the bosses -- which is precisely what the new employment order is designed to do, and what Barack Obama intended. The President’s apologists claim Republican obstructionists prevented Obama from acting on his alleged progressive instincts. However, as frequent BAR contributor Pascal Robert points out, Obama “expended no political capital to push a jobs agenda at any time in his presidency.”...

Obama declared war on social spending before even taking the oath of office. In early January, 2009, he informed the editorial boards of the New York Times and the Washington Post that all “entitlements” would be “on the table” for cutting under his presidency, including Medicare and Social Security. Obama’s assault on FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s War on Poverty seemed to come from out of the blue; the battered Republicans were in no position to pressure anybody, and remembered how badly George Bush had been burned when he attempted to privatize Social Security, in his first term....

Barack Obama dared to push through Congress a bill authorizing the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens by the military, without trial or charge.”

When Donald Trump moves into the White House on January 20, he will be empowered to imprison whomever he chooses, without recourse to law as we know it, thanks to Barack Obama. Who, then, is the “fascist”?
President Obama’s greatest foreign policy challenge was to put the United States back on the global military offensive, following George Bush’s humiliation in Iraq. This required a new doctrine, to replace Bush’s discredited crusade to “spread democracy.” On March 17, 2011, Obama loosed his “humanitarian” military intervention doctrine on Libya, effectively negating centuries of international law and custom. As interpreted by Obama, national sovereignty and the inviolability of borders means nothing if the superpower, standing in for the planet, deems a government to be a threat to its own people -- even if crimes against humanity have not yet occurred. Absent the principle of sovereignty, international law ceases to exist.

Obama’s methodical nullification of international law is, itself, the gravest aggression and crime against peace. The U.S. and its NATO and Gulf Arab allies deployed massive air power and foreign and Libyan jihadists to destroy the Libyan state and its leader, Muammar Gaddafi, butchered thousands of his supporters, and ethnically cleansed Black Africans from much of the country.
“Obama’s methodical nullification of international law is, itself, the gravest aggression and crime against peace.”...

On a roll, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton moved thousands of jihadists to Syria, whose largest city, Aleppo, was captured by sectarian terrorists in 2012. From the moment Obama became the protector-in-chief of jihadists in Libya and Syria, virtually all the “news” about the wars in the region has been fake, false, lies. The now indisputable fact that the U.S. has, variously, armed, financed, shielded, transported, trained, directed and otherwise nurtured Islamic jihadists, including al-Qaida, is the truth that cannot be spoken on corporate media. If widely understood and internalized by the public, such a truth would shatter U.S. ruling structures. Therefore, it must be suppressed at all costs.

The sick superpower fends off the smell of death with a daily diet of lies: mainly about Russia and China and other states that refuse to buckle under to U.S. imperialism. The U.S. rulers’ biggest secret -- the one that requires many layers of lies to conceal -- is that the Lords of Capital see their demise as imminent and inevitable unless they somehow alter the general scope and direction of global economic development. The U.S. share of the world economy is inexorably shrinking -- which means, the only way the U.S. can sustain its superpower status is through lawless force of arms abroad, and a crackdown on dissent (truth-telling, or just being Black) at home.
If you are searching for the real meaning of fascism in the superpower under late stage capitalism, you will find it in the nexus between the presidencies of Obama and Trump

Obama’s fascism -- of the same brand as the Clintons’ -- is global-obsessed, because it needs to feed on the whole planet to survive. It’s a cosmopolitan, world-stealing Dracula, that cannot imagine life on Earth without itself in charge. It no longer indulges heavily in ideological justifications for its predations; whatever detracts from its hegemony is the enemy. Increasingly, it is engaged in a War Against All.  Most recently, it simultaneously attacked both Russia and Donald Trump’s apartheid branch of fascists.
One fascist is fond of race war. The other isn’t so picky.

12--Freedom Rider: Obama’s Propaganda Gift to Trump


Barack Obama’s establishment of a de facto Propaganda Department is a terrible blow to democracy.
On December 23, 2016 Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a federal law that is passed every year. NDAA authorizes defense appropriations but it is also used as a Trojan horse to hide attacks on civil liberties. In 2011 the NDAA authorized indefinite detention of anyone deemed a terrorism suspect. Tucked inside this year’s NDAA was the passage of the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act which establishes the little known or discussed Global Engagement Center.
The title seems benign enough until one reads its mission. “The purpose of the Center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.”
“Obama’s establishment of a de facto Propaganda Department is a terrible blow to democracy.”
In plain English, this act establishes an official propaganda arm of the United States government.

