Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, December 2011
Must Obama Go?
All Depends on How Much He Continues to Serve Israel
A Book By Henry D'Souza
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, December 31, 2011
The deciding factor (in whether Obama goes or stays) is whether the Israeli lobby with its control of the US media, finance and other institutions, will back Obama. Obama should be backed because he gave Israel more than any other President, followed Israeli orders not to support a Palestinian state in the UNSC, and carried out Israel’s foreign policy by knocking off most of the large neighboring countries with dictators.
HENRY D’ SOUZA
About the Book:
By viewing assorted world events from a Superpower’s perspective, the book develops a theory, which explains world events.
The year, 2010, is a turning point in world history, when we experience emerging regional powers forming new alignments, to compete in a technological, contracting world.
Some of the issues discussed include: the Korean crisis, the search for a Caliphate, the need to reform international institutions, currency wars, geo-political re-alignments, and a hundred year strategy.
Street marches are an overt sign of tensions between the rich and the poor in different countries, and call into question the effectiveness of political moulds, like democracy, dictatorship, plutocracy, socialism and capitalism.
About the Author:
Henry D’ Souza has a
doctorate in the History of Education, from
He has covered world history in three ways: in his book, Plato’s Atlantis is Bharat’s India, he showed that India was a Superpower for 23,000 years; in Evolving World Cultures, he traced the evolution of educational ideas across time; and in this book, Must Obama Go?, he explains how contemporary world history functions.
1. The Obama Variable 8
2. President Obama Grapples with Reality 16
Resetting Buttons: Hope and Peace in a Changing
5. The Philosophy of Persistence: Obama’s first Hundred Days 43
6. Post G-20 Blues: Obama on the World Stage 56
7. Obama’s Address to the Islamic World: Brilliant Oratory or Fuzzy Logic 70
Obama’s Second Trip to Europe, and
9. Let Me Be Clear 93
10. Obama’s Achilles’Heel 96
The Apartheid Deficit: Obama’s
12. 2010: A Turning Point in World History 106
13. American Health Care Reform and Foreign Policy: Methods 117
15. The Logic of Power vs the Power of Logic 131
Republican World View through the
18. A Bloodless Solution to the Af-Pak War 152
19. Obama’s National Security Strategy 158
20. Viewpoints: “We are all Gazans now” 162
From Silk Road to
23 The American Paradox: Brilliant and Disdainful President Obama? 183
25. The Somali Experience: From Pastoralism to Piracy, by Prof. Mazrui 202
26. An Evolving African Union 212
27. Three Forces Destabilizing the World 221
28. Towards a 21st Century Caliphate 235
29. The Ayodhya Verdict: A proposal 241
30. Currency Wars 246
31. Balkanization : the nature of the beast 255
32. Uncle Sam & the Chinese Dragon: Two Superpowers of the 21st Century 261
33. 2010 Midterm Blues 272
34. Paradigm Shifts 278
35. The Korean Crisis 285
36. Diplomacy on Steroids 291
37. NATO ’s New Strategic Concept 296
Soviet or American Model for
39. “Yes, We Can!” 311
40. Islamic Renaissance by Stealth 325
41. Global Governance: The Tug of War 335
42. Palestinian “Rendezvous with Freedom” 342
43. Pax in Terra, sicut in caelo 345
45. The Rupert Murdoch Empire 361
46. Anna Hazare 366
49. Re-Aligning Indian History 387
51. Must Obama Go: Conclusions 404
Sketch Maps and Profiles in Color 412
Historians normally use a variety of sources: presidential letters, diaries, classified documents that are released after 30 years, and newspaper articles. These essays on Contemporary History depart from the norm, as they rely on first-hand information, by correspondents who travel to areas of conflict, and journalists who write commentaries. Some cannot wait for three decades, for history to be written. Politicians, advanced university students and investors want instant interpretations, hence the need for such essays.
The essays were written at
different times and for different purposes.
Yet in retrospect, there is a unifying global picture that is
emerging, which amounts to world history.
A guest writer, who teaches political science, is included. His
politics is the business of Americans.
But as the
To counter propaganda or biased reporting published by, say, some reporters, one has to delve into reporting by specialists from different lands, which then have to weighed and considered.
The picture that is emerging gives credence to the Chinese saying
that, “we are condemned to live in interesting times.” The
The book discusses some of the
Some students seem to be put off by history when they argue that history requires memorization of dates. Memorization can take place through frequent usage, and dates provide a contextual framework. Some dates are more important than others. It is hoped that by being topical, history can be interesting and relevant, while dates can be obliquely absorbed.
The main purpose of teaching history at university level, is not regurgitation, but to guide students to make their own contributions to the discipline.
