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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fareed Zakaria, "America plays its role in a changing world right": Defending Obama's Indifference to Genocide

“Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.”

- President Obama, March 2011


In the face of withering criticism of Obama's indifference to genocide in Syria and his passivity in response to Putin's global "antics," Thomas Friedman sought to counter this censure on Wednesday (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/thomas-friedman-dont-just-do-something.html). Today, Fareed Zakaria, Obama's other inveterate cheerleader, is rushing to the defense of the Procrastinator-in-Chief.

In his latest Washington Post opinion piece entitled "America plays its role in a changing world right" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-america-plays-its-role-in-a-changing-world-right/2014/02/27/b1bb0c40-9fee-11e3-b8d8-94577ff66b28_story.html?hpid=z3), Zakaria begins by ridiculing fellow Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen and Niall Ferguson, a history professor at Harvard. Cohen has issued blistering condemnations of Obama's apathy to the suffering of civilians in Syria (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/maureen-dowd-history-get-me-rewrite.html). Prof. Ferguson recently warned of American "geopolitical taper"in a Wall Street Journal article entitled "America's Global Retreat" (subtitle: "Never mind the Fed's taper, it's the U.S. geopolitical taper that is stirring world anxiety. From Ukraine to Syria to the Pacific, a hands-off foreign policy invites more trouble.") (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303945704579391492993958448), in which he wrote:

"No one took that warning seriously—Ukrainian government snipers kept on killing people in Independence Square regardless. The world remembers the red line that Mr. Obama once drew over the use of chemical weapons in Syria . . . and then ignored once the line had been crossed. The compromise deal reached on Friday in Ukraine calling for early elections and a coalition government may or may not spell the end of the crisis. In any case, the negotiations were conducted without concern for Mr. Obama."

Zakaria attempts to counter Prof. Ferguson's criticism by observing:

"By staying relatively quiet and working behind the scenes, the Obama administration ensured that the story was not about America’s plans to steal Ukraine from Russia but rather about the Ukrainian people’s desire to move West. (Nationalism, that crucial force, is not working against U.S. interests for a change.) Now the United States can play a key role in helping to deter Russia from derailing Ukraine’s aspirations. That will require some firmness but also careful negotiations, not bluster."

The US can now play a "key role" involving the Ukraine? Yeah, right. Maybe the US can sign another meaningless "framework" agreement for purposes of further negotiaton (see: http://jgcaesarea.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/israeli-palestinian-talks-obama-seeks.html). "Firmness" from Obama? Bullshit (pardon my French)! Obama already promised Putin "flexibility."

Zakaria continues:

"The world is not in great disorder. It is mostly at peace with one zone of instability, the greater Middle East, an area that has been unstable for four decades at least — think of the Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Lebanese civil war, the Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf War, the Iraq war, the Sudanese civil war, the Afghan wars and now the Syrian civil war. The Obama administration has not magically stopped this trail of tumult."

Needless to say, Zakaria chooses to ignore ongoing North Korean provocations (see: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/02/27/world/asia/north-korea-missiles/), tensions between China and Japan in the East China Sea (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/27/us-china-usa-locke-idUSBREA1Q0AM20140227), and mass murder in South Sudan (see: http://www.arabnews.com/news/531586).

Zakaria concludes his opinion piece by referring to Eisenhower's avoidance of international entanglements:

"President Dwight Eisenhower turned down every plea, refusing to inject U.S. troops into complex conflicts without clear missions and paths to victory. Imagine if a different president, less able to exercise courage, wisdom and restraint, had listened to the armchair interventionists and the United States had jumped into all those conflicts. Imagine the disorder abroad and the erosion of American power at home."

Yup, let's just ignore genocide and let "people" like Assad and Khamenei have their way. Obama's declaration in March 2011 that the US would not "turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries"? Obama was lying, and given that we have gotten accustomed to his other whoppers, e.g., "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan," why should we get upset over additional evidence of flimflam?

Sure, the US and its allies should forgo the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over Syria and ignore starving civilians in Homs. Let's dismantle the economic sanctions imposed against Iran without demanding that they cease to support the murderous Assad regime with arms, advisers and Hezbollah fighters.

Zakaria makes me nauseous.

1 comment:

  1. Orwellian people (black is white) like Friedman, Zakaria and sadly many, many, many more make me always nauseous. Recently, I even cut my exposure to them - just to survive.
    Immoral, immoral, immoral individuals.
    I, still a Social Democrat, even started to listen to some people on the right. Some I rejected immediately (they are as simplistic, dishonest and end oriented as these Orwellians), but I think I'll listen to Dennis Prager, for example, whom I like for his ethical interests.

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