Passées les dernières échéances électorales, Obama entre dans la ligne droite de sa fin de mandat. Il lui reste deux ans pour infléchir la politique américaine dans le sens annoncé par son « Yes we can » de 2008.
Le fera-t-il ?
Son opposition le craint, et c’est pour cela qu’elle se radicalise, mais le président dispose de pouvoirs considérables.
On objectera que deux ans, c’est trop court.
Pour mener à terme des changements complexes ?
Sans doute, mais pas pour peser à jamais sur le débat public.
Avec son talent oratoire et ce qu’il lui reste de charisme, Obama peut encore sortir les États-Unis de l’ornière sécuritaire où ils se sont enfermés, dégonfler le fantasme du toujours plus et contre tous, marginaliser les obsédés de l’exception américaine et relancer son pays dans « la ligne droite ».
Son Nobel était une promesse au monde de paix et d’ouverture. Souhaitons qu’il s’en souvienne et que, n’ayant plus à craindre ses adversaires, il démontre enfin que « Yes he can » !
C’est le thème de la lettre ouverte ci-après d’Alexandre Stärker.
[Governance Advisor (Le Caire – Genève)]
Time of “Yes We Can” Revival
President Obama’s Remaining Two Years Foreign Policy’ Outlook
President Obama last six years internal and foreign policy’s apparent track-record as well as the recent November mid-term legislative results in favor of the Republican camp push many to predict “a no major changes lame duck” status for the White House’s resident remaining two years mandate. However, as ostensible past experiences based predictions – particularly in the field of Foreign Policy – tend to be often reversed by underestimated or sidestepped realities; it seems worthwhile re-questioning Obama’s presidency remaining time “lame duck” predictions as these may be facing astonishing surprises.
America’s Two-Sided Foreign Policy Vision
America’s present Foreign Policy looks indeed puzzling and lacking of direction. However this perception is generated by the prevalence of two competing Foreign Policy visions within US political decision-making “Establishment”, irrespective of Republican or Democrat partisan background:
a) Power Policy: This pattern is backed by those who push for the Cold-War inherited concept that seeks US political model to be globally imposed through the use of a US foreign policy based on unilateral strong-arm power whether in the form of hard military might or non-military local soft-power driven interferences.
b) Dialogue Policy: This approach is supported by those who consider that it is not in America’s interest to “manage” the “community of Nations” and thus to get involved in problems not directly threatening the US. Instead, they call for a multilateral more regional based international dialogue diplomacy approach
These divisive and often erratic views of how to deal with the non-US world generates inevitably great confusions in the field of international diplomacy.
Failure to Recognize the Cold War’s End Peace Dividends
Such perplexing dual-approaches in US foreign policy is due to Washington’s “Establishment” failure to diagnose the peace dividends resulting from the Cold War’s ending following the Berlin Wall fall. Pushed by various pressure groups – some evidently rooted outside US’ soil – America’s political elite bluntly disregarded US “national interests” in favor of “special interests”. Injudiciously considering that the USA must remain the sole dominant super-power so to ensure a world stabilizing role, instead of reducing its war-related risks potential and allocate freed resources to other productive fields it committed even more moneys to further enhance its already over-extended military might. Whilst such strategy satisfied the US military industrial complex and by ricochet helped politicians to finance their electoral ambitions, this exaggerated interference in world affairs not only generated enormous resources misuses but also eroded earlier gained global credibility standards. The most geopolitics’ far-reaching yet by the media ignored decision in that direction was the unilateral termination – and violation – of the thirty years’ old US/Russian Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty by the George W. Bush Administration in 2002. Coming in addition to Bill Clinton’s earlier Administration rupture of the NATO eastwards non-proliferation agreement between President Bush senior and Gorbachev during the “Cold War” end phase negotiations, the ABM Treaty closure – to which the Glass-Steagall Act repeal (1999) must be also added on the economic side – signaled that America’s “Establishment” had succumbed to a state of “blind triumphalism” after the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
The Rule of “Indispensable Nation Warrior Policy”
Still central today within Washington’s political and media “Establishment,” US “Indispensable Nation Warrior Policy” is championed by an unwritten yet real alliance between the prevailing Republican neo-cons faction headed by Senator McCain with the conceptually not very divergent “Liberal Interventionists” camp headed by Democrat Senator Hilary Clinton.
