Friday, August 22, 2014

Obama Finally Gets His Excuse for Middle East War With Beheading

Bad ass Barry is about to become a real, live war president in Iraq. Continuing with the finest of American traditions of the previous four war criminals who held the office Obama is taking the USA! USA! USA! back to war. The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had been captured in Syria is the excuse of the week and it will sell to the masses of asses. Not that the bastard and his warmonger infested administration and State Department have not been itching to do so for at least the past year. There was the horseshit about the babies being thrown out of incubators children gassed in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta the spectacularly blew up when it was derailed by Russian leader Vladimir Putin last year. That was ugly, Secretary of Skull and Bones John Kerry, was a whirling dervish of bullshit as he pimped for what would according to journalist Seymour Hersh been a huge bombing campaign in Syria only to have one of his collection of gaffes pounced on to put the choke chain back on the dogs of war. Then Putin had the unmitigated audacity to run that running drop kick in the balls of Uncle Scam calling out American exceptionalism on the anniversary of 9/11, the holiest of holy days here in The Homeland in a New York Times editorial.

We see what happened to Putin. He faced a category five hurricane of propaganda culminating in the U.S. backed coup d'etat by neo-Nazis and fascists in Ukraine right in the middle of his cherished showcase of the Sochi Winter Olympics. That editorial really rubbed rock salt into the open wounds of the neocons and dear leader's wounded egos, it was an awesome dressing down and I excerpt the following in the event anyone missed it:

“it is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

Go and read that editorial and you will see what Putin's real crime was.

The neocon/R2P backed proxy war in Ukraine seems to have stalled temporarily, having hit the high water mark with the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines MH17 which was immediately blamed on "Putin's Missile" but has now disappeared down the memory hole in the corrupt western media. The truth is probably well known in the bowls of the Washington establishment that a rogue faction of the Kiev junta regime was at fault and this doesn't fit the narrative. According to sources today though, the Russian aid convoy has tired of the criminal delays and has proceeded into Ukraine - this could be a golden opportunity for the US-EU-NATO Axis of Aggression to attack it and launch their war but why bother when they can settle for Iraq, Syria and ISIS or the IS as it is now called, none of which have nuclear weapons.

The entire ISIS thing has me baffled. On one hand it could be one of those western backed armies along the lines of the thinking behind Operation Gladio, or an enormous hoax (you can't spell bullshit without the letters IS) or a legitimate force that benefited greatly from the U.S. government's arming of extremist jihadist rebels to topple Syria's Bashar al Assad that backfired. The only certainty is that it is being used very effectively by the panicked empire to justify going back into Iraq. Lurid tales like the "beheading" of captured journalist James Foley are extremely useful propaganda tools, especially now that the imperiled Yazidi's facing that genocide on Mount Sinjar have disappeared from the media along with MH17.

As the great journalist Pepe Escobar refers to America, the "Empire of Chaos" is desperate to recapture some of that great 9/11 lightning in a bottle again so we now have the usual dismal array of psychotic war criminals and blood-drinkers coming out about about an imminent terror attack. The Palmetto State princess Senator Lindsey Graham (I wonder how many pictures that the NSA or Mossad has of him with a young boy's pee pee in his mouth) has been squealing like a pig about it for months. Dick Cheney, the head of the shadow government has vowed an attack "more deadly" than that of 9/11, a day that Cheney has yet to explain what and where he was in a credible manner. The fanatical Republican Senator James Ihofe of Oklahoma is fear-mongering that ISIS will soon be blowing up an American city.

What is ominous is that more than just the normal array of treacherous right-wing cranks and neocon traitors are running around with their hair on fire shrieking about an imminent attack on Der Heimat - which would forever cement into place the NSA surveillance machine as well as the militarized police stormtroopers. The chorus of impending doom is being joined by normally rational actors like Secretary of War Defense Chuck Hagel. According to a story in libertarian financial blog Zero Hedge entitled "Chuck Hagel Goes Full Fearmonger: "ISIS Poses GreaterThreat Than 9/11, Prepare For Everything"":

US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel talks about the "imminent threat" ISIS poses to the US and the World.. .and pulls no punches in his total fearmongery..."ISIL poses a threat greater than 9/11. ISIL is as sophisticated and well funded as any group we have seen. They're beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology with a sophisticated strategic and tactical military prowess and they're tremendously well-funded. This is way beyond anything we have seen. We must prepare for everything. Get Ready!" Time for some QE-funded deficit-busting war spending...

As Warren Zevon put it: "lawyers, guns and money.. the shit has hit the fan".

So as trends forecaster Gerald Celente always puts it: when everything else fails, they take you to war. The Obama mob is going to milk the beheading of Foley to the hilt - just like the Bushreich did when Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was relieved of the burden of his own head - in order to rile the American sheeple up into supporting the coming war. But there is too much skepticism for that to work this time and unlike in the period prior to the attacks and invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan we now have social media.

The real trick is exactly what has worked before for scum like Cheney - a false flag attack, and a damned big one too. Maybe an American city as Senator Inhofe predicts (we could never be lucky enough for it to be Washington) to mobilize the masses into a final burst of imperial carnage leading eventually to a global nuclear conflagration.

The Empire of Chaos are about to roll God's dice and they are going to come up craps this time.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The War at Home: We Are the Enemy in State of Undeclared Martial Law

It needs to be noted right off the bat that John Whitehead isn’t exactly a weepy, bleeding-heart, Obama supporting,  liberal whiner. It was after all his Rutherford Institute that provided legal assistance to Paula Jones in her lawsuit against the sexual depravity of former president Bill Clinton.  The man has serious gravitas as a conservative so when he comes out with a blistering critique of the militarized police state it merits paying attention.  With the now typical divisiveness that only benefits the elite that is arising out of the events in Ferguson, Missouri splitting the country into warring factions yet again, Whitehead hits the target on the most important of all issues. The transformation of America into a nascent totalitarian police state.

Mr. Whitehead has for years been writing of the dangers of incipient American fascism and smacks it out of the ballpark in his latest piece entitled "Turning America Into a War Zone, Where ‘We the People’ Are the Enemy" in which he writes:

What Americans must understand, what we have chosen to ignore, what we have fearfully turned a blind eye to lest the reality prove too jarring is the fact that we no longer live in the “city on the hill,” a beacon of freedom for all the world.

Far from being a shining example of democracy at work, we have become a lesson for the world in how quickly freedom turns to tyranny, how slippery the slope by which a once-freedom-loving people can be branded, shackled and fooled into believing that their prisons walls are, in fact, for their own protection.

Having spent more than half a century exporting war to foreign lands, profiting from war, and creating a national economy seemingly dependent on the spoils of war, we failed to protest when the war hawks turned their profit-driven appetites on us, bringing home the spoils of war—the military tanks, grenade launchers, Kevlar helmets, assault rifles, gas masks, ammunition, battering rams, night vision binoculars, etc.—to be distributed for free to local police agencies and used to secure the homeland against “we the people.”

It’s not just the Defense Department that is passing out free military equipment to local police. Since the early 1990s, the Justice Department has worked with the Pentagon to fund military technology for police departments. And then there are the billions of dollars’ worth of federal grants distributed by the Department of Homeland Security, enabling police departments to go on a veritable buying spree for highly questionable military-grade supplies better suited to the battlefield.
Is it any wonder that we now find ourselves in the midst of a war zone?

We live in a state of undeclared martial law. We have become the enemy.

In a war zone, there are no police—only soldiers. Thus, there is no more Posse Comitatus prohibiting the government from using the military in a law enforcement capacity. Not when the local police have, for all intents and purposes, already become the military.

In a war zone, the soldiers shoot to kill, as American police have now been trained to do. Whether the perceived “threat” is armed or unarmed no longer matters when police are authorized to shoot first and ask questions later. 

