Middle East’s Dark Shadow: Is Barack Obama George W. Bush 2.0?
Barack Obama, who was twice elected on a strong anti-war platform, has turned out to be an incarnation of George W. Bush, American author and investigative historian Eric Zuesse argues, citing campaigns in Libya and Syria, as well as the CIA torture report.
Zuesse quoted the 44th US president as saying in early 2009 that “I don’t believe that anybody is above the law. On the other hand I also have a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”
In the historian’s opinion, the contradiction in Obama’s statement and its implications are obviously grave. The US president in fact appears to be thinking that the law does not apply to all.
“Perhaps when Barack Obama, just nine days before becoming president, said [that] … he might have been anticipating his perpetrating as president similar crimes as Bush had (such as Obama has, in fact, done in Libya, Syria, etc.) and anticipated his lying about it, in his own presidency – his being actually a GWB II,” the analyst asserted.
For Zuesse, Washington’s direct or indirect military engagement in the Middle East constitutes a crime since neither Iraq, nor Libya or Syria posed a threat to the US national security. He also believes that those, who are responsible for sending US troops to the Middle East or torturing people, have to stand trial.
The fact that nobody has been punished baffles the historian, who laments that the lack of responsibility for inflicting pain and suffering is affecting democracy in the United States.
“America’s failure to prosecute George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for the invasion of Iraq is the most stunning evasion of basic democratic accountability,” Zuesse noted. “Once his presidency has ended, there is no excuse for George W. Bush’s still not having had to face trial on this and many other serious charges concerning his presidency,” he added, referring to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Zuesse believes that democracy can only survive if everyone is accountable and no lie is left unanswered. Otherwise, a country turns into a “dictatorship by and on behalf of liars, who thereby become the nation’s aristocracy.”