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Obama 'Quixote' with 'Sancho' Australia Tilts at China!

According to Michael Klare, Obama has now launched a “military-first” policy in Asia. Or what any sane person would call it, a LOSE/LOSE policy. During his Nov. 19, 2011 visit to Australia, in Canberra Obama declared:

"After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, the United States is turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia-Pacific region."

Klare paints the realpolitik, large, geo-political picture:

For the first time since the end of World War II, Washington is no longer the dominant economic actor there [Asia-Pacific region]. If the United States is to retain its title as the world's paramount power, it must, this thinking goes, restore its primacy in the region and roll back Chinese influence. In the coming decades, no foreign policy task will, it is claimed, be more important than this.

In line with its new strategy, the administration has undertaken a number of moves intended to bolster US power in Asia, and so put China on the defensive. These include a decision to deploy an initial 250 US Marines - someday to be upped to 2,500 - to an Australian air base in Darwin on that country's north coast, and the adoption on November 18 of "the Manila Declaration", a pledge of closer US military ties with the Philippines.

NUCLEAR GAME ON, FOLKS!!!

You know, it was tough deciding on the title of this blog. For one thing I consider the earnest but addled Quixote character far more innocent than I do Obama. I really wanted to work “Napoleonically-deranged” into the title, but Australia as Sancho was just too appealing.

Napoleonically-deranged? You betcha!

Yes. Those of us not steeped in anti-humanitarian denial recognize the rampant imperialism oozing out of our “amiable in photo ops” present President. It’s not that we are especially psychic or intuitive. We are just awake to what it meant to once have had a constitutional government, what fascism is and, okay, what “Thou Shalt Not Kill” means.

Obama is annointed as the “saner” candidate for president by an ostrich citizenry that denies it has any power or responsibility to select a candidate except for whom the 1-percent-run legacy parties and the craven corporate media (run worldwide by 5 conglomerate chieftains) instruct them to vote.

So America and the Western nations are economically circling the proverbial bowl thanks to the crony capitalism bonding of the pimped out pols, the pimped out educational elites, the banksters and oligarchichal profits over people pimps, and the media puppets/puppeteers. Collectively they betrayed the 99% by always going not for collective welfare but for their own short-term aggrandizement, even if they are destroying the planet for their own children, their children’s children, their further descendants.

“A rising tide will raise all boats”?

Maybe for MLK, RFK, Gandhi, OWS, DFH, Greens, etc. humanists. But what would be the sense of that to the "we’ve got ours and we still want more" power brokers and their authoritarian followers in profoundly post-morality America (as coined by David Brooks).

Have the one-percenters including and especially Obama, who is joined at the hip with them, learned from the destruction they have wrought? Have the majority of those with lives devastated by them even learned? No way.

Obama has ANOTHER idea to avoid a paradigm shift to humanism. To once again spit on the "rising tide raises all boats" answer for global salvation. (And some insaniacs still call Obama a "socialist"? HAH!)

Obama's grandiose "new (one percenter) deal"? His idea to “painlessly” for THE ONE PERCENTERS deal with the mounting economic disaster to the Western-nation portion of the globe that those same one-percenters have brought on is to use the US(Israel)/NATOWarMachine to dominate and intimidate expanding nations whom they don’t have their tentacles into deeply enough, YET. To drive them into the same armed to the teeth military obsessiveness and paranoia as the West. Enough with destroying Middle East proxy pawns. Onto stage 2 of evil hegemony!

Stage 2 is to get massive China and the rest of Asia into the same deranged “fossil energy possession/obsession” game. OIL!!!! To get them to accept into THEIR nation-leading group think, like the West, that OIL is worth its weight in human blood. And to recklessly hammer into Asian group-think that the West wants their OIL and their sources for OIL and are coming for them! Incidentally, that realization by Asian nations would NOT indicate paranoia!

"NUCLEAR GAME ON!" messages our "lesser of two evils" leader.

We all know the West has become more and more indebted for short term continued corporatists' self-serving from massive China.

Now there is the more than a twinkle in proving himself to the soulless corporate daddies in Obama’s eyes. A faux-short-cut of global military domination to side-step minimal leadership and power broker responsibility-taking in terms of cleaning up the chaotic mess the Western casino capitalism power brokers have wrought.