13--Delusions Shattered: How Democrats Lost Claims to a Moral High Ground by Ignoring Obama's Transformation Into Bush-- Where was the outrage during the Obama years?”


Eight years of warmongering by the Nobel Peace Prize winner has been met with eight years of silence by members of his party.”

When President Obama was sworn into office back in January 2009, and just a few months later agreed to " look forward" and disregard gross human rights violations committed by Bush officials (such as waterboarding, insect pits, solitary confinement, and more), they were quiet.
When President Obama oversaw the brutal force-feeding of untried prisoners at a detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, they said nothing.

When President Obama's mass-deportations of undocumented immigrants in the US outpaced deportations under his predecessor, they stayed silent. As the Nation reported, "To pay for the ballooning enforcement-first approach, the budget for immigration enforcement grew 300 percent from the resources given at the time of its founding under Bush to $18 billion annually, more than all other federal law-enforcement agencies' budget combined."...

When President Obama extended the US military occupation of Afghanistan until 2024, anti-war Democrats under George W. Bush were nowhere to be found.
When President Obama fabricated a reason to bomb oil-rich Libya in 2011, and then just a year later, reauthorized the US invasion of Iraq, they were voiceless, with the exception of a few scattered protests in the US, none of which came anywhere close to the size of those against the 2003 invasion of Iraq carried out by a Republican president.
"He's gone from first to worst."
When it was revealed that President Obama met weekly with his advisers for what was dubbed  “Terror Tuesday" to decide who was worthy of being picked off by US predator drones around the world -- and when it came to light that President Obama had a "kill list" and US citizens were on it, and were being killed, all without due process -- again, barely a peep....

the University of Michigan, who released the results of an analysis of antiwar activity and found that after Obama's election, "Democratic participation in antiwar activities plunged, falling from 37 percent in January 2009 to a low of 19 percent in November 2009." Unsurprisingly, they also discovered that "anti-Republican attitudes had a significant, positive effect on the likelihood that Democrats attended antiwar rallies." Moreover, polling data from early 2012 showed Democrats supporting the same policies they heavily opposed during the Bush years, like keeping Guantanamo Bay open and drone warfare.

Under a Democratic president, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan was continued, US boots hit the ground in Syria and Iraq, US bombs fell in Libya, US drones terrorized the skies over Pakistan and Yemen, America's nuclear arsenal was upgraded, and highly provocative military drills were conducted along the borders ofRussia and China. Eight years of warmongering by the Nobel Peace Prize winner has been met with eight years of silence by the very same members of his party who protested such activities under a president whose main difference was the political party he was affiliated with.
“Polling data from early 2012 showed Democrats supporting the same policies they heavily opposed during the Bush years.”...

As Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian wrote back in 2013, "Does anyone doubt that if Obama's bombs were killing nice white British teenagers or smiling blond Swiss infants -- rather than unnamed Yemenis, Pakistanis, Afghans and Somalis -- that the reaction to this sustained killing would be drastically different? Does anyone doubt that if his overhead buzzing drones were terrorizing Western European nations rather than predominantly Muslim ones, the horror of them would be much easier to grasp? Does it really take any debate to know that if the 16-year-old American suspiciously killed by the US government two weeks after killing his father had been Jimmy Martin in Sweden rather than Abdulrahman al-Awlaki in Yemen, the media interest and public outcry would be far more substantial?"

And let's not forget that Obama, like Bush before him, and certainly like Hillary Clinton after him had she won, offered support to regimes like Saudi Arabia , which are notorious for oppressing homosexuals and women

The idea that the Democratic Party is in any way, shape, or form entitled to the moral high ground over the equally horrific opposing party is a beyond ridiculous assertion without any basis in reality. To see crowds of people motivated to action by the loss of their party, protesting an archaic electoral college system that they would have likely accepted the results from had their candidate won, tests the limits of ones ability to empathize with their plight. Kill lists, defense of torture, mass surveillance, US citizens being picked off by drone missiles, the continued buildup of a vast empire -- none of it prompted thousands upon thousands of American Democrats to fill cities across the US in a fit of anger because at the time, their chosen political racehorse was in Washington.

