Barack Obama, who ran for President in 2004 as a symbol of “hope and change,” has acted in office as another imperialist warmonger.
Mr Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan, increased by a factor of at least five (the details are secret) the number of drone attacks in Pakistan over the number during the administration of George W. Bush, and extended these acts of war to Yemen and Somalia. Thousands of the citizens of these countries, who have never threatened the United States in any way, are dead as a result. He attacked Libya with a campaign of bombing of six months’ duration and did not bother even to answer the U.S. Congress, when it demanded that he comply with the War Powers Act limiting the President’s ability to engage in war absent Congressional approval.
As this is being written Mr Obama has threatened to attack Iran, up to and including using nuclear weapons.
In pursuit of this war policy Mr Obama has announced a power that no previous President has claimed, that of assassinating anyone he chooses, with no legal process, in clear defiance of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which says no one may “be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law”). He has exercised such power on numerous occasions, on at least one American citizen and his teenaged son, who was killed two weeks after his father.
Indeed, the assassination program has gone farther: anyone who engages in activity which the U.S. considers suspicious (but which for reasons of security we do not specify) can be – “legally” – assassinated by drone weapon, and anyone who dies in the surrounding blast who is a male of military age is counted as a dead “militant.”
The Pentagon budget has grown from about 720 billion in 2008 to over 905 billion in 2012 – all those wars (the ones he wasn’t going to fight) are expensive!
We have changed, then from a nation whose defiance of all law, national and international, might be regarded as temporary, to one which has deliberately and methodically crushed any obligations to observe the norms of civilized states to dust.