False hope, broken promises: Obama’s belligerent legacy

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by Jakob Reimann
ROAR Magazine

Gigantic hopes were pinned on Barack Obama when he moved into the White House in 2009. Not just in the US, but across the globe people were simply fed up with eight unspeakable years of George W. Bush — with his nepotism, his belligerence and, yes, his sheer stupidity. The world was sick and tired of the “Cowboy from Texas.”

And then there came this highly intelligent, charismatic, eloquent — black — civil rights attorney from Illinois and everything was set to change. “Yes We Can” infected the whole world. “Hope and Change” were almost physically tangible to many. Yet Barack Obama has bitterly disappointed the world.
Dialogue and negotiations

In 2009, Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize — not for any concrete action but rather for his effusive optimism and, eventually, for his Yes We Can campaign. The Nobel committee acknowledged Obama’s commitment to peace and admired his diplomacy-focused aspirations: “Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.”

Furthermore, the committee appreciated the fact that Mr. Obama had given people everywhere “hope for a better future.” The president himself felt “deeply humbled” and considered the award a “call to action.”

The outgoing president has since bombed eight countries, trumping his predecessor George W. Bush by two.

Bush infamously held his pathetic Mission Accomplished speech on an aircraft carrier, only a few weeks after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. In October 2011, Obama finally declared the end of the war in Iraq and withdrew US troops from the country. While we shouldn’t shed any tears over Saddam, pre-war Iraq was a reasonably stable country back in 2003. In 2011 it was left behind by Obama as a failed state, a country in total chaos, deeply drowned in the bloodiest of violence. Today the country is a jihadist breeding ground par excellence. It is no longer possible to deny that the rise of the so-called Islamic State was a direct result of the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.

And so Obama, in 2014, after an absence of 2.5 years in Iraq, set out to “ultimately destroy” the jihadist legacy of his predecessor Bush — first with air strikes, then with a few hundred special forces, and now with approximately 6,400 soldiers and private mercenaries back on the ground.

Similarly, in Libya in 2011, the US and its NATO allies France and the UK misused UN resolution 1973, which aimed to establish a no-fly zone, and turned it into a pretext for an illegal war of aggression against Muammar Gaddafi. This led to the overthrow of the dictator, who was sodomized and executed by a lynch mob in the streets of his hometown of Sirte.

With his push for regime change Obama not only violated International Law, but US law as well, since the mandate for his campaign in Libya had already been withdrawn by US Congress in June 2011. Again, Libya was a reasonably stable country — until then the most advanced in Africa — that was thrown into turmoil and a bloody civil war. The so-called Islamic State used this chaos to their advantage as a way to build up its third biggest troop contingent, after Iraq and Syria. Post-invasion Libya has degenerated into a melting-pot of terrorists from across Africa and the Middle East.

As in Iraq, Obama once again used the terror threat generated after the orchestrated overthrow of an unpopular dictator to establish a permanent US commitment: renewed arms shipments, conventional air strikes, illegal drone killings, and, since May 2016, even US troops on the ground.

In Yemen, Obama not only bombed the country on his own — both with conventional and with drone attacks — but since March 2015 Washington has also actively supported a Saudi-led coalition with intelligence, logistics and massive arms shipments in its illegal war of aggression against the Houthi rebels. More recently it was revealed that there are US troops on the ground in Yemen, and that for the first time the US not only attacked al-Qaeda members but bombed facilities of the Houthi rebels as well.

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