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Commentary :: War and Militarism
The Obama Doctrine: Lawless Imperial Aggression
10 Jun 2011
The Obama Doctrine: Lawless Imperial Aggression - by Stephen Lendman

Wikipedia says US presidential doctrines state "key goals, attitudes, or stances for United States foreign affairs." Except for James Monroe in 1823 asserting a declaration of regional dominance, later ones reflected Cold War and imperial politics since Harry Truman.

On March 29, eight New York Times contributors asked "Is There an Obama Doctrine," preceded by an introduction saying his previous day America's role in Libya speech asserted unilateral authority to intervene abroad "when our interests and values are at stake," an illegal position under international and constitutional law, unmentioned in the debate.

On April 13, Times writer Peter Baker headlined, "Obama Puts His Own Mark on Foreign Policy Issues," saying:

"If there is an Obama doctrine emerging, it is one much more realpolitik than his predecessor's, focused on relations with traditional great powers and relegating issues like human rights and democracy to second-tier concerns." In fact, no US president in recent memory gave a damn about either or anything humanitarian.

Unmentioned was Obama's belligerent lawlessness, waging four imperial wars and numerous proxy ones, spending record amounts on militarism while homeland needs go begging. In fact, former White House chief of staff (now Chicago mayor) Rahm Emanuel calls it being "cold-blooded about the self-interests of your nation," no matter the death, destruction, and misery toll taken to achieve them.

They, not major media boilerplate, define his doctrine, an out-of-control agenda for American dominance, using missiles, bombs, ground troops, and assassination squads to indiscriminately slaughter civilians, including women, children, and elderly, virtually anyone in raging wars he opposed as a candidate.

In addition, he endorses torture and extraordinary renditions as official US policies, as well as backing the world's worst despots, ones not fit to be in polite or any other company.

Notably they include the odious Saudi monarchy and Bahrain's Al Khalifa one, committing daily atrocities against nonviolent protesters, doctors and nurses treating them when injured, and anyone potentially threatening their despotic chokehold on people wanting to be free.

On June 7, The New York Times and Washington Post didn't report Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa's White House meeting with Obama, the equivalent of welcoming a serial killer.

AFP, however, said Obama "reaffirmed the strong US commitment to Bahrain and welcomed King Hamad's plan to end a 'state of national safety,' " its martial law that, in fact, hasn't stopped raging daily atrocities.

After the meeting, a shameless statement "expressed strong support for the crown prince's ongoing efforts to initiate the national dialogue and said that both the opposition and the government must compromise to forge a just future for all Bahrainis."

In fact, since mid-February, when nonviolent protests began, Obama and America's media largely stayed silent about daily human rights abuses, including murder, torture, mass arrests, bogus accusations, and show trials, convicting innocent civilian men and women for courageously wanting democratic rights in a nation without them.

On June 8, Amnesty International (AI) discussed one of many abused, a Bahraini student/poet, 20-year old Ayat al-Qarmezi, arrested in March for publicly reading her critical poem at a Manama rally.

As a result, she was charged with "incitement to hatred of the regime" and reportedly was tortured in detention. Addressing numerous individuals abused, AI said her case "represents an appalling and sinister attack on free speech," demanding her immediate release and charges dropped. Conviction, however, is virtually certain as are years in prison "for peacefully expressing her views."

On June 7, White House discussions excluded her case and others, focused solely on US regional interests, backing one of its most ruthless despotic regimes.

Bahrain14Feb.Revolution activists distribute daily alerts on its atrocities, a June 9 one saying:

"The Bahrain army, Saudi Arabia, (and) UAE want to murder and exterminate defenseless people, just because (they) demanded freedom and reforms."

They explained the regime's ban on a planned seminar discussing lawless abuses against the main Shia opposition group, the Islamic National Accord Association (Al-Wefaq). Earlier, 18 Al-Wefaq MPs resigned from parliament, protesting regime brutality against peaceful protesters.

The alert ended saying:


It went unnoticed in Washington, preoccupied with terror bombing Libya daily, murdering civilians ruthlessly, perhaps planning other regional wars, a topic for a follow-up article.

Washington's Imperial War on Libya

On June 7, reporting from Tripoli, former Congresswoman/Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney said at least 29 bombs struck the capital from about 11AM to 1:10PM, as NATO intensifies efforts to inflict mass casualties, claiming its being done to save lives.

In response, America's media mock the carnage, calling Gaddafi's reports propaganda. Notably on June 6, New York Times writer John Burns sounded more like a Pentagon press agent than reporter headlining, "Libya Stokes Its Machine Generating Propaganda," saying:

"The Libyan government has a growing record of improbable statements and carefully manipulated news events, but (after four months of conflict, it's) showing signs of desperation and disorganization. The loyalist locker seems increasingly bare."

