Mar 9, 2014
Obama’s Terror Campaign
Posted on Apr 22, 2013
The president maintains a “global system of kidnapping, torture, rape and murder” to demoralize and coerce those who would oppose the American-led neoliberal empire, political economist Rob Urie writes in CounterPunch.
Barack Obama “claimed the right to ‘look forward, not back’ ” when he entered office in 2009. It wasn’t his to claim. U.S. law required the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed by the Bush administration, namely the systematic torture carried out throughout the last decade’s war on terror confirmed in a report released this month by the bipartisan, government-independent Constitution Project. By denying even an attempt at justice—for the supposed sake of preserving national unity—the president confirmed America’s official policy of torture and terror in the 21st century.
Instead of reviving the international sanction against aggressive war, torture and the imprisonment of innocents, Obama employed “opaque public relations techniques, quasi-sophisticated language and his casual demeanor” to throw fuel on the fire of all of those practices. He chose “continuity and enhancement over clear, straightforward and unambiguous break with Mr. Bush’s catastrophic policies,” codifying “them into the set of ‘acceptable’ [and bipartisan] practices of American empire.”
All this in spite of the fact that these methods do not make the world safer for Americans. Torture doesn’t produce reliable information and offers of cash to inform on innocent people said to have committed crimes—such as the Bush administration offered to poor Afghans—created incentives for the betrayal of neighbor by neighbor. Far more people are killed by drones, or left to languish in jail awaiting a prosecution that will never come, or mutilated for information they can’t provide, than are guilty or possess knowledge of actual crimes.
So why stick to such methods? Because, writes Urie: “The unstated purpose of imperial torture and murder is to provide evidence of imperial power—to produce subservience and acquiescence through random terror,” and thus to shape a planet full of people, at home and abroad, who dare neither to question nor oppose official practices and policies.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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