The two most anticipated speeches in the 70th annual United Nations General Assembly by U.S. president Barack Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin lived up to their expectations. There were no surprises. As the world was watching, Obama gave a “jingoistic” speech flexing his military muscle while Putin gave a speech that was truthful and relatively speaking, straight forward. But I was really surprised that no delegates in the assembly had vomited during Obama’s speech. If you know the history of U.S. Empire since its inception everything that Obama said was a complete lie. Obama began talking about World War II and the “unthinkable power” of the atomic bomb:
Out of the ashes of the Second World War, having witnessed the unthinkable power of the atomic age, the United States has worked with many nations in this Assembly to prevent a third world war — by forging alliances with old adversaries; by supporting the steady emergence of strong democracies accountable to their people instead of any foreign power; and by building an international system that imposes a cost on those who choose conflict over cooperation, an order that recognizes the dignity and equal worth of all people
Obama was indirectly saying that the U.S. has the capability to unleash another scenario on its adversaries. It seemed that he was signaling to the world to “remember what the U.S. did to Japan during World War II, We can surely do it again! Japan is a vassal state with U.S. bases stationed in Okinawa and other areas. Is Japan a strong democracy without any foreign power that is accountable” to its people? or to those who live in the island of Okinawa? Maybe Obama should visit Okinawa and hear what the people have to say about “American-style democracy” with U.S. bases stationed on their land. Obama continued his speech with the audacity to talk about the “terrible conflicts” and how Washington has pushed forward the rule of law.
He said “Over seven decades, terrible conflicts have claimed untold victims. But we have pressed forward, slowly, steadily, to make a system of international rules and norms that are better and stronger and more consistent.” First and foremost, the U.S. is responsible for most of the conflicts in the past 70 years since World War II. Here is a list compiled by author and activist William Blum which can be found atwilliamblum.org “Instances of the United States overthrowing, or attempting to overthrow, a foreign government since the Second World War. (* indicates successful ouster of a government):
China 1949 to early 1960s, Albania 1949-53, East Germany 1950s, Iran 1953 *, Guatemala 1954 *, Costa Rica mid-1950s, Syria 1956-7, Egypt 1957, Indonesia 1957-8, British Guiana 1953-64 *, Iraq 1963 *, North Vietnam 1945-73, Cambodia 1955-70 *, Laos 1958 *, 1959 *, 1960 *, Ecuador 1960-63 *, Congo 1960 *, France 1965, Brazil 1962-64 *, Dominican Republic 1963 *, Cuba 1959 to present, Bolivia 1964 *, Indonesia 1965 *, Ghana 1966 *, Chile 1964-73 *, Greece 1967 *, Costa Rica 1970-71, Bolivia 1971 *, Australia 1973-75 *, Angola 1975, 1980s, Zaire 1975, Portugal 1974-76 *, Jamaica 1976-80 *, Seychelles 1979-81, Chad 1981-82 *, Grenada 1983 *, South Yemen 1982-84, Suriname 1982-84, Fiji 1987 *, Libya 1980s, Nicaragua 1981-90 *, Panama 1989 *, Bulgaria 1990 *, Albania 1991 *, Iraq 1991, Afghanistan 1980s *, Somalia 1993, Yugoslavia 1999-2000 *, Ecuador 2000 *, Afghanistan 2001 *, Venezuela 2002 *, Iraq 2003 *, Haiti 2004 *, Somalia 2007 to present, Honduras 2009, Libya 2011 *, Syria 2012, Ukraine 2014 *
Professor Noam Chomsky’s once said” (…) since 1945, the US has attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, has grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries and has dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 others”. Obama also said that:
Technologies that empower individuals are now also exploited by those who spread disinformation, or suppress dissent, or radicalize our youth. Global capital flows have powered growth and investment, but also increased risk of contagion, weakened the bargaining power of workers, and accelerated inequality
This sounds like something the National Endowment for Democracy (NED, the U.S. based International Monetary Fund (IMF) , the World Bank, Wall Street and the main-stream media in the U.S. and the U.K. (BBC) have been doing since their inception.
