By Felicity Arbuthnot:
“Security is the mother of danger and the grandmother of destruction.” Thomas Fuller (1608-1661.)
Having joked about putting the “apostrophe” back in Obama (as in O’Hanlon, O’Reilly, O’Rourke) in Ireland (and having apparently forgotten that his family name comes from Africa not Ireland) President Obama fled Ireland ahead of the clouds of volcanic ash from Iceland, again plaguing European flights, arriving in London a night early. The American Ambassador being unexpectedly charged with putting up the Obamas and making arrangements for a cast of approaching two thousand.
Listening to his speech to Parliament, the re-eruption of the volcano seemed a bit of an omen.
Having reminded parliamentarians and the House of Lords, that they were in the presence of greatness (” … the last three speakers here were the Pope, Her Majesty the Queen and Nelson Mandela”) he delivered a lesson to them and the U.K’s population on their own history. There was the Magna Carta, a brief resume of the laws formed, over centuries, in Parliament’s Westminster Hall, where he spoke – and of course Churchill, Roosevelt and the “special relationship”, dredged up as inevitably the mud from the river Thames, flowing outside the building .
We had, to quote Churchill, “fought them on the beaches ..” together. Obama in fact put it: “We are the allies who landed at Omaha and Gold, who sacrificed side by side …” said the man who (as Prime Minister Cameron) was born a couple of decades later. Forgotten now, was that shortly after the “sacrifices”, many of his father’s countrymen were fighting the British in war for their country, which has currently brought Kenyans to London’s High Court, still seeking reparation for alleged unspeakable tortures suffered at British hands. Pity he didn’t use the occasion to say a word on their behalf. From Kenya to Basra, from My Lai to Falluja, little changes, including the delusional re-writing of history.
Then on to the “shared values.” The: ” … longing for freedom and human dignity … is universal (beating) in every heart.” He continued: ” … there are few nations that stand firmer, speak louder, and fight harder to defend democratic values around the world than the United States and the United Kingdom.”
“Together, with our allies, we forged a lasting peace from a cold war (our alliances now include) the nations of Easter Europe.” No mention of forging of U.S., bases there, of “extraordinary rendition” arrangements and a proposed U.S., missile “shield” – and Russia now near surrounded by U.S., bases.
“And when there was strife in the Balkans, we worked together to keep the peace.” Heaven preserve any people who come under a ten week “peace keeping” blitzkrieg (24th March 1999-11th June 1999) involving one thousand aircraft and thirty eight thousand bombing missions.
The combat mission in Iraq was over (tell that to the Iraqis) the Taliban were “broken”, al Qaeda had been struck “a huge blow by killing its leader – Osama bin Laden.” (Don’t mention the assassinations.) But: “New threats spread across borders and oceans”, there are “terrorist networks” to be “dismantled.” Our “indispensible alliance”, however, is on hand to sort that out. “The time for our leadership is now.” Parliament applauded, the right minded surely shivered.
With no sense of irony, President Barack Hussein Obama related that: “Millions are still denied their basic human rights because of who they are, or what they believe.” A reflection deficiency on some scale. His predecessor had declared a “Crusade”, and his own Administration was threatening, occupying, bombing or demanding regime and belief change, in an entirely American vision of how affairs should be run – only in majority Muslim countries.
Together, the U.S., and U.K, would forge “economic leadership”, defeat pollution and “leave our children a planet that is safer and cleaner.” Another venue, more elephants: depleted uranium bombs near certainly raining down on Libya, the deformed and cancer riddled children of Falluja and across Iraq and Afghanistan; still paying the price in the Balkans – a price which will only begin to “deplete” after 4.5 billion years.
And is Libya – as Iraq before it – the new blue-print for “economic leadership” – freeze all perfectly legitimate bank accounts, keep or “redistribute” national wealth, grab all natural resources, bomb back to a pre-industrial age – then award the reconstruction contracts to the destroyers?
“Our nations” would “confront evil” as we had “fought them on the beaches and on the landing grounds”, but that was Hitler, “today we confront a different enemy (who have) killed thousands of Muslims – men, women and children – around the globe.” Comment redundant.
