On one hand, we observe Obama peddling a socialist manifesto ignoring the reality of global sectarianism, energy imperialism and economic warfare while pretending to push a capitalist agenda to disguise his ultra-liberal policies. Obama's arguments that he supports capitalism and democracy (the rule of the majority) are reductio ad absurdum if one accepts that capitalism is engineered for inequality and fails to function if it is expected to operate alongside a belief that within a system that rewards risk, innovation and merit that all people can be equal and all opinions accommodated. On his flanks are Merkel in Germany and the South American liberation theologian in the Vatican.
These three are not overtly aligned but each with a significant power base and influence are pushing the same concepts - all of which are detrimental to Western interests and influence and the ultimate outcome of whose policies, if allowed to succeed, can only place the West at the mercy of more martial and aggressive regimes.
Weakness Masquerading as Strength
Human nature does not change quickly - these alleged students of the human condition wish us to take a path that will only result in our demotion globally to mere slaves of external events and concepts, rather than masters of our destiny. It puts us on a path of inevitable identity and cultural destruction.
Our opponents do not struggle with such issues. They hold a set of beliefs which they pursue relentlessly with a vigour that leaves no room for dissent. How can one be expected to accept a compromised position that weakens our ability to defend our beliefs in the face of such ideologues and fanaticism.
On the other hand Obama et al. - like all of their persuasion - seek to rule by the consensus of the lowest common denominator. This results in the usual liberal conundrum - perpetual inaction or at the very least confused, misguided and misdirected action - generally too late to influence events.
The "Might is Right" Misfits
The opposing trio, led in theory by the bully boy Putin cosy in his arrangements with Hassan Rouhani (Iran) and Xi Jinping (China), are resolutely opposed to a progressive agenda and firmly united in their anti-American sentiment. They possess a clear set of focussed short term objectives that play to all the basic human emotions - nationalism, aggression and a clearly identifiable common enemy to unite against - in this case two - ISIS a form of radical Islam (I do not denote it as "the" form of radical Islam as Iran is the Sh'ia version of the ISIS Sunni form) and of course the USA.
Two Flawed #Triumvirates Seek to Undermine Western #Europe https://t.co/HoXfWHMu4j #Syria #jihad #Obama #Iran #China #Merkel #ISIS #ISIL #IS— Graham Penrose (@GrahamPenrose2) November 26, 2015
The former are offering a loose set of vague promises of future peace, prosperity and universal brotherhood based on complete sacrifice by the most powerful and the most comfortable nations - financially and politically - all the while eroding the cultural identities and traditional values of those constituencies they allegedly represent.
The real power lies in the "Might is Right" alliance and it is that challenge that needs to be addressed by the next US administration, the Conservatives in the UK and the other realistic member states of the EU and Eastern Europe.
The Political Landscape in the West
Obama and the Democrats have 14 months left in office before a generation in the political wilderness. Merkel is riding a wave of nauseating self-applause regarding her disastrous refugee policies and in the spirit of classic Teutonic arrogance continues to use the very federal institutions that were created in the EU to protect against historical German aggression and bullying to push the German agenda and harass the weaker EU nations.
When the UK inevitably decides that enough is enough and leaves the EU it will create at last a second lever of power in Western Europe. The path is clear for the Conservatives to take the initiative on this long held wisdom as the only viable opposition - the Labour Party - is now led by the divisive Corbyn, a figure of contempt for many in his own party, a thinly disguised Marxist and terrorist apologist.
Papal Hand-Wringing Hides Classic Self-Interest
Pope Francis is simply a sideshow to fill a few minutes at the end of the news segments with his appeals that are attractive to the billions of Catholics in developing South America, Asia and Africa. The Catholic church having lost its foothold in its traditional power base after decades of financial and sexual abuse scandals must now do what it does best - pretend to champion the poor in order to maintain its relevance and more importantly its coffers.
Whether the Pope realises it or not, his rhetoric is only a tool to keep the institution relevant to its current flock of poverty stricken less educated members and contributors to whom religion is always a salve in their world with few comforts or allies.
Pathetic Justification of Obama's Foreign Policy Free-Fall
Yesterday Obama delivered a "why can't we all just get along" plea at the United Nations General Assembly in the spirit of the most self-deluded, self indulgent, unrealistic antics of the 60s "love and peace to all men, women and the gender neutral" movement. Obama imposed forty minutes of nonsensical rationalisation for inaction and justification, informed by hindsight, for the train wreck that is his administrations foreign policy outcomes.
He sees a world of "equals" albeit that some will be more "equal" than others. A world where a centrally based well armed unelected power - the United Nations - will "implement" policy at a global level despite its failure to do so on umpteen occasions in the past and without an awareness apparently of the veto that his main opponents possess at that forum.
Perpetual Flux & Cultural Abandon
He envisages the first world in a state of perpetual flux and cultural abandon - welcoming countless un-vetted refugees as "brothers and sisters" and granting every seemingly minority view a status equalling that of the majority. Regardless of the prevailing "mood" of the populace in our countries we are to be forced to allow every refugee, asylum seeker or economic migrant to choose our locale for their new start and to be pleased.
Many of these "travellers" are neither Syrian or from conflict zones. Those that are, have in the main, been created by US foreign policy disasters but the bill for these adventures is being picked up in general by Western Europe and in particular the populations of the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden whose social structures and rampant political correctness are so attractive to these "travellers".
However, Obama has saddled his own nation with a similar version of unbridled immigrant access from Mexico and South America.
He notes that "democracy", in his view, will and should take different forms in nations across the globe as it takes account of local "cultural" variations, religious preferences and regional ethnic themes. Failing it would seem to appreciate that his administration and he himself personally have done all they can to undermine these local variations in his own nation and in Western Europe.
Clearly, with a sideways glance at irony his speechwriters then ignored the juxtaposition of his comments regarding capitalism beside what amounted to a socialist policy document.
"The commitments we’ve made to the Sustainable Development Goals speak to this truth. I believe that capitalism has been the greatest creator of wealth and opportunity that the world has ever known. But from big cities to rural villages around the world, we also know that prosperity is still cruelly out of reach for too many. As His Holiness Pope Francis reminds us, we are stronger when we value the least among these, and see them as equal in dignity to ourselves and our sons and our daughters."
A Legacy of Failure & Betrayal
Obama stands atop a pile of the corpses of US veterans, coalition partners and local militia's whose past efforts he has squandered or current efforts left unsupported via his administrations stuttering hesitancy. Obama has presided over a foreign policy free-fall that has seen countless Middle Eastern and North African bombed-tortured-enslaved-persecuted-murdered-drowned civilians, led Europe to a state of cultural collapse in the face of unhindered economic migration, and seen factions across the globe create allegiances that are firmly polarised across religious and sectarian lines.
The lampoonish figure of this man who is responsible for these outcomes lecturing us like a Mandelaesque wannabe all the while waving a CND flag while allowing Iran access to the technologies for a nuclear weapon, clutching his pro-choice card and popping dandelions in the barrels of jihadi AK-47s is all the more aggravating as he has the audacity to look as smug as his co-conspirators while pontificating. Completely ignorant of his own legacy of failure.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. At best this is what Obama and Merkel and Francis are guilty of.
Misguided Faith in Failed Institutions
"It is this international order that has underwritten unparalleled advances in human liberty and prosperity. It is this collective endeavour that’s brought about diplomatic cooperation between the world’s major powers, and buttressed a global economy that has lifted more than a billion people from poverty. It is these international principles that helped constrain bigger countries from imposing our will on smaller ones, and advanced the emergence of democracy and development and individual liberty on every continent."
Obama spoke these words as fact - the test however is "time" and to put forward this thesis as fact bears no witness to the truth that since 1945 the "institutions" which he refers to are just seventy years old and are not mature enough or tested enough to offer, as he does, as the undisputed "global solution" going forward.
In fact on countless occasions the economic, social and military concepts of co-operation and mutual self interest and "self-evident truths" - a phrase he borrowed from a Constitution which he has shamelessly trampled on since his inauguration - have crumbled in even the most minor of crises.
We are globally more unequal now than we have been at any point in the past and all the credible studies show this is to continue and not reverse.
Add to that climate change, population growth, failures in disease control, economic uncertainty and global regional conflicts and one wonders how Obama can expect those who have in the previous centuries suffered and dragged themselves from these deprivations are simply going to mortgage their nations and families futures to those who have either abandoned or destroyed theirs in their own countries.
A Race To The Lowest Common Denominator
These are facts and not ultra-liberal fiction - Obama views "equality" not as the improvement of the conditions of those who are already comfortable but a race to the lowest common denominator where those in the first world move downwards to joined those in the second and third world as they rise upwards.
It is a dreamers concept where the hodge-podge of argument and rationalisation for such a policy can only be realistic in the mind of a egocentric with a mood of entitlement.
"The people of our United Nations are not as different as they are told. They can be made to fear; they can be taught to hate—but they can also respond to hope. History is littered with the failure of false prophets and fallen empires who believed that might always makes right, and that will continue to be the case. You can count on that. But we are called upon to offer a different type of leadership—leadership strong enough to recognize that nations share common interests and people share a common humanity, and, yes, there are certain ideas and principles that are universal."
His reference to reasons for the failure of historical empires and the cherry picking of examples to support his argument makes assumption that while he is arguing against holding strong values and opinions that the number of empire's that fell because they stuck rigidly to their beliefs is matched by those that fell by allowing the utter dilution of the very principles that made them great - most notably the greatest of them all - the Roman Empire. Obama is no student of history.
But Obama was never one for digging deep to rationalise his opinions - he after all represents a minority view of sweeping generalisations but considers himself above reproach with respect to minority affairs. A worn out notion but one which still seven years on he pulls out of his single bag of tricks to push down any opposition as radical, racist, extreme or all three preferably - completely undermining the very "message" that he purports to be the on-high appointed courier for - namely tolerance.
The Erosion of US Prestige
He has failed to grasp and those willing nodders around him have also left unobserved the awkward fact that US influence and prestige has eroded globally over the last seven years to a point where former stalwart allies and client states have sought or are seeking options elsewhere.
In May 2014 we paraphrased coverage of Obama's whistle stop tour of the East that stated:
"America's allies are nervous. With Russia grabbing territory, China bullying its neighbours and Syria murdering its people, many are asking: where is Globocop? Under what circumstances will America act to deter troublemakers? What, ultimately, would America fight for?"
In the intervening seventeen months we have been given the answer: America - under its current leadership will fight for nothing.
Filling the Vacuum
Russia is still grabbing territory but has now been joined by China and Iran who have observed - in the spirit of Chamberlain - Obama's lack of firm intervention with respect to both the de-stabilisation of Eastern Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimea by Russia.
Obama offers the "success" of economic sanctions as the justification of not wielding a stronger stick. The uncomfortable fact is that economic sanctions have led Iran to negotiate a pro-Iranian nuclear deal which the misguided President still believes is verifiable. And pushed Russia to further expansion as a direct result of US actions. Clearly Putin is protecting Assad who has vehemently opposed the construction of the Qatari gas pipeline which actions protects Russia as the key supplier of that resource to Western Europe and the foreign currency he so badly needs.
To quote Global Research: "A battle has raged over whether pipelines will go toward Europe from east to west, from Iran and Iraq to the Mediterranean coast of Syria, or take a more northbound route from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Syria and Turkey. Having realized that the stalled Nabucco pipeline, and indeed the entire Southern Corridor, are backed up only by Azerbaijan’s reserves and can never equal Russian supplies to Europe or thwart the construction of the South Stream, the West is in a hurry to replace them with resources from the Persian Gulf. Syria ends up being a key link in this chain, and it leaned in favour of Iran and Russia; thus it was decided in the Western capitals that its regime needs to change. The fight for democracy is a false flag thrown out to cover up totally different aims."
In January 2015 in our post "Risks Ahead in the South China Sea" we noted that China continues to bully in the region around the Spratly and Paracel Islands.
Syria in the intervening period, along with Libya, is a failed state witness to destruction, genocide and a regional humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen since the 1940's. The outcome of Obama inaction is that the isolated Assad and the vacuum created by lack of Western support for a lesser evil in the face of ISIS has meant that Russia, China and Iran have moved to a position of unassailable control in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
Iran has been allowed to position its Sh'ia militias all across non-KRG Iraq and embolden its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon and Golan.
Putin's Vision of the Middle East
Putin has a vision of a wall of Iranian-dominated, Russia-friendly, anti-American states stretching from western Afghanistan through Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea. And he’s well on his way to achieving it, thanks to the nuclear deal with Iran, US military hesitancy in the region and, now, an open alliance between Russia, China, Iran, Iraq’s Shia militias, Hezbollah and the forces of the Assad regime.
That wall would not only keep out the United States, it would isolate the Kurds and overshadow the last US clients in the region, including Israel who has already moved to improve relations with Moscow and receive assurances with respect to Moscow and Beijing's intentions as they commence a military buildup based around the port of Tartus and the Assad heartland of Damascus.
At the time (May 2014) the following was noted of Obama's questioning by the media:
"The answer to this question matters. Rogue states will behave more roguishly if they doubt America’s will to stop them. As a former head of Saudi intelligence recently said of Vladimir Putin’s land grab in Ukraine: "While the wolf is eating the sheep, there is no shepherd to come to the rescue." Small wonder that Barack Obama was asked, at every stop during his four-country swing through Asia, how exactly he plans to wield American power. How would the president respond if China sought to expand its maritime borders by force? How might he curb North Korea’s nuclear provocations? At every press conference he was also quizzed about Ukraine."
None of these legacy issues have been materially addressed by Obama and Co. in the intervening months and yesterdays speech suggests that will be the case until November 2016 - for that speech naively pleaded for reasonable actions from unreasonable people as the solution to these problems.
Indifference in the Audience
The sceptical faces of many at the Assembly was not just made up of the usual suspects but many formerly "standing ovation" members when any US President previously delivered a keynote address at a time of great import. The lack lustre applause at the appointed times throughout the cringe worthy oratory was also notable and telling.
Obama's own rationale and metrics can equally be applied to the foreign policy failures that he has created and presided over. In trying to cater to everybody he caters to nobody and undermines not emboldens the principles that he allegedly finds so appealing. His removal from office by the expiry of his abused mandate (making his own laws via the Supreme Court / signing Executive Orders on a weekly basis / failure to consult the "Voice of the People" - Congress) or impeachment cannot happen too quickly for the West. An abrogation of responsibility, in favour of unproven and previously failed strategies, on the scale of Obama's has not been witnessed before and hopefully will never be again.