Obama and Health Care: Change is not to do things the way they were done before Print
Justice News
Sunday, 21 March 2010 23:29

Obama and Health Care: Change is not to do things the way they were done before

PEJnews - Joan Russow, Ph.D. - Global Compliance Research Project –
Throughout his 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? While health care in the United States will not be done in the way it was done before, enclosed is a list of 100 ways that the United States of America has not yet, moved away from “going back to the way things were."
 The hundred ways will be assessed by YES PERHAPS, NO, NOT REALLY, NOT YET, DON’T KNOW, PERHAPS, , ETC.


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. (NO)
2. To abandon the pre-emptive/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 HE HAS ENGAGED IN STRIKES AGAINST PAKISTAN AND  ) 
4. To withdraw immediately from any military involvement and occupation of sovereign states including Iraq and Afghanistan. (YES, BEGINNING TO WITHDRAW FROM IRAQ, BUT NO, BECAUSE OF TROOP INCREASE IN AFGHANISTAN)

5. 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’)
6. To undertake to sign and ratify all Geneva Protocols, including Protocol V, which requires the removal of remnants of war. (NO)
7. To no longer perceive justice in terms of revenge through military intervention and to instead seek justice through the International Court of Justice (ICJ). (NO); THE US STILL DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THE JURISDICTION OR THE DECISIONS OF THE ICJ
8. 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. (DON’T KNOW, AT LEAST NOT WIDELY PUBLICIZED)
9. 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. (POSSIBLY)
10. To be willing to be 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).
11. To not misuse UN "peacekeeping" forces to clean up aggressive acts of destruction and occupation of other states. (PROBABLY NOT CHANGED)
12. To close and convert to peaceful purposes all US foreign military bases in sovereign states around the world. (NO) HAS ADDED NEW BASES, ADJACENT TO VENEZUELA,  IN COLOMBIA
13. To end the circulation and berthing of nuclear powered or nuclear arms-capable vessels throughout the world, and the practice of “neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear arms on vessels” (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. (DON’T KNOW)
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;
 I7. to end the interference in the democratic process through US government-funded Non-Governmental Organizations. (DON’T KNOW YET IF COVERT ACTIONS – PROBABLY IN VENEZUELA)
18, To invoke Chapter VI - the peaceful resolutions of disputes - and be prepared to seek a legal opinion from the International Court of Justice. (NO)
19. 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.) (HOPEFULLY HE WILL FOLLOW THROUGH WITH HIS COMMITMENTS)
20. To end the production of all weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear, chemical, and biological, as agreed to in UNCHE in 1972, and in specific conventions. (PERHAPS, IF HE TRANSLATES HIS RHETORIC INTO ACTION)
21. 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. (NO)
22. 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]. (PROBABLY NOT)
23. To discontinue the research, development and installation of Ballistic Missile Defence technology. (NOT YET)
24. To make a full commitment to disarmament and to oppose the continued profit-making from the sale of arms. (NOT YET)
25. To implement obligations to reduce the trade in small arms. (NOT YET)
26. To collaborate with the ILO to fund a fair and just transition program for workers currently working in the arms trade. (NOT YET)
27. To end the destabilization of states and regions through the sale of arms, including through the guise of  ‘foreign aid”. (NOT YET)
28. 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. (NOT YET)
29. To suffocate the production of uranium, and end importing uranium from other states. (NOT YET)
30. To phase out the use of civil nuclear energy, and refuse to accept nuclear energy as the solution to climate change (NO);  HE IS ACTIVELY PROMOTING NUCLEAR ENERGY
31 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)
32. To prohibit the use of weapons such as depleted uranium and cluster bombs that would be prohibited under the Geneva Protocol II. (NOT YET)
33. To oppose NATO'S  ‘neither confirm nor deny first strike policy, and TO support the disbanding of NATO and NORAD. (NOT YET)
34. To abide by the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of civilians, and respect international human rights and humanitarian law. (NOT YET)
35. 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 FULFILLED COMMITMENT TO CLOSE GUANTANAMO, BUT SPOKEN OUT AGAINST TORTURE)
36. To eliminate cruel and inhumane punishment such as capital punishment, which violates accepted international norms. (NOT YET)
37. To abandon institutions and agreements which promulgate globalization, deregulation and privatization; these institutions and agreements undermine the rule of international public trust law, and condone and actively facilitate corporations benefiting and profiting from war. (NOT YET)
38. To oppose the promulgation, globalization, deregulation and privatization through trade agreements, such as the WTO/FTAA/NAFTA, SPP etc. that undermine the rule of international public trust law and international norms, and to support global fair trade. (NOT YET)
39. To call for the dismantling of  the WTO, to abrogate NAFTA and to end negotiation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership Agreement [or a similar replacement]. (NOT YET)
