Obama’s ‘Farewell To Arms’ As War Presidency Ends
Eight straight years of warmongering come to an end as US President Barack Obama bows out with his «farewell to the nation» speech this week, as fawning American media dubbed his valediction.
In reality, Obama’s outgoing address should have been billed as a «farewell to arms» made by arguably one of the most belligerent presidents to ever have occupied the White House.
Only in exceptionally delusional America could such a pernicious paradox be presented as something honorable and sentimental.
Obama, the 44th US president, may have been the first black president and winner of a Nobel peace prize during his first year in office in 2009. But apart from those dubious accolades – championed by supposedly liberal Hollywood celebrities and media pundits – his actual record in office is one of blood-soaked disgrace.
Instead of ending American overseas wars as he had promised back in 2008, Obama expanded on his predecessor George W Bush’s criminal foreign interventions. At least seven countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia – have been routinely bombed under Obama’s watch as the US Commander-in-Chief. That’s one repugnant record.
Last year alone, the US military reportedly dropped over 26,000 bombs around the world killing countless thousands of people, the exact number buried under official secrecy and American mainstream media indifference. At that rate, American anti-war campaigner Medea Benjamin estimates that US forces deployed three bombs every hour of every day for the whole of 2016. This death from the skies included Obama’s personal ordering of drone assassinations during his weekly Terror Tuesday briefings from Pentagon chiefs, the use of which increased 10-fold under his command, killing thousands of innocent civilians as «collateral damage».
In Yemen, one of the poorest countries on Earth, where Obama fully backs an ongoing Saudi air war, it is reckoned that a child dies every 10 minutes from the American-supplied bombing campaign and blockade. Hardly a word about this US-backed genocide is permitted to intrude into public awareness by the Western corporate-controlled media.
Under the supposed Nobel peace laureate, the United States has sold an all-time record of $115 billion-worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia – one of the most repressive regimes in the world – which has in turn fueled jihadist terrorism across the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Europe.
In Syria, just one of the countries to be afflicted by Obama’s policy of covert collusion with jihadist terrorism for regime-change machinations, the death toll is estimated to be around 400,000, with millions more displaced by the US-led proxy war that began in March 2011.
That war unleashed by the Obama administration to oust President Bashar al-Assad has only been arrested because of Russia’s military intervention at the end of 2015. At every step, Obama and his top diplomat John Kerry have sought to thwart Russia’s efforts to salvage the country from jihadist terror proxies. With warped logic, Obama and his British and French allies – all sponsors of the regime change war in Syria – have tried to paint Russia as a war criminal.
In his final year in office, Obama has overseen a massive escalation in US military special operations around the world. These covert forces are now reported to be operating in 138 countries – 70% of the world – a military deployment that represents a 130% increase on that under George W Bush. Self-declared liberal Americans consider Bush to be a warmongering disaster, yet somehow they hail Obama as some kind of progressive «peace president».
The Nobel prize awarded to Obama surely stands as an egregious offense to humankind’s intelligence and decency. With his typical rhetorical sophistry, Obama talked about abolishing nuclear weapons during his early days in the White House, only to subsequently commit his nation to a trillion-dollar upgrade of its nuclear arsenal. In stark violation of international obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Under his watch, the «peace president» has pursued a bellicose collision course with nuclear-armed Russia that threatens a global conflagration. Relations between the US and Russia have sunk to new dangerous depths – never seen since the former Cold War – led largely by the Obama administration’s demonizing of Moscow with a litany of fraudulent charges. Charges amplified by the servile Western mass media of course instead of being debunked as they surely should be.
Rather than dialogue and diplomacy, Obama’s presidency has used subterfuge and relentless propaganda to antagonize Russia. From personal insults against Russian President Vladimir Putin being a «Hitler figure» to vilifying Moscow for regional conflicts that the Western powers have actually stoked, Obama has tempted all-out war through reckless sanctions and expansion of NATO forces on Russia’s borders. The last power to have menaced Russia with such flagrant aggression was Nazi Germany. Yet, Putin is caricatured as Hitler, while Obama is lauded in the Western media as a standard-bearer for world peace.
This week as Obama gave his self-preening farewell to the nation speech, thousands of new US troops and tanks were dispatched to buttress NATO forces already at unprecedented levels in Germany, Poland and the Baltic states. While his country endures economic austerity and social collapse from poverty, the White House has ordered $3.4 billion in extra military spend in Europe to bolster NATO aggression towards Russian. Part of that warmongering extravagance involves supporting a neo-Nazi junta in Kiev to continue its onslaught against the ethnic Russian people of eastern Ukraine, where the death toll has reached at least 10,000 since 2014.
Only in America, the «exceptional nation» as Obama repeatedly proclaims, is a warmongering president feted as a «peace leader». Whereas his successor, Donald Trump who will be inaugurated next week, is pilloried as a traitor because he has dared to call for restoring better relations with Russia.
Trump is by no means perfect. His reactionary and at times foul-mouthed populism may be deserving of mockery as it was this week at the Golden Globes film-awards ceremony held in Hollywood. Award-winning actress Meryl Streep won plaudits from the supposed liberal media for her rebuke of Trump over his alleged bigoted and bullying behavior.
But where is the appropriate condemnation of Obama for displaying far worse failings – as perhaps the most blood-soaked president to have sat in the «highest office of the nation»?
What makes the US the most dangerous nation on Earth to world peace is that so many of its so-called liberal intellectuals, artists and media evidently view Barack Obama as a man of peace and progress. When in reality, the 44th president should be prosecuted for multiple war crimes. Instead of being free to earn millions of dollars in future years giving sonorous speeches on «international relations» to sundry audiences, Obama should be earning time behind bars. (In the ignoble company of other US ex-presidents, it should be added.)
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About the author
Finian Cunningham is a former editor and writer for major news media organizations including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent, and writes extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages.
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