Christopher Green compares Obama with MLK – and also shares his thoughts on the cover-up over Benghazigate…
Christopher Green compares Obama with MLK – and also shares his thoughts on the cover-up over Benghazigate…
21st Century Wire
Jan 23, 2013
It seemed to live up to all the pundits’ expectations.
The Second Inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama was broadcast in the genre of an American version of the royal coronation, a Hollywood-style, stage-managed ceremony which, in the final analysis, provided a unique, albeit somewhat dark insight into the ever evolving sectarian nation that is the United States of America.
His tone was sanguine – reinforcing his cult of personality.
For most Americans watching, this was an opportunity to forget about the blood sport of cross-party politics to enjoy what veteran Tom Brokaw described as, ‘A chance to see America at its best’, or something to that effect. The biggest topic of conversation in the media was the First Lady’s unique choice hair style, and of course her dress. But that is to be expected. Later the event transformed into a pop concert, as the artist called Beyonce sang national anthems one and two. That was also to be expected.
Most importantly however, is how the President would use this latest spotlight event. One could not help but get the feeling from Obama’s acceptance speech that this is a President who is ready to place political gamesmanship, and his celebrity image – above substance and integrity. The Democratic Party often accuses the Republican tribe of being ‘out of touch’ with the pulse of modern America – and perhaps accurately so, but what has become ultimately clear after observing how this White House manages its media output is that the Democrats have become completely dependent on the President’s media image as celebrity-in-chief. He looks and sounds ‘progressive’, but in reality, he is leading a nation through a period of regression.
Beyond the clever NLP-fashioned rhetoric and calculated references to pastiches of genuine social movements in history, the President delivered a clear and more than palpable tone of communitarianism, socialism and collectivism. These themes were obvious.
Obama called loudly for “collective action”, as he paid tribute to the gods of global warming, with climate change being one of the greatest challenges he should meet in his second term. The do this, he brings God into the frame:
“Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms… That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
-President Barack Obama,
Second Inaugural Address, 21 January 2013
Although his faithful following do not like to admit it, Obama has built his first term by carefully avoiding taking any responsibility, and blaming continued US imperial expansion on an inheritance from his predecessor. He has gone to great pains to carefully keep himself out of the firing line on foreign policy – so skillfully that it would make even the great Tony Blair envious. And this is without even mentioning what is arguably America’s single biggest black mark history and an embarrassment in the eyes of the global village, Guantanamo.
A Nation in Receivership to the Banking Elite
Just as each speech melts into the one before it, few will even care to remember the President declaring at the end of 2011, “”There’s no doubt that 2012 will bring even more change. And as we head into the New Year, I’m hopeful that we have what it takes to face that change and come out even stronger – to grow our economy, create more jobs, and strengthen the middle class.”
On paper, the United States is bankrupt. More trillions have been added to the national debt during the Obama tenure. There are no new jobs and the Federal government cannot ‘create’ them. In 2013, with no more spin left to apply, media pundits have all but caved in, calling this the Great Recession.
Few will care to remember that it was their President – Barack Obama, who left is campaign trail in 2008 along with his partner in crime John McCain, to lobby Congress and Senate to pass the first and most highly destructive banker bailout – a blank check for the men from Wall Street who backed him from the beginning. It was at this rather tragic moment when intelligent commentators realised who really ran the government in Washington DC. Sadly, this revelation was lost on most of the highly paid media heroes residing in New York and Atlanta.
Stunning Hypocrisy Overseas
Nor does the party faithful care much anymore about the proliferation of drone strikes carrying out extrajudicial killings of other brown people in far off lands that most Americans cannot even locate on a map. Foreign lives are worth less than American lives, or so we have been taught by the gods of DC over the last decade. It should come as no surprise then, that his silence was deafening as the Israeli bombs rained down on the people of Gaza.
Silence from the party faithful, and from the Republican crowd also, as the President chose to ally our nation with hired terrorists in the form of al Qaeda mercenaries in Libya and in Syria, and remain so shamelessly unapologetic to the American people about this unholy alliance.
In 2013, more US troops are now dying from suicide than on the field of battle.
And even fewer are at all concerned about America’s increased military presence in Africa, as President Obama rolls out AFRICOM directives there. Will anyone shed a tear for the thousands, or millions of African civilians who are likely to die over the next decade as a result of US and NATO designs on their beautiful continent? Ironic, that it would be America’s first ‘black’ President who would take our nation down that dark path.