The text has benefitted from occasional observations by my friends, Claude Bwanka and Angelo Faria.
Google was indispensable as much of the information came through this search-engine. The author is also grateful to the websites that offer free photographs, like fotosearch.com and chinadaily.com.cn. The images illuminate the text. It is hoped that the sketch-maps will be replaced when the book is printed in larger numbers.
February 28, 2011; July 30, 2011 – second print
Henry D’ Souza
Must Obama Go: Conclusions
Whether President Obama should be a one or two-term president depends entirely on the American electorate. There was a call for him to go even before his first two years had expired, hence the title of this book. Mikael Gorbachev, while agreeing that the electorate decides, felt that Obama had earned the trust of the nation and therefore should be re-elected. But Gorbachev added understandably that Obama was not so sure about his success.1
It is hoped that when American historians come to assess Obama’s presidency, serious consideration will be given to the belief that his first term, which is incomplete, seems to have gone through two phases.
When he came to power there was euphoria at home and abroad. But after two years, Obama’s negative press assessments outnumbered the positive by a ratio of 4 to 1.2 This dramatic change suggests that Obama’s first term, which has not ended, did in fact go through two phases. During the first period of his Presidency, Obama had to negotiate through gigantic paradigm shifts.
His predecessor had squandered the nation’s wealth by launching two costly, unfunded wars, one in Iraq and the other, Af-Pak. These were not Obama’s wars as Bob Woodward suggests. Obama won the Nobel Peace prize on the assumption that he would end these wars immediately, but his generals wanted time to finish their objectives. Reluctantly, he approved the “surge” and delayed the withdrawal.
By killing Osama bin Laden in Pakistan after a ten-year search, and preacher al-Awaki in Yemen, Americans will see Obama as a decisive Commander-in-Chief who continued President George Bush’s policy of going after al-Qaeda leaders wherever they are. But since al-Awlaki was an American citizen the legality of killing an American citizen without a trial, arose.
Obama’s war was in Libya but there too his role was limited as he had no boots on the ground. Obama called on Europe to play a larger role in the consequences of the Arab Spring. Transitioning from war to peace was one big paradigm shift.
Another major task was tackling the debt crisis. Bush II inherited a surplus from the Bill Clinton Administration and left Obama with a huge debt. Rather than balancing the budget, Obama increased the debt so as to pay for Social Security, health, education, and improving the condition of America’s war heroes. The downside of servicing the underprivileged was that the country was indebted to creditors like China, Japan and Saudi Arabia, in a dangerously oppressive way. The financial crisis was closely related to international power which shifted from West to East, and China emerging as a new Superpower. Its currency, the yuan, is competing with the dollar as a world currency. Another paradigm shift was to develop green technologies that would reduce the reliance on foreign producers, especially Saudi Arabia.
Quantitative Easing 1, Q.E.2, and Q.E.3 were absolutely necessary to rectify the discriminatory policies of the past, and financing these paradigm shifts.
The appointment of Obama as an Anglo-African American President was itself a paradigm shift which was long overdue. Obama did not have scandals like the Valerie Plame or Scooter Libby affairs of the previous Administration. Nor did he have a Monica. Obama is astute, articulate, and compassionate. He overrides criticism with a smile. Despite having a super-majority when he came to power, he tried to woo the opposition. But Republicans ignored Obama’s idealism, went on the defensive and became the party of “NO,” more like the Soviet Union during the Cold War. As a former professor, Obama had the ability to listen to conflicting views of experts whom he recruited. Circumstances were such that he had to rely on advisers of previous Administrations. The final decision was usually his. Hard work and weighty issues at the White House has resulted in the premature graying of Obama.
In Forum, Michael Asher has listed 244 accomplishments of the Obama Administration in the first half of his first term. Among the many laws on medical improvements, he passed the Families of Fallen Heroes Act and a new GI bill for war veterans. He ended no-bid contracts, by which onepercenters were enriching themselves.
As part of enhancing minority rights, he passed the Lilly Ledbetter bill of 2009 entitling women to equal pay. A Latino Sonia Sotomayor was appointed to the Supreme Court. Obama diversified his staff in his Cabinet and the White House. “Don’t ask don’t tell” in the military was no longer an issue of importance. He had new policies for Education, Disaster Response including aid to Haiti, Transportation and Space, besides blessing the nation with Obamacare. For the first time seder, an Israelite function, was celebrated in the White House.
Naturally, to eradicate apartheid policies had high costs, and money bills are initiated in the House of Representatives (HR). Obama therefore encountered legislative gridlock when he lost HR to the Republicans in the October 2010 mid-term elections. Republicans gained 59% of the 435 seats in HR, while Democrats had just 53% of the 100 seats in the Senate. Republicans claimed, quite rightly, that they were using their new found power to limit excessive spending by one party, just as the Founding Fathers had intended.
