Monday, June 20, 2011

Obama returns Nobel Peace Prize

President Obama announced today that he's returning the Nobel Peace Prize. "It's just not fair for me to have this thing," the President said. "There's no way around the fact that our drone strikes end up killing civilians and now I have Dennis suing me for the Libya response. And for the record, that operation is not a war. It's a kinetic military action."

In related news, accused war criminal Henry Kissinger has decided to turn himself in. "I'm sick of carrying this guilt," the former Secretary of State said on Sunday. 


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Obama vs. his lawyers on illegal Libya war

Charlie Savage reports that two lawyers on Obama's legal team disagreed with him and "believed that the United States military’s activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to 'hostilities.'"

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War Is Not The Answer - Vote Obama 2012

Obama's maintaining operations in Iraq, he expanded not only the campaign in Afghanistan but also the drone strikes in Pakistan that only make headlines on Al Jazeera. He slid those killing machines over to Yemen and now Kucinich (who apparently has nothing to lose) is suing him over the illegal war in Libya. Obama just really digs warfare and the curtailing of civil liberties that go along with that policy. His recent renewal of the PATRIOT Act highlights the difference between the Bush and Obama police states: progressives hate Republican police states. All of this makes me miss the days of Ashcroft and Gonzales, those villains! Yes, our Nobel laureate is one stellar politician who maintains a base of cult members driving around town with "War Is Not The Answer" stuck to their bumper right next to "Hope And Change" while their man is embedded in five wars.

Yesterday's drone attack in Yemen:
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Friday, June 17, 2011

speaking of Tricky Dick...

Bush ordered the CIA to spy on Juan Cole.

This reminds me of J. Edgar Hoover's spying on John Lennon & Martin Luther King.  Except that at least Lennon & MLK were celebrities who could influence people!  It's astonishing that the Bush White House would obsess about an obscure blogger with no fame; you'd think they had bigger fish to fry. -Andy K.



Saturday, June 11, 2011

if Nixon were alive today

"Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life.  ... He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me–which forced his resignation facing impeachment–are now legal." - Daniel Ellsberg.
 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Libya vs. Bahrain

Tuesday at the White House, President Obama justified the illegal war in Libya by repeating the U.S. claim that our actions are "protecting the Libyan people from potential slaughter." Some slaughters are justifiable in the eyes of the U.S. government of course. Conventional wisdom places those our forces commit and those committed by our allies in a special category. The Bahrain monarchy's assault on Shiite pro-democracy protestors is one recent example of this double standard.

On the very same day Obama defended NATO's "humanitarian" intervention in Libya, he held a meeting at the White House with Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa - the Crown Prince of Bahrain. Bahraini troops recently attacked protesters in several villages. The monarch just lifted the country's three-month long emergency rule on June 1st and two days ago 23 doctors and 24 nurses who treated wounded anti-government protestors were charged "with attempting to topple the kingdom's monarchy." Human rights groups have pointed out that our close ally's move against the medical workers violates the Geneva Convention. Democracy Now! reported that the official White House statement regarding the meeting with the Crown Prince unsurprisingly failed to mention the government's recent harsh crackdown. Bahrain also happens to be the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.






Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Obama's war on whistleblowers

In a sane society, an individual who exposes fraud and illegality within a government agency would be made a hero. Perhaps a parade would be thrown or a film penned by Aaron Sorkin chronicling the whistleblower's courageous endeavors would win an Oscar.

We of course do not live in such a world. We reside in the upside down world of Bush-Obama continuity where the exposure of illegal spy programs result in immunity for the masterminds and their telecommunications accomplices. Prosecutions are reserved for the pesky whistleblowers. 

Jane Mayer's piece for The New Yorker on Thomas Drake, former National Security Agency analyst being prosecuted by the Obama Department of Justice for leaking classified information about the N.S.A. to the Baltimore Sun, shows the Obama administration's attack on whistleblowers to be unprecedented.    

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

cluster bombs

Yesterday CNN reported that Libya's using cluster bombs on civilians even though many nations have outlawed the weapon. What the network didn't point out is that the U.S. uses these very same weapons in Afghanistan, but that would probably just confuse the propaganda machine.

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Gaddafi's use of cluster bombs is inhumane. In the hands of the U.S. the bombs are "legitimate weapons that provide a vital military capability."


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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Barack Obama is the most pro-war president in living memory (video)

 Stop The War Coalition video:

BP oil spill - one year later

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Obama's base

Last week Obama coincided his re-election campaign kick-off with the announcement that 9-11 suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would not be tried in a U.S. court after all. Instead he's set to be tried in a Bush style military court at Guantanamo. Obama's choice to make both announcements on the same day has highlighted the Democratic Party's strategy of betraying its base to score political points, knowing that the progressive voter will support them no matter what. Glenn Greenwald has a post regarding this unhealthy relationship between Obama and his base in which he points out how effectively the Democrats have utilized fear of the GOP and the Tea Party to achieve unconditional loyalty from its grassroots supporters.

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Progressives have an addiction to partisan politics that is deep seated and hard to kick. It is an addiction visible even in some of the most hard hitting criticism leveled at Obama from the left. Over and over again I read passionate tirades lambasting Obama's continued assault on constitutional liberties and his policy of endless warfare only to be completely negated by concluding with a pledge to vote for the lesser evil anyway. The message to Obama becomes clear: no need to take the left's outrage seriously because they have no where else to go. Meanwhile, Obama moves further and further to the right.

This brings me to the almost universal misreading of the election of 2000. After being shunned from the corporate run presidential debates and mainstream media, Ralph Nader was able to receive 6% of the vote, a victory that should have built upon in 2004. What better way to push the Democrats to the left than to force them to actually work for progressive voters' support? Instead the left largely swallowed the line from the Democratic operatives and professional gas bags like Eric Alterman that voting for a third party opposition is the equivalent to voting for Bush. 

Here we are in 2011 and Nader is still regarded as a pariah by liberals blaming him for Bush's "win." Nevertheless, in many ways the former community organizer from Chicago is showing us what Bush's third term might have looked like.        

Cornel West on Obama

Over the weekend Cornel West referred to Obama as "another black mascot" of "Wall Street oligarchs." Well put.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Obama and the torture of Private Bradley Manning

Ever since day one, the Obama administration has kept the US torture machine intact: no charges against the Bush era masterminds, business as usual at Bagram, more extraordinary renditions, and a predictable flip-flop on the promise to close Guantanamo which continues to hold hundreds of prisoners charged with no crimes.

The President's claim on Friday that the treatment of Pfc. Bradley Manning, which includes 23 hour per day solitary confinement and forced nudity, is "appropriate" and is "meeting our basic standards" is unsurprising. In a very Bush-esque moment, Obama explained he was confident that Manning's not being mistreated because the Pentagon told him so. Manning, who has languished in military detention for months, is suspected of passing on classified documents to WikiLeaks including information on Obama's secret bombing of Yemen.

Earlier last week, State department spokesman, P.J. Crowley called Manning's treatment "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid." Crowley was fired on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh is still calling Obama a Marxist.