Interestingly and very ominously, the divisiveness over the shooting of the unarmed teenage thug Michael Brown and the overwhelming response of militarized police to protests are not only splitting into the standard black versus white. We are increasingly seeing a division between those who find it acceptable and actually preferential to live under the red, white and blue jackboot of apple pie authoritarianism and those who are finally, like John Whitehead, saying that enough is enough.

The Whitehead piece riffs off of an article gone viral, written by a Los Angeles police veteran named Sunil Dutta who has now become the poster boy for the American police state. In the piece, Dutta proclaims that “If you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you." It is the ultimate declaration of the blue supremacy that has metastasized through American law-enforcement like a cancer. Dutta's declaration of police godhood ran in the Washington Post and is entitled "I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me."

The piece has drawn both deserved condemnation as well as praise from those who have a skewed idea of what it is to live in a free country with a system of legal checks and balances. No matter how much that the U.S. Constitution has been gutted by Clinton, Bush and Obama it is still the only document that truly matters if we are to still live in that shining city on the hill as President Ronald Reagan liked to refer to America.

More terrifying than the militarized police and the "undeclared state of martial law" that Rutherford refers to is that so many are lining up in lockstep unity behind the government goon squads. There will always be those who support the hard-liners, skull-crackers, knuckle-draggers and whichever alpha male politician emerges from the pack to lead them. There is a certain percentage of those who are prone to authoritarianism in every society. These types have been chronicled in many a work including Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer" of which President Dwight D. Eisenhower reportedly was a fan. Ike truly understood the dangers of fascism from a real first hand perspective as the Supreme Commander of the American forces that defeated the Nazis. He also understood the menace of the Military Industrial Complex which he famously warned of in his farewell address - the American police state is the bastard child of this.

The true believers, the authority worshippers and the adherents of the cult of the uniform are of particular danger in these twisted times but even worse are the apathetic and clueless Americans, the sheeple as they are often referred to. Whitehead also addresses them in  "Turning America Into a War Zone, Where ‘We the People’ Are the Enemy":

You see, what Americans have failed to comprehend, living as they do in a TV-induced, drug-like haze of fabricated realities, narcissistic denial, and partisan politics, is that we’ve not only brought the military equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan home to be used against the American people. We’ve also brought the very spirit of the war home.

This is what it feels like to be a conquered people. This is what it feels like to be an occupied nation. This is what it feels like to live in fear of armed men crashing through your door in the middle of the night, or to be accused of doing something you never even knew was a crime, or to be watched all the time, your movements tracked, your motives questioned.

This is what it’s like to be a citizen of the American police state. This is what it’s like to be an enemy combatant in your own country.

So if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, by all means, stand down. Cower in the face of the police, turn your eyes away from injustice, find any excuse to suggest that the so-called victims of the police state deserved what they got.

But remember, when that rifle finally gets pointed in your direction—and it will—when there’s no one left to stand up for you or speak up for you, remember that you were warned.

The window of opportunity to stop - or at least slow the momentum of the juggernaut - is rapidly closing. People should heed the warnings of patriotic Americans such as John Whitehead instead of sitting on their couches and just tuning out. It will be too late when their doors are kicked down by militarized police shock troops in the middle of Dancing With the Stars.

Website Deadspin Begins Compiling Police Shooting Database

If one good thing has come out of the ugliness, race-baiting and national embarrassment ongoing in Ferguson, MO it is an increasing awareness of the American police state. The response to largely peaceful protests  by a small army of heavily militarized police goons has for the first time since September 11, 2001 – the day that changed everything – triggered an overdue pushback against the fascism that has been imposed on Americans.  The USA after that day ceased to exist as we knew it, being turned into something that is a blasphemy to the republic envisioned by the founding fathers.  The country is now often referred to as The Homeland, a label that  is eerily similar to the German term Heimat and the presence of paramilitary police stormtroopers makes it all the more foreign in nature.

There were wars waged for politics and profit, unprecedented domestic warrantless surveillance and data-mining on millions of innocent citizens and most of all, the arming and weaponizing of the police. For the first time the red, white and blue curtain has been pulled back and Americans have glimpsed the monster that has been hiding behind it. A rational person could have figured that the overwhelming paramilitary and police response in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings where a large portion of a major U.S. city was place under a state of martial law would have been a wake-up call. Black Kevlar clad thugs patrolled the streets, conducting warrantless house to house searches in search of one murderous little punk. It was overkill but being wrapped in the guise of vengeance it was not only accepted but later celebrated while providing Leviathan with the perfect chance to conduct a large scale martial law drill.

Ferguson was now quite so egregious but is coming to be the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. The police brutality, police shootings, police murdering of dogs and the growing “us versus them” mindset have been evident for quite some time now and the rise of social media have provided citizens with a tool to fight back. Today there is growing momentum to put a choke chain on the attack dogs of the police state and to take away all of their toys that belong on a battlefield and not American streets.
An example is the filming of a deranged police officer in Ferguson pointing his automatic weapon at the crowd and menacingly growling “I will f*cking kill you, get back”. This is not the conduct of a dedicated public servant but rather that of a psychotic, power-drunk fascist and thanks to social media the cop was quickly identified and removed from the area. An account of the incident as well as stills and videos can be seen at the watchdog website Police State USA "Cop aims rifle at crowd of protesters and journalists, says he “will f***ing kill” them":

FERGUSON, MO — In the middle of a crowded street filled with protesters and journalists, an officer erratically swept the crowd with his rifle and threatening to kill civilians.
The incident occurred on August 19th, 2014, on West Florissant Avenue which was filled with people holding cameras and signs, protesting police brutality and perceived government injustice.
Civilians with cameras spotted a deranged officer and became immediately alarmed at his behavior.

“Oh my God… gun raised, gun raised, gun’s pointed,” said a voice off-camera.
“My hands are up bro, my hands are up,” said a man filming the event, broadcasting live on his UStream account.

“I will f***ing kill you, get back,” hissed the unstable officer, sweeping his muzzle back and forth over a crowd of innocent people.

Someone in the group can be heard asking, “You’re going to kill him? What’s your name, sir?”
The officer replied: “Go f*** yourself.”

The crowd immediately latched onto the nickname, “Officer Go F*** Yourself.”

The officer was later identified as Lt. Ray Albers of the St. Ann Police Department, in St. Ann, Missouri. He is a 20-year veteran officer and severed 4 years in the U.S. Army.

Amazingly, the experienced officer managed to ignore years of firearm training by aiming his rifle directly at numerous innocent people. The act might have been called “gross negligence” up until the point where he actually articulated homicidal intentions to bystanders. At that point, he was demonstrating that he had both the means and the intention to kill innocent civilians.

Citizens routinely get shot on sight by police officers for holding garden hoses, golf clubs, cell phones, wallets, toys, and all manner of other harmless items. In this incident, Lt. Albers was actually sweeping a crowd with a real rifle — a deadly threat by any objective standard.

The act was witnessed by dozens, including other police officers. Albers was neither shot nor arrested. Instead of disarming and handcuffing the gunman, another officer was filmed gently redirecting him and walking away. The criminal behavior was apparently of no concern.

UPDATE: Lt. Albers has been suspended, pending an investigation.

Such behavior by so-called law enforcement has to end if we are to remain a free country and right now that is hanging by a very thin thread.  I am old enough to remember the days when the police did not roll up in military grade armored vehicles dressed in Darth Vader costumes and armed to the teeth with machine guns and grenade launchers. The motto of to “protect and to serve” now has been flipped to “search and destroy” stop.

A critical part of fighting the police state is in documenting the reports of abuses and the website Deadspin which is normally devoted to publishing an alternative version of sports stories has taken the lead. Deadspin is asking for the help of all volunteers in assisting with the compilation of information to put into the database. The article is here and is entitled "We're Compiling Every Police-Involved Shooting In America. Help Us" from which I excerpt:

The United States has no database of police shootings. There is no standardized process by which officers log when they've discharged their weapons and why. There is no central infrastructure for handling that information and making it public. Researchers, confronted with the reality that there are over 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the country, aren't even sure how you'd go about setting one up. No one is keeping track of how many American citizens are shot by their police. This is crazy. This is governmental malpractice on a national scale. We'd like your help in changing this.