Who would also have thought that it would be Obama who would embrace the Executive Order with such vigour, and in a way which makes the previous administration look transparent, timid, and even constitutional.
The signs are worrying that America is being led towards not just a more socialist, but collectivist society. In addition, this President appears to be pushing the country closer towards a number of highly unpopular United Nations treaties, all of which threaten to water down what is left of America’s democratic traditions, and in case of the UN’s international regulations on the private ownership of fire arms, undermine the US Constitution. This is the direction the President is taking the country.
A nation divided, with it economy crumbling and its sovereignty eroding.
A President who served eight years, and delivered nothing but speeches.
If this administration do not radically change course, this will be the Obama White House’s true legacy.
This is what freedom and democracy is about under Barack Obama, as real black artists are silenced for not sticking to the party line, and criticizing the Party Leader (sound familiar?) Watch…
That pretty much sums up where America is at in 2013.
Watching Obama high-fiving children at his gun control legislation ceremony should raise the question: is this use of children at media events an exhibition of what many see as Washington’s new trend of ‘political child porn’? Christopher Green thinks so…
21st Century Wire
Was Iraq an ‘oil war? Probably in 50 years time, academics but not many other persons will still be talking about the subject.
For plenty of historians, journalists, writers, paywrights and movie makers there is no problem at all: since the 1991 Liberation of Kuwait, the 9/11 atrocities in the US, the creation of ‘al Qaeda’ and the global war on terror, the Afghan war, the second Iraq war, and the overthrow and killing of Khadafi, we have had a succession of Oil Wars, either directly caused or promoted by the US and Great Britain. This is always denied, of course.
But 5 years ago – in 2008 – it would have been wildly controversial, or just plain wild to suggest that the US will soon stop being an oil importer: it will be oil self-sufficient. This year, US Dept of Energy and oil industry forecasters say that national oil production will rise at least another 7%, like it did last year, reaching about 11.4 million barrels a day at the end of 2013 – rivalling Saudi and Russian oil output, or even exceeding their output.
By 2020 or soon after it is logical and feasible to predict the US will become entirely self-sufficient for oil and a substantial exporter of natural gas – helped by its continuing near-flatline profile of domestic oil and energy demand, with 2007 still remaining a highwater mark.
Why would the US want oil wars in the Middle East, when it is oil self-sufficient? Is heavy US military presence in the Persian (or Arab) Gulf region a “protection service” it runs for the Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, South Koreans, Indians and any other major oil importer?
The idea of a global oil security protection service – designed by the US and applied by the US and for the moment, still free of charge – surely crops up, ever more frequently, in US political and strategic thinking. President Obama’s very recent announcement of a “zero military option” for Afghanistan – the complete removal of all US fighting forces perhaps this year – is basically a cost/benefit decision. The economic bottom line from staying in Afghanistan, despite the rumors of rare earths, gas, gold and high value buddhist prayer wheel trinkets in simply massive quantities, is negative. Also, no other major Western power wants to pay for the Afghan war. Ergo, the war is terminated.
IRAN WAR – ANOTHER COLLATERAL VICTIM
Despite the rabid tubthumping by Benyamin Netanyahu, and his supporters, lobbyists, activists and others, in Israel, the US, Europe and elsewhere beating the drum of Iran War, this is a failing theme and meme. To be sure, it is regularly recycled in the media by journalists short of supposedly “lurid” copy – because it would concern nuclear war – but the numbers simply do not add. Iran has plenty of oil reserves, certainly, it could produce more, probably, but who exactly needs radioactive crude oil? Iran war would be expensive, oh gosh yes, because the large and highly populated country would need military occupation on a long-term basis. Call it Afghanistan multiplied by 50 or Iraq times 10. Dreams that Iran’s “huge oil reserves” could one day, quite soon, bolster America’s failing reserves and output of oil are now as outdated as a bakelite telephone with a metal dial.
Much digital ink was spilled over the decade of about 1997-2007 on the theme that Peak Oil means Iran’s oil will be “vital to humanity”, that is Wal Mart shoppers and their ilk. Conversely, the oil and gas boom in the US, now subtitled “fracking”, was almost ignored until only the last 3 years. To be sure, a fuzzily defined lobby, including Lady Gaga, Yoko Ono, diehard global warmers and environmentalists say that fracking is close to Satanic, or in Yoko Ono’s gurgling prose “a death camp technology”, but the drilling goes on. Today, there is no longer any space or time for talking about whether or not it will lead to US energy independence: the US overtook Russia to become the world’s biggest natural gas producing nation in 2012, and by about 2014 can be the world’s biggest oil producer. Period.
