Obama’s Legacy Is Death, Destruction, and Economic Ruin
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—Every one of President Obama’s signature programs, starting with Obamacare, has brought nothing but death, destruction, and economic ruin to the American people. Today, Obamacare is totally collapsing, as millions of working families, living just above the poverty level, are facing premium hikes of 60-70% a year, as their coverage shrinks. The so-called millions of Americans, who Obama boasts now, for the first time, have health insurance, are mostly people whose earnings have collapsed to the point that they qualify for Medicaid, the health care program for people living at the poverty level—or who are living slightly above the poverty level and qualify for subsidies. For everyone else, Obamacare is a ticket to reduced medical care, potential early death, and impoverishment.
People are dying needlessly because of Obama’s so-called health-care reforms, which were written by and for the insurance companies, who are now themselves fleeing from the Obamacare insurance pools because the program is collapsing and the reimbursements are shrinking.
President Obama’s drug enforcement policies, which he got from George Soros and ultimately, from the British Crown, are as murderous, if not worse. The United States has been experiencing an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose deaths since Obama came into office. For the past two days, the Washington Post has been reporting on the fact that the Obama Administration, through the Department of Justice, effectively shut down all drug enforcement programs aimed at the major pharmaceutical companies and drug distributors that were cranking out highly addictive opioids and flooding them directly onto the black market, often through unregulated online pharmacies. According to the Post account, there were 249 million prescriptions for opioids written in 2015, and overdose deaths have been growing at a 15% per year rate.
And remember President Obama’s 2008 campaign promise that he “owned” the Afghanistan war? The U.S. and NATO are still bogged down in Afghanistan, eight years later; the Taliban, ISIS, and the Haqqani network are controlling more and more territory, and opium production is through the roof. According to a report issued on Oct. 23 from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Afghan opium production this year is up by 43%, to over 4,800 tons. And eradication has been all but shut down entirely. Officially, the amount of opium captured or eradicated is down by 91% over the past year. No wonder, throughout the United States, opioid addicts who can no longer afford prescription OxyContin can buy heroin on the street for a quarter of the price.
Obama is playing a leading role in a new Opium War against the United States, which is ultimately being run out of London. It is no wonder that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who just suffered a humiliating defeat when the Colombian people rejected his rotten amnesty deal with the narco-terrorist FARC guerrillas, is soon to travel to Buckingham Palace, to confer with the British Royals on how to salvage the FARC deal. For the past several years, in anticipation of the amnesty, coca production in the FARC-controlled region of southern Colombia has also skyrocketed.
You cannot possibly consider the consequences of having tolerated eight years of the Obama Presidency without adding up this body count. For every innocent person killed abroad by Obama’s drone wars, overseen personally by President Obama through his regular Tuesday “kill sessions” at the White House, how many Americans have died as the direct consequence of the Obamacare fraud and the flooding of the country with illicit drugs?
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Diplomatic Paralysis in Washington on Syria Next Step
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—The Washington Post reported, yesterday, that plans to send heavier weapons to anti-Assad Syrian rebels remain on the table. In fact, they’re stuck there, Obama apparently having refused to take up that option, which was on the table at a recent meeting that Obama had with his national security team.
“Neither approved nor rejected, the plan was left in a state of ambiguity that U.S. officials said reflects growing administration skepticism about escalating a covert CIA program that has trained and armed thousands of Syrian fighters over the past three years,” the Postreports. In short, the critics of the proposal, including Secretary of State Kerry and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, argue that with the Russians firmly ensconced in Syria, it would increase the violence without affecting the outcome; Assad would still be in power. And, it could end up killing Russians which would worsen the confrontation between the U.S. and Russia over Syria. One senior U.S. official even said that it is time for a “ruthless” look at whether agency-supported fighters can still be considered moderate.
“The Russians have seized the initiative,” said a second senior administration official involved in Syria discussions. “You can’t pretend you can go to war against Assad and not go to war against Russia.” They also don’t trust the CIA’s own assessments of the program. “Does it make any sense that the people who are totally invested in this program … are the same people who are writing analyses of the Syrian opposition on which decisions are based on the future of that program?” one official asked.
Elsewhere, the opposition to any escalation of foreign intervention in Syria, and the proposals to punish Russia with further sanctions, is increasing. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in an interview with ARD TV yesterday, said that more confrontation, in this case in the form of sanctions, won’t solve any problems with Russia, and may have the opposite effect.
“I am afraid that the re-use of solutions that were applied in former conflicts, of sanctions, will not help prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the case of Syria, since sanctions have a delayed effect to be able to help open a humanitarian corridor,” he said. “Even, on the contrary, they may close the window of opportunities for talks we badly need.”
