Obama’s Propagandistic UN Address

Exclusive: The longer President Obama has been in office the less honest he has become, a problem growing more apparent in his second term as he reads speeches containing information that he knows to be false or at least highly misleading, Robert Parry recounts.

By Robert Parry

During President Barack Obama’s first term, he generally was careful in making comments about world affairs not that he was always completely honest but he was circumspect about outright lying. Over the past two years, however, he appears to have lost any such inhibitions.

That’s the case even when he is engaged in something as serious as addressing the United Nations General Assembly on issues of war or peace as occurred both last year and this year. In September 2013, Obama made what he knew was a deceptive comment about the mysterious Sarin gas attack in Syria a month earlier. He did something similar on Wednesday in describing the Ukraine crisis.

President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2014. (Screenshot from White House video of speech)

President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2014. (Screenshot from White House video of speech)

Regarding the Sarin case, Obama knew before his 2013 speech that many of his own intelligence analysts believed Syrian rebels were behind the Aug. 21 attack that killed several hundred people outside Damascus. These analysts suspected the incident was part of a scheme to blame the government of President Bashar al-Assad and get the U.S. military to attack Assad’s forces. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Fixing Intel Around Syria Policy” and “Was Turkey Behind Syria-Sarin Attack?’]

Despite this knowledge, Obama delivered a formal address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013, declaring: “It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.”

Similarly, Obama knew the complex reality in Ukraine when he took to the podium on Wednesday. He knew that the crisis was instigated not by Russia but by the European Union and the United States. He knew that the elected President Viktor Yanukovych had been targeted for “regime change” by officials within the U.S. State Department, led by neoconservative Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who literally hand-picked the new leadership with the aid of U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt who described the need to “midwife this thing.”

Obama knew that Nuland had told Ukrainian business leaders that the U.S. government had invested $5 billion in support of their “European aspirations” and that the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy had subsidized scores of “non-governmental organizations” to help destabilize the Yanukovych government. He also knew the key role played by Ukraine’s neo-Nazi militias in seizing presidential buildings on Feb. 22 and forcing Yanukovych’s officials to flee for their lives.

Obama was aware, too, that the ethnic Russians of eastern Ukraine had rejected this coup regime and rose up in resistance to the imposition of what many saw as illegitimate authority. He knew that the people of Crimea faced with this coup regime in Kiev voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, a move the Russian government supported and accepted.

Obama knew that the Kiev regime brutalized southern and eastern Ukraine, with the regime’s activists burning alive dozens of ethnic Russian protesters in Odessa and its military killing thousands with heavy weaponry fired into towns and cities of eastern Ukraine. The coup regime in Kiev even dispatched Nazi militias, such as the Azov battalion, to engage in bloody street fighting the first time since World War II that any government had deployed armed Nazi forces to attack a European population. Obama knew that, too. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s ‘Romantic’ Nazi Storm Troopers.”]

Obama also knew that some of his own intelligence analysts had concluded that extremist elements within the Ukrainian government were probably responsible for the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, possibly using anti-aircraft missiles deployed close to rebel-controlled territory and aided by one or more Ukrainian fighter planes in the air. Obama knew, too, that the Ukrainian military attacked the crash site, driving investigators away and apparently setting fire to a wheat field containing remnants of the plane. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Flight 17 Shoot-down Scenario Shifts.”]

Obama’s Ukraine Tale

Yet, this is how Obama presented the Ukrainian crisis to the world: “Recently, Russia’s actions in Ukraine challenge this post-[World War II] order. Here are the facts. After the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corrupt president fled. Against the will of the government in Kyiv, Crimea was annexed. Russia poured arms into eastern Ukraine, fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killed thousands.

“When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas that these proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to the crash for days. When Ukraine started to reassert control over its territory, Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting the separatists, and moved troops across the border.

“This is a vision of the world in which might makes right — a world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed.

“America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might — that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones, and that people should be able to choose their own future. And these are simple truths, but they must be defended. America and our allies will support the people of Ukraine as they develop their democracy and economy.

“We will reinforce our NATO Allies and uphold our commitment to collective self-defense. We will impose a cost on Russia for aggression, and we will counter falsehoods with the truth. And we call upon others to join us on the right side of history for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.”