One way of overcoming barriers in both Houses is to go to the people. This is what Obama did with his Jobs bill which did not gain approval in the Senate. His appeal to the nation might have inadvertently sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Obama’s eagerness to obtain conflicting views often led to bickering among his staff: the “them versus us” mentality, notes Woodward.3 For various reasons, he lost staff like Christina Romer, Peter Orszag, Larry Summers, Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gates. In the forces, Obama had to relieve General Stanley McChrystal for disparaging remarks made against the Administration’s civilian staff in the Rolling Stone. Some saw these departures, mistakenly, as making Obama a “lonely man.”4 A few who left was not going to make Obama lonely; in fact, General James Jones, Obama’s National Security Adviser, saw many of the staff as “water bugs” hovering around the President.5
The groundwork for Obama’s problems started not in 2010 but long before he took office. Referring to the financial crisis which began in 2008, Jim Willie concluded that “the banker oligarchs are gradually killing the nation, its democracy, and its wealth engines during a sustained strangulation process.” Willie cites a long list of missteps which include a $trillion fraud.6 This financial crisis bred uncertainty, which in turn led to corporate America holding back $2.3 trillion in investment, which in turn created a politically explosive unemployment rate of 9+ %, or over 27 million workers unemployed.
Abroad, Obama started, without boots on the ground, the Libyan war. Along with the National Endowment for Democracy and George Soros’ Open Society, the US has bankrolled the Arab Spring just as it had done in Eastern Europe with the “colored revolutions.” Obama has also launched more drone attacks than any other President. These were the Obama wars which could not be justified, except for the preservation of Israel.
Should Obama bomb Iran, as Israel wants, a world war could easily ensue. Israel openly claimed that Iran was an “existential threat” to its existence. Therefore as a preliminary warning, Obama has threatened to impose the most severe sanctions on Iran. As a prelude, the US intelligence seems to have cooked up a story which FBI chief Robert Mueller said, “reads like a Hollywood script.”
Mueller’s statement could either mean that the script is truth that is stranger than fiction, or fiction that is stranger than truth, or both. The last option seems the most reasonable.
First, the brilliant Professor Noam Chomsky noted that the US was responsible for the “hemispheric plague” in South America. JFK’s School of Special Warfare was responsible for several plots in Latin America.7 As the plague is repeated in Afrabia, with the Arab Spring, the US is behaving true to form. Another such example of fabrication is Colin Powell’s false claim that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Powell blamed his intelligence agencies for misinforming him. The claim that Iran’s Special Forces, al Quds, planned to kill the Saudi Ambassador, Adel al Jubeir, in Washington seems to be a hoax.8 On the other hand, Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council said that Iran makes sure that its ally, like Hesbollah, is “safe”, and it targets Iranians. This plot, consequently, was not “consistent of the typical actions of the regime.”9
Second, there was a foiled attempt to kill the American ambassador in the Saudi capital. But the man involved was a Saudi, not Iranian. So this fact seems to have been twisted to show that the Saudi ambassador was at risk.
Third, the Sunni Saudis have been worried about the rise of Shiite Iran for some time: their control of Iraq, their alliance with Hesbollah and Hamas, Shiite demands for democratic rights in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and the possibility that Iran could be a nuclear power soon; all these developments worried the Saudis. So Prince Turki al Faisal falsely claimed that Iran was responsible for the Arab Spring.10 Wikileaks disclosed that Saudi King Abdullah and al Jubeir were actively suggesting that the US bomb Iran.11
Saudi Arabia seems to be scapegoating Iran. Iran said that it would never attack a Muslim state. Saudia seems to have an internal problem with at least 5,700 political prisoners. Even peaceful activists are jailed, like Dr. Saud al Hashimi and co-founder of the Council and Political Rights Association Mohammed Saleh Albejadi. Religious leader Sheikh Salman Aloda who backed the revolutions in Cairo and Libya was also jailed.12 King Abdullah is also shaken by the fact that the US did not back Hosni Mubarak who was loyal to the US and a CIA-paid agent. Saudi behavior can be explained by the need for US protection, more so today than at any previous time. By force of circumstances, Saudia finds itself in bed with Israel.
Porter suggests that this plot was a sting: it “originated with and was strongly pushed by an undercover Department of Drug Enforcement informant, at the direction of the FBI.”13
One must consequently regard the Israel-US-Saudi Arabia axis as a step towards heightened confrontation with Iran. Retired head of Mossad Meir Dagan and two Israeli intelligence chiefs warned Netanyahu that an attack on Iran would unleash a region-wide war.14 As expected, Iran denies involvement in this plot.
