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Obama marches on for war with new brand of oratory camouflaging same old war

by Kusal Perera

Its funny in a way, that the Oslo based Nobel Foundation decided to award the Peace Prize 2009 to a President of a country that lives on profits from military hardware sales and services. Its funny too, for them to think, this President, Barak Obama of USA, is making “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”, when he is heading a State that fuels conflict more than promote freedom.

“For many, war is synonymous with Iraq or Afghanistan, but our research enumerates 25 ongoing conflicts throughout the world. In the last decade, the U.S. has transferred some $8.7 billion in arms and military services to these war zones, $970.5 million in 2003 alone. During that year (the last year for which full data is available) the United States transferred weapons and military hardware into 18 of 25 conflict zones. This is despite the fact that these transfers appear to violate the spirit (if not the letter) of the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act, which bar the transfer of U.S.-origin military equipment into active areas of conflict.”

[U.S. WEAPONS AT WAR 2005: PROMOTING FREEDOM OR FUELING CONFLICT? http://www.worldpolicy.org/projects/arms/reports/wawjune2005.html ]

That is reason why the splendid orator he is, Obama sounds aggressive against Pakistan for not waging war against the Talebans. He is consistent with his cold phrased threats against Pakistan, ignoring that Pakistan is an independent and sovereign, foreign country. He said US must be willing to strike Al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan, “with or without approval from Pakistan,”(Reuters - 01 August, 2007) even during his campaign for Democratic presidential nominations.

He did so without Pakistani approval, as US President. US drone attacks inside Pakistan began again, just 03 days after Obama took oaths as President of the USA on 20 January, just the way Bush had ordered them. He thereafter signed orders to send 17,000 US army fighting cadres to Afghanistan on 18 February, within 01 month of being President of the US.

"This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction, and resources it urgently requires," Mr. Obama was quoted as having said after he signed the order, by the Christian Science Monitor.

He is marching on for war, with a new brand of oratory that can not in any way camouflage the same old war. Barak Obama is meanwhile awarded the world’s most prestigious peace prize by the Nobel Foundation for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”. That too wouldn’t make any difference to the Afghan and Pakistani tribal people, who would have to duck to save their lives from US drone attacks.

The fact is, no US president could do otherwise, with or without a Nobel Peace prize. Obama as all other US Presidents has to continue SOUTHCOM operations, with a 600 million dollar administrative budget, to service Latin American military assistance, that annually tops over USS $ 120 million. That is not what is more important in Obama being awarded the Peace Prize. It’s the US economy and its heavy dependence on military hardware and armaments. This US economy is an economy that is heavily dependent on waging war, to sustain their heavy armament industry.

According to SIPRI Yearbook 2008, of the TOP 10 military and armaments companies, 06 are US companies and their profits for year 2007 totalled US $ 14,702 million. These companies on the other hand have employed 578,200 Americans, a number that can not be allowed to join the laid off lot in a struggling economy. In this recession or even otherwise, no Obama can forget all of them and decide US foreign policy. Foreign policy for US is simply dealing with conflicts any where in the world, for their own advantage and benefit.

The dilemma of the Head of State of the USA in saving his country’s recession hit economy does not stop with the 06 companies in the Top 10 military hardware manufacturing group. If one goes down the list to the next Top 10 to make it a total of Top 20 in the military hardware and armament industry in the world, one would find 14 US companies slotted in sharing a massive profit of US $ 45,582 million and an employment figure of 1,435,980 persons.

All of it is not the total share of the US economy in waging war. There are 46 top US companies listed among the Top 100 companies in the world, manufacturing military hardware and armaments. These companies no doubt have a very big chunk in the US economy and any blockade to sale of their war products would hit the US economy far worse than any recession or meltdown. A blockade on their war products would mean any peace initiative to on going armed conflicts any where in the world, that would produce positive results in sustaining a “cease fire” leading to a possible sustainable peace process and not necessarily a permanent end to conflict right now.

What it also means is, the US economy is not an economy that could sustain itself in a conflict free, peaceful world. It needs conflicts and big conflicts too. It also needs to now shift its axis of war from the “war weary” Mid East to some where else, to allow some respite to the Israeli - Pan Arab world. This coalition the Obamian regime would try to foster for a respite in Mid East, leaves out Iran. And it drags in Afghanistan too. Thus the Obamian long term commitment from the presidential campaign times, to shift the war from Iraq to Afghanistan.

