UNITED NATIONS — President Obama on Wednesday charted a muscular new course for the United States in a turbulent world, telling the United Nations General Assembly in a bluntly worded speech that the American military would work with allies to dismantle the Islamic State’s “network of death” and warning Russia that it would pay for its bullying of Ukraine.
Two days after ordering airstrikes on dozens of militant targets in Syria, Mr. Obama issued a fervent call to arms against the Islamic State — the once-reluctant warrior now apparently resolved to waging a twilight struggle against Islamic extremism for the remainder of his presidency.
Wow, “network of death,” huh? Pretty strong words for what we’re doing in the Middle East. Oh, you mean he wasn’t describing our own use of destruction in seven different countries?
“Those who have joined ISIL should leave the battlefield while they can,” Mr. Obama said, foreshadowing the blows to come. “For we will not succumb to threats, and we will demonstrate that the future belongs to those who build, not those who destroy.” The brutality of the militants, he said, “forces us to look into the heart of darkness.”
We haven’t heard such virulent rhetoric since the glory days of the Bush II administration, when Shrub was running around stoking fear over the non-existent weapons Saddam was hiding. But quoting Conrad? That’s quite a stroke of genius, given that Conrad was basically describing the West’s rape and pillage of Africa.
And check out this bit of wordplay:
In addressing the Ukraine crisis, Mr. Obama used his strongest language yet, portraying Russia’s incursions as an affront to the principles of the United Nations and promising to levy a cost on President Vladimir V. Putin. He accused Russia of conspiring with Ukrainian separatists to obstruct an investigation into a downed Malaysian jetliner.
“This is a vision of the world in which might makes right,” Mr. Obama said, “a world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed.”
Seriously, does he listen to himself when he speaks? I have to think not due to the sheer number of times Obama has spoken in such a blatantly ironic manner. What happened to that airliner was indeed a pointless tragedy. But no country has contributed to a “world in which might makes right” in the last decade more than the good ol’ US of A. Speaking of “redrawing borders,” he does know that’s what we’re doing by bombing within a sovereign nation (Syria) without authorization either from that country, the Congress, or the United Nations right? Funny how the guy he was just itchin’ to bomb the hell out last year of isn’t deemed worthy of mention this year:
The president also did not single out President Bashar al-Assad of Syria for criticism, as he did last year, over the use of chemical weapons, though he spoke of the brutality of the Assad regime. Mr. Assad has voiced support for the American-led strikes in Syria, and his air force has not interfered with American warplanes entering Syrian airspace.
Realpolitik at its finest, folks. Thankfully Obama is so bad at wrapping it in the American flag of colonization and control that it’s always real easy to spot it emanating from his speeches. Something is wrong when the only thing you can understand about an American president is how and when he’s going to lie about various issues. And what about the massive perpetration of war crimes and brutalization that took place in Gaza this year?
Mr. Obama only fleetingly addressed another of last year’s priorities, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, delivering a mild rebuke to the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace,” he said. “That’s something worthy of reflection within Israel,” he added, in a line that was not in his prepared text.
Yeah, it’s those mean old Palestinians and their thousands of deaths that have “made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace.” He does know that Israel has done nothing but work toward obstructing peace for decades, right? I’m getting sick of answering my own rhetorical questions, so I’ll leave you with this last tidbit:
With much of the day’s focus on the threat from foreign fighters, Mr. Obama took pains to address it. In an echo of the 2009 speech in Cairo that was aimed at the Islamic world, he issued a direct appeal to young Muslims, urging them to resist the blandishments of violent jihadism.
“You come from a great tradition that stands for education, not ignorance; innovation, not destruction; the dignity of life, not murder,” Mr. Obama said. “Those who call you away from this path are betraying this tradition, not defending it.”
One cannot stand in front of the world as an American president and say such things. Not anymore. If Obama thinks he has the moral clarity and backing of a nation that is always doing good in the world he is sorely mistaken. Just because a plurality of our nation in opinion polls favors bombing more targets in the Middle East (a lot of the same people also thought Saddam was connected with 9/11) doesn’t mean our country magically has the moral authority (not to mention the legal authority) to do such a thing.
And someone who ordered the assassination of an American citizen by drone has absolutely no moral standing to blather on at the UN about “the dignity of life, not murder.” If the rest of the world has any respect for their various peoples they should laugh this guy off the stage. The fact that this did not happen speaks a lot about what’s needed to reign in our disastrously blundering nation. Empires have a funny way of existing until they collapse that way.