In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’s realist turn’

Face it, Obama. Without Assad, you’ve got no strategy in Syria

Posted by seumasach on January 26, 2015

Gelb, president emeritus and board senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), recommends “a strategy that includes Assad and Iran as the key players in countering the jihadis.” All in all, this article provides great insight into the conflicts within the US administration, specifically between the Pentagon and the State Department.

Leslie H.Gelb

The Daily Beast

22nd January, 2015

If the administration does not come up with a clear plan to defeat the jihadis and end the Syrian war, Congress should not sign on to it.

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CNAS, the democratic version of conquest imperialism

Posted by seumasach on January 7, 2015

By characterising the divisions within the US elite as between “one favourable to the imperialist division of the world with China and possibly Russia (President Obama’s position) and, on the other hand, the expansionist imperialists (gathered around Hillary Clinton and General David Petraeus)” Meyssan reveals the utter confusion on the left concerning imperialism.  On the one hand, the imperial project requires the destruction of Russia and China and on the other there are no anti-expansionist imperialists: empire is all or nothing. The confusion arises from Lenin’s “economic” interpretation of imperialism as a stage in the development of “capitalism”(See my article Globalisation: Multipolar World or New World Order? Although the left cannot concede it, Obama is, in fact, embracing the multipolar world order, as shall soon become quite evident to all. This article is, however, of the highest interest in pinpointing the foci of opposition to him inside the US elite and confirms his prescience in sidelining Petraeus and Clinton.

Thierry Meyssan

Voltairenet

6th January, 2015

The Syrian crisis, which had already been solved by the first conference in Geneva in June 2012, continues despite all the agreements negotiated with the United States. Clearly, the Obama administration does not obey its leader, but is divided between two political lines: one favourable to the imperialist division of the world with China and possibly Russia (President Obama’s position) and, on the other hand, the expansionist imperialists (gathered around Hillary Clinton and General David Petraeus).

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Obama renounces imperialism

Posted by seumasach on January 4, 2015

“America’s never been in the business of colonizing other countries and grabbing their resources; we’ve never been in the business of bullying folks into doing things that we can’t do for ourselves. Where we have done that, by the way, it’s never worked out all that well. That’s not our best tradition.”

NPR

29th December, 2014

NPR’s wide-ranging interview with President Obama covers recent executive actions on Cuba and immigration, race relations in the U.S., health care, the midterm elections and extending democracy in the Middle East.

See full interview

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Obama calms Russia ties

Posted by seumasach on January 4, 2015

“Clearly, President Barack Obama has set his mind on a grand strategy to involve Russia to commence a keen search for conflict resolution in Ukraine and Syria and to put the necessary underpinnings in place for an agreement with Iran.”

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

3rd January, 2015

The New Year has got off to a flying start with four diplomatic tracks leading the way – four seemingly different, yet interconnected, tracks. They relate to the Iran nuclear issue, Ukraine, Syria and the overarching crisis in Russia’s relations with the West.

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Rapprochement with Russia?

Posted by seumasach on January 4, 2015

When dealing with Western intelligence sources it is necessary to separate the wheat of a grudging realism from the chaff of hubris, self-righteousness, unconscious irony and sheer stupidity. The latter render this article amusing, even hilarious, but it does have a serious core. A little translation is required to arrive at that core.

Thus the paragraph beginning “Russia would fully comply with the September Minsk agreement on Eastern Ukraine” can be translated as follows:

While continuing to pretend that Russia is behind the Ukraine crisis rather than ourselves we must reward Russia by calling her to do what she has been trying to do all along: stabilize the situation through the Minsk agreement. Kiev on the other hand must stop destabilizing the situation.

The paragraph beginning “NATO would continue to strengthen its deterrent posture in Eastern Europe to hedge against increased risk to its members.” translates as:

In order to placate our imperial outposts in Eastern Europe and prevent the collapse of NATO we must make some token deployments there.

The paragraph beginning “As part of a broader deal, Ukraine would have to recognize publicly that it is not currently prepared for NATO membership.” translates:

Ukraine will never be part of NATO!

The paragraph beginning “Russia would have to accept a closer Ukrainian relationship with the European Union—as well as deepen its own.” translates:

We need a trilateral EU-Russia-Ukraine agreement- the same agreement we torpedoed, along with our European stooges, when we launched this crisis.

The paragraph beginning “The West would have to make a firmer commitment to supporting internal reforms in Ukraine.” translates:

We must get the Europeans to bailout Ukraine

“Reviving the Group of 8, NATO-Russia Council, and other channels as part of a comprehensive deal would help. So would high level E.U.-Eurasian Union meetings.”

This is an astonishing statement which requires no translation!

RAND

December, 2014

The ruble’s dramatic decline threatens to plunge Russia into a full-scale economic crisis. President Vladimir Putin has attempted to minimize the difficulties and deflect blame toward the West, but the problem is serious and no one is to blame but Mr. Putin himself. His efforts to destabilize Ukraine have brought painful sanctions upon Russia, reinforced its dependence on oil, and isolated its economy.

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Inside Obama’s secret outreach to Russia

Posted by seumasach on January 4, 2015

Josh Rogin

Bloomberg

31st December, 2015

President Barack Obama’s administration has been working behind the scenes for months to forge a new working relationship with Russia, despite the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown little interest in repairing relations with Washington or halting his aggression in neighboring Ukraine.

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Iran trumps Saudi project in Syria-Iraq

Posted by seumasach on January 4, 2015

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

2nd January, 2015

A grudging admission that Saudi Arabia has lost out to Iran in the regional rivalry is apparent in the opinion piece by a senior editor in the establishment daily Asharq Al-Awsat. The hubris that money can buy anything or anyone in Washington, the triumphalism that the Islamic State spells the doom for the Iranians, the over-confidence that Sunni-Shi’ite schism transcends regional politics – all these Saudi assumptions have gone horribly wrong. In retrospect, 2014 stands out as the year the Saudis lost the plot.

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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.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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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.

 

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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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