Monday, January 20, 2014

President Obama is the New Face of American Imperialism

During his first presidential campaign, Obama represented hope and change. However, once he was elected, he became just another president. He became the new face of the American Imperial Empire. On his watch, U.S. imperialism and militarism have expanded. America has extended its tentacles into more countries around the globe. On his watch, America has unleashed drones like a plague of death upon innocent men, women and children. On his watch, Big Brother has continued to collect massive amounts of private data on millions of innocent of Americans.

The Nation reports:
In the waning days of the Bush presidency, Special Operations forces were reportedly deployed in about sixty countries around the world. By 2010, that number had swelled to seventy-five, according to Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post. In 2011, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told TomDispatch that the total would reach 120. Today, that figure has risen higher still.

In 2013, elite US forces were deployed in 134 countries around the globe, according to Major Matthew Robert Bockholt of SOCOM Public Affairs. This 123 percent increase during the Obama years demonstrates how, in addition to conventional wars and a CIA drone campaign, public diplomacy and extensive electronic spying, the US has engaged in still another significant and growing form of overseas power projection. Conducted largely in the shadows by America’s most elite troops, the vast majority of these missions take place far from prying eyes, media scrutiny, or any type of outside oversight, increasing the chances of unforeseen blowback and catastrophic consequences.

Although elected in 2008 by many who saw him as an antiwar candidate, President Obama has proved to be a decidedly hawkish commander-in-chief whose policies have already produced notable instances of what in CIA trade-speak has long been called blowback. While the Obama administration oversaw a US withdrawal from Iraq (negotiated by his predecessor), as well as a drawdown of US forces in Afghanistan (after a major military surge in that country), the president has presided over a ramping up of the US military presence in Africa, a reinvigoration of efforts in Latin America, and tough talk about a rebalancing or “pivot to Asia” (even if it has amounted to little as of yet).

The White House has also overseen an exponential expansion of America’s drone war. While President Bush launched fifty-one such strikes, President Obama has presided over 330, according to research by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Last year, alone, the US also engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Recent revelations from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden have demonstrated the tremendous breadth and global reach of US electronic surveillance during the Obama years. And deep in the shadows, Special Operations forces are now annually deployed to more than double the number of nations as at the end of Bush’s tenure. (Emphasis added)
In foreign affairs, it does not matter who is president. Whether the President is "progressive" or conservative, the war machine continues to march to the drum beat of corporate interests. Whether the President is a Democrat or Republican, the war machine continues to march to the drum beat of AIPAC. In fact, instead of being the actual driver of the machine, the President is merely a part of the machine.

Sadly, the people who should be speaking out are not speaking out. Instead, they are selling out. They have bartered their principles for access to power. As a matter of fact, they have become apologists and excuse makers for kill lists, war and NSA surveillance. They have become guardians and attack dogs for the power elite. Instead of continuing Dr. King's legacy of speaking out against militarism, they have become surrogates for the Obama Administration. They have been reduced to civil rights re-enactors and pseudo journalists. We can no longer wait for the so-called leaders to act. We must act. We must organize.

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