Sonntag, 11. Oktober 2009

The Nobel Peace Prize as a Curse for Obama?

At the end of the Nobel Peace Prize nomination period Barack Hussein Obama was just twelve days in office. The Nobel Peace Prize will be a curse for Obama and will haunt him till the end of his presidency. For which political achievement did he receive it? Was this prize intended for his rhetorical abilities? In this field, Obama is brilliant. So far, he hasn’t changed anything in the political arena. We have not seen the intended closure of the prison camp in Guantanamo nor have we seen him ending the occupation in Iraq or the de-escalation of the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Predominant in this respect is his failure in the Middle East where Israel´s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu demonstrated to him what is and what is not, what can and what cannot be done; not to speak of his recent domestic flops. Obama did not even react when he was humiliated by his general Stanley McChrystal who told him publicly what he had to do. Who is the Commander-in-Chief? Obama should have sacked this man on the spot. Who is McChrystal? He was once running the assassination wing of the military's joint special-operations command. For less, Harry S. Truman dismissed the WorldWar II hero General Douglas McArthur when he committed an offense against the political dress code.

It seems as if President Obama is loosing control of the political process. He is haunted and hunted by the Republican party; by Dick Cheney and his neoconservative cronies and by the the Christian-fundamentalists. His presidency will fail if he does not change course at once and face these dark forces head on. For the first time in history, there has been a call for a military coup against a President of the Untied States. John L. Perry called in a column on “Newsmax” that a military coup could "resolve the Obama problem". This guy wrote that a coup, while not "ideal" may be preferable to "Obama's radical ideas". It would "restore and defend the Constitution." This has to be seen against the background that there are plenty of influential right wing and anti-democratic radicals in the US. That Obama is the first non-white President becomes increasingly a political issue. Perhaps it explains some of the absurd reactions of the opponents of his policy.

Obama should know that the key to the problems in the Middle East and with the Muslim world is the conflict between Israelis and the Palestinians. In this conflict, he has already lost out to Netanyahu. One cannot at first call for a total stop of the settlement expansion and then yield to the pressure by an ally, who has been violating international law and human rights on a regular basis while having been supervised by the US. American interests and Israeli interests are not congruent. The later are no longer an asset to US foreign policy but rather a liability as John Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt used to put it. Obama must watch out not being pushed into another adventure that is not in the interest of his country: An attack on Iran.

The New York Times journalist Roger Cohen has recently written fine articles on what is really going on in Iran that annoyed the neo-conservative warmongers in the US. Iran is home to 30 000 Jewish Iranians who are not discriminated by the government because of their enshrined rights as Iranian citizens. The Israeli and the US governments are threatening the country with an attack even though the Iranian government has not violated any international treaty and obligation concerning their nuclear installations. All there facilities are regularly visited by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The US Intelligence Community has stated that Iran has already abandoned its nuclear program back in 2003. Despite all the contrary evidence, Iran is demonised by Israel and their supportes in the US. Beyond that, the Iranian leadership is caricaturized as being mad and irrational. This Western attitude is a continuation of the neo-colonial and racist policies of the past. The political elite in the US needs to calm down and act rationally. In his book “Resistance” , Alastair Crooke shows what the “conflict” between Iran and the West is all about. After reading the book, one doesn’t have to speculate anymore about who are the irrationals?

As far as the American wars against the “Wretched of the Earth” is concerned, Obama must be aware since he read Frantz Fanon’s book. Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan were “righteous” wars. The US was driven into these imperialist adventures by an elite which has lost all sense of rationality and humanity. Obama must dissociate himself from this so-called “war of necessity” in Afghanistan. Fortytwo countries are fighting on the side of an Afghan government which is currupt to the bone and has thoroughly manipulated the last elections. Peter Galbraith who strongly pointed it out, lost his job at the United Nations. The Obama administration remained and remains mute.

Afghanistan is not Vietnam, but the final outcome can be much worse. In the long run, this war could destroy the democratic fabric of the US and in the end the country itself. The US army is already morally on the ground. It is loosing its ethic high position together with its military leadership. Only if it helps Obama to stop this insanity, the decision by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee might have been a wise one.