U.S. Politics

Obama’s Proliferating Wars: Empire on Full Throttle Offensive

By Glen Ford

Barack Obama is running for re-election as a war president, the savior of American empire. His State of the Union address was bracketed, front and back, with praise for U.S. military prowess, including the fantastic claim that the Iraq War—his predecessor’s greatest crime—had made the nation safer. For those who still cling to the illusion of the First Black President as a man of peace, Obama has, himself, repudiated that non-existent figment of the imagination. Obama is a man of war—many wars.

The U.S. is engaged in a general imperial offensive that is designed to accomplish what George Bush set out to do—but failed—in 2003: to isolate Russia and China, the main obstacles to U.S. domination of the planet. In that sense, it is totally logical that Obama would revise and sanitize the Iraq War, since he approved of its imperial intentions, but thought its execution was, in Obama’s words, “dumb.” Obama is a smarter, more attractive, charming warmonger—and, therefore, even more dangerous than George Bush.

Even more than Bush, Obama can depend on a warmongering corporate media to demonize those regimes targeted for removal. CNN speaks constantly of Syrian President Assad as a “butcher” of his own people; a propaganda formula deployed only months ago against Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi—and equally false in both cases. Even the Arab League’s Observer Mission to Syria put much of the onus for the violence on “armed opposition groups” rather than security forces. You have not heard much about this report, because U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar—who largely financed the rebels in Libya—refused to publish the Arab League Mission’s findings. Much of the U.S. corporate media have also pretended that the report never existed, because it does not support Washington’s rational for regime change in Syria. Instead of a one-sided “slaughter,” the Arab League observers reported attacks by armed rebels provoked the Syrian security forces to respond; that armed militants bombed “buildings, trains carrying fuel, vehicles carrying diesel oil” and targeted “police, members of the media and fuel pipelines.”

It is no secret that these armed groups are supported by Turkey, a member of NATO, by the billionaire royal families of the Persian Gulf, and by the United States. And, were it not for the Russian and Chinese vetoes at the United Nations Security Council, the U.S. and its allies would by now have declared the city of Homs or some other parts of Syria as areas to be “protected” by U.S.-led air forces.

Obama toys with war against Iran, and lies about it without blinking an eye. The president said flat-out to an interviewer, just before the Super Bowl, that Iran was trying to build a nuclear weapon. But his own Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, said only a month ago that Iran is not attempting to build a nuclear weapon. The heads of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies say the same thing. In the Super Bowl interview, Obama said Iran has refused to reject nuclear weapons—when, in fact, the Iranians have done exactly that on many, many occasions. But the President believes in spreading the Big Lie, and the U.S. corporate media are there to transform those lies into gospel truth, through sickening repetition.

So, tell me: Where is the difference between Obama and Bush on issues of war and peace?

There is none, except that Obama is a more talented killer.

Black Agenda Report, February 7, 2012