The curious impacts and ramifications of this massive, unexpected and almost instant energy revolution are still hard to trace, and its results are hard to predict. One is however easy to predict: US Cow Boy Colonialism – or self elected world cop policing of the planet – is now as outdated as that Cold War era bakelite telephone for calling Krutschev’s translator to chat about mutually assured destruction. Another is easy to see and follow at this moment in time: Syria’s civil war and its outcome are of little interest to the US, today. The war’s spillover potential to the Gulf Petro-states with their curious blend of Islamic fundamentalism, dictatorial repression of their populations, and casino capitalism, is probably quite low but in any case, the US needs their oil less and less. Every day less, in fact.
Another predictable impact and sequel is shaping up in the fuzzily defined, always growing Sahel African Islamic insurgency. US participation in military response to “the Islamists” promises or threatens to be low – very low. Policing and paying this post-colonial mess will be the purview and pain of the European nations which set up the mess, but somehow expected the USA to pay for it.The outlook is therefore sombre: the Europeans have a track record of not only walking away from their obligations – but also not even walking up to them in the first place!
With a home-brewed domestic economic crisis of 1930s proportions, desert adventures in low income Africa are surely nice stuff for thriller films and books, but taxpayers will shirk from paying the real thing which will feature tens of thousands of permanently stationed ground troops. The game wasnt worth the candle.
CHINA VERSUS USA
A surprising source – the German Bundesnachrichtendienst - or BND spy agency – in a “restricted circulation report” issued January 17, 2013, says that its readout of the geopolitical results coming from the US energy revolution is not what most persons would predict. It however starts with an unsurprising but blunt-language analysis of the reasons – perhaps the only reason despite the pretexts – for the US being so deeply involved in the Middle East. The BND includes its long and expensive wars in the region, and why the US gives such slavish respect and support to the “highly unpalatable regime” of Saudi Arabia:
For German home consumers of spy stuff with an oil handle, the BND reports that the inevitably high price of oil, given the geopolitical intensity of action by the USA’s rivals inside and outside the region, and the belief that global oil production could only decline, led to post-communist Russia becoming a very dangerous and sombre force on the world stage. It says that the pending bailout of Cyprus which will cost German taxpayers a lot of money, will mainly and firstly be used to bail out rich Russians who placed their “petro money” stashes in Cypriot banks that are now collapsing as yet another blowback from the European and Eurozone crises. Russia, like Saudi Arabia got rich on petrodollars.
US independence from Gulf region oil will finally, and mostly affect the relationship and balance of power between the US and China, says the BND report. It suggests that China does not have enough time to ramp up its own shale gas, and then shale oil production. Struggling to meets its skyrocketing demand for oil, China will need to take about 50% of all the oil produced on the Arabian peninsula, and like the US before it, China’s dependence on Arab and Iranian oil will grow for decades. Due to China presently not having the military power to exert a permanent military presence in the region, and protect the region’s oil transport routes, China will have to kow-tow to the USA, which has the military hardware and the experience of policing the region.
The first and biggest loser in the worldwide geopolitical scramble caused by the US oil boom, will be China, but another if smaller loser will be Europe - including Germany.
The BND’s analysis is not simple: it argues that Putin’s Russia will become more aggressive and hostile to both the US and Europe, resulting in large-scale effort to drive Russian oil and natural gas out of the energy import mix, in Europe. This will cause Europe to much more intensely act to source more of its oil and gas supplies from Africa – notably Sahel Africa. Countries such as Nigeria, however, will be so intensely courted by China that they will break away from their traditional oil supply role to Europe – but will demand Chinese military presence in Africa to compensate. The BND also forecasts very siginficant, even massive increases in African oil and gas supply over the next 15 – 20 years, which will directly harm Russian producers and exporters facing ever-rising production costs in Russia’s frigid and remote northern and Arctic areas.
The bottom line is also not simple: for the BND, the US energy revolution spells the end of dependence of oil importer countries on Russia and OPEC and the end of their ability, with the banksters, brokers and traders who run the world’s oil markets to raise prices at the flick of a wrist. Conversely, it says, the US energy revolution will be slow to economically benefit the US – even if it liberates the US from its role of World Cop and Warmaker and gives the US the perspective of years of peace. Winners, according to the BND, will be those oil importers on a downward track in oil dependence – that is Germany – and those industries which are very energy intensive and can relocate to the US. With time, the BND says, even the USA’s gargantuan trade deficits can be trimmed, because US oil imports, and the barrel price, will both decline, propping up the dollar as a reserve currency for a while longer.
