In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Obama the ditherer

Posted by seumasach on August 29, 2013

Cailean Bochanan

29th August, 2013

David Cameron must have awoken this morning to a dreadful realisation: there likely wasn’t going to be an attack on Syria after all. He would have seen by now Obama’s interview. Apparently, Obama is a ditherer, who still hasn’t been able to make up his mind whether to launch strikes against Syria in a pointless and reckless breach of international law and basic common sense. This a new Obama, a sort of laid-back Hamlet who stresses that he can’t remain indifferent to the totally unacceptable fact that his uncle has killed his father and is now sleeping with his mother and that he is weighing a range of appropriate responses up to and including a possible rapier attack. But, make no mistake, Claudius will be held to account since he, Obama, has incontrovertible evidence, actually from the ghost of his dead father, against him.

But this is no tragedy, its the rerun of the events of 2003 as a farce. Even Debka, who have led the claims of a massive US-led assault on Syria from the start are now admitting it is being delayed. One story is that Obama is having difficulty fitting WW3 in with his itinerary. But, according to Debka;

“Obama is stalling in order to buy time for Secretary of State John Kerry to strike a secret deal with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: the US would soften its strike on Syria, reducing it to a token blow, following which the US and Russian presidents would announce the convening of Geneva-2 for ending the civil war.”

Well, a suppose you could have a couple of missile strikes against Al-Nusra bases as long as everyone was in the know, but this sounds like a tall story. Certainly, Obama continues to stress the need for a political solution involving his “international partners” meaning , above all, the Russians. It’s difficult to see the Americans mediating at a peace conference after having openly intervened militarily. That just doesn’t make sense to me. Obama’s choice is war or peace. I have been arguing in these columns for some time now that he has embarked on a peace process centred round a US-Russian partnership. I think that remains true but how can we reconcile this with the events of the past few days?
In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet enacts a play within a play in order to test the reaction of his uncle. Obama’s play within a play strategy is to rerun the the lead up to the Iraq War, this time, as I say, as a farce. The leading role goes to the world’s leading warmongers, Hague, Cameron, Hollande, Fabius and Dovutaglu who are given free-rein to parade their bellicosity, their mendacity and contempt for international law on the world’s stage to the applause the Western media. Tony Blair gets the perfect cameo role, the one he’s made for. The Russians provide the voice of reason and restraint and the Labour Party find themselves in the unaccustomed role of a political opposition. Obama is Hamlet, watching and waiting.
No, Obama is not a ditherer. He is leading from behind, holding back and giving others enough rope to hang themselves. David Cameron has duly obliged.

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