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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Obama admits to America’s wrongs: Another half-hearted contrition?

Barack ObamaBy Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine

In 2008, in the wake of Obama’ s historic election and the subsequent euphoria that went on  almost unabated, CSMS Magazine cautioned jubilant readers from across the world on the premise of bourgeois politics. We warned them then that Obama was not leading a revolution, he was simply a popular frontrunner leading a traditional political party to victory, although his ascendance to the presidency was something to be proud of because it symbolized a dream that many thought they might have never lived to witness during their lifetime.  

Barack Obama is a very intelligent man. He is also a literary man, a scholar and a former constitutional law professor. He is not a novice in strategic decision-makings. Going in to the presidency in 2008, he knew what was expected of him, from both sides of the political spectrum. He knew the system he was about to serve, from the highest office, could not allow him to deliver on behalf of millions of disenfranchised Americans who bet their entire life on the “Change” from which he invested his entire political muscles to win.

In choosing to enter the campaign back in 2007, Obama also chose to play his role as a servant of a class of people whose interests and views of the world are diametrically at odds with the interests and hopes of the millions of citizens who swore to follow him until proven otherwise. Here was what we wrote on November 3rd 2008 on the eve of the election:   

“However, the world’s gleeful hope may soon turn into outright despair, once it becomes clear that Barack Obama was never black or white or yellow or green. He is simply an American president sworn in to defend, militarily if necessary, America’s strategic interests at home and abroad. When geostrategic interests collide with humanitarian deeds, an American president will always do what he was empowered to do: upholding the status quo and opting for the strategic deterrence even if his action displeases millions at home and regardless of how the world’s opinion might view him.”

See the article “Historic by all account: the US presidential election enters its final hours.”

Today, 6 years after the historic inauguration, there is very little to show or to take pride of Obama’s tenure as a president. He knows it. There are plenty to say, however, with regards to his actions on behalf of the big business establishment, to his timid response to the arrogant Tea Party activists, to his tough stance against illegal immigrants, and—most importantly—to his hawkish positions in pursuing America’s global dominance.

But last month, during a press conference on the White House’s green lawn and while answering a question about the multitude of wars going around the world under his presidency, the president was forced to admit that “America cannot solve every problem.” And he added this: “We did some pretty wrong things in the aftermath of 9-11. We tortured some folks…….” Obama was right, and he may be the only American president to publically admit such raw true. Was it a ponderous act of political transparence signaling a paradigm shift of the US foreign policy? Not necessarily.  It is no contrition either, but rather a political snob against conservative Republicans who always see Obama as irrelevant and who have been working to derail his Administration from the get-go.

No “Change” we can believe in

If it were a political change-of-heart or a new geostrategic initiative, Obama did not leave a shred of evidence to support this assertion. While he complains “timidly” about the Israeli onslaught over Gaza, he could not refrain his government from sending more than 200 million dollars to the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) as part of the US commitment to the Israeli military, thereby giving Israel the implicit green light to continue its policy of dehumanizing the Palestinian people at a time the whole world is up in arms against the Israeli occupation—the longest and most brutal military occupation in modern time.

Obama supported a coup in Ukraine, triggering a war that has already taken hundreds of lives and forced more than 50, 000 people to flee to the Russian border. He gave his blessing to a coup in Egypt that overthrew a democratically elected government and jailed thousands of Muslim activists who supported the legitimate government. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on both instances—Gaza and Eastern Ukraine—as potential crimes against humanity.  

From Syria to Yemen to Libya to Egypt to Palestine, the Arab Spring has turned out to be the Arab nightmare, and it is this nightmarish convulsion that is now being transformed into a hellish daily living, creating fertile grounds for Jihadist terrorist groups like ISIS to drop more fuel into the fire. Today, Obama is embarking upon another humanitarian scheme, staving off ISIS latest move against Irbil, the capital of Kurdish autonomist enclave in northern Iraq while dropping from the air humanitarian supplies to thousands of Izidi children and their families trapped on a rugged mountaintop near the Turkish border.

While it is an act of good deed to save starving Izidis and Christian minorities in Northern Iraq, it is indeed an act of repulsive nature to take a blind eye on Palestinian children being struck by Israeli bombs or hundreds of Russian-speaking Ukrainians being carpet-bombed by the fascist regime of Kiev financed and coordinated by the Western powers. One wonders: how do they sleep at night? The world is in flame. I can’t recall a summer as bloody as this one—from Sub-Saharan Africa to the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

Obama’s legacy is a narrative that may be written or rewritten several times before he can ship it to the highest bitter in the literary marketplace. No matter how polished this manuscript will be, though, Obama will never be able to erase the blood of thousands of innocent civilians perished in wars that his Administration in some form or another helped to wage. He still has two years left to wage peace. Will he do it?  

Note:Dr. Ardain Isma teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of North Florida (UNF). He is a career educator and he is the Editor-in-Chief for CSMS Magazine. He is the author of “Alicia Maldonado: A Mother Lost” and the author of the soon-to-be-released novel: “Midnight at Noon.” He may be reached at publisher@csmsmagazine.org 

Also: You can read a lot of analyses on Obama in the Dossier section of CSMS Magazine.

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