When in a civilization-destroying hole, the decision seems to have been made by the West and the ever-precious “Obama,” and whoever else may take the helm in 2012, JUST KEEP DIGGING!!!! Or put another way, the proverbial if the only tool in the toolbox is a hammer, everything appears a nail. Ever onward, the US, Israel, NATO WarMachine!

Cold war instigation? Continuing and expanding genocide? These are apparently anti-humanity, natural (for power addicts) options for the fabulously wealthy and morally callous as well as that incredibly large portion of the 99-percent that is on-board for ANYTHING as long as it is embraced by the "lesser of two evils" candidate. No matter how evil. No matter how destructive. In this case, soberly and mind-numbingly long- AND short-term destructive.

Michael Klare's analysis below SHOULD sober up all of us!

In addition, Washington could now be sparking the beginnings of a genuine Cold-War-style arms race in Asia, which neither country can, in the long run, afford. All of this is likely to lead to greater tension and a heightened risk of inadvertent escalation arising out of future incidents involving US, Chinese and allied vessels - such as the one that occurred in March 2009 when a flotilla of Chinese naval vessels surrounded a US anti-submarine warfare surveillance ship, the Impeccable, and almost precipitated a shooting incident. As more warships circulate through these waters in an increasingly provocative fashion, the risk that such an incident will result in something far more explosive can only grow.

"Greater reliance on ... the 'dirtiest' of energies will result in increased greenhouse gas emissions and a multitude of other environmental hazards."

Nor will the potential risks and costs of such a military-first policy aimed at China be restricted to Asia. In the drive to promote greater US self-sufficiency in energy output, the Obama administration is giving its approval to production techniques - Arctic drilling, deep-offshore drilling and hydraulic fracturing - that are guaranteed to lead to further Deepwater Horizon-style environmental catastrophe at home.

Greater reliance on Canadian tar sands, the "dirtiest" of energies, will result in increased greenhouse gas emissions and a multitude of other environmental hazards, while deep Atlantic oil production off the Brazilian coast and elsewhere has its own set of grim dangers.

All of this ensures that, environmentally, militarily and economically, we will find ourselves in a more, not less, perilous world. The desire to turn away from disastrous land wars in the Greater Middle East to deal with key issues now simmering in Asia is understandable, but choosing a strategy that puts such an emphasis on military dominance and provocation is bound to provoke a response in kind. It is hardly a prudent path to head down, nor will it, in the long run, advance America's interests at a time when global economic cooperation is crucial. Sacrificing the environment to achieve greater energy independence makes no more sense.

A new Cold War in Asia and a hemispheric energy policy that could endanger the planet: it's a fatal brew that should be reconsidered before the slide toward confrontation and environmental disaster becomes irreversible. You don't have to be a seer to know that this is not the definition of good statesmanship, but of the march of folly.

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Submitted by Alcuin on

I deal with all of this "news" by ignoring it. It is entirely predictable that a class of sociopaths would behave in this manner. I find it much more productive to spend my time and energy educating myself about anarcho-syndicalism. Obama will win in a landslide and we will continue to be fucked by his pals. It is far better to devise a means to survive the coming catastrophe than it is to get riled up over things we can't change.

The important thing is to never stop questioning. - Albert Einstein

Submitted by libbyliberal on

There are so many fresh hells, so many fronts. I relate to what you are saying. It is so repulsive to watch the propaganda on the corporate news, even the NewsHour, but we ultimately need to grasp what the nature of the evildoings are and we need to divide up within the awake ones and pool our knowledge on areas we grasp better than others or have a strong interest in.

You know it is easier for me to watch Fox News than to watch MSNBC cherrypicking, relevant one minute, gamesmanship Dem bullshit the next! But we need to keep the big picture and not be seduced by the US white hat-heroics.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

If only you had a clown to laugh at, in these dark hours, to balance your serious analysis against. But where would you find him? :-P

And what good would one Don Quixote do? Inspire a world?

Submitted by libbyliberal on

From Peter Symonds of wsws:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/feb2012/pers-f11.shtml

"The Australian media coverage of the defence review could have been drawn from the theatre of the absurd. While the military build-up clearly dovetails with US moves against China, the headlines blared “Move to guard northern wealth” and “Our vulnerable north.” No one answered the obvious question: defend from whom? Given the US-Australian military alliance, no neighbouring country, including China, has the capability to seize Australia’s northern gas fields or invade the country’s “thinly populated north.”