In fact, McKinney and independent journalists say sustained bombings don't hit empty spaces. They kill innocent civilians daily, Washington slaughtering them for another imperial conquest and its spoils once hostilities end, something Burns and other corporate types airbrush from reports, effectively endorsing their crimes. As a result, McKinney asked:

"What were you doing" on June 7? "The people of Tripoli endure the trauma of repeated bombings in their immediate environment." Many don't survive, nor are they immune from large areas contaminated with toxic depleted uranium because NATO bombs, missiles and and shells proliferate it daily.

In fact, in the 24-hour period alone from June 7 - 8, over 60 sorties struck Tripoli night and day, terrorizing and contaminating wide areas. At least 31 were killed, dozens wounded, targeting homes, hospitals, schools, government buildings and Gaddafi's compound again or close to it.

Yet according to AP, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen asked member states for more help, saying they haven't participated to their full potential. He wants those who've contributed least to use "assets at their disposal" to inflict greater punishment than so far caused, no matter how lawless and indefensible, perhaps aiming to turn all targeted areas into rubble, including the capital, no matter the body count to achieve it.

Bogus Humanitarian Intervention

Orchestrated and controlled by Washington, innocent Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, and now Libyans are being slaughtered under the bogus "humanitarian intervention (HI)" doctrine.

Claiming it, in fact, violates UN Charter provisions, including Article 2(4) stating:

"All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."

Moreover, claiming HI conceals illegitimate war-making reasons, the usual self-interest ones for power and profit, never for humanity, democratic values, moral principles, or rule of law justice.

In addition, international law prohibits interfering in other nations' internal affairs for any reason except self-defense, and even then, only until the Security Council acts.

Further, selective intervention exposes hypocritically doing it against some states but not others, including far more serious instances where doing so can save lives.

For example, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Libya threatened no other state, including neighboring ones, America or Israel. Yet Washington attacked them all, citing bogus reasons for doing so.

In contrast, Israel illegally occupies Palestine, committing regular crimes or war and against humanity, including mass arrests, torture, extrajudicial assassinations, land theft, and ruthless persecution of people not Jewish, including their own citizens.

Nonetheless, Western moral outrage is absent, Washington, in fact, supplying generous monetary, military and other support. Most recently, moreover, it ignored the latest Nakba and Naska Day slaughter of dozens of civilians, protesting for rights mandated under numerous international laws and UN resolutions.

For decades, Israel ignored them, literally getting away with murder, yet world leaders turn a blind eye to their worst abuses, including collectively punishing and economically strangling an entire people for not being Jewish, besides committing an ever greater crime - violating the 1948 Genocide Convention.

Historian Ilan Pappe and international law expert Francis Boyle, among others, accused Israel of committing this greatest of all crimes, Pappe in 2006 in his article article titled, "Genocide in Gaza," saying:

"A genocide is taking place in Gaza....An average of eight Palestinians die daily in Israeli attacks on the Strip. Most of them are children. Hundreds are maimed, wounded and paralyzed. (It's become) a daily" ritual, virtually ignored in Western capitals and major media reports, expressing outrage only about rare Jewish deaths and injuries at the hands of Palestinians retaliating in self-defense, their right under international law.

In December 2000, Francis Boyle discussed Palestinian genocide, saying:

"I would like to propose publicly here in Gaza, Palestine - where the Intifada began ten years ago at this time - that the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine and its President institute legal proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague....for violating the" Genocide Convention.

"I am sure we can all agree that Israel has indeed perpetrated the international crime of genocide against the Palestinian people," so far with impunity. In a proper tribunal, Boyle wants it "prove(d) to the entire world" the way Nazis were held accountable decades earlier.

In 2009, Boyle wrote:

"The world has not yet heard even one word uttered by the United States and its NATO allies in favor of 'humanitarian intervention' against Israel" to protect Palestinian rights, "let alone a 'responsibility to protect' " them from Israeli genocide. These world powers won't even "dispatch a UN Charter Chapter 6 monitoring force" for protection, "let alone (use) UN Charter Chapter 7 enforcement actions against Israel."

In contrast, "humanitarian intervention" is duplicitously argued when Western interests are at stake, not when one of their allies commits grievous abuses, including crimes of war, against humanity, and/or genocide. The hypocritical double standard is obvious, outrageous, ruthless, and lawless.

Israel, in fact, is a serial offender. Even the UN Human Rights Commission said it repeatedly violates nearly all 149 Fourth Geneva articles, as well as crimes against humanity as defined under the 1945 Nuremberg Charter.

However, no matter now grave its abuses, Western moral outrage is absent, let alone legitimate actions to deter what no state should tolerate another, especially for decades.

Instead, imperial aggression targets nonbelligerent states, including Libya to exploit its resources, other material wealth and people under US control, not help them for humanitarian reasons Washington never gave a damn about and doesn't now.

Saying so is one of many Big Lies, ones major media reports regurgitate but never explain, providing managed news instead of truths too disturbing to reveal.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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