It is amazing that no media outlets are attempting to cover this story, especially since Swartz’s own father accused elements of the US government of being responsibly for Aaron’s death.
Ever since European seaports closed their gates to Iranian oil tankers last summer, Iran has looked to the East to keep its economy afloat. Countries such as China, India and South Korea — some of them critics of Western sanctions — have offered Iran a lifeline of reliable markets and much-needed dollars.
But perhaps not for long. In just over two weeks, the Obama administration will begin enforcing a little-noticed statute that could dry up one of Iran’s largest remaining sources of oil income, U.S. officials say. Beginning Feb. 6, Iran still will get paid for the oil it delivers to Asian markets, from Mumbai to Shanghai to Pusan — only not in cash.
The law, part of a package of sanctions approved last year, requires that foreign governments keep any payments for Iranian oil locked up inside bank accounts in their own territory. Iran can use the money only to buy goods from the local economy, such as wheat or medicine or consumer goods. But it can’t collect hard currency that could boost Iran’s beleaguered economy back home, U.S. officials and analysts say.
Administration officials have been quietly anticipating the impact of the new provisions, which could be the most significant since last summer’s measures targeting Iran’s oil and banking industry. A side benefit, officials say, is the potential impact on Iran’s trading partners, which soon will have a compelling new economic interest in supporting tough sanctions against Iran.
“This is the next big shoe to drop,” said David S. Cohen, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. “Most of these countries have large trade imbalances with Iran, and now Iran will have to find ways to spend all its oil earnings on their local economies.”
The new policy is coming into effect as the Obama administration is struggling to preserve an increasingly unwieldy coalition of nations supporting the West’s get-tough policies toward the country.
Sanctions, which are intended to force Iran’s leaders to accept restrictions on the country’s nuclear program, already have contributed to a sharp drop in the value of the Iranian currency, which has shed more than half its worth in 12 months. But the policies have spurred protests by several nations as well as human rights groups.
Some critics say the sanctions are primarily harming ordinary Iranians while failing to change the behavior of Iran’s ruling clerics. Other opponents, particularly countries dependent on Iranian oil, have objected because of potential damage to their own economies…
“Is this a gateway that is thrown wide open to any level of spying on Americans, or is it not?”
January 20, 2013
The challenge, said Robert S. Litt, general counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, is that “in many cases, classified information is so intertwined with the legal analysis that removing the classified information would leave a document that lacks any meaningful substance.”
Some lawmakers have pressed the government for years to declassify significant opinions by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, arguing that the public has a right to know how the secretive court is interpreting laws that affect Americans’ privacy.
“We have been attempting to prepare redacted opinions and are hopeful we can reach a point where it might be possible to release them in a manner that protects national security,” Litt said in an e-mail exchange last week.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, amended several times since the September 2001 terrorist attacks, authorizes the gathering of foreign intelligence on U.S. soil in a myriad of ways — including monitoring phone calls and e-mail — with restrictions to protect Americans’ privacy.
The FISA court determines whether the government’s intelligence-gathering tactics are legal under the surveillance act. It also evaluates the efforts to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens.
The court consists of a federal judge who hears government requests to conduct surveillance. Appeals are heard by a panel of judges called the FISA Court of Review.
Steven Aftergood, a secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists, has argued that the government can share some of the court’s decisions by removing operational details. He says that approach would enable the government to provide summaries of cases that would define the types of activities, without jeopardizing national security. He noted that the government has declassified and released several FISA court decisions in the past.
When FISA provisions came up for reauthorization in the Senate last month, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) raised concerns that court rulings allow the FBI to obtain records and other information about Americans caught up unwittingly in a foreign terrorism investigation.
“Is this a gateway that is thrown wide open to any level of spying on Americans, or is it not?” he asked.
His amendment to require that the government declassify or summarize significant court opinions failed. But Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, said she supports his effort, and aides said a letter is being drafted to government officials.
21st Century Wire says…Brace yourself for impact, Obama’s ‘invite only’ second term starts now…
Philip Rucker and Sari Horwitz
Jan 15, 2013
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