Obama the Cold Warrior?

You can play a great game and still not win.

— Barack H. Obama

After observing recent pronouncements from Hillary Clinton that Venezuela start playing by the rules’ and revert to free market capitalism, it’s starting to look like we might be heading into an era of deja vu once more. Provocations from Obama against China and Russia, are making the current climate look a lot like the recent past. One would have thought in a world where the United States only has the courage to attack much lesser third world ‘powers’, that Obama wouldn’t be ginning up a great deal of antagonism with much more evenly matched states; but that’s precisely what seems to be occurring under team Obama’s charge.

The U.S., of course, recently sold 6.4 billion dollars in weapons to Taiwan, Obama hosted the ’spiritual leader’ the Dalai Lama, and many commentators believe that the price of oil is intentionally being driven up in efforts to wage economic warfare on the Chinese. The U.S. and the Western media put out the disinformation during the war in Georgia that it was Russia who started that conflict, and Obama was apparently wholly on board with this strategy; because he repeated lies and misrepresentations about the Russia-Georgia conflict during  a presidential foreign policy debate with John McCain. Presently, Obama is  continuing with U.S. plans to station SM-3 medium range anti-ballistic missiles in former Eastern Bloc states.

In a recent poll conducted in China, 55% of respondents anticipated that a new cold war with the U.S. was in the offing. And Chinese military strategist Colonel Meng Xianging is saying that China will qualitatively upgrade its military prowess over the course of the next decade to become strong enough for a “hand-to-hand fight with the U.S.” Additionally, some Chinese leaders are calling for the selling of munitions to some of America’s longest tenured foes. For example, Liu Menxiong, a member of China’s people’s political consultative conference, stated, “We should retaliate with an eye for an eye and sell arms to Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela.” And a commentator for a paper most often known as a moderate voice in the PRC, noted, “When someone spits on you, you have to get back.”

Although Russian opinion of the U.S. since the election of Obama, has improved in that country, a smattering of Russian opinion on the street paints quite a different view. Natalia Loginova, a deputy editor at a financial website, had this to say about Barack Obama, “He’s a vivid character — he’s useless, its true — but, nevertheless, good in spirit.” Nonna Aksyonova, a 50-year-old chef, remarked about the fledgling president, “I don’t think Obama has done anything to deserve getting the [Nobel] Prize or done anything to deserve an especially respectful attitude toward him.” Aksyonova added, “But there is possibility in the future. I hope.”

The younger generation seems to like America, but didn’t seem to like the U.S. backing of the Georgian attack on South Ossetia, and the U.S. support for their authoritarian marionette — Mikheil Saakashvili. Eleven-year-old Tikhon Gadzhikasimov says, “I simply like them. They’re a good nation, even though they betrayed us, attacked us.” Gadzhikasimov also stated, “Although we didn’t attack them. They attacked us, dropped bombs on us.” His friend, Dmitry Malenko, helped him finish the thought, “Actually, it wasn’t us that [Georgia] attacked. They attacked South Ossetia.”

The raw data on Russia, is even worse than the opinions one might hear by talking to the average, everyday Russian ‘man on the street’. Just 23 percent of Russians have confidence in Obama to do what is right in the international arena, and 55 percent of Russians say they lack the confidence in President Obama’s ability to act justly in that sphere. This is one of the most negative ratings of the American president out of 20 nations where similar polling has occurred. Moreover, just about 15 percent of Russians say they view U.S. policy throughout the world in a positive manner, and 49 percent of them say that they view the United States policy in an adverse light. Russians also say that the U.S. bullies their country, and only 12 percent believe that they are treated fairly by the United States. In fact, an overwhelming 75 percent of the citizenry say that the U.S. overly aggressively pushes Russia to achieve the goals that it wants.

Can we be talking about the same United States that candidate Obama said he planned to lead, in resetting relations with Russia, and talking to both friendly and ‘hostile’ states? The greatest game apparently has nine lives like a kitten, and is not so easily rubbed out. When it comes to power politics it doesn’t matter what side of the political coin runs the United States empire; all of those who aren’t longstanding allies (and even some of those that are), need to keep a close eye out! Obama — or his surrogates — could be waiting, around virtually any corner; with an incendiary cigar, or something a good deal worse!

I must admit to not knowing what the endgame is here, it’s probably just warring over resources and/or looking out for number one; but what is clear, however, is that Barack Obama is not speaking softly, but carrying a big stick. And this precept certainly doesn’t seem to be acting as a deterrent on President Obama and his team of militarists as they play geopolitical hopscotch, on what the hawkish National Security Advisor to former President Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, has called the grand chessboard..

Sean Fenley is an independent progressive who would like to see the end of the dictatorial duopoly of the so-called two party adversarial system. He would also like to see some sanity brought to the creation and implementation of current and future U.S. military, economic, foreign and domestic policies. Read other articles by Sean.