Becoming Bush

An honest person would have described all these events very differently, including what “America stands for.” There could have been at least some acknowledgement of how the United States in the post-World War II era has often relied on “the barrel of a gun” or cruise missiles and smart bombs to impose its will on other countries, including “regime change” in Iraq in 2003 and in Libya in 2011.

Obama could have acknowledged, too, that the United States has often used coups d’etat to unseat governments not to its liking, even when the leaders have been popularly elected. A partial list would include Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, Allende in Chile in 1973, Aristide in Haiti twice, Chavez in Venezuela briefly in 2002, Zelaya in Honduras in 2009, Morsi in Egypt in 2013, and now Yanukovych in Ukraine in 2014.

But instead Obama chose to present a simplistic, propagandistic version of what has transpired in Ukraine. Essentially he’s saying: It’s all Russia’s fault and everyone on the U.S. side is a good guy, on “the right side of history.”

It is interesting, however, that Obama did not come out directly and implicate Russia and the eastern Ukrainian rebels in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Given his access to detailed U.S. intelligence on the topic, he should have been able to point the finger directly, if indeed that’s what the facts showed. Instead, he played word games to create the impression that the rebels and Russia were to blame without actually spelling out any evidence against them.

This was similar to how President George W. Bush gave speeches in 2002 and 2003 juxtaposing the names Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden to create the perception among Americans that the two were joined at the hip when they were, in fact, bitter enemies. Now, President Obama has come to replicate these Bush-like deceptions.

There is also new evidence of how the supposedly “popular” government in Kiev has been developing its democracy — by incarcerating people who dare to protest against its policies. As the New York Times’ Andrew E. Kramer reported on Thursday, the Kiev regime has been padding its prisoner exchanges by throwing in political dissidents arrested far from any battlefield.

Kramer wrote: “The Ukrainians, widely understood to be lacking enough prisoners of their own to effect a one-for-one exchange, set free a motley group of men, women and teenagers wearing tracksuits or dirty jeans, and taken, they said, from jails as far away as Kiev.

28 comments for “Obama’s Propagandistic UN Address

  1. Bernard Jenkins
    September 27, 2014 at 17:48

    Mr Parry
    You are doing great work on all of this. It is clear that RogueNationUSA has gone totally insane. The lies come fast and furious. Our pusillanimous Prez, singing shamelessly from the Bush-Cheney war crime hymnal in his mellifluous baritone, is pathological. Always has been but now it is utterly and painfully obvious.

  2. OH
    September 27, 2014 at 10:10

    The articles accusing Russia of invading East Ukraine, were the weakest flim flam that has probably ever been actually used. “The Ukraine govt says” was prefixed on every assertion. The newspapers knew they were lying so they put that there to protect their reputations later.

  3. Patricia Ormsby
    September 27, 2014 at 01:30

    When I was a girl, I lied about some naughty boys as an excuse for coming home late. They were rotten anyway. When my father found out I’d lied, he basically took me aside and explained that in history, women had been burned alive in ovens because someone lied about them. That was more effective than any punishment could have been. The stark image caused me as a child really to think about the effects of my own choices upon others.
    Either President Obama did not have my Pa, or else maybe he’s one of those people who cannot relate to another’s agony. Be that as it may, we tend to put these people in power because it is convenient. They can do the dirty work so we don’t have to. But as for me, strategy be damned. I don’t vote for war criminals.

  4. F. G. Sanford
    September 26, 2014 at 14:40

    @ Gregory…your eyelids are getting heavy, you hear only my voice. Hey, just kidding. I only wish there were a way to find the words to make the scales fall from the eyes of those who can’t see the truth in front of them. What we’ve witnessed in the last fifty years is the equivalent of discovering our government with a bloody axe surrounded by dead bodies in a blood spattered room, and millions of people insisting that, “It must have been an accident”, or, “Let’s not jump to conclusions”, or “It’s just a coincidence”, or “Who ya gonna believe – me or your lying eyes?” How big does the smoking gun have to be, and how much smoke does it have to produce before somebody says, “Gee whiz, ya think it could be the murder weapon?” Reminds me of that Larson cartoon where the police detective is standing in a scientific laboratory filled with dead cats, and he says, “Yep, it’s plain to see that curiosity killed these cats”.

