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So why would the State Department magically upgrade Malaysia? Well, because of a tiny provision in the fast track “Trade Promotion Authority” deal that Congress recently passed. It noted that fast track authority would not apply to trade deals involving countries that were categorized as “tier 3″ by the State Department. In other words, this should have given the US tremendous leverage to push Malaysia to really tackle the problem. Instead, because it appears that the administration is so focused on getting the TPP officially finished and ratified, it got the State Department to just magically upgrade Malaysia, and effectively spit on the graves of those murdered migrant workers.

– From the post: U.S. State Department Upgrades Serial Human Rights Abuser Malaysia to Include it in the TPP

Don’t let anyone tell you Barack Obama’s a lame duck. Our CEO of war was recently spotted in Southeast Asia spreading around some of that famous peace and democracy.

Vice News reports:

US President Barack Obama announced on Monday that Washington would fully lift an embargo on sales of lethal arms to Vietnam, despite human rights organizations describing it as “among the world’s most repressive regimes.”

The decision to lift the arms trade ban, which followed intense debate within the Obama administration, suggested that US concerns about China’s assertiveness outweighed arguments that Vietnam had not done enough to improve its human rights record and that Washington would lose leverage for reforms.

The last annual report by NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Vietnam’s record remained “dire in all areas,” with the Communist Party allowing no challenge to its leadership, restricting basic rights such as freedom of speech and association, as well as imprisoning and assaulting activists and bloggers. Police regularly engage in torture, the justice system and all public institutions are controlled by the government, and the media and internet are censored.

“In short, Vietnam is a police state,” HRW said in a letter to Obama on May 19,urging him to raise human rights, meet dissidents and former political prisoners, and give speeches making clear that improved relations depended on improved human rights.

Responding to the lifting of the embargo, HRW Asia Division Deputy Director Phil Robertson was staunch in his criticism. 

“As Obama was lifting the US arms embargo, the Vietnam authorities were busy arresting journalist Doan Trang and other human rights activists and bloggers on the street and in their houses. In one fell swoop, Obama has jettisoned what remained of US leverage to improve human rights in Vietnam — and basically gotten nothing for it,” he wrote in a statement on Monday.

In the commercial hub, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, Obama will on Tuesday meet entrepreneurs and tout a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal he has championed, in which Vietnam would be the biggest beneficiary of the 12 members.

While we’re on the topic of the TPP, let’s take a closer look at what Mr. fake liberal had to say about the phony “trade” deal during his visit to the Vietnamese police state.

The Hill reports:

President Obama said Monday he’s confident that Congress will overcome election-year gridlock and approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

Obama acknowledged during a news conference in Vietnam that passing trade deals is tough, especially during a political campaign when the issue is hotly debated.

“Having said that, I remain confident we’re going to get it done,” he told reporters. 

The TPP has drawn opposition from members in both parties in Congress along with the leading Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Critics of the deal say it could lead to American firms shipping jobs overseas to countries with lower wages, including Vietnam. They also have said the labor and environmental protections in the deal are not strong enough.

Despite the dwindling time left on this year’s congressional calendar and reluctance from House and Senate leaders to hold a vote on the package, Obama insisted the Pacific Rim trade pact has a strong chance of passage.

“The politics of it will be noisy,” he said, adding that was true for past trade deals with Panama, Colombia and South Korea.

“But we got them done. And I’m confident that we’ll get them done this time, as well, although there will be ups and downs and bumps along the way.”

When it comes to selling out the American public, the man is simply relentless. After all, he’s gotta earn those post-Presidency speech dollars.

 

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