Obama’s Disastrous Legacy Laid Bare

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Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s perceptive comments on Obama were spot on

Friends & Colleagues

This commentary addresses the recent flap over Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s remarks about discomforting features of Washington’s political culture. The Israeli ones got most of the play. Those about Barack Obama are equally worthy of consideration. Below is a notation of some Obama actions that credit her claims. 

Beyond them, there are grounds for arguing that there are notable items on his record that raise serious question as to their possibly having  been impeachable offenses. I drafted a bill of particulars a number of years ago – it is attached. It was not intended to be a call to action, rather a correction of the standard history of his administration.

Cheers,

Michael Brenner

mbren@pitt.edu


OMAR’S CALVARY

Rep Ilmar Omar is facing a Calvary – once again. This time the alleged crime is calling into question the Sainthood of Barack Obama. In this deformed Passion play, Nancy Pelosi acts as Pontius Pilate and the Democratic Caucus as the Sanhedrin. They move with such alacrity as even to dispense with the customary Star Chamber interrogation. The Washington political class provides the chorus howling for her hijabed head – or any other part of her unpatriotic anatomy.  The New York Times accuses her of “Microaggression” which apparently means firing a slingshot or paper clip at the impregnable wall that is Establishment orthodoxy – The Times’ editors being a primary custodian of all that the Establishment holds to be right and good.

Omar’s real sin is that she stated the truth – about the Israeli lobby as well as the Obama presidency. In today’s Washington, tolerance for the truth on matters concerning community sustaining myths is little higher than it was in Jesus’ day. It’s the punishments that are less severe – generally speaking.  Diversity is fine – when it comes to skin color and gender. So too for opinions expressed within the narrow bounds set for public discourse. Go beyond it and you’re in trouble.

That is so even when the forbidden truth is self-evident to any detached, objective observer. Look at this summary of Obama’s record. (I elaborated on this record in the attached commentary “Obama To The Egress” written 2 years ago) 

 DOMESTIC

Failure to stigmatize and act against the financial predators who brought us to the brink of ruin while enriching themselves at the expense of salaried workers and the real economy generally. 

 Stocked his administration with the selfsame people who had brought us low and set as his goal the restoration of the old system with only the smallest of modifications. To ensure the latter, he refused to push for major legislative mandated restructuring. Dodd-Franks has proven to be mainly pantomime undone by the Wall Street friendly officials (Mary Jo White) he put in charge of the responsible regulatory bodies, allowing the financial industry to write the rules  governing implementation. Today, we are back to 2007.

A campaign of vilification against public schools and public school teachers in particular on whom he pronounced anathema and unleashed his attack dog, Arne Duncan.

A refusal to support full rescission of the Bush tax cuts for the rich

A readiness to cut back Social Security and Medicare as he proposed to the Republican led Congress in 2010.

Forgetting his pledge to address the needs of the labor unions

 Consistently denigrated progressive elements within the Democratic Party by word and deed, entrenching the corporate Democrat leaders who produced electoral defeat after electoral defeat culminating in losing the White House to Donald Trump

 Provided the legal grounding for continuation of existing surveillance programs and pressed for greater collaboration from communications companies in sharing personal data.

Signed legislation that gave the Executive unlimited powers to apprehend and to incarcerate indefinitely persons on suspicion only of terrorist related activities – without any legal process whatsoever or public notice

Ordered the CIA to break into the computers of the Senator Intelligence Committee to steal documents pertaining to Agency actions re. torture. rendition, targeted killings, etc.

 INTERNATIONAL

Escalating our military commitment in Afghanistan

Promoting promiscuous employment of drone assassinations against individuals placed on a secret ‘hit list.’  And declaring American citizens as legitimate targets for execution. (On the killing of Awlaki, his teenage son, and a nephew, Obama literally did “get away with murder”)

 Vastly expanding the deployment of Special Forces across Africa to perform dubious missions

Backing the jihadi led coalition to upend Assad in Syria materially and politically – became a tacit ally of al-Qaeda & friends

Participating in Saudi Arabia’s war of annihilation against the Yemeni Houthis,

Fully aligning the U.S. with the Sunni bloc in it sectarian conflict with Iran

Giving Israel a blank check to do what it pleased in the systematic abuse of the Palestinians and actions elsewhere in the region

Refusing to condemn the supplying of arms and other forms of military aid to al-Qaeda & Assoc in Syria by Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the Gulf principalities; same for aid to ISIS

Instigating the coup in Kiev that unseated the democratically elected President and replacing him with corrupt American stooges who are hostage to the neo-Nazi elements who provided the muscle for the coup. Thereby he set the scene for a Cold War II with Putin’s Russia

Imposing sanctions on Venezuela for no apparent national security reason.

Backing a series of plots – licit and illicit – to remove reformist governments across Latin America

Launching a trillion dollar program for expansion and refining of our nuclear forces which has set off a nuclear arms race, and increases the risk that nuclear war-fighting scenarios will prevail in a crisis 

For all these actions, Obama has received hardly any criticism and remains lauded as a Democratic Party hero

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