40. To oppose all proposals such as those in the Security and Prosperity Partnership, which will result, through the practice of harmonization, in standards and regulations which fail to achieve the highest tenable principles and result in the descending to the lowest common denominator. (NOT YET)
41. To abandon the IMF Structural Adjustment Program which has led to the violation of human rights, has exploited citizens in the developing world and has adversely impacted on vulnerable and indigenous peoples around the world. (NOT YET)
42. To oppose Public/Private/Partnerships and the privatization of public services such as water, sewage treatment and to acknowledge that the access to water is a human right. (NOT YET)
43. To increase funding to universities to counter the corporate funding of education, including the corporate direction of research, and declare that research must be arms-length and not tied to government or corporations. (NOT YET)
44. To finally implement the long-standing international commitment to transfer .7% of the GDP for overseas aid, and to cancel Third World debt. (NOT YET)
45. To no longer subsidize and invest in companies that have developed weapons of mass destruction, that have violated human rights, that have denied social justice, that have exploited workers, and that have destroyed the environment. (NOT YET)
46. To implement the commitment made to ensure that corporations, including transnational corporations, comply with international law, and that they pay compensation for any previous health and environmental consequences of their actions. (NOT YET)
47. To revoke charters and licences of corporations that have violated human rights, including labour rights, that have contributed to war and violence, and that have led to the destruction of the environment. (NOT YET)
48. To abandon the capitalist, exploitative, competitive economic model, and embrace cooperative forms of economic entrepreneurship. (NOT YET)
49. To support Mandatory International Ethical Normative (MIENS) Standards and enforceable regulations to drive industry to conform to international law, and to oppose corporate "voluntary compliance". (NOT YET)
50. To enforce the provisions in the Convention to prevent disasters, and to not embrace the acceptance of weaker proposals which would result in "reducing disasters". (NOT YET)
51. To ban substances and activities that contribute to environmentally-induced diseases. (NOT YET)
52. To address poverty-related health problems and ensure universal access to a publicly-funded not-for-profit health care system. (THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES HAS CHANGED BEGUN TO CHANGE – RECENT PASSAGE IN THE SENATE)
53. To end the production of toxic, hazardous, atomic waste;
To adopt the precautionary principle as a general and compulsory principle of law: where there is a threat of irreversible harm the lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing measure to prevent the threat; and to shift the burden of proof from the polluter to prove the practice is safe, rather than on the citizen to have to prove it is harmful. (NOT YET)
54. To prevent the transfer to other states of substances and activities that are harmful to human health or the environment as agreed at the UN Conferences on the Environment and Development, 1992. (NOT YET)
55. To ban the production, approval and promotion of genetically-engineered foods and crops which have led to a deterioration of the food supply, and to loss of heritage seeds. (NOT YET)
56. To oppose all proposals such as to supply genetically-engineered food and crops to address the issue of poverty, or to contribute to the mitigation of climate change. (NOT YET)
57. To ban genetically-engineered food and crops, to promote organic agriculture, and to institute a fair and just transition program for workers and communities affected by the conversion to organic agriculture. (PROMOTES ORGANIC IN THE WHITE HOUSE GARDEN BUT HAS NOT CALLED FOR THE  BANNING GENETICALLY-ENGINEERED FOODS AND CROPS)
58. To protect biodiversity by ratifying the Convention on Biological Diversity and oppose "megadiversity" - resulting from genetic engineering. (NO)
59. To be forthright in acknowledging that the Biosafety Protocol is a disguised trade agreement, and serves to promote the acceptance of genetically modified living organisms. (NOT YET)
60. To accept the warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and to no longer disregard obligations under the Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to preserve carbon sinks, and commitments made under Habitat II Agenda to move away from car-dependency. (NO. AT COP15 HE UNDERMINED THE CONFERENCE AND ESSENTIALLY STATED “MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY” AND HE HAS FAILED TO COME UP WITH ADEQUATE COMMITMENT TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS)
61. 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)
62. to apologize for negotiating a pact behind closed doors at COP 15, and now (NOT YET)
63.  to submit, as required, on January 31st the following commitment:
The UNFCCC is ratified by 194 countries, representing near universal membership.  it therefore commands near universal support and its legitimacy is unquestioned. The UNFCCC stated:  ‘stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere must be at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. This level equates to a target of below 1°C, which is the point at which global systems on land, water and air will be so affected as to create vicious feedback cycles and destabilize many ecosystems and human societies.
