Tag Archives: Barack Obama

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Neocons: They Are Alive and Itching for War!

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 24, 2014, No Comments

If you thought that the American neoconservatives (aka "chicken hawks") of the George W. Bush administration–persons who brought us the Iraqi invasion based on a mission to destroy the imaginary arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussain was hiding–you would be wrong. They are very much alive and are coming back through cyberspace and the airways trashing President Barack Obama's handling of Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.  When they are reminded of the atrocious mess originally created in Afghanistan and Iraq by Bush and these very same neocons, they deny this linkage and then quickly proceed with their warmongering rhetoric.  A factor to keep in mind about these neocons is that none has actually fought in a war.  However, their palpable penchant for war–as long as someone else's son or daughter is going to die in it–has rightly earned them the pejorative depiction "chicken hawks." Their proclivities are very much alive; they are itching for another war. (mo
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Whither “Savior” Musharraf Pervez?

by Ehsan Ahrari on April 18, 2013, No Comments

My surprise was second to none when I saw that the former dictator of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, had arrived in his native land with the audacious self-depiction of himself as a "savior."  My estimation was that it was too soon for him to return to Pakistan; there were too many angry politicians and persons in the legal community and institutions chomping at the bit to get even with him.  One angry lawyer even hurled his shoe at him.  The ultimate "Bush welcome" in Baghdad of December 2008 has become a permanent symbol of popular contempt for unpopular politicians in Muslim countries.  Besides, the people of Pakistan had shown no affinity for the idea of his return.  The professional commando decided to go on a "suicide mission" on his own.  (more…)
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Afghanistan: The Enduring Battlefield of the ‘Weak’ and the ‘Strong’

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 9, 2011, 1 Comment

India and Pakistan are two strange countries in a number of ways.  I will mention only one such trait here, to get the discussion going.  Despite India's denial to the contrary, Pakistan is its chief obsession.  Pakistan feels similarly toward India, but it has many reasons to feel that way.  First, on the scale of economic development, these two countries are really a world apart.  Despite India's intricacy as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state, it is relatively trouble free, while Pakistan is a simmering cauldron of sectarian and ethnic hatred.  The Takfiri extremism – which was prevalent in Egypt, post-Saddam Iraq, and Saudi Arabia – has found a home in Pakistan throughout the first decade of the 21st Century.  India is envisaged worldwide as a secular democracy and an up-and-coming cradle of modern education and technological development, while Pakistan is a place where Islamist-driven obscurantism is running rampant.  In view of these contrasting featur
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Mil-to-Mil Contacts Are Only a Tool for Smooth U.S.-China Relations, Nothing More

by Ehsan Ahrari on May 17, 2011, No Comments

The news that China and the U.S. have reestablished their military-to-military (mil-to-mil) contacts is indeed a positive development. However, the differences between these two major actors promise to keep the element of competition both alive and steady. Thus, while not denying the benefits of sustaining such contacts, one has to keep in mind that they are no guarantee for smooth ties. (more…)
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Al-Qaida versus the Arab Awakening: The Muslim World’s Past and Future

by Ehsan Ahrari on May 7, 2011, No Comments

Long before Usama Bin Laden's death in Pakistan, al-Qaida had become irrelevant as an organization that could bring about political change in the Arab or Muslim world.  The Arab awakening, on the contrary, was very much in the driving seat of bringing about political change toward the end of the first decade of the 21st Century.  Al-Qaida and its followers could cause enormous amounts of violence in West Asia, North Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula, but it could never topple any regime.  One reason might be because, unlike the Arab awakening, it never was a social movement.  As an organization that was galvanized on the basis of a highly exclusivist ideology (Islamic puritanism and an excessive use of violence), al-Qaida always had limited appeal in terms of creating massive numbers of "foot soldiers." (more…)
UNITED STATES

The Audacity of a Declining Hegemon: Obama’s National Security Strategy

by Ehsan Ahrari on May 27, 2010, No Comments

The author of a book entitled, The Audacity of Hope, has issued another audacious document in the form of his first National Security Strategy (NSS). That document will be known more for its marked departure from strategic issues, which were emphasized by George W. Bush in his NSS, than for its continuity. In doing that, it remains highly mindful and pragmatic about the emerging new order of the 21st Century in which the United States has to find its niche, either as a leader or as a declining hegemon. (more…)
INTELLIGENCE

Immutable Washington Rules Also Affect Intelligence

by Ehsan Ahrari on May 21, 2010, 2 Comments

The recent resignation of retired Admiral Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence, at the request of President Obama, underscores several iron rules regarding the workings of Washington. The foremost rule is that no "outsider" (which Obama claimed to be during the presidential campaign) would act like an outsider once he/she enters the White House. The holding of the awesome power of the presidency makes that person an instant insider, because the exercise of power is a conventional art. The conventional way of doing business takes over every aspect of a new administration within a short period of time. That also includes the overall issue intelligence handling: its collection, dissemination of actionable intelligence, and use by the powerful actors inside the government. (more…)
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Political Legitimacy: Key to Victory in Afghanistan

by Ehsan Ahrari on May 10, 2010, No Comments

As new idiosyncrasies of the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan are becoming pronounced, one wonders how many of them are pushing it toward a potential disaster, which President Barack Obama is as determined to avoid as his three predecessors – Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and George W. Bush – did in Vietnam and Iraq, respectively. Every new president's approach to major unresolved issues is entirely different from those of his immediate predecessor, simply because the predecessor's approach is regarded as inept or even wrong-headed. So, the successor proceeds to 'reinvent the wheel' on those issues by approaching it entirely differently. Since Barack Obama entered office criticizing Bush's involvement in and his handling of the Iraq war, his own war – the one in Afghanistan – was going to have his 'superior' mark on it. (more…)
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Iran: The Next Crisis

by Ehsan Ahrari on March 18, 2010, 2 Comments

The United States has become well accustomed to imposing economic sanctions against any state that defies it. Such actions are taken without regard to how badly they affect the quality of life of the people in the sanctioned country. The cruel rationale in Washington is that, if people suffered the terrible consequences emanating from those sanctions, they would overthrow the existing government. When that did not happen, as in Iraq for instance, the administration of George W. Bush decided to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein through a military invasion. (more…)
TIDBITS AND MORSELS

Tidibits and Morsels (4)

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 13, 2009, No Comments

MAY BE DECLINING, BUT STILL THE UBERPOWER   Regardless of whether you are among those who are baffled about the economic problems that continue to ail the U.S. with no end in sight, or among those who are cheering the noisy fall of the mightiest among nations, here is one of the most cogent explanations that Nathan Gardels provides in the Fall 2008 issue of the New Perspectives Quarterly about the grim situation that the lone uberpower faces.  He writes: In the space of a few short months, we have morphed from the citadel of free-market capitalism and freewheeling consumerism -- from a land of high-flying hedge funds, Hummers and homes that doubled as ATMs -- to a system in which the banks, insurance companies, mortgage industry and auto manufacturers are quasi-socialized (more…)