Obama’s management of policies towards the Islamic countries and Israel – if might seem like a new American isolationism, until last year – could be affected by a very clear inability to understand the motivations, strategies and phenomena. Much more than during the management of G. W. Bush.
The list is long: the Escape from Iraq, the leave from Afghanistan and Central Asia, the ‘secular’ uprisings (Day of Rage) in North Africa, the Islamic uprise in Egypt and Libya (as in ‘French’ Algeria and Tunisia things are different), the defeat of the embassy in Benghazi, the weakening of Assad in Syria with the bad results that we know, the unjustified ostracism toward Iran (which as usual is behaving responsibly), the free hand of Israel in the Palestinian Territories and, today, the decision to use drones only when IS was at the gates of Baghdad and after having left them to pillage arsenals and gold reserves of the banks, as well as take control of mines and oil wells or pipelines.
It is not possible that such a series of errors is due to incompetence, we have to understand what the source of that stubbornness to ‘do nothing’, or what could be the point of view of Barak Obama on religion and more generally what do our decision maker study and /or mind on human behaviour.
We all remeber that Barack Obama’s religious background is variegated: his mother was raised by non-practicing Christians; his father was raised a Muslim but was an atheist at the time he was born, his step-father was also Muslim, but open animist and Hindu beliefs.
As a child, Obama studied for two years at one Muslim school and then two years at a Catholic school.
As he writes in his book ‘The Audacity of Hope’: “For my mother, organized religion too often dressed up closed-mindedness in the garb of piety, cruelty and oppression in the cloak of righteousness. However, in her mind, a working knowledge of the world’s great religions was a necessary part of any well-rounded education. In our household the Bible, the Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology.
In sum, my mother viewed religion through the eyes of the anthropologist; it was a phenomenon to be treated with a suitable respect, but with a suitable detachment as well.”
According to Barack Obama, religious faith must be used to “tackle moral problems” but not “divide the nation” and too often religious leaders use faith to “exploit what divides us” by saying that the only issues that matter are abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, and intelligent design.
Of what religions should deal if not with marriage, prayer, education and lifestyles?
So, when Barack Obama abandoned this skepticism to be baptized as an adult, he preferred the Trinity United Church of Christ, a little ‘like Baptist’ religious organization that emphasizes the freedom of the individual conscience over adherence to creeds of hierarchical authority.
Where this “individual freedom” over adherence to creeds of theologists – for Barak Obama – is well cleared in a 2007 speech to United Church of Christ’s Iowa conference: “...somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it is because the so-called leaders of the Christian right are all too eager to exploit what divides us. … I don’t know what Bible they’re reading. But it didn’t jibe with my version.”
Has Obama created an his own version of the Bible, according to what agrees with what is written there? Have a true believer to trust in the whole ‘Book of God’ (Bible, Gospel, Qur’an, Sutras, Bagavagita etc) or just in the part that he likes? And how to overcome divisions if you are not willing to jibe and to compare different versions?
The question is not (only) religious, but politic (that is more general than the one Mr. President): it is very difficult to understand the context of the Middle East and Europe, if you’ve been brought up to believe that organized religion ‘too often dressed up closed-mindedness’ and you follow a personal Jesus, without even being available to jibe your (own) version.
It is not an approach – a method of interpretation of reality – exclusive of Barak Obama and the Democratic Party: we find it also in Europe on the left bank of the Seine in Paris or of the Tiber in Rome.
The idea (wrong) that evolution and progress can be synonyms or that the wars of liberation are ‘holy’ or that a phase of social chaos must inevitably lead to an order ‘better’ than the previous one, or that the engine of human relations is profit and not the personal /private affections. That we can protect children without first protecting the family and the parenting.
What is wrong?
Certainly not the idea that men can join into a unique human project, regardless of the religion or the moral and social ideas that they have.
What does not work is – as mentioned – is the very nineteenth century approach to ‘what is the Man’ and how it can be managed at best.
As example, the idea that a peaceful and ‘wealthy’ society can put in place a “natural selection” of a progressive human race, as any organisms interacting with their environment.
This, in a nutshell, the ‘analogic’ idea that came to life in the many last century theories about the social causes of crime trends. Today, even for years, we know that – in reality – a part of us have genes that make them intolerant of the rhythms and lifestyles of our industrial-commercial society, as we know that our media – saturated with sex and violence – and the ‘education in the family – often distracted or inadequate – are the primary causes far more the social /economic status of individuals.
Disappointing hypothesis – that have raged for nearly two centuries – if we can not pay pensions without imperialism, and if at least two generations Muslims give birth three times as many children as we ‘Caucasians’ do. Islam developes a social system more adaptive than ours, if we have to stay on those last century theories
What to do, then, if you believe that the ‘equal opportunities’ are the key requirement to create a social habitat that allows the best men (peaceful, syncretic and collaborative) to evolve preferentially on the ‘worst’ (violent, integralist and macho)?
Isolate the ‘infected’ area and wait for each other’s throats … is an old political practice.
It was – for example – the choice of Reagan, not shared by George Bush senior, to prefer the demagogue Yeltsin to the political Gorbachev , when the USSR fell apart. Well lucky for a decade, embarrassing – having regard to expolit mafia-business – for another ten, and, today, here again the fearsome Russian fleet and here again the ancestral relationship between the people and the soldiers.
Same story for Obama in Irak or Lybia or Afghanistan … and we can see the results: the heads of so many innocent people sent through social networks to our decision-makers look like too much at the head of pig or horse mobsters everywhere left on the doorstep of those who wish to intimidate.
About the primary causes of crime trends, what is the role of religion and where are ‘civilization and education’, if USA and Europe fail to ensure to their families a society where children are not exposed to violence, sex and familiar abuses as in ours?
Who of us can mind the seeds of a citizen coming from a state where family, old people and children are preserved? Or about movidas, just a river of alcool and – not infrequently – public sex … or corruption, which we exported before and now returns to us magnified by revolving doors and narco-mafia-terror recycled funds. Or the maze of enormous public agencies created to ‘facilitate’ the democratic participation and … not rarely do not facilitate anything than corruption and expenses.
In Europe, where these ideas were born and applyed, many citizens are going to vote extreme right parties, in name of the ‘people’ (volk) and of the ‘territory’ (sippe) … as the Indoeuropeans did until a pair of hundred years, maybe minus … in name of some ‘equal opportunities’ and of an ‘inner but cooperative’ system.
In USA, it is not much time from the success of Clin Eastwood film ‘Gran Torino’ and the debats on the desirability of ‘old school’ education for our young people. As, two years ago, when Eastwood criticized Obama (“a body with a grin behind”) for his handling of the conflict in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the closure of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, from which a lot of tenacious Jihadist punctually re-come in fight as in Syria-Irak.
A very ironic speech, in which Eastwood for about a quarter of an hour has “exchanged” words with an empty chair, pretending that there was a sitting President Obama. A return response to Obama via Twitter: “This seat’s taken” …
But can a seat be considered taken if the person who is sitting is also reluctant to make decisions? Or withdraws its troops and leave prisoners then allows its allies to arm them?
Was just demagogy if Mitt Romney said – during the Presidential Campagn in 2012: “Barack Obama had promised to save the planet, I promise to help you and your families‘? Or is this the real need of the common people in a ‘equal opportunities machine’ where richs become richest and middle class poorest?
‘I promise to help you and your families‘, as European Right Parties as Islam … as a correct relationship between institutions and citizens should be.
And in this – today we can say – Obama has failed: nothing new jobs and, if it was not for Fiat in Detroit, not even those. The domestic spying of citizens has increased, as are the taxes imposed on the middle class. Meanwhile, the Californa and Nevada are almost a Hispanic majority, while the citizens of the states of the Middle West and South – that is the ‘real’ Americans – have almost no influence on the election of the President and federal policies. Last years he started a collision route with Putin, because the White House was firmly oriented to support rebels against the Syrian government …
Not only welfare, entertainment and subsidies or renevues: people needs to have education and job opportunities in the place where they were born and according to own talent. Stay home and make yourself useful to your people, what better?
A weak military strategy and absent (or fool) foreign policy now will force the United States to put in place more men and resources, while the relationships with Saudi e Israel have to change because of what is happening in Syria and Iraq.
By the way Obama is due not necessarily intervene until IS was about to take possession of the dam that feeds Baghdad and … in the vicinity of the pipeline that starts from Saudi Arabia and to the Mediterranean.
If, after years of low-profile foreign, was just the first African-American president and the pacifist to trigger World War III – as Pope Francis announced in Korea days ago – not merely a historical nemesis, like Arthur Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister known for the so-called strategy of appeasement towards Hitler and the intervent in France with a crushing defeat in 1940.
Meanwhile, the stock market rises and the dollar too, Germany talks with Putin, Britain is tired of the mess done by the United States in ‘her own’ Commonwealth, France and Italy – in tow to Obama’s party – fail again to recover, within a few years there will be elections for Obama, Hollande or Renzi and … I would go very well with the Barak’s mom ideas, but international politics can not afford prejudices or amnesias.
Originally posted on Demata