and that
Because of the global urgency, there must be the political will to strive to contain the rise in temperature to less than 1°C above pre-industrial levels, and the parts per million to 300 ppm. Strict time frames must be imposed, so that overall global emissions will begin to be reversed as of 2010. There must be a global target of 30% below 1990 levels by 2015, 50% below by 2020, 75% by 2030, 85% by 2040 and 100% below by 2050, while adhering to the precautionary principle, and differentiated responsibility principle [the emission debt owed by Developed countries to developing countries has to be seriously addressed] as well as the rights of future generations.
and developed country parties agree to acknowledge their emissions debt to developing countries, to cancel their existing debt of developing countries, to implement the long-standing obligation of .7% of GDP for overseas development, to ensure new funding for climate change reparation.  In addition, developed country parties will reallocate military expenses.
and to urge the moving from a meat protein to a vegetable based diet
SEE www.clmatechangecopenhagen.org
64. 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)
65. 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).  And 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 – AND HAS INCREASED THE PROMOTION OF NUCLEAR ENERGY AS A SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE)
66. To end the misappropriation of agricultural land for the growing of biofuel. (NO, AND HAS SUPPORTED IT AT THE CSD 17)
67. To end deforestation and support a Forest Protocol to be linked to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. (NOT YET, HAS SIGNED BUT NOT RATIFIED THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY)
68. To repeal the Patriot Act because it violates civil and political rights, and results in racial profiling. (NOT YET)
69. To end the obsession with the war on terror. (NO)
70. To release the Cuba 5. (NOT YET)
71. To release Leonard Peltier (NOT YET)
72. To clearly distinguish legitimate dissent from criminal acts of subversion. (NOT YET)
73. To abandon the “no-fly” list, and the FBI list of activists. (NOT YET AND EVEN HAS NOT REQUIRED ALL PASSENGERS FLYING OVER THE US TO BE REGISTERED FIRST)
74. To tear down the wall between Mexico and the United States. (NOT YET)
75. To oppose "SLAPP suits" against public participation. (NOT YET)
76. To no longer target, intimidate and discriminate against activists on the grounds of political and other opinion (a listed ground in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights). (NOT YET)
77. To end all discrimination on the following grounds:
- race, tribe, or culture;
- colour, ethnicity, national ethnic or social origin, or language; nationality, place of birth, or nature of residence (refugee or immigrant, migrant worker);
- gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or form of family, [including same-sex marriage]
- disability or age;
- religion or conviction, political or other opinion, or - class, economic position, or other status. (MORE TOLERANT)
78. To end the discrimination against immigrants, and refugees, and racial profiling. (DON’T KNOW)
79. 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. (NOT YET)
80. To offer amnesty to all those who were war resisters. (NOT YET)
81. To fully abide by the ILO Convention related to indigenous rights. (NOT YET)
82. 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)
83, To adopt the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. (NOT YET)
84. 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)
85. To ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (NOT YET)
86. 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)
87. 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. (NO)
88. 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. (NO)
89. 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)
90. To sign, ratify, and enact the necessary legislation to ensure compliance with, or respect for Common Security International Conventions, Covenants and Treaties. (NOT YET)
91. To affirm a commitment to multilateralism and oppose unilateral actions that undermine global common security.  (SOME RHETORIC BUT NOT REALLY)
92. 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" and now  ‘WILL TO INTERVENE’ 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. (NOT YET)
93. 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; (NOT YET)
* 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.
94. 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)
95. 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", has promulgated a dispensationalist "end times" scenario which has serious irreversible consequences. and has led to the denigrating of other established beliefs and practices. (NOT YET)
96. To no longer undermine the notion of democracy by couching a plutocracy/theocracy in democratic notions of "freedom". (NOT FULLY)
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)