What it also means is that South Asia, by default could be the next theatre of war, for US companies to sell their destructive military hardware and armaments. Any escalation of the Afghan war will have Pakistan held responsible for Taleban activism. Talebans, as we know are of very many shades and ideologies. They work with very many fundamentalist armed groups in Pakistan, some covertly supported by the Pakistani ISI as well. Between Pakistani ISI and the Indian RAW is another conflict that exports armed conflicts across borders. Not only across Pak - Indo borders but across Afghan borders into Kabul as well. Such rivalry and ideological battles have made cross border conflicts an inherent feature in inter State dealings in South Asian conflicts.

Thus, all manipulations by Obama to have the Afghan war going despite its public statements in bringing democracy to the Afghan people, would have its extension to Pakistan and then into India. The present Indian regime has any way decided to accelerate its war against Maoists and would be militarising the Indian society. There are 03 Indian manufacturers listed among the Top 100 companies that has gained a listed profit of over 500 million US dollars during the year 2007. They would also need more conflicts to grow on their profits.

We in South Asia are thus heading into the future with economies that live on armed conflicts, with Obama heading the biggest such economy and is awarded the Nobel Peace prize, the money he says would go for charity. Charity after all is a by product of all conflicts.

9 Comments

You are giving too much credit to Obama and the US war machine. There are plenty of evil groups in this world vying for power that the US has no other choice unless they want to be a subservient country and give into the whims and fancy of third world dictators and live by their medieval ways of thinking. Realizing this the US has a semi permanent military machine as these evil threats will not go away. They will keep coming in different forms and different parts of the world and they need to be replied promptly or else we will have to give up our way of life. Unfortunately that's the reality of history. And history repeats itself.

All US presidents from both sides of the aisle understand this, and they will wrap this in different styles of rhetoric but they eventually will take similar actions. So instead of sitting and whining about this, and wondering how we will pay for these, they have turned it into a part-profitable business. If we don't sell arms someone else will. This way we at least have some say and control as to who gets what. But there are plenty of competition from all over the world in arms trade. The US has been the king at it till now but that might change with time.

It is regrettable that many educated people fall for eloquent speeches of politician and believe that this equation is going to change. Many live in a dream world of no war equals peace. What we have now for the past sixty years is peace compared to the history before that, and it came about due to the arms race and American and allied leadership. Yes this is a generalization that is true when you take top view of the whole world. There are many who didn't enjoy the fruits of this era of peace, and for them this is just academic. Sadly these are the realities of life.

Attacking the US and it's allies for arms race will not help with peace. Thanks to the US, the world has been stable and many countries have been able to progress and prosper, and many millions have improved their standards of living. There is lot more to do to make sure the prosperity spreads to the rest of the people. Unless there is peace and stability, there won't be any prosperity.

Posted by: John D. | October 18, 2009 04:53 PM

I don’t know why any one is surprised by the way the Norwegian Nobel Prize committee decides who gets the prize. After all these are the same Norwegians that awarded the Peace prize to Arfat! The same people also awarded the price to Kissinger and the Viet Nam negotiator even before the Vietnam war was over. So nothing unusual about the 2009 Peace Prize being awarded to Obama who appeared pretty embarrassed by the announcement. What is really surprising is that some people actually think that the Nobel Peace Prize means anything.

As for your assertion that “US economy is not an economy that could sustain itself in a conflict free, peaceful world”, that is the old leftwing BS that gets dusted and reused time and time again. One has to remember that greatest growth in the US economy in the recent time happened in mid and late 90’s when US was not involved in a significant war and when that country was winding down from the cold war with the Soviets after the fall of communism in Europe.

Posted by: Ranjan from Toronto | October 18, 2009 05:42 PM

Obama is carrying the baggage of the previous Bush administration so it is unfair to expect dramatic changes overnight. However he has got his priorities right by disengaging in Iraq and engaging in Afganistan. Al Qaeda is based in Afganistan and will always pose a threat not only to the US but all civilized nations and need to be neutralised and wiped out. It is unlikely that this bunch of fanatics will ever change their stance and come to a peaceful solution.

Pakistan too has now realised the danger posed by extremism and the Taliban. It can no longer remain a neutral observer and defend the actions of this extremist fringe who threaten to takeover the entire nation. This would pose severe threat to India and destabilise the entire region. Obama has made some reapproachment with the Islamic nations and hopefully this will lead to a solution with regards to Iran, Iraq and Palestine which remains at the root of the conflict. Instaed of critising people it is better to take the hand that reaches out and work together for the betterment of our countries and the entire world.

Arms Industries will be there as long as the need for arms persists. Also the US has helped in maintaining the upper hand for the forces of good in the arms race.

