Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, February 2012
Crossing the Rubicons:
President Obama’s Endless Global Warfare
By Mahboob A Khawaja
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 6, 2012
“Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm" exposes the key authors … America’s sadistic neo-cons Richard Perle, David Wurmser and Douglas Feith ………A decade later, the authors of that study are gone in name but their spirit of unending wars is alive and well within the Obama Administration's recently announced "Defense Strategic Guidance" as part of "Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense," Where Clean Break offered what was then a radical Middle East military strategy, Obama's DSG identifies US military priorities for the 21st century to "confront and defeat aggression anywhere in the world" with an emphasis on the Middle East and Asia-Pacific region as the "greatest challenges for the future. (Panetta, 1-5-2012). …….Neither the president nor Panetta felt any need to articulate a credible global threat that requires eternal armed vigilance as the country continues to dismantle its People Programs and as its infrastructure continues to crumble -- nor did either provide the American people with a thoughtful rationale for who, why, when, where and how……After the president's departure, Panetta, once known as a liberal House Democrat from California, began to morph into a gnarl-faced Dr. Strangelove with every utterance of war, enemies, threats, death and destruction as he touted U.S. military dominance and its ability to "decisively prevail in any conflict.” (Renee Parson “US Plans for Perpetual War” ICH: 01/27/2012)
“The US government is so full of self-righteousness that it has become a caricature of hypocrisy. Leon Panetta, a former congressman who Obama appointed CIA director and now head of the Pentagon, just told the sailors on the USS Enterprise, an aircraft carrier, that the US is maintaining a fleet of 11 aircraft carriers in order to project sea power against Iran and to convince Iran that “it’s better for them to try to deal with us through diplomacy…… Washington has kept America at war for ten years while millions of Americans lost their jobs and their homes. War and a faltering economy have exploded the national debt, and a looming bankruptcy is being blamed on Social Security and Medicare. The pursuit of war continues. On January 23 Washington’s servile puppets--the EU member states--did Washington’s bidding and imposed an oil embargo on Iran, despite the pleas of Greece, a member of the EU. Greece’s final ruin will come from the higher oil prices from the embargo.” (Paul Craig Roberts, “Drowning in Hypocrisy”, Paulcraigroberts.org: 01/24/2012)
Politics is a fantasy – more so in the United States mass media dominated culture, a combination of pretension, willful deception, institutionalized manufactured lies and individualistic propaganda and fear mongering suspicion of the disbelief to manipulate the common folks to manage the informed herd and exploit their patriotism to serve the multiple interests of the 1% ruling few elite. Despite its ambiguous claims the liberal democracy seemed at loss to provide any sense of moral or intellectual security to the 99% masses – the political engine of the democratic legitimacy. The well paid corporate news media networks boost the self-crafted fear of wars - the agenda for continuous struggle as if peace is endangered specie even in utopian configuration. The mankind lives in One World on One Planet. War waged by aggressors in one part of the planet, is a war against the whole of the mankind. Since the elected leaders faltered to deliver peace, they must be questioned for their treacherous role-play. There is no shortage of visionary, competent and intelligent people in the Western societies. Why not nominate intelligent, honest, proactive and responsible Americans rather than wasting time and opportunities on Obama, Romney and Gingrich. Perhaps, the 99% forceful voices of the people and changing fortunes of time signaling tangible shifts in thinking and political perceptions of the Western liberal democratic functionaries fearful of the unknown forces of change, time and history will reinforce the demand to hire competent political leaders rather wasting money and efforts in electing sadistic egomaniacs persons pretending to be leaders. Those with credibility and chosen by the 99% masses could serve the interest of the people for peace, security and economic well being rather than waste money and hopes and disregard institutionalized political cynicism and bigotry - not Obama, not Mitt Romney, not Gingrich or Bush, not Cheney, not Blair – some have been fund guilty of “crimes against humanity” others are candidates in public perceptions for war crimes against humanity.
At the State of Union address this week to both the Houses, President Obama sounded abstract economic remedies to the official ills and mismanagement and politically disconnect rhetoric except to enhance his self-image for re-election in 2012. He failed to explain the rationale of his current warmongering against Iran and made no mention to resolve the unilateral conflicts through negotiation and dialogue as he had originally claimed. The political and intellectual dishonesty was self explanatory as his thoughts barricaded in words and hollow rhetoric devoid of any appeal to human conscience and REASON in dealing with issues of grave importance to the US strategic interests. He seemed hasty, from one point to another – in between waiting for clapping sounds but embracing self-serving fantasy of oratory and power. He claimed major accomplishments killing of Osama bin Laden and continued war against long dead Al-Qaida and other unknown terrorist figures. While the ordinary American folks feel pain and anguish for their human losses for the unworthy and bogus wars on terrorism and continued financial mismanagement, Obama’s trouble is that he has gone to the dark forces of the military-industrial complex and Washington based lobbyists and worships the form of self-serving agenda and denies facilitation to the political essence of responsibility of being a people serving leader. Re-election was the motivational punch line for the State of the Union address.
