On Wednesday, on the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations in which he called for ouster of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Obama attempted to rally support for his airstrikes against Assad’s terrorist opposition. Taking on issues ranging from Iran to Russia, from Ukraine to Syria, from global warming to Ebola, Obama pledged to utilize American might in service to the United Nations, speaking grandly of the beauty and power of the world’s least effective and most morally bankrupt international institution.
Obama opened with a Dickensian world of Manichean opposites:
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.
He then offered delegates a choice between paper and plastic.
Actually, he stated that the world has never been better off, praising the increase of member states at the UN and the decrease in poverty (neglecting, of course, that that decrease in poverty is a direct result of the rise of global capitalism), as well as the iPhone. “I often tell young people in the United States that this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, and to be free to pursue your dreams,” Obama said, apparently forgetting the last two decades of human history.
But, said Obama, there are a few problems with which we have to contend: Ebola, Russian aggression, “brutality of terrorists” in Syria and Iraq. And those problems, Obama continued, are “symptoms of a broader problem – the failure of our international system to keep pace with an interconnected world.” Incredibly enough, the rise of disease, Obama believes, is because we haven’t invested enough in the United Nations, not because incompetent regimes upheld by the UN have failed their people. In amazingly hypocritical fashion, Obama – a man elected on the basis of his undercutting of George W. Bush’s Iraq war, a war based almost entirely on enforcement of UN resolutions — said that terrorism has flourished because “we have failed to enforce international norms when it’s inconvenient to do so.”