The United States Declaration of Independence which was adopted by the Continental Congress meeting at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 4, 1776 said: «We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed».
That 1776 Declaration of Independence from Britain’s King George by the United States of America has been echoed by many US Presidents, and Mr Obama reiterated the sentiments by saying that «We believe in human dignity — that every person is created equal».
The Declaration is an inspiring document. If the world had embraced its tenets we would be living in paradise. But mankind is a defective species and the Earth is now a place which generations of humans have allowed and even encouraged to become a heaving swamp in which aggression, insult and confrontation have defeated the pursuit of happiness. In the field of international relations it might be expected that such a supporter of human dignity as Mr Obama would refrain from expressing himself in a bellicose fashion and take a more dignified and less confrontational approach than he has adopted in the past six years.
In March 2014 Obama declared that «although Russia has legitimate interest in what happens in a neighbouring state that does not give it the right to use force as a means of exerting influence inside of that state». While we can ignore his blatant lie in alleging that Russia used that if there had been the slightest indication of any such operation, the story would have been headlined on page one of the New York Times) we can’t overlook the fact that Obama enthusiastically approved the use of shattering military force as a means of exercising influence within other countries that were far from being neighbours of the United States.
Such moral tap-dancing is known as hypocrisy.
As he said in March 2011 in his White House apologia for initiating the US-NATO ruinous blitz on Libya, «There will be times... when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are». And he brought up the all-embracing justification for armed intervention by invoking the usual mantra that «the United States, as the world’s most powerful nation, will often be called upon to help».
The fact that this was utter humbug became clear when he proclaimed that «there is no question that Libya—and the world—would be better off with [President] Qaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal» — although he included a phrase about achieving it «diplomatically» before his cruise missiles and rockets smashed into Gaddafi’s compound.
The US-NATO air assault on the Libyan government involved 246 cruise missile strikes and some 30,000 attacks by hundreds of aircraft over seven months. It resulted in destruction of the country’s economic infrastructure and achieved Mr Obama’s goal of killing Gaddafi — who was murdered by people being supported by US-NATO airstrikes. As reported in the media «someone filmed the gruesome shot of what seemed to be a mortally wounded Gaddafi, an image that would quickly be broadcast worldwide». That speedy conveyance to all quarters of the globe by international media of a grisly murder was probably the beginning of the practice now in such common and effective use by the savages of Islamic State. Their instant transmission on social media of their acts of hideous barbarism is a most effective propaganda tool.
As noted by the UK’s Financial Times in April, «Libya‘s civil war has left much of the country in chaos. The vacuum has allowed the Islamic State, or Isis, to get a foothold in the country and halted faltering efforts at staunching the flow of migrants, drugs, weapons and extremists across Libya’s sparsely populated desert terrain. Underscoring the dangers, Isis released a video showing its militants beheading and shooting a group of Ethiopian migrants, ostensibly because they were Christians».
Well done, Obama.
In April Obama told reporters that «We are consistently looking where terrorist threats might emanate, and Libya, obviously, is an area of great concern». He «urged Gulf nations to help calm the chaotic political situation in Libya, saying that outside military action would not be enough to help reduce tensions in the war-ravaged North African country».
But in 2011 Mr Obama was all in favour of «outside military action» against Libya. Military operations were justified, he said, and would «support the aspirations of the Libyan people» and have the result that they «will be able to determine their own destiny, and that is how it should be».
As his airstrikes on Libya began in March 2011 the Los Angeles Times reported his declaration that «the US had an «important strategic interest» in preventing Gaddafi from overrunning the opposition forces because a massacre would have driven thousands of refugees across Libyan borders and put a strain on the transitional governments in Egypt and Tunisia and on American allies in Europe».
Which is exactly what has happened in 2015. The massive surge in numbers of refugees crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa has created problems in Europe which, although of no concern to Washington, are critical and perhaps unsolvable. All thanks to a war that was begun because although as Obama said «our safety is not directly threatened» he considered that Washington’s «interests and values» were at risk.
Obama claims he deplores interference in other nations’ internal affairs and says that «bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones» but proudly pronounced that «America is training and equipping the Syrian opposition to be a counterweight to the terrorists of ISIL and the brutality of the Assad regime» — Just as he did in Libya, which is now as chaotic as Iraq and Afghanistan, two other countries invaded and reduced to anarchy by a bigger nation that bullied them. There is little evidence of «Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness» or of the «human dignity» so desired by Obama in any country that has been subject to or influenced by America’s wars.
The crowning piece of hypocrisy in Obama’s stance about the war on Libya was his ludicrous attempt to avoid responsibility for the catastrophe he initiated. On March 28, 2011 he announced that «Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and the no-fly zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday».
It is unlikely that even Obama could had forgotten that the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the military head of NATO, is always a four-star American general.
That is Five Star Hypocrisy.