Going well beyond US internal politics, the “Atlantic Salvation” ideology that believes in the need for Planet Earth to be “directed” by America has the support of many political leaders around the world. This is notably the case with some “New Europe” nations as well as with traditionalist groups on the Asian Pacific shores (Japan, South Korea and Australia). Bound by what they consider to be unalterable “Atlantic Club Membership” through NATO or similar military pacts and despite of having become major world economic players, these quasi US satellite nations failed to develop their own national interest linked medium/long-term strategies as is evidently the case with the past decades’ muddling through EU Foreign Policy conducts.
Worse, as a “collateral damage” to America’s mid-90th conceited disregard of the Cold War’s end peace dividends, the same no-global challenges response strategy has paralyzed UN’s missions. Whilst having demonstrated in the past enormous human conditions enhancements dynamics in all fields, blocked by the political wants of a minority proponents of the dominant unilateralists “model nation”, the UN has been unable to carry out any important “world existential” reforms during the past two decades. Diplomatically ignored for a long time, this deadlock is a fact recognized now by a number of world decision-making personalities, including within UN top executives ranks.
Mounting Pressures for Mutating out of the Prevailing US Unilateral Model Role
Yet after the passage of 25 years since the end of the Cold War it is obvious that the “Indispensable Nation Warrior Policy” has reached its natural limits. Eroded by negative past US’s Nation Building Wars experiences as well as by “against nature” alliances with sectarian and undemocratic regimes, America’s “impose by power foreign policy” is perceived by a growing part of the world’s populations as one of today’s mains instability factors. This negative perception comes as spearheaded by the BRICS group, many countries profited from the post-Cold War socio-economic peace dividends by pioneering into 21st century time-related multilateral avenues.
Moreover, distancing themselves from Washington insiders’ politics, a surprisingly growing number of US citizens, particularly amongst younger generations, are increasingly favoring an approach that prioritize multilateral dialogue diplomacy over military might “impose by power” dogmas.
In such context it would be unfair to pretend that the profound paradigmatic changes resulting from the “Cold War’s” end have not been measured by prominent US politicians. Opponents to America’s last two decades unwarranted military adventures did raise opposing voices. In this respect, together with few thinkers in both Republican and Democrat camps, President Obama figures prominently since well before his mandate start.
Yet, to prevail facing the “Establishment’s” mainstream heavy pro-Power Policy legislative and media backed adversity – including within his own camp – he was obliged once in the White House to maneuver through sinuous often puzzling roads (drones, bombing, Netanyahu’s no-peace policy support, “regime change” interventionist fabrications, sanctions, blind-eye to intolerant ideologies and autocratic regimes, etc.).
Finally Free to Implement the Vision that Brought Him to the White House.
All of these “off-course” tactical maneuvers give the unsound impression that missing the post-Berlin major paradigmatic changes; the present White House resident is sharing his two predecessors’ “Establishment’s” pro-special interests’ dysfunctions and visionary weaknesses.
However, now that the November 4th midterm legislative elections have taken place, President Obama is freed from any further electoral and “special interests” constrains for the remaining part of his mandate. This new-gained autonomy applies particularly towards H. Clinton’s “liberal interventionist” camps for which he is not naturally supportive. Thus as can be logically expected, he will emphasize on securing his presidency’s history track record so that it matches his “Yes We Can” and Peace Nobel award winning statesman image. To attain this goal, the President will have to somehow by-pass the “Establishment’s” numerous hurdles by addressing directly “we the people” so to obtain their support for a “back to-US values” executive order readjustments policy. In that respect he can logically count on the actual slow yet continuous economic growth trend to give him the popularity needed to implement these last minutes course corrections. Whereas these may not be validated in full by adverse US legislators before he leaves office – particularly regarding his social reform program – they will nevertheless attract sufficient critical-mass support so to become central in the US post-Obama political landscape. Hence, whoever will be in charge after his departure will have to deal with a new post-Cold War outlook rather than continuing playing the “Establishment’s” now obsolete “Indispensable Nation Warrior Policy” role!
Hence deciphering today’s Republican and Democrat media statements; it is obvious that many pro-power policy advocates consider the next two years Obama/Kerry Dialogue Policy “free-run” mandate period as very critical for the defense of their privileges. Two essential reasons can be cited:
1) Firstly, from a democracy governance perspective: Being largely liberated from partisan constrains and ipso facto from foreign meddling in US internal affairs, instead of defining his political discourse in respect of “classic” Democrats versus Republican partisan Establishment’s wants – which are in fine not very differing and leading to impasses – Obama’s alternative end of mandate strategy can focus on the growing “wants disparities” between “ruled citizens towards ruler elitist wants” (opening a parenthesis, it can be noted that the home “ruled towards ruler’s wants” discrepancies is similarly mirrored by “ruled nations towards a US domination wants” in US foreign policy). Going along such “direct democracy” strategic path will inevitably create internal opinions splits within the Establishment’s system, yet in the same time it will provide the out-going president with sufficient strong arguments to cement his “Yes We Can” call into a major governance turning point in America’s 21st century history.
2) Secondly, many of those adjustments particularly regarding the US foreign policy and UN veto rights utilization can be initiated without US legislators’ technical approval as demonstrated earlier on various occasions by former Presidents. In any event, Obama can always leave to his successor the burden of getting some of his initiatives endorsed through Congress. In this respect, watchful observers should already have noted that background channel dialogue preparations works are being initiated since a while regarding Russian, Iranian, North Korean and the Israeli-Palestinian problem issues.
Conclusion: Obama Ending Mandate Can Revive the “Yes We Can” Outlook
Instead of being viewed simplistically as a “Lame Duck” era, Obama’s end of mandate period may turns out to be the reflection of a daring game-changer “Wounded Tiger” action momentum. Using all means of executive power given to him by Law, the President can enforce reforms for which he was mandated for by the people. The first case clarifying his determination in that direction is his recent Facebook distributed pledge to pass the “immigration law” reform by 2014 year’s end. The second observed move was the replacing of his too much Congress policies dependent Defense Secretary Hagel by someone able to operate innovatively outside partisan guidelines.
Facing such end of mandate change determination, one must expect that the power-policy “Neo-Interventionist Establishment” will seek to obstruct this presidency’s remaining time maneuver in a way or another. America’s history offers in that respect a number of precedents.
Yet for those who believe that facing 21st century’s multiple cross-border existential challenges, dialogue and multilateral diplomacy is the only safe and efficient way ahead, the remaining Obama presidency may offer a unique salutary opportunity window to get out of obsolete Cold War “Indispensable Nation Warrior Policy” legacies. Going well beyond the narrow sphere of US internal partisan debates on Obama’s reforms politics, priority today has to be directed towards reducing significantly emotion loaded “Cold War” inherited damaging mutual accusations pathologies – as unfortunately recently theatrically played in Brisbane. Instead, it is vital to seriously start searching for the points of convergences needed to build 21St century compatible inter-nation win-win partnerships.
From a global governance perspective defining today’s points of convergence can only be achieved through working multilaterally on the since long overdue fundamental rethinking of the UN scope of mission and rules of conducts. In this respect, President Obama’s “Yes we Can” attitude towards dialogue policies and his ambition to be viewed as a positive Nobel contributor to his country’s modern history after his mandate’s end should logically motivate him to become a primus inter pares champion for the elaboration of a New San Francisco UN Charter.
