Friday, May 28, 2010

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...If not worse...

"Hope-and-Change," A Hoax

While Obama maintained that Al Qaeda was best fought in Afghanistan, he nevertheless left a distinct impression that his intention was to end all of the wars as soon as possible, and to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq on “day one.” Troops have indeed been moved around, repositioned outside of predefined “combat zones.” But Obama missed his own deadline for troop withdrawal from Iraq, and the message of Obama was anti-Bush doctrine, anti-war escalation, and anti-pre-emptive intervention. Nonetheless, after taking office, Obama proceeded to keep most of the Bush military team, including General David Petraeus and Bush’s last Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. During Obama’s first full year in office, a record number of civilians were killed in Afghanistan. The number of troops killed in Afghanistan in the first three months in 2010 doubled that of the same period a year before.

Obama has embraced the Bush “surge” policy, adopted from the Iraqi “surge” and implemented in Afghanistan. The effect has not been the victory supposedly desired (a premise we utterly reject—the intention is not to “win” but to maintain occupation), but rather continued embattlement in territories continually under siege. Again, as in Iraq under Bush, the enemy in Afghanistan has changed under Obama. The troops admittedly fight the Taliban and not al-Qaeda, as promised. Furthermore, evidence points to the fact that we are actually funding the enemy that we are supposed to be fighting: The US is funding the Taliban militants via contractors. The bounty being offered by the Taliban for NATO troops killed is, in other words, being paid from the U.S. Treasury. Under Obama, the dreaded drone bombings in Pakistan, which kill thousands of civilians, have increased considerably.

Another major area of Obama’s hope-and-change rhetoric has to do with domestic surveillance. Where domestic surveillance is concerned, Obama actually has morphed into a more draconian form of Bush, extending domestic surveillance to the web. The USA PATRIOT Act has been extended under Obama -- although he campaigned against its renewal during his presidential campaign -- with no new added protections for civil liberties. The Obama Administration is seeking to weaken Miranda rights for terror suspects, venturing deep into territory on which George W. Bush did not tread.


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