Obama's Speech at the U.N. General Assembly - Long on Sound Bytes
With all the foreign dignitaries attending the 67th Regular Session of the U.N. General Assembly, for the last few days, New York is busier than ever. This year, with all those rumors spread by the pro-Israeli politicians, lobby groups and media outlets as to how close Iran's nuclear program is to making an atom bomb and how the Jewish state is in 'existential danger' from the alleged weapons program unless a redline is drawn, naturally all the eyes of the international observers have been fixed on the leaders of these two countries plus President Obama, who has been the Zionist state's greatest benefactor.
The first of these major speakers in this year's session was the U.S. President Obama who delivered his speech starting with a eulogy paid to Mr. Chris Stevens, the slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya on September 25. Mr. Stevens was killed in Benghazi by armed rebels, alleged to be either aligned with pro-Ghaddafy forces or pro-al-Qaeda forces who are at war with the U.S. government, esp. in the aftermath of drone attacks that killed their leaders. There is little controversy that Mr. Stevens will be greatly missed by the freedom loving people of Libya. As I have noted elsewhere, had it not been for the immensely offensive, hurtful and mendacious movie/video, made in the USA by anti-Muslim Christian zealots and bigots, and the Obama administration's failure to rein upon those cyber-terrorists who insult billion plus Muslims, Mr. Stevens would have probably remained alive. The rebels/extremists simply took advantage of the opportunity (to square off with the U.S. government by attacking its consulate), offered by the hateful movie, which had led to demonstrations in front of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.
However, Obama's categorization that the attacks in Benghazi that killed the diplomat were "attacks on America" is rather problematic. He promised, "There should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice."
Is President Obama threatening to start the next phase of the War of Civilizations? I pray and hope that he is not that insane. He ought to know that the first phase of the war, which started with Bush administration's illegal invasion and savage attacks of Afghanistan and then Iraq have not benefitted the USA an iota outside toppling two regimes (one of which - Iraq - had nothing to do with 9/11). The US economy has since been in shambles with humongous deficits, and is yet to recover to its pre-war days of boom in spite of infusions of trillions of dollars from the federal government. More importantly, more American soldiers have died in these wars, already dubbed the longest wars in American history, than all those Americans who died in 9/11. As the last U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates said in one of his farewell speeches, anyone suggesting a new war needs to have his/her head examined! I hope Obama is not unaware of this dire warning!
Obama equated the sporadic demonstrations of the last couple of weeks in the Muslim world that were staged in front of the U.S. Embassies with "an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded -- the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully; that diplomacy can take the place of war..." That statement belies the truth about how the USA has often used violence and not negotiations to settle world problems, much in contrast to those UN ideals. Lest we forget, the Taliban offer to discuss OBL's alleged involvement with 9/11 was simply ignored by the Bush administration. The latter preferred war over peace and did not give diplomacy any time to resolve the differences.
Obama said that "freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture. These are not simply American values or Western values -- they are universal values." True. However, for decades it was the USA and many of her European partners (former colonial masters) which worked towards denying such universal values to billions of people on our earth. The reason that the hundreds of millions of Muslims in the Middle East did not have freedom and self-determination was precisely because of western meddling and kowtowing with murderous dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. Even to this date, western governments collude with the murderous state of Israel to deny such rights and values to the Palestinian people. Thus, when Obama quotes Nelson Mandela who once said, "To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others," whom is he trying to impress or fool?
Let President Obama prove the application of this quotation with respect to the Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people. What has the Obama administration and Netanyahu government done during their tenures in office to respect and enhance the freedom of the Palestinian people? Obama won't be able to cite a single example of progress. Worse still, it is his administration that even lobbied hard in the UN to deny the Palestinian statehood. One truly has to have a big mouth and a long tongue to tell all those lies and create false impressions!
In his speech, Obama said, "True democracy ... depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear, and on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people." He went on to say, "Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech." And yet, in much contrast to such words, his administration had no qualms about justifying murdering an American citizen whose views were considered a 'threat' to national security. Why could not Anwar al-Awlaki be tried in open courts, if he had committed treason against the state? Who's making a mockery of 'true' democracy, Mr. President?
