Friday, January 20, 2017

Letter to a US-American: the very sad Obama legacy and the perilous new 'Trumpland' regime

This is a real letter (well, e-mail to be precise) that I wrote the other day to a friend in the United States and then thought maybe worth publishing. She was so kind as to even provide some corrections to my spontaneous and sometimes exotic English, some of which I'm adopting in this version (for the rest, I like to believe I'm just anticipating future English -- nothing remains static, everything changes and we should proudly accept the fact that we are agents of such change):

Obama looks like a human being: he has presence and charisma but he has lied at least as much as any other and he has been involved in as many wars, most of them very dirty and destructive, as the worst president you can imagine:

1. Libya: toppling an authoritarian regime with Islamist militias only to leave a chaos and redistribute oil concessions to the Anglo-Saxon companies. This happened under Hillary Clinton's direct and quite scandalous "leadership".

2. Yemen: systematic drone-bombing of alleged "terrorists" (often civilians in fact) and later support of Saudi-led absolutely terrorist intervention, still ongoing and unlikely to succeed.

3. Ukraine: artificially creating a "fake revolution" with the use of armed fascist militias, which ended in a full fledged coup, only to put brutal pressure on Russia (Ukraine is just some 800 km away from Moscow, closer to the Russian heartland than Cuba ever was to the US one). This resulted in the Russian-speaking Crimea autonomous republic declaring independence (with a perfectly democratic referendum) and requesting incorporation to Russia afterwards, which was swiftly granted, as the territory is not just historically Russian but also a key naval hub. Other Russian-speaking regions attempted to do the same with two succeeding, out of sheer determination and in spite of strict neutrality from Russia. Elsewhere it was terror by the fascist militias and political persecution for any dissident, from communists to independents, with many brutally murdered. All this was used as pretext for sanctions and war-mongering against Russia.

4. Syria: the USA and allies (European powers, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel) used Al Qaeda (the very same Al Qaeda which allegedly attacked the USA in 9/11/2001) to create a very artificial civil war in Syria. Maybe at the beginning there were some more or less legitimate groups but soon only the Kurdish communists remained as such, in unstable alliance with "the regime". "Regime" that was moving swiftly towards greater democratization and held widely respected elections in the midst of the war in which Assad was reelected by massive majority (also among the refugees who could vote, mostly in Lebanon, as Europe and Turkey forbade the elections in their territories). Even Qatari opinion polls agree that Assad has a massive backing inside Syria. Later a splinter group of Al Qaeda, the so-called Islamic State (DAESH) invaded Iraq in what many see as an attempt to weaken its pro-Iran and pro-China elected government (the very same government imposed by the USA, shit happens) and soon became infamous for their unprecedented acts of terror and slavery that could almost shame even the worst of talibans. DAESH is officially rejected by everyone but also effectively backed by everyone (Turkey beyond any doubt, Saudi Arabia has transported many of their cells to Yemen, the USA has definitely financed their equipment and Israel buys their dirty oil). The ceremony of confusion has gone many steps in the zone of total excess and probably farce with the attacks against civilians in France and Germany, probably in order to rally the masses around the banners of war and the police state, but the worse affected are definitely Arabs and Kurds (Turkey has used the "Syrian" jihadists as death squads in the genocidal repression in North Kurdistan, and also indirectly in the South).

5. Latin America: if under the Bush administration the focus was so exclusively in the Middle East that Latin American more or less "leftist" experiments could thrive rather unmolested, since Obama arrived it has been one indirect intervention after another. It began in Honduras in 2009, with the country being given to the "Libertarian" mafiosi (free trade nazis), continued with a coup in Paraguay and growing pressure against the Venezuelan "bolivarian" social-democracy, only to culminate this year with a "soft" coup in Brazil that is clearly a major blow to the BRICS and to Latin American sovereignty.

6. Persecution of dissidents and whistleblowers at home and abroad. The very fact that Snowden had to find refuge in Putin's Russia and that the presidential airplane of Bolivia was forced to undergo a search by European NATO allies (France and Spain notably) because of slight suspicion that Snowden could be traveling in it, says it all. The situation of Assange is not a bit better after five years besieged in Ecuador's embassy in London just because the USA wants him extradited on most unclear charges (the Swedish case is just an intermediate pretext: persecution for having consensual sex without condoms, go figure!) And then of course the Manning case, to whom Obama did not even given a full pardon but only a partial one.

7. The police state has been reinforced: not only do all the practices against privacy in communications remain untouched but Obama just signed a decree allowing the NSA surveillance to be shared with other intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI, etc.) upon request. Guantanamo torture camp was never closed.

8. Monopolistic concentration of power in way too few hands has remained absolutely unchecked, affecting all sectors but most visibly the mainstream media, which has become today a mere propaganda mouthpiece of the imperial regime. All that power is of course being transferred to Trump or whoever holds the oval office throne, because they need those oligarchs as allies.

In brief: the USA under Obama has been extremely aggressive outside and inside. All he can claim as achievement is "Obamacare", and even that is so mild and oriented to private profit that those who criticize it have it very easy.

Yes, he has style, manners and charisma but that's not enough to make a statesman, much less to claim he has honored even slightly his "Change" campaign. Unlike him or Hillary, Sanders was really for some real change and he would have beaten Trump, no doubt, but the regime would not allow him to run, he never had a chance. And they are still doing it: with Sanderist personalities being pushed out of the Democratic Party apparatus as we speak, just for being serious about social-democracy and change, about social and civil rights.

I would even dare to forecast that the Democratic Party camp is going to head internally divided into the next Presiential elections because of this, with the "Sanderists" creating a new party even because it is obvious that the Dem apparatus will not give them any room whatsoever. And,  barring a surprise victory (everything can happen when the window of chaos is open but I feel it's a bit too early), that will allow Trump (or Pence if Trump gets removed) to get a second term, because of the winner-takes-all and voting restrictions system.

Furthermore, it can be even worse: it can be as Moore forecast in his documentary that there will be no more elections until a revolution topples the new "Trumpland" regime. But I doubt it will turn out that way: elections can be easily manipulated in the USA (electronic voting is totally opaque to begin with), so they can keep the pretense for the time being. This slow-motion coup is totally like what happened in the Roman Republic some 2000-plus years ago: the Empire was never officially inaugurated, just someone became way too powerful and the old institutions (more or less representative) were just gradually displaced, step by step.

However it is at the same time that transition from Republic to Empire and the late Empire's transition to feudalism (corporate post-industrial feudalism it is now, they call it "libertarianism"). So it is like repeating all Roman history packed in just a few decades or even years and in totally unrelated conditions of a highly educated and connected population with actual power to disrupt everything if they do ever get serious. It just cannot work: it is a mirage, it is just the last attempt ever to resurrect the Roman Empire and, as all the previous attempts, it will fail strenuously.

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