World’s Civil Societies Require a Third Generation World Governance System ©
Projecting such vision may appear utopic but History shows that all major changes started through “Yes We Can Dreams”. No doubts, the World is facing interesting perspectives during 2015 and 2016!
Governance Advisor – Cairo/Geneva
www.transcivilization.org Geneva, November 25, 2014
 For foreign involvements in US politics – except regarding Israel which is surprisingly not mentioned – see NYT Eric Lipton, Brook Williams and Nicholas Confessore September 6th 2014 article “Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks.” Regarding the strange self-censorship absence of Israel in the list of foreign influencers in US policy see Philip Weiss September 7Th comments in “Front-page ‘NYT’ piece on foreign influence on D.C. thinktanks leaves out Israel”
 For more on the “Warrior Politics“ see Robert D. Kaplan’s “Warrior Politics; Why Leadership Demands A pagan Ethos” – Vintage Books, NY, 2002
 Regarding Mrs. H. Clinton’s commitment to US “Indispensable Nation Warrior Policy” see amongst others Glenn Greenwald’s “Key Democrats Led by Hillary Clinton Leave No doubt that Endless War is Official US Doctrine” October 09, 2014 – “The Intercept” – See also H. Clinton’s close adviser Robert Kagan’s essay Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire
 For more on the UN’s reforms needs see: Maurice Bertrand, “The UN as an Organization. A Critique of its Functioning”, 1995 – Hans Köchler “The United Nations and International Democracy: The Quest for Reforms” Paper presented at the University of Cambridge, march 1996 – Allison and Zelikow “Essence of Decisions” and Lauren K Chang “Fundamental Failings: Understanding the United Nations as an Organization and the Future of UN Peacekeeping Reforms”
 See 2013 WIN/Gallup poll conducted in 68 countries
 Regarding conceptual similarities in Obama’s internal and foreign policy approach by a number of prominent Republicans see Bruce Bartlett’s The American Conservative magazine October 21, 2014 article “Obama Is a Republican; He’s the heir to Richard Nixon, not Saul Alinsky”.
 Regarding Obama’s general mediatized “weaknesses” and Hillary Clinton/Robert Kagan Democrat neocon approach see another perspective by investigative reporter Robert Parry’s “Obama s True Foreign Policy Weakness” June 23, 2014, Consortiumnews.com.
For more on Mrs. Clinton’ hawkish attitude see Washington D.C. freelance reporter Kelley Vlahos’ article “The Military-Industrial Candidate” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-military-industrial-candidate/?mc_cid=59ca74e576&mc_eid=e6e3beba0d
 An interesting perspective on America’s political governance drifts, particularly since the Cold War’s end can be found in Daniel McCarthy’s article “American Machiavelli; James Burnham reveals how our oligarchy rules” in October 28, 2014 edition of The American Conservative.
 Regarding Israel’s Obama fears see Times of Israel Raphael Ahren’s “US veto at Security Council may no longer be a given” November 4, 2014 See also “Saban And Adelson Discuss 2016 Election And Ensuring US Support For Israel” http://news.firedoglake.com/2014/11/10/saban-and-adelson-discuss-2016-election-and-ensuring-us-support-for-israel/
 For more on Obama’s “Executive Action“ concerning immigration see CATO Institute Report http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/executive-action-obama-should-take-immigration
 To have a better understanding of the Obama-Hagel strategy rift revert to Chuck Hagel’s recent speech as related by Defense One: http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2014/11/new-era-defense-department/99392/
 Regarding eventual threats by US Establishment hawks see Finian Cunningham’s “Is Obama Being Threatened by US Hawks with Security Risks?” http://mycatbirdseat.com/2014/10/is-obama-being-threatened-by-us-hawks-with-security-risks/
 Graph presented by the undersigned during the late Club of Rome co-founder Hugo Thiemann’s speech at the 40Th anniversary CLUB of ROME celebration in August 2008 in Rome©.