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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/19/17

Peace out, Obama

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In the final days of his presidency, Barack Obama deployed 3,500 US troops, 87 tanks and 144 Bradley fighting vehicles to Poland, and 330 Marines to Norway. He also signed 'milestone' agreements with Estonia and Lithuania enabling a broad range of defense-related activities. For Poland, this marks the first time forces from the West will have a continuous presence on NATO's eastern flank. For Norway, it's the first time since WWII that foreign troops will be allowed to be stationed there. The US, through NATO, had already begun the "biggest reinforcement since the Cold War, posting four multinational battalions to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. In November, Washington announced the deployment of nearly 6,000 troops, along with tanks, infantry vehicles, heavy howitzers, and combat helicopters to Eastern Europe," according to RT. Obama's latest provocations put more US firepower at Russia's doorstep and are (rightfully) being viewed as acts of hostility by Russian officials.

John Pilger summed up the past 8 years of Obama by writing, "according to a Council on Foreign Relations survey, in 2016 alone Obama dropped 26,171 bombs. That is 72 bombs every day. He bombed the poorest people on earth, in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan.

"Every Tuesday - reported The New York Times - he personally selected those who would be murdered by mostly hellfire missiles fired from drones. Weddings, funerals, shepherds were attacked, along with those attempting to collect the body parts festooning the 'terrorist target.'

"Under Obama, the U.S. has extended secret 'special forces' operations to 138 countries, or 70 per cent of the world's population. The first African-American president launched what amounted to a full-scale invasion of Africa. Reminiscent of the Scramble for Africa in the late Nineteenth Century, the U.S. African Command (Africom) has built a network of supplicants among collaborative African regimes eager for American bribes and armaments.

"It was Obama who, in 2011, announced what became known as the 'pivot to Asia', in which almost two-thirds of U.S. naval forces would be transferred to the Asia-Pacific to 'confront China,' in the words of his Defense Secretary. There was no threat from China; the entire enterprise was unnecessary. It was an extreme provocation to keep the Pentagon and its demented brass happy.

"...Propaganda is his triumph. The lies about Russia -- in whose elections the U.S. has openly intervened -- have made the world's most self-important journalists laughingstocks. In the country with constitutionally the freest press in the world, free journalism now exists only in its honorable exceptions."

Here are some of Obama's foreign-policy lowlights:
  • Obama ordered ten times more drone strikes than Bush.
  • Obama planned a $1 trillion program to add more nuclear weapons to the US arsenal.
  • Obama sold an all-time record $30 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
  • Obama bragged that he has "increased foreign military financing to record levels".
  • The Obama administration supported - or led - at least 2 coups of democratically elected governments (Ukraine and Honduras).
  • Obama wildly supported Israel's wars and occupation of Palestine.
  • Obama ordered the assassination of four U.S. citizens.
  • Obama repealed the Propaganda ban, making it legal to spread government propaganda via news outlets.
  • Obama continuously regurgitated the sickening and dangerous myth of American Exceptionalism, claiming that the U.S. is "the one indispensable nation".
Eight years of Obama's blood-soaked actions have been documented in the St. Pete for Peace Obama Fact Sheet -- a webpage we are relieved not to have to continue! Good riddance, Obama.
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Chris Ernesto is cofounder of St. Pete for Peace, an antiwar organization in St. Petersburg, FL that has been active since 2003. Mr. Ernesto also created and manages and

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