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Mexican Standoff: Obama’s Ever-Shifting Doctrine on WMDs

McKIllopAndrew McKillop
21st Century Wire


Rumors are that the Syrian crisis – not being able to bomb and strafe Syria – have gelled out Barack Obama’s new doctrine on Weapons of Mass Destruction. Not the fake WMD that Obama’s look-alike predecessor, Colin Powell peddled to administration-friendly media in 2003.

The “designer war” Powell enabled for the Bush regime in Iraq caused at least 150,000 innocent civilian deaths (and many more, depending on where you draw your data from). Was it legal?

In 1897, Mark Twain was forced to deny he was dead – because persistent rumors claimed he was. President Obama’s new WMD doctrine, like his Syria policy if it can be called that, is rumored to have died several times and been reborn – mutated – in recent weeks. Its last known mutant before being squashed to nothing by Russia’s Putin was a promise from John Kerry that any military strike in Syria would be “unbelievably small”.

Vanishingly small, we might say.

In one month, Syria’s al-Assad rose from outlaw butcher to partner in global disarmament. Never explained as being the reason for this – not the cause of the urge to bomb and then the backtrack – Syria’s WMD stocks incite and command respect from the world’s warmakers, starting with Barack Obama himself.


The world’s mass media, that is idiot-friendly media, feels obliged to hand out quick false readouts of the “real meaning” behind the propaganda ploys dealt by the actors to the Syrian crisis. About a month ago, the president of the United States, we were told, treated the act of bombing Syria as a global portentous gesture in his personal struggle against WMD.

The coming attack was not just, as John Kerry waxed lyrical – a quick-and-dirty military attack paid for by Saudi Arabia and intended by it to achieve a specific end and creating a Sunni dominated Islamic republic in Syria, a new caliphate colony of Saudi Arabia and its Gulf state friends.

There were other things involved.

President Obama announced boldly that he is threatening military action in retaliation for what he claimed was the use of chemical weapons by the al-Assad regime, known (by the UN) as the Syrian government. He claimed he intended a limited strike – that would not destroy “the weapons”. Yes, destroying them all, assuming they could be geolocated by spy satellites and ground-based spying, would require such widespread air and cruise missile attacks, and despite Kerry “Arab money” gaff-cum-admission,  it would be unlikely that even generous Saudi Arabia and Qatar would pick up the tab for this dog’s dinner – besides there would be a real risk of releasing the chemicals into the atmosphere.

Also, the ‘rumors’ said that the military action wanted by Obama and Hollande was not to destroy president Bashr al-Assad’s regime because doing that would create a “power vacuum”, exactly what Saudi Arabia and its Gulf state allies want – but not what the US and France want. Only, why then has regime change in Syria been the stated so loudly foreign policy of both the US and Great Britain for the last two years now?

The net result was that Obama’s war aims eroded and dwindled to the intention – followed by the inability – to signal to the Syrian government that the United States was displeased with its possession (and the rebels’ possession) of WMDs. As the faithful French poodle, president Hollande soon Twittered that his own intentions to punish had also magically dwindled, to also only being displeased.

Obama, thinking he was a born-again Teflon president of the Reagan or Clinton eras, sailed along like a seasoned basketball player, only in this match he could easily be relegated to the King of the Little League. In Le Mode Presidential, he framed his threat so that it would be safe to disregard it. His knee-jerk supporters instantly explained his happenstance genius, and defended this as meaning that “in reality” their hero didn’t want war. The stakes were much too high. After all, there are real WMDs in play.

Their line was that Nobel Peace prize winner Obama, from the start, preferred drone wars in the Middle East – killing an estimated 2000-3000 civilians as well as the targeting local “Towelhead” (as US soldiers and the Monday Night Football crowd like to refer them) populations, to date – rather than taking military action against Syria.

Despite being a half-destroyed country, Syria could or might hit back using both conventional SAMs, SSMs, or even real WMDs. Also, it’s rather powerful ally and weapons supplier – Russia – has no love, or respect for the USA. In the UN Security Council, since the Libyan war of 2011, Russia and China will veto anything at all that Obama, his French poodle, or the flaky Brits who made the terrible mistake of a parliamentary vote on Syrian war, can cobble up.


The rumors woven by Obama apologists continue – indeed, they are paid for this.

The rumors heard on networks like MSNBC, tell us Obama was not gutless, rather, he was a peacenik from the start.

