Hypocrisy of Barack Obama
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.14
"Azerbaijan" newspaper has published an article headlined "Hypocrisy of Barack Obama" on its website. Trend presents the article.
In 2009, President of the USA Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". This happened only nine months after Mr Obama`s inauguration as president. Before assuming the powers the USA`s first Afro-American leader declared that he would quite his country`s one-sided foreign policy and that apart from America`s interests, he would protect interests of other countries too. He even pledged to sit at the negotiating table with Iran and close the Guantanamo Bay prison. In the eyes of Americans and the entire world, Mr Obama was a head of state advocating peace and lasting stability. But, as sages say, only great personalities live up to their high ideals by their deeds.
In their "The End of Hypocrisy. American Foreign Policy in the Age of Leaks" article published on www.foreignaffairs.com, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University Martha Finnemore and Associate Professor Henry Farrell described the Obama Administration`s foreign policy as a vivid evidence of hypocrisy. They say "hypocrisy is central to Washington's soft power - its ability to get other countries to accept the legitimacy of its actions. After army private Bradley Manning turned over hundreds of thousands of classified cables to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks and following the disclosures about U.S. spying programs by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency analyst, Washington "faces what can be described as an accelerating hypocrisy collapse - a dramatic narrowing of the country's room to maneuver between its stated aspirations and its sometimes sordid pursuit of self-interest". The entire world has learnt that the USA is monitoring and collecting incriminating evidence of high-ranking officials, including heads of state, of not only rival countries, but also those Washington considers its friends. It was proved that the US secret services bugged the European Union office in Brussels, the office of the Council of Europe in Washington and New York, and embassies of tens of countries. The USA appeared to be ready to elaborate a frame-up scenario against any person, just like in the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. This resulted in world leaders` losing confidence in the USA and its trying-to-look-sincere president.
Mr Obama, who vowed "to protect interests of other countries", not only failed to live up to his promise, but even turned America`s traditional allies into an ocean of blood. In April of 2009, while on a visit in Egypt, the US President made statements on the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries and support for Egypt, and even said that the USA`s relations with the Islamic word entered a new era. But after a while Hosni Mubarak, who was obediently fulfilling Washington`s instructions during his 30-year presidential tenure, was overthrown. Egypt slipped into civil war, with its former president put on trial. In addition to silently observing how the Egyptian army ousted legally elected President Mohammed Morsi, Washington, which loves to make beautiful statements about democracy, even refrained from calling the coup "a coup". And it was no coincidence because it was the USA that stood behind the plans to remove both Mr Mubarak and Mr Morsi from power. Neither official Washington nor the Freedom House led by its president David Kramer, former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, had reacted to the Cairo court`s sentencing more than 500 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death.
What has happened in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria after the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York in 2001 clearly outlines America`s "peacemaking" policy and Mr Obama`s statement about "a new chapter in the relations with the Islamic world". People in these countries better know the hardships of the color revolutions, Arab spring and other coup scenarios, and can tell whether these changes are needed or not.
Reports of killings, loss of life that have been coming from Iraq now come from the center of Europe - Ukraine. Once a powerful Soviet republic with enormous potential, Ukraine has become a battlefield of civil war as a result of efforts of the USA and its European allies. The country`s economy is in recession, social problems are deepening, Crimea is lost, the east of the country is controlled by separatists. It is difficult to say how many decades Ukraine will need to rehabilitate its standing in the system of international relations.
But the Ukraine events revealed another reality. A leaked telephone call between U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt disclosed the whole truth about the essence, initiators and executors of what happened on Maydan. Ms Nuland`s "...EU" phrase used during the phone talk expressed Washington`s failure to change the government in Ukraine through the European Union. If Ms Nuland`s distributing cookies to demonstrators on Maydan in December, 2013 was the USA`s support for the EU`s Ukraine policy, her using strong language about the EU has been understood as "you are ineffective, stay away, we are coming" message.
In their article, Martha Finnemore and Henry Farrell say: "The ease with which the United States has been able to act inconsistently has bred complacency among its leaders. Since few countries ever point out the nakedness of U.S. hypocrisy, and since those that do can usually be ignored, American politicians have become desensitized to their country's double standards." As François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld, said "we are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves".
Indeed, Mr Obama`s tenure sees the USA pursue an inconsistent and obscure policy on Azerbaijan. Under George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, it was absolutely clear who is who and who is responsible for what in the United States. They gave promises and, at least, attempted to live up to their word. The USA`s supporting Azerbaijan`s independence, joint large-scale energy projects, Azerbaijan`s comprehensive support for anti-terror war and other issues elevated the relations between the two countries to the level of strategic partnership. Anyway, both countries only benefited from this. However after Mr Obama`s coming to power Washington`s Azerbaijan-related priorities started to resemble "a mirage in a desert". On the one head the American President says he attaches great importance to cooperation with Azerbaijan and that he is ready to continue to work with Ilham Aliyev, but on the other, Washington does nothing to support Azerbaijan.
As one of the mediators in the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the USA made double standards part of state policy. The Obama Administration even tried to look helpless when it came to appointing Mathew Bryza as Ambassador to Azerbaijan. However, the disclosures of Snowden and Wikileaks clearly demonstrated who and how instructs the Congress Foreign Affairs Committee. In addition, some circles in the USA attempted to execute various scenarios with the aim of ensuring some government changes in Azerbaijan. The US media and NGOs are expanding their smear campaign against Azerbaijan. And it is impossible to understand the reason of this hypocrisy. The Obama Administration appears to fail to figure out how to continue its relations with other countries after Washington has suffered a series of exposures and had the world`s trust in it shaken.
However, one nuance, taken by Mr Obama as a personal offence, should be emphasized. In 2009, the US President traveled to Ankara at a time when the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border was on the forefront of the world`s attention. Both the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mr Obama himself invited Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Turkey. The aim was to win the Azerbaijani President`s consent to the opening of the borders between Ankara and Yerevan. But Ilham Aliyev declined the invitation, and by doing so he insured Turkey against being involved in an anti-Azerbaijani policy and offending its self-respect, and, at the same time, demonstrated that as a courageous and far-sighted head of state he placed uppermost importance on Azerbaijan`s interests. It seems that Mr Obama has not yet forgiven the President of Azerbaijan for this.
So experts say that Mr Obama`s tenure as the president saw the threat of terror spread throughout the world, while the scale of hot spots is expanding, the number of countries hit by civil clashes is rapidly growing, economic crisis is destroying the global economic system, even developed countries are experiencing social problems, inert-civilizational and inter-cultural dialogue are being excluded by clashes among peoples and nations and mutual accusations, etc. The worst thing is that despite being a superpower, the USA not only seems helpless in solving these problems, but in some cases even acts as the driving force of negative trends.
Now experts put a question: when did the Nobel Committee start to award Nobel Peace Prize for empty statements rather than for concrete actions? Does not this have a negative impact on the prestige of the Nobel Prize? On the other hand, what prize is meant for those whose words do not much with his actions?