What Will It Take?
Sale of Z Videos
Criminalization of Dissent
American Civil Liberties
Gaza Boats Seized
Wasting $13 Million
What Happened to Children First?
Bruce E. Levine
The Student Debt Bubble
Nicolas J.S. Davies
The Obama Doctrine
The Power Couple
Laurence h. Shoup
Bread and Roses
The Monopoly of Manipulation
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The Obama Doctrine
In response to major military and political losses as well as new opportunities, the White House is fashioning a new doctrine of imperial conquest based on intensified aerial warfare, greater extra-territorial intervention, and, when circumstances allow, alliances with collaborators. This includes the arming and financial backing of retrograde despotic regimes in the Gulf city-states, fundamentalists, opportunist defectors, and mercenaries willing to serve the empire for a price.
Obama took his lead from the Bush administration and ran with it. He expanded war budgets to over $750 billion; increased ground troops by 30,000 in Afghanistan; expanded expenditures on base building and mercenary troop recruitment in Iraq; and multiplied U.S. air and ground incursions in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and Libya. As a result the budget deficit reached $1.6 trillion, the trade deficit reached unsustainable levels and the recession deepened. Public support for Obama and the Democrats plummeted. Parallel to Obama’s skyrocketing external imperial expenditures, he spent hundreds of billions of dollars on dozens of internal security agencies, further depleting the treasury. Greater debts abroad and deficits at home were accompanied by the trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street while ten million homes were foreclosed and unemployment reached double digits.
The Reality Principle
The reality of massive expenditures in losing wars and faltering support at home and abroad finally penetrated even the most dogmatic and intransigent militarist ideologues in the Obama regime. Nationalist Islamists were a “shadow” government throughout
The fall of major
As the reality of the deficits, losses, and discontent entered the consciousness of key policymakers, a new imperial policy agenda took shape.
The Making of the Doctrine
The first and foremost “recognition of reality” among the Obamites was that in a world of sovereign states, colonial land wars led to prolonged resistance, extended budget overruns, continuing casualties, and were definitely not “self-financing.” The hard choice facing the Obama regime with regard to
The relocation of troops to petrol-despot mini-states is a downsizing of the
The Libyan war marks the key imperial formula for retaining Obama’s imperial pretensions. The pretext for the war was just as phony as the cause bellicose in
Obama’s Libyan policy was based on air and naval bombardment and Special Forces advisers; the use of a mercenary army and client ex-pats as the “new leaders”; and a multi-lateral coalition of European empire builders (NATO) and Gulf state petrol-oligarchs. In contrast to
Obama-Clinton’s celebration of the Libyan victory is premature: the means to victory involved the thorough destruction of the economy—from ports to irrigation systems to roads and hospitals—and the disarticulation of the labor force, with the forced flight of hundreds of thousands of sub-Sahara African workers and North African professionals. In other words, it was a “pyrrhic victory”:
Even more serious,
Obama’s Libyan formula of using disparate mercenaries to achieve short-term military success has boomeranged. Islamic fundamentalist militias and contrabandists are sending tons of ground to air missiles, machine guns and automatic rifles seized from Gadhafi’s arms depots to Egypt, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and all points east, west, south and north. The volatile social and military conflicts among the collaborator “rulers” in
The resort to missile warfare—especially the drone attacks on insurgents challenging U.S. client regimes which figure so prominently in the “Obama doctrine”—have succeeded in killing a few local commanders, but at a cost of alienating the general public in targeted countries. Drone missiles are killing hundreds of civilians and causing relatives and ethnic kinspeople to join resistance groups. Up to the present, after 3 years of intensified “missile air warfare,” the Obama regime has not secured a single major triumph over any of the targeted insurgencies. The data available demonstrates the opposite. In
The third dimension of the Obama doctrine, the heavy reliance on “third party” military intervention and/or multi-lateral armed interventions was not successful in
The fourth dimension of the Obama doctrine—the use of foreign mercenary armies—has been tried and failed in a number of cases where incumbent client rulers are under siege from resistance forces. The
The fifth dimension of the Obama doctrine is to use highly trained “Special Forces” (SF) contingents of 500 or more to assassinate insurgent leaders, terrorize their rural supporters, and “give backbone” to the local military officials. Obama’s dispatch of a brigade of SF to
The final, and probably most important, element in the Obama doctrine is the promotion of civil-military mass uprisings and the reshuffling of elite figures to co-opt popular pro-democracy movements in order to derail them from ending their country’s client relationship to
Washington and the EU have incited and armed movements aimed at overthrowing the authoritarian nationalist Assad regime in
Parallel to the “outsider” political strategy in
In the immediate period the Obama doctrines’ use of external and internal civilian-military subversion has succeeded in derailing the promising anti-imperial movements that erupted in the early months of 2011. However, the great gulf that has opened between the recycled new client rulers and the pro-democracy movements has already led to calls for a second round of uprisings to oust the opportunists “who have stolen the revolt” and betrayed the democratic principles of those who sacrificed to oust the client dictators. All the conditions which underlay the Arab Spring are in place or have been exacerbated: unemployment, police repression, crony capitalism, inequalities and corruption. The experience of successful rebellion is still fresh and alive among the increasingly disenchanted youth. Like all of the new Obama imperial policies, the propping up of co-opted officials does not promise a reconsolidation of empire.
Conclusion: Diplomatic Losses
Undercover of political euphemisms the Obama regime understates the scale and significance of its political and diplomatic losses: the forced withdrawal from
The “drone attacks,” presented as a successful new counter-terror weapon crossing frontiers, is hyped as a cost-effective alternative to large scale ground invasions subject to prolonged armed resistance. In fact the “drones” and killings mainly provide sensational propaganda and public relations successes—having little impact in revising the larger political reality.
On the diplomatic front
The great danger of the Obama doctrine is that it looks at short-term local consequences. Air and sea power can successfully bomb Iranian nuclear and military facilities, but what is overlooked is the military capacity of
The Obama doctrine of extra-territorial air wars with impunity turned against
The attempt to generalize these tactical gains into a general offensive strategy, however, founder on the fallacy of “misplaced concreteness.”
James Petras is a former professor of sociology at
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike- A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5-day Seminar at the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations, and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.