|Yesterday, tired old man Barack Obama tried to minimize the wreckage of the world he has overseen—and caused—by saying: "The truth of the matter is, is that the world has always been messy. In part, we’re just noticing now because of social media and our capacity to see in intimate detail the hardships that people are going through. The good news is that American leadership has never been more necessary". The bad news is that Barack Obama is the leader, and the world, and the American people, have no trust he can get the job done. Also, we should note that Obama is crazy (in addition to being old and worn out) if he thinks people only notice "messy" worlds when they have access to social media.|
The old solutions, the old ways of seeing the world, as a manageable marketplace for capitalism, and its imperialist pirates, is breaking down everywhere into chaos and blood.
In Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State has risen to wreak havoc on an entire oil-rich region. And the United States, the tiredest old man in the world, has no answers.
On the one hand, Barack Obama says that Sunnis and Shia just need to get along, like their centuries of wanting each other dead don’t matter. And, Obama says, without that impossible feat accomplished, Islamic State cannot be defeated, BECAUSE even though the US has the military power to smash IS, it does not have the youthful enthusiasm (that it used to display before George W. Bush ruined everything) to occupy other nations and make them behave.
On the other hand, Obama’s chief Republican critics in the Senate, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, demand that Obama come up with some strategy to defeat Islamic State. But here’s the thing. Even these tired old Republican men are now too afraid to call for American combat boots on the ground, or to call for another round of unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Instead, these two old (do we need to say “white”) men, have this brilliant scheme:
“This should be more like Afghanistan in 2001.”Perhaps you recall how that ended up. Oh wait!—it still HASN’T ENDED!
Without large numbers of American combat troops, directly destroying Islamic State, what is left, other than meaningless blather about building regional partnerships?—which by this time in Obama’s term ought to already exist—but they don’t. Yes, you can arm and train the Iraqi national military—that is the Shia military—and that will take what?—another decade of money and material wasted on another impossible task?
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is waking up, test by test, to the obvious: tired old Barack Obama and the tired old allies of NATO, are not going to do a damned thing to stop him from gobbling up all of Ukraine. In fact, in case anybody had any doubts about that, as Putin’s tanks rolled into southeastern Ukraine, and Obama was asked if he is prepared to do something—anything—militarily to stop Putin, Obama plainly said:
“We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem…it is very important to recognize that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming.”So there, Vladimir. Take as much Ukraine as you like. Dad has gone to bed and he won’t be getting up again. He’s just too old and tired. Just make sure your Chinese neighbors are OK with it. Well, of course they are. They’re busy expanding their own empire in the South China Sea right now, after all. They understand completely what it means to assert (or reassert) your imperial identity.
It was never the case that Barack Obama was going to be a great war president or war leader. Nobody expected that would be happening, and nobody really ever wanted that to happen. After all, Barack Obama knew and knows as much about fighting a war as he does about setting up a website—nothing. And also, the USA was rightfully fed up with being led by the nose into one stupid war after another by idiot presidents. The anti-war idea sounded pretty good.
But the world isn’t going to wait on that count. Unless we build a wall around America and let the world burn while we watch, which many Americans would be fine with, our engagement with the other players on the global stage is required. Exactly how to engage is a good question. But maybe the first step is not to authorize even more killing. Maybe the first step is to analyze how our values, how our behavior in the world over these decades, led to such an incredibly fucked-up disaster.
I would suggest we start with some questions about how wealth is generated and divided in this world. First and foremost, the roots of chaos are in the unbelievably cruel and stupid inequality that rewards a handful of humans and punishes billions of others.
Read this, and ponder how, in the midst of a lucrative economic recovery (for rich people), the US imposes the most heinous instabilities right in the core of the lives of poorer Americans, just so landlords can squeeze more blood out of struggling renters. If you look at the barbaric nature of the US treatment of its own people, you will not wonder that abroad and at home, the people of the world are fighting mad.
The tired old men who have driven the world into this enormous and diversely dangerous ditch need to shut up and sit down.
Let the world remake itself without these monstrous fools fucking it up any more than they have.