Euthanasia of the Presidency under Obama

By Con George-Kotzabasis

President Obama is placing the vibrant presidency of the most powerful nation in the world in the hands of the practitioners of euthanasia as if America were in the agony of its death throes. Cynical about America’s global political and military power; cynical about its ability to win the war against its deadly and irreconcilable enemy; cynical about its peoples’ steadfastness and determination to wage war against the fanatical hordes of Islam that threaten America’s heartland; cynical of its European allies’ resolution–under indomitable and sagacious US leadership–to fight the same war; and cynical of the capacity of the best professionally trained armed forces in the world, i.e., the American, to defeat an impromptu organized group of terrorists, who bereft of cool strategic nous in comparison to its ‘infidel’ opponents, are impulsively fighting the Great Satan and all the other little Satans of  the West  with the fanatical cry of Allahu Akbar,  President Obama has chosen, due to this inveterate cynicism and to his guileful and odious politics as we shall  see further down, most imprudently strategically and politically and sans amour propre to retreat from the battlefield, with macabre geopolitical consequences for America’s prestige as a superpower, and take cover behind a no longer fortress America.

As we predicted early in 2009, during the long gestation of the president’s ‘new strategy’ for Afghanistan which under the pretence of giving serious consideration to the request of his senior commander in Afghanistan General McChrystal to increase the troops by 40,000, he dithered his decision not however for the purpose of how to win the war but for the purpose of weighing the political costs that would accrue to him if he had accepted the advice of his general. And when finally he made his decision, he increased the troops by 30,000 while handing to his National Security team a memo setting the strict terms that this increase included the July 2011 start date for a US troop withdrawal. Hence, Obama as Commander-in-Chief, whilst his brave soldiers and astute generals were spilling their blood in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan fighting the Taliban with the aim of defeating them, all he was thinking about were the political costs that would bear upon him as a result of his apparent greater involvement in the unpopular war. So Obama’s ‘serious’ and long deliberations before he made his decision had nothing to do with a new strategy, emanating from his status as Commander-in-Chief, to defeat the Taliban but had everything to do with his status as political shyster who was only concerned about his polls.

The increase of troops by 30,000 was strategically meaningless as it had not the aim of defeating the enemy since it merely served Obama’s political rationale of not seeming to be weak on war while at the same time placating the anti-war crowd by announcing the withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan. What strategist of any substance would increase his forces in the field of battle only to withdraw them without inflicting upon his enemy a mortal blow? And what kind of leader would place an increased number of his soldiers in danger and continue a war that he thinks is unwinnable when his main purpose was to withdraw them from such war, why would he have increased them in the first place if he was planning to withdraw them if not for his concealed ill-design to dupe the American people, to present himself as both a war president and a peaceful one? In reality of course, Obama is neither of these but a political Shylock who demands his pound of flesh from his troops fighting in Afghanistan in order to play his despicable politics at home so he can placate both those Americans who support the war and those who are against it.

From Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Charles Martel, to Napoleon all strategies had a clear and unique goal, to defeat the foe. Only President Obama, who as the most repulsive of political manipulators is wantonly sacrificing the interests of the nation to his own narrow political interests, is disgracefully and timorously traducing this irreversible principle of war and turning himself into a cartoonist mockery as Commander-in-Chief of a great nation.

Afghanistan during Obama’s political campaign was a “war of necessity” that was neglected by President Bush and a war that must be won. But according to Bob Woodward’s new book titled Obama’s Wars, this is no longer so. Obama is quoted as saying, “This needs to be a plan about how we are going to handed it off and get out of Afghanistan.” And the outcome of the policy review and its long deliberations was the offspring of “political considerations,” according to a State Department official. Obama himself reportedly said to Senator Lindsey Graham, “I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party” on the issue of Afghanistan. General Petraeus felt so affronted by White House demands for an exit strategy at all costs that he told his aids, “They are f…king with the wrong guy.” Another senior general said that the announcement of the withdrawal by President Obama, gave “sustenance to the Taliban.” Moreover, the policy review has engendered serious divisions within the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Council, and the Defense Department and between American and Afghan officials. Jim Jones, the National Security adviser, calls the ‘bosom’ advisers of Obama, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel variously as the “mafia” the “campaign set” and the “politburo.” And General Petraeus has dubbed Axelrod as the spin artist in residence, and I would add the spin-master who can win elections and lose wars. 

These revelations of Bob Woodward are toxic to Obama’s presidency and threaten to unleash a spate of resignations of top echelons of the Administration. In short, the presidency at this critical moment of national security and war is in a state of disarray. And no matter how he is going to re-arrange the musical chairs of his sinking presidency after losing the better performers, the future ones that will occupy them will be the worst performers that he could get. No one of sterling qualities, of the best and the brightest, will have an inkling to join an intellectually, politically, morally, and strategically bankrupt administration and be branded everlastingly with such an ignominiously failed presidency. Obama by debasing the political currency of a great nation will become the victim of Gresham’s Law. The bad and base currency of circulating officials that will bid for the positions of the Administration will drive the good and golden currency of officials out of circulation for these posts. Hence Obama’s future administration will be filled by political parvenus, professional opportunists, and Cagliostro like political impostors and all ‘playing their tunes’ under the conductors of spin. Such an outcome will seriously undermine America’s prestige and éclat as a superpower. It will momentously endanger the vital interests of the nation and its security by enticing its mortal enemies to attack it, as they see that the rudder of America in the rough seas of the world is in the hands of an incompetent and weak president. The question is whether Americans will allow this to happen and whether they will have the intelligence and courage to use all means to stop it and put an end to Obama’s Directorate of social democracy and to stop at the eleventh hour the euthanasia of the presidency.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now

Multiculturalism: How a Pet Idea Became a Dinosaur

The following paper was first written and published in the IPA Review (Institute of Public Affairs) in 1996, Vol. 49/2. It’s republished here as Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel applied to Multiculturalism the last rites to its demise: According to the Chancellor, Multiculturalism is kaput. “The approach to multiculturalism to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other has failed, utterly failed.”

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Once upon a time an amateurish “astrologer” by the name Al Grasby, who happened also to be Minister of Immigration, discovered accidentally, in the Australian firmament of immigration a new star:the Star of Multiculturalism. Al was a man who had a lot of “pets”, “lay” ideas, but this one was going to be a whopper. Within a decade, it would become for wave upon wave of migrants who landed and settled in this country, their lodestar. It would provide guidance and solace for the travails they would endure in the initial stages of settlement, as well as give the celestial energy by which they would cultivate their cultures in their new homeland.

No one had suspected that this discovery of our amateur astrologer was from its beginnings a Fata Morgana and that before the end of the second decade of its chequered existence it would be a falling star. The idea that lay behind the discovery was magnanimous and filled to the brim with the ideals of humanity and the spirit of tolerance. But, like all ideas with such pe(t)digree it was impregnated with the seeds of its own destruction at its conception. This, however, was unbeknown even to its eminent founding fathers, who had spent, with such profligacy, prodigious amounts of corporeal and spiritual energy to give it wings. And it must have been a dolorous and painful experience for them to see that all that their huge efforts had led to was the tragedy of Icarus. But it would not be the first time in history that frivolity in the form of a pet idea would have had such an ending.

It would be stating the obvious to describe Australia as a country whose people are of an exotic provenance. However, to transform a descriptive term into a socio-cultural value, with which migrants would nurture and uphold their cultures in this country for the long duration, as well as transmit them to their progeny, would be an exercise in intellectual alchemy. To have believed that Australia, uniquely, could become a multicultural society was quixotic.

According to its founders, multiculturalism would not only encourage the cultivation and secure the continuation of this rich diversity of cultures, but it would also contribute to the creation of a uniquely tolerant society. In both of these two admirable aims, multiculturalism would be found to be wanting. The achievement of these grandiose aims was based on the premise that Australia somehow was chosen, by some sort of divine predestination, to break itself from the vise of history

Professor Jerzy Zubrzycki, one of the intellectual founders of multiculturalism, who since has abandoned it, asks the historically germane question regarding the concept of “Many Cultures One Australia”, as proposed by the Centenary of Federation Advisory Committee for the year 2000:“…can it represent a victory over the divisive atavism which has cursed the human experience for so long?” In other words, was it ever conceptually plausible that multiculturalism, or any of its variations, would exorcise this “curse” of history and function as equal before the cascading force of the culture of modern capitalism?

No lesser figure than Karl Marx, whom some of the protagonists of multiculturalism would be proud to consider as their mentor, predicted that the elemental force of capitalism and its culture would sweep away, on a vast scale, the dead weight of traditions and cultures that riveted their peoples to the obfuscation, ignorance, and bigotry of a hoary past. How could anyone be oblivious of the fact that the Darwinian natural selection process of the biological world also applies, with some modifications, in the cultural world, by means very often, of a ruthless competition of cultures, whose crown of victory ineluctably passes to the head of the stronger culture and to the one that is most suitable to the needs and aspirations of people living in a particular society? How could anyone with a modicum of knowledge of human history, disregard the “sanguine” fact that most wars were, whatever their other causes, at the same time wars of different cultures and religious beliefs? Even when there happened to be wars of the same culture, it was a conflict between different interpretation of beliefs, as the Thirty Year War between Protestants and Catholics in the seventeenth century illustrated. In view of the above, one must have had the “courage” of ignorance, to have considered and proposed the possibility of a multicultural Australia.

As to its laudatory goals of tolerance between different cultures and their flourishing within the strongly-established mainstream of Anglo-Saxon culture, to what extent are these goals feasible? There is no doubt that Australia has an exemplary record in its tolerance of different cultures. The strong sense of egalitarianism introduced into Australia by the early colonists, an array of judicious governmental and educational policies, and the experience of an expanding tourism in and out of Australia have combined to imbue Australians, despite some pockets of bigoted obscurantism, with a strong sense of respect and acceptance of foreign cultures.


ETHNIC CONFLICTS WITHIN AUSTRALIA


But whilst the host culture can be genial and tolerant, one cannot say the same for the “metic” cultures. The tolerance of cultures, like the characters of persons, are tested and adjudged in critical and difficult circumstances. Conflicts and historical hatreds between Arabs and Jews, between Greeks and Serbo-Macedonians, between Serbs, Bosnians, and Croats, between Turks and Kurds, have been transplanted into this country. The extent to which these conflicts can mobilize these hostile communities against each other and induce them to lobby governments in support of their countries, furnishes a striking example that multiculturalism and its ideals are a mirage.

What is more disturbing, however, is that governments, for electoral reasons, can become hostages to the “blackmailing” demands of certain ethnic communities, who have the advantage of numbers. Hence, governments in Australia can become unofficial allies of certain countries which are embroiled in hostilities, or even in war, through the pressure resident communities can exercise upon them. The reality, therefore, is that leading organizations of ethnic communities, whose countries back home are engaged in hostilities or war, can become surrogate diplomatic corps, negotiating and acting on behalf of the interests of their own countries with Australian governments.

It’s obvious therefore, that a nation under the umbrella of a multicultural society cannot be protected from the thunderbolts cast by the atavistic wrath that some nations have against each other. The idea of a multicultural society, from the day of its inception, was child’s play, building castles in the sand. It was an idea that should be stillborn. But, due to a mushrooming crop of ethnic communities and councils along with their leaders’ adeptness to coax and seduce politicians and governments, who felt that in return for their political favours they would be rewarded with the ethnic vote, it continued to flourish. Thus it was that ethnic community leaders were able to ensconce themselves within the precincts of political power. As a result of governments’ willingness, especially that of Labour, to adopt and implement many of the schemes of the supporters of multiculturalism, a swarm of drones and mediocrities, both from the ethnic and Anglo-Saxon communities, invaded and captured ministerial and departmental positions, which were cast as the incubators from which would rise the policies of multiculturalism.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), in the Prime Minister’s office under the Hawke government, was the hatchery par excellence. Thus came into existence the teeming breed of the “professional ethnic”. To solidify the hold they had upon governments, they needed to have the “august” voices of academia speaking in favour of their multicultural proposals. And for those multiculturalists who entered the universities and upon whom some benign force allotted them professorial chairs, Plato’s proviso for his academia that no person without knowledge of mathematics should enter here, did not apply. It was not surprising, therefore, that nothing profound emerged from those noisy, creaking wobbly chairs. Moreover, few academics– with some exceptions, like the courageous professor Blainey–would dare to “pluck the wings” off this flock of intellectual usurpers. Even today, despite the abandonment of the concept of multiculturalism by such eminent persons as professor Zubrzycki and Justice Gobbo, cackles about multiculturalism still can be heard in, and out of, the rooms of academia.


THE FOUR PRINCIPLES OF MULTICULTURALISM


The Gordian knot of multiculturalism was tied by its four principles, as outlined by the Australian Council of Population and Ethnic Affairs: “Essential for a successful multicultural society were social cohesion; respect for cultural identity and awareness of Australian’s cultural diversity; equal opportunity and access for all Australians; and equal responsibility for, commitment to, and participation in Australian Society.” The achievement of each of these principles however, depends on the acceptance of the social, economic, political, and philosophical values of Australian society, i.e. the cultural values of an advanced technological democratic society. But many of the cultures of our ethnically diverse population do not espouse these values. Therefore, if those four basic principles were to be realized, these cultures would have to debunk a great chunk of their own values and adopt the values of Australian society. Ironically, the realization of these four basic principles would not lead to a multicultural society, but to a society of one dominant culture, which fits the requirements of a modern society, with moderate variations, however, in its original cultural milieu. As through a syncretic process, the home grown culture will absorb the best that other cultures have to offer, but like a river with many currents, it will be the mainstream, the stronger current that will determine the meandering course of its direction. It’s certainly correct to believe that the diversity of cultures enriches the experience and enlightens the minds of people. But it’s erroneous to believe that you can build a society or a nation on a medley of cultures.

Al Grasby’s pet idea was destined to have a transitory, but nonetheless, a grotesque existence, for it was written in its star that it would share the fate of the dinosaur.

The article was first written and published in the IPA Review (Institute Of Public Affairs) Vol. 49/2 1996