Here, we're going to take a cue from Jim Fisher, who as far as we can tell has compiled the most comprehensive set of data on police shootings in 2011. Fisher's method was simple: He searched for any police-involved shooting every day for an entire year. By our lights, this is the best way to scrape this information—any time a police officer shoots and hits a citizen, it will almost certainly make a local news report, at least. However, this is a time-intensive process, and our manpower is limited. Having gathered some of the data, we can say it will take the few of us here a very long time to do this on our own. So, we're setting up a public submission form and asking for help with this project.

The guidelines for participation are listed in the article so please go and take a look for yourself. It is imperative for the survival of the very idea of America as a free country to get the police state under control now while there is still a chance. Hopefully Deadspin's project will lead to spin-offs that track actual incidents of no-knock nighttime raids, police beatings, puppycides and other examples of police harassment that can be further used to spread awareness and influence politicians.

The time to act is now before Orwell's grim vision of the future: "imagine a boot stamping on a human face -  forever" becomes  the enduring national legacy that is passed on to our children and grandchildren.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Banana Republic USA: More Reporters Arrested in Ferguson

Granted it is not like getting your head chopped off in a promotional video for the extremist Islamist group ISIS as journalist James Foley has suffered, but the press is under attack in America as well. In the continuation of Obama's war on journalism,  more reporters were arrested or otherwise detained in Ferguson, Missouri during coverage of the civil unrest. Not that Obama, his vicious hatchet man Eric Holder or any of the heavily armed thugs that are imposing borderline martial law in Ferguson give a rat's ass but we do have this thing called the First Amendment. That one most precious of gift from the founding fathers provides a guarantee of a free press in America and therefore has been targeted for elimination.

According to an article published by CNN entitled "6 more journalists arrested in Ferguson protests":

Six journalists were taken into custody while covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday and early Tuesday, aggravating what one press freedom group has called a "concerted, top-down effort to restrict the fundamental First Amendment rights of the public and the press."
The incidents bring the total number of journalists arrested during the mid-August protests to 11.
Other journalists reported being threatened with arrest and affected by tear-gas on Monday night. Authorities tried to restrict members of the news media to a designated area away from the protests, sometimes nicknamed a "press pen."

The latest arrests came on the same day that President Barack Obama reaffirmed his support for journalists on the ground in Ferguson. "Let me also be clear that our constitutional rights to speak freely, to assemble, and to report in the press must be vigilantly safeguarded, especially in moments like these," the President said at a Monday afternoon news conference.

The journalists arrested ranged from photographer Scott Olson of Getty Images, reporter Kerry PicketRyan Devereaux from The Intercept and three Germans reporting on our sham democracy in The Homeland. These arrests followed last week’s display of militarized police assaulting and arresting two reporters. The public relations debacle included Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery whose account was published the next day.  The thug police temporarily stood down and now are trolling for any who might catch their bullying on camera. It is like we live in some sort of third world dictatorship run by a petty and petulant tin-pot despot. Whoops, we do - it is just another day in Obamastan.

Obama is a colossal hypocrite. While he recites the drivel spoon-fed to him off his handy teleprompter about letting reporters do their jobs, he continues to be the greatest enemy to press freedom  in recent history. His rotten to the core administration has been the most hostile to the press since Richard M. Nixon stalked the halls of the White House braying at demons and compiling an enemies list.  I have no doubt that Obama does these things as well. The man is a complete fascist and yet there are moronic liberals and Democrats (but I repeat myself) who still defend the slimy bastard for the same things that they wanted to see Bush swinging from the end of a rope for. Hell, Bush was like Thomas Jefferson when compared to Obama who is a one-man Constitutional wrecking crew.

And Obama can go on television, throw out his chest and vow revenge against ISIS for the beheading of Foley all the he wants. However,  when his administration is hellbent at throwing Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist James Risen into prison for doing his job it is just more of Barry’s bullshit. The next time that Obama wants to squeal for “justice” against Islamist fanatics in ISIS he should at least own up to some accountability in acknowledging that his regime is complicit in it’s creation. Obama’s failed foreign policy is what facilitated the endless flow of American funded weapons into Syria. He signed off on arming some of the most violent elements of global jihad to use as a proxy army against Bashar al Assad including al Qaeda affiliates and even admitted fucking cannibals.

In Obamastan the only time that the rights of a journalist matter is whenever dear leader can use an act of barbarism to score cheap political points in an election year. Were this still a decent country where the rule of law were honored, Mr. Obama would have been frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs by now.

I mean just how fucked up does this shit have to get before Americans EVERYWHERE rise up against it?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Lesser of Two Evils Is Still Evil: An Interview With St. Pete for Peace

As the old saying goes, “the greatest trick that the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”. It is remarkable as to how applicable that this saying is when applied to President Barack Obama. Obama was widely hailed as the man who would lead the nation out of the dark wilderness of the Bush-Cheney years of war, torture, mass-surveillance, destruction of civil liberties and grand scale theft by the jackals of high finance. Now it is apparent that Obama is not only a fraud but is arguably far worse than Bush and Cheney because El Presidente kills with a smile. Ever more so when it is the extrajudicial murders of American citizens who just happen to be on the “kill list” that is brought to him alongside his morning orange juice.

Fozzie Bear fascism has been a hot seller in the USA! USA! USA! under Obama and far too many fail to realize that there has been not only a seamless continuity bridging the road to hell of Bush-Cheney but actually a codifying of their worst policies. President Barack Obama and his criminal administration have enabled the worst thieves on Wall Street, enhanced and expanded the NSA’s surveillance and data-mining operations, enabled and supported war criminals conducting ethnic cleansing and murder operations in Gaza and Ukraine and currently has the country on a path to World War III with Russia.

The corrupt state-corporate media never calls bullshit, instead covering up for the worst of Obama’s policies and acts while focusing on minutiae, spinning identity group issues so as to cover his previous indifference - for example to gays - and painting him as a victim of a deeply entrenched racist opposing party hell-bent at undermining his agenda. Nothing could be farther than the truth - Obama is carriyng out his exact agenda and outside of the political circus of the dueling cults of the red elephant and the blue jackass there is rock-solid bipartisan support for what really matters to these people: war, fascism and wealth extraction.

With the dismal failure of the media to provide honest coverage it is always great to see grass roots groups who are dedicated to freedom, justice and dignity getting their message out. As George W. Bush once flippantly remarked - “you need to catapult the propaganda” he was onto something.

Following up on an article that I recently wrote on a Florida activist group’s efforts to get out the word on the U.S. support of Israeli war crimes and genocide in my piece "Florida Group Bypasses Media to Get Word Out on Israeli War Crimes" I am proud to have been able to participate in an email interview with members of St. Pete for Peace. The group is currently engaged in an informational campaign to spread awareness that the Democrats are truly no better than their more overtly fascist counterparts when it comes to the business of America: WAR. The group is also running a contest “NOT The Lesser of Two Evils” which this writer strongly encourages that you take a look at.

DONN MARTEN: Why is St. Pete for Peace doing this contest?

CHRIS ERNESTO: The contest was designed to get people to think about the still rampant believe among many liberals and progressives that the Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party.

For almost 12 years St. Pete for Peace has been presenting facts to dispel this myth, but we felt we needed to take it up a notch and challenge people via this contest. The contest is also designed to give people an outlet for expressing their disgust with the one party system here in the US.

DONN MARTEN: You say that Democrats are just as egregious as Republicans. Why is this?

CHRIS ERNESTO: St. Pete for Peace is non-partisan, which means we can be objective, unlike most people who label themselves Democrats or Republicans. Because of this objectivity, it's been very easy to conclude that Democrats are at least as egregious as Republicans.

Look no further than Barack Obama’s foreign policy. We believe war is the worst possible thing that can happen in society. In part because war inevitably includes death, suffering, poverty, sexual assaults, depression, homelessness, child abuse, environmental destruction, drug addiction, disease, misery, anger, and much more, all of which is bad.

Many people believe Obama less of a warmonger than George W. Bush, but Obama has dropped bombs on 6 countries compared to the 4 countries bombed under Bush.

And Obama has simply replaced US boots on the ground with drones, mercenaries and Special Ops. In fact Obama has deployed US Special Forces to 134 countries - compared to 60 under Bush.

He has significantly increased the US military footprint in Africa - at least 27 African nations now have a US military presence.

He has waged war on Libya without congressional approval, he tripled the troops in Afghanistan, he sharply escalated the drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, he's continued the proxy war in Somalia, he tried to start a war in Syria, he supports Israel's war on Gaza (as did every Democratic US Senator), and now he's started another war in Iraq. And yes, it is a war in Iraq - anytime you drop bombs in a country it is a war.

Obama's Bush-like rhetoric regarding Iraq is particularly disturbing. You would think Dick Cheney is writing the president's speeches again when you hear Obama mocking Americans by saying the US is just sending military “advisers” to Iraq to stop ISIS because they are a threat to national security. He even has the nerve to package US airstrikes as a “humanitarian” effort. What’s next, having an orgy to encourage celibacy? Or having a keg party to promote sobriety?

It’s bad enough that Obama’s followers give him a pass on his hyper-violent foreign policy and the corresponding deceit, but for them to sit back and remain silent as Obama and the US are on the same side as ISIS in Syria and now are bombing them in Iraq is sickening. But the Democratic Party knows their constituency will just covers their eyes and ears. They know their voters prefer to be willfully ignorant.
And to top it off, the Obama administration is supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Can you imagine what Democrats would be saying if a Republican president supported neo-Nazis? But again, their guy does it and they either deny it or look the other way.

St. Pete for Peace knew Obama was not a person of peace after reading his words in 2002 in which he stated, “I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war.” Can you imagine if he replaced the word “war” with “child abuse” or “sexual assaults”? Are child abuse and sexual assault worse than war? Of course not, since all wars include child abuse and sexual assault, as was stated earlier.

For years we’ve heard Democrats say they “can’t risk having a Republican in office” for fear of what that might mean for domestic issues. We believe it’s time for people in this country to look past their own noses for a minute and to consider what the party they voted for is doing to other people around the world.
And to those people who claim that John McCain or Mitt Romney would have bombed even more countries than Obama has bombed, well, Obama has already bombed two more countries than Bush bombed, so that claim is baseless.

DONN MARTEN: So, is it just Obama’s foreign policy that makes you believe he and the Democrats are at least as bad as Republicans?

CHRIS ERNESTO: Definitely not. The Obama Fact Sheet on the St. Pete for Peace website maps it all out. It includes news reports from the past six years detailing things Obama has done. Here are some of the lowlights.

Obama has a “secret kill list” that he discusses on “Terror Tuesdays”, and he has assassinated at least 4 US citizens without trial.

Obama fully defends the NSA spying program and mandated the Insider Threat Program, which orders federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues.

He has waged a war on whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.

He signed the Monsanto Protection Act into law, giving Monsanto complete legal protection as they poison our food and crush family businesses.

He has deported a record-2 million immigrants.

He did a TV commercial for “clean coal”, he touted nuclear power even after the Fukishima disaster, and said that offshore oil drilling is safe even after the Gulf oil spill.

He is pushing the TPP, which is essentially NAFTA on steroids.

He sold $30 billion worth of weapons to the Saudi Arabian dictatorship.

He defended body scans and pat downs at airports.

He signed the Patriot Act extension into law.

He planned $355 billion for a nuclear weapons program.

More than 7,000 people were arrested during the Occupy protests under his watch.

Many people say that the Republican Party is scary and dangerous. We agree, so why has Obama given Bush and Cheney absolute immunity for everything they’ve done?

