The Fourth of July- Independence Day; Has Anything Really Changed? Print
Justice News
Written by Joan Russow
Thursday, 03 July 2014 20:30
By Joan Russow, - Global Compliance Research Project -
Throughout his 2008 campaign, Barack  Obama declared that he would "chart a new course for America", and in his victory speech he said: “This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make this change. And this cannot happen if we go back to the way things were." And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, our destiny is shared. But has he moved the United States of America away from its years of militarism, competitiveness and fundamentalism? Enclosed is a list of 100 ways that the United States of America, on July 4, 2014, has not yet, or may not have on moved away from “going back to the way things were. 
Perhaps the system is so entrenched that even a possibly well meaning president is obliged to continue with the way things were. Also there are so many constraints that are impossible even for an American president to overcome, from a Supreme Court with Conservative judges who rule in favour of the Citizen’s United, and in favour of Shelby County v. Holder, overturning the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act; through State rights which drafts legislation on abortion and same sex marriage - to the powerful NRA which opposes all gun reform.
Has the United States achieved the following objectives?
1. To reduce the US military budget by reallocating military expenses and transferring the savings into global social justice as undertaken through numerous UN Conference Action Plans and UN General Assembly Resolutions. (Not YET)
2. To abandon the preemptive/preventive attack policy that has resulted in aggressive attacks on sovereign states and that has been in violation of the UN Charter Article 2 and international law as being the 'supreme' international crime of a war of aggression. (NOT REALLY, BECAUSE HE DID NOT COME OUT AGAINST THE ISRAELI ATTACK AGAINST GAZA AND LIBYA) 
3. To withdraw immediately from any military involvement and occupation of sovereign states including Iraq and Afghanistan. (YES, BEGINNING TO WITHDRAW FROM IRAQ, AND SOMEWHAT FROM AFGHANISTAN)
4. To end the practice of mollifying public opposition by couching aggressive acts in euphemistic "operations" such as "Operation Just Cause", “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, "Operation Enduring Freedom", etc. (PERHAPS, BECAUSE HE APPEARS TO BE CALLING THE OPERATION “COUNTER-INSURGENCY OPERATION“, AND “OPERATION KHANJAR“, WHICH IS LESS MOLLIFYING, BECAUSE IN ENGLISH IT MEANS “CURVED DAGGER“; THUS IT IS DEFINITELY MORE WAR-LIKE THAN “OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM“)
5. To undertake to sign and ratify all Geneva Protocols, including Protocol V, which requires the removal of remnants of war. (NO)
6. To no longer perceive justice in terms of revenge through military intervention and to instead seek justice through the International Court of Justice. (NO)
7. To no longer misconstrue Art. 51 (self-defence) of the Charter of the United Nations to justify premeditated non-provoked military aggression, or to use various such pretexts for invading other sovereign states.  (The US HAS USED INSTEAD “THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT DOCTRINE)
8. To not engage in and to oppose any attempt to undermine the international resolve to prevent the scourge of war; this would include not engaging in intimidation or in offering economic incentives in exchange for support for military interventions. (NOT KNOW) 
9. To be willing to be judged, OR TO HAVE FORMER PRESIDENTS JUDGED   by an international tribunal for any actions that might be deemed to violate international law, to be crimes against the peace, to be war crimes, or to involve genocide. (NOT YET ¬ BECAUSE NOT WILLING TO JUDGE GEORGE BUSH FOR CRIMES AGAINST THE PEACE, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. BUT DOES APPEAR TO BE WILLING TO TRY UNDERLINGS FOR VIOLATING THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE).
10. To not misuse UN "peacekeeping" forces to clean up aggressive acts of destruction and occupation of other states. (PROBABLY NOT CHANGED) 
11. To close and convert to peaceful purposes all US foreign military bases in sovereign states around the world. (NO) 
12. To undertake to respect the mandatory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, and to abide by its decisions. (NO) 
13. To end the circulation and berthing of nuclear powered or nuclear arms-capable vessels throughout the world. (NO) 
14. To no longer engage in "War Games" or "Military Exercises" such as Exercise Trident Fury. (NO, HE HAS EVEN INCREASED WAR GAMES THROUGH THE NORTHWEST TRAINING RANGE COMPLEX) 
15. To discontinue propping up and financing military dictators. Perhaps after what has happened in Libya. The US will abandon the long standing policy enunciated against Somoza “he’s a bastard but he is our bastard” (YES HE HAS OPPOSED MUBARAK AND BASHAR AL –ASSAD BUT HAS REFRAINED FROM OPPOSING THOSE IN BAHRAIN AND SAUDI ARABIA) 
16. To abandon the practice of targeting or assisting in the assassination of leaders of other sovereign states, and of engaging in "regime change" or covert destabilization of democratically elected leaders of or any leader of a sovereign state; to end the interference in the democratic process through US government-funded Non-Governmental Organizations. (THERE WAS MISSION DRIFT LIBYA, REGIME CHANGE AND ASSASSINATION AND RECENTLY THE US WAS INVOLVED IN THE DESTABILIZATION OF VENEZUELA) 
17, to invoke Chapter VI - the peaceful resolutions of disputes - and be prepared to be judged by the International Court of Justice. (NO) 
18. To abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and immediately implement Article VI of the Treaty, (Article VI: commits all parties to pursue negotiations in good faith on measures to end the nuclear arms race and to achieve disarmament.)  NOT YET
19. To end the production of all weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear (US HAS UNDERTAKEN TO ABIDE BY THE NPT), chemical (REUCTION BUT NOT RATIFIED THE CONVENTION), and biological, as agreed to in UNCHE in 1972, and in specific conventions. (PERHAPS, IF HE TRANSLATES HIS RHETORIC INTO ACTION) 
20. To be equally critical of all states, including Israel, which possess nuclear weapons, and to recognize the destabilizing impact of the Middle East as a result of the possession of nuclear weapons. To support the Declaration of a nuclear Arms Free Middle East.  (NO, AT THE 2013 HIGH LEVEL MEETING ON ELEMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS THE US DID NOT SUPPORT A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE MIDDLE EAST) (US did express concern about what was described as singling out Israel in the Declaration for a nuclear free middle east AS WELL DID NOT URGE ISRAEL TO RATIFY THE NPT TREATY.)