"The opening up of northern Australia to US military forces strikes an aggressive, not a defensive, posture that puts the country on the frontline of any US war with China. The media coverage only serves to chloroform working people as to the immense dangers posed by the Labor government’s unconditional support for American militarism. The entire political establishment, from the conservative Liberal-National opposition through the Greens and pseudo-radical groups, is silent on these criminal moves.

"The rush to publish an interim report setting out the new Australian military posture was designed to pre-empt any opposition in ruling circles at home amid escalating geo-political tensions. Preparations by the US and its European allies for a political/military intervention in Syria, as well as heightened threats of military action against Iran, cut directly across the economic and strategic interests of China and Russia in particular.

"The Obama administration is also stepping up the pressure on China throughout Asia. Washington’s “pivot” toward the Indo-Pacific over the past three years has involved an aggressive diplomatic intervention into territorial disputes in the South China Sea; the tightening of alliances with South Korea and Japan, which have adopted a more confrontational stance toward China and China’s ally North Korea; the strengthening of ties with China’s major regional rival India; and the unveiling of a major trade initiative—the Trans Pacific Partnership—aimed at laying down US terms for regional trade at China’s expense.

"In South East Asia, the Obama administration has encouraged the Philippines and Vietnam to more forcefully pursue their maritime disputes with China in the South China Sea that have already produced several clashes. The Philippines is in talks with Washington over a new defence agreement along the lines of the Australian pact. It would lead to a greater US military presence directly adjacent to these sensitive, strategic waters and to southern China itself. At the same time, the Pentagon has been establishing closer ties with Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

"Simultaneously, the Obama administration has worked assiduously to bring about a shift in Burma—formerly China’s closest partner in South East Asia and a potential energy and transport corridor from the Indian Ocean to southern China. Following US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit in December, the US announced an exchange of ambassadors and partially lifted sanctions. Significantly, as reported this week in the New York Times, CIA director David Petraeus plans to visit Burma to forge closer intelligence ties with the military junta.

The authors of the Australian defence posture review are well aware of the US strategy. The document cautiously outlines the “key strategic judgments” on which it was based, including China’s expanding “power projection and sea control capabilities”; “securing sea lines of communication and energy supplies will be a strategic driver”; “the South China Sea remains a potential flashpoint”; and “South East Asia is becoming more important to the wider Asia-Pacific strategic balance.”

"The Obama administration’s provocative drive against China has compounded the basic dilemma confronting Australian capitalism: how to balance support for its longstanding strategic ally, the United States, against its heavy dependence on China for mining exports. That Washington will brook no equivocation was demonstrated by its undoubted involvement in the ousting of Kevin Rudd as Australian prime minister in mid-2010. Rudd’s offence in US eyes was seeking to moderate tensions between the US and China, while Obama was intent on boosting pressure on Beijing and demanded firm allies, not diplomatic mediators.

"Throughout the region, a similar conundrum confronts governments, which rely on China economically, but are fearful of being on the wrong side of the world’s predominant military power. The rising geo-political tensions have been worsened by the deepening global economic crisis. To stem its relative economic decline, US imperialism is resorting to increasingly reckless military adventures to undermine the growth of potential rivals, above all China.

"Fierce rivalry on the international stage is accompanied by a vicious assault on the democratic rights and social position of the working class in every country."

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)

pookapooka's picture
Submitted by pookapooka on

Please, let's look at it this way, a scenario I don't wish for, but which is entirely plausible ---

There will be no Cold War II -- just a protracted and, for awhile, clandestine battle for the last of the world's untapped resources. The combatants won't be national, but corporate. (We in Hawai'i just witnessed firsthand a preliminary skirmish: the APEC Conference of the "Heads of State" kabuki awhile back. The purpose was to to divide the Pacific into zones of control. There was no serious input permitted from folks who actually live on the affected islands, sovreignty or no.)

I'm talking about the Pacific Ocean deep seabed and the minerals it contains -- minerals necessary for further, faster computer development, etc. And of course, if those who actually are in power have their way, and as has happened in the Gulf of Mexico, and as human frailty is ever what it is, spillages and accidents of disastrous consequence will inevitably occur, huge portions of the world's largest food-chain-starter will be unable to recover, and starvation will cleanse us from the planet. It's just a question of how long this process will take and what collateral damage will devolve on us as we powerless living creatures travel this one-way road.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying living in Hawai'i and playing music while it's still possible here on our sweet Earth ;-)