To defeat Hillary Clinton
for his party’s nomination, Obama’s rhetoric made Hillary Clinton look
and sound like an integral part of the old establishment in Washington
that needed to be “changed”. Worse still, John McCain’s trigger-happy
posture and his unflinching lust for the assertion of America’s
supremacy over the rest of the world made him far worse than Hillary
Clinton and simply unelectable to an America that was licking its
wounds from George Bushes Iraq misadventure. Obama swore to change or
even revolutionize the way things are done in Washington and inspired
hope for those who never thought they would live to see a pacifist
America in their lifetime. This culminated in the hasty and strongly
criticized decision of the Nobel Peace Committee in Oslo to award him
the coveted prize even though he was yet to show any public credential
of peace achieved. The world was simply ready to accept the benefit of
the doubt since hope in itself was a potent groundwork and a sound
psychological achievement for the realization of the ultimate goal.
Since 2008, the world has
come a long way with Barrack Obama as the first Afro-root American
President. A lot has happened and hardly anyone has seen his hope and
dreams fulfilled amid the massive investment of goodwill in a project
of a lifetime.
Things began to go wrong
when ultra-conservative elements within the USA launched the Tea Party
movement in a campaign to discredit Obama’s credentials and his
fundamental identity. Rather than fighting back with a similar
grassroots movement to redefine what America should basically stand
for, Barrack Obama chose the path of uniting the nation. He shied away
from the option of taking the fiend head-on believing more in the
good-guy image of being everybody’s darling. In the end, the
ultra-conservative movement made strong headways in mobilizing public
opinion against a lot of social justice principles forming the
cornerstone of the Obama doctrine. Today his trademark healthcare
reforms are still standing on shaky grounds pending the ascension to
power of a conservative government.
The President chose the way
of appeasement and sought to converge with his political opponents on
a middle ground. The opponent accepted all overtures without ceding
any bit of its own position. Guantanamo bay remains operational even
as we speak.
Barrack Obama slowly began
to look like Michael Dukakis – an erstwhile democratic presidential
candidate – who allowed his opponent to dictate the pace and themes of
his electoral campaign. Mike Dukakis was labeled a “Liberal” and an
incompetent advocate of America’s strength and global dominance.
Rather than forcing the proper definition of the term “Liberal” and
stressing the need for a more compassionate than bravado America,
which formed the core of his political program, Dukakis played into
the hands of his opponents seeking to present himself as a strong and
worthy representative of America’s strength. In the end, his margin
shrunk in the polls and he ended up losing the race to George Bush
Unfortunately Barrack Obama
seems to have learnt very little from such precedents. Without taking
much cognizance of his empty-handed disposition in return for all the
concessions he has made towards his opponent, President Obama does
very little to fight for, define and establish his beliefs and
principles as a compelling element of political thinking.
Today, John McCain
contributes in no small way to the shaping of America’s foreign policy
by brandishing the sword and showing pacifism as a weaklings stock in
trade. Syria has been the most prominent case study in this terrain.
Forgetting the popular
wave, on whose back he rode to electoral victory, the Obama’s
administration – at the very least – condoned the encouragement of the
uprising in Syria with the ultimate goal of isolating Iran and
establishing an America-friendly Syria at Iran’s doorstep as a
possible and comfortable launching pad. We remember the activities of
the American Ambassador to Syria in the early days of the uprising,
who traveled severally to the protesters to counsel them on better
organization rather than mediation. In the end, he had to be removed
from Damascus in the aftermath of serious death threats. Today, a lot
of evidences make the round in the media suggesting western influences
in starting the uprising in the first place. Funnily even though many
western media houses still report today that the protests that
launched the uprising started peacefully and that the attempt by the
Assad regime to crush the protest violently led to the civil war, many
observers remember that a few gunmen mixed up with the protesters and
often shot and killed policemen to provoke more high-handed reactions.
