Obama Legacy


Summary of the page I created for Facebook:

Today, Obama was replaced by [whom I call "Donald Duck"] Trump, an admittedly crazy, unstable, corporate owned loose cannon. But Obama, as elegant and well-spoken as he was [and our first black leader: Yay!], was no gift to the USA. Let's review his legacy:

In 2016 alone he dropped 26,171 bombs on seven nations.

US Special Operations forces are in a record 135 of 195 countries — an 80% increase over the last five years.

Obama sold more weapons than any other US president since World War II, selling over $200 billion between 2008 to 2015. Arms sales to Saudi Arabia alone ballooned to $115 billion.

Obama promised a new era of “nuclear sanity” but instead he kicked off a new arms race pushing Russia to upgrade the offensive capabilities of Russian nuclear missiles and began a mammoth program to “modernize” the US nuclear arsenal.

Obama normalized robotic killings through the drone program. Every Tuesday Obama authorized drone killings, that often-included civilians near the target, resulting in wedding parties, funerals and other public events being bombed. Up to 8,000 people have been killed by drones since 2004, including US citizens.

In addition, Obama pioneered a new form of warfare, missile-armed drones, high-tech weapons that promise a world of no-casualty-conflict (for the American military and the CIA), and adds up to a permanent global killing machine, regularly crossing borders, infringing on national sovereignty throughout the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa, to assassinate anyone the president and his colleagues decide needs to die.

Assassination, previously an illegal act, has become the heart and soul of Washington’s way of life and of a way of war that only seems to spread conflict further.

Under cover of Christmas, Obama established a controversial Anti-Propaganda Agency. He signed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law—-and buried within the $619 billion military budget is a controversial provision that establishing the Global Engagement Center under the State Department which coordinates efforts to "recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United Sates national security interests." [There goes our freedom of the press]

Obama extended the global reach of US Special Operations death squads. In major actions reported only briefly by the establishment press, President Obama gave vast new scope to the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) [the president’s “private assassination squad”], authorizing it to carry out assassinations across the globe, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES ITSELF.

The Gulf of Mexico has become a dumping ground for offshore fracking waste. The Obama administration approved more than 1,200 offshore fracks in 630 different wells in the Gulf from 2010 to 2014. The fracking took place off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — with no public involvement.

Obama charged and convicted whistle blowers with the little used espionage act from the era of Woodrow Wilson, basically nullifying the First Amendment.

Obama further greow the horrific mass incarceration industry. Using wars on drugs as a pretext they have locked up 2 million people, now more numerous than Stalin's gulag.

Obama expanded secret wars in African initiating a new and lightweight style of warfare and beginning the next phase of American military imperialism.

Trump's views on immigrants and Muslims are grotesque, yet the deporter-in-chief of vulnerable people from America is not Trump but Obama, whose betrayal of people of colour is his legacy. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency under Obama expelled 1.5 million immigrants.

Obama, while touting his efforts to hold banks accountable, invented new legal ways to let criminal banks avoid consequences, like removing requirements for taxpayer-guaranteed mortgage insurance. One of HUD’s series of steps by federal agencies to eliminate real-world consequences for serial financial felons.

Obama backstabbed the Kurds to appease Turkey. The Kurdish militias (YPG, PKK) have been Washington’s most effective weapon in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But the Obama administration sold out the Kurds in order to strengthen ties with Turkey and gain access to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base.

Obama initiated a secret terrorist-tracking system: Of the 680,000 people caught up in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database—-a watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” that is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private [military] contractors, and foreign governments—-more than 40 percent are described by the government as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.”

Global warming President Obama presided over a Drill-Baby-Drill America: He increased oil production on U.S. territory in every way imaginable. Obama now brags about rising U.S. oil output and touts his efforts to further boost production, global warming be damned!

To give him his due, however, as Chris Hedges pointed out: "Obama is not in charge. Politicians are the public face of corporate power. They are corporate employees. Their personal narratives, their promises, their rhetoric, and their idiosyncrasies are meaningless."