Their rumors claim that Obama’s New Doctrine has in fact, raised the threshold for American military action much higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Desert Storm, Somalia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, and any other “punitive interventions” – were an ongoing pattern in U.S. foreign policy – but since 2009, the day he arrived in office, Obama’s X-ray vision makes him understand that the US is overextended. Following the horrific terror attack at the shopping mall this week in Nairobi, we can probably add Kenya and Somalia more firmly to that list of conquests.

The apologists for Obama say the US will not only disengage from war, but will play a lesser role in generally managing the international system. Obama, at most, is now part of the rumored “coalition of nations” (if it exists). He is no longer the leader, and certainly not the lone actor.

In reality, Obama was forced to see Syria as embroiled in a complex and bitter civil war, making it impossible for the US to impose its will in this internal conflict – if the US knew what its will was. Also, the US had a clear choice of either bad – or worse – company for this war which didn’t happen. It could have sided with “the rebels”, at least 15 groups or factions heavily dominated by Islamic gangstah militias and thugs mouthing al Qaeda slogans, and paid for by the Gulf states. It could have sided with Turkey. It could have physically occupied the country in an operation at least as large – or bigger and more expensive than… the Afghan invasion and occupation, a nakedly illegal war cooked up on the back of the 9 / 11 outrage in New York.

What conceivable use would that be to a country like the USA?


From the beginning of the Cold War until today, the fear of nuclear weapons has haunted the American psyche. The touted “US concern” about chemical weapons and other WMDs is however real – and is distanced by reality in Syria, and worldwide. One likely reason is that also until today, the US is the only country that ever produced – and then used – nuclear weapons.

From the Hiroshima A-bomb to US-USSR mutual assured destruction in the Cold War, the dread of a “nuclear Pearl Harbor” haunted many US presidents, as it did the nation. War would be unexpected and come at any moment.

Being nuclear, this would mean the sudden annihilation of the United States.


His New Doctrine is still far behind the real world. It totally ignores the military reality of the world’s 440 civil nuclear reactors, each with a radiological inventory as high as 100 Hiroshima A-bombs – because for some reason “nobody would attack them”. It totally ignores the “dual use potential” of organophosphorus pesticides, like TEPP produced by Nazi Germany as a side product from sarin gas development.

Wars, whether geopolitical, or ‘civil’, are a dangerous business. These and other real weapons capable of real massive destruction are airily defined and thought of as “not military”. Nobody will attack nuclear reactors and organophosphorus pesticide factories. We promise. Boy Scouts’ honor.

Scout O’Bama still believes the US will remain the most militarily powerful country in the world, totally ignoring the definition of WMDs by Robert Oppenheimer, director of the USA’s Manhattan Project to produce an A-bomb as fast as possible. He defined them as any type or class of weapon able to cause destruction and death on the scale of Hiroshima and beyond.

Reality is always something that has challenged certain US officials, who certainly love to overdo it at any opportunity. When bringing charges for the Boston Bombing, US Attorney General Eric Holder saw fit to reclassify a kitchen pressure cooker with shrapnel inside – as a new class of WMD. 

Almost surely and certainly, but away from the microphone, Obama and his lookalike leaders have “woken up to reality”. The use and acquisition, or even possession of WMDs by belligerents who previously did not have them, or access to them, means that the US like any other “major military power”, is now lethally threatened like it was during the Cold War. The difference is there is no longer any one single predictable enemy. The danger here is that chaos may be hard-wired into this new doctrine of WMD.

In the Syrian crisis we can note, the threshold of ‘mass destruction’ is no longer the significant measure, and instead the cause of death takes center stage. Possibly 100,000 persons have died, to date in the Syrian civil war, compared with 150,000 dead in the 2003 Iraq war. The only difference, prompting threats from Obama and Hollande was that chemical weapons had caused them.

That “red line”, and the fact that the deaths in Iraq were caused by the US… and were therefore “clean”, or “collateral”, and fun to watch for American audiences – as smart missile clips on the home TV entertainment console, were the sole factors which made US foreign policy change.


All American administrations think ideologically. This means the fear of genocide – US military power must be used to prevent genocide. To be sure this ideological focus started in World War II and the Nazi German extermination program against Jews. The fear was able to be raised in Rwanda, not followed by military action, and in Kosovo, where it was used. Advocates of American intervention can proudly say that even if they oppose military force in other circumstances, the US has a moral imperative to stop mass murder. Not perpetrate it, as in Iraq.

The combined fear of weapons of mass destruction and the ideology of humanitarian intