Obama's speech on Ukraine and Crimea: An exercise in demagogy

Justifying the US criminal and bloody invasion of Iraq and presenting Crimea’s popular referendum as a blatant act of aggression by Russia is an outlandish example of President Obama’s demagogy, Brian Becker from the ANSWER coalition told RT. The following is a transcript of that interview.

RT: What do you make of Obama's words and his tone when addressing Ukraine and relations with Russia?

Brian Becker: I think his speech was largely disingenuous. He says that the 21st century is the century where borders will not be redrawn by force. The year before the 21st century started in 1999, the US led NATO and dropped 23,000 bombs on Serbia to pry loose Kosovo and have that country become an occupied country as a precursor for independence and then integration into the Western sphere of influence.

Obama also compared Crimea, and Russian activity in Crimea in supporting the referendum or having its own troops there, and said it was a far greater evil than what happened in Iraq. Even though he said he opposed the Iraq War.. Well, almost 1 million Iraqis died. Their country was ripped apart. Five million were left refugees. Five thousand US soldiers died. How can you possibly say well “Oh, I disagreed with the Iraq War but it is not nearly as criminal in terms of its activity as Russia has done.”

It is a disingenuous speech. I think it was largely done for domestic consumption. It is really to answer some of his critics here at home, who are even further to the right than Obama, demanding a return to the real Cold War that existed between the US and the Soviet Union.

RT: When condemning Russia's reunification with Crimea, Obama mentioned US experience in Iraq by saying: “We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.”

So there was no military operation in Crimea, yet judging by what we just heard, Obama apparently finds US actions in Iraq more justifiable... Would you say that's the case?

BB: I consider what President Obama said about Iraq and comparing it to Crimea to be just so outlandish it should be rejected as the worse kind of demagogy by the American people. Why did the US go into a war with Iraq? Iraq was at peace with the US. It was not threatening the US. The US created lies, pretext and rationale and then began a unilateral bombing of a country.

And as I said, by the UN's own statistics 1 million of Iraqis are dead, 5 million were made into refugees and president Obama oversaw that occupation for 3 long years in which thousands more Iraqis died, between 2009 and when he withdrew in 2011.

The reasons why the US has finally left Iraq, is it was essentially defeated by the arms resistance forces and because the American people were telling the President, as they told Bush, that they were sick and tired and wanted the American troops out of Iraq.

It is just completely hypocritical for him to somehow say that because the US did not annex Iraq, did not do what it did in Hawaii in 1893 that somehow it is a more benign activity than what has just happened in Crimea, where there was a popular referendum. There was no bombs falling, there was no drama, there was no chaos, no millions of refugees. The people clearly supported a federation with Russia. The US might not like it but to compare that to Iraq is just criminal, I think.

Click here to read the full transcript

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