Obama singing Amazing Grace

Obama's Legacy

Today, Obama was replaced by Trump, an admittedly crazy, unstable personality. But Obama, as elegant and well-spoken as he was [and our first black leader: Yay!], was no gift to the USA. Let's review his legacy:

According to Craig Murray [an author, broadcaster and human rights activist], "Obama was a severe disappointment to all progressive thinkers in virtually every possible way. He now goes out of power with absolutely no grace and in a storm of delusion and deceit. His purpose is apparently to weaken Trump politically, but to achieve that at the expense of heightening tensions with Russia to Cold War levels, is shameful."

In 2016, Commander-in-Chief Obama dropped 26,171 bombs on seven nations.

US Special Operations forces are in a record 135 of 195 countries — an 80% increase over the last five years.

Obama sold more weapons than any other US president since World War II, selling over $200 billion between 2008 to 2015. Arms sales to Saudi Arabia alone ballooned to $115 billion.

Saudi Arabia used those weapons in a brutal two-year bombing campaign against Yemen. Obama sent special operations forces to assist in that war, which has seen over 10,000 killed, 2.2 million displaced and nearly half a million children on the brink of famine.

Obama promised a new era of “nuclear sanity” but instead he put up missile defense shields in Europe, which Russia knew could be turned into missile offense, that kicked off a new arms race pushing Russia to upgrade the offensive capabilities of Russian nuclear missiles and deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad.

In 2014, Obama began a mammoth program to “modernize” the US nuclear arsenal – one trillion dollars over the next 30 years. That means the US will spend roughly $4 million on nukes every hour for three decades.

Obama normalized robotic killings through the drone program. Every Tuesday Obama authorized drone killings, that often-included civilians near the target, resulting in wedding parties, funerals and other public events being bombed. Up to 8,000 people have been killed by drones since 2004, including US citizens... Obama’s decency: he gloated, during a 2012 meeting with aides discussing drone policy: “Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was a strong suit of mine.”

Obama escalated militarism, e.g. the record funding to Israel and increased support of Saudi Arabia.

Under Cover of Christmas, Obama Established a Controversial Anti-Propaganda Agency. In the final hours before the Christmas holiday weekend, U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday quietly signed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law—and buried within the $619 billion military budget (pdf) is a controversial provision that establishes a national anti-propaganda center that critics warn could be dangerous for press freedoms.

The Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act, introduced by Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, establishes the Global Engagement Center under the State Department which coordinates efforts to "recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United Sates national security interests."

Obama extended the global reach of US Special Operations death squads. In major actions reported only briefly by the establishment press, President Obama gave vast new scope to the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), authorizing it to carry out assassinations across the globe.

The mandate of the new formation, to be called the “Counter-External Operations Task Force,” or Ex-Ops in Pentagon jargon, will embrace the entire planet. This means US military death squads could be sent to virtually any location, from European cities to South American jungles, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES ITSELF.

The Gulf of Mexico remains a dumping ground for offshore fracking waste? The Obama administration approved more than 1,200 offshore fracks in 630 different wells in the Gulf from 2010 to 2014. The fracking took place off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — with no public involvement or site-specific tests done beforehand to evaluate the environmental impact.

WikiLeaks revealed that Citigroup chose Obama’s 2008 cabinet. One month before the presidential election of 2008, the giant Wall Street bank Citigroup submitted to the Obama campaign a list of its preferred candidates for cabinet positions in an Obama administration. This list corresponds almost exactly to the eventual composition of Barack Obama’s cabinet.

Barack Obama, the guy who entered the Oval Office pledging to work toward “a nuclear-free world.” Almost two terms in the Oval Office later, our peace president, the only one who has ever called for nuclear “abolition” – and whose administration has retired fewer weapons in our nuclear arsenal than any other in the post-Cold War era – is now presiding over the early stages of a trillion-dollar modernization of that very arsenal.

