The author is a national columnist for the Post-Examiner online newspapers in the US and senior fellow of the American University in Moscow
It is no coincidence that the Sword, Sorcery and Dragons Fantasy Games of Thrones- filmed in large part on location in my native Northern Ireland – has entranced the American viewing public over the past decade: For the early 21st century has seen US policymakers and opinion-shapers plunging ever deeper into one fantasy after another. But even Game of Thrones pales in incredibility and absurdity next to the fantasy still believed by most Americans -- That Barack Obama was a wise and responsible, peace-loving statesman.
In truth, Obama, casually and with evident self-satisfaction, unleashed series of catastrophic foreign national security policies that sent the world careening to the brink of nuclear war and inflicted needless suffering on scores of millions of people. No Game of Thrones villain ever did anything like that damage.
I have no doubt that the ludicrous award of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to Obama will go down in history as the most ridiculous such award in the entire history of the institution.
What in reality was Obama’s record as President of the United States?
He authorized a totally unnecessary and strategically meaningless $1 trillion nuclear build up over the coming generation that will play a major role in bankrupting the United States. It was also a move guaranteed to set off a ruinous global thermonuclear arms race with Russia, China and other powers who understandably fear being made defenseless before a succession of ever more unilateral and unpredictable US leaders.
Obama claimed to be deeply concerned about nuclear nonproliferation and hosted a Nuclear Safety Summit in Washington whose only real achievement was to feed his already enormous and delusional appreciation of his own self-worth.
However, as analyst Rebecca Heinrichs of the conservative Hudson Institute in Washington concluded, "If one actually looks at the risks of nuclear war as well as the likelihood of proliferation at the start of the President’s term compared to now, the Obama’s nonproliferation record earns a failing grade.”
In 2011, Obama a fecklessly allowed his warmongering, hyper-aggressive secretary of state Hillary Clinton to arrange with Britain and France the use of NATO air power to destroy the state of Libya by giving tactical support and protection to rebels against veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi’s previous decade of consistent cooperation with the US and its allies in the struggle against extreme Islamist terror and his monitored compliance with demands to scrap Libya’s nascent nuclear were all for naught. Obama and Clinton’s reckless and even clownish policies ensured the complete disintegration of Libya, creating an infernal anarchy in which Islamist terror groups could thrive and metastasize throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Far from encouraging nations to scrap their nuclear programs as Gaddafi in fact had done, Obama’s childish approval of the destruction of Libya sent precisely the opposite message to nations around the world: "Scrap your nuclear deterrents and there will be nothing to stop the United States from destroying you in whenever its leaders feel like it.”
It was the same story in Syria where Obama and Clinton eagerly approved the flow of half a billion dollars a year to such groups including, incredibly the Nusrah Front, the Syrian franchise of al-Qaeda, heirs to the conspirators who killed nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001.
Obama’s utter ignorance and his clueless ignorance of diplomacy and the conduct of international relations was memorably exposed in his casual approval of the absurd and clownish Michael McFaul as US ambassador to Moscow.
The idea that an accredited ambassador could pass his days in sending out public abusive Twitter messages insulting the head of the state to which he was accredited was ludicrous even if that state was Mauritius, Lichtenstein or Tahiti let alone one of the world’s two thermonuclear superpowers.
McFaul openly worked overtime to give aid and encourage to domestic opposition to the undermine the legitimate government of Russia: His activities would have provoked calls for full-scale war from the US Congress had any Russian envoy to Washington, DC presumed to act in such a way. None of this bothered Obama for a second.
Even worse was to follow: In 2014, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the wife of leading neocon ideologue Robert Kagan and also the favored subordinate of Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state openly paraded in the streets of Kiev, handing out cookies to violent protestors as they overthrew with mob riots and terror the constitutionally democratically elected government of a European nation of 45 million people. Obama fully – albeit, as usual, passively approved.
East-West relations were reduced to a state of chaos and distrust unseen in 52 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Obama does not appear to have noticed or even been concerned.
Obama was not totally ignorant and uninterested in international relations. During his casual and ill-attended, poorly documented student years at Columbia University in New York City, he attended only one course in international relations. It was given by none other than Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter.
Brzezinski was a descendant of the displaced minor Polish aristocracy who through his long career consistently fought to lock the United States into a set policies designed to weaken, disintegrate and encircle Russia with hostile powers and alliances. He was a major foreign policy influence on US Presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Brzezinski was Obama’s personal guide and guru to what little the 44th US president dimly grasped of strategic orientation and world affairs. Obama’s near-total ignorance of non-American history and diplomacy gave Brzezinski full scope to manipulate him into accepting all his own most virulent anti-Russian prejudices.
Thanks to Obama, superpower diplomatic relations collapsed to their most parlous state in the entire Nuclear Age. When Obama took office in January 2009, the Doomsday Clock of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists journal was set at five minutes to midnight and the journal soberly warned: "The world stands at the brink of a second nuclear age.”
Yet after eight years in power, when Obama left the White House in January 2017, as ignorant, complacent and filled with unearned self-regard as when he came to Washington, the Doomsday Clock stood at three minutes to midnight. – two minutes closer than when he had taken office.
We do not need to wait to know the Verdict of History on Barack Obama’s eight years as a global statesman. That verdict is in and it is damning: The Nobel committee should rescind his 2009 Peace Prize. Perhaps it can be given instead to a harmless fantasy TV show like Game of Thrones.