Guam Diary will from time to time come back to US president Barack Obama's [BHO] foreign policy. If anyone thought that BHO's election would usher in a kinder, gentler foreign policy, one promising a
much wished for change from George W Bush's, well let him think again. Eight months into BHO's presidency, it is becoming more and more apparent that BHO is adopting Bush's foreign policy, and what's more taking a harsher and harder line. This is no more evident that the reappearance of US secretary of state Hillary Clinton after weeks of physical therapy after an operation on her left elbow, and the utterance of BHO's travelling vice president Joe Biden.
BHO's foreign policy is a head mixture of dogmatism and recklessness. Consider Mme. Clinton's flamboyant remarks on Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea [DPRK aka North Korea]during her whirlwind tour of India and southeast Asia. Mr. Biden's boastful slips of the tongue in Georgia and the Ukraine and his take on Russia are but a suspicious echo of BHO's unilateral approach to foreign policy.
Be it Iran or the DPRK or Russia Guam Diary finds a nostalgia to recycle America's need for the status quo ante, to the days of a balance of terror to fit today's reality. We see in this desire to institutionalise the good old days vestiges of the Cold War against the defunct Soviet Union, and a war against terrorism,
BHO is overestimating America's reach. Granted the US remains at present the world's most powerful nation, but it is hardly the only heavily nuclear armed country. Have they forgotten Russia's stockpile, as Mr. Biden flits around rubbing Moscow's nose in its fall from the lofty perch as a world power. And what's more, BHO's extended hand of friendship has not a long reach; Biden has gone on record that the US looks unkindly on any thrust to destablise Georgia or meddle in the internal affairs of the Ukraine, and that these two foreign Soviet satellites are on the road to joing NATO. Which comes down to the less than flattering conclusion that the US has not only broken traditional Russian claims on these two countries but it has impinged on Russia's large shadow in Central Asia as well. Now BHO has not come out public as he did in the past in disclaiming the words of Biden the eternal blabberer, the man who proverbially has his foot in his
Mme. Clinton has again warned Iran that it mad dash for nuclear energy has to be curbed, monitored, and conform to Washington's standards. To dot her i's and cross her t's, she is now extending America's nuclear umbrella to the Persian Gulf and by implication to the Middle East, northwest Africa and the Horn of Africa.
She has done this to South Korea. In sum, covering a good chunk of global real estate to America's nuclear protection, she is making the likelihood of war in the shape of a mushroncom cloud more attainable. [US secretary of defence Robert Gates is now in Israel to discuss matters with Jerusalem. Israel's right wing hawks are going bonkers over Iran's nuclear programme. Already George Bush stayed the Olmert government's hand from a preemptive strike on Tehran's underground nuclear facilities. Mr. Gates will do likewise. Suddenly Jerusalem realises that it is not the only kid in the Middle East with nuclear toys. Israel's wars but for the 1973 Yom Kippur War, have been strike first, but this time Jerusalem's rush to nuclear judgment would mean a nuclear riposte from Iran, thereby declenching a nuclear holocaust not only on Jews but Arabs...in other words, a menace to life and limb on planet earth. Israel is not wise nor clever enough to shy away from conflict and war even if it means nuclear war.]
Overall BHO's imperial ventures into foreign policy, is anh elaboration of a system and plans which appear out of step with reality. Mme. Clinton is the messenger who does not seen the speck of dirt in the US' eye: her pursuit of shooting from the hip ignores the most elementary steps in foreign policy. She forgets that America's ideals and ambitions are clashing with the ideals and ambitions of other states and powers. And this blindness to flexibility and suppleness in foreign policy can have but one outcome. That is, unavoidable conflict unless there is a correction in policy.