Obama's Failed Asia Trip:
Nothing Left But War
by Mike Billington
April 28—President Barack Obama will return from his April 22-29 Asia tour tomorrow, having failed to accomplish any of the objectives that were spelled out on the eve of his four-nation excursion. He failed to arm-twist the Japanese into significant economic concessions aimed at pushing ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade scheme; he failed to get Japan to sign off on new American sanctions against Russia; and he failed in his efforts to bridge the conflicts between Japan and South Korea, two key Asian nations which are part of the Obama scheme to build a containment alliance against China.
According to several Asian officials, both Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye were well aware of President Obama's sinking support back home, the building Democratic Party revolt against his failed policies, and most of all, his defeat in attempting to push through Congressional fast-track authorization for the TPP. In short, Obama's domestic meltdown is impacting his shrinking global credibility, and widespread news coverage in the U.S. of his failures in Asia will drive his further political demise.
Lyndon LaRouche, Obama's leading domestic critic, noted, over the weekend of April 26-27, that Obama's Asia failures, combined with the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to call Washington's bluff over the Ukraine conflict, have accelerated the prospects of Obama being dumped. "This does not mean that Obama is finished, but it does mean that the preconditions are now apparent for his early demise," LaRouche told colleagues.
Having turned American policy in Ukraine over to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (a former employee of Dick Cheney, and wife of rabid neocon Robert Kagan), who proceeded to finance and support neo-Nazi thugs in a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and provoke a confrontation with Russia, President Obama has now carried out a tour of Asia under the direction of his National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the British-trained expert on imperial regime change, pushing forward the timetable for a thermonuclear confrontation with China on behalf of Wall Street and the City of London.
There are two prongs to Obama's confrontation with China. One is economic, in the form of the TPP, which aims to impose supranational dictates which prevent sovereign control of a nation's trade and productive processes. The TPP is also directly aimed at the isolation of China, to restrain its crucial and expanding role in the extraordinary growth taking place in East and Southeast Asia, even while the West is in a terminal breakdown crisis.
From the standpoint of the intended economic warfare, Obama failed totally, and instead, was told by Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia that they had no interest in committing economic suicide.
But on the second prong—the buildup of an expanding U.S. military presence in Asia along China's borders, centered on Japan, the Philippines, and Australia, thereby creating the capacity to impose Obama's currently operative first-strike policy known as Air-Sea Battle—on this front, Obama was quite successful, if success is measured according to the British Empire's commitment to global war and depopulation.
Storm Over Asia
Even before landing in Tokyo April 23, Obama conducted a written interview (almost certainly drafted by Susan Rice) with the Yomiuri Shimbun, which broke from the official U.S. doctrine that Washington does not take sides in territorial disputes, and from its intentional ambiguity in regard to U.S. military commitments over the current heated conflict between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea, by declaring that:
"The policy of the United States is clear—the Senkaku Islands are administered by Japan and therefore fall within the scope of Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security."
Thus any conflict over the contested islands, whether provoked by Japan or China, or even by the U.S., will serve as a justification for U.S. military operations against China.
China responded immediately. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang reported that China had issued a "solemn representation" to both the American and Japanese ambassadors in Beijing, saying:
"We urge the United States and Japan to give up the Cold War mindset, earnestly respect the interests and concerns of other countries in the region, and refrain from further disturbances to regional peace and stability."
The head of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, Wu Xinbo, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times, saying that the U.S. has been a "destabilizing force" in the dispute between China and Japan, and noting that the U.S. created the problem in the first place, in 1971, by turning administrative control over the islands to Japan, rather than returning them to China as called for in the 1945 Potsdam Declaration, which specified that all territories seized by Imperial Japan (the islands were absorbed by Japan in its 1895 war with China) be returned to the original sovereign.
Wu went on to denounce Obama's backing of Abe's effort to reinterpret the country's post-World War II pacifist Constitution (drafted in collaboration with Gen. Douglas MacArthur), in order to end Japan's self-imposed ban on foreign military operations. In fact, Obama praised Abe's militarization plans during their joint press conference on April 24, saying that he "enthusiastically welcomed Japan's desire to play a greater role in upholding international security ... including by reviewing existing limits on the exercise of collective self-defense," a euphemism for the right to conduct offensive warfare in support of the U.S.
Wu's Times op-ed concluded:
"These policies suggest that the United States, while claiming to be neutral, not only supports the Japanese position over the islands, but, more importantly, prods Japan to be more aggressive toward China."
In the Obama-Abe press conference, when AP asked Abe about his December visit to the Yasukuni Shrine (which glorifies the Japanese role in World War II and honors Japanese war criminals, along with other soldiers), Abe unabashedly defended his visit, despite the obvious fact that this is one of the most provocative acts a Japanese leader can take in regard to the painful memories in China and Korea of the war crimes committed during the Japanese occupation. Although the Obama government, and most Japan institutions, condemned Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine at the time, as an unwelcome provocation, Obama made no objection during the press conference—a tacit approval under diplomatic protocol.
