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The (farcical) emperor is naked

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Source: Asia Times

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There is nothing tragic about the Obama presidency, capable of drawing the analytical talents of a neo-Plutarch or a neo-Gibbon. This is more like a Pirandello farce, a sort of Character in Search of An Author

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Candidates to Author are well documented -- from the Israel lobby to the House of Saud, from a select elite of the industrial-military-security complex to, most of all, the rarified banking/financial elite, the real Masters of the Universe. Poor Barack is just a cipher, a  functionary of empire, whose ''deciding'' repertoire barely extends to what trademark smile to flash at the requisite photo-ops.  

There's nothing ''tragic'' about the fact that during this week -- marking the 12th anniversary of 9/11 -- this presidency will be fighting for its bombing ''credibility'' trying to seduce Republican hawks in the US Congress while most of the warmongers du jour happen to be Democrats. 

Republicans are torn between supporting the president they love to hate and delivering him a stinging rebuke -- as much as they are aching to follow the orders of their masters, ranging from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to military contractors. Once again, this is farce -- caused by the fact that a man elected to finish off wars is eager to start yet another one. And once again without a United Nations vote. 

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The White House ''strategy'' in this crucial negotiating week boils down to this; to convince the US Congress that the United States must start a war on Syria to punish an ''evil dictator'' -- once again, as bad as Hitler -- for gassing children. The evidence? It's ''indisputable."  

Well, it's not ''irrefutable." It's not even ''beyond-a-reasonable-doubt." As Obama's Chief of Staff Denis McDonough admitted, with a straight face, it boils down to ''a quite strong common-sense test, irrespective of the intelligence, that suggests that the regime carried this out."  

So if this is really about ''common sense," the president is obviously not being shown by his close coterie of sycophants this compendium of common sense, compiled by a group of top, extremely credible former US intelligence officials, which debunks all the ''evidence'' as flawed beyond belief. To evoke a farce from 12 years ago, this clearly seems to be a case of ''facts being fixed around the policy."  

And to compound the farce, this is not even as much about Syria per se as about ''sending a message to Iran,'' code for ''if you keep messing with us, you're going to be bombed.'' 

Follow the plutocrats
 

Then there's the ''credibility'' farce. The Obama administration has convoluted the whole world in its own self-spun net, insisting that the responsibility for the ''red line'' recklessly drawn by the president is in fact global. Yet the pesky ''world'' is not buying it. 

The Arab street doesn't buy it because they clearly see through the hypocrisy; the desperate rush to ''punish'' the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria while justifying everything the apartheid state of Israel perpetrates in occupied Palestine. 

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The Muslim world doesn't buy it because it clearly sees the demonization only applies to Muslims -- from Arafat to bin Laden to Saddam to Gaddafi and now Assad. It would never apply to the military junta in Myanmar, which was clever enough to engineer an ''opening''; the next day Westerners were lining up to kiss the hem of Burmese longyis. 

It would never apply to the Islam Karimov dictatorship in Uzbekistan because ''we'' always need to seduce him as one of our bastards away from Russia and China. 

It eventually applies, on and off, to the Kim dynasty in North Korea, but with no consequences -- because these are badass Asians who can actually respond to an US attack. 

Informed public opinion across the developing world does not buy it because they clearly see, examining the historical record, that Washington would never really be bothered with the sorry spectacle of Arabs killing Arabs, or Muslims killing Muslims, non-stop. The 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war is a prime piece of evidence. 

At the Group of 20 summit last week, the BRICS group of emerging powers -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- as well as Indonesia and Argentina, clearly stressed that a war on Syria without UN Security Council approval would qualify Obama as a war criminal. 

Even among the European poodles, ''support'' for the White House is extremely qualified. Germany's Angela Merkel and even France's attack dog Francois Hollande said the primacy is with the UN. The European Union as a whole wants a political solution. It's enlightening to remember that the EU in Brussels can issue arrest warrants for heads of EU governments guilty of war crimes. Someone in Paris must have warned attack dog Hollande that he would not welcome the prospect of slammer time. 

''Evil'' as a political category is something worthy of the brain dead. The key question now revolves around the axis of warmongers -- Washington, Israel and the House of Saud. Will the Israel lobby, the more discreet but no less powerful Saudi lobby, and the Return of the Living Dead neo-cons convince the US Congress to fight their war? 

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

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