FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Obama’s Double-Speak at the DNC

by DANIEL KOVALIK

“You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan.’  Even if the plan is horrifying!”

— The Joker

Sounding very much like his predecessor, George W. Bush, President Obama engaged in a very calculated act of misdirection and obfuscation at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to continue justifying his unprovoked acts of war abroad.

One of the key lines of his acceptance speech, brief as it was, wreaked with what Big Daddy in  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof referred to as “the smell of mendacity.”

Thus, Obama stated:  “I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. And we have. We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline, Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama Bin Laden is dead.”

In this well-crafted, though wholly misleading statement, Obama strongly suggests that the Taliban attacked us on 9/11.  This is, of course, not true.   The Taliban never attacked us.   Their only crime was to insist upon proof of Osama bin Laden’s culpability for the 9/11 attacks before handing him over to the U.S.   (And, the Taliban’s request in this regard was not purely academic.  Thus, as explained in a little-known article in the Ithaca Journal by Ed Haas — so unknown that it won the Project Censored Award — the FBI admitted that it never included the 9/11 attacks in Bin Laden’s “Ten Most Wanted” rap sheet because the FBI had “no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.”).

Still, it was the Taliban’s insistence on such due process niceties (niceties the U.S. once claimed to hold dear) which led to the U.S. war in Afghanistan which continues now 11 years later – “our longest war” as Obama, in a moment of candor, correctly pointed out.   Yet, despite the Taliban’s undeniable lack of responsibility for 9/11, Obama reserves the lion’s share of his drone attacks for ostensible Taliban targets, rather than Al Qaeda.   Thus, as Peter Bergen from CNN noted in a September 6 article, entitled, “Drone is Obama’s Weapon of Choice,” only 8% of Obama’s drone targets are al Qaeda as compared to just over 50% being Taliban targets.  No wonder then that Obama must try to make the American people (in the words of W) “misremember” who really was responsible for 9/11 – otherwise, his ongoing war in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, complete with the drone campaign, would appear needlessly cruel; and indeed, it is.

Obama also stated in his acceptance that “Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.”   Whether that is true or not in general is uncertain.  However, what is certain is that Al Qaeda is doing quite well in Syria where, as the Council on Foreign Relations recently noted, Al Qaeda is actually the critical fighting force in the Free Syrian Army – an army the U.S. is actively supporting, both directly and through its allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar.   But again, such inconvenient facts must be buried.

In the end, Obama’s untruths are revealing of a foreign policy which is as incoherent as it is cruel – at least assuming that this foreign policy is indeed aimed at rooting out terrorists who threaten the security of U.S. citizens as Obama would have us belief.  Of course, given that the U.S. is barely targeting Al Qaeda at all in our main theater of conflict (Afghanistan/Pakistan), and given that it is actually aiding and abetting Al Qaeda in places like Syria, one must ask the question which our leaders hope we will never ask – is our over-bloated military and our endless wars really aimed at keeping us secure?  The facts suggest that the answer is a resounding no.

Indeed, far from promoting security anywhere, U.S. war aims abroad appear intent upon creating instability and chaos; of dismantling states (such as Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia and of course Afghanistan) which our leaders view as impediments to the ability of multi-nationals to plunder world resources with impunity.   However, such chaos, while good for the business of a few, decidedly makes all of us much less secure.

The most notable example of this phenomenon, of course, lies in our long-time involvement in Afghanistan since 1979.  As we know now, through the admissions, and indeed bragging of Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, the U.S. began aiding the anti-government rebels in Afghanistan (rebels which included Osama bin Laden) with the intention of provoking a Soviet invasion. That is, contrary to popular (and carefully manufactured) belief, the U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan was not in fact the reaction to the Soviet invasion; it was the cause of the invasion.  The ultimate goal, as Brzezinski has explained with glee, was to give the USSR its own Vietnam-like quagmire which would fatally wound the Soviet Union.  In other words, the U.S. consciously set into motion a war with the intention of destroying one country (the Soviet Union) while sacrificing another (Afghanistan), and with the unintentional consequence of empowering terrorists such as Osama bin Laden who would later go on to attack us.

This, my friends, is an illustration of the chaos theory of U.S. foreign policy.

And, it is the realization of this frightening reality which Obama’s lies are designed to prevent.  Given the lack of virtually any opposition to this narrative, I would say that these lies are working according to plan.

Daniel Kovalik is a labor and human rights lawyer living in Pittsburgh.  He is currently teaching International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

 

Daniel Kovalik teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious madness in Ulster
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
January 19, 2017
Melvin Goodman
America’s Russian Problem
Dave Lindorff
Right a Terrible Wrong: Why Obama Should Reverse Himself and Pardon Leonard Peltier
Laura Carlsen
Bringing Mexico to Its Knees Will Not “Make America Great Again”
John W. Whitehead
Nothing is Real: When Reality TV Programming Masquerades as Politics
Yoav Litvin
Time to Diss Obey: the Failure of Identity Politics and Protest
Mike Whitney
The Trump Speech That No One Heard 
Conn Hallinan
Is Europe Heading for a “Lexit”?
Stephen Cooper
Truth or Twitter? Why Donald Trump Is No John Steinbeck
Binoy Kampmark
Scoundrels of Patriotism: The Freeing of Chelsea Manning
Ramzy Baroud
The Balancing Act is Over: What Elor Azaria Taught Us about Israel
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail