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What Obama Told Us At West Point

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Cross-posted from Paul Craig Roberts

From youtube.com/watch?v=nCS1R9szCBk: President Barack Obama delivered his vision for the future of American foreign policy during his address to the West Point Military Academy's 2014 graduation.
President Barack Obama delivered his vision for the future of American foreign policy during his address to the West Point Military Academy's 2014 graduation.
(image by YouTube)


At West Point Obama told us, to the applause of West Point cadets, that "American exceptionalism" is a doctrine that justifies whatever Washington does. If Washington violates domestic and international law by torturing "detainees" or violates the Nuremberg standard by invading countries that have undertaken no hostile action against the US or its allies, "exceptionalism" is the priest's blessing that absolves Washington's sins against law and international norms. Washington's crimes are transformed into Washington's affirmation of the rule of law. Here is Obama in his own words:
"I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions."

Actions indeed. In the 21st century "American exceptionalism" has destroyed seven countries in whole or in part. Millions of people are dead, maimed, and displaced, and all of this criminal destruction is evidence of Washington's reaffirmation of international norms and the rule of law. Destruction and murder are merely collateral damage from Washington's affirmation of international norms.

"American exceptionalism" also means that US presidents can lie through their teeth and misrepresent those they choose to demonize. Listen to Obama's misrepresentations of the Putin and Assad governments:

"Russia's aggression towards former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe ... In Ukraine, Russia's recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe." Obama misrepresents Assad as "a dictator who bombs and starves his own people."

Did any of the cadets in Obama's West Point audience wonder why, if Assad is a brutal dictator who bombs and starves his own people, the Syrian people are supporting Assad instead of the American-backed "liberation forces," the combination of imported jihadists and al Qaeda fighters who object to Assad's government because it is secular? The US military is taught to respect its civilian commander-in-chief, but if West Point cadets actually do obtain an education, it is remarkable that Obama's audience did not break out in laughter.

The reference to Soviet tanks rolling into Eastern Europe is a reference to the Hungarian (1956) and Czech (1968) "revolutions" when the Hungarian and Czech communist leaders attempted to assert independence from Moscow. It is doubtful that Washington's response to countries attempting to exit NATO would be any different. A few months ago Washington responded to political talk in Germany and England about leaving the EU by informing both governments that it was not in Washington's interest for them to depart from the European Union.

Obama used the image of Soviet tanks in order to color Russia with the Soviet Threat, to mischaracterize Russia's response to the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia, and to misrepresent Crimea's vote in favor of reunification with Russia as "Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea." These lies are still a mainstay in the US media and in Washington's official propaganda.

Obama's speech is probably the most disingenuous ever given by a Western politician. We could have fun for hours with all the crimes that Washington commits but buries in rhetoric directed at others. Perhaps my favorite is Obama evoking a world in which "individuals aren't slaughtered because of political belief." I am sure Obama was thinking of this just world when he murdered without due process of law four American citizens "outside of areas of active hostilities."

Another favorite is the way Obama flushed the US Constitution of its meaning. Obama said, with reference to bringing the Guantanamo prisoners to the US, that "American values and legal traditions don't permit the indefinite detention of people beyond our borders." No, Obama, the US Constitution prevents the indefinite detention of US citizens by the US government anywhere on earth, especially within our borders.

By detaining and by murdering US citizens without due process of law, Obama has violated his oath of office and should be impeached. It was only a short time ago that President Bill Clinton was impeached by the US House of Representatives (the Senate saved him from conviction) for lying about his sexual affair with a White House intern.

How times change. Today a president who violates his oath of office to protect the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic gets a free ride. The Constitution has lost its power to protect citizens from the arbitrary power of government. The US is the Constitution. Without the Constitution the US ceases to exist, and the country becomes a tyranny, both at home and abroad.Today the US is a tyranny cloaked in the garb of "freedom and democracy."

Instead of laughing our way through Obama's ridiculous speech to what apparently was a dumbed-down West Point graduating class, let's pay attention to Obama's bottom line: "America must always lead on the world stage.... The military is, and always will be, the backbone of that leadership."

In other words, Washington doesn't use diplomacy. Washington uses coercion. The favorite threat is: "Do as you are told or we will bomb you into the Stone Age." Obama's speech is a justification of Washington's criminal actions on the grounds that Washington acts for the exceptional Americans whose exceptionalism places them and, thereby, their government above law and international norms. In this way of thinking, only the failure to prevail constitutes failure.

Americans are the new ubermensch, the new master race. Inferior humans can be bombed, invaded, and sanctioned. Obama's West Point speech asserts American superiority over all others and Washington's determination to continue this superiority by preventing the rise of other powers. This arrogant hubris was not enough for the Washington Post editorial board. The newspaper's editorial damned Obama for binding US power and limiting its use to "a narrow set of core interest," such as direct threats to America.

The American "liberal media" object that Obama's claim of exceptionalism is not broad enough for Washington's purposes. Obama's address, the Washington Post wrote, bound "US power" and "offered scant comfort" to those militarists who want to overthrow Syria, Iran, Russia, and China.

The world should take note that the most militarily aggressive American president in history is considered a wimp by the neoconized American media. The media drives wars, and the American media, firmly allied with the military/security complex, is driving the world to the final war.

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http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

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I have encountered seemingly countless pieces of s... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 6:55:30 PM
Respectfully disagree." the most militarily aggres... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 6:45:56 AM
You know, I have read many of your comments on oth... by K V Ramani on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 7:32:34 AM
"Granted he does exaggerate at times."Sometimes ev... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 12:05:26 PM
"Exaggeration' or 'hyperbole' presupposes some ker... by K V Ramani on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 9:32:59 PM
Thank you for good words and I do appreciate your ... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 9:55:38 PM
My dear Mr BFalcon, when will you have that OMG! m... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 1:27:22 AM
I beg to differ.He was right when he "warned an e... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 2:39:29 AM
Yes, when clubs are being wielded, when fire-bombs... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 7:40:36 AM
Sorry, wrong.We are all familiar with the concept ... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 9:08:16 AM
You're comparing occupying a building -- the sort ... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 5:11:28 PM
Students occupy "their building", not the City Hal... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 10:35:25 PM
I just gotta say: Wow. I mean: WOW. ... by Jim Arnold on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 2:39:20 AM
You have argued well, but selectively. Allow me to... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 6:57:38 AM
I never said that everything that the US did was r... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 7:25:34 AM
What more can I, or you for that matter, say? We a... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 8:23:48 AM
Fully agree with that, my friend.Somebody said it,... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 9:24:08 AM
There is exaggeration and then there is exaggerati... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 11:11:22 AM
Oh well, if you want to put a fine point on it, I ... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 9:47:17 PM
Great analogy, KV. I am often inclined to give a +... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 11:47:56 AM
Thanks, Daniel, better than being called a "rabid ... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 1:25:16 PM
Robert: I do agree "that unsupported overstatement... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 3:04:00 PM
Thank you, Daniel. I rate your comments just as hi... by K V Ramani on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 10:25:03 PM
KV: I wish I could disagree but I have read simila... by Daniel Geery on Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 at 12:25:01 PM
I don't recall saying that, but I will say he may ... by Daniel Geery on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 3:15:16 PM
I see very little difference between a 'master ra... by Samson on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:19:50 PM
"I see very little difference between a 'master r... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 6:43:25 AM
Quite so. There you go again, BF, and with your a... by Robert S. Becker on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 12:25:04 PM
Hmm...let me see how this goes:Estimated dead in s... by K V Ramani on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 10:44:40 PM
Well, it takes two to tango.Wasn't Soviet Union "p... by BFalcon on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 11:05:02 PM
The Korean war was a fallout between the victors o... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 12:33:48 AM
Thanks for thorough analysis. In some things we ag... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 1:53:17 AM
It is not just I who subscribes to the concept of ... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 7:51:23 AM
You are right.There should be an amendment to the ... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 9:31:54 AM
I wouldn't phrase it quite like that. But one can ... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 10:45:07 AM
There's no need to amend the charter.Article 42 of... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 5:23:25 PM
Not so, I am afraid, Jim. If you read carefully, A... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 8:55:20 PM
Good analysis.The "amendment proposal" above is ki... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 10:27:44 PM
Agree with everything you have said, especially th... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 11:07:18 PM
Both should exist. The rule of law and internation... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 11:33:54 PM
Alas, democracy and Plato's philosopher king canno... by K V Ramani on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 12:28:39 AM
Quite right, but...Where does this leave Snowden?H... by BFalcon on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 1:49:47 AM
It's my understanding that a number of UN peacekee... by Jim Arnold on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 1:28:39 PM
Yes, of course. There is a long list of UN peaceke... by K V Ramani on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 9:39:34 PM
Yes, of course, "international" peacekeeping, whet... by Jim Arnold on Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 at 7:35:38 AM
You are absolutely right. It is one thing to frame... by K V Ramani on Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 at 11:45:17 AM
Thanks, very valuable analysis.And, of course, I l... by BFalcon on Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 at 10:56:56 PM
I want to say few words about ICC and "internation... by BFalcon on Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 at 10:47:35 PM
I am all for taking Syria to the ICC. So long as t... by K V Ramani on Sunday, Jun 8, 2014 at 12:47:18 AM
Of course. ... by BFalcon on Sunday, Jun 8, 2014 at 2:58:45 AM
I'm glad that we are in agreement on those points.... by Jim Arnold on Sunday, Jun 8, 2014 at 12:58:25 AM
Agreed, of course.I already said how proud I am of... by BFalcon on Sunday, Jun 8, 2014 at 2:41:09 AM
Well said, though the issue wasn't the AMOUNT of d... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 11:18:19 AM
Death and taxes are the only certainties in life. ... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 10:11:56 PM
I have to differ on "US-inspired wars". Why are, s... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 11:27:59 PM
Exactly.It is not the number that is the only impo... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 10:14:17 PM
You and Robert wouldn't be tag-teaming me, right? ... by K V Ramani on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 10:50:03 PM
I am just staying on the topic and reading interes... by BFalcon on Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 at 11:30:04 PM
Overwrought, indeed. I probably agree with you mo... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 9:50:16 AM
Wiggling and worried indeed. Dream on! Bet you got... by K V Ramani on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 10:24:29 AM
Au revoir for now. Vesuvius sounds worse than us ... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 11:21:32 AM
I encourage readers to check KV's bio. When he spe... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jun 6, 2014 at 11:56:52 AM
The scary part is the mad dogs believe their own h... by Derryl Hermanutz on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:21:56 PM
That has indeed become rather scary and ominous. ... by Samson on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:38:44 PM
Idiot Obama apparently spouts the Orwellian excrem... by Steve Hudson on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 12:01:56 AM
Horsescat instead horseshit. American way of indoc... by Ethan Hollow on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 3:09:12 AM
I do take a bit of an issue with the point near th... by Samson on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:32:43 PM
The reason Obama didn't get approval for a Syrian ... by Ted Newcomen on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 1:01:44 PM
The American Congress was stalling. Offices were ... by Samson on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 3:20:45 PM
Remember, the one thing the propaganda machines wi... by Samson on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 3:34:04 PM
The "scales of justice" have been tilted in the ea... by Lance Ciepiela on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 8:21:55 PM
Your focus appreciated. And correct, as usual. ... by Daniel Geery on Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014 at 3:19:19 PM
STRATFOR, do not quite fit the "mainstream" Wester... by Ethan Hollow on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 2:44:00 AM
STRATFOR is private CIA. Wikileaks had some fasci... by Samson on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 3:30:31 PM
Interesting that Russians mention that:, Mr. Fried... by Ethan Hollow on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 2:55:30 AM
"A puppet of the deep state, groomed for a top job... by Ethan Hollow on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 3:00:42 AM
Short. What heppen in america is that people pers... by Ethan Hollow on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 3:17:08 AM
The narcotic of exceptionalism is what leads to a ... by Donn Marten on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 5:58:12 AM
What amazes me is that a former Reagan Treasury ... by Patrick Walker on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 9:19:54 AM
No, PCR is not restrained by party background from... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 11:04:17 AM
I didn't assert that PCR is right on every point,... by Patrick Walker on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 11:46:25 AM
I didn't in any way mean to challenge your admirab... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 12:33:13 PM
Robert, Sorry if I misunderstood. I j... by Patrick Walker on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 12:45:07 PM
No problem. I could have been clearer in my endor... by Robert S. Becker on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 1:55:02 PM
The real litmus test is that Mr. Roberts was also ... by Samson on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 3:26:05 PM
I've responded to you elsewhere about Hartmann, an... by Jim Arnold on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2014 at 4:36:02 PM