“We fight an enemy that respects no law of war (but we live) up to the values, the rule of law and due process that we so ardently defend.” Amid the applause, the small matter of these “values” having included the illegal invasion and destruction of Iraq (and a pack of lies to justify it) the ongoing bombing of Libya without Congressional approval, the more than questionable legality of the invasion of Afghanistan, the illegal bombing of Pakistan, and the threats against Iran to mention but a few. (In context, in a co-authored piece in The Times – 24th., May – Obama and Cameron wrote: “We are reluctant to use force, but when our interests and values come together, we know that we have the responsibility to act.”)
Irony thicker than smog pervading the thousand year old Hall, was apparently lost on his rapt audience of law makers. He talked of the threats of: “terrorism, piracy … ballistic missiles” – as ally Israel is not brought to account for the murders on and seizing in international waters, of the Mavi Marmara exactly a year ago, the previous ramming of the Dignity, also in international waters, and the threats to any ships heading for Palestinian territorial waters. And clearly the terrorism and ballistic missiles of the U.S.-U.K “indispensible relationship”, in enyclopaedia-length acts and decimations, are a price others must pay, any time, any where, to have our “shared values” bombed in to them.
As hospitals continue to be bombed in Libya by the “allied forces” (as in the other “liberations” thirty two in Baghdad alone, according to a recent Report) : “We should try and help the hungry feed themselves, the doctors care for the sick … support countries that confront corruption … allow women and girls to reach their full potential.” Freezing national assets and bombing, equals empty food stores, no wherewithal for doctors to treat, even where facilities remain – and in Iraq with a previously womens’ work force virtually equal to men, Baghdad University studies show women have been set back around a hundred years. Educational drop out is estimated at up to seventy percent. Iraq and Afghanistan under U.S., and U.K., occupation became two of the most corrupt countries in the world.
“Power rarely gives up without a fight”, the Nobel Laureate informed. Indeed. And magnanamously, “sometimes” (we will work) “with partners who are not perfect: to protect against disruptions of the world’s energy supply.” Goodness, wonder how that one slipped in.
For those cynically thinking Libya was about oil, and the so called “Eighth Wonder”, the project to release the country’s gigantic water reserves, the gold bullion in the Central Bank and the country’s strategic value, no. It is: ” …truth that guides our action in Libya.” There’s a first. And: ” … when a leader is threatening to massacre his own people …” – straight out of that Iraq hand book again. And were there not allegedly a few CIA backed “rebels”, who kicked it all off in Benghazi?
“We will proceed with humility” – surely if the audience had been standing, rather than sitting, at least a few would have fallen over. Freedom must not be:: “imposed from without.” Contrarily, the U.S., and U.K., have delivered it: “from the beaches of Normandy, to the Balkans (and now) Benghazi.” The two countries share: “a leadership essential to the cause of human dignity (and are) indispensible to this moment in history.” They are : ” .. two of the most powerful nations in the history of the world”, not alone militarily, economically or because of: “the land we have claimed” (another truth, read killed for and “invaded.) Delusion reigns supreme – and no mention that both are “economically” approaching basket case status.
Another shared value, again oiling his way back to Churchill and Roosevelt and “manifest”, as in destiny, is a common belief in : ” … a conviction that we have a say in how this story ends.” When the President signed the visitors book at Westminster Abbey he dated it 2008, the year he campaigned with the “Yes we can” slogan, played his African roots, not his Irish ones and won. Perhaps a scary Freudian slip: “Yes we can” – now anywhere on earth.
The President chose to send his daughters to the Sidwell Quaker school, which nurtures the “inner light” in every child (the “light” he has followed his predecessors in putting out, in children beyond counting, throughout the globe.)
I wonder if he has read the first Quaker declaration, proclaiming peace, a testimony, by Margaret Fell, to King Charles 11, of 1660:
” We are a people that follow after those things that make for peace … it is our desire that others’ feet make walk in the same, and (we) do deny and bear witness against all strife and wars … Our weapons are not physical but spiritual and (we) speak the truth in plainess and simpleness of heart.”
It seems every line, commitment, statement, action, contradicts the previous one. Were he not the President of the United States, it might be funny. I wonder if his daughters too, are confused.
See Also : news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/libya-says-nato-raids-killed-718-civilians-20110601-1ff79.html
Felicity Arbuthnot is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Felicity Arbuthnot