If Hillary had won, the drone strikes would have continued. The wars would have continued. The spying would continue. Prohibition would continue. Whistleblowers would continue being prosecuted and hunted down. And minorities would continue bearing the brunt of these policies, both in the US and across the world. The difference is that in such a scenario, Democrats, if the last eight years are any indication, would remain silent -- as they did under Obama -- offering bare minimum concern and vilifying anyone attacking their beloved president as some sort of hater. Cities across the US would remain free of protests, and for another 4-8 years, Democrats would continue doing absolutely nothing to end the same horrifying policies now promoted by a Republican.

Trump's victory, if there is anything good to say about it, will at least breathe much needed life into an antiwar sentiment that has been largely dormant since Bush left office. Issues like drone strikes, torture, military occupations, mass surveillance, and other hot button subjects once protested by Democratic partisans during the Bush era will again -- hopefully -- be criticized and fought against. Yet the shame about it all is that this time, those unaffiliated with either of the two major parties -- those who have been focused on these issues while Democrats have offered pathetic excuses and baseless justifications in defense of them -- won't make the mistake of thinking Democrats will stick around for the fight if they win office again in the next election

14--Dems shift to the "dark side"


The bill to fund intelligence agencies that passed the House on November 30 established “an executive branch interagency committee to counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence over peoples and governments...through front groups, covert broadcasting, media manipulation, disinformation or forgeries, funding agents of influence, incitement, offensive counterintelligence, assassinations, or terrorist acts.” Every category listed, except assassinations and terror, is actually a code word for political speech that can, and will, be used to target those engaged in “undermining faith in American democracy” -- such as Black Agenda Report and other left publications defamed as “fake news” outlets by the Washington Post. The bill passed overwhelmingly, with only six Republicans and 24 Democrats voting “nay.” Of these dissenting lawmakers, only five are Black: Barbara Lee (CA), Karen Bass (CA), John Conyers (MI), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ), and Yvette Clarke (NY).
Yes, the Democratic Party has been a wondrous vehicle for integration of Black America into the mainstream – of fascism.
When Wall Street’s “core values” are threatened, civil liberties go out the window.”

15--Freedom Rider: Syria, Russia and American Desperation


“Blaming Russia continues the propaganda war against a country that will not knuckle under and accept American hegemony.”
It is no coincidence that anti-Russian propaganda is being ramped up at the same moment the Syrian government is poised to retake its country from terrorists. Barack Obama and the rest of the war party are left to sputter nonsensical statements because their grand plan to realize the neocon Project for a New American Century is in very big trouble.

The Syrian government is determined to take back its country and the Americans and their allies are equally determined to thwart it. The recent successes of the Syrian army explain part of the desperation coming from Obama, the Democratic Party and corporate media. Blaming Russia kills several birds with one stone. It continues the propaganda war against a country that will not knuckle under and accept American hegemony. The hyper Russophobia was also an attempt to make the unpalatable and incompetent Hillary Clinton more appealing. And its continuation is being used by Democrats and Republicans to stop the incoming president from having any chance to improve relations with that country or curtail the regime change doctrine. The war party never sleeps.

16--“Russia possesses little interest in undermining a political process that is already thoroughly corrupt.”


Danny Haiphong is an Asian activist and political analyst in the Boston area. He can be reached at wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Clinton's loss revealed a deep crisis of legitimacy for the Democratic Party, as millions of voters decided not to huddle alongside the corporate sponsors of her big tent.
This fact has been covered under a blanket of lies about Russia's involvement in rigging the US elections and peddling "fake news" to undermine the so-called democratic process in the US. The reality is that Russia possesses little interest in undermining a political process that is already thoroughly corrupt. ...

For over three decades, global capitalism has sought expansion through its usual means of intensifying the rate of exploitation. This has led to a mad race to develop high-tech means of production, which have replaced a significant portion of necessary labor in the United States. The resultant rise in the cost of production (or the organic composition of capital) and the significant drop in wages over this period has precipitated a slowdown in economic growth.
Technological growth has both increased productivity and engulfed the system into a permanent crisis of joblessness and overproduction. The system is dragging along because workers are so poor and overworked that only financial instruments of debt can temporarily ease the burden of survival. However, these debt instruments have exacerbated the crisis of overproduction...

Traditional means of alleviating economic crisis have been exhausted...

