Obama Won't Protect Dreamers, or Pardon Snowden...
But He WILL Hand Trump Expanded War Powers
Updated December 5, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Obama has refused to take action to protect the immigrants and Dreamers who came out of the shadows thanks to Obama's promises of a path to citizenship, even though Trump has explicitly threatened mass deportations and ripping families apart.
Last Friday, November 25, Obama indicated he would not take action to pardon heroic whistleblower Edward Snowden, who courageously exposed illegal spying and massive violations of people's rights. This, even though Trump's choice to head the CIA, Mike Pompeo, has called Snowden a "traitor" who should be executed.
On all these fronts, Obama refuses to act, as if it was bad form or would break tradition for a sitting president to take preemptive action before a new administration took over.
But there's one front where Obama has shown no such hesitation: giving Trump greatly expanded war powers. The New York Times (November 28) reports that the Obama administration has quietly decided to "expand the legal scope" of the so-called war on terror to include the Islamist group Shabab in Somalia. This, according to the Times, is intended to "shore up" the legal basis for "an intensifying campaign of airstrikes and other counterterrorism operations" on forces in Somalia. (In recent months, the Obama administration has quietly expanded such "authorizations" for the use of force in Afghanistan and Libya as well.)
For starters, this is totally illegitimate. The "war on terror" has always actually been a war of imperialism and empire. Its legal justification was the authorization, granted after September 11, 2001, to wage war on those who carried out those attacks. But that authorization has since been used to justify all manner of U.S. aggression, including now in Somalia. Somalia had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11, and Somalia's Shabab didn't even exist until 2007.
The expansion of war powers is also barbaric and criminal. Trump and his new appointees are promising a bloodthirsty expansion of torture and the "war on terror," without even the pretense of regard for civilian casualties, the laws of war, or whole populations who are being targeted. Now, according to an expert cited by the New York Times, "this administration leaves the Trump administration with tremendously expanded capabilities and authorities" to carry out their savage plans.
Lessons: One, both the Democrats and Republicans are ruling class parties that act to further the interests of U.S. capitalism-imperialism and its global empire.
Two, their differences are over how to maintain their rule and their empire, not over how best to serve the people.
Three, the imposition of fascism through Trump will represent a leap in the horror—and this shows that people cannot count on Obama and the Democrats to seriously oppose, much less stop, the Trump gang from attempting to consolidate a fascist regime. That is up to us!,
Four, and most important: Why should we settle for a system like this when a much better world without these imperialist crimes and horrors is really possible—when there is a blueprint for a new society (the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America), the strategy to get to that new society ("HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution"), and the leadership that can guide this incredibly complex but liberating undertaking (Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party, which he leads). (See THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to emancipation.)
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