There are those who argue that the ideals enshrined in the U.N. charter are unachievable or out of date — a legacy of a postwar era not suited to our own. Effectively, they argue for a return to the rules that applied for most of human history and that pre-date this institution: the belief that power is a zero-sum game; that might makes right; that strong states must impose their will on weaker ones; that the rights of individuals don’t matter; and that in a time of rapid change, order must be imposed by force.
On this basis, we see some major powers assert themselves in ways that contravene international law. We see an erosion of the democratic principles and human rights that are fundamental to this institution’s mission; information is strictly controlled, the space for civil society restricted. We’re told that such retrenchment is required to beat back disorder; that it’s the only way to stamp out terrorism, or prevent foreign meddling
“Might makes right” is what the US Government has been doing for the last 70 years. In fact, the U.S. has or has attempted to impose their will on sovereign nations since the end of the Spanish American War of 1898. Obama is not the first nor will be the last president to talk about imposing their form of “democracy” on the planet.
This is where Putin’s speech challenges Washington’s foreign policy strategies. Putin’s speech was mainly about the situation in Syria with the U.S. Backed “moderate” rebels and the Islamic State including other terrorist groups. However, Putin mentioned a recent historical fact about the U.S./NATO intervention in Libya and the start of the Syrian civil war which created social and political chaos in the Middle East and the North African region:
What is the meaning of state sovereignty, the term which has been mentioned by our colleagues here? It basically means freedom, every person and every state being free to choose their future. By the way, this brings us to the issue of the so-called legitimacy of state authorities. You shouldn’t play with words and manipulate them. In international law, international affairs, every term has to be clearly defined, transparent and interpreted the same way by one and all. We are all different, and we should respect that. Nations shouldn’t be forced to all conform to the same development model that somebody has declared the only appropriate one. We should all remember the lessons of the past. For example, we remember examples from our Soviet past, when the Soviet Union exported social experiments, pushing for changes in other countries for ideological reasons, and this often led to tragic consequences and caused degradation instead of progress.
It seems, however, that instead of learning from other people’s mistakes, some prefer to repeat them and continue to export revolutions, only now these are “democratic” revolutions. Just look at the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa already mentioned by the previous speaker. Of course, political and social problems have been piling up for a long time in this region, and people there wanted change. But what was the actual outcome? Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention rashly destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life. I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done? But I’m afraid that this question will remain unanswered, because they have never abandoned their policy, which is based on arrogance, exceptionalism and impunity
Putin was right on point with historical facts when it came to Libya and Syria while Obama sold “Propaganda” on the world stage. According to Obama and every US president before him, the U.S. is exceptional; therefore their place in the world is to impose “democracy” on every nation on earth. Obama said:
A politics and solidarity that depend on demonizing others, that draws on religious sectarianism or narrow tribalism or jingoism may at times look like strength in the moment, but over time its weakness will be exposed. And history tells us that the dark forces unleashed by this type of politics surely makes all of us less secure. Our world has been there before. We gain nothing from going back
When Libya was “liberated”, at least according to Washington, chaos soon followed. Before the U.S. orchestrated invasion by NATO, Libya was one of the most developed nations in the continent of Africa. Syria is now the focus of regime change for the Obama administration. Russia stepped into the war and now threatens Washington’s plan for Syria, which is to create more chaos in the region that would ultimately threaten Iran’s borders. Washington wants to impose their will on Syria just like they did in Libya and the results were indeed catastrophic. Libya was a sovereign nation that was trying to free Africa from the U.S. dollar with a gold dinar, an idea that lead to the death of Muammar Gaddafi in a violent coup which was planned by the Neocons from the Bush administration after 911. Obama is following the Neocon plan as Syria maintains its legitimate right to defend itself against the Islamic State with Russia’s military and political support. If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is removed from power by the Islamic State, Syria will be destroyed and that will enable the U.S., Israel and their allies to launch an all out war against Hezbollah and Iran.
Maybe Obama should listen to his own speech. Obama said that by “demonizing” their enemies leads to “tribalism or jingoism.” Obama’s speech was full of “jingoism.” In fact, the US government has been following a “warlike” foreign policy since the end of World War II. Putin was the true statesman while Obama spoke in a typical “jingoist” fashion. Obama made it clear with his speech that the future will be marred with war and violence and that is something Putin wants to avoid. Can Russia, China and Iran collaborate and stop Washington’s aggressive behavior towards the world? Call me optimistic, but I believe they can.