  5. Pat
    September 26, 2014 at 14:00

    Bob, thank you for writing what I was thinking. That speech made me so sick that I couldn’t finish reading. I use the E-word (evil) sparingly, but that was my immediate thought. Whoever or whatever is behind this is pure evil. As their minion, Obama is no less so.

    Although it’s possible he’s being blackmailed – the thought has occurred to me, too – it’s more likely that he’s being bribed. Bought and paid for. Those who maintain that someone is holding something over him give him too much credit for having morals. I never thought he was anything other than a corrupt politician. I said so before he was elected the first time, and people started avoiding me. I had to stop writing about it on my blog, because I was getting vicious flames (and losing readers). Hypnotized indeed … although I think a more appropriate image would be a cobra hypnotizing its prey.

    • OH
      September 27, 2014 at 10:12

      Bribed, extorted, and blackmailed combined.
      And Obama standing there saying, “guys you don’t need to do this I’m one of you”. “Doesn’t matter. Due diligence.”

      • dahoit
        September 27, 2014 at 12:03

        The MSM has his real BC,which reveals his non POTUS credentials.Or Mossad.

  6. Paul K.
    September 26, 2014 at 11:11

    Being that I live next to Ukraine (in Sofia Bulgaria) for the past 10 years…Your Impeccable Journalism is quite inspiring. I can tell you the ONLY good thing about Living back Home is that it still allows people like you to Exist and Report the Facts….(you would be shot dead here)

    Thank you Rob Perry for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G you write about…one day I will be your Largest Donor.

  7. GAF
    September 26, 2014 at 04:40

    I was wondering why the ‘West’ has not had any news coverage of the mass graves found in Ukraine in territory which was occupied by the Ukrainian army before the ‘truce’? The OSCE has been there and has inspected the sites. They (i.e. Westerners in OSCE vests) are visible in all the video that I have seen. It is reminiscent of Nazi-style killings (bound, shots to the head). They have also found bodies where the internal organs have been removed.

    Why does the ‘West’ not see anything?

    • Ptaha
      September 26, 2014 at 11:20

      They do not want people to know about it – they are paid for certain scenario about Russia-Ukrainian situation and are not going to tell the truth.

  8. William Jacoby
    September 26, 2014 at 00:16

    President Obama has been hijacked by the National Security State. But he is not an innocent victim. He knew who the power brokers were that he needed to win over to become a “viable” candidate, and he was not prepared to jeopardize the support he needed from the Deep State. Either we must get used to the idea of having puppet presidents, or we will have to “recover our stolen narrative” to use Mr. Parry’s phrase, which will be hard to do unless we can declassify most of what is currently secret. Alternative media like Consortium News is critical; it can be helped by our boycotting the CIA-controlled MSM.

    The failure of the Senate Intelligence to release its unexpurgated version of the torture report is proof positive that the National Security State has captured not only the President but also the Congress–there was plenty of other evidence as well. The Ukraine and ISIS episodes are proof positive that they are in full control of enough of the media so that their domestic propaganda, honed over 60 years, works and is worth–to them–every penny WE spend on it.

    Know your enemy.

    • OH
      September 27, 2014 at 10:13

      And them 28 pages proving complicity.

      • dahoit
        September 27, 2014 at 12:00

        I guarantee you those 28 pages detail Israeli Saudi cooperation before 9-11,and that is why we won’t see it,if it was just Saudis it would have been exposed long ago.

