What Obama Told Us At West Point

Paul Craig RobertsPresident Obama speaks on Climate Change in Washington, D.C.

At West Point Obama told us, to the applause of West Point cadets, that “American exceptionalism” is a doctrine that justifies whatever Washington does. If Washington violates domestic and international law by torturing “detainees” or violates the Nuremberg standard by invading countries that have undertaken no hostile action against the US or its allies, “exceptionalism” is the priest’s blessing that absolves Washington’s sins against law and international norms. Washington’s crimes are transformed into Washington’s affirmation of the rule of law. Here is Obama in his own words:

“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”

Actions indeed. In the 21st century “American exceptionalism” has destroyed seven countries in whole or in part. Millions of people are dead, maimed, and displaced, and all of this criminal destruction is evidence of Washington’s reaffirmation of international norms and the rule of law. Destruction and murder are merely collateral damage from Washington’s affirmation of international norms.

“American exceptionalism” also means that US presidents can lie through their teeth and misrepresent those they choose to demonize. Listen to Obama’s misrepresentations of the Putin and Assad governments:

“Russia’s aggression towards former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe . . . In Ukraine, Russia’s recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe .” Obama misrepresents Assad as “a dictator who bombs and starves his own people.”

Did any of the cadets in Obama’s West Point audience wonder why, if Assad is a brutal dictator who bombs and starves his own people, the Syrian people are supporting Assad instead of the American-backed “liberation forces,” the combination of imported jihadists and al Qaeda fighters who object to Assad’s government because it is secular? The US military is taught to respect its civilian commander-in-chief, but if West Point cadets actually do obtain an education, it is remarkable that Obama’s audience did not break out in laughter.

The reference to Soviet tanks rolling into Eastern Europe is a reference to the Hungarian (1956) and Czech (1968) “revolutions” when the Hungarian and Czech communist leaders attempted to assert independence from Moscow. It is doubtful that Washington’s response to countries attempting to exit NATO would be any different. A few months ago Washington responded to political talk in Germany and England about leaving the EU by informing both governments that it was not in Washington’s interest for them to depart from the European Union.

Obama used the image of Soviet tanks in order to color Russia with the Soviet Threat, to mischaracterize Russia’s response to the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia, and to misrepresent Crimea’s vote in favor of reunification with Russia as “Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea.” These lies are still a mainstay in the US media and in Washington’s official propaganda.

Obama’s speech is probably the most disingenuous ever given by a Western politician. We could have fun for hours with all the crimes that Washington commits but buries in rhetoric directed at others. Perhaps my favorite is Obama evoking a world in which “individuals aren’t slaughtered because of political belief.” I am sure Obama was thinking of this just world when he murdered without due process of law four American citizens “outside of areas of active hostilities.”

Another favorite is the way Obama flushed the US Constitution of its meaning. Obama said, with reference to bringing the Guantanamo prisoners to the US, that “American values and legal traditions don’t permit the indefinite detention of people beyond our borders.” No, Obama, the US Constitution prevents the indefinite detention of US citizens by the US government anywhere on earth, especially within our borders.

By detaining and by murdering US citizens without due process of law, Obama has violated his oath of office and should be impeached. It was only a short time ago that President Bill Clinton was impeached by the US House of Representatives (the Senate saved him from conviction) for lying about his sexual affair with a White House intern. How times change. Today a president who violates his oath of office to protect the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic gets a free ride. The Constitution has lost its power to protect citizens from the arbitrary power of government. The US is the Constitution. Without the Constitution the US ceases to exist, and the country becomes a tyranny, both at home and abroad.Today the US is a tyranny cloaked in the garb of “freedom and democracy.”

Instead of laughing our way through Obama’s ridiculous speech to what apparently was a dumbed-down West Point graduating class, lets pay attention to Obama’s bottom line: “America must always lead on the world stage. . . . The military is, and always will be, the backbone of that leadership.”

In other words, Washington doesn’t use diplomacy. Washington uses coercion. The favorite threat is: “Do as you are told or we will bomb you into the Stone Age.” Obama’s speech is a justification of Washington’s criminal actions on the grounds that Washington acts for the exceptional Americans whose exceptionalism places them and, thereby, their government above law and international norms. In this way of thinking, only the failure to prevail constitutes failure.

Americans are the new ubermensch, the new master race. Inferior humans can be bombed, invaded, and sanctioned. Obama’s West Point speech asserts American superiority over all others and Washington’s determination to continue this superiority by preventing the rise of other powers. This arrogant hubris was not enough for the Washington Post editorial board. The newspaper’s editorial damned Obama for binding US power and limiting its use to “a narrow set of core interest,” such as direct threats to America.