This same scenario played out recently in the Muslim Brotherhood
protests in Egypt and the world now knows the method as a way of
provoking escalation to gain the sympathy of international public
Since no one had sympathy
for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the method did not work out in
favor of those that ended up being slaughtered by the Egyptian
soldiers. In a typical western media propaganda style that the world
has now become accustomed to through two Iraq wars, Libya infiltration
etc., collaborative headlines in the west reported Assad forces
killing “its own people” who were only demonstrating peacefully.
Gunmen among the protesters that were reportedly armed by Turkey would
be reported only by alternative, low-circulation marginal news organs
while the bigger media houses fan the embers of public sentiments to
demonize the Assad regime, for whom no one would love to hold brief.
Indeed, the conclusion of
the Syrian transition was expected to be brief and short-lived. Many
had counted the days of Bashir Al-Assad as President of Syria and that
was two years ago.
The irony of all these is
that the entire development is happening under the watch and
collaboration of a pacifist Obama’s Presidency who came to power
vowing to stop America’s rampaging bravado politics in the
international community. Rather than standing firm, defining and
launching a massive and passionate plea for the adoption of his
doctrine of pacifism and thus alienating his militant opponents into
political oblivion, Barrack Obama got trapped in a policy of seeking
to prove to his opponents that he too can be tough. Rather than having
a defenseless Osama Bin Laden arrested fro instance, Obama came out
proud and boasting with the political capital of killing Bin Laden.
The need to isolate Iran and dissuade it from pushing ahead with its
nuclear program has so far, forced Obama to betray his pacifist agenda
on Syria rather than fighting for a properly configured long-term
agenda for America’s global future.
Today, the moderate
elements with whom the west sympathized (at the minimum) in the Syrian
uprising have now been outnumbered, outgunned and overwhelmed by
radical, blood-thirsty and cannibalistic Islamic fundamentalists, who
have hijacked the supposed Syrian revolution. The prospect of an
Islamic State replacing Bashir Al-Assad’s less religion-leaning
administration has now left the west in a jittery position.
With the moderate elements,
with whom the western dreams of overthrowing Bashir Al-Assad started,
now feeling betrayed, the west is now feeling even more agitated in
its lost cause.
In all of these, Barrack
Obama has simply not found the courage to privately admit to American
allies, the blunders made and roll back the tirade and find ways of
putting a temporary end to the carnage by prevailing on Saudi Arabia,
Turkey and Qatar to simply accept that political projects may
sometimes also end up in failure. Instead, the Russians and Chinese
are being demonized for standing on the side of solid international
jurisprudence. In its dilemma of wanting to look strong and please his
conservative opponents, Barrack Obama locked himself in a chemical
weapon trap that will now see him finally calling the bluff and
dropping down low to the status of George W. Bush to bomb another
country that has done absolutely nothing to violate America’s
interest. What a grandstanding by a Nobel Peace laureate.
The underlying principle of
victory at all costs to avoid losing face and prestige now seems to be
driving the geopolitical balance of power to another level with Russia
slowly and steadily regaining its relevance while its economic power
will yet hinder confrontational military adventurism. Iran may be
poised to save face and prestige by standing up with moderately
sophisticated weaponry, against the powers that be and in support of
Syria by ultimately forcing a stand-off with Israel. The result may be
a scorched earth with unpredictable regional consequences.
All through his years as
President so far, Barrack Obama is clearly posing as personifying the
betrayal of ideals. While black Africans may forgive him for putting
Africa in the back seat of active policy considerations, hardly anyone
of his erstwhile fans will forgive him for failing to live up to
expectations in implementing pacifism.
How art the mighty fallen!
The Audacity of Hope now transformed into the Audacity of Shame?
Follow me on Twitter @FriskyLarrimore, Watch out for my new book
“Africa’s Diabolical Entrapment”
Frisky Larr is author of the book “Nigeria’s Journalistic
Militantism” probing into the poor role of Journalism in Nigeria!