One World One Ummah

Obama marches on for war with new brand of oratory camouflaging same old war

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by Kusal Perera

Its funny in a way, that the  Oslo based Nobel Foundation decided to award the Peace Prize 2009 to a President of a country that lives on profits from military hardware sales and services. Its funny too, for them to think, this President, Barak Obama of USA, is making “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”, when he is heading a State that fuels conflict more than promote freedom.

“For many, war is synonymous with Iraq or Afghanistan, but our research enumerates 25 ongoing conflicts throughout the world. In the last decade, the U.S. has transferred some $8.7 billion in arms and military services to these war zones, $970.5 million in 2003 alone. During that year (the last year for which full data is available) the United States transferred weapons and military hardware into 18 of 25 conflict zones. This is despite the fact that these transfers appear to violate the spirit (if not the letter) of the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act, which bar the transfer of U.S.-origin military equipment into active areas of conflict.”


That is reason why the splendid orator he is, Obama sounds aggressive against Pakistan for not waging war against the Talebans. He is consistent with his cold phrased threats against Pakistan, ignoring that Pakistan is an independent and sovereign, foreign country. He said US must be willing to strike Al Qaeda targets inside Pakistan, “with or without approval from Pakistan,”(Reuters – 01 August, 2007) even during his campaign for Democratic presidential nominations.

He did so without Pakistani approval, as US President. US drone attacks inside Pakistan began again, just 03 days after Obama took oaths as President of the USA on 20 January, just the way Bush had ordered them. He thereafter signed orders to send 17,000 US army fighting cadres to Afghanistan on 18 February, within 01 month of being President of the US.

“This increase is necessary to stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which has not received the strategic attention, direction, and resources it urgently requires,” Mr. Obama was quoted as having said after he signed the order, by the Christian Science Monitor.

He is marching on for war, with a new brand of oratory that can not in any way camouflage the same old war. Barak Obama is meanwhile awarded the world’s most prestigious peace prize by the Nobel Foundation for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”. That too wouldn’t make any difference to the Afghan and Pakistani tribal people, who would have to duck to save their lives from US drone attacks.

The fact is, no US president could do otherwise, with or without a Nobel Peace prize. Obama as all other US Presidents has to continue SOUTHCOM operations, with a 600 million dollar administrative budget, to service Latin American military assistance, that annually tops over USS $ 120 million. That is not what is more important in Obama being awarded the Peace Prize. It’s the US economy and its heavy dependence on military hardware and armaments. This US economy is an economy that is heavily dependent on waging war, to sustain their heavy armament industry.

According to SIPRI Yearbook 2008, of the TOP 10 military and armaments companies, 06 are US companies and their profits for year 2007 totalled US $ 14,702 million. These companies on the other hand have employed 578,200 Americans, a number that can not be allowed to join the laid off lot in a struggling economy. In this recession or even otherwise, no Obama can forget all of them and decide US foreign policy. Foreign policy for US is simply dealing with conflicts any where in the world, for their own advantage and benefit.

The dilemma of the Head of State of the USA in saving his country’s recession hit economy does not stop with the 06 companies in the Top 10 military hardware manufacturing group. If one goes down the list to the next Top 10 to make it a total of Top 20 in the military hardware and armament industry in the world, one would find 14 US companies slotted in sharing a massive profit of US $ 45,582 million and an employment figure of 1,435,980 persons.

All of it is not the total share of the US economy in waging war. There are 46 top US companies listed among the Top 100 companies in the world, manufacturing military hardware and armaments. These companies no doubt have a very big chunk in the US economy and any blockade to sale of their war products would hit the US economy far worse than any recession or meltdown. A blockade on their war products would mean any peace initiative to on going armed conflicts any where in the world, that would produce positive results in sustaining a “cease fire” leading to a possible sustainable peace process and not necessarily a permanent end to conflict right now.

What it also means is, the US economy is not an economy that could sustain itself in a conflict free, peaceful world. It needs conflicts and big conflicts too. It also needs to now shift its axis of war from the “war weary” Mid East to some where else, to allow some respite to the Israeli – Pan Arab world. This coalition the Obamian regime would try to foster for a respite in Mid East, leaves out Iran. And it drags in Afghanistan too. Thus the Obamian long term commitment from the presidential campaign times, to shift the war from Iraq to Afghanistan.

What it also means is that South Asia, by default could be the next theatre of war, for US companies to sell their destructive military hardware and armaments. Any escalation of the Afghan war will have Pakistan held responsible for Taleban activism. Talebans, as we know are of very many shades and ideologies. They work with very many fundamentalist armed groups in Pakistan, some covertly supported by the Pakistani ISI as well. Between Pakistani ISI and the Indian RAW is another conflict that exports armed conflicts across borders. Not only across Pak – Indo borders but across Afghan borders into Kabul as well. Such rivalry and ideological battles have made cross border conflicts an inherent feature in inter State dealings in South Asian conflicts.

Thus, all manipulations by Obama to have the Afghan war going despite its public statements in bringing democracy to the Afghan people, would have its extension to Pakistan and then into India. The present Indian regime has any way decided to accelerate its war against Maoists and would be militarising the Indian society. There are 03 Indian manufacturers listed among the Top 100 companies that has gained a listed profit of over 500 million US dollars during the year 2007. They would also need more conflicts to grow on their profits.

We in South Asia are thus heading into the future with economies that live on armed conflicts, with Obama heading the biggest such economy and is awarded the Nobel Peace prize, the money he says would go for charity. Charity after all is a by product of all conflicts.



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October 19, 2009 at 3:14 am

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