21. To reaffirm the obligations under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty to ensure that exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind [humanity].  
Article IV
 States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner. 
 The moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military manoeuvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden. The use of military personnel for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes shall not be prohibited. The use of any equipment or facility necessary for peaceful exploration of the moon and other celestial bodies shall also not be prohibited. NO) 
22. To discontinue the research, development and installation of Ballistic Missile Defence technology. (NOT YET) 
23. To make a full commitment to disarmament and to oppose the continued profit-making from the sale of arms. (NO) 
24. To implement obligations to reduce the trade in small arms. (NOT YET) 
25. To collaborate with the ILO to fund a fair and just transition program for workers currently working in the arms trade. (NOT YET) 
26. To end the destabilization of states and regions through the sale of arms, including through the guise of “foreign aid’. (N0)
27. To end the production of land mines and to sign and ratify the Convention for the Banning of Landmines, and affirm a commitment of funds and continuous effort to remove land mines from all areas of the world where land mines are known to exist. (NO) 
28. To suffocate the production of uranium, and end importing uranium from other states. (NO) 
29. To phase out the use of civil nuclear energy, and refuse to accept nuclear energy as the solution to climate change (NO); and to support the deletion of Article IV of the NPT which bestows the inalienable right of states to access so-called “peaceful` use of nuclear energy. (NO) 
30. To prohibit the use of weapons such as depleted uranium, cluster bombs and DRONES that would be prohibited under the Geneva Protocol II. (NO) 
31. To oppose NATO'S ’neither confirm nor deny first strike policy¹, and support the disbanding of NATO and NORAD. (NO) 
32. To abide by the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of civilians, and respect international human rights and humanitarian law. (NO) 
33. To abide by the Convention against Torture through Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and end the practice of rendition of citizens and to abide by the Geneva Conventions. (HAS NOT YET CLOSED PRISON IN GUANTANAMO) 
59. To urge the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to investigate and estimate the full impact of greenhouse gas emissions by the military, and demand that each state release information related to the greenhouse gas emissions from the production of all weapon systems, military exercises, from war games, weapons testing, military aviation, environmental warfare, troop transfer, military operations, waste generation, reconstruction after acts of violent interventions etc. (NO) 
60. To counter the deniers of the issue of climate change by citing the precautionary principle contained in the legally binding Framework Convention on Climate Change, which reads that where there is a threat of climate change, the lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to postpone measures to prevent the threat [a paraphrase]. (MAY HAVE AND HAS CLEARLY RECOGNIZED THE ANTHROPOGENIC CAUSES OF CLIMATE CHANGE) 
61. To oppose any suggestion that civil nuclear energy is the solution to climate change. (Civil nuclear energy violates the principle that a solution should never be equally bad or worse than the problem it is intended to solve). (NO) 
62. To end the misappropriation of agricultural land for the growing of biofuel. (NO, AND HAS SUPPORTED IT AT THE CSD 17 AND CONTINUES TO SUPPORT IT) 
63. To oppose the practice by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of promoting civil nuclear energy as a solution to climate change [in violation of the principle that a regulator should not a promoter be]. (NO) 
64. To support a Forest Protocol to be linked to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. (NOT YET) 
65. To repeal the Patriot Act because it violates civil and political rights, and results in racial profiling and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights... (NO) To address the issue of the disproportionate incarceration of indigenous and coloured prisoners (NOT YET) 
66. To end the obsession with the war on terror. (LESS EMPHASIS, POSSIBLE DISCUSSION WITH THOSE DEEMED TO BE TERRORISTS) 
67. To end the practice of sending suspects with dual citizenship   to one of the countries that permits torture (probably not) 
68 To stand-your-ground law states that a person may justifiably use force in in self defence  when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an  a obligation to retreat first
69. To release Leonard Peltier, Bradley and to end the pursuit of Snowdon, and Assange   (NO) To release the Cuba 5. (NOT ALL OF THEM) 
70. To clearly distinguish legitimate dissent from criminal acts of subversion. (NOT YET) 
71. To not support Israeli blockade and Israeli treatment of the Gaza Flotilla   (NO) 
72. To abandon the no-fly`` list, and the FBI list of activists. (NOT YET) 
73. To tear down the wall between Mexico and the United States
74. To oppose "SLAPP suits" against public participation. (NOT YET) 
76. To abandon the surveillance of citizens in the United States and elsewhere (NO) Former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt condemns "American data collection mania" and  to end FBI entrapment
77. To end the discrimination against immigrants, and refugees. (NOT YET)