President Obama has personally helped pioneer a new form of warfare that will not long remain a largely American possession. It involves missile-armed drones, high-tech weapons that promise a world of no-casualty-conflict (for the American military and the CIA), and adds up to a permanent global killing machine for taking out terror leaders, “lieutenants,” and “militants.” Well beyond official American war zones, U.S. drones regularly cross borders, infringing on national sovereignty throughout the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa, to assassinate anyone the president and his colleagues decide needs to die, American citizen or otherwise (plus, of course, anyone who happens to be in the vicinity).

The president is now not just commander-in-chief but assassin-in-chief, a role that no imaginable future president is likely to reject. Assassination, previously an illegal act, has become the heart and soul of Washington’s way of life and of a way of war that only seems to spread conflict further.

Who's the Fascist? Barack Obama charges and convicts whistle blowers with the little used espionage act from the era of Woodrow Wilson.

Every president since the 1980s has grown the horrific mass incarceration industry. Using wars on drugs as a pretext they have locked up 2 million people, half of whom are black. No one comes into office with any intention of undoing America’s leadership as the world’s worst jailer.

U.S. Expands Secret Wars In Africa... The secret expansion of U.S. military bases and special operations in Africa has initiated a new and lightweight style of warfare and welcomes the next phase of American military imperialism. Unlike the highly publicized U.S. military “pivot to Asia,” the proliferation of drones, special ops, mercenary spies, classified bases, proxy fighters and cyber warfare constitute what the journalist Nick Turse calls a “new light-footprint Obama doctrine”

On any day, elite U.S. forces conduct covert missions in an estimated 70 to 90 countries. According to Turse, special forces have been sent to an unprecedented 147 countries — 75 percent of the world’s nations last year alone. This is a 145 percent increase from the rate of operations conducted under the Bush administration.

JSOC — a clandestine organization that carries out kill/capture missions. JSOC has been called “an almost industrial-scale counterterrorism killing machine” by counterinsurgency advisor John Nagl and many have described it as the president’s “private assassination squad.” The group reports directly to the White House. It is the military’s secret military.

Trump's views on immigrants and Muslims are grotesque, yet the deporter-in-chief of vulnerable people from America is not Trump but Obama, whose betrayal of people of colour is his legacy: such as the warehousing of a mostly black prison population, now more numerous than Stalin's gulag.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency under Obama has... expelled 1.5 million immigrants.

Obama Administration Found New Ways to Let Criminal Banks Avoid Consequences. The Department of Housing and Urban Development quietly removed a key clause in its requirements for taxpayer-guaranteed mortgage insurance in order to spare two banks recently convicted of federal crimes from being frozen out of the lucrative market... HUD’s action is the latest in a series of steps by federal agencies to eliminate real-world consequences for serial financial felons, even as the Obama administration has touted its efforts to hold banks accountable.

Betrayal: Obama Backstabbed the Kurds to Appease Turkey. The Kurdish militias (YPG, PKK) have been Washington’s most effective weapon in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But the Obama administration sold out the Kurds in order to strengthen ties with Turkey and gain access to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base.

Obama's Escalating War on Freedom of the Press. "The part of the First Amendment that prohibits "abridging the freedom ... of the press" is now up against the wall, as the Obama administration continues to assault the kind of journalism that can expose government secrets... Last Friday the administration got what it wanted -- an ice-cold chilling effect -- from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled on the case of New York Times reporter James Risen. The court "delivered a blow to investigative journalism in America by ruling that reporters have no First Amendment protection that would safeguard the confidentiality of their sources in the event of a criminal trial," the Guardian reported... The Executive Branch fought for that ruling -- and is now celebrating.

Obama's Secret Terrorist-Tracking System: Of the 680,000 people caught up in the government’s Terrorist Screening Database—-a watchlist of “known or suspected terrorists” that is shared with local law enforcement agencies, private [military] contractors, and foreign governments—-more than 40 percent are described by the government as having “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.” That category—280,000 people—dwarfs the number of watchlisted people suspected of ties to al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah combined... the Obama Administration has presided over an unprecedented expansion of the terrorist screening system.

Global Warming President Presides Over Drill-Baby-Drill America: The Obama administration is on course to increase oil production on U.S. territory in every way imaginable. Obama now brags about rising U.S. oil output and touts his efforts to further boost production...

