The Truth About Obama's "Accomplishments" and the Need to Build a Mass Movement

Obama is scheduled to speak tomorrow night announcing the "end" of the war in Iraq, only one week after thousands of troops deployed from Ft. Hood to Iraq to continue the occupation. Re-branding war and empire is not change; but the story doesn't end there...

By Scott Trent

A friend posted an article today about the "Eight things Obama has done to make the world a more peaceful place." Check out that article here.
It turns out that the article is a year old, and even less true today than it was then. I took the liberty of responding to all eight of the points. As much as we might want these things to be true, there is actually nothing true on that list. It's all deceptive PR from the Obama government intended to silence and placate the people who criticized the Bush regime for these same practices.

We can't allow ourselves to be fooled. We have the same responsibility now that we had under the Bush regime: to build an independent, determined mass movement that is up to the task of opposing and ending all of the crimes of our government. Check out to find out more about how to get involved in building such a movement.

1. Announced Unequivocal End to Torture, Ordered the Closing of Guantanamo and the Closing of Secret Prisons.
Guantanamo is still open, and still tortures. It has been revealed that guards are force-feeding prisoners who are fasting for Ramadan.
Also there are other sites, such as the prison at Baghram, Afghanistan where torture in a prison-within-the-prison continues.
Rendition also occurs to secret CIA prisons in Poland and Romania, where torture is also likely occurring.
2. Improved Relations with Iran.
Revealing, as Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen did two weeks ago, that the US has plans to attack Iran doesn't sound anything like "improving relations with Iran".
3. Improved U.S. Policy on Climate Change.

Any thought of Obama as an environmentalist has been killed off by two things: the whimpering death of the already weak climate bill, and the lies and inaction at the service of the oil industry in response to the massive and ongoing Gulf oil catastrophe.
4. Set a Timetable for Exiting Iraq.
The idea that the US is "withdrawing from Iraq" received a major PR boost last week as the "last combat battallion" withdrew. However, the "withdrawl" is nothing more than a re-branding of the occupation. There are still 50,000 troops in Iraq, twice that many contractors and mercenaries, and more combat ready troops are already being shipped in via Fort Hood.
Furthermore, even as Obama attempts to play down US involvement in Iraq, the Wall Street Journal announced on Wednesday that the White House is considering military strikes and a campaign of assassinations in Yemen. Also see Glenn Greenwald: An exciting new Muslim country to drone attack.

5. Improved Relations with Russia.
"Improving relations with Russia" is not about peace. It is a step that the US is taking to more effectively control and exploit the energy-rich Middle East and gain influence over the strategic Central Asian republics. Russia is rebuilding itself as a major capitalist imperalist power, and while it is in that sense a rival to the US, any attempt to warm relations with Russia are not in the interests of peace, but in the interests of exploitation of strategic resources, including by the projection of military power.
6. Made the Rights of Women around the World a Core Component of U.S. Foreign Policy.
The administration's supposed concern for women is exactly what it was under the Bush regime: a cover for, and a justification of, military force in places such as Afghanistan. For one thing, the recent Time magazine cover story on why "we can't leave Afghanistan", which featured a horrific photograph of a disfigured Afghan teenaged girl, is exactly the same propaganda that Laura Bush was trotted out by the Bush regime to sell us to build support for the impending invasion. In fact, it turns out that the girl in the photo wasn't even attacked by the Taliban, as the article claimed--she was assaulted and maimed by relatives inside pro-US occupied territory.
7. Improved Relations with the Islamic World.
Improving relations with the Islamic world: Gitmo is still open, other secret prisons still operate, war is threatened or is actively being waged in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iran and Pakistan, while a racist, anti-Muslim movement is allowed to grow and fester in the US. Believing that relations are improving is worse than wishful thinking. The wars abroad and the violent anti-Muslim fervor at home go hand in hand.
8. Made Progress towards Greater Cooperation on Limiting Nuclear Proliferation.
Ending nuclear proliferation means nothing when it only applies to the offical enemies of the empire, while US and Israeli stockpiles remain and are still used as threats against other countries. Joe Biden recently said on Face the Nation that the Israel is "entitled" to pursue whatever policy it wants against Iran, while Israel has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear bombs against Iran.


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.