Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Libya Dilemma of Obama

“if we try to overthrow Qaddafi by force, our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground, or risk killing many civilians from the air. The dangers to our men and women in uniform would be far greater. So would the costs and our share of the responsibility for what comes next.”

Here was the dilemma faced by Obama. He clearly wants regime change but is mindful of the regime change disaster in Iraq. He went to UN for permission but ended up giving responsibility to NATO. His speech lauded by the US media was one of the most confused speeches made by him.
This is not surprising considering what is happening in the Middle East. He never wanted regime change in Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia but he does want regime change in Libya, Syria, Iran. In trying to explain why he has different standards he wants to put a humanitarian face to his actions.
Trying to explain to the US public that the USA has a God given right to interfere in world
affairs while still stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan and wanting to invade Iran has to be a class juggling act which even Obama is not capable. of. The US public is not even aware how the CIA was kicked out of Pakistan after the Raymond Davis fiasco.
When Germany ( together with China and Russia) abstained from the UN resolution on Libya, the world took one more step in looking the other way in accepting US leadership in International affairs.
Much as I would love to see Ghaddafi kicked out as well as the Bahraini Shaikh and all other leaders in any country who have ruled for more than 10 years, Obama seems to have a very difficult time making that a golden rule for governance. For a country that preaches dissent and debate, the US seems to have no tolerance for Governments which may have a different point of view even if they want to come to power through a Democratic process.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ten years of decline

"Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of Yemen, one of the first things he did after 9/11 was make arrangements to come to Washington, and he met with President Bush, with the CIA Director George Tenet, with Dick Cheney, with the head of the FBI. And he basically said to the Bush administration, “We’re going to give you full access to Yemen’s territories to conduct counterterrorist operations.” And, you know, they essentially hatched a plot where Yemen would extract funding for its own military out of the Bush administration in return for the Bush administration being able to conduct counterterrorist operations inside of Yemen, including the killing of Yemeni citizens." Jeremy Scahill

The rationale for the US support of Israel has been to create a terrorisit organisation in the Middle East in order to keep the Arab countries
and subsequently the oil in check. The other startegy has been to create local monsters like Mubarak, Ali Saleh, The Shah of Iran etc who can remain in power for 50 years and repress their people for personal gain and untold power. That era is now visibly coming to an end, with the US clinging to prolong it a little bit longer. There is very little difference in this policy between Bush and Obama. Bush hastened the demise of this era through sheer arrogance and ham handedness. The US media has done an incredible job of insulating it's readers from recognising the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan as the absolute rape and desecration of two sovereign nations.

The Al Qaeda bogey has been hugely succesful in pouring billions into the coffers of dictators who were willing partners in crime but has proved to be a huge Foreign Policy debacle by creating an invisible enemy of no fixed address who cannot be defeated. This has created an image of a very vulnerable US who can now be defied. Wikileaks has resoundingly exposed US double speak and US Foreign policy now appears to be in tatters. The BRIC countries watch with glee, the Arabs with concern and the French with open disdain. Nato is no longer beholden to the US forcing them to go to the UN which under Ban Ki Moon has become an obsolete organisation.

The shift in power which came about in the first 10 years of 2010, is continuing. By 2020, a New World will have formly taken root.