Here are some of the other measures recently taken by the administration to boost domestic oil production, according to a recent White House factsheet:

*An increase in the sales of leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands. In 2013, the Bureau of Land Management held 30 such sales -- the most in a decade -- offering 5.7 million acres for lease by industry.

*An increase in the speed with which permits are being issued for actual drilling on federal lands. What’s called “processing time” has, the White House boasts, been cut from 228 days in 2012 to 194 days in 2013.

*The opening up of an additional 59 million acres for oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of a disastrous BP oil spill in April 2010.

In other words, global warming be damned!

Chris Hedges [in my opinion the best journalist in the world] summed it up in his book The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress. NY: Truthdig, 2013: "And while Romney was... exposed as a shallow hypocrite, Obama is in a class by himself. There is hardly a campaign promise from 2008 that Obama has not broken. This list includes his pledges to support the public option in health care, close Guantanamo, raise the minimum wage, regulate Wall Street, support labor unions in their struggles with employers, reform the Patriot Act, negotiate an equitable peace between the Israelies and the Palestinians, curb our imperial expansion in the Middle East, stop torture, protect reproductive rights, carry out a comprehensive immigration reform, cut the deficit by half, create 5 million new energy jobs, and halt home foreclosures... as president he would fight for the right of collective bargaining... promis[ed] to defend Social Security"

"Obama's assault on civil liberties outpaced that of George W. Bush. The refusal to restore habeas corpus, the use of the Authorization to Use Military Force Act to justify the assassination of U.S. citizens, the passing of the FISA Amendments Act to monitor and eavesdrop on tens of millions of citizens without a warrant, the employment of the Espionage Act six times to threaten whistle-blowers inside the government with prison time... give you a hint of the shackles the Democrats, as well as the Republicans, intend to place on all those who contemplate dissent."

"Obama is not in charge. Romney would not be in charge. Politicians are the public face of corporate power. They are corporate employees. Their personal narratives, their promises, their rhetoric, and their idiosyncrasies are meaningless."

All of the above was taken from news stories, spelled out in detail, with links, dates, and authors, in Obama, a file I kept on him while he was in office. From the beginning, I feared he was too good to be true.

The Issue Is Not Trump, It's Us By John Pilger [an Australian journalist based since 1962 in the United Kingdom. Pilger has been a strong critic of American, Australian and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist agenda.] January 16, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "teleSur"

One of the persistent strands in U.S. political life is a cultish extremism that approaches fascism. This was given expression and reinforced during the two terms of Barack Obama. "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being," said Obama, who expanded the United States' favorite military pastime: bombing and death squads ("special operations") as no other president has done since the Cold War.

Following the public relations disaster of George W. Bush, Obama, the smooth operator from Chicago via Harvard, was enlisted to restore what he calls "leadership" throughout the world. The Nobel prize committee's decision was part of this: the kind of cloying reverse racism that beatified the man for no reason other than he was attractive to liberal sensibilities and, of course, U.S. power, if not to the children he kills in impoverished, mostly Muslim countries.

This is the Call of Obama. It is not unlike a dog whistle: inaudible to most, irresistible to the besotted and boneheaded, especially "liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics," as Luciana Bohne put it. "When Obama walks into a room," gushed George Clooney, "you want to follow him somewhere, anywhere."

The seeds of 21st-century fascism were planted, fertilized and watered by the Obama administration and the politically bankrupt liberal elite."

The seedbed is Obama's Weimar Republic, a landscape of endemic poverty, militarized police and barbaric prisons, the consequence of a "market" extremism which, under his presidency, prompted the transfer of US$14 trillion in public money to criminal enterprises in Wall Street.

Perhaps his greatest "legacy" is the co-option and disorientation of any real opposition.

The obsession with Trump is a cover for many of those calling themselves "left/liberal," as if to claim political decency. They are not "left," neither are they especially "liberal." Much of the United States' aggression towards the rest of humanity has come from so-called liberal democratic administrations such as Obama's.