Obama

“Words Matter.”

By Jamilah Hoffman

 
That’s what Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania said as the 79-year old Pullman car stopped in Philadelphia. Obama’s whistle-stop train tour has been full of words, historical comparisons and over-the-top patriotism. From retracing the tracks that Abraham Lincoln travelled 150 years ago to his own inauguration, to taking the oath of office on Lincoln’s personal bible, and then afterwards, sitting down to enjoy some of Lincoln’s favorite foods; this has been the photo op to top all photo ops. It all seems to be a bit, well, much. But at the same time, there is a real need for the ruling class in this country to rally as many people as they can under their flag. With troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan and an economic crisis growing, it’s important for them to not just maintain control of the people, but to have active participants upholding their program.
 

 

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Closing Gitmo is not Enough! We Need to Hold Those Responsible for the War of Terror Accountable!

By Kenneth J. Theisen

 
Closing Gitmo as “part of our broader National Security Strategy”
 
Guantanámo Bay, or Gitmo, has come to represent some of the worst aspects of the Bush Regime. Barack Obama plans to order the closing of the” war OF terror” prison on his first full day in office, according to two unnamed Obama transition officials who briefed reporters. It is expected that Obama will issue an executive order closing the hellhole at Gitmo and suspending the Bush administration's military commissions system for trying detainees held there. Under the Military Commission’s Act (MCA), a kangaroo system of justice was established by the Bush regime that virtually guaranteed that those tried by military tribunals would be convicted. Gitmo currently incarcerates 248 prisoners of the war of terror initiated by the U.S. after the 9/11 attacks. Less than ten percent of these have been charged, including five accused of organizing the attacks on 9/11/01.
 
On January 11th in an interview aired on ABC's "This Week", Obama stated, “I don't want to be ambiguous about this. We are going to close Guantanámo and we are going to make sure that the procedures we set up are ones that abide by our constitution. That is not only the right thing to do but it actually has to be part of our broader national security strategy because we will send a message to the world that we are serious about our values." But he also stated that closing Gitmo, “is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize." Obama is not closing Gitmo because of his humanitarian nature, but rather because it is imperative to the needs of U.S. imperialism. It is part of the “national security strategy,” as Obama admits.
 
Closing Gitmo to advance U.S. imperialist leadership
 
Obama and his incoming administration realize that Gitmo has become a liability to U.S. domination of the world. Richard Holbrooke, a top-ranking former American diplomat and presidential campaign advisor to Hillary Clinton (the incoming Secretary of State) summed up the problem of Gitmo in an article in Foreign Affairs (“The Next President: Mastering a Daunting Agenda,” Sept/Oct. 2008 http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20080901faessay87501/richard-holbrooke/the-next-president.html)
 

 

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Team Obama and Israel – Fact Sheet:

 

During Israel’s bombardment, invasion, and massacre of Gaza, Barack Obama has remained infamously silent, sticking to his stock phrase, “There is only one president at a time.” And to those who hold out hope that, once in office, the Obama administration will stop the suffering in Gaza or change U.S. policy on Israel, consider the following:
 
President –Elect Barack Obama: 
 
*Gave his first major speech after accepting the Democratic nomination to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). “I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security,” Obama promised during the June 4 address. “That starts with ensuring Israel's qualitative military advantage. I will ensure that Israel can defend itself from any threat — from Gaza to Tehran.”
 
*Brags on his Web site that he co-sponsored a resolution endorsing Israel’s 2006 attack on Lebanon. Indeed he did. Among other things, Senate Resolution 534, introduced by Sen. Bill Frist (R) “urges the President to continue fully supporting Israel as Israel exercises its right of self-defense in Lebanon and Gaza.” The result of this so-called “self-defense” was roughly 1000 dead Lebanese civilians, an estimated 1/3 of whom—according to Human Rights Watch— were women and children.
 

 

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This is change?

Obama gives Number 2 job at Pentagon to Raytheon lobbyist!

 
Kenneth J. Theisen

Barack Obama, who during his campaign promised to lessen the influence of lobbyists in Washington, chose William J. Lynn III as his deputy secretary of defense at the Pentagon. Lynn just happens to be a senior vice president in charge of lobbying with Raytheon. Raytheon in turn just happens to have billions of dollars in Pentagon contracts and is the maker of the Army’s Patriot Missile system and the Navy Tomahawk missile. Raytheon is also developing a global positioning satellite communication system for the Air Force. Lynn’s new post would involve him in the process of budgeting and acquisitions.

In just the first three months of 2008, Lynn’s Raytheon lobbying team spent at least $1.15 million to influence issues regarding missiles, sensors and radar, advanced technology programs and intelligence funding.
 
During his campaign in November 2007 Obama stated, “I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.” Of course that is when he needed your votes.
 
Now Obama is about to take office. Of course we do not need to fear any lobbyists being in charge of the Pentagon. It isn’t as if the Pentagon does favors for the war industries. And we all know the Pentagon would never give out contracts to any of it buddies in the private sector. Just ask people like Dick Cheney. Halliburton got all those contracts during the Bush regime because it was the best company for the job. Sure a few hundred billion seemed to have been wasted by the Department of Defense, but what is a few bucks between friends.
 
I am sure glad Obama is an agent of change. Otherwise I would think he lied just to get elected. But I know that is not a possibility, right? The more things change, the more they remain the same keeps popping up in my head. I wonder why.