As to the libelous and insulting anti-Muslim movie, Obama said, "United States government had nothing to do with this video..." No, Mr. Obama, you cannot go on safeguarding religious intolerance and hateful videos in your state under the pretext of preserving the First Amendment and saying that the US government had nothing to do with such evils. By protecting cyber terrorists (who abuse such 'rights' freely), you are deemed a party to the crime of offending more than a billion Muslims. If you want to stop that perception you have to bring those offenders (that threaten the lives of too many) to justice. If your and other western governments want an incentive, here is one: if denying the Jewish Holocaust is unacceptable and people can go to prison and fined heftily (in parts of Europe) for simply questioning it, what stops the western governments in banning religiously libelous materials that provoke and endanger the lives of so many innocent people? You simply cannot hide behind the First Amendment when it suits you. Please, be consistent. No one is charmed by such selective applications of freedom of expression: kill al-Awlaki when his free speech was deemed dangerous and hide behind the First Amendment when Muslims are victims of some of the worst forms of intolerance and bigotry that are produced, marketed and promoted in the USA. Find out who financed such massive hate projects. If you do, don't be surprised to discover some of the evil planners of the civilizational wars with connections in high places.
Nor should we forget that the Iranian President Dr. Ahmadinejad (admired by many for his sharp intelligence and a scientific mind) is held in contempt for being a doubting Thomas, questioning the Jewish Holocaust, and consequently, the Iranian nation is savagely punished.
The extremists are on all sides, and not just a Muslim problem. The western government's indifference to the hatred spewed by extremist Judeo-Christians and secular fundamentalists breed extremism on the Muslim side. If the extremist Muslims are to be defeated, the root cause of their rage has to be addressed.
Contrary to Obama's assertion, Muslim leaders have been preaching against extremism, but their efforts are often torpedoed when western governments promote and/or reward anti-Muslim hatred.
Obama's apparently consolatory words for the Muslim victims of suicide bombing also show his appalling hypocrisy. After coming to power, his drone attacks have killed more innocent children in vast territories of the Muslim world from Pakistan to Yemen than those killed by Afghan suicide bombers. I am not aware that he has ever shed tears or apologized for such horrendous crimes against unarmed civilians.
In his maiden speech delivered at the UN three years ago President Obama mentioned that the United States would continue to seek a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, and the Arab world, and reiterated that America did not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, his administration, mindful of getting reelected in 2012, has not done anything to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Instead, he has become the greatest benefactor to the rogue state with horrendous records on human rights. And worse still, his administration's priorities in the international affairs have shifted to witch-hunting around Iran's supposed nuclear bomb-making, more like what Bush Jr. did with Saddam Hossein's never-to-be-found WMD. What the Mossad says is taken as the whole truth; no questions are asked or challenged to test their hypothesis! As a result of such a mortgage of ideas and wits at the altar of racist Zionism, the Obama administration pushes Israel's agenda through the IAEA and other UN agencies, including the UNSC. Criminal and totally uncalled for sanctions are imposed to punish Iran's people for their refusal to bow down to American and Israeli hegemony in the region.
Lost in this debate is the mere fact that Israel had not signed the NPT and is known to possess at least 200 nuclear bombs. Why a murderous robber, who does not live by the international laws, rules and agreements, should be allowed to dictate what his victims could keep at home? Who gives him that right? Would not our world be better served by disarming this known murderous robber/criminal? Should not this be the priority for the powerful nuclear Brahmins of our time?
While the nuclear watchdog IAEA has failed to provide any proof that Iran's program has shifted to nuclear weapons, lies after lies about Dr. Ahmadinejad's so-called intention to destroy the Zionist state are given credence while the hard facts about the Iran's nuclear program for peaceful purpose are doubted. In this mendacious campaign to create the support base for bombing, Iran - a signatory to the NPT - is treated as a pariah by Israel and her partners-in-crime, the nuclear Brahmins! It's like pre-Iraq invasion propaganda campaign alive and kicking once again.
Obama said, "The path to security and prosperity does not lie outside the boundaries of international law and respect for human rights." The sad fact is: the USA and her European friends have virtually made a mockery of this very notion. They have handsomely rewarded the rogue Jewish state, and continue to do so with many other regimes including Myanmar that had violated dozens of international laws and human rights.
In a nutshell, President Obama's speech is long with hypocritical sound bytes but short on facts. As the president of the most powerful nation on earth, he can afford to speak with a forked tongue and lecture the world about universal values, but in this age of social media and the Internet, most people are not fooled by such hollow words when they see double standards in their application.
Dr Habib Siddiqui has authored 10 books. His latest book - Devotional Stories - is now available from A.S. Noordeen, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Topics: Barack Obama, Conflicts And War, Terrorism, United Nations