Although not reported in the world press, Japanese sources told EIR that Susan Rice also tried to strong-arm Abe to join in the next round of sanctions against Russia. Japan had earlier given verbal support to the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and EU after the Crimea referendum in favor of secession, and Russia's annexation of its former territory, but Japan refused to impose any sanctions of its own, conscious of the crucial relationship between Japan and Russia in regard to the development of the Eurasian Far East, as well as the need to settle outstanding territorial issues. The source reported that on this issue, Abe refused to capitulate.
Philippines: One Big U.S. Military Base
Today, just hours before Obama's arrival in Manila April 27, Philippines Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg signed an Enhanced Defense Cooperation agreement, which has essentially turned the Philippines into a massive U.S. military base, with ground, air, and sea-based capacities at multiple basing sites, and with ample storage facilities. That this is intended to serve as a primary base of operations for a war on China is quite openly acknowledged by all sides.
Obama, in a joint press conference with Philippines President Noynoy Aquino, described the agreement as "a terrific opportunity for us to work with the Philippines to make sure that our navies, our air forces are coordinated, to make sure that there's information-sharing to allow us to respond to new threats, and to work with other countries—ASEAN countries, Australia, Japan." The Philippines has essentially no air force or navy, so the intention is clear.
The irony of this move by Presidents Obama and Aquino, is that the Constitution of the Philippines explicitly forbids the basing of any foreign military forces on its sovereign territory. No one is fooled by the subterfuge that the U.S. bases are not bases at all, but only "guest facilities" within existing Philippine military bases, and that the soldiers, military aircraft, and warships are merely "rotating guests," despite the fact that they will be stationed at permanent, newly constructed, U.S.-run facilities. President Aquino announced that he will not seek Congressional approval for the agreement—yet another breach of the Philippine Constitution.
The deal was barely reached in time for Obama's visit, since the U.S. has insisted that Filipinos would be forbidden access to the "guest facilities" within their own Philippine military bases, which was simply too much for many leading Filipinos to swallow, especially within the military.
Although the details of the agreement have not been released—and may never be—it is reported in the press that the agreement will allow the base commanders from the Philippines military to have access to the U.S. facilities. How that will play out is not certain.
President Aquino's election was based primarily on the fact that he is the son of former President Cory Aquino, who was placed in office in 1986 by the U.S.-run coup against the Philippines' last nationalist leader, Ferdinand Marcos. Cory Aquino dutifully followed the dictates of then-Secretary of State George Shultz and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz to shut down the completed nuclear power plant built under Marcos (the first such nuclear facility in Southeast Asia), threw out the rice self-sufficiency policy of the Marcos government, and closed the 11 industrial development programs initiated by Marcos—a process which turned the nation into an impoverished hell-hole, which has only gotten worse each year since then. Now, it has been essentially re-colonized and turned into potential cannon fodder in a rapidly approaching U.S. thermonuclear war against China and Russia.
Korea Rejects Anti-China Posture
Obama's brief visit to South Korea April 25-26 was intended to consolidate an effort begun in the Hague in March, on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit, where Obama strong-armed the Korean President to meet with him and Prime Minister Abe. Relations between Japan and South Korea have been extremely tense over Abe's attempts to roll back earlier Japanese apologies for crimes committed during the Second World War, and the nearly half-century of Korean colonization by Japan. Obama and his neocon backers have tried desperately to drag South Korea away from its increasingly strong relations with China, and to ally with the U.S. and Japan against both China and North Korea. The meeting in the Hague accomplished little, and Obama's visit to Seoul (thankfully) accomplished even less.
Only days before Obama's arrival April 25, President Park held a 40-minute phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, discussing Obama's coming visit, as well as the North Korean issue. While calling on China to encourage North Korea not to carry out its threatened fourth test of a nuclear weapon, Park also discussed the necessary positive solution to the North Korea problem—regionwide development projects engaging the North in a mutually beneficial program for peace through development.
Even more of a poke in the eye to Obama, President Park deployed the head of the Korea Railway Corporation (KORAIL), Choi Yeon-hye, to Pyongyang, traveling by rail from Beijing, to attend a meeting of the Organization for Cooperation between Railways, an annual meeting of Eurasian countries dedicated to expanding international rail development. Explicitly on the agenda: cooperation among Russia, China, South Korea, and North Korea on connecting South Korea to the Trans-Siberian Railway by restoring the long-dormant rail connections through North Korea.
When Obama spoke to the press with President Park, he ignored her efforts to forge a feasible solution to the Korea crisis, repeating instead his usual belligerent demand that Pyongyang give up its nuclear weapons program, with nothing offered in return. Obama stated the obvious—that North Korea is the most isolated country in the world—and that more sanctions would be imposed if it did not submit.
While it is true that North Korea is isolated, Obama himself is increasingly isolated from most of the world outside of the trans-Atlantic nations, and from a growing number of sane leaders in the U.S. as well. Amb. Stephen Bosworth, a distinguished senior U.S. diplomat, who played a leading role in the successful peace process among the U.S., South Korea, and North Korea, reached under President Bill Clinton in 1994-95 (the General Framework, sabotaged by Dick Cheney in 2002), and who was appointed as Special Representative to North Korea (2009-11) by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, spoke in Washington on April 24, the same day that Obama was in Seoul, on the crisis in North Korea. Asked by EIR to comment on Obama's threats to Pyongyang, contrasted with the development efforts being discussed among Russia, China, and the two Koreas, Bosworth did not hide his disgust with Obama's current confrontational approach:
"I believe strongly that by focusing as exclusively on the nuclear issue as we are now, we're ignoring long-term considerations that are of great importance. I come back to the question that was raised about railways between South Korea, North Korea, Russia, etc. And there was an allusion in there to the flow of natural gas, perhaps, along the Korean Peninsula. My view is that in the longer term, starting now, the best way to deal with North Korea is not to focus just on their nuclear capability, although that is obviously a grave concern, but to focus on what I think is the underlying problem of great seriousness, which is the inherent weakness of North Korea. And as long as they are as weak as they are, and perceive that they're as weak as they are, in their calculus, the only way of dealing with that is to be able to pose a threat to the other countries in the region. And my answer to that would be, all right, let's tie them into a meaningful network of regional economic engagements. If you could tie them in through their own self-interest into a network involving the flow of natural gas down from Russia into the Korean Peninsula, I think the benefits from that in the medium and longer term could be quite substantial, because it would give them a stake in stability. And now they really don't have a stake in stability."
If Obama were not owned by Wall Street, such words of wisdom might have an impact.
Obama's one-day visit to Malaysia April 26-27—the first by a U.S. President since Lyndon Johnson's visit in 1966—was reduced to a public relations ploy, since it was already clearly understood that Malaysia was not about to capitulate to U.S. demands regarding the TPP. Therefore, the visit was dominated by an amorphous agreement to upgrade diplomatic ties to a comprehensive partnership, while the media emphasized that relations are "Oh, so much better" than under the long reign of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who in fact defended Malaysian sovereignty, and still plays a key role from his retirement in defending the nation.
The most important part of the Malaysia visit was not entrusted to Obama, but was handled directly by his controller, British agent Susan Rice, together with Rice's cohort Daniel Russel, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Rice and Russel met with the leading British-Saudi agent in Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, together with Anwar's opposition party co-leaders, after Obama left Malaysia. According to the Malaysia Chronicle, Anwar "suggested the United States create a Working Group on governance and human rights that included representatives from civil society and opposition as one critical way to strengthen the comprehensive partnership announced during President Obamas visit." This would indeed be music to the ears of Rice, who helped dispense the $5 billion allocated by the U.S. to set up the anti-Russian (and pro-neo-Nazi) NGOs in Ukraine over the past years.
While the opposition leaders whined that the current government stole the last election, and that "Anwar Ibrahim should be the rightful Prime Minister of Malaysia right now," the core of the meeting clearly took place in the unrecorded 20-minute private discussion between Rice and Anwar after the larger meeting. Under discussion there was likely the proposal which Anwar, who is the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Malaysia, presented in an op-ed to the Washington Post on April 26, as Obama was arriving in Kuala Lumpur. Anwar argued that Southeast Asia needs its own "Arab Spring." This would unleash the radical jihadists across Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, to destroy these nations as the Middle East has been destroyed by the British/Obama backing of al-Qaeda-linked opposition to secular governments there.
Indeed, Anwar has been funded, and worked closely with, the Saudi sponsors of Islamic jihadists throughout his career, which will fit in nicely with Susan Rice's support for al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, and for neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
Only Solution—Impeach Obama
LaRouche noted recently that Obama is finished—hated by the U.S. citizenry for multiple crimes against the Constitution and the livelihood of the people, and no longer tolerable to his Wall Street and British Empire sponsors, as he has failed to implement their instructions to force Russia to back down to the NATO onslaught in Ukraine, and has now failed in his instructions to force the economic suicide of the TPP down the throats of the Asian nations. The preconditions of Obama's impeachment are now in place—to take his finger off the button, to stop his bail-out and bail-in of the bankrupt Wall Street banks, and to allow the launching of America's cooperation with the Eurasian nations in vast economic and infrastructural development projects.
His Asia trip demonstrates that his oft-promoted "pivot to Asia" offers nothing of benefit to the people of the United States, nor those of Asia, but is simply a mobilization for a war which, together with the simultaneous push for war on Russia, would mean extinction of civilization. His removal from office is urgent.