Obama: The real power behind the throne-to-be

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It is hard to sort through the hype and heat of Obamania, but one thing is clear: who’s pulling the strings, argues Eric Walberg

As the United States election race enters the final stretch, Barack Obama as the candidate promising change is revealing his true colours, much to the despair of anyone actually expecting any change. His recent call to declare Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel, his denial of Palestinans’ right of return, and his support for a Bantustan Palestinian “state” which poses no threat to Israel show how completely he has caved in to the Zionist establishment on that issue.

As President George W Bush calls for early reductions in combat troops in Iraq, Obama’s position on Iraq — a vow to bring troops home within 16 months, excepting a “residual force” — looks less and less of a defining moment in his foreign policy. Whatever happens to troop levels, there is no explicit talk of overriding the plans for 14 permanent bases.

Obama is toeing the line in Afghanistan, too. As NATO casualties continue to mount, surpassing monthly Iraqi casualities as of June this year, he is proposing — now seconded by McCain — that the United States shift up to 15,000 more troops there from Iraq. Just prior to his trip to Afghanistan, he wrote in a New York Times Op Ed, “We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there.” Please, will someone show me the silver lining in an Obama victory in November?

But then none of the above should come as any surprise to those familiar with his chief promoter and foreign policy adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who, along with current (and likely future) Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, has already entered history as helping “suck the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire”. These are the words of President Jimmy Carter’s Under-Secretary of Defense Walter Slocumbe in March 1979, eight months before the Soviets were successfully “sucked in”, when Gates was CIA chief. The changing of the guard, come November, will change nothing. US foreign policy has a logic which transcends who sleeps in the White House.

What’s especially ghoulish about all this is that there are five Brzezinski offspring who are all onboard the Obama wagon: Mark (director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, and one of the prime movers of the 2004 color revolution in Ukraine), Ian (currently the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and NATO affairs and a backer of Kosovan independence, NATO expansion into Ukraine and Georgia and US ABM missiles in Poland), Mika (political commentator on MSNBC whose interview with Michele Obama contributed to the general media Obamamia) and finally, Matthew (a friend of Ilyas Akhmadov, “foreign minister” and US envoy of the Chechen opposition).

Brzezinski’s brand of anti-Russian, anti-Muslim geopolitics will dominate a future Obama administration. In Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower, published last year, he lays out his New World Order agenda without so much as a blush. Apparently, there is a global political awakening going on, the goal of which is “dignity”. Not economic development, not the alleviation of poverty, not national sovereignty against the IMF and World Bank. Just plain old dignity, though Zbig’s brand of dignity is the kind attained through secession, balkanisation, and the creation of weak statelets for each ethnic minority subservient to the US. Think: Kosovo and — if he has his way — Chechenia. Neo-Wilsonian demagogy in the service not of peace but of US world domination, encirclement of Russia and control of the Arab world.

Zbig said in endorsing Obama: “What makes Obama attractive to me is that he understands that we live in a very different world where we have to relate to a variety of cultures and peoples.” Obama’s alleged global approach and trans-ethnic, trans-racial allure are right out of Zbig’s university textbook, or rather Second Chance, which will be the manual for the Obama campaign and presidency.

Obama is literally a second chance for Brzezinski: having destroyed the Soviet Union and shattered the Warsaw Pact, he now wants to dismember the Russian Federation itself and put the finishing touches on Afghanistan as an impregnable US military base against China, Russia… the list is endless. Perhaps Zbig is dreaming of restoring Greater Poland circa 1600 — from the Black Sea to the Baltic, all controlled by petty szlachta aristocrats like… the Brzezinskis?

The Economist blog put it best: “A new brain for Barack Obama! It’s 78 years old and it still works perfectly. It belongs to Zbigniew Brzezinski, the peppery ex-national security adviser to Jimmy Carter.”

The messianic idealism of the Obama campaign has not been seen since the days of another Brzezinski creation — Jimmy Carter, who made him national security adviser with disastrous results. Brzezinski’s anti-Russian obsession back in 1976 prompted him to foment the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, which he touted as the greatest single bulwark against Soviet communism. Tarpley argues that Brzezinski was even a prime behind-the-scenes mover in the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and installing Ayatollah Khomeini in power in Tehran. Brzezinski cared less about the Middle East and its oil than he did about the need for a centre from which Islamic fundamentalism of the most retrograde type could penetrate the soft southern underbelly of the USSR. For Brzezinski, the space between the southern frontier of the Soviet and the Indian Ocean littoral became an “arc of crisis”, and we have his handiwork to thank for the horrors taking place there to this day.

The 1980 Carter Doctrine — that the US was determined to dominate the Persian Gulf — is at the root of the first Gulf War, of the present Iraq war, and of the possible war on Iran. Brzezinski’s grandiose schemes of world transformation caused a renewal of the Cold War and gave birth to Al-Qaeda, and without Soviet restraint the results could easily have been far more tragic than they turned out to be. By 1980, disillusionment with Carter led to the nightmare of the Reagan regime. But this was of little concern to Brzezinski — a mere blip on his radar screen.

In 2008, we have an obscure Illinois senator, a neophyte with no legislative achievements to speak of, but with a raft of utopian promises, including solving the race problem once and for all. Recession, unemployment and an alarming rise in poverty are of no consequence; a golden age is at hand thanks to his magnetic personality. Since he knows nothing of foreign policy, these matters will be competently managed by the Brzezinski cabal.

But there seems to be one slight hitch. Despite Obama’s slavish pro-Israeli genuflections of late, he is still not trusted by the Jewish lobby. Quite possibly because they know who the power behind the throne-to-be is, and they can’t stomach him, nor he them. Addressing the AIPAC crew in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he said, “They operate not by arguing but by slandering, vilifying, demonising. They very promptly wheel out anti-Semitism. There is an element of paranoia in this inclination to view any serious attempt at a compromised peace as somehow directed against Israel.”

But then Brzezinski was a key player in Carter’s 1978 Camp David Accords, much loathed by the Zionists as giving up Sinai in exchange for a cold peace with Egypt. Brzezinski is definitely not a hardcore Zionist, though he’s happy to allow the destruction of Palestine. Perhaps he is, under his suave exterior, still the quintessential Polish anti-Semite, with a vision of the New World Order without Israel at the centre.

If he can keep up the momentum, however, he may be able to outflank the Zionists in Washington and bringing his horse first past the finish line. They are on the defensive these days, what with spy trials, even J Street Project, a Jewish lobby group that — gasp — dares to criticise Israel. Is this, then, the silver lining in an Obama victory?

Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly. You can reach him at www.geocities.com/walberg2002/


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Articles by: Eric Walberg

About the author:

Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s. He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio. Eric Walberg was a moderator and speaker at the Leaders for Change Summit in Istanbul in 2011.

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