by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberly
A dying empire is a dangerous place. “The western capitalists are trying to stave off their own economic collapse by destroying nations who may be strong enough to keep them and their designs at bay, namely Venezuela, Russia, China and Iran.” The imperialists won’t go quietly.
Freedom Rider: Obama’s Imperialism
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberly
Photo credit- Verso books
"There's not that much difference between my [Iraq] position and George Bush's position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who's in a position to execute." – Barack Obama, 2004
As we have said often at Black Agenda Report, Barack Obama is not the lesser evil, he is just the more effective one. We say this not because we possess a trove of top secret information. We just pay attention to what he has always said.
Barack Obama has succeeded in mastering the art of marketing, that is to say convincing people to buy what they otherwise would not. In 2008 he marketed himself as the anti-war candidate when he was nothing of the sort. When he ran for the Senate in 2004 he told a New York Times reporter that he “didn’t know” how he would have voted on the authorization for use of force which gave the green light to invade Iraq. He also made the statement quoted above that he wasn’t really different from the man Democrats were supposed to hate.
Fast forward to 2014 as the west instigates a coup in Ukraine to pry it militarily and economically from Russia. When Putin responds with a referendum to bring Crimea once again into Russian territory, his plan is overwhelmingly supported by the people of that region. Despite their endless braying about democracy, the United States and European nations don’t like elections that produce results they don’t want.
Calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a tyrant, a dictator, Hitler and so on is the fall back position for criminals in need of an alibi. When Putin brutally ended the Chechen fight for independence no one in the corporate media, or the American congress, or on late night talk shows called him names at all. No one suggested that his country be expelled from the G8 nations. No one in the west said much of anything.
“The United States and European nations don’t like elections that produce results they don’t want.”
There is no defense for the American and NATO attack on the struggling democracy in Ukraine, an act based on the imperatives of empire and greed. The western capitalists are trying to stave off their own economic collapse by destroying nations who may be strong enough to keep them and their designs at bay, namely Venezuela, Russia, China and Iran. They can’t pull off this crime if they honestly reveal their intentions. Instead they must tell very big lies and get buy-in for destroying the rights of people around the world.
The Russians quite rightly point out that the United States is in no position to point fingers on the subject of violating the rights of sovereign nations. Obama gave this eye opening response to the criticism:
“Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq war was a subject of vigorous debate, not just around the world but in the United States, as well. I participated in that debate, and I opposed our military intervention there.
“But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.”
The popular phrase, “Oh no he didn’t.” comes to mind. The equally shameless Bill Clinton was taken to task when he correctly pointed out that Obama’s anti-war credentials were “a fairytale.” It seems that slick Willie knows a slick Barack when he sees one.
Obama is a man in a hurry. The dominos can’t fall fast enough for him. He told us ten years ago that he had no real differences with the Republican administration. Obama watched the increasing unpopularity of sending U.S. troops into Iraq and realized that he could accomplish the neo-con dream of world domination if he executed better, namely by not involving the loss of American lives.
“The man who brought hope to millions is in fact the most dangerous president in history.”
In just two months time, Obama has certainly executed well. He got the Putin friendly Ukrainian president out of power, encouraged a similar effort in Venezuela and assured his Saudi partners in crime that he will help them get rid of the president in Syria just as they did in Libya in 2011.
Syria’s president Assad is winning the three year-old war waged against him by the United States and the gulf monarchies. That is why the U.S. and U.K. sought to take military action last year and why they are so keen to weaken Putin after he put a stop to their plans. That in a nutshell is why the American and other NATO governments want him gone too. They will not abide any resistance.
While Americans mindlessly accept what they are told about Putin, they don’t realize that their president’s scheming has brought the world to the brink of war. Even at the height of the Cold War the United States did not dare to so blatantly antagonize the Soviet Union but now it appears that all bets are off. The empire won’t crumble quietly but is instead like a wounded predatory animal which can still maim and kill. The man who brought hope to millions is in fact the most dangerous president in history because he is in office as the inevitable collapse threatens the world.
No one at the top of the political heap in Russia or the United States or France or Germany or the United Kingdom got their position out of benevolence. We don’t have to call any of them good in order to point out lies and criminality when we see them. Right now we see good old fashioned imperialism and it is just as dangerous now as it was 100 years ago when the same countries brought destruction to millions of people.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.