The American “liberal media” object that Obama’s claim of exceptionalism is not broad enough for Washington’s purposes. Obama’s address, the Washington Post wrote, bound “US power” and “offered scant comfort” to those militarists who want to overthrow Syria, Iran, Russia, and China.

The world should take note that the most militarily aggressive American president in history is considered a wimp by the neoconized American media. The media drives wars, and the American media, firmly allied with the military/security complex, is driving the world to the final war.

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One Comment

  1. It is as absurd to assume that the Obama-Kerry regime has a “foreign policy” as it is to assume that the US ever had. The US walked into one war after another serendipitously or for reasons totally unrelated to the weal of American citizens or for the good of the “World”. Like Obama at West Point, it attributed its fortuity and the enormous natural resources plundered from the displaced American Natives to its sagacity and noble intentions. As a result, America is festooned with unintended consequences, notably the furthering of the Islamic agenda, rather than any noble “leadership” or choice of “leadership style”. It is good that Obama says that the US will not go into wars without a clear perspective, international sanction, partners and legal propriety. In this, he breaks with the “foreign policy” of the Clinton-Albright regime that bombed Belgrade for 84 days to give Islam its first ethnically cleansed enclave in Europe since 1489 and with the George W Bush-Dick Cheney- Colin Powell – Don Rumsfeld-Tony Blair regime that invaded Iraq on the back of the “West’s” rage over 9/11, some blurred photographs projected on the UN wall and against law and the will of the International Community to deflect attention from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia which is where the 9/11 terrorists originated from, albeit, they had their base (Al Qaeda) in their hapless emirate of Afghanistan which is where the CIA trained and armed Islamic Terror and left behind messy loose ends as is its wont everywhere and will now repeat in Afghanistan-Pakistan when the US cuts and runs. The Tweedle Bush – Tweedle Blair regime knocked out the sole secular (if socialist and Baathist) counterpoises (Iraq and Syria) to the emerging Islamic Caliphates (Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia) that had been engineered by players of the “Great Game” on behalf of a receding empire post World War II. But Obama’s caution in war mongering is not a matter of choice. This is making a virtue out of a vice because, while the Tweedle Bush – Tweedle Blair genocide in Iraq enriched many individuals, and particularly the cronies of the regime, it rendered the US too war weary, confused, and resource strapped for further wars at the present juncture of History. Islam is immune to US pressure and probably pay rolls too many opinion and decision makers in the “West” for chances to be taken with Islamic oil. As for Russian gas, it is a problem for Europe, and while Russia solidifies its relationship with China, the US has a market in Europe to sell its Fracking Gas at enormously higher costs than the Russian dispensation rendering Europe’s fealty tenuous and hard to keep. Obama-Kerry cannot claim a “foreign policy” any more than the preceding White Hice (Houses). This regime is moving with the traffic and blustering about in a fair imitation of Hollywood that turns every US defeat into victory to massage the psyche and war readiness of the American people and bring recruits to West Point. But they lack the fortuity and the resources that earlier regimes have enjoyed to pretend to similar “success”. Napoleon wanted lucky generals and the American unwashed want lucky Presidents. Ukraine is a classic example. Bereft of intelligence, the “West: simply continued the momentum of animus towards Russia and a suspicion of Russia inherited from the Cold War and fed it into a psyche honed by Hollywood, Salem, Mc Carthy and Edgar Hoover rather than any erudition or intelligence polished with the untested assumption that Russia was a “permanently” vanquished foe. Boldly, the “West” continued its East ward conquest through NATO and the EU under a threatened (technically unfeasible) missile shield disregarding all protests and appeals to reason. Obama is right that NATO was thus strengthened. But this was a self fulfilling prophecy. This aggrandizement hit steel at Crimea which is vital to Russia’s strategic interests. That Europe, NATO and the US were surprised and indignant at Russia’s reaction shows how lacking they are in intelligence, foreign policy and sensitivity. That the “West” continued to exercise the “ghost limb” of their substituted intelligence with respect to Eastern Ukraine long after Putin had announced that that he was not going beyond Ukraine (before Crimea acceded to Russia) and that Obama actually claimed credit for having stemmed a non existent Russian tide with “sanctions” underscores that the “West” has neither intelligence nor foreign policy The unintended consequence of the White Hice not having intelligence or foreign policy over decades is that the the US has conjured the World into four quadrants i.e. Westitia, Russchinia and Insignificantia to the benefit of Islamia. Very messy for a US that does not have the fortuity, the acumen and the resources to walk in through the swing doors with six guns blazing as the great unwashed america would like. For now.

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