The Foreign Policy of Barack Obama

October 22 , 2009

Large numbers of people have seen that the Obama administration's slogan of "change" in foreign policy is simply a cover for continuing, and escalating, U.S. imperialism's program for world domination.

The Obama administration has declared that U.S. imperialism does not and will not respect the sovereignty of other countries. Obama is dramatically escalating its war in Afghanistan in the name of fighting "terrorism." The Obama administration is stepping up its counter-insurgency war in Pakistan and bombing civilian populations there. While Obama keeps up the hysteria about the so-called "nuclear threat" of North Korea, it is U.S. imperialism which deploys nuclear weapons around the Korean peninsula, occupies South Korea and prevents the peaceful reunification of the country. So too, the Obama administration declares that some peoples are not yet ready for independence and self-determination and need to be "mentored" and "civilized" by the imperialist powers. Under this banner as well as the banner of fighting "terrorism," the U.S. continues to wage war against the national liberation struggle of the Iraqi people while working hard to build a colonial administration there.

No, the foreign policy of the United States did not change when Obama took office. The aggressiveness of U.S. foreign policy arises from the ongoing crisis of the capitalist-imperialist system. For the last two decades, U.S. imperialism has been relying on its military power to try to impose its dictate on the whole world.

The collapse of the Soviet empire ushered in a new phase in the struggle of the U.S. and other imperialist powers for the division of the world, a period marked by extreme instability, inter-capitalist rivalries and tensions.

In this situation, U.S. imperialism has set itself the agenda of creating a "new world order" under its domination. The U.S. demands that every country embrace the "free market system" and open its economy to the U.S. monopolies.

Facing sharp competition from other imperialist powers and capitalist states, the U.S. relies on its military superiority to gain spheres of economic influence, grab new territories and redraw the map of the world in its favor.

Thus, in Yugoslavia, U.S. imperialism declared war in order to carve out part of the country and set up U.S. protectorates in the Balkans. In 2001, the U.S. launched war in Afghanistan to secure and extend its network of military bases and alliances. Strengthened U.S. strategic hegemony in the region has already been used to launch war on Iraq, extend the war into Pakistan and the U.S. continues to threaten Iran. For nearly twenty years, the U.S. has waged war against Iraq. After and while still creating chaos and fomenting sectarian violence there, the U.S. continues its occupation and war in the name of "stabilizing" the country and carrying out "nation-building."

In this situation we find the real meaning of the Obama administration’s slogan of "change." Obama is trying to portray the imperialist warmakers as advocates of "peace," "freedom," "democracy," and "human rights," while slandering the peoples who resist colonialism and fight for their rights as the source of "violence and terrorism." At the same time, precisely because there is so much opposition amongst the people to the war program of U.S. imperialism, the Obama administration is relying on the tactic of imperialist pacifism–of talking about "peace" while waging war, of promising "negotiations and compromise" while imposing U.S. dictate. The real content of the peace plans and negotiations sponsored by the Obama administration are to try to get the peoples to give up at the bargaining table what imperialism cannot win on the battlefield–to get the people of Afghanistan to give up their struggle for independence and to accept a neo-colonial arrangement, to get the Palestinian people to give up their struggle for national liberation, to get Iran to give up its sovereignty and independence, etc.

Yet, just as recent events again bring home the ultra-chauvinism and aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism, recent events also show that the world does not march to U.S. imperialism's drumbeat.

Every day, Obama is coming up against new obstacles. Even within NATO, the U.S. is increasingly unable to maintain its "alliance" in Afghanistan. Many countries are refusing to bend to the dictates of imperialism. Most importantly, the people across the world are coming out in opposition to U.S. imperialism's war program.

As we lay down the foundations for a broad popular front against war and imperialism it is essential that we carry out continuous struggle against the chauvinism of the capitalist class and its Republican and Democratic parties. We cannot let U.S. imperialism–which is committing innumerable crimes against humanity–pass off any of its program in the name of "human rights," "democracy," etc. We cannot let the warmakers have a free hand.