By Stansfield Smith for Counter Punch – It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years, who is waging seven wars at present, who dropped three bombs an hour, 24 hours a day, the entire 2016. Here is some of the worst of this anti-Trump hysteria propagated by mouthpieces for liberal Democrats – calling Republicans “fascist” is a favorite left-liberal sport. It is probably true Trump represents “a regime of grave danger,” an “immoral peril to the future of humanity and the earth itself,” by his denial of global warming. Yet Obama was also clearly a grave peril, one many progressives chose not to see clearly.
By Nicolas J S Davies for Consortium News – As President Obama leaves office, much of his foreign policy record remains shrouded in the symbolism that has been the hallmark of his presidency. The persistence of Obama’s image as a reluctant war-maker and a Nobel Peace Prize winner has allowed Donald Trump and his cabinet nominees to claim that Obama has underfunded the military and been less than aggressive in his use of U.S. military power. Nothing could be further from the truth, and their claims are clearly designed only to justify even more extravagant military spending and more aggressive threats and uses of force than those perpetrated under Mr. Obama’s “disguised, quiet, media-free” war policy.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Chelsea Manning’s sentence has been commuted. She had been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction. She served longer than any other whistleblower. Now, under the terms of Obama’s commutation announced today, Manning will be freed in five months, on May 17 of this year. If she had served the full term of her sentence she would not have been released until 2045. I was a member of the Chelsea Manning Support Network from soon after her arrest and tens of thousands of people donated to legal defense and the campaign to release her as well as protested on her behalf. Tens of thousands urged President Obama to pardon her or commute her sentence. When we learned last week that Manning had made the short list to receive clemency from the president, it still felt like an unlikely outcome. But today, President Obama gave us the best news he could in his final days with the release of Manning. Manning is not only a historically important whistleblower, she has also become a leader of the trans movement as she went public on her sexual identification and fought for her medical and personal rights while incarcerated by the military. She has inspired many with her courage, bravery and actions.
By Staff for Agency France Press. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will agree to be extradited to the United States if President Barack Obama grants clemency to the former US soldier Chelsea Manning, jailed for leaking documents, the company said on Thursday. “If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ (US Department of Justice) case,” WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter. Assange has been living in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.
By Medea Benjamin for The Guardian – Most Americans would probably be astounded to realize that the president who has been painted by Washington pundits as a reluctant warrior has actually been a hawk. The Iran nuclear deal, a herculean achievement, and the opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba unfortunately stand alone as President Obama’s successful uses of diplomacy over hostility. While candidate Obama came to office pledging to end George W Bush’s wars, he leaves office having been at war longer than any president in US history. He is also the only president to serve two complete terms with the nation at war.
By Jakob Reimann for Roar Magazine – In 2009, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize — not for any concrete action but rather for his effusive optimism and, eventually, for his Yes We Can campaign. The Nobel committee acknowledged Obama’s commitment to peace and admired his diplomacy-focused aspirations: “Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.” Furthermore, the committee appreciated the fact that Mr. Obama had given people everywhere “hope for a better future.” The president himself felt “deeply humbled” and considered the award a “call to action.”
By Jack Rasmus of Tele Sur – President Barack Obama’s farewell address to the nation last night was a strange and disappointing attempt that failed to replicate the hope, energy, and optimism of his first 2008 address to the nation. Instead of celebrating the unity of all those who joined to put him in office, the mood was downbeat, with Obama warning listeners that the country had become more divided than ever during his intervening years in office, that democracy was threatened on many fronts – cultural, legal, and economic – and that the people to whom he was speaking, and throughout the United States, now had the task to take up the fight to protect what’s left and restore it, for clearly, he had not been able to do so.
By Cornel West for The Guardian – Our hope and change candidate fell short time and time again. Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility. Eight years ago the world was on the brink of a grand celebration: the inauguration of a brilliant and charismatic black president of the United States of America. Today we are on the edge of an abyss: the installation of a mendacious and cathartic white president who will replace him. This is a depressing decline in the highest office of the most powerful empire in the history of the world. It could easily produce a pervasive cynicism and poisonous nihilism. Is there really any hope for truth and justice in this decadent time?
By Staff of The Real News Network – But now we’re going to take a beginning of a look, at least, at the Obama Administration over the next week or two — and most importantly the issue of the financial meltdown ’07/’08 and how President Obama handled that. And, within the context of that, the whole emergence, over the last few decades, of the power of finance — and the more parasitical finance seems to get, the more casino gambling it seems to get, the more powerful it seems to get politically. And President Obama is certainly part of that process and Trump a continuation thereof. Now joining us from Iowa City to discuss all this is Paul Street.
By Miriam Wasser for Pheonix New Times – Rep. Raul Grijalva announced in a written statement today that he has received word from the White House that President Barack Obama does not plan to designate the Greater Grand Canyon National Heritage Monument in the few days he has left in office. “I can only express my profound disappointment,” Grijalva wrote. “The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most iconic and popular natural places, not just for its beauty but for its importance to tribal culture and history.” The proposed 1.7-million-acre monument would have permanently protected the fragile ecosystem of the Grand Canyon watershed from uranium mining and some old-growth logging…
By Farid Farid for Motherboard – President Barack Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, will leave office in a few weeks with the dubious honor of having sold more weapons than any other American president since World War II. And experts say President-Elect Donald Trump will most likely sell even more. Most of the arms deals totaling over $200 billion in the period from 2008 to 2015 have ended up in the Middle East, according to a Congressional Research Service reportpublished in December. The report, produced by the non-partisan government agency attached to the Library of Congress, breaks down the weapons sold which included surface-to-air missiles, tanks, and supersonic combat aircraft.
By Ajamu Baraka for Black Agenda Report – Late on the evening of December 23, when the attention of the public was fixed on the consumerist excesses of the holiday season, President Obama signed into law the Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Like the other NDAAs that President Obama signed into law during his administration, this one further strengthened the repressive capacities of the state. Buried deep in the provisions of the NDAA was language from a bill introduced by Sen. Rob Portman ostensibly to protect the public from the effects of “foreign propaganda.” As previously reported by Black Agenda Report, the bill, originally introduced last March…