A few days ago, Obama decided to address the UN on a number of issues, most importantly, American foreign policy in the Middle East. This seemed predictable, given all the attention being given by the media to relations between Iran and the US. I’ve written about why Iran poses no threat to America and how our sanctions are both illegal and immoral. Considering that we overthrew a democratic government in Iran in 1953 and then helped Saddam Hussein drop chemical weapons (yes, the same kind we’re about to bomb Syria for) on them in 1988, it makes sense that relations are tense.
But the mainstream media was quite optimistic that relations could be improved with the election of the new moderate, Hassan Rouhani. I’ve written extensively about Obama’s hawkish foreign policy, so I wasn’t that hopeful, but even I didn’t fathom that he would give such an utterly imperialistic speech in front of the UN. David Swanson created a brilliant collection of 45 lies from his speech, but for the sake of length and coherence, I’ll stick to the 5 most striking quotes.
“Together we have worked hard to end a decade of war.”
Time for a spit-take. Who does Obama think he’s kidding? Obama actually pushed to keep troops in Iraq, like Romney. He also began the troop surge in Afghanistan, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians, and the NATO command itself criticized. He’s responsible for an illegal war in Libya and the illegal drone war in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, which by the way, is still going on.
“We have limited the use of drones…and there is a near certainty of no civilian casualties.”
This is just a blatant lie. Maybe I’m crazy, but does limited sound like: 323 strikes in Pakistan and ~60 confirmed strikes in Yemen. In Pakistan, only 48 out of 3,149 killed have been terrorists. I guess it’s hard to recognize “civilians” after you’ve blown them to shreds for no crime.
“The international community must enforce the ban on chemical weapons.”
I don’t disagree with this, but I just have some questions for Mr Obama. Why didn’t you bomb Israel when they used chemical weapons on civilians in the Gaza Strip in 2008-09? Let’s make this more personal. Do you think a foreign country should have bombed America for its complicity in Iraq’s chemical attack on Iran? Let’s make it even more comprehensible. Do you think Russia should bomb us for breaking our promise to destroy our chemical weapons in Colorado and Kentucky? It’s easy to talk about bombing a country to “enforce” justice, unless its your own.
“Some may disagree, but I think America is exceptional – in part because we…stand up not only for our own narrow self-interest, but for the interests of all.” He also said, “The USA is prepared to use…military force to secure our core interests in the Middle East.”
What happened to the interests of all? I’m sure the people in the Middle East wouldn’t find the US using military force in their interests, considering that the vast majority of Arabs don’t trust America “to act responsibly.” At least Obama finally stopped sugarcoating and came clean on his foreign policy: We will use force to get what we want. What do we want again?
“We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world.” He later adds, “we can rarely achieve these objectives through unilateral…action…These objectives are best achieved when we partner with the international community and with the countries and peoples of the region.”
In typical Orwellian “doublespeak,” free flow of energy to Obama means that we get energy when we want it, even if that means military force. It’s hard to believe Obama doesn’t believe in unilateral action, just a few weeks after the State Dept said in relation to Syria, “We will make our own decisions, with our own timelines.”
If we simply translate the last two bits here, we get an explicit picture of Obama’s imperialist foreign policy. He’s establishing a simple principle, one that elicits little reaction among American media: We want oil, and we will bomb you to get it, no matter what anyone thinks. That our President has the audacity to give this monstrous, colonialist message in front of the UN, without being heavily criticized by the media, indeed proves Obama’s point – America is exceptional. And the rest of the world pays the price.