With only days remaining in his presidency, Barack Obama is continuing to escalate a potential world war confrontation with Russia, while the deadly chaos of his regime-change wars in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan continues to get worse.
In addition to a new, rapid deployment of 6,000 more U.S. troops to the borders of Russia with full ground- and air-combat arms, Obama and his Pentagon chiefs have started forming a 2,000-strong “killer unit” training to assassinate North Korean leaders. Obama has initiated, helped start, or continued nine separate wars while President, all without Congressional authorization or even significant consultation. He is the only President in U.S. history to be at war every single day of two consecutive terms in office, as Rep. Ron Paul pointed out on his website Jan. 9. His drone killings have dwarfed those of George W. Bush, and his published drone-war policy puts essentially no limits on Presidents’ powers to kill by drone anywhere in the world.
Some of these actions, like Obama’s massive, $115 billion arming of Saudi Arabian air forces to bomb and invade Yemen, have had virtually genocidal consequences; some foster more terrorist groups; others threaten an all-out war with Russia or China. For this war-President to boast a Nobel Peace Prize is an abomination, and a threat to peace, in the Syria civil war and worldwide.
On Jan. 9, Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche demanded that President Obama return the Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded to him in 2009, shortly after his taking office. The Pentagon had just announced the “killer unit” in Korea — an outgoing President together with a Korean government which is itself being removed by impeachment! — and the large new forces deployed to “stop Russian aggression” in Europe.
It is necessary to respond to such escalating war actions in Obama’s final days in office, with a call that he should immediately give back his Nobel Peace Prize; and that this be circulated internationally, continuing after he leaves office. If Obama has to surrender his ill-gotten Peace Prize, his administration’s attempt to compel the incoming Trump team to continue these wars and great-power confrontations, will be cut down. His last-minute escalations are creating as much chaos and confusion for his successor as possible.
The wars and threats of war can take on a life of their own, unless visibly and forcefully rejected.
For the sake of peace and development, Obama’s peace prize must be revoked or surrendered.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Monday called the Jan. 5 combined U.S. Intelligence services report on alleged Russian hacking of the U.S. Presidential election “quite an embarrassment” to U.S. Intelligence services, in a lengthy Internet press conference open to the public.
First, Assange said, the report submitted is not an Intelligence Report or a Presidential Daily Brief.
“It is clearly a press release, designed for political purposes. We have seen this in U.S. Intelligence before,” Assange said, citing the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and the WMDs in Iraq. “U.S. Intelligence has been politicized by Obama,” Assange said. In this report, only five of its 20 pages are analysis; the other pages appended are taken from the Open Source Center office on RT, compiled by a part of the CIA which monitors foreign news daily and reports it.
Small wonder that the Twitter poll by msnbc.com’s John Harwood was cut off when, after 85,000 respondents, it showed 83% believe WikiLeaks, only 17% believe U.S. Intelligence officials.
Assange said that the most recent Podesta emails cited in the report were from March 2016. He pointed out that the United States and DNC say Russia started hacking DNC in 2015, but “Trump is not a substantial candidate then.” The press attempted to conflate the WikiLeaks publication and alleged hacks of the DNC with attacks on the U.S. voting system, says Assange.
Assange said WikiLeaks never said it didn’t know its sources; rather, “We said our sources are not a state party.”
Asked if WikiLeaks’ action were an endorsement of Trump, Assange said, “The U.S. population had turned away from the elites, and saw them push against Trump, and so, they supported Trump. Trump has made a few poor cabinet appointments, and some interesting ones. This had loosened up the situation in Washington. Hillary was a consolidation of the existing regime. Obama prosecuted more journalists — three times as many— under the Espionage Act. The U.S. is an empire, with 700 military bases around the world. There is a chance for reform of those intelligence agencies now, before the Republicans are in for awhile.”
Assange concluded by describing the orchestration of the Clapper report to marginalize Trump’s response: It was ready Thursday, Jan. 5, and went to Obama. The Washington Post and the Democratic National Committee also got a copy then. Trump was not scheduled to get a copy until Friday afternoon, the “dead” news time, when WikiLeaks got a copy.
American population growth has collapsed under the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. U.S. Census figures show that from 1900-2000, the population rose from 76.1 million to 282.2 million, an average annual growth rate of 1.3%. During the 12 boom years after WW2, from 1945-1957, and in the 13 years before World War I, growth was significantly higher. During the eight Clinton years, population growth followed the long-term average, 1.3% annually.
But during Bush and Obama’s 16 years, more than one-third of that growth disappeared. The U.S. population 2000-2016 has only risen from 282.2 to 322.7 million, an annual average growth rate of 0.84%. The only comparable period in the last 115 years is the period from 1929-1945, encompassing both the Great Depression and World War II. Then the annual population growth rate was 0.88%. In Bush and Obama’s America, it has fallen below Depression and world war.
Growth in the workforce suffered a related collapse. During the Bush-to-Obama decade from December 2006 to December 2016, including the 2008 financial crash and so-called Obama recovery, what is called the “civilian non-institutionalized population” — that is, the part of the over-16 population from which the labor force can be drawn — grew by 24.6 million people, from 230.1 million to 254.7 million. But the labor force itself (people either working part- or full-time or unemployed but actively seeking work — grew during that decade by just 6.3 million, from 152.6 million to 158.9 million. So, in net effect, three-quarters of all those who became eligible to enter the labor force during that decade, did not do so, or entered and then dropped out again and stayed out.
In the decade 2000-2010, that “labor force abstention” rate was 70%; and it stood out like a very sore thumb from the two previous decades, when it had been approximately 38% (1980s) and 26% (1990s). But the decade since December 2006 has been even worse, with about 75% of those newly eligible, winding up out of the workforce.
This dramatic “flip” in the Bush and Obama presidencies — from previously 60-70% of newly eligibles entering the workforce and staying in, to 70-75% staying out — is, itself, sufficient demonstration that the cause was not “demographic”; it was collapse of the underlying real economy, disappearance particularly of well-paid productive employment, and a resulting “culture” of hopelessness among the American people.