Posted by: Muslim | October 18, 2009 09:32 PM

Noble peace prize committee is always influenced by the socialists and the leftists around the world.Awarding Obama the prize seems to have some hidden goals.

Obama is a left leaning president selected by the Democrats not because the old Democrats like him but because he is the only Democrat who could win office for them.With the Noble Prize under his belt, the leftists probably expect Obama to go easy on eTrrorists and withdraw American forces from countries where they have strong presence.Also they expect the Americans to avoid siding with countries like Srilanka which went hard against the Terrorists.

The problem for Obama is even the Democrats who supported him would not be too happy if Obama goes hard on countries such as Israel.The Noble Peace Medal will put Obama between a rock and a hard place.

Posted by: Srilankan Expat | October 18, 2009 11:48 PM

Kusal,
You make me ashamed to be a Sri Lankan. If not for the US keeping Taleban occupied , Pakistan would be overrun by them and India will have hell to pay.You sit on your butt , and all you do is talk your anti western Horse crap. Even fidel castro likes Obama lol.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 19, 2009 01:06 AM

All Sirs,
who think Americans are doing a gud job fighting Talibans in Afghanistan, can I know who created the Talibans ? Can I know who brought Islamist radicals into Afghanistan to destabilise the Soviet occupation ?
They created a monster in Afghanistan and now claim they are fighting the same monster to save Afghanistan people.
Its pretty stupid to walk into another man's land, create the worst problems there and then to claim you have a right to clean it up on your own terms and also expect the other man to allow you to do what you want.
SO Sirs, this you want to say is the right thing ? Thank you for your advice and "intellect"
Amarnath S.

Posted by: Amarnath | October 19, 2009 01:42 AM

To Amarnath S.:
You ask a naive question as to who created the Taliban. Then you might also ask who created the Soviets and so on. Finally you will realize that the Americans has no monopoly in creating evil. There are plenty of it brewing around the world long before there was an America, and ever since man was created with or without American help.

In international relations, your enemies enemy is your friend. And your friends or your enemies are NOT permanent. The Americans fought the Germans and Japanese and now they are allies. Americans used the Taliban to counter the Soviet threat and expansion. That doesn't mean that they created them. If they go out of line they will have to deal with them now irrespective of their history.

This is nothing new in the way the world works. India created the LTTE and then when it was inconvenient they turned on them. The Sri Lankan government supplied arms to the LTTE during the IPKF times. Then the rest is history.

So stop pointing fingers like a little child, like most left-leaning "academics" do and participate in partisan pontification that runs hollow on reality.

Posted by: John D. | October 20, 2009 02:23 PM

I would like to recommend next Noble price for Peace to Hon. President Mr. M. Rajapaksa for bringing Peace to SriLanka.
If Obama can, why not our leader.

Posted by: Ravi | October 20, 2009 03:26 PM

The Motives behind the Actions of OBAMA and any other AMERICAN PRESIDENT Can be summed up in One sentence.

"NO ONE WANTS TO BE LABELED A PUSSY"

That is why JF Kennedy Sent troops to Vietnam and why Lindon Johnson Escalated it, that is why BUSH sent Troops to Iraq & Afghanistan and that is why OBAMA will continue to ESCALATE it. He will go down as a ONE TERM LOSER if he withdraws from Iraq, and Afghanistan because what it looks like to the American People is that "THEY LOST the WAR"... The truth being is that it does not matter how many ISLAMIC "RAGHEADS" the US Armed forces waste in the Desert, they will never change the people, as it is a completely different Civilization to the West. Every MAN, WOMAN, and CHILD is brought up to oppose the WESTERN VALUES of the AMERICANS... you cannot change that without killing them all off.... The true Irony is there was never a VICTORY to be had in those places, but no AMERICAN PRESIDENT (Republican or DEMOCRAT) wants to be the one to ADMIT and REALIZE the LOSS while they are in power.... best keep it going and pass the Buck to the next guy.

People who continue to FELLATE Obama and pin hopes on him being the next Messiah to save the World from conflict might find that he's the one who may actually bring about World war III. Obama is not a world Leader, he is a President and Politician... THe American Empire is on a Collision course with the rest of the world and while there have been so many people brought up to believe that the USA is the World Peace Beacon of the world, they will soon find that it is AMERICA that has been EXPANDING its DOMINION over the world, and Exploiting the other countries for its gain. Soon there will be no where left to conquer, and men (real Men) with More TESTICULAR FORTITUDE than the aver Peacenik Whiney Liberals here will step up and fight back.

Posted by: Devinda Fernando | October 21, 2009 04:27 AM

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