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The Obama Apology That Is Needed
Posted on Nov 17, 2013
By Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance
Tonight I am announcing that we are erasing what has been done so far and re-starting the TPP negotiations. For the last four years we have negotiated in secret with more than 600 corporate advisors helping to draft the text. This text cannot be saved and must be started anew. It is evident from the experience of the last 15 years that negotiating trade agreements that are rigged for big business interests does not work and is not supported by the people. We cannot continue to use trade negotiations as an end-around democracy. The World Trade Organization has been stopped from making progress since the 1990s and 14 trade agreements have been stopped over that time because people do not support rigged trade for transnational corporations. Obviously, the approach we are taking is not working and is not serving the people and planet.
The new approach to trade needs to be transparent and inclusive. We want the participation of civil society in all the countries that are part of the negotiations. I have learned that the public interest is best met when the views of the people are heard. And, we need to set a new framework going forward. Trade needs to build a new economy for the 21st Century. This needs to be the century we end poverty, meet basic necessities and lift the wealth of all people as well as develop economic relationships that help make diplomacy by war a thing of the past. The framework I am putting forward tonight begins with putting the necessities of the people and the protection of the planet before excessive profits by corporations.
Finally, while my administration has been at odds with Julian Assange and Wikileaks, as well as other whistleblowers, tonight I want to say thank you to them. Before becoming president I said that I believed in transparent government and that whistleblowers play an important role in getting out the truth. As president I have learned that sometimes these truths are ones of which I am not even fully aware. I am directing the Department of Justice and Department of Defense to review all prosecutions and convictions of whistleblowers. In addition, the issues they have exposed will now be reviewed by people independent of the government. We will not have the NSA and members of the intelligence establishment reviewing the spying on Americans. We will have critics of the NSA making such a review and recommendations. This is the model we will use on a host of issues that have been exposed.
I realize many Americans are already well-aware of the corruption of government by big business interests that has been created by the rule of money. And, I know that as the candidate who has set two records in campaign spending, that I have been part of that problem. I pledge in my remaining time in office that I will do all I can to end the rule of money and empower people – not only in our electoral system but also in the running of government on a day-to-day basis. I cannot do this without the help and participation of the American people, so this will not be the last message to you on these important matters.
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President Barack Obama
Author’s note: If President Obama really wanted to apologize to the American people he would not be focused on the fact that some have been required to drop poor insurance plans, but would apologize for the ACA requiring them to buy poor insurance plans that leave them paying 30 percent to 40 percent of the cost of healthcare if they get the most common silver and bronze plans. He would be apologizing that the ACA is a symptom of his administration which is dominated by Wall Street and other big business interests like Monsanto serving as food czar, the outsourcer General Electric serving as jobs czar and the Attorney General coming from a corporate law firm that represents the big banks and other business interests. We are not holding our breath expecting President Obama to apologize for these actions, but hope that others will work with us to build a mass popular resistance that can change the direction of the government and the economy. Change has always come from the bottom up, so we are not waiting for the top to acknowledge their own corruption.
Kevin Zeese is an organizer at Popular Resistance.
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