In what may be one of the most well publicized acts of cognitive dissonance in history US President Barack Obama, leader of the most powerful empire in the world, told the United Nations General Assembly that “the cause of empire leads to the graveyard.”
Not surprisingly, Obama was not talking about US foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere but Russia in Ukraine. One can only imagine the amusement of other world leaders in the room watching the head of an empire that covers the globe with over 700 military bases condemn imperialism – especially a day after he began bombing yet another country.
Then came Obama’s assertion that the US would continue its imperial presence in the Asia-pacific to make sure the people there “abide by the rules.” The hypocrisy was palpable.
This is a vision of the world in which might makes right – a world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed. America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might – that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones; that people should be able to choose their own future…
America is and will continue to be a Pacific power, promoting peace, stability, and the free flow of commerce among nations. But we will insist that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law. That’s how the Asia-Pacific has grown. And that’s the only way to protect this progress going forward.
Seriously, same speech. Or should I call it superpower performance art?
While most the speech was the typical pablum given from a president in a UN speech, one line that may draw some push back was Obama stating in reference to the Gaza crisis that “the violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace.” That not so subtle jab at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lead to some kind of response and perhaps an opening for Hillary Clinton to put some space between her and Obama.
Otherwise the speech was yet another example of US policymakers demanding the world follow standards they will not follow themselves. But that was always Obama’s strongest selling point for the establishment – that he could tell the lie so well. A Chicago-machine hack for idealism, a warmonger for peace, and now an emperor against imperialism. Forward.