Obama keeps pushing the perilous notion of “American Exceptionalism” and the false, jingoistic concept that the US military is a force for good and is “protecting our freedoms.” Following the disastrous Bush years, Obama could have easily taken the US down a different path but he has instead pushed the same ideals as Bush, just in a more intelligently spoken, charming way. Manifest Destiny and xenophobia are principles that could have been laid to rest, or at least diffused. Instead, Obama and Democrats have normalized them.

DONN MARTEN: OK but if a Supreme Court Justice retires while Obama is president, you'd have to admit this would be better than a Supreme Court Justice retiring when a Republican were president, right?

CHRIS ERNESTO: The Supreme Court has the final say in the law in the United States, a self-described “country of laws.” If the United States were a democracy, the people of the US would get to vote on who becomes a Supreme Court Justice. And the people of the US would be able to throw out of office a person who’s on the Supreme Court. But we don’t because we don’t have anything close to a democracy. Given the recent passage of Citizens United and McCutcheon, the only people who will be elected into Congress or the White House will be those who raise the most money, and the vast majority of that money will come from corporations, not everyday people. Similarly, corporate money, not a particular party will determine who becomes the next Supreme Court Justice, regardless of who’s in the Oval Office.

But even if it did matter, can you live with yourself knowing that you voted for a murderer just because you think she or he may possibly appoint someone to the bench who is more aligned with your domestic views? What message does it send to our children if we say it’s OK to vote for someone who murders just because you may get something out of it?

DONN MARTEN: What about gay marriage? Obama has done better than a Republican president would have done on this issue, correct?

CHRIS ERNESTO: During his first term, when Obama was opposed to gay marriage, St. Pete for Peace was supporting actions and groups who believe in full equality for everyone. Prior to his re-election, Obama obviously was told he needed the votes of the LGBTQ community, so he changed his position. Of course this is good news, and you see what can happen when the President does the right thing -- being pro-gay marriage is now cool. Wouldn’t it be nice if he did the same thing for other issues, like how the FBI uses false sting operations to target Muslims in the US, or how police in this country have become so militarized that young black men and protesters are treated like 2nd class citizens?

DONN MARTEN: But Democrats are better than Republicans on gun rights and a woman's right to choose, doesn't that matter?

CHRIS ERNESTO: If a Republican President tried to overturn Roe v. Wade there would be millions of people on the street. People would stop going to work, the economy would slow down and there would
be a near revolution. The same holds true for if a Democratic President tried to overturn the 2nd Amendment.

Both parties know this. So, when the Republicans need to energize their voting base, they start telling people “Obama wants to take away your guns.” Democrats do the same with the abortion issue.
On a state level, it is a different story, but when it comes to Congress and the White House, the issues of guns and abortion are simply a way to maintain the Republican vs. Democrat paradigm, and to trick people into plugging their nose and voting for “the lesser of two evils.” But it’s just a ruse.

DONN MARTEN: OK, regarding your contest, how will the winner of the contest be selected?

CHRIS ERNESTO: A committee from St. Pete for Peace will read through all of the submissions and determine which response best describes why Obama and the Democrats are “NOT the lesser of two evils.” All entries will be viewed anonymously and extra weight will be given to brief responses – we’re looking for talking points more so than essays. You can enter the contest at

DONN MARTEN: Finally, Chris, if you only had 10 seconds to challenge a Democrat today, what would you say?

CHRIS ERNESTO: Hop to it, Democrats, or you’re going to make many of us cheer for an all Republican Congress and hope that the next President of the United States is a Republican. At least that way, maybe Democrats will become "antiwar" again.

The only true “hope” and “change” will come to America when people begin to turn off their television sets and find out the real truth about who is really running this country. It is because of groups like St. Pete for Peace and other dedicated activists, independent participants who put country before party and alternative media journalists, bloggers and media savvy volunteers who are able to circumvent the corrupt state-corporate media to spread the word that all is not as it seems.

LINK: Tampa Bay Independent Radio Station WMNF 88.5 interview with Dina Formentini of St. Pete For Peace.