Feature Article

Obama legacy of progressive moral decay

[TamilNet, Monday, 07 September 2015, 18:47 GMT]
Obama's foreign policy legacy is likely to be, not just that he presided over humanitarian and cultural disasters of epochal proportions, now with flood of refugees from Syria after US engineered instability with Iraqi invasion and later supporting ill-conceived National Opposition, and observing as passive on-lookers at the unfolding "Crime of the century" when Sinhala troops killed more than 80,000 Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, but that Obama soothed the American people into feeling no responsibilities for the tragedies. Germany, which abstained from colluding with US, Britain, France, Turkey and Gulf states in the aggression against Assad, is now setting the moral leadership to the West, welcoming nearly one million Muslim-Syrians, and planning to integrate them as citizens of its own.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
The Obama approach to the tragedy with a policy of inaction is simple to understand. Those who are being affected in the Syrian disaster are Muslims. Any U.S. help will be political suicide under the fear-mongering that is endemic to U.S. political discourse of the "other;" and the anesthetized U.S. public opinion will soon forget the tragedy. Anti-immigration "Trump"ism will likely capitalize on any sympathy shown towards refugees to the detriment of the Democrats.

Obama - who ran for president on the promise of restoring the US's moral stature - has constantly reassured Americans that doing nothing is the smart and moral policy. He has argued, at times, that there was nothing the US could do on Syria, earlier belittling the Syrian opposition as "former doctors, farmers and pharmacists."

Syrian refugees in Germany
Borussia Dortmund supporters hold a banner showing their support for refugees (Photo: Courtesy AP)
On those rare occasions when horrors of Syrian suffering threatened to overwhelm excuses for inaction, Obama promised empty actions and Whitehouse leaks.

When impending mass-killings loomed in Vanni, Obama White-House called on "both sides to stop fighting immediately," and "the Government of Sri Lanka to stop shelling the safe zone and blocking international aid groups and media from accessing those civilians who have managed to escape," adding both sides should "strictly adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law," and that the Obama administration is "very concerned about reports of violations, and take these allegations very seriously."

Naturally, the bestial Sri Lanka ignored the admonition and the offensive proceeded to its logical conclusion - the slaughter of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians.

Key Obama confidantes, the woman who wrote the book on genocide, Samantha Power, and the woman who campaigned to bomb Sudan to save people of Darfur, Susan Rice could apparently in good conscience stay on as U.N. Ambassador and National Security Advisor respectively, lent further credibility to U.S. abdication of any responsibility to Syrian disaster, aiding the slow downward corrosive trajectory of U.S. moral decay.

Former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert Blake, widely acknowledged as the key US official who shaped the US policy on Sri Lanka's war, is held by Tamils as the key architect for the tragedy. Similar to US assembled group of countries that supported the Syrian Coalition accelerating the Syrian turmoil, Blake was instrumental in creating the "Contact Group" of countries to form a broad coalition to help to defeat the Tigers, the only defense Tamils had against a brutal regime. The Contact Group served to incarcerate diaspora activists providing the political space for the Sri Lankan regime to carry out the killings. Japanese officials in the U.N., notably Takasu, assisted the U.S's policy of eliminating the LTTE.

The International Community savored for a few years the dystopian-monster they created in Sri Lanka, and with the regime change, is now attempting to whitewash the atrocities by side-stepping accountability, and focus on development and reconciliation. Other international players, South Africa and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair are jumping into the fray to provide enlightened reconciliation and progress after convincing Tamils to go past genocide.

The U.S. State Department intervened in 2013 to save Rajapakse from legal prosecution in the U.S. Courts when Tamil plaintiffs filed civil suit for crimes against humanity and war-crimes. Rajapakse, now out of power, stands exposed to the resumption of legal prosecution in U.S. courts.

The German example is a welcome change to dealing with the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Syria. However, the US, after creating the turmoil in Iraq, and creating the space for the Tamil genocide, is selling to the US public that inaction was a notable achievement.

The human consequences of both US engagements, Iraq's invasion and its fallout in Syria, and the mass killings amounting to genocide in Sri Lanka, are both disastrous to the affected people, and have exposed the moral bankruptcy permeating the political psyche of the U.S.


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External Links:
BBC: Syria - time line
BBC: How the Syria conflict has spread

 

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