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Facts About Barack Obama's Asian Tour

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some Facts About
Barack Obama's Asian Tour
by Scott Creighton
President Obama has just started the second leg of his great “Pressure China Asian Tour” with a stopover in Indonesia after having just left India.

Over the course of the entire trip, the fawning White House Press Corps on both the left and the right have been dutifully regurgitating whatever the press secretary dictates to them and who can blame them considering the all-expense-paid first-class vacation they are getting out of the deal. 

Yeah, there was a little friction caused by the great expense of paying for the 2,000-3,000 business class junkets for all the hangers-on and the 250 CEOs and business owners, but thankfully someone in the White House PR department (does Mark Penn of Burson-Marsteller still handle that contract?) figured out that if they released some wildly inflated cost estimates of 2 billion dollars or so, then they could easily dismiss them as “crazy talk” without actually having to provide the real costs of the wildly expensive trip to the tax-payer… for “national security” reasons of course.
 
 
It’s a cheap little magic trick I suppose, but as long as the press are nothing more than stenographers and yes-men, any sophomoric misdirection gag will work in America.

“Pfeiffer said security concerns prevented officials from getting into “details associated with security procedures and costs, but it’s safe to say these numbers are wildly inflated…” NBC

Since the corporate main stream media won’t tell you much about the Asian Free Trade Tour, the responsibility then falls to alternative press sites like this one to try to fill in some of the blanks.

1st half of the tour called the “Dancing with Snakes” Tour

The first two legs of Obama’s Asian trip, India and Indonesia, I call the “Dancing with Snakes” tour. 

It’s a direct reference to Yemeni president Field Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh who has held that position for more than 3 decades now. He’s a mega-corrupt dictator/president overseeing our neoliberalized puppet regime in Yemen and his quote is the perfect description of the kinds of people who President Obama will be meeting with in India and Indonesia.

1. India

Obama has been credited for “creating” 50,000 jobs during his first visit.  This is of course, a lie. 

The jobs that Obama supposedly “created” with an arms deal already exist in the defense industry at Boeing and GE and in fact, before the PR teams got ahold of the figure, most news agencies were reporting that the deal would simply SUPPORT 50,000 jobs in the U.S..  It’s a remarkable bit of PR (propaganda) when the press and all the “progressive” alternative sites will praise Obama for “creating” 50,000 jobs with his 10 billion dollar deal with India, while no one seems to notice that the 60 billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia didn’t “create” one. The difference of course is that Saudi Arabia doesn’t already have the distinction of being the #1 destination of U.S. jobs shipped overseas like India has. So the PR firms don’t have to “fix” that perception. Thus the  ”50,000 jobs CREATED with India deal” talking point propaganda is pretty much all you get now from the MSM.

The new deals, ranging from the sale of Boeing jumbo jets to the local manufacture of Harley-Davidson motorbikes, will support 54,000 U.S. jobs, said Mike Froman, deputy national security advisor for international economic affairsUSA Today

That’s a little misdirection on the part of Mr. Froman though. When he says the “local” manufacture of Harley-Davidson bikes, he’s not talking about “local” in terms of the U.S., he is talking about the “local” manufacturing being in India via a new deal bringing a Harley-Davidson plant there… I guess you could call that more outsourcing if you were so inclined.

During a rousing speech Obama also stated that it’s a “myth” that U.S. jobs are outsourced to India thus hurting our economy.  This too is a lie. It’s part of an ongoing PR campaign designed to rebrand India’s image as more and more Americans run out of unemployment checks.

India is the leading country for offshore outsourcing. The offshore outsourcing industry started in India and it has be able to grow the IT and BPO export sector to $47 billion and capture more than half the offshore outsourcing industry….

The Americas and Europe are the largest customers for the Indian outsourcing industry and account for 60% and 31% respectively of IT and BPO exports. The largest vertical sectors are financial services (41%), high-tech/ telecom (20%), manufacturing (17%) and retail (8%).  In 2009 the IT and BPO export industries  employed about 2.2 million people. SourcingLine

Now it looks to me like we are comparing the “creation” of 50,000 jobs here in the U.S. which already exist to the actual creation of 60% of 2.2 million jobs, or 1,300,000 jobs outsourced to India.  Seems to be operating at a bit of a jobs deficit if you ask me. 