Robert Kagan (“Grading of Obama’s Foreign Policy”, Foreign Policy, January 30, 2012) paints a rosy picture of his win-win stories but sees the total US troop exit from Iraq as “unnecessary and unwise” and “the deep cuts looming in defense will go a long way to undermining the U.S. position in the world.” None of the current analytical trends indicate complete collapse of the working of the US financial institutions and 15 trillion official budgetary deficit and American political governance as the Republican presidential candidates would allege - moral and political decline in public perceptions that according to the CNN polls 83% American people disapprove the role and working of the Congress and Obama’s standing maintains a marginal static image. Almost four years have passed since the exciting presidential election night, President Obama signaled a major shift in American policy to “rebuild America” – a visionary outlook- a picture of tomorrow’s New America, from the Audacity of Hope to the first elected colored and intellectually viable President of a collapsed superpower effectively besieged and run down by the handful of Mujahideen challenging the US war plans in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reconstruction of a nation involves rethinking from bottom–up and change of strategic direction to make it happen. After tough lifelong struggle to acquire the White House occupancy as a popularly elected President, Mr. Obama was an actor in a soap opera stage show but consciously speaking to the well informed global audience across many continents and defying physical distances and conflicting time zones to transmit refurbished optimism out of prevalent darkness of lost America that a New America will come into being with a new zeal and best opportunities for peace, liberty and freedom away from the continued wars of greed and institutionalized corruption. Global humanity is intelligent, informed and mature enough not to long for political cynicism and dubious characterization of aims, interpretations and technical explanations. Someone as intelligent as Mr. Obama appears to be, should have known clearly what his strengths and weaknesses are, and absurdities of the people around him and how best he could have performed effectively as a new visionary President with a new colored image of considerable historic proportion at a time of a war-torn and financially bankrupt and morally exhausted American nation. After almost four years, President Obama appears to be taking the in-between seat on a rollercoaster- a new game of missing moral and intellectual credibility and engaging in a bluffing game of absurdity. As a first legal act of promised closing down the infamous Guantonmo Bay Terror prison, he failed miserably exposing a morally and intellectually weak characteristic. Obama accelerated the war activities in Iraq and Afghanistan onward to Pakistan. Bob Woodward calls it “Obama’s War.” Paul Craig Roberts (“The World’s Least Powerful Man – the Obama Puppet”: 01/2010), points out the Obama’s tragedy in progress:
“Obama also found out that he cannot change anything else either, if he ever intended to do so. The military/security lobby has war and a domestic police state on its agenda, and a mere American president can’t do anything about it. President Obama can order the Guantanamo torture chamber closed and kidnapping and rendition and torture to be halted, but no one carries out the order. Essentially, Obama is irrelevant. President Obama can promise that he is going to bring the troops home, and the military lobby says, “No, you are going to send them to Afghanistan, and in the meantime start a war in Pakistan and maneuver Iran into a position that will provide an excuse for a war there, too. Wars are too profitable for us to let you stop them.” And the mere president has to say, “Yes, Sir!”
To blame Assange of Wikileaks for the disclosures of the US global atrocities is simply to transfer moral and political responsibility to the unknown. Wikileaks cannot destroy America but the two bogus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused the US financial collapse, moral decline and political downfall. To the informed citizens of the global village, war is war and peace is peace. Wickedness and righteousness cannot be combined in one human character - one policy statement. It is unthinkable that both terms could be taken for the same meaning and purpose. War is not synonymous to peace. After one year in the office, President Obama attempted to underscore the informed intellect and optimism of the global well wishers while speaking at the Oslo Nobel Peace Prize ceremony: “to say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism; it is recognition of history.” History tells us that force has been used by various transgressors when they failed to envision their strategic aims come true through bigotry and wickedness. So President Obama needs to re-read the relevant chapters of the living history. Force is necessary when diplomacy and reason fail to produce results but none are applicable to the Obama’s Presidency. Obama came into office with the declared aim to renounce war as a means for the growth of American capitalism and the future course of America foreign policy. Yet after a short span of time in the office, he wants to justify the use of naked force and bomb the graveyards of Afghanistan and continues to destroy the left-over human habitats in Pakistan. Seemingly, an entrenched President, Obama bluntly told the audience that “peace is desirable” but that is not enough whereas the cost of the war will be that “some will kill, some will be killed.” With gruesome outlook, in moments and crossing over the unthinkable time hurdles, Obama assumed the role of a War President instead of being a Peace President. The souls of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. must have been tortured and tarnished how a President of Hope is fast changing to be a President off the people and far the people.
In view of his intellectual foresights, it was improbable to imagine that a majority elected President Obama could renegade his own publicly pronounced commitment for change and ANEW America for a sustainable New World Order. To transform the pacifists into optimists, to energize the depressed with new hope and motivate the soft-hearted and peace loving masses of the US, you had enliven them with a new vision when you declared the intent for a new dialogue and friendship with the Muslim world at the day of your official inauguration. You had the courage and commitment to tell the Arabian audience at Cairo visit (2009) enthusiastically:
“I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition…….As a student of history, I also know civilization's debt to Islam. It was Islam -- at places like Al-Azhar -- that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities ---- it was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
President Obama crafted the illusion of HOPE and willful bluffing strategy to talk of peace and harmony amongst varied nations and more so to your global well wishers for a New World of friendly relationship between the US and the Muslim world. It was all charged deceit and bluffing to kill the time and find new issues to reassert the American absolute authoritarianism in global affairs. Mr. President, you wanted to appear proactive and smart to talk about peace-building and bridging the generational gaps between the conflicting ethnic and religious fantasies and you did that enthusiastically in your performance at the Oslo Nobel Peace ceremony on December 10, 2009. Mr. Obama
(“Son of Africa” as Ghaddafi addressed you), you knew well that America is broke in moral and political standing and that the nations of the world even some of your closest European friends do not take the US on its own words. The crippling images are outcomes of the American failed warmongering in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. During the election campaigns, you promised to reverse the Bush’s era violations of human rights, torture and the savagery of killings across the globe but once you were in the White House, you preferred marriage of convenience to settle down in Bush’s psychopathic behavior as business as usual. You know your talents, abilities and limitations, you have never been to any war fronts in your whole life - like George Bush, you are a drawing room decorated legal Commander-in. Chief, you have no capacity to win these wars nor a strategy to bring your troops home safely and alive. Time is ticking fast if and when you will sit face to face to your assumed enemies to workout safe exist for your fighting men.
Do you think that the global humanity is totally dumb or that ignorant to believe in you and the mockery of your contentious war policy aims? According to Michael Meacher, the British Minister of Environment in PM Tony Blair Cabinet (“This War on Terrorism is Bogus”, The Guardian, Sept 6, 2003), explains that the overriding motivation for the war on terror has been the scarcity of hydrocarbon energy supplies and the US and UK will run out of sufficient supplies by 2010. Whereas, the Islamic world will control 60% of the global oil production and equally important, 95% of the remaining oil export capacity. Minister Meacher concludes that “the global war on terrorism has the hallmarks of a political myth propagated to pave the way for a wholly different agenda – The US goal of world hegemony built around securing by force command over the oil supplies required to drive the whole project.”
Had the President stayed on the right course for change “Yes We Can”, he would have scored high popularity standing not just within America but in global perception as an optimistic President powerful enough to mould and shape the future of the world with America leading as a power of influence, intellect and morally strong political values as was its history. One fundamental factor is often ignored by most American scholars that none of these guys waging the wars from their drawing rooms ever fought on a real war front, their advisors (including the former speech writer David Frum who indoctrinated George Bush to assert the notion of “axis of evil”) brief them to talk, but war is not about talking, it is madness of killing fellow human beings under the glued labels of hatred and animosity and nothing else.
Why the intents and real purposes of the War on Terrorism are politically so secretive that none of the US policy makers would dare to talk in public - the wars and the 9/11? Imagine, if the actions of President Bush were legally and politically justifiable, was India not justifiable by the same legal precedent to invade the US after the Union Carbide’s plant gas leak had killed approximately 8,000 to 12,000 civilians in Bhopal in few minutes in1984. Aftermath of the gas leaks affected millions of others in that state. But India did not threaten the US with force and opted for reason to prevail over the perpetuated tragedy. Could it be that human victims of the Indian tragedy were not viewed as important and valuable as were the casualties of the 9/11 in American crafted media images? What makes terrorism of the few so intimately aligned to the US politics and friends of the Bush family elite as suddenly undesirable and marked to be killed along with millions of other innocent people throughout the world? Is there a secretive puzzle and political dimension untold and unknown to the genius of the global community?
“It was curious,” wrote Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four, “to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same, everywhere, all over the world … people ignorant of one another’s existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same people who … were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world.” (John Pilger, “Welcome to Orwell’s World 2010”). Obviously, in a short span of time, according to Paul Craig Roberts, President Obama has reverted to become “the World’s Least Powerful Man – the Obama Puppet” (ICH: 01/2010). Roberts explains that:
“No American national interest is served by the war in Afghanistan. As the former UK Ambassador Craig Murray disclosed, the purpose of the war is to protect Unocal’s interest in the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline. The cost of the war is many times greater than Unocal’s investment in the pipeline. The obvious solution is to buy out Unocal and give the pipeline to the Afghans as partial compensation for the destruction we have inflicted on that country and its population, and bring the troops home.”
