In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’s realist turn’

2015: year of peace?

Posted by seumasach on December 19, 2014

Cailean Bochanan

19th December, 2014

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

T.S.Elliot

Those who have been following the analysis put forward in these columns may be stunned but will not be surprised by Obama’s announcement ending the US standoff with Cuba. As I wrote almost two years ago:

“You don’t have to regard Barack Obama as the the embodiment of ultimate virtue to support the recent shift towards a certain realism in Washington. He has declared an end to “war without end”. It doesn’t matter that this is only an accommodation to new realities and not the reflection of some inherent goodness in the US leader. What matters is that he is aware of reality and is accommodating to it: this is what leadership is about. He has recognised that the policy options chosen by his administration have not worked. They could have worked perhaps but they didn’t . The government of Bashar-al Assad has not collapsed in the face of Western sponsored Islamist movements and is not going to. The eurozone is not going to collapse to accommodate the US dollar. America is not going to dictate the course of world events over the coming years. The New World Order, at least not the one envisaged by Washington, London and Tel Aviv, will not come into being.Let us then applaud Barack Obama for providing us with change we might even believe in: a shift in Washington towards an acceptance of the facts, of a return to planet earth.”

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Posted in Global peace process, Multipolar world, New Cold War | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

EU nations face mounting pressure over CIA black sites

Posted by seumasach on December 19, 2014

The retreat from empire, led by Obama and trumpeted for some time now in these columns, is now undeniable. The right and the left may decry it or deny it but the pattern is coming more and more into focus. The ending of the stand-off with Cuba is a moment of historic importance, all the more so for its symbolic power. Obama with his “Somos todos americanos” has with one phrase repositioned the USA geopolitically: it is his pivot to the Americas, north and south. The Senate report on CIA torture, though hardly revelatory, is similarly symbolic, signifying the imminent demise of the “deep state” and consequent re-emergence of constitutional, democratic politics, in the USA, Europe and elsewhere. It is a matter of regret that the various social. grass-roots movements have been unable to contribute more to drive for change which is already happening and is therefore believable. They seem instead to be unable to relate to anything not in conformity with their template of change from below. But we can still make it change from below! We should really be out on the streets now pushing for a deal with Iran, for a settlement of the Palestinian question, for an end to sanctions against Russia. We can help bring about a global peace process, deepening existing trends towards reconciliation, making them irreversible and finally finding the holy grail, the peace dividend. Let’s hope 2015 is the year when this can start to happen.

BRUSSELS – Pressure is mounting on those member states accused of hosting CIA rendition and torture camps to be held accountable for their role.

MEPs and the European Commission in Strasbourg on Wednesday (17 December) roundly condemned the torture of Al-Qaeda suspects carried out by CIA operatives on EU soil in the wake of 9-11, praised the US for exposing the abuse, and called upon Washington to shut down Guantanamo Bay.

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Iran nuclear deal within grasp

Posted by seumasach on December 16, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

13th December, 2014

The US-Iranian negotiations for a nuclear deal are slated to resume on Monday amidst growing optimism that this could be the end of the year-long endgame under way, and an accord is in sight, finally. The US secretary of state John Kerry recently said that the effort will be to reach an accord even before the extended deadline of end-June.

 

Posted in Global peace process, Iran | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Washington takes heat off President Bashar al-Assad

Posted by seumasach on December 2, 2014

Voltairenet

2nd December, 2014

The State Department has cut its funding to the Syria Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC) that it set up in the Hague in 2013 with a view to prosecuting Syrian President Bashar Assad for crimes against humanity.

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Russia tops Obama’s hit list, not China

Posted by seumasach on November 25, 2014

Obama’s anti-Russian turn is devoid of strategic sense. He can’t court China at the expense of Russia as Nixon did: China and Russia are now inseparable allies and increasingly so in the face of Western hostility. However, anti-Russian rhetoric does serve as a cover for Washington’s close engagement with China which includes permitting China to exchange its dollar holdings for real assets, especially artificially underpriced gold, but also real estate, industrial and port facilities inside the USA.

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

25th November, 2014

The India-Russia annual summitry had lately become a tepid affair — something like the anniversary of a boring marriage. How often can an aged couple arouse passion? But the upcoming event bringing President Vladimir Putin to Delhi next month promises to be exciting. Geopolitics may act like an aphrodisiac. 

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Israel’s Iran bluster won’t unnerve Obama

Posted by seumasach on November 12, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

12th November, 2014

Between optimism and pessimism stands ‘cautious optimism’ in the lexicon of diplomacy. But ‘relative optimism’? Yet, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Rybakov, one of the sharpest minds in the Moscow diplomatic armory, would have weighed his words with care and ingenuity when he remarked on Tuesday following the 2-day talks of the P5+1 and Iran talks in Muscat, Oman, that he is “relatively optimistic” about a nuclear treaty being concluded by the November 24 deadline. He added: “The glass is half full; (but) it’s not half empty.” 

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Resetting U.S.-China Relations

Posted by seumasach on November 11, 2014

“Chinese leaders have put forward a new model of “major-country relationship” between China and the United States, an intellectual framework for resolving one of the greatest puzzles in international history — how to avoid falling into the so-called Thucydides trap, the often-cited cycle of struggle between rising and established powers.”

NYT

11th November, 2014

President Obama arrived in Beijing on Monday for a meeting of the AsiaPacific Economic Cooperation forum. He will meet with China’s president, Xi Jinping, at length on Wednesday. The occasion is a vital opportunity for the two presidents to reset the relationship between the nations.

 

Posted in Multipolar world | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Europe, NATO (re)engage Russia

Posted by seumasach on October 3, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

3rd October, 2014

I wrote ten days ago that I could hear the faint sound of the West beating the retreat in Ukraine. Now I can say the retreat is gathering momentum. The Barack Obama administration may have signaled that the worst is over in the standoff with Russia.

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Iran-Saudi tangle over Iraq’s transition

Posted by seumasach on August 14, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

14th August, 2014

The statement by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday endorsing the nomination of Haider al-Abadi as Iraq’s next prime minister puts the seal on Tehran’s backing for the political transition in Baghdad. It virtually seals the fate of incumbent PM Nouri al-Maliki, whose ship has run aground after a decade-long voyage.

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Posted in Iraq | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Maliki defies Sistani as his party abandons him

Posted by seumasach on August 13, 2014

“The West, especially the US is are responsible for the success of the ISIS. The West supported the rebels in Syria against the Assad regime. Extremist groups took over most of the rebel movement, out of which ISIS emerged.”

That’s indisputable, but the West appears to have changed sides and is now opposing them. Their bombing of ISIS positions has not been condemned by Iran. Indeed, according to M.K.Bhadrakumar, Iran is broadly supportive as long as there is no US troop deployment on the ground.

FOAB

11th August

Nouri al-Maliki, outgoing Prime Minister, will claim that his party betrayed him. His party will claim that they are working for the national interest, and obeying Ayatullah Ali al-Sistani. 65 out of 92 MPs of the Maliki-led State of Law Coalition (SoL) left the SoL and backed Haider al-Abadi as PM.

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Obama abandons notion of moderate rebels in Syria

Posted by seumasach on June 23, 2014

He said there was no “ready-made moderate Syrian force that was able to defeat Assad”.

Obama: US arms could help defeat Assad is ‘fantasy’

BBC

21st June, 2014

President Obama has dismissed the idea that supplying US arms to Syrian rebels would have toppled President Assad, calling it a “fantasy”.

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