78. To sign and ratify the Convention for the Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families; and the Convention on Refugees; and to revoke the Secure Fence Act and end the unconscionable wall between the United States and Mexico and the patrolling by drones. (NOT YET)
79. To offer amnesty to all those who have been war resisters. (NOT YET)
80. To fully abide by the ILO Convention related to indigenous rights on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples . (NOT YET)
81. To no longer engage in practices that destroy the lands of indigenous people or that are deemed to be inappropriate as agreed to in Agenda 21 (UNCED). (NOT YET)
82, to adopt and abide by the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and ensure the compliance with Article 19- which requires fair and informed consent . (NOT YET) 
83. To respect women's reproductive rights, and abide by commitments made under the International Conference on Population and Development, and the Beijing Platform, and to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, and its Protocols. (NOT YET). The US still appears to oppose the enshrining of the right to abortion in international agreements. While all states allow abortion up to five weeks; over 20 weeks is continually being challenged. 
84. To ratify the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, under which Article 53 has the provision that a treaty is null and void if the treaty violates international peremptory norms. (NOT YET)To ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the international covenant of social economic and cultural rights (NOT YET) 
85. To sign and ratify all the ILO Conventions, including the provisions related to the right to strike, and the right to equal pay for work of equal value. (NOT YET) 
86. To support the institution of an International Court of Compliance linked to the International Court of Justice; The Court of Compliance will hear evidence from citizens of state non-compliance. (NOT YET) 
87. To support the establishment of an International Court of Compliance where citizens can take evidence of state and corporate non-compliance, and where, in the absence of compliance, charters and licences of corporation can be revoked. (NOT YET) 
88. To discharge obligations incurred through conventions, treaties, and covenants; and act on commitments made through conference action plans related to common security - peace, environment, human rights and social justice. (NOT YET) 
89. To sign, ratify, and enact the necessary legislation to ensure compliance with, or respect for Common Security International Conventions, Covenants and Treaties. (NOT YET) 
90. To affirm a commitment to multilateralism and oppose unilateral actions that undermines global common security. (YES, HE HAS BEGUN) 
91. To affirm that true security is not "collective security" or "human security" which has been extended to "humanitarian intervention", and used along with the "responsibility to protect" with a view to justifying military intervention in other states. True security is "common security", not as defined in the SPP, but in documents prepared by Olaf Palme, and which entrench peremptory norms related to the following actions. (NOT YET)
To promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights including labour rights, civil and political rights, social and cultural rights- right to food, right to housing, right to a universally accessible, not-for-profit health care system, right to education and social justice; to this end, to ratify the International Covenant on Social Economic and Cultural Rights.; (NO)
* to enable socially equitable and environmentally sound employment, and ensure the right to development [as per Convention];
* to achieve a state of peace, social justice and disarmament; through reallocation of military expenses, and eradication of poverty;
* to create a global structure that respects the rule of law ; and
* to ensure the preservation and protection of the environment, respect the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, reduce the ecological footprint and move away from the current model of over-consumptive development and toward forms of economic cooperation. 
92. To revoke the citizens United Decision and lead to reform the constitution (NOT YET
93.  To no longer be the ‘Best Democracy that Money can buy (Greg Palast) (NOT YET); [Particularly after the decision of the Citizen’s united Decisions  in 2010 which resulted in the Age of the superpac”
94. To oppose religious extremism and proselytizing including the spread of Evangelical Christianity around the world, which has undermined local indigenous cultures, instilled fear through the dangerous belief in the "rapture", "Armageddon" and "left behind", and to condemn dispensationalist "end times" scenario which has serious irreversible consequences,and has led to the undermining  of other established beliefs and practices. (NOT YET)
96. To end the interference in the democratic process through US government-funded Non-Governmental Organizations, SUCH AS USAID, FREEDOM HOUSE , NED  ETC (NOT YET)
97. To reverse the practice of the United States undermining years of international obligations incurred through treaties, conventions and covenants. (NOT YET)
98. To reverse the practice of the United States of undermining international commitments made through UN Conference Action plans. (NOT YET)
99. To reverse the practice of the United States of undermining international expectations created through UNGA declarations and resolutions. NOT YET
100.To refuse to end all speeches with God bless America. (NOT YET) 
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Last Updated on Saturday, 05 July 2014 07:50