At the 2009 Cairo gathering, President Obama reiterated the proactive policy aim in “change” by using diplomacy, not force to resolve the conflicts: “Let me also address the issue of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: “I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.” You were right on Mr. President, somehow the imbalanced scale of power vs. wisdom failed to materialize. The soft hearted US masses are caught in the middle. America is fighting with itself, with its own ideals to defy the aims and spirit of its own Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments arc instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government............ (American Declaration of Independence: 07/04/1776)
The US news media reported that for days President Obama worked on his own on the Oslo Nobel Peace speech composition. Obama must have felt lonely as the American publics do not seem to share his conviction and outlook on the continued bogus wars on terrorism. How strange that Mr. Obama was elected enthusiastically by the will and passion of the American electorates, yet, he is overriding the primary interest of his own people in prolonging the wars of aggressions across the globe. It is estimated that the US and Britain forces alone have killed three million civilians in Iraq and devastated large parts of the human habitats in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is this the on-going bloodbath of the innocent humanity not the premeditated genocide? Would President Obama assume the responsibility for the wars including the possibility of crimes committed against the humanity? One of the important features of the 21st century effective leadership is to be listening and learning enabling the leaders to be responsible to those who have expressed faith and trust in them. Would President Obama analyze his role and the policy outcomes for a navigational change?
What needs to be changed by President Obama is to live upto the proclaimed hopes and commitments made to the American masses during the elections? Adam Curtis, the author and producer of the Nightmares, BBC world famous documentary on the false pretext of the War on Terrorism streamlines the facts of human affairs and political falsification: “In the past, politicians promised to create a better world. They had different ways of achieving this. But their power and authority came from the optimistic visions they offered to their people. Those dreams failed. And today, people have lost faith in ideologies. Increasingly, politicians are seen simply as managers of public life. But now, they have discovered a new role that restores their power and authority. Instead of delivering dreams, politicians now promise to protect us from nightmares. They say that they will rescue us from dreadful dangers that we cannot see and do not understand. And the greatest danger of all is international terrorism. A powerful and sinister network, with sleeper cells in countries across the world. A threat that needs to be fought by a war on terror. But much of this threat is a fantasy, which has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It is a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services, and the international media.”
To replace peacemaking with the nightmare of the war, President Obama offered no different discourse at the Oslo Nobel Peace Prize gathering than what Adam Curtis is reiterating to the whole world. Reconstruction of America would have involved the visionary leadership, a new THINKING to change the course and direction of the US foreign policy and warmongering and a new beginning to stop the wars of aggression in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but these hopes were mere words, not part of the current US policy or rational thinking. If President Obama was serious enough to rebuild America, he would need a navigational change and start THINKING anew, a different perspective to understand the prevalent realities of the world and put an end to the bloodshed carried on with active US forces and support to many self-styled illegitimate dictators and politicians in those countries implementing the American war agenda. Renee Parsons - former lobbyist for Friends of the Earth in Washington (“US Plans for Perpetual War” ICH, 01/27/2012) captioned the prevalent Obama’s naïve momentum:
“With the world's largest military force including an incomparable nuclear arsenal and a budget to match, exactly who are we protecting the Homeland from -- and what condition will it be in when they arrive? If al Qaeda's goal was to destroy the country's quality of life, its economic prosperity or its high regard for the First Amendment and civil liberties while creating a second-rate banana republic, they have done a terrific job.”
Historically, all those leaders and powers challenging the Laws of God ended up in self-defeats and got destroyed by natural causes of earthquakes, flooding and sound blasts. The US cannot fight against God and Islam – it does not have the weapons or the capacity to achieve that goal.
Paul Craig Roberts (“Drowning in Hypocrisy” paulcraigroberts.org: 01/24/2012), shares crucial knowledge-based observations and a rational context to President Obama’s excelsior across the Rubicons:
“But it is in the War Crimes Arena where Washington shows the greatest hypocrisy. The self-righteous bigots in Washington are forever rounding up heads of weak states whose countries were afflicted by civil wars and sending them off to be tried as war criminals. All the while Washington indiscriminately kills large numbers of civilians in six or more countries, dismissing its own war crimes as “collateral damage.” Washington violates its own law and international law by torturing people…… There is no question that Bush/Cheney/Obama have trashed the US Constitution, US statutory law, and international law. But Washington, having overthrown justice, has established that might is right. No foreign government is going to send its forces into the US to drag the war criminals out and place them on trial………War abroad and austerity at home is the policy that is being imposed on the western “democracies.”
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global affairs (global security, peace and conflict resolution) and comparative Western-Islamic cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest one: Arabia at Crossroads: Arab People Strive for Freedom, Peace and New Leadership. VDM Publishers, Germany, September 2011. Comments are welcome at: email@example.com.
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