FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Obama’s Last Gasp Imperialism

With only eight more months in office, Barack Obama shows no signs of giving up his role as the most aggressively imperialist American president in modern history. Liberal Democrats rightly point fingers at Hillary Clinton’s bellicosity, yet they say nothing about Obama as he continues on a path of destruction around the world.

Nations on every continent are victims either of outright American military violence or of war waged by other means. Venezuela sinks further into despair as a result of American manipulations of oil prices and sanctions that cripple its economy. Millions of people have had their homes destroyed by United States interventions in Somalia and Libya and Syria and are forced to make dangerous treks in hopes of finding safety.

While the American instigated war goes on in Syria that country’s government and its Russian ally make gains against terrorists. Because they are winning the United States continues to make bizarre demands that “Assad must go.” Obama has to turn over the keys in January 2017 but Assad may sit in his presidential office watching as his enemy rides off into the sunset.

The least reported and yet biggest danger is taking place in Europe. The United States and NATO continue to provoke Russia in what could be a deadly game that spins out of their control.

In recent weeks the Russians have made clear that they won’t take the provocation lying down. While the corporate media follow the president blindly, they won’t tell viewers and listeners that Russia has territory on the Baltic sea coast. Kaliningrad is Russia, just as Hawaii and Alaska are America. Of course there are Russian planes and submarines in the Baltic. They belong there while American vessels do not. Russia has every right to “buzz” United States ships and escort spy planes out of its airspace.

These very simple facts are rarely presented to Americans who have no idea that 200 of their troops will perform exercises in Moldova, a small country located between Ukraine and Romania. It is an example of how American presidents from Bush to Clinton to Bush to Obama made a mockery of a promise not to encircle Russia.

Instead they do just that and keep adding to the NATO arsenal. Nations like Sweden, traditionally neutral, are being lured into that organization’s grasp. In the absence of the old Soviet block there is no use for NATO except to act as the foot soldiers for American dirty work.

It seems that the end of his presidency has made Obama more anxious and therefore more dangerous. There are now “boots on the ground” in Syria, so far just 300 Special Forces, but even that small number is too high and represents the extent to which the United States is committed to maintaining the imperialist project.

Only the now inevitable Republican nominee, Donald Trump, questions this premise of American foreign policy. Hillary Clinton assisted Obama in his designs and the supposedly left wing Bernie Sanders warns of non-existent Russian aggression, supports presidential “kill lists” and thinks that having U.S. troops in Syria is a fine idea.

While the United States threatens to start World War III, the corporate media go into overdrive in their determination to distract us from the dangers our government poses to the world. They turn trivialities into major controversy but rarely report anything we ought to know. For example, Larry Wilmore saluted the president as “my nigga” during the last Obama era White House Correspondents Dinner. There was much arguing back and forth about the propriety of the words but no one spoke of the impropriety of the event inself.

The media ought to have an adversarial relationship with presidents. At the very least they should be somewhat distant and skeptical. Instead they are very cozy and quite publicly too. They even celebrate their collusion at this love fest as a president makes jokes with television comedians who compete for the chance to be sidekick for an evening.

There is no longer any pretense of impartiality. The media want access so they play along and tell lies of commission and omission with every presidential administration. They tell jokes at Russia’s expense but won’t tell readers and viewers that it is the United States who is provoking Russia in its sphere of influence.

Obama apparently wants to commit more destruction than he has already. Turning Libya into an utterly failed state was not enough. That act unleashed ISIS and Boko Haram and a wave of refugees. The coup in Ukraine ignited a civil war. The Syrian government hangs on but at a terrible price. Russia answered the call to help but America doesn’t want that war to end and will continue to use its allies to prevent a cease fire or an end to the conflict altogether.

A lot of damage can be done between now and January 20, 2009. There is no reason to mourn or rejoice Obama’s departure because he will be followed by someone who likes his foreign policy as it is. That person will also like Americans as they are: mostly intelligent but uninformed even if they wish to know what is happening around the world. The expression to do something “like there’s no tomorrow” is poignant. If Obama and company continue down this path, we shall all find out what those words mean.

More articles by:

Margaret Kimberley writes the Freedom Rider column for Black Agenda Report, where this essay originally appeared. 

Weekend Edition
July 10, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Lynnette Grey Bull
Trump’s Postcard to America From the Shrine of Hypocrisy
Anthony DiMaggio
Free Speech Fantasies: the Harper’s Letter and the Myth of American Liberalism
David Yearsley
Morricone: Maestro of Music and Image
Rob Urie
Democracy and the Illusion of Choice
Jeffrey St. Clair
“I Could Live With That”: How the CIA Made Afghanistan Safe for the Opium Trade
Vijay Prashad
The U.S. and UK are a Wrecking Ball Crew Against the Pillars of Internationalism
Melvin Goodman
The Washington Post and Its Cold War Drums
Richard C. Gross
Trump: Reopen Schools (or Else)
Chris Krupp
Public Lands Under Widespread Attack During Pandemic 
Paul Street
Imperial Blind Spots and a Question for Obama
Alda Facio
What Coronavirus Teaches Us About Inequality, Discrimination and the Importance of Caring
Eve Ottenberg
Bounty Tales
Andrew Levine
Silver Linings Ahead?
John Kendall Hawkins
FrankenBob: The Self-Made Dylan
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Deutsche Bank Fined $150 Million for Enabling Jeffrey Epstein; Where’s the Fine Against JPMorgan Chase?
David Rosen
Inequality and the End of the American Dream
Louis Proyect
Harper’s and the Great Cancel Culture Panic
Thom Hartmann
How Billionaires Get Away With Their Big Con
REZA FIYOUZAT
Your 19th COVID Breakdown
Danny Sjursen
Undercover Patriots: Trump, Tulsa, and the Rise of Military Dissent
Charles McKelvey
The Limitations of the New Antiracist Movement
Binoy Kampmark
Netanyahu’s Annexation Drive
Joseph G. Ramsey
An Empire in Points
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
COVID-19 Denialism is Rooted in the Settler Colonial Mindset
Ramzy Baroud
On Israel’s Bizarre Definitions: The West Bank is Already Annexed
Judith Deutsch
Handling Emergency: A Tale of Two Males
Michael Welton
Getting Back to Socialist Principles: Honneth’s Recipe
Dean Baker
Combating the Political Power of the Rich: Wealth Taxes and Seattle Election Vouchers
Jonah Raskin
Edward Sanders: Poetic Pacifist Up Next
Manuel García, Jr.
Carbon Dioxide Uptake by Vegetation After Emissions Shutoff “Now”
Heidi Peltier
The Camo Economy: How Military Contracting Hides Human Costs and Increases Inequality
Ron Jacobs
Strike!, Fifty Years and Counting
Ellen Taylor
The Dark Side of Science: Shooting Barred Owls as Scapegoats for the Ravages of Big Timber
Sarah Anderson
Shrink Wall Street to Guarantee Good Jobs
Graham Peebles
Prison: Therapeutic Centers Or Academies of Crime?
Zhivko Illeieff
Can We Escape Our Addiction to Social Media?
Clark T. Scott
The Democrat’s Normal Keeps Their (Supposed) Enemies Closer and Closer
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
In 2020 Elections: Will Real-Life “Fighting Dems” Prove Irresistible?
Dave Lindorff
Mommy, Where Do Peace Activists Come From?
Christopher Brauchli
Trump the Orator
Gary Leupp
Columbus and the Beginning of the American Way of Life: A Message to Indoctrinate Our Children
John Stanton
Donald J. Trump, Stone Cold Racist
Nicky Reid
The Stonewall Blues (Still Dreaming of a Queer Nation)
Stephen Cooper
A Kingston Reasoning with Legendary Guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith (The Interview: Part 2)
Hugh Iglarsh
COVID-19’s Coming to Town
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail