In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’s realist turn’

Prince Bandar steps down

Posted by seumasach on April 19, 2014

Under pressure from John Kerry, he was divested of the Syria dossier in February 2014.


17th April, 2014

Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has, by royal decree, been relieved of his duties as national security adviser and director of Saudi intelligence services. According to the national news agency, the decision was made “at his request.”

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Europe dragged into a division of the world between debtors and creditors: the United States’ desperate solutions for not sinking alone

Posted by seumasach on April 18, 2014

A new cold war led by the USA has become a fashionable theme. However, core US diplomacy has consistently contradicted such a scenario. The USA, more than Europe, needs to reach out to the BRICS for its own salvation. The problem is that vested interests, the imperial state if you like, continue to rely on a strategy of geopolitical tension. But the CIA, the neo-cons, the Israel lobby, the Military Industrial Complex and their congressional representatives have emerged from the fiascos in Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine embittered and weakened. This should enable Obama to pursue policies in accord with US national interests whereby US retreat from empire is rewarded by inward investment from China and others. For that surplus to be available a new motor of global development must emerge which can only be the Eurasian economic space from Shanghai to Lisbon. The resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, the first step of which was completed at Geneva yesterday, will facilitate this happy development. Certainly Russia and China are emerging as leading global players but their prime goal is geo-strategic partnership with the USA. By an agonised path Obama is positioning himself to reciprocate

LEAP 2020

17th April, 2014

In the present confrontation between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian crisis, the image of the Cold War inevitably comes to mind and the media are obviously fond of it. However, contrary to what it gives us to understand, it’s not Russia that seeks the return of an iron curtain but really the US. An iron curtain separating the old powers and emerging nations; the world before and the world afterwards; debtors and creditors. And this in the crazy hope of preserving the American way of life and the US’ influence over “its” camp in the absence of being able to impose it on the whole world. In other words, go down with as many companions as possible to give the impression of not sinking. 

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Kerry clashes with Pentagon over Syria

Posted by seumasach on April 8, 2014

John Kerry, U.S. Military Clash on Approach to Syria’s Rebels

Wall Street Journal

7th April, 2014

WASHINGTON—Frustrated by the stalemate in Syria, Secretary of State John Kerryhas been pushing for the U.S. military to be more aggressive in supporting the country’s rebel forces. Opposition has come from the institution that would spearhead any such effort: the Pentagon.

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U.S. response to Crimea worries Japan

Posted by seumasach on April 6, 2014

Seattle Times

5th April, 2014

U.S. officials have distanced themselves from the Budapest Memorandum in light of Russia’s takeover of Crimea, calling promises made in Budapest “nonbinding.”

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The uses of Ukraine in crisis

Posted by seumasach on March 25, 2014

Jim Lobe

Asia Times

25th March, 2014

WASHINGTON – The observation that the Chinese characters for the word “crisis” combine the characters for “danger” and “opportunity” has become a staple of Washington foreign policy discourse for years. So it’s no surprise that the ongoing crisis in Ukraine – and Russia’s de facto absorption of Crimea – provides lots of “opportunities” for various interests to push their favorite causes.

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Washington admits “foreign fighters” “wreak havoc” in Syria

Posted by seumasach on March 25, 2014

“In terms of the terrorist activity inside Iraq, we believe it’s a direct result mostly of the situation in Syria and the destabilizing impact that Syria has had on Iraq in terms of foreign fighters being able to flow into Iraq and really wreak havoc there as well. We’re working with the Iraqi Government to increase their capacity to fight these threats on their own,” she concluded.

Washington: Situation in Syria has destabilizing impact on Iraq

Iraq News

25th March, 2014

Baghdad ( The US Department of State denounced killing the professor and Journalist, Mohammed Shammari, in Baghdad by a guard within the Presidential Protection Forces.

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“New Cold War” fizzles out

Posted by seumasach on March 22, 2014

Cailean Bochanan

22nd March, 2014

We are nearly a week into the “New Cold War” and we haven’t got as far as kicking the Russians out of the G8. At the same time a remarkably laid back Barak Obama has, uncharacteristically for a US president, taken the military option off the table- did Kennedy do that during the Cuban missile crisis at the height of the Cold War?  The West will therefore limit itself to a non-military response. But Western hegemony, the empire, rests entirely on military force as we have seen repeatedly in the last thirty years. To rely on moral authority or diplomatic finesse is to go naked. Legal authority looks equally questionable. The EU has declared the Crimean referendum invalid on the grounds that it runs contrary to the Ukrainian constitution- the same constitution that it trashed by supporting the 22nd February coup in Kiev.

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Obama makes an offer on Crimea

Posted by seumasach on March 13, 2014


Indian Punchline

13th March, 2014

When a Russia scholar of great repute, Stephen Cohen of New York University, says that the United States is two steps from the Cuban Missile Crisis and three steps from a war with Russia for the first time, things appear grim. Cohen insists, “We need to get a negotiation going on…” (Excerpts)

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Arab states withdraw ambassadors from Qatar

Posted by seumasach on March 10, 2014

Arab states withdraw ambassadors from Qatar in protest at ‘interference’


5th March, 2014

In a rare public spat that has highlighted deep political divisions in the Gulf, Saudi ArabiaBahrain and the United Arab Emirates have all withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar in protest at Doha’s “interference in their internal affairs”.

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Neo-con anger at Obama on Ukraine

Posted by seumasach on March 1, 2014

Fort much of the left and libertarian movement Obama is a fascist tyrant. For the neo-cons, however, he is nothing but a wimp. Krauthammer certainly has a point in regarding Obama’s intervention as very low-key.

Krauthammer on Ukraine: ‘Everybody is shocked by the weakness of Obama’s statement’

Fox News

28th February, 2014

Charles Krauthammer told viewers Friday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that President Obama’s statement on the latest Ukraine developments showed “weakness,” and implied that “we’re not really going to do anything” about the political upheaval in Ukraine.

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US now backing down on Afghan security agreement

Posted by seumasach on February 27, 2014

Obama and Karzai agree to part ways


Indian Punchline

The US president Barack Obama’s telephone call to Afghan president Hamid Karzai on Tuesday is a rare happening, given the poor equations between the two leaders, and it was intended to flag a ‘turning point’ in the White House’s strategy for the period beyond 2014. It comes just before an important NATO meeting at defence minister level in Brussels and at a time when for the first time the majority opinion among the American public has begun casting doubts on the raison d’etre of the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

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