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Obama’s legacy

From World Socialist Web Site - January 28

This evening, Barack Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address, an annual political tradition that over the years has become a hollow ritual, with little or no relationship between the president’s words and the actual state of American society. This year will be no different.

In the days leading up to this year’s address, administration officials have dampened expectations of significant initiatives. Instead, the speech will propose a series of minor measures aimed at shaping the “narrative” of the Obama presidency. According to a New York Times analysis over the weekend, Obama has “come to feel acutely the limits on his power,” but sees the State of the Union address as “a critical opportunity to drive an agenda that may yet shape his legacy.”

Defend Edward Snowden!

From World Socialist Web Site - January 27

In an interview Sunday with the German television network ARD, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden warned that US “government officials want to kill me.”

“These people, and they are government officials, have said they would love to put a bullet in my head or poison me when I come out of the supermarket, and then watch as I die in the shower," Snowden said.

Snowden’s warning that the US government wants him dead to suppress his revelations of illegal NSA spying must be taken with the utmost seriousness. It raises the urgency of developing a mass movement to defend him and oppose the destruction of democratic rights.

Three years of the Egyptian revolution

From World Socialist Web Site - January 25

On January 25, 2011, mass revolutionary struggles erupted in Egypt against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak. Egyptian workers and youth followed the example of their Tunisian class brothers, who had toppled that country’s dictator, Zine El Abedine Ben Ali, eleven days before. They defeated police in street battles on the “Friday of Anger” and, after 18 days of mass strikes and protests, forced Mubarak from office.

The Egyptian Revolution proved the revolutionary capacity of the working class, dealing a powerful blow to those who claimed that the fall of the Soviet Union signified the “end of history” and the final triumph of capitalism. Above all, however, it revealed the crucial task the working class faces in this era of world revolution: the building of its own revolutionary socialist party.

Democratic rights and the defense of Edward Snowden

From World Socialist Web Site - January 24

In the wake of President Barack Obama’s speech last Friday defending NSA spying programs, the US political and media establishment is escalating its campaign of threats and slander against whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

Snowden, who has performed an immense public service by exposing the police state surveillance programs of the US government and its allies, faces charges filed by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act and calls for his execution or extra-judicial murder. Those who are guilty of treason against the US Constitution are screaming “treason” against the man who has exposed their crimes.

On Thursday, US Attorney General Eric Holder for the first time explicitly rejected proposals to grant Snowden clemency, saying that this would be “going too far.” He echoed Obama’s own insistence in his remarks last week that Snowden was guilty of betraying state secrets and must return to the US to face charges, placing himself in the hands of a “justice system” that tortured Bradley Manning and locked him up for 35 years.

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