Hawking Up Hairballs

Saturday, February 07, 2009

George W. Obama

When it comes to foreign policy, it is rapidly becoming evident that Obama's differs from Bush's in style, not substance. As reported in the New York Times, yesterday Biden spoke on foreign policy at an international security conference in Munich. In that speech, he took a hard line against Russia and Iran. He said that Russia had no sphere of influence, and indicated that the USA would not recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. He also indicated that the USA would continue to seek to expand NATO into countries around the borders of Russia. That is just plain provocative. There's no other word for it.

As for Iran, Biden said the USA was willing to talk, but he went on to add, "Continue down your current course and there will be pressure and isolation; abandon the illicit nuclear program and support for terrorism and there will be meaningful incentives." More of the same old bullshit. It takes a lot of gall to criticize Iran over its nuclear program when Israel is sitting there with some 200 nukes. Don't get me wrong. I'm not in favor of nukes. I think they should be internationally outlawed. However, I can put myself in Iran's shoes. Israel has all those nukes, and it keeps making aggressive noises about attacking Iran. It's only human that the Iranian government should want nukes of its own. When it comes to those remarks on terrorism, Biden is just pressing emotional buttons. If he'd been more specific, it would have become clear that his remarks were yet more bullshit. He was no doubt referring to the allegation that Iran is giving weapons to those Palestinians who are fighting the Israelis, but that's just what the USA is also doing, giving weapons to those who support its foreign policy goals. The same thing applies in Iraq, where Iran has a lot of influence, and also perhaps in Afghanistan.

Regarding Russia, the Obama administration might do well to remember that it is a nation of chess players. NATO is having problems supplying its troops in Afghanistan. This follows on the destruction of the one bridge in the Khyber Pass at the border with Pakistan, and on the closing of the USA airbase at Manas in Kyrgyzstan. There are no readily available alternatives. But wait. Here come the Russians, who engineered the closing of that airbase. Now they're offering to permit the transit of nonlethal aid through their territory. Isn't that clever. Pawn, from King three to King four. Just by making such an offer, Russia comes off looking reasonable and accommodating. If the USA refuses it, they look unreasonable. After all, the troops have to be supplied. However, if they accept, the Russians will have control of their lifeline. Ponder that, Joe Biden.

What seems to be forgotten in all of this Great Game maneuvering is the current financial crisis. Can the USA afford to continue its attempt to become the one hegemon. Perhaps, but only at the expense of its domestic agenda, and do we really want to live in such a beggared nation?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again.....America has only a right wing and an extreme right wing.

Gore Vidal

6:29 PM  

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