Skip to main content

Dear outraged liberals: Trump’s just taking over where Obama left off

As an unprecedented wave of outrage swells against the Trump administration, Mnar Muhawesh, host of ‘Behind the Headline,’ wonders why people weren’t more outraged with Obama’s policies on mass surveillance, whistleblowers, and war.

by Mnar Muhawesh

Remember our former commander in chief — Barack Obama? Well he’s on vacation. After eight years in the Oval Office, he’s decided to unwind with billionaire Richard Branson. His recent kitesurfing adventure seems to be the only news item competing with President Trump’s “Muslim ban” and the opposition to it and the contentious confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Education secretary.

Attention is turning to Obama’s post-presidency antics as we move further into the Trump administration.

The weekend that Trump took the oath of office, this country saw the largest political mobilization in U.S. history. And with each passing day of his presidency many Americans are growing increasingly outraged by the actions of the real estate mogul-turned reality TV-star-turned commander in chief.

And while the Democratic Party and the establishment left mourn Obama’s exit from the White House, they’re warning that we’ve entered a period of fascism in U.S. history. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets in protest. They’re also mobilizing online and over the phone in a swell of engagement and outrage that seems unprecedented in recent memory.

And to a certain point their outrage is justified: Our president is a man who campaigned on a platform of bigotry.

He drove racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and xenophobia into the mainstream, railing against political correctness and bringing into stark contrast the deep divisions among us.

Trump is waging war on the media and issuing orders that put a blanket ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries — nations that have been a target of U.S. imperialism and destabilization for more than 30 years. These orders are illegal, unconstitutional, and, frankly, morally reprehensible.

He could even breach international law if the U.S. Embassy in Israel is moved from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem, as he recently gave the green light for Israel to do so.

Trump has put Iran “on notice” — whatever that means — for an attack on the U.S. Navy which the Islamic Republic never committed. This has driven the United States into the closest military confrontation with Iran since 1979.

Millions of people gathered around the world in Women’s March protests the day after the inauguration. But as these protests swelled, one perhaps couldn’t help but wonder why there wasn’t any mobilization even remotely on this scale in the previous eight years during Obama’s presidency.

Perhaps it’s not too late to remind those who blindly followed the former “commander in cool,” who stamped each of his authoritarian policies with the platitudes of “Hope” and “Change,” of just how Trump’s new policies wouldn’t be possible without the full dictator’s toolkit that Obama and the Democratic Party prepared for him.

It was Obama who dropped more than 26,000 bombs on foreign soil — and that was just in 2016. It was Obama who destabilized and destroyed the very countries these victims of war are fleeing. And it was Obama who simultaneously approved arms sales to terror groups and dictatorships while expanding the war on terror.

It was Obama who expanded Bush’s drone war — a practically invisible war in which thousands of people have been killed without trial. Worse yet, many of those killed in drone strikes in countries like Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and Afghanistan, have been civilians whose only “crime” was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was Obama who gave Israel a record rate of $6 billion in military aid, more than any other administration in US history, emboldening the apartheid colony.

It was Obama who waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers. During Obama’s presidency there were eight prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act — that’s more than double those under all previous administrations combined.

It was Obama who continued to expand executive powers — including the ability to declare war unilaterally, meaning a president wouldn’t need congressional approval– that had already been dramatically expanded under the George W. Bush administration.

It was Obama who expanded Bush’s surveillance state right up until the very end.

Obama’s use of a secret court system, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, allowed his administration to ignore a federal court ruling that found bulk surveillance illegal. This ended up granting the National Security Agency the power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans.

With all the outrage over Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” and other policies, it seems logical that there would have been a similar blow back when Obama created the conditions for the death and destruction which refugees now hope to flee. Yet the same people calling executive overreach under Bush suddenly got quiet when Obama the Democrat came into office. But now that a Republican or Trump is behind the wheel of this enormous vehicle of practically unlimited power, those once quiet voices are rising up again.

Rather than reflecting on these and other horrendous acts perpetrated by the Obama administration, however, much of the Democratic and liberal bases are looking back on the Obama administration as “the good old days.” They and many others are demonstrating, en masse, against the powers that Donald Trump now has access to, ignoring the fact that not only did Obama himself use those powers, in many ways, his administration created and expanded them for the next successor.

The role of the independent press during times of great political upheaval is to wade through the chaos in order to provide the public with hard-hitting truths that transcend party lines.

Because the truth is, it doesn’t’ matter if a Republican or Democrat is in office — the policies from both parties look the same.

But we can’t begin to fight against the looming attacks against our civil liberties and the human rights of people everywhere — not just in the United States — without first acknowledging the crimes of previous administrations –Republican or Democrat — and the powers that they expanded for their successors.

If there’s going to be any genuine resistance to the Trump administration, then we have to be prepared for what tools he now has available, thanks largely to the former Democratic and Republican administrations before him, especially Obama.

With large swathes of America ready to protest, it’s time for the real anti-war movement to seize on that momentum and push for real change that actually creates conditions for a more peaceful world. It’s time to empty out the dictator’s toolbox and dismantle the system that’s brought us to this point. To “Hope” and “Change,” we say: Your move.

Source:


Related:






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why the US rushed to propagate the 'naval mine' scenario to explain recent attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman

globinfo freexchange

The incident of the recent attack against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman elevated the heat between the US and Iran. Naturally, the attack also produced some level of turmoil in the oil global market.

Trump's hostile attitude against Iran was clearly evident even before his election. His totally unjustifiable and completely incomprehensible action to kill the Iran nuclear deal, destroyed any remnants of US reliability. Consequently, even the US Western allies refused to follow this evidently counterproductive strategy.

Under these circumstances and given the endless history of US manufactured incidents used to justify the start of another war, most people rightfully thought that this has been just another false flag operation.

And it makes sense actually. Why the hell Iran would attempt to blow up its relations with Japan in the midst of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visit in the country? Only the US empire would have reasons to do it in order to force one of its…

Confirmed: the US empire seeks to 'clear' the path for the invasion of Iran

globinfo freexchange

Sometimes it's quite surprising how fast some estimations appear to be confirmed.

Only four days ago, we wrote that the US imperialists know that an all-out war with Iran would equal a suicide. The goal is probably a 'surgical' invasion on the south shores of the country that would last just as long as to permit the US and allies to control the Strait of Hormuz, and therefore, the global oil market. The first step towards such an operation would be the mine-clearing of the strait.

This probably explains why the Western media insisted to circulate the scenario of the 'naval mine'. They want to drag Western leaderships behind US in an operation to clear the mines in the Strait of Hormuz, in the name of global energy security.

Well, we were quite close actually. Three days later, the US leadership attempted a broader global alignment - including rival countries like China - towards the protection of "freedom of navigation in the region". …

Όσοι περνάν των χώρα της απόγνωσης παθαίνουν αμνησία ...

globinfo freexchange
Δανειστήκαμε αυτή τη φράση από ένα παλιό κομμάτι της Ελληνικής ροκ μπάντας "Τρύπες", για να περιγράψουμε με λίγα λόγια αυτό που φαίνεται να έχει πάθει η Ελληνική κοινωνία. 
Πώς είναι δυνατόν μια ολόκληρη κοινωνία να έχει ξεχάσει ποιοι τη χρεοκόπησαν; Ποιοι έστησαν το άθλιο σύστημα των κρατικοδίαιτων 'ημέτερων' και της οικογενειοκρατίας; Ποιοι έσωσαν τις τράπεζες με πακτωλό δισεκατομμυρίων σε βάρος της μεσαίας τάξης; Ποιοι έκαναν τη μίζα και το ρουσφέτι επάγγελμα; Πώς είναι δυνατόν αυτή η κοινωνία να ετοιμάζεται να ξαναφέρει στην εξουσία ένα κομμάτι αυτού του άθλιου πολιτικού κατεστημένου, με την επιστροφή μάλιστα του αμετανόητα νεοφιλελεύθερου Κυριάκου Μητσοτάκη και της ομάδας του;  
Η απόγνωση που έφεραν εννέα χρόνια βάρβαρων νεοφιλελεύθερων πολιτικών και σκληρής λιτότητας και που ανάγκασε τη χώρα να διαβεί τον εφιαλτικό μονόδρομο της μόνιμης χρεοκοπίας, πρέπει να έπαιξε σημαντικό ρόλο. 
Διότι ως γνωστόν, η απελπισία λίγο απέχει από τ…

The 'Julian Assange' index: another evidence that Elizabeth Warren is establishment's last resort

 globinfo freexchange

We should be grateful to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for uncovering the ruthless and ugly face of the establishment. For the exposure of the biggest war crimes by the US empire in the Iraq war. For the exposure of the dirty war by the DNC against Bernie Sanders, and many more.
But even now, being in this extremely hard situation because of the absolutely inhuman treatment by this imperialistic crypto-fascist regime, Assange remarkably becomes the cause that forces more masks to fall.

Therefore, the 'Julian Assange' index can even help us identify the real and the fake progressives.

As The Interceptreported:
The Justice Department filed 17 charges against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange on Thursday, deploying the controversial Espionage Act as a cudgel against First Amendment protections and press freedom. It’s the first time the U.S. government has used the Espionage Act to prosecute a publisher, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

[..…

Brussels bureaufascists are ready to replace Alexis Tsipras with their most faithful puppet in Greece

globinfo freexchange
The latest European election in Greece was a real shock for the government. Alexis Tsipras and his party SYRIZA took the second place and suffered a heavy defeat with almost 10 points behind the right-wing New Democracy. Tsipras was forced to declare national elections on July 7th and it seems that blog's predictions are about to become true.

As we wrote already in 2016, right after the internal elections for the new leadership in New Democracy:
The result for the leadership of the main opposition party, New Democracy, in Greece after Sunday's elections, must had brought waves of relief to the Brussels-Berlin axis. Brussels bureaufascists and Berlin directorate have now the best "backup" alternative in case that Tsipras administration attempt to diverge from the catastrophic policies imposed by the European Financial Dictatorship (EFD).
The new leader of New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is probably the ideal alternative solution. The man that co…

Το σύστημα της διαπλοκής παίζει τα ρέστα του, αλλά ο Τσίπρας δεν φαίνεται να βάζει μυαλό ...

failed evolution
Η εικόνα αρχίζει σιγά-σιγά να γίνεται όλο και πιο ξεκάθαρη. Όσο πλησιάζουμε προς την ημέρα των εθνικών εκλογών το σύστημα της διαπλοκής παίζει τα ρέστα του. Τα ιδιωτικά κανάλια των ολιγαρχών συνεχίζουν την προπαγάνδα και σε συνδυασμό με την Τρόικα εσωτερικού και εξωτερικού προωθούν 'με τα χίλια' το νεοφιλελεύθερο οδοστρωτήρα, Κυριάκο Μητσοτάκη.

Η απόπειρα σαμποτάζ ξεκίνησε από ένα κομμάτι της Τρόικας εσωτερικού, προκειμένου να δημιουργήσει σύγχυση και επιπλέον αγανάκτηση στους πολίτες μέσω του ευαίσθητου τομέα της υγείας. Προς το παρόν, η συγκεκριμένη φράξια της Τρόικας εσωτερικού αποφάσισε την αναστολή των κινητοποιήσεων, μετά τις αντιδράσεις που προκάλεσε το εκβιαστικό lock out με την υπογραφή του Γιώργου Πατούλη, σύμφωνα με το οποίο απαιτούσε από τους ασφαλισμένους να καταβάλλουν το 85% του κόστους των εξετάσεων. Φαίνεται ότι το σαμποτάζ δεν είχε πολύ μεγάλη επιτυχία.  
Στη συνέχεια είχαμε τις καταγγελίες Αγγελή, ο οποίος εμφανίστηκε 'όλως τ…

Έρχεται ο νεοφιλελεύθερος "οδοστρωτήρας" Κούλης που θα ισοπεδώσει τους εργαζόμενους

globinfo freexchange
«Επταήμερο εργασίας. Όχι ο εκβιασμός που γίνεται από τους ελέγχους εδώ πέρα, όχι εξαήμερο, επταήμερο! Απαιτούμε να γίνει πιο εύκολο, πιο ευέλικτο το θέμα των 7 ημερών και όχι να επικρέμεται η σπάθη των προστίμων», απαίτησε ο "ευγενής" επιχειρηματίας από τον Κυριάκο Μητσοτάκη που επισκέφτηκε την Κω. 
Δηλαδή, το "αφεντικό" δεν θέλει να έχει κανένα έλεγχο πάνω από το κεφάλι του και να κάνει ότι γουστάρει με τους εργαζόμενους. Αν μπορεί δηλαδή να τους βάζει να δουλεύουν και δωδεκάωρα (όπως πέρασε με νόμο στην Αυστρία η συντηρητική δεξιά) και να τους δίνει ένα ξεροκόμματο, ίσα-ίσα για να μπορούν να δουλεύουν.  Θεωρεί τον έλεγχο, δηλαδή αν τηρείται με λίγα λόγια η εργασιακή νομοθεσία, "εκβιασμό". Καταλάβατε νοοτροπία; 
Προσέξτε το ύφος του: το "αφεντικό" με θράσος απαιτεί, χτυπώντας σχεδόν το χέρι στο τραπέζι, να μπορεί ουσιαστικά να εφαρμόζει συνθήκες σύγχρονης δουλείας, όχι μόνο χωρίς καμία επίπτωση, αλλά ούτε καν ενόχληση.  

The prosecution of Julian Assange is an attack on our Freedom of Speech

The Intercept
The Trump Department of Justice has openly declared war on the First Amendment. And the case they have chosen to pave the way for criminally prosecuting journalists and publishers is that of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act. It is the first time since the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was enshrined in law, that the government is criminally charging a publisher for publishing truthful information.
This indictment centers around the exposure of war crimes committed by the forces of the most powerful nation on Earth. It is about publishing documents that laid bare the blackmail, the backroom deals, the threats, the lies of the U.S. government in nations across the world. It is retaliation against an organization that presented to the world video evidence of a U.S. helicopter gunship massacre on Iraqi civilians and two Reuters news journalists. 
This prosecution is revenge for publishing documents on the U.S. kill campaign in Iraq and Afgha…

Masks fall at last: Bernie officially declares war on corporate Dems who seek to survive around Warren

globinfo freexchange

On early June, Politico published an article which actually unfolded, in plain sight, the plans of the corporate branch of the Democratic party to stop Bernie Sanders.
As we wrote back then:

This is an amazingly straight admission by the establishment apparatus, concerning a certain strategy as part of the whole anti-Sanders operation. And it is also clear that Elizabeth Warren is establishment's key player around this strategy.

Perhaps it's not accidental that this article was published right after Elizabeth Warren signaled to the establishment that she will 'play by the rules' at least on some issues, through her neocon-style statement on Julian Assange.

Only a couple of weeks later, Politico revealed Warren's upgraded role in the anti-Sanders operation. According to a new article, "Centrists who once said the senator would lead the party to ruin are coming around to her as an alternative to Bernie Sanders." It seems almost certain …

Οι λούμπεν μικροαστοί είναι έτοιμοι να επιλέξουν τον δήμιο τους που αποτελεί και την καλύτερη εφεδρεία για τους γραφειοφασίστες των Βρυξελλών

του system failure
Το πρόσφατο αποτέλεσμα των ευρωεκλογών δείχνει ότι το νεοφιλελεύθερο ιερατείο Βρυξελλών/Βερολίνου θεωρεί ότι έφτασε η ώρα να αντικατασταθεί ο Αλέξης Τσίπρας με την καλύτερη εφεδρεία του: τον Κυριάκο Μητσοτάκη. 
Πράγματι, οι προβλέψεις φαίνεται να επαληθεύονται εντυπωσιακά. Όπως είχαμε αναφέρει σε προηγούμενο άρθρο ήδη από το 2016 και αμέσως μετά την εκλογή Μητσοτάκη στην ηγεσία της ΝΔ, τα αποτελέσματα των εκλογών στη ΝΔ λύνουν τα χέρια του άξονα Βρυξελλών-Βερολίνου. Οι γραφειοφασίστες των Βρυξελλών και το διευθυντήριο του Βερολίνου έχουν τώρα μια πρώτης τάξεως εφεδρεία σε περίπτωση που τα πράγματα "στραβώσουν" με την σημερινή κυβέρνηση.  
Ήδη, η κυβέρνηση ΣΥΡΙΖΑ έδωσε κάποια μικρά σημάδια ανυπακοής ενάντια στη λιτότητα που επιβάλλει το ιερατείο, ρέποντας 'επικίνδυνα' προς μια πιο φιλολαϊκή πολιτική. Δεν είναι τυχαίο φυσικά ότι τα πρώτα αυτά σημάδια άρχισαν να γίνονται ορατά μόλις η χώρα βγήκε από το πρόγραμμα επιτήρησης που επέβαλε η Τρό…