But what about jobs here in the U.S.? Are those phantom 50,000 jobs really comparable to those lost via the business friendly H-1B ”specialty occupation” jobs handed over to temporary Indian workers in America? Let’s see…

According to the 2008 numbers… “Of all 409,619 temporary worker admissions under the H-1B “specialty occupation” visa in 2008, 37.8 percent (154,726) were from India alone (family members are not included in these figures).”  Well, apparently 154,000 temporary workers from India wasn’t enough for Bill Gates back in 2008 so he put his big money behind a push for even more in 2009… and with the help of President Obama, he got what he wanted.

Suffice it to say, those 50,000 jobs that Obama is being praised for by the clueless “progressives”, even if they were new jobs, wouldn’t hardly be a drop in the employment bucket.  Like Ross Perot said of NAFTA prior to the Clintons pushing that little trade deal, once Obama and the Clintonites get this new deal inked, that large sucking sound you will hear will undoubtably be even more U.S. jobs rushing overseas, this time to India.

But of course it’s politically incorrect to talk about that, or at least that is what the Tru-Cast PR interns will be spamming on this site as soon as I publish this article.

So instead let’s talk about that bright shining beacon of democracy that Obama was calling India during his trip. I guess he and his pr guys think we forgot the Columbia Free Trade deal during the primary campaign in 2008. That’s the one that Obama himself said he wouldn’t support until Columbia cleaned up its human rights act. Whenever Obama made mention of that on the campaign trail, the “progressives” got all tingly and warm-fuzzy feelings. Obama was putting human rights before free-trade deals and that of course was just a little taste of all that CHANGE they were sure to see.

Now here we are. The only CHANGE that occurred was the fake “progressives” gave up that little “human rights” obsession they used to have under the Bush regime in order to embrace the pragmatism of the new war criminal of their own making.

Compared to what was happening in Columbia, India is an absolute nightmare. And this free-trade deal is announced and even celebrated by the fake “progressives” without so much as a peep about “human rights”.  Frankly it’s enough to make you sick, but I will go into it just a bit, see if our “progressive” friends chose to take a stand on this one like they did when Bush was in charge.

Indian essayist Arundhati Roy is one of the most celebrated human rights activists and authors on the planet right now. I strongly recommend reading her collection of essays “Field Notes on Democracy”

She recently appeared on Democracy Now! and spoke about Obama’s little visit. I’m not going to even get into India’s history, we’ll just address what is going on right now in that “beacon of democracy” that Obama just made a 10 billion dollar arms deal with.

“… I mean, as you know now, there’s an almost full-fledged war going on. Actually, there are several wars are going on in India. There’s Kashmir, which is up in flames now, and there’s what’s happening in the northeast. But what I’ve been writing about recently is the war on tribal people in the tribal heartland of India, where something like 200,000 paramilitary troops have been called out to really push through about, I don’t know, 200 or more memorandums of understandings with mining companies and infrastructure companies. And there’s—it’s all being fought in the name of clearing the forests of the Maoist guerrillas.”

“And as the war escalates, there have been, you know, attacks and counterattacks, but really people, the poorest people in the world, are in a lot of trouble now. And there was a lot of pressure to ask for peace talks, you know, because these poor people in the villages, the tribal people, are kind of under siege—no medicines, no food, no ability to come out of the forest.”

“But the assassination was the assassination of a man who is known as Azad. His real name was Cherukuri Rajkumar, and he is a sort of senior leader in the politburo of the Maoist party, appointed by the party to be the negotiator in the peace talks. And somehow, you know, the carrying back and forth of these documents pulled him up to the surface. And while he was traveling on a train with a young journalist, he was caught by the police and taken to the remote forests of North Telangana, a place called Adilabad, and shot.”

“That’s—you know, for example, you have 830 million people living on less than 20 rupees a day. That’s less than half a dollar a day, 830 million people, you know? So, that is where the struggle is now. You know, you have the guerrillas in the forest, you have the militants in the villages, you have the Gandhians on the street, but on the whole, they’re all fighting the same battle right now.”  Arundhati Roy

So here we are praising President Peace Prize for going to India and inking a 10 billion dollar arms deal with a country who has put 200,000 of their own troops on the ground to suppress the uprising of millions of their own people all for the benefit of mining and infrastructure companies.  That is to say nothing of the horrors of Kashmir and the Muslim genocide of Gujarat. Of course, the msm and the sycophants at HuffPo and ThinkProgress won’t say anything about them either.

Nor will they talk about the massive wealth disparity in newly neoliberalized India.

While both countries have experienced rapid growth over the past two decades, Western observers have often argued that India’s freer society will in the long run give it the edge in sustaining its economic growth. Yet in the past 20 years, China has been able to reduce its poverty rate from more than 60 percent to less than 20 percent, while half of India’s population is still living on less than $1.20 a day (and almost three-quarters live on less than $2 per day).  Abraham George is adjunct professor at the Stern School of Business in New York.

