The Hindu: 'Obama, the Serial Interventionist'

The Hindu: ‘Obama, the Serial Interventionist’

September 30, 2014 • 9:16AM

Under the above title, author Brahma Chellaney writing in The Hindu, Monday, issues a stinging, and refreshingly accurate profile of Barack Obama, whom he mocks as “America’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureate President.” Although Chellaney — a former government official with notable Anglophile connections — does not address the British angle, none of his insights are inaccurate, and a few stand out for note.

“Mr. Obama was supposed to be fundamentally different than Mr. Bush,” says Chellaney, early on, “an expectation that led the Nobel committee to award him the Peace Prize soon after he assumed office. Yet, underscoring the disconnect between his words and actions, Mr. Obama has been more at ease waging wars — that too in breach of international law — than in waging peace. He has proved to be one of America’s most militarily assertive Presidents since World War II, with his readiness to use force driven by a penchant to act as judge and executioner…

“What stopped Mr. Obama from seeking United Nations Security Council (UNSC) mandate before initiating a war in Syria against IS militants? The answer is obvious: Mr. Obama wants to wage his open-ended war on U.S. terms, like his earlier interventions.

“Five repressive Arab autocracies form the core of his coalition of the willing on Syria. Paradoxically, four of the five — Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates — plus the U.S., aided IS’s rise, either openly or inadvertently. This is a coalition of sinners now dressed as knights in shining armor….

“The unpalatable truth that Mr. Obama seeks to obscure is that the main IS force was born in Syria out of the CIA-trained, petrodollar-funded rebels who were reared to help overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Obama turned a blind eye as IS made significant advances from mid-2013 onward. IS militants ceased to be good terrorists undermining Mr. Assad’s rule and Iranian interests after they threatened U.S. interests and beheaded two American journalists.”

Toward the end, he reflects the problem locally, saying, “The U.S. indeed has also contributed to India’s terrorism problem. After all, large portions of the CIA’s multibillion-dollar military aid for the Afghan rebels in the 1980s were siphoned off by the conduit, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to trigger insurgencies in India’s Kashmir and Punjab. India — and Pakistan — have paid a heavy price for America’s continued cozy ties with the Pakistani military and its ISI spies. Yet, paradoxically, the U.S. has used counterterrorism as a key instrument to build a strategic partnership with India.”

“More broadly,” he says, “America’s long-standing alliance with the Gulf’s jihad-bankrolling Islamist monarchs does not augur well for its ‘war on terror,’ which has spawned more militants than it has eliminated.”

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