FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

America’s Foreign Policy Quagmire

by

After a weekend of golf in Palm Springs, President Obama returned to the White House and   ordered 300 ‘boots on the ground’ (including intelligence analysts, logistic experts and special ops) into Iraq after declaring that “The United States is not simply going to involve itself in a military action in the absence of a political plan by the Iraqis that gives us some assurance that they’re prepared to work togetherand that America will “not allow ourselves to be dragged back into a situation” – and if you are thinking that US foreign policy is little more than an irrationally complex multitude of contradictions and a dysfunctional ideological strategy that defies logic and common sense – you would be correct.

To further confuse exactly what is the Administration’s policy, the president has recently announced that he is now prepared to take “targeted and precise military action,” a campaign of airstrikes.

And if a US government that has militarized its foreign policy with more military bases (over 1000 ‘unofficially’) in 120 countries as compared to 272 State Department embassies and consulates around the globe gives the impression that US foreign policy is dominated by military considerations rather than diplomacy, you would be correct again.   See “State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire” by Stephen Glain.

And if you believe that US foreign policy is the result of a comprehensive, thoroughly vetted plan, impartially weighing geopolitical and economic risks while considering long term implications, unintended or otherwise, you would be wrong.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent visit with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is a prime example of how a Secretary of State sounds more like a Secretary of Defense when he promised that  “the Apaches will come and they’ll come very soon” referring to a delivery of ten Apache attack helicopters to Egypt’s military.

For instance, here’s where a ‘real’ Secretary of State could have actively pursued a negotiation with Sisi regarding the release of three al Jazeera reporters who have now been sentenced up to ten years for ‘false news’ rather than offering meaningless denunciations.  Kerry further muddied his role as negotiator-in-chief with an incredibly disingenuous “The United States of America is not responsible for what happened in Libya, nor is it responsible for what is happening in Iraq today.”

And just to set the record straight, here’s a flow chart that clarifies exactly how US foreign policy choices have been decided beginning with the 1991 Gulf War and up to today’s current military interventions and assorted debacles:

reneeflowchart

Reprinted from Agora Financials

In a further effort to clarify what is otherwise thought to be a mass of disorderly, incoherent and incomprehensible piecemeal choices that varies from country to country thwarting a greater understanding of exactly who are our allies, consider the following Who’s In and Who’s Out in the Middle East.  The US

Supports:   Shia Nouri al Maliki government in Iraq but

Opposes:  Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Iraq and the Shia-related governments of Iranian; President Hassan Rouhani and Bashar al Assad in Syria and the Shia civil war in Yemen

On the Other Hand, the US

Supports :   Sunni extremist monarchy of Saudi Arabia (15 of the 19  9-11 participants were Saudi citizens)  and the Sunni monarchies of Bahrain and Jordan and the Sunni extremist rebels in Syria referred to as ‘moderates’ but

Opposes: Sunni extremists of ISIS, the Taliban (which had nothing to do with 9-11) and al Qaeda affiliates but

Supports: Sunni President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan

Perhaps this simple attempt at illumination has only further muddied the waters of understanding and admittedly there are more cultural, ethnic, historic, geographic and political details than this exercise includes but hopefully you get the point.   We, the American public, even those of us who consider ourselves well-informed, don’t know what the hell is going on from a policy perspective – with US relationships significantly different from one country to the next.  Ok, we can guess that petroleum is the bottom line but if we add the Israeli-Palestinian crisis to the equation, what we have is an increasingly indefensible, incoherent policy that is destroying the Middle East as well as our own country better than al Qaeda had ever hoped.

And lastly, here are a couple of perplexing policy questions, the answers of which may tell us more than we want to know:

Will ISIS military brain General Ibrahim al-Douri  and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi be on the president’s Tuesday morning ‘kill list’?

Since the Shia al-Sadr who was a fierce opponent of the US occupation in Iraq and the US are now both opposing ISIS, how will the Administration respond to  al-Sadr’s recent announcement that he will “shake the ground’ in fighting the Sunni extremists in Iraq?

Renee Parsons was a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives and a lobbyist on nuclear energy issues with Friends of the Earth.  in 2005, she was elected to the Durango City Council and served as Councilor and Mayor.  Currently, she is a member of the Treasure Coast ACLU Board.

 

 

 

 

Renee Parsons was a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives and a lobbyist on nuclear energy issues with Friends of the Earth.  in 2005, she was elected to the Durango City Council and served as Councilor and Mayor.  Currently, she is a member of the Treasure Coast ACLU Board.

More articles by:
May 26, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
Pepe Escobar
Hillary Clinton: A Major Gold-Digging Liability
Sam Pizzigati
America’s Cosmic Tax Gap
Ramzy Baroud
Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
José L. Flores
Wall Street’s New Man in Brazil: The Forces Behind Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment
Patrick Cockburn
The Battle of Fallujah: ISIS Unleashes Its Death Squads
John Feffer
The Coming Drone Blowback
Alex Ray
The Death Toll in Syria: What Do the Numbers Really Say?
Richard Pithouse
We Shall be the Prey and the Vulture
Binoy Kampmark
Trump and the Polls of Loathing
Manuel E. Yepe
A Cruise Ship Without Tourists Arrives in Havana
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt Negotiations: Will the IMF Exit the Troika?
Ajamu Nangwaya
Pan-Africanism, Feminism and Finding Missing Pan-Africanist Women
Howard Lisnoff
Israel, a Palestinian State and Anti-Semitism
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail