Obama Signs 2017 National Defense Authorization Act

Fascist Trump Threatens the World with a Strengthened U.S. Military

January 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


At the end of December, in a series of tweets and statements, Trump threatened to use the ultimate U.S. military weapon—nuclear bombs—to incinerate the world. He said: “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” and, “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

Right when this was happening, Obama signed the 2017 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), which strengthens the power of the U.S. military to dominate and wage war all over the world. The NDAA is a U.S. federal law that specifies the budget and expenditures of the U.S. Department of Defense. Each year’s NDAA includes added provisions.

What Obama will now hand over to Trump, if Trump is allowed to become president, are $619 billion for war and military spending; an increase in the number of active-duty soldiers to more than 1.3 million; and the continued operation of, and restrictions on, transfers of prisoners out of the U.S. torture camp known as the Guantánamo Bay detention center.

The U.S. camp at Guantánamo Bay was set up in 2002 by the Bush regime after 9/11 and has continued to operate for eight years under Obama. The prisoners at Guantánamo—the majority never even charged with anything—have been subjected to physical and psychological torture. Obama didn’t close down Guantánamo, as he had promised, and has now added restrictions that will make it even harder for remaining prisoners to be released.

Just think about how Trump, if allowed to become president, will use this NDAA provision. This is the man who told the Miami Herald, “We’re gonna load it [Guantánamo] up with some bad dudes, believe me,” and who has threatened to do “worse” than torture.

Another part of the 2017 NDAA is a “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act,” which mandates the creation of a “Global Engagement Center.”

This purpose of this center is basically to compile and examine information coming out of foreign governments and what is termed “foreign propaganda and disinformation efforts.” The center will then “develop, plan, and synchronize,” in coordination with the secretary of defense and other government departments and agencies, initiatives to “expose and counter foreign propaganda and disinformation directed against United States national security interests and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support United States allies and interests.” What this translates to is looking at anything from foreign governments and the press in those countries that is deemed harmful to U.S. imperialist interests and then launching counter-propaganda campaigns. The targets of such U.S. actions could include, for example, something like the Guardian, based in the UK, which has done extensive and ongoing exposure about police murder and brutality in the United States.

Now, think about what Trump, if he is allowed to become president, would do with what is essentially a ministry of U.S. imperialist propaganda. He will be the one to appoint the director of it. He and his fascist regime will be the ones to determine what constitutes “anti-U.S. propaganda” and what measures would be used to punish foreign governments and foreign press that put out information that these fascists deem “harmful to U.S. security.”

Trump is a man who spits out lies on a daily basis. He has attacked journalists who he disagrees with just for saying critical things about him. He totally disregards the U.S. Constitution and has attacked freedom of the press. While this provision in the NDAA is aimed at restricting “foreign propaganda,” it could open the door to similar measures aimed at the media and journalists in the United States.



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