Making Sense of Obama’s Foreign Policy

Eric Zuesse

On February 22nd, NBC’s “Meet the Press” presented reporter Richard Engel in a terrific four-minute documentary on Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s catastrophic policy-results in Libya. (You can watch it by clicking on that link.) The segment concluded that Obama and his Administration (including Hillary Clinton) didn’t know where they were going in this operation. That was a ‘kindly’ interpretation, but Obama isn’t really so stupid. He’s a leader, with a clear vision of what he wants, and he subordinates everything to it. Whereas Obama did indeed destroy Libya and (like G.W. Bush’s venture in Iraq) enormously boost Islamic extremism and terrorism (and the main expert that Engel interviewed in that segment has written extensively on this regarding specifically the Libyan case, here and here), Obama knew what his goal was, and he achieved it there, even though it wasn’t to boost Islamic extremism, nor was it to destroy Libya; he actually had his eye on a different ball altogether. Something is an even bigger concern to him than fighting terrorism, or than the welfare of people in Libya or any other foreign country; and this is consistently what guides his decisions in international affairs. 

Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s leader, was famously “anti-Western,” and he never joined the U.S-Saudi alliance, the so-called “Western alliance” (which includes Europe, but only as a junior partner, because Europe is dependent upon the U.S. and upon America’s NATO alliance — the military club of anti-Russian nations). (And, yes, the U.S. Government is allied with the princes who finance Al Qaeda, ISIS and other Islamic terrorism; and the standard ‘history’ of 9/11 is — and is intended to be — largely false.) 

The great John Pilger has provided the best summary description of the horrific and intentional catastrophe that Obama and Clinton perpetrated upon the Libyan people. For example: “In 2011, Nato launched 9,700 ‘strike sorties’ against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and Unicef reported that ‘most [of the children killed] were under the age of ten’.” These were international war-crimes, which will never be prosecuted. Hillary Clinton expressed merry pride regarding what she and Obama did in killing Gaddafi, no matter how many people’s lives were destroyed in the process. There is no ‘kindly’ interpretation of that.

Obama was, in fact, knocking out a Russian ally by means of this Libyan operation. He succeeded at his objective there. He knew where he was going, and he achieved that goal.

I have elsewhere documented the case that Obama’s operation in Syria is directed against Russia — that the goal there is anti-Russian regime-change for Syria, like the Libyan operation was anti-Russian regime-change for Libya, and like the Ukrainian operation (the coup there in February 2014) was anti-Russian regime-change for Ukraine. 

All of this follows on George W. Bush’s success at anti-Russian regime-change in Iraq in 2003. He killed Saddam Hussein there, who had been another Russian ally.

Similarly, Bill Clinton succeeded at anti-Russian regime-change in Yugoslavia, via the Bosnian War, by bombing Serbs there, who had always been the core of Yugoslavia’s pro-Russian tilt. Croatia and Slovenia are now full NATO members.

All of these operations pretended to be “humanitarian,” and Barack Obama is so skilled at the rhetoric of humanitarianism and peacemaking, that he actually won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for that rhetoric; it’s definitely world-class deception. Bill Clinton too was highly skilled at that (though perhaps not to the extent Obama is). George W. Bush wasn’t, at all; he was so dumb that he needed to contract-out to his V.P. the actual running of this country.

Each of these three Presidents, and also certainly George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan, weren’t merely anti-communists; they were and are anti-Russians: they are deeply committed to the U.S. aristocracy’s central foreign-policy objective, of subordinating Russia’s aristocracy to America’s, in order for America’s aristocracy to achieve unchallengeable dominance over the whole world.

This theme was developed and documented in detail in my lengthiest online article “Obama’s War Policies Show a Pattern.” Virtually all of my recent articles have dealt with, and documented, that very same pattern, by explaining current international relations, current events, on the basis of this consistent pattern in Obama’s actual decisions, not relying upon his mere words. What is remarkable in Obama’s Presidency, in all of its facets, including domestic policy (e.g., this), is his successful operation of the United States Government for the benefit of this nation’s aristocracy.

The United States is now ruled by its aristocracy in both political Parties, not just one. Previously, only the Republican Party was totally in the aristocracy’s grip; but, ever since 1980, both Parties are.

The United States is no longer a democracy. Throw out all those civics textbooks; their connection to reality now (especially at the national level) is virtually nil; and the pressures are in the direction of their becoming more archaic and deceptive, rather than becoming less so. The aristocracy have won. Obama is merely the latest example of that; and this fact shows at least as much in his foreign as in his domestic policies.

But it’s not just him; it’s throughout the national government, including the courts and congress. For example: how else does one explain “U.S. Congress Now Virtually 100% All-In on Ukraine’s War Against Russia; Americans Are at Least 67% Opposed”? When there is a policy that most of America’s aristocrats strongly want and are heavily investing in, and that virtually none of them is strongly opposed to, then what the public wants regarding that particular matter is next to irrelevant in determining the Government’s policy. If what the public then sees on Election-Day turns out to be a choice between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, is that democracy, or is it actually something else? But is that the way the press would report it?

If the public are deceived, then democracy is impossible.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • Robert Barsocchini

    The idea is just full conquest of the globe, isn’t it? Rough order of how you would do that is by taking out everything standing in the way, starting with the weakest and working up to the strongest, that being Russia and China. Taking out the weakest first also weakens the strongest, leaving them more isolated and facing a bigger foe that has absorbed potential allies or neutralist countries. Stopping this attempt at global dictatorship, which the US and its clients maintain through mass murder/torture/terror, is exactly our task.

    • truth

      I agree that these are likely goals of the Oligarchs and U.S. foreign policy makers. I don’t think U.S. will achieve full dominance though. They may leave a lot of failed states behind in the mean time, sowing chaos, but it will not succeed in the long-term. Whatever happens, a populace uprising, a catastrophic/systemic collapse, or something else Empires only last around 200 years. The enormous debt alone from constant warfare the U.S. has, which has spread its debt to other Nations, will have consequences.

      • Robert Barsocchini

        Let’s hope! And keep trying to curb the aggression/bloodshed the empire unleashes in the mean time.

      • MC

        I don’t think that taking comfort in the notion that empires last only about 200 years is a good idea.