For those who don’t know the United States or haven’t heard of its aggressive foreign policy, warmongerings and military adventures around the world, President Barack Obama’s September 21 address to the United Nations General Assembly appeals as an eloquent, persuasive and moving speech which was aimed at extending peace, security and well-being throughout the world and offered new opportunities for dialogue and cooperation between the US and other nations.
However, those who have some background of the policies and actions of Washington know well that this grandiloquent speech was primarily aimed at healing and improving America’s image internationally and threatening the countries who disobey the orders of White House using a language softer than that of George W. Bush but almost with the same diplomatic overtones.
In his speech, Obama alluded to many controversial issues and raised many questions the answers of which he knows better than anyone in the world.
At the beginning of his speech, he pointed to the wars which the US government waged over the past years in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said that “violent extremists” such as Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda organization “drew” the US into war. The poor White House! They were drawn into war without having the inclination to do so!
It seems that Obama is intelligent enough to remember that it was CIA that trained, backed and funded Bin Laden in 1980s to serve as the clandestine representative of the US in the Soviet-Afghan war.
In an article titled “How the CIA created Osama Bin Laden,” Norm Dixon has elaborately explained the underground ties of CIA and Bin Laden and the unconditional support of the US government for the terrorist whom George W. Bush introduced as the culprit behind the 9/11 attacks: “Between 1978 and 1992, the US government poured at least US$6 billion (some estimates range as high as $20 billion) worth of arms, training and funds” to prop up the Afghan Mujaheddin faction to which Bin Laden was a member at the time of Soviet Union’s war with Afghanistan. Actually, the US backed and empowered Bin Laden to hamper Soviet influence in Afghanistan. Now, after three decades that the expiration date of Bin Laden has arrived, Barack Obama takes the podium of UN General Assembly to assert that the US was innocent and its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were unavoidable and necessary.
Another interesting part of Obama’s speech was his reaction to the revolution in Bahrain: “in Bahrain, steps have been taken toward reform and accountability. We’re pleased with that, but more is required. America is a close friend of Bahrain, and we will continue to call on the government and the main opposition bloc — the Wifaq — to pursue a meaningful dialogue that brings peaceful change that is responsive to the people. We believe the patriotism that binds Bahrainis together must be more powerful than the sectarian forces that would tear them apart. It will be hard, but it is possible.”
Barack Obama didn’t hesitate to refer to America’s interminable friendship with Bahrain, even at a time when the Al Khalifa regime is under increasing international pressure over its violent and inhumane crackdown on the peaceful protesters. Bahrain has one of the most deplorable human rights records among the Persian Gulf countries. Even prior to the beginning of mass demonstrations and anti-regime rallies in Bahrain, reports of torturing the prisoners by the mercenaries of regime had rung the alarm bells for the human rights activists. The US media have put the number of deaths in the Bahrain uprising at 42; however, the extent of brutality and barbarity exerted by the government against unarmed and innocent civilians is inexplicable.
Obama said that steps have been taken toward reform and accountability. Perhaps there was nobody to ask Obama what these steps are. Really, what steps have been taken toward normalizing the situation and meeting the demands of the people of Bahrain by the Al Khalifa regime?
While the US mainstream media have responded to the Bahrain revolution by an all-out boycott and censorship, amateur footages broadcast by independent TV stations show the Bahraini and Saudi soldiers recklessly shooting at peaceful demonstrators, incarcerating them en masse and torturing them in prison using the most atrocious methods.
Nurses and doctors are imprisoned on charges of receiving and treating the injured protesters. Even composing a poem critical of the government was responded by imprisonment. Ayat Al-Qurmozi, the Bahraini poet was jailed by the authorities as she was found guilty of “causing incitement and hatred to his majesty the king and to the prime minister.” Maybe President Obama doesn’t know that his close friend even doesn’t allow the families of the victims of revolution to hold funeral and mourning ceremonies for their beloved. Maybe he has forgotten that Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet, isn’t afraid of killing the innocent, 14-year old Ali Jawad al-Sheikh who was only trying to have his voice heard by the government. Maybe President Obama doesn’t know that 9 peace activists in Bahrain were sentenced to life prison and many others, in military courts, sentenced to death.
But the most delirious part of President Obama’s speech was where he talked about Iran. He made two statements about Iran, each of which worse than the other. In his first allusion, Obama said that “In Iran, we’ve seen a government that refuses to recognize the rights of its own people.” Perhaps he had forgotten his demagogic appeal to the Iranian nation in the Nowrouz Greeting message where he talked of new horizons for cooperation, friendship and partnership. Now that his plots for impeding Iran’s way toward scientific and political successes are foiled, Obama prefers resorting to hallucinatory claims and pretensions for which he doesn’t have any evidence or proof. By claiming that the Iranian government doesn’t recognize the rights of its own people, can Barack Obama guarantee that he recognizes the rights of the US people? If so, then why he dedicates $1.8 billion in military aid and $1.2 billion in financial aid to Israel the cost of which should be paid by the desperate American taxpayers? If so, then why should the American people pay for the wars which the US ignites around the world? Does the Obama administration really recognize the rights of the American people?
Though, the Iranian diplomats showed an exceptional diplomatic courtesy and dexterity by attending Obama’s speech to the General Assembly until its end; a courtesy and courage which the American and European diplomats have always lacked as they cowardly walk out of the UN hall when the Iranian president delivers his annual speech to the General Assembly.
Talking about the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian relations, Obama implicitly made the point that the US would veto any resolution demanding the establishment of an independent Palestinian state if it succeeds to make its way through the Security Council: “peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians — not us — who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and on security, on refugees and Jerusalem.” And this was another exercise of double standards by a US president. Why should the US and its allies impose four rounds of harsh economic sanctions against Iran through Security Council resolutions? Don’t they want peace with Iran? “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations!”
And finally, the repetitive story of America’s commitment to Israel’s security, followed by a verbal attack against Iran over its nuclear program: “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. Our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring.”
President Obama is proud of his country’s relations with a murderer state. A state which kills relentlessly and massacres ruthlessly as it enjoys immunity to international law endowed to it by the United States. It’s for sure that as far as the US is “committed” to Israel’s security, this vicious regime will keep up with its inhumane policies without being even afraid of being held responsible before the public opinion.
And President Obama’s coup de grace was his saying that “the Iranian government cannot demonstrate that its program is peaceful. It has not met its obligations and it rejects offers that would provide it with peaceful nuclear power.”
Just a simple question for President Obama: Was the atomic bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki peaceful? Was the mass killing of 166,000 Japanese in Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki peaceful? Is the possession of up to 20,000 nuclear warheads a harbinger of peace and stability for the international community? Who should meet its obligations and responsibilities?
Overall, President Obama’s speech can be best described as a tirade full of accusations and illusions. Although it was ornamented with boastful claims about America’s willing to establish peace and security in the world, it would only deceive those who don’t know the United States in general.