BA Report 29 May 2013: Obama's Perpetual Con, Chickens Home To Roost

29 May 2013 — Black Agenda Report

This week in Black Agenda Report

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama’s perpetual scam machine is in high gear – which signals another expansion of war and war-powers accumulation. The president played the reluctant warrior who doesn’t really want the limitless powers he has arrogated to himself. But, what he’s seeking is formal authorization to escalate the U.S. offensive against world order and civil liberties.

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The president signed off on medals for the 4 little girls murdered in a Birmingham church bombing 50 years ago. In the same week, he justified the secret drone murder of Somali, Yemeni & Pakistani children, appointed a union-busting, gentrifying Chicago billionaire to his cabinet and justified further drone wars with another secret legal memo. Which is the real Barack Obama, and where does all this come from?

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Two British-Nigerians frightened the great former colonial empire to death by nearly beheading a soldier, in London. Yet British and other western politicians have far more blood on their hands than the young Africans. “This killing was no more awful than those committed by the military from the U.S. or other NATO nations.”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Detroit’s Emergency Manager appears to covet the precious works housed in the city’s Institute of Art, “which could be valued at a billion dollars.” This has caused Michigan’s privileged patrons of the arts to mobilize, “not to free Detroit from the bankers’ yoke, but to find ways to separate the city’s artistic assets” from the bankruptcy process, and let the rest go to corporate creditors.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The African Union celebrated its 50th anniversary last week, marking the occasion with bombastic proclamations and a 50-year “renaissance” plan. However, Africa is, in some ways, less independent than it was a decade or two ago. “The United States effectively lords it over Africa to a degree unmatched by any single European power of the colonial period.”

From LynneStewart.org

Lynne Stewart, the people’s lawyer serving ten years in federal prison for zealously representing her client, needs her friends, comrades and supporters to make calls to the Powers-That-Be on Thursday, May 30. Her life depends on it.

by Ajamu Nangwaya

In The Mind of Obama, white supremacy, sexism and capitalist exploitation are nonexistent or merely minor hurdles that can be overcome through personal responsibility and discipline. The First Black U.S. President “is under the illusion that his occupation of the White House is an indication of a new and better day across America.”

by Ajamu Baraka

The corporate media only cried foul when their own perceived privileges are threatened, even as President Obama’s “approach to civil liberties turned his administration into act three of the Bush administration.” The bourgeois press are now discovering that marginalized peoples are not the only targets of the national security state.

by Dayo Olaide

Nigeria’s northern region is victimized by an ethnic politics of “winner-takes-all” that “is dangerous and unsustainable.” The crisis is exacerbated by a northern political elite that hopes “to disempower the people, minimizing potential resistance to their power and political influence over flows of petrodollars from the central government.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 5/27/13

 

U.S. Prison Torture Protests

With California prison protests set to renew in July, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network will mark three Days of Solidarity with the 80,000 inmates in solitary confinement, nationwide, June 21 – 23. Solitary confinement, as practiced in the United States, “fits the international definition of torture,” said network spokesman Carl Dix. “In fact, they are held consciously in conditions that are driving them insane.” The network also plans a “Hoodie Day” for June 10, the start of George Zimmerman’s trial in the death of Trayvon Martin.

Obama’s Empty Rhetoric on Global War

President Obama’s speech on the future of U.S. targeted assassinations around the world contained “nothing concrete, anywhere,” said anti-war activist David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.org. “By the president’s own concession, what he’s been doing for years is an unacceptable outrage,” said Swanson. “The president claims that he will respect the sovereignty of other nations, but there is no evidence that this is the case, and there is no mechanism for any of these criteria to be enforced by anyone other than himself.”

U.S. Would Make Syria a Wasteland, Like Libya

Washington and its allies and proxies are engaged “in an all-out effort at regime change in Syria,” much like the 2011 NATO war against Libya, said Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “Libya today has no functioning government, which is really fine for the major oil corporations,” said Flounders. “They don’t have to worry about paying anybody anything, and the oil continues to pump.” Ultimately, what U.S. corporations want “is what they have in Bangladesh – a race to the bottom.”

End UN Occupation of Haiti

Delegates from across the western hemisphere will gather in Port-au-Prince, May 31 and June 1, for a Continental Conference against the 9-year United Nations occupation of Haiti. UN troops “are there to impose repression on a people that have refused to accept the violation of their sovereignty and their right to determine their own destiny,” said Alan Benjamin, a conference organizer and executive committee member of the San Francisco Bay Area Labor Council.

Attempted Land Grab in Cameroon

International protest appears to have halted a 73,000 hectare palm oil and lumber venture by the multinational Herakles Farms corporation in Cameroon. The deal had awarded Herakles a 99-year lease at only $1 per hectare a year. Studies confirm the company’s “intention to make huge profits in transfers and assets on the cheap,” said Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute. Such transactions “should serve as a reminder that the land rush that has brought investors into the African nations is not driven by philanthropy, despite claims to the contrary.” Brendan Schwartz, of Greenpeace International, said the scheme “is not a development project,” but would, in fact, create “unemployment and underdevelopment.”

Black Power vs. Capitalism

Majority Black jurisdictions across the nation have seen their local school and governing bodies “set aside, so that the governor can appoint stooges to impose massively unpopular programs of austerity; wage, pension, benefits and service cuts; and privatization,” said Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce Dixon, in a commentary on Black Agenda Television. “Quite simply, what austerity regimes do is turn local government from an entity that collects local taxes and fees, in order to pay its employees living wages and provide needed services, into a machine which collects local taxes and user fees from the poor and sends them straight to Wall Street as interest payments on an eternal, unpayable debt.”

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