  9. onno
    September 25, 2014 at 23:52

    I wonder how the American people elect their president. Is it the billions of Dollars invested by interest groups or the brainwashing by MSM propaganda or a combination of this. Obama was a liar from his first election campaign when he promised to make Washington MORE transparent, it became even less so during his presidency. In his re-election it was not different jobs, public projects and all looked like Happy Days are here again.
    Obama telling that Foreign Policy is not doing stupid stuff but instead US foreign policy has been stupid since WWII starting with Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama and Iraq since Bush Sr and then his son invaded Iraq and now a Democratic president follows again.
    Secondly, USA never ended the Cold War with Russia because it would have contrary to the Monroe Doctrine that supposedly should gave USA worldwide control of all nations especially a powerful nation like Russia with a President who defends his borders and its people from US aggression.
    A Dutch dictum says: A donkey doesn’t hit the same rock 2 times, in case of US foreign policies I lost count!! The world would be a safer place if USA would stick to its own problems and not interfering in domestic issues of sovereign nations like Iraq and Ukraine. We all remember Vietnam killing 55.000 GI’s after the French army had to flee Dien Bien Phu. USA cannot win a guerrilla war Muslim extremists can when they export their war to the West again and we all should remember 9/11 except this time its going to be even more bloody and more innocent Western civilians will be murdered. History has proven that religious wars are cruel and last for tens of years. We only have to look at Northern Ireland and Israel and now Iraq and Syria. Bombing Iraq and Syria is a sure way that Muslim fanatics will move into USA’s and Europe’s backyard.
    And all this after UN climate conference and protests in NYC we are now spending again billions of Dollars on a war that cannot be won instead of investing in the environment. This is again STUPID Foreign Policies by the US government which only makes the Defense lobby happy.

  10. jer
    September 25, 2014 at 23:30

    ‘O’ knows he has to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds (forsaking all kinds of common sense, principles, and moral beliefs) in order to survive in the dangerous cauldron that exists in Washington. Still, he is much less evil than big horrible monsters, err I mean characters, such as Hillary, Nuland, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Philip Hammond, and of course the great Mr John ‘Mekong’ Kerry.

    • bobzz
      September 26, 2014 at 20:41

      Well Jer, let us say you are correct. He is much less evil than the big monsters. It is that very good guy image that allows him to sell the nation and the world down the river. Oh, he does not really think he is selling us out; neither did the really bad guys. We would be yelling at Bush for doing what Obama is doing, but given the ‘less evil’ image he gets a pass.

  11. bobzz
    September 25, 2014 at 23:15

    I never believed Obama could accomplish what he laid out in 2008 because I knew the neocons would never let him. I did not expect he would side with them. I was incredulous when he picked Geitner as his Sec. of Treasury. Then he let the bankers off the hook, and I thought we have Bush III. Now, I should not, but I do—hit the mute button.

    • OH
      September 27, 2014 at 10:15

      Victoria Nuland, wife of: Robert Kagan, PNAC.

  12. Joe Tedesky
    September 25, 2014 at 21:49

    Here’s something to consider, if you had wanted to send a message to the President, better yet let’s say the first family, then why not allow some half crazed Iraq war veteran jump the WH fence charge across the WH lawn, and let him enter into the White House itself. How in the world does this make any sense. Ever since Nixon the White House has been guarded like a fortress. A room full of Vegas odds makers would have certainly paid a lot of mola out on the chance of that happening.

    We always talk here about special interest groups leveraging influence over our politicians, but could that be all there is? What does all that data collected by the NSA go towards? Are there scandals awaiting in the wings?

    Maybe President Obama is just a liar, but there could be more to his lies than just being simple lies. We are living in an age of great deception. I have come to believe that the real power isn’t in the White House, or congress for that fact. No, as Professor Quigley wrote about in his book ‘Tradegy and Hope’ the real power is seated away from the masses. It may take another fifty years or so before we the public may ever hear the who’s who behind the events we are living through today.

  13. toby
    September 25, 2014 at 20:55

    That’s what you get when you elect a lawyer….a trained liar.

  14. bill
    September 25, 2014 at 19:48

    the final illusions vanish

  15. W. R. Knight
    September 25, 2014 at 18:21

    It’s time to end the two party monopoly on American politics. When it comes to foreign policy, democrats are as bad as republicans.

    At this point, I’m seriously considering going “GREEN”. I know I’m probably throwing my vote away, but if I don’t switch, I can’t expect anyone else to switch.