Obama opened another front in Uganda. He has committed 100 special operation troops to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony. The LRA brutally attacks villages. It threatens to disrupt neighboring countries like Southern Sudan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. About 400,000 have already been displaced and 300,000 have become refugees in areas that are potentially rich, including oil. The 100 advisers to the Ugandans have been backed with $45 million aid to Uganda. Renegade rebel leaders ought to know that America will act promptly to prevent massive disasters for humanitarian reasons. Senator McCain is far-sighted, however, to suggest that Obama should have consulted Congress, as this intervention could escalate into an occupation, 15 though Uganda is a different kettle of fish than Somalia where American intervention had been a failure, from 1992 to 1994.
One wonders what Ugandan forces are doing in Somalia when they cannot put down the LRA without outside assistance!
Another element of Obama’s legacy is an exit strategy from Afghanistan and Pakistan as and when Hamid Karzai’s government is strong enough to prevent the Taliban from taking over Kabul. Hillary Clinton has eventually realized that it is wise for Karzai to talk to the Taliban for a lasting solution.
Obama is also working to promote good relations between India and Pakistan, so that South Asia’s future can be anchored by India. One wonders whether Pakistan’s ISI will accept such a strategy, 16 though for starters, Pakistan has given India the status of “Most favored nation.”
The US has now accepted that it can cope with terror threats, but the nation has to be vigilant.
Given Obama’s enormous efforts after being dealt with a bad hand, will he be given a second term? Must he go when his opponents have no better strategy?
Michele Bachman, probably voicing Republican opinion, said the Obama will be a one-term president. Rick Perry felt that Obama had failed to create enough jobs to reduce unemployment to tolerable levels, which by a traditional definition of frictional unemployment, is around 5%. Perry claims that he added more jobs in Texas than Washington or any state did. Herman Cain had a 9-9-9 plan which raised eyebrows, as the poor and the middle class would pay more taxes than they currently did. Taxpayers would have to pay income taxes plus a sales tax. The cleverest of the Republican debaters was Ron Paul who would cut expenditure all round, to balance the budget.
But the public did not think that the October 18 debate in Las Vegas produced a Republican leader who could challenge Obama successfully. Nonetheless, Mitt Romney stood out among the hopefuls with a 41% lead.
The strange part is that Republicans generally support smaller government, and yet want federal expenditures for 900 bases worldwide, an unfunded war, a war with Iran, a military budget that exceeds a comparative total of all nations put together, with no enemy in sight that threatens America.
Consequently, the deciding factor is whether the Israeli lobby with its control of the US media, finance and other institutions, will back Obama. Obama should be backed because he gave Israel more than any other President, followed Israeli orders not to support a Palestinian state in the UNSC, and carried out Israel’s foreign policy by knocking off most of the large neighboring countries with dictators.
Obama’s idealism of the first period was deflated by the relentless pressure of the Israel lobby during the second period of his Administration.
1. Mikhael Gorbachev on “We Day”, “On U.S. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign,” the globeandmail.com, October 14, 2011.
2. Simon Mann, “Obama suffers as opposition basks in media’s positive glow,” smh.com.au, October 19, 2011.
3. Bob Woodward, Obama Wars,” bobwoodward.com.
4. Lexington, “The Loneliness of Barack Obama,” economist.com, September 30, 2010.
5. Bryan Curtis, senior editor of The Daily Beast, “Woodward: the juicy bits.”
6. Jim_Willie_CB, “US Dollar Spiral, Economy Hurtles Toward System Failure,” Currencies/Dollar, June 9, 2011 – 5.55 AM.
7. Noam Chomsky, “Was there an alternative?” atimes.com, September 10, 2011.
8. Pepe Escobar, “The House of Saud paranoia,” atimes.com, July 7, 2011.
9. Jim Lobe, “Iranian plot stirs US hawks,” atimes.com, October 13, 2011.
10. Escobar, Op. cit.
11. Lobe, op. cit.
12. David Hearst, “This Middle East struggle could kill off the Arab Spring,” guardian.co.uk, October 3, 2011.
13. Gareth Porter, “FBI account of ‘terror plot’ suggests sting,” atimes.com, October 14, 2011.
14. “Former ‘Spymaster’ warns Bibi against attacking Iran,” arabtimesonline.com, October 13, 2011.
15. AP, “Obama sending troops to aid Africa anti-insurgency,” cbsnews.com, October 14, 2011.
16. Steve Coll, “Behind closed doors,” newyorker.com.
October 20, 2011- the day news came of Col. M. Gaddafi’s death
Joseph Kony Source: chinadaily.com.cn
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