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Posts tagged Barack Obama

Border Surge

Reuters reports that the Obama Administration’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans a new 30-day surge of raids, arrests, and deportations. The plan is to focus on mothers and children. This is appalling, and a shameful reflection on the sheer sadism of U.S. immigration politics. No matter what party it represents, no matter what name it assumes, no matter what liberalism it pretends, U.S. government, liberal or conservative, is an instrument of violent nationalism and a belligerent, destructive assault on migrant communities. Every deportation is a shattered family, and every border is a bloody scar cut across the human heart. The Obama administration’s record on detention and deportation of immigrant families has been outrageous and inexcusable, and this planned escalation of ICE’s war on undocumented families and communities of color will only make the damage even worse, and the legacy of this administration even more of an offense against human compassion and the basic human liberties of immigrants.

U.S. immigration officials are planning a month-long series of raids in May and June to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children found to have entered the country illegally, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters.

The operation would likely be the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families by the administration of President Barack Obama this year after a similar drive over two days in January that focused on Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina.

Those raids, which resulted in the detention of 121 people, mostly women and children, sparked an outcry from immigration advocates and criticism from some Democrats, including the party’s presidential election frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has now told field offices nationwide to launch a 30-day “surge” of arrests focused on mothers and children who have already been told to leave the United States, the document seen by Reuters said. The operation would also cover minors who have entered the country without a guardian and since turned 18 years of age, the document said. Two sources confirmed the details of the plan.

The exact dates of the latest series of raids were not known and the details of the operation could change.

–Julia Edwards, U.S. plans new wave of immigrant deportation raids
Reuters (12 May 2016)

Shared Article from Reuters

Exclusive: U.S. plans new wave of immigrant deportation raids

U.S. immigration officials are planning a month-long series of raids in May and June to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children found…

reuters.com


‪#‎Not1More‬ ‪#‎NiUnaMas‬ ‪#‎StopTheRaids‬ ‪#‎StopDeportation‬ ‪#‎NoBorders‬ ‪#‎AbolishICE‬

Change You Can Believe In (Vol. VII, No. 6). Wiretaps and War.

Hey, remember back when we elected that progressive President who was going to close Guantanamo, get rid of warrantless wiretapping and end the war in Iraq? Boy howdy, that was a time.

In the U.S., President Barack Obama has been pleading with Congress to never, ever let the PATRIOT Act’s surveillance powers lapse, even for a day. Heaven forbid:

Shared Article from TheHill

Obama pleads that Senate act on NSA reform

Obama is asking McConnell to move legislation approved by the House.

thehill.com


President Obama on Friday made a last-minute push to urge Congress to renew key provisions of the Patriot Act before a Sunday deadline, arguing that failing to do so could put the nation at greater risk of terrorist threats.

The president called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to pass a bipartisan reform bill approved in a 338-88 House vote.

“Heaven forbid we’ve got a problem where we could have prevented a terrorist attack or apprehended someone who was engaged in dangerous activity but we didn’t do so simply because of inaction in the Senate,” Obama said in the Oval Office alongside Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Senators will return to Washington for a rare Sunday session to try and break the impasse over a series of measures, including language authorizing the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk phone records collection program.

The Senate failed to move forward with the House bill late last week when a procedural motion won only 57 votes — three short of the number needed to proceed.

“We’ve only got a few days,” Obama said. “Authorities expire Sunday at midnight and I don’t want us to be in a situation where for a certain period of time those authorities go away. … I’ve indicated to Leader McConnell and other senators, I expect them to take action and take action swiftly.”

–Jordan Fabian, Obama pleads that Senate act on NSA reform
The Hill (29 May 2015)

Meanwhile, in Iraq, the U.S. government is sinking another 500-1,000 soldiers into the Third Iraq War. Oh, but they’re Just Military Advisors, natch:

Shared Article from CNN

White House OKs up to 450 additional troops in Iraq - CNNPolitic…

President Barack Obama's administration is considering sending about 500 additional forces to Iraq, with many of them focused on training Iraqi troops…

cnn.com


Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama’s administration is planning to train Sunni tribes’ fighters as part of its move to send up to 450 additional U.S. forces to Iraq, the White House said Wednesday.

The United States is also sending weapons to Sunni tribes, as well as the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, who are operating under Iraqi command, in order to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

. . . The additional U.S. military personnel will train and advise Iraqi and tribal troops at the Taqaddum military base in eastern Anbar province.

. . . The Associated Press was the first to report earlier Tuesday that the administration was considering sending up to 1,000 U.S. forces to the country.

. . . There are currently 3,050 U.S. forces in Iraq — with 2,250 of them devoted to supporting Iraqi security forces, 800 protecting U.S. personnel and facilities, 450 training Iraqi troops and 200 in advising and assisting roles.

–Eric Bradner, Barbara Starr and Jim Acosta. White House authorizes up to 450 additional troops in Iraq
CNN (10 June 2015)

#EndTheWar #USOut #AbolishTheNSA #AbolishThePATRIOTAct #AbolishThePresidency

Progressive Politics

Shared Article from The Huffington Post

Obama Delays Immigration Action Until After Election

WASHINGTON (AP) — Abandoning his pledge to act by the end of summer, President Barack Obama has decided to delay any executive action on immigration…

huffingtonpost.com


Of course, this is a shameful move from Barack Obama. Immigrants’ lives and families are being sacrificed, yet again, over and over and again, to opportunism and to crass political calculation. The careers of Democratic politicians are not more important than people’s lives and livelihoods. What makes it worse is that this move is as completely predictable as it is morally grotesque.

Progressive electoral politics is like building a vast, extraordinarily expensive, Rouge River-scale machine plant to build cars. Then, after the ribbon is cut, the plant opens to great fanfare, billions of dollars are spent, and a couple of go-karts are rolled off the line as a test, the manager up and tells you that there won’t be any more cars for the time being — because all the wear and tear on the machines would destroy their ability to make more cars, some day in the future. So until then you’ll have to wait. All the while the machine whirs along, drawing more power and costing more money all the time, but no more cars ever come off the line, because every time there might have been some output, it was sacrificed to make sure that the machine itself would keep idling smoothly. But it is so perfectly polished.

No higher law

At a recent grandstanding speech on immigration reform, in which Barack Obama attempted to pass himself off as a supporter of immigrants while presiding over the unprecedented, relentless deportation of two million, immigrant families and activists confronted him over his record. He responded by passing the buck, and insisting that he was powerless.

Our families are separated, a young man yelled during remarks in San Francisco at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center. Mr. President, please use your executive authority to halt [deportations]. We agree that we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but at the same time, you have the power to stop deportations.

Actually, I don’t,[1] the president replied, and that’s why we’re here.

Other people in the crowd began to yell as well: Stop deportations. Yes, we can.

. . . What you need to know, when I’m speaking as president of the United States and I come to this community, is that if in fact I could solve all of these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so,[2] he said. But we’re [sic] also a nation of laws. That’s part of our tradition.

So the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend like I can do something by violating our [sic] laws, he continued.

— Elise Foley, Obama Confronts Hecklers At Immigration Speech, in the Huffington Post (25 November 2013)

If laws command injustice, then those laws ought to be violated. A nation of laws is nothing more than a rigid structure of power; and when that power is turned against innocent families, it deserves no respect, and no loyalty. Those who administer that power inflict real evil on helpless victims, and when they excuse themselves for responsibility by pointing to the laws, by pointing to political etiquette, by pointing to the demands of their office, they are doing nothing less, and nothing more, than saying that their political ambitions and political interests are more important to them than the rights of innocent people.

A law that commands injustice should be treated as no law at all. There is no office that can nullify a man’s conscience, no order that erases moral responsibility. There is no higher law than human rights or common decency. We have here the most privileged man on the face of the earth lecturing disenfranchised immigrant families about how powerless he supposedly is to stop — the most privileged man on the face of the earth begging that he is supposedly powerless over detention and deportation quotas that he set; begging that he is supposedly powerless to restrain the force of agencies directly responsible to him and his appointees; defending his own political cowardice, and tossing around contemptuous lines about easy ways out, delivered to the victims of his own detestable politically-driven assaults on immigrants.

Barack Obama’s record on immigration has been shameful. And his endless political excuse-making for record mass deportations, is despicable.

Also.

  1. [1]This is, of course, a lie. Obama has repeatedly used executive power to unilaterally halt enforcement and to halt legal proceedings when he found it in his political interest to do so.
  2. [2]This is, of course, a lie.

How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? (#5)

Guided by these principles once more we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we’ll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense. And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken — you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

— President Barack Hussein Obama (29 January 2009): Inaugural Address

The problem with that is that every day that United States government soldiers spend on beginning to leave, instead of actually leaving — every day that is spent on that responsibly instead of that leaving — every day that is spent in the forging of peace in Afghanistan, rather than in the practicing of it, by withdrawing all United States government soldiers immediately and completely — is another day when Iraqis and Afghans and Pakistanis and Americans will all be killed by this Peace President’s war and his policies of gradualism. Another day when yet more people will be killed in the name of prolonging the final end of a Bush Administration war policy now universally acknowledged as a catastrophic failure and a stupid mistake.

On Friday, April 10, two months and 12 days after President Barack Obama promised American soldiers would begin to responsibly leave Iraq, a suicide bomber drove a truck bomb into an Iraqi government police compound in Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. Besides the bomber himself, the bombing also killed two Iraqi government police, one soldier in the Iraqi government’s army, and five soldiers in the United States government’s army. About 65 others — including dozens of civilians living in the nearby neighborhood — were wounded by flying shrapnel.

Every death and every wound is blood on Barack Obama’s hands. Every one of these people who were maimed or killed, were maimed or killed because of Barack Obama’s standing orders and for the sake of his war policy. Because Obama wants to wash his hands of the United States government’s war on Iraq, every day that he delays getting out, completely — delays getting out in the name of exit strategies and central fronts and responsibility — which is to say, delays ending this war because he is still convinced that, with the right sort of gradualist policy, he can somehow try to win a war that should never have been fought — is another person who is maimed or killed so that Barack Obama, after being elected as a peace candidate, can adopt and prolong the colossal, catastrophic mistakes of a disastrous failure of a predecessor, so that he won’t come off as being soft on national defense.

Mr. Obama, how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Iraq?

How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

See also:

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