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The Dawning Age of Obama as a Potentially Teach-able Moment for The Left


LEGITIMATE LEFT ANGER

 

There has been a lot of left-wing teeth-gnashing over the policies of the United States’ fake-progressive president Barack Obama. Left-progressives’ anger with the Obama administration is understandable given the new White House’s actions to (for example):

 

* Significantly expand the reach and intensity of imperial violence (replete with the mass slaughter of civilians and the related escalation of targeted assassinations) in South Asia.

 

* Promote a notorious assassin and death-squad leader (Lt. General Stanley A McChrystal – former chief of the military’s special Joint Special Operations Command) to the position of Commander of U.S. Forces in the newly merged "Af-Pak" war theater. [1]

 

* Sustain the criminal occupation of Iraq beneath rhetoric of withdrawal. [2]

 

* Increase "defense" (empire) spending, consistent with the following statement in a report issued by the leading Wall Street investment firm Morgan Stanley one day after Obama’s presidential election victory: "As we understand it, Obama has been advised and agrees that there is no peace dividend."[3]

 

* Revive military commissions.

 

* Continue the practice of renditions.

 

* Maintain secret prisons for persons "held on a short-term, transitory basis."

 

* Continue the unspeakable torture of prisoners by an "extrajudicial terror squad" (Jeremy Scahill’s description of the Pentagon’s sadistic "Immediate Reaction Force" in Cuba) at Guantanamo Bay. [4]

 

* Advance the policy of "indefinite detention" (potentially permanent incarceration) for Guantanamo prisoners for whom no legally compelling evidence can be marshaled.

 

* Intimidate England (with a threat to withhold intelligence data on potential terrorist attacks!) into preventing a Guantanamo victim from having his day in court on the Bush administration’s torture practices. [5]

 

* Sustain the Bush administration’s abrogation of habeas corpus rights in regard to the roughly 600 "enemy combatants" kept at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan (where people rendered out of other countries like Yemen and England can be considered "war [-zone]" prisoners!. [6]

 

* Advance nauseatingly specious legal and moral arguments ("better to look forward than backward") to prevent serious federal investigation of the Bush administration’s human rights crimes.

 

* Sustain George W. Bush’s domestic wiretapping program.

 

* Invoke the "state secrets" (akin to the divine right of kings) doctrine to prevent disclosure of evidence in response to lawsuits emerging from Bush era rendition and surveillance policies.

 

* Suppress photographic evidence of U.S. torture practices.

 

* Justify all this and more in the name of the supposed "global war on terror" that was supposedly launched in legitimate defense against the supposedly unprovoked jetliner attacks of September 11, 2001.

 

* Disregard qualified progressive defenders of civil liberties and human rights from consideration for appointment to succeed Supreme Justice David H. Souter and to thereby counter the hard right leanings of the court’s conservative majority. [7]