    • Steve M.
      September 25, 2014 at 23:02

      How I handle this is to vote strategically. That is — take the presidential election for example — if I’m in an overwhelmingly blue state, and I am… and it looks like the Democratic candidate has a lock on the election ( in my state), I will vote 3rd party (Green, or Peace and Freedom, or whatever progressive party is fielding an acceptable candidate). In other words, the comfortable margin of victory in my state frees me up to vote my conscience. (And the same applies to an overwhelmingly red state, btw. If a Republican victory is assured in your state… you can be likewise freed up to vote your conscience with the knowledge that your vote won’t affect the outcome.) In either case, although your vote is, in a sense, irrelevant to the outcome — it still is important to register your vote as a protest…. a means of sending a message…. because, provided the numbers are actually tallied correctly, it will show in the final results, and if enough people do this and they see the number of 3rd party votes growing with each election, the mainstream parties, in this case the Democrats are the ones we’d be targeting, will take notice… and this may very well pressure them to try to appeal to those voters by modifying their policies. Sort of move them to the left a little, you might say. If it’s a case where the outcome is too close to call, I would still go with the lesser of evils… because even though the two parties are in lockstep on certain issues… particularly when it comes to foreign policy, matters of defense, NSA spying, defense of our civil liberties, regulation of Wall St., etc… there are a whole range of issues where there is a difference (such as how they might approach Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, cultural issues, and of course, naming judges — and tax policy in general, just to name a few) so the Dems are still the lesser of evils in these respects. That, taken together with the fact that the Republicans are pushing voter suppression legislation around the country to keep people exactly like you and myself from voting… the last thing you want to do is to play into their hands. It’s not an either/or proposition. You can do with your vote what you wish… you don’t have to feel like you’re “locked in” to anything… and I think the smart thing to do is to vote strategically. Be fluid with your vote. Use your vote as a tool to further your objectives as far and effectively as you can. (And also, at the same time, to defend against the worst case scenario.) But, the most important thing is that you DO vote. No vote is wasted! It still registers a protest, if nothing else. Do not let them discourage you to the point where you throw up your hands in despair and just give up by not participating in the process at all… because that also plays into the hands of the worst elements.

      • Yunzer
        September 26, 2014 at 21:56

        Yours is a good summary of the situation right-thinking people face with regard to voting.

        But on the sites I frequently comment on, (like commondreams dot org) any suggestion that it might still be smart to vote for Democratic candidates (especially at the local level) because at the domestic policy level – especially toward the wage earner and poor, there are still differences, only opens one up to vicious attacks from other commenters of being a “Democrat shill” and the like.

        I think this arises becasue a lot of the commenters in the obscure left corners of the internet sit in a position of self-isolated bourgeois comfort where they enjoy the luxury of not thinking about the differences between the parties on their personal lives, giving them the privilege of only considering foreign policy – where both parties are indeed indistinguishable from each other and equally vile.

  16. F. G. Sanford
    September 25, 2014 at 18:15

    You hear only my voice. Your eyelids are getting heavy. As you listen to my voice, you become very relaxed. Your eyes are beginning to close. You feel sleepy, and very relaxed. You feel warm and safe. Your eyes are closing, and you hear only my voice. You are in a wonderful place. You are safe, and you hear only my voice. You are very intelligent. You cannot be fooled. You are a free person. You think for yourself. You are sound asleep, and you hear only my voice. Oswald acted alone. He was a crazed gunman. He was identified within minutes. He acted alone. The bullets came from his gun. A bullet in perfect condition proved it. And pieces of that bullet were removed from Governor Connally’s wrist. The bullet was in perfect condition. There is no doubt. When I snap my fingers, you will awaken. You will be in America, where you are free. Your government loves you. Your government would never lie. You are a free person…

    • Gregory Kruse
      September 26, 2014 at 13:15

      Reading your comments is almost as much fun as reading Mr. Parry’s. Mr. Obama’s self-confidence has leaked out over the years. He used to be able to lie with enthusiasm, but now he’s just going through the motions. I feel sorry for him, but mostly I am just furious.

  17. rosemerry
    September 25, 2014 at 18:01

    Obama, however, right from the day he was elected on which Israel killed six Hamas members in Gaza and broke the truce which then led to “Cast Lead” and its successors, showed he was completely on the side of Israel (“imagine my daughters facing the rockets in Sderot”) and would continue the policies of destruction of any hope for Palestine. Not once has he attempted to moderate the supremacy of Israel’s control of US ME foreign “policy”.

  18. michael
    September 25, 2014 at 17:51

    Good article Mr Parry; it is troubling that main line media outlets around the world choose not to engage in a proper balanced narrative. When you listen to conversations or are engaged in them you know where they get their narrative from and it’s this narrative they are getting which galvanises us for war.

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