“The system is dragging along because workers are so poor and overworked that only financial instruments of debt can temporarily ease the burden of survival.”
Imperialist war historically served two purposes: to expand capitalism's market share and to preserve the political dominance of the capitalist state around the world. However, the combination of internal economic crisis and external popular resistance has given way to further stagnation. Imperialist have offered nothing but destruction since the stagnation of capitalism began over three decades ago. Their primary purpose remains to clear the way for capitalist expansion. However, the conditions of war can no longer fulfill this purpose. Iraq, Libya, and Ukraine are but a few examples of how US-led warfare transforms prosperous nations into landfills of chaos...

There will be some who mourn the decline and death of US imperialism, but not revolutionaries. Revolutionaries will seize the time. The Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements have only been a taste of the resistance to come. Another economic collapse looms on the horizon. There is a stirring among the masses, a growing despair that must develop into a revolutionary rage. US imperialism's dead-end has already created the conditions for such a rage to materialize. It is the task of revolutionaries to build a movement capable of turning this rage into revolutionary organization

17-- Black Fear in the Age of Trump


Black Americans were lost and politically helpless before Election Day in 2016. Having a black Democrat in the presidency hid a multitude of sins. As a group we have lost jobs, the little wealth we had, and literally our lives and freedom from the police state. Donald Trump’s election just made what was already true crystal clear.
The victory of a Republican is always cause for some degree of panic among black people. They are, after all, the white people’s party and their ascension creates anxiety among us.

Donald Trump’s appeal to white nationalism has certainly upped the ante. The people who hold onto the feckless Democrats with a vice-like death grip now believe they have nowhere to turn. The Democrats’ allegiance to neo-liberal deal making instead of meeting the needs of the rank and file resulted in a presidential defeat and Republican control of both houses of Congress. They long ago conceded fighting for control of state legislatures. The result is that the Republicans hold all the electoral cards....

It is interesting that there has been no revolt against the Democratic Party and their coterie of black misleaders after this political debacle. Black people came to believe that not only were we supposed to give the Democrats carte blanche but, like domestic violence victims, we had to keep quiet about our humiliation too. Now we are alternately afraid, angry and confused because we still think we must censor ourselves about our bad political decision making.

18--“Corporate media gatekeepers determine which stories are labeled fake news dependent upon which stories serve US foreign and domestic interests and which stories expose US corruption.”


There is a growing public recognition that a conflict of interest exists between corporate media investigating government since these two groups are inextricably linked by class and economic interests.”


19--Shoot the messenger? The Russians are willing to broadcast the factual news the USA’s intelligence agency co-opted media mouth-pieces will not.


A bill before Congress could be used to target “any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration.“ All they have to do is claim it is being “manipulated” by the Russians. But, Moscow doesn’t have to lie to counter a lawless U.S. foreign policy. “The Russians only need to stick to the facts (omitting the pipeline) to ultimately win the propaganda war.”

The Russian method? It could not be more simple; report the actual facts in the geopolitical contest and when this is inconvenient, practice lies by omission. Here is an example: Both NATO (an extension of the USA) and Russia are contesting Syria over competing energy pipelines, primarily. One from Iran transiting Syria, favored by Russia; the other from Qatar transiting Syria, favored by NATO......

there are so many NATO lies (and lies to cover lies) in the co-opted western media, the Russians only need to stick to the facts (omitting the pipeline) to ultimately win the propaganda war. What’s more is, Russia further only need stand back and allow western dissident journalists to dig up the real facts on the ground:
1. NATO’s “moderate” rebels are aligned with al-Qaida…………….. ✓
2. NATO policy created the conditions for the rise of IS…………… ✓
3. Western ally Saudi Arabia bankrolls the Salafist extremists……. ✓
4. NATO member Turkey has protected & supplied IS……………..

Western press propagandizing Americans
How much of the USA’s propaganda budget is actually aimed at Americans?
The newest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on the American public, reports Michael Hastings of BuzzFeed.
The amendment — proposed by Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and passed in the House last Friday afternoon — would effectively nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion
Huh. And yeah, that was made into law

...

U.S. is Lying Aggressor in Syria...

The United States has no right to interfere in the affairs of other countries, period, said BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley, speaking to a gathering of the Hands Off Syria Coalition, last week. The U.S. carries out regime change under the guise of “humanitarian” intervention to “protect” people from their own government, but “the claim is always a lie, a ruse to make real the Project for a New American Century,” said Kimberley, who is also active with UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “The United States never has a humanitarian purpose in mind, in Syria or anyplace else -- any more so than it does here at home.”



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