 

A New Year Message to Barack Obama: Free the Guantánamo Uighurs

By Andy Worthington

As Barack Obama arrives in Washington D.C. to prepare for office, Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, hopes to put the plight of the Uighurs — innocent men held at Guantánamo in what appears to be a state of perpetual limbo — at the top of the in-tray marked “homeland security.” Without a just resolution, Obama’s pledge to close Guantánamo may be impossible to fulfill.
 
The omens have never been good for the 17 Uighurs in Guantánamo, even though they have justice on their side. Refugees from Chinese oppression who had sought shelter in Afghanistan, only to be captured and sold to US forces as “terror suspects,” the 17 men were the first Guantánamo prisoners to be cleared of being “enemy combatants,” after an appeals court demolished the supposed evidence against one of the men in June, and the government abandoned its claims against the other 16.
 

 

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To the Anti-war Movement in the United States:

Download PDF Flier

“That which you do not resist and mobilize to stop you will learn – or be forced – to accept.”
From the Call to Drive out the Bush Regime, 2005

Barack Obama is sending a surge of 20,000 troops to Afghanistan.

An antiwar movement that does not move immediately to oppose the Obama doctrine of shifting the central front of the war on terror to Afghanistan, no longer deserves to be called an anti-war movement.

Millions of people voted for Obama because they thought he would end the war. Yet Obama filled his cabinet with Hillary “Obliterate Iran” Clinton, Robert Gates, James Jones and Susan Rice (“a kettle of hawks,” said Jeremy Scahill).

He is not only continuing an unjust war by leaving 80,000 troops and 17 permanent bases in Iraq, and all over the region, including nuclear carrier-led task forces with enough firepower to "annihilate" any country in the region, but Obama is enlisting many progressive sections of society to support and be complicit in waging a spreading war for U.S. hegemony and imperialist expansion known as the “war on terror.”

The election of the first Black president is effectively re-branding preemptive and illegal wars of aggression to make us feel good about them. Massive anti-war sentiment and action is already being transformed into flag-waving patriotism, passivity and capitulation in the face of horrors.

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NAPOLITANO TO HEAD HOMELAND SECURITY

By Larry Jones

President-elect Barack Obama has appointed Governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano to head the Department of Homeland altSecurity (DHS).  This is bad news for immigrants, and anyone who opposes the relentless assaults upon immigrants that have been taking place along the U.S. Mexico border and in virtually every state of this country. Remember that the issue of immigration was painstakingly avoided by both Obama and John McCain throughout their campaigns.  Now Obama turns to a politician usually described as a “centrist” and a “consensus builder” on the question of immigration, documented and undocumented. Her way of building “consensus” on the question of undocumented immigration is to begin a speech to a skeptical audience by asking “Who here favors illegal immigration? Nobody? O.K., we’ve got a consensus on an issue that nobody is supposed to agree on. Let’s go from here.” In other words, Napolitano’s starting point for building “consensus” is establishing agreement on the need to intensify government assaults on impoverished people seeking work in this country.

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Law Professors At Northwestern, Houston: Obama Has Duty to Go After War Criminals

By Anthony D'Amato and Jordan J. Paust
 
(This article originally appeared in the Chicago Sun Times)
 
Some on President-elect Barack Obama's team wonder whether he will have the duty to prosecute or extradite persons who are reasonably accused of having committed and abetted war crimes or crimes against humanity during the Bush administration's admitted "program" of "coercive interrogation" and secret detention that was part of a "common, unifying" plan to deny protections under the Geneva Conventions.
 
The short answer is "yes."

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Core Values?

By Cindy Sheehan
 alt
"Everybody likes to dance to a happy tune" -Weezer


After President-Elect, Barack Obama, officially appointed Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State, he had this to say: "Senator Clinton shares my core values." Really? I thought that the two dueling Senators had diametrically opposing "Core values." Isn't that why most of the US anti-war movement supported Obama over Clinton? Wasn't Obama the so-called "Anti-War Candidate?" I am amazed that there is no outcry from the "US anti-war movement" over Obama's foreign policy team that includes Robert Gates who will remain as Obama's Secretary of Defense. I don't care how any Democratic shill wants to spin this one; it's not spinnable if one really cares about peace and security.

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Barack Obama's Kettle of Hawks

by Jeremy Scahill
 
"The assembly of Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, Susan Rice and Joe Biden is a kettle of hawks with a proven track record of support for the Iraq war, militaristic interventionism, neoliberal economic policies and a worldview consistent with the foreign policy arch that stretches from George HW Bush's time in office to the present."
 
The absence of a solid anti-war voice on Obama's national security team means that US foreign policy isn't going to change.


Barack Obama has assembled a team of rivals to implement his foreign policy. But while pundits and journalists speculate endlessly on the potential for drama with Hillary Clinton at the state department and Bill Clinton's network of shady funders, the real rivalry that will play out goes virtually unmentioned. The main battles will not be between Obama's staff, but rather against those who actually want a change in US foreign policy, not just a staff change in the war room.

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Obama's Foreign Policy Team Appointments

By Dennis Loo

Max Boot, former McCain campaign staffer and neocon leader, echoing Karl Rove's praise for Obama's appointments: "I am gobsmacked by these appointments, most of which could just as easily have come from a President McCain," Boot wrote. The appointment of General Jones and the retention of Gates at defence "all but puts an end to the 16-month timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, the unconditional summits with dictators and other foolishness that once emanated from the Obama campaign."

This is an excerpt from Jeremy Scahill's "Barack Obama's Kettle of Hawks," posted today at truthout.org. Well worth reading.

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.