But there may not be much talking anyway. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said today that the conditions for another meeting in the Lausanne format just don’t exist, with U.S. elections imminent.
‘White Helmets’ an Arm of U.S.-U.K. Military Intervention in Syria
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—The World Health Organization’s Christina Lin has published a useful exposé of the so-called civil defense group “White Helmets” as operatives of the U.S. and U.K. governments on the ground in Syria. In Asia Times today, Lin wrote that, while the White Helmets claim to be independent, they are “funded through U.S. State Department’s USAID to the tune of $23 million and $29 million from the U.K. government. Various disturbing videos and photos have also emerged of White Helmet members carrying weapons, celebrating with Al Qaeda whenever they defeated the Syrian army in battles, and standing by to watch as rebel jihadists conduct executions, and then immediately rushing forward to place the body in body bags.” She pointed out that there is a real Syrian Civil Defense organization, which has existed since 1953 and is part of all of the United Nations international organizations engaged in legitimate civil defense and humanitarian and disaster relief activities, while the White Helmets belong to none.
Lin noted that recently a White Helmet member from Idlib was arrested as a suspect in a plot to bomb the Berlin airport. She quoted a former director of the U.S. Congressional Task Force for Counter-Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, who described the White Helmets as “largely a ploy for instigating Libya-style Western ‘humanitarian intervention’ (R2P in short). They are a propaganda entity rather than a civil defense … [and] provide the Western media what they want in order to push their line.”
She concluded, “This made the U.S. complicit in the Wahhabi project of using Salafi terrorists to maximize pressure for overthrowing the Syrian government, although Syria had never attacked the U.S., while supporting Al Qaeda groups (ISIS is new name for Al Qaeda in Iraq, while Al Nusra is Al Qaeda in Syria) actually directly harms U.S. national security.”
Duterte vs. Obama: Bloomberg Threatens Military Coup
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—The hysteria in Washington is mounting over the courageous actions of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Obama and Hillary Clinton’s encirclement of China—the Pivot to Asia—has clearly been outflanked and essentially defeated by Duterte’s rejection of Obama’s war policy and imperial dictates, and by his trip to China, joining full steam in the new global paradigm of development and cooperation in the New Silk Road.
The response is threats and more threats from Wall Street and from Wall Street’s puppets in Washington. On Oct. 21, Bloomberg News ran its “Bloomberg View” editorial, signed by the Editorial Board which, while pretending to desire continued friendship with the Philippines, made clear this required the removal, dead or alive, of the President.
“For a moment last week,” it begins, “Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte seemed to have orchestrated one of the most dramatic geopolitical shifts in Asia since the end of the Cold War—abandoning the U.S., his country’s longtime ally, for rival China.” But not to worry, they opine: China’s pledges of infrastructure and soft loans will never come through, while Duterte “wildly inflates his country’s global relevance” by talking about cooperation with both China and Russia.
Then the threat: “The Filipino military has a history of coups—and little interest in replacing American weapons, logistical support, and training, with Russian and Chinese technology…. American commanders are no doubt already reminding their Filipino counterparts that a radical break in relations would have strategic consequences.”
Meanwhile, Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel, who spent the weekend in Manila trying to figure out what to do about Duterte, told the press Duterte’s actions have “created consternation in a number of countries, not only mine. And not only among governments, but also in other communities. In corporate boardrooms as well.” (What corporations? Dope, Inc., perhaps?)
Neither the threat of a coup nor of economic warfare will faze Duterte. He and his cabinet have already declared that the U.S. invests almost exclusively in mining and call centers, while China and others want to invest in building the Philippine real economy. While the threat of assassination (by that mythical “lone assassin”) is very real, a repeat of the U.S.-orchestrated military coup against Marcos in 1986 is a mere fantasy of Obama and his fellow neocons.
General Aoun Wins Hariri, Hezbollah Backing To Be Lebanon’s Next President
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—General Michel Aoun has been backed by both Hezbollah and by Saad al-Hariri, the leader of the Future Bloc, to become President of Lebanon. If Aoun is successfully elected, it promises to stabilize the international political situation. The country is suffering greatly from the effects of the war in Syria, which has left Lebanon, a small country, hosting over a million refugees. Aoun is well known for his nationalist and non-sectarian views.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that Hezbollah members of parliament will vote for Aoun as President, according to the official Lebanese news agency. The announcement came three days after Saad al-Hariri said he would vote for Aoun as President. Lebanon has been without a President—who, according to the Constitution must be from the Christian community—for more than two years. The President will be elected by Parliament on Oct. 31.
COLLAPSING WESTERN FINANCIAL SYSTEM
South Korean Economy in Severe Crisis
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—A combination of the collapse of world trade, and the horrendous policies of the Park Geun-hye government, threaten to drive the South Korean economy into a reverse, or even a crash. The top 100 companies in the country have posted three straight years of declining sales, while a national poll by Chosun Ilbo and Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) found that 90% of the country believe the economy is in a “state of emergency.”
“The economy keeps slowing and shows no signs of recovery, while troubles at Samsung and Hyundai deepen the sense of crisis,” said Bae Sang-keun at KERI. That is in addition to the bankruptcy in August of Hanjin Shipping, South Korea’s largest container shipper, which announced today that it is closing its 10 European operations. The Wall Street Journal says this may be a step towards liquidation.
Lee Ji-pyeong of the LG Economic Research Institute said the sales of big businesses “are shrinking because they can’t find new growth engines. This is also what happened in Japan just before it entered a drawn-out slump in the mid-1990s.” Shin Hyun-han at Yonsei University said, “Korea’s mainstays of shipbuilding, chemicals, steel and electronics have already been suffering from a global supply glut and there is little room for improvements in sales or profitability.”
What is left out of the coverage is that President Park Geun-hye’s capitulation to Obama’s military operations against North Korea and China have undermined her former commitment to a “Eurasian Perspective” in cooperation with Russia and China. A careful study of Duterte’s recent transformation of the Philippines would go a long way to solving Seoul’s crisis.
Colombian President Santos To Confer with British Queen on Drug Legalization ‘Peace’
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—Buckingham Palace and the Colombian Presidency announced last week that President Juan Manuel Santos has been invited by the Queen for a state visit on Nov. 1-3, the first by any Colombian President. The subject of the visit? Salvaging the “peace” accord with the narco-terrorist FARC drug cartel which Colombian voters rejected at the polls on Oct. 2.
The British Monarchy, as the leading patron of the global drug trade for centuries, is stepping forward in its own name to save a “peace accord” designed and negotiated under the supervision of Barack Obama and Tony Blair, which was to be a giant step towards re-establishing “legal” narcotics trade globally, as in the heyday of Britain’s Opium Wars. In the process, Colombia’s government, judicial system, military, and economy were to be co-governed by the FARC—to which Colombians said no.
Santos and his wife will stay at Buckingham Palace as guests of Queen Elizabeth; meet with ambassadors of seven European nations which backed the failed “peace” agreement; address Members of Parliament and guests in the Robing Room; attend a State Dinner at Buckingham Palace, with speeches by Her Majesty and the President, and lunch with Prime Minister Theresa May.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
Is Brexit Coming to America on November 8?
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—An uncomfortable mood is setting in among some media outlets that the hype about Hillary Clinton’s pending Election Day victory over Donald Trump may be a rerun of the Brexit vote in Britain. Going into that vote, all the major British polls were declaring a defeat for Brexit, in some cases by 10%. Exactly the opposite happened, and now there is a quiet panic setting in that when Trump told a recent campaign rally in North Carolina he would win as a “Brexit-plus,” he might be right. The British daily Guardian, Investor’s Business Daily market site, and all of the major TV news outlets have picked up on the Trump statements, paralleling his campaign to the groundswell of support that pushed Britain out of the European Union—and so far, the arguments against the Trump boast have not been convincing. Today, an IBD/TIPP poll found that Clinton and Trump are running statistically neck and neck at 41%, with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson now polling at 8% and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 4%. While the poll flies in the face of the majority of other polls, polling guru Nate Silver has given IBD/TIPP high marks for their accuracy and integrity, and James Carville has recently warned that polling samples by many of the major polling organizations are skewed in favor of likely Democratic voters.
Obama Floods U.S. with Opioids; Kills DEA Enforcement Program
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—Americans are dying from overdoses of opioid-based pain killers at alarming rates, and Obama is to blame. Since assuming office, he has acted to protect the producers and distributers, by hand-cuffing the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in their enforcement efforts. An investigative report by the Washington Postover the Oct. 22-23 weekend gives the details of how this happened.
Since 2000, deaths from opioids have increased steadily—overtaking those from drunk driving around 2010—with over 14,000 people dying in 2014 (the last year for which the CDC published statistics, which omit heroin overdoses). The Washington Postproduced an investigative report on the take-down of enforcement efforts, begun shortly after Obama entered the White House. (In its coverage, the Post avoids naming Obama, only mentions Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder once, and this article, while appearing in print on Sunday, Oct. 23, was not featured on its wider-circulation website.)
As the death-rate increased, in 2005, the DEA created the Office of Diversion Control, targetting the “diversion” of legally-produced drugs to the black market, focussing on the distributers, the middle-men between the producers and the pharmacies. After winning their first case against a small California distributer—eventually forcing them out of business—the ODC set its sights on two “biggies,” the Fortune 500 companies of McKesson and Cardinal Health. In 2008, the DEA won a $13 million conviction against McKesson, followed by a $34 million case Cardinal Health. In 2010, according to court records, the agency had filed 115 “charging documents,” including 52 immediate suspension orders. That’s when the trouble began.
According to Joseph Rannazzisi, then director of the ODC, in 2011, the DEA was on the verge of going to court with what he called “the case of my dreams”—targetting Cardinal Health for massive over-shipments to four Florida pharmacies, including two CVS stores—when he received “an unexpected phone call” from James H. Dinan, then Eric Holder’s #2 man, chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces program at the Justice Department (the official “parent” of the DEA). Eventually, Rannazzisi was summoned to a February 2012 meeting where some of the administration’s highest enforcers—including Dinan; then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole; his chief of staff Stuart Goldberg; and DEA chief counsel Wendy Goggin—just short of Obama, himself, tried to force him to cease and desist in his case against Cardinal Health.
While CVS was eventually forced to pay a $22 million fine in this case, Cardinal Health, although settling, has not been fined. For his tenacity, Rannazzisi lost his job in 2015. The Post says that court records have now identified 13 companies which “knew or should have known that hundreds of millions of pills were ending up on the black market.” Total filed cases began dropping immediately in 2011, and “surrender of licenses” which held steady through 2015, have dropped by 30% so far this year.
The entire Post series is available here:
NEW WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER
With Belgium Defeating CETA, Obama Loses ‘Trojan Horse’ for TAFTA
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—“It will not be possible” for Belgium to approve it today, said the President of Wallonia’s Parliament André Antoine this morning on Belgian radio BEL RTL, responding to the latest “ultimatum” of EU Council President Donald Tusk, who summoned Wallonia to ratify the CETA agreement by today. CETA, or the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, between the EU and Canada is the latest “free trade” offensive, supposedly to kick-start growth in the trans-Atlantic area.
Antoine continued, “There’s a huge mish-mash of texts. This is not serious international law…. Secondly, ultimatums and threats are not part of democracy. We want a deal, we want a treaty, but we want to negotiate it with a minimum of courtesy and respect,” said Antoine. A year-end deadline would be more reasonable. Walloon Socialist Party leader Elio Di Rupo, one of the most vocal opponents of the deal, cast doubt that an agreement could be reached this week. “They took years to negotiate CETA and they refuse to give us a few weeks,” Di Rupo, a former Belgian prime minister, said on Sunday via Twitter. “Will we reach a solution? All depends on the contents. If it doesn’t change enough, we will maintain our opposition.”
The EU and the Wall Street Journal were shocked Oct. 21, after discovering that the Belgian region of Wallonia, voted in 44-22 against ratifying the CETA treaty, declaring the text unacceptable. In a beautiful speech, Paul Magnette, the courageous Minister President of Wallonia, detailed how the Walloon demands and proposals were frankly ignored. Threats against the democratic process should stop, he said. Panic broke out in Brussels.
CETA is rightly considered the “Trojan horse” of Obama’s TAFTA/TTIP free-trade agreement between the United States and the EU. Aside from the usual fantasies about presumed advantages of free trade and deregulation, ratifying CETA would have meant accepting the perverse system of Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which is also the core of Obama’s TAFTA/TTIP. With this dispute settlement “revolution,” “investors” (i.e., private companies, and not individuals) are able to sue sovereign nation-states and claim damages when such states take measures against their actual or potential profit-making.
Former Top South Korea Diplomats Met North Korean Officials in Malaysia
Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—The relatively sane U.S. diplomatic officials who negotiated the 1994 General Framework under Bill Clinton (which could have ended the “Korea crisis” for good if Cheney hadn’t taken over and shut it down), and who represented the U.S. at the Six Party Talks under George W. Bush, held a two-day Track-2 meeting with top North Korean officials in Malaysia Oct. 21-22. Robert Gallucci, who led the 1994 negotiations; Joseph R. DeTrani, who was the deputy at the Six Party Talks; and Dr. Leon Sigal, a Korea expert at the Social Science Research Council in New York, met with Pyongyang’s vice foreign minister Han Song Ryol and other delegates.
Sigal told the press today that the group intended to formulate a proposal for the next administration to replace the failed Obama policy of “strategic patience” (which was insane—refusing to talk until the North gave up its nuclear program. It was designed to allow the North to develop nuclear weapons as a justification for a U.S. military buildup around China.
The North’s stated position, according to Han, was that a peace treaty should be signed before discussion of the nuclear program. The proposal floated by the U.S. team in previous forums is for a peace treaty (especially a no-invasion pledge) to be negotiated while a freeze on the North’s nuclear program is in place, leading to later talks on shutting down the nuclear program.