Abject poverty and totalitarian oppression. That is the “beacon of democracy” President Obama praised just the other day. That is our partner in the new global order of things.

Obama praised India’s democratic institutions: its free electoral system, independent judiciary, the rule of law, and a free press. He said India and the United States have a unique link because they are democracies and free-market economies. CNN

But don’t take my word for it. Chris Floyd over at World Can’t Wait has also written about this little deal.

…he (Obama) has come to seal the deal on the sixth largest sale of war weapons in the history of the United States: $5 billion for the bristling, burgeoning Indian military, currently waging war on millions of its own people in Kashmir and the poverty-devastated state of central India, where the despair is so deep that suicide among the poor is epidemic.

… And of course the Indian arms deal comes hot on the heels of the largest transaction of death-machinery in American history: Obama’s $60 billion war-profiteering bonanza with Saudi Arabia, one of the most suffocatingly repressive and inhumane regimes on the face of the earth. But the Peace Laureate doesn’t care about that. He knows what is truly important — and it isn’t the blighted lives of the Saudi people, or all those affected by the corruption and extremism that the Saudi royals have spread around the world (with the connivance, cooperation — or at the command of — the bipartisan American power structure). What matters most to the progressive paragon of peace is the sixty billion dollars stuffed into the coffers of his militarist backers. Chris Floyd

Bravo President Peace Prize. Bravo.

2. Indonesia

I don’t think I really have to go into the horrific history of Indonesia since the CIA installed Suharto, do I?  Do I really need to remind you of how Suharto rounded up thousands of Indonesians after his coup and killed and tortured them? Do I really need to mention what Indonesia did to East Timor, what Noam Chomsky called the worst genocide in human history after Nazi Germany?  Hundreds of thousands of people were slaughtered under Suharto, perhaps millions while tens of thousands were kidnapped, tortured, then killed all because they held a different belief system than Suharto and his CIA co-conspirators.

Obama is scheduled to meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and hold a news conference with him…

… In the university speech, “he’ll (Obama) have a chance to talk about the partnership that we’re building with Indonesia … [and]also to talk about some of the themes of democracy and development and our outreach to Muslim communities around the world, while also speaking of Indonesia’s pluralism and tolerance as well,” Rhodes said ahead of Obama’s 10-day tour of Asia.  CNN

When President Obama meets with Yudhoyono, he will literally be meeting with a war criminal who took part in the slaughter of the people of East Timor.

 ”Yudhoyono had several tours of duty there and, like many other Indonesian officers involved in the occupation of East Timor, was accused of committing war crimes.”

That meeting has just taken place apparently.

Mr Obama and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement, a broad-ranging framework for economic, security, environment, education and science co-operation.

Mr Obama lived in Jakarta as a boy from 1967 to 1971 and his return for the first time in almost 40 years is often described in the Indonesian news media as a “homecoming”.

It’s wonderful to be here although I have to tell you that when you visit a place that you spent time in as a child, as the President it’s a little disorientating,” he told reporters, standing alongside Dr Yudhoyono.  The Austrailian

The economic story in Indonesia is much the same as India.

According to UN estimates, nearly half the country’s population of 220 million people lives on less than US$2 a day.” 2008 ASAP

And though improving since Suharto, Indonesia is not that much better than India as far as Human Rights Watch is concerned.

3. Conclusion

President Obama is doing exactly what his globalists owners want him to do; he is running around to all the neoliberalized nations and striking lucrative trade deals which will maximize corporate and financial institution’s profit margins while taking advantage of new emerging markets and ultra-cheap labor. At least that is the case in the first half of his Asian Tour.  South Korea and Japan are a bit different.

All this is also an attempt by the U.S. to put more pressure on China which is emerging as a preferred trade partner in the global economy. But while Obama and the MSM are doing their best to work their magic, others don’t seem to be getting the message.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to give greater voting rights to the large emerging economies, giving China and India long-sought recognition within the financial body.

The move, announced on Friday, makes China the third leading voice of the global lender, ahead of Germany, France and Britain. Al Jazeera Business

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David Cameron, the British prime minister, has arrived in China with senior cabinet members for a three-day visit that aims to boost trade ties.

Cameron, accompanied by four cabinet ministers and about 50 business leaders from some of Britain’s biggest companies, says he wants to take his country’s relationship with the world’s second-largest economy “to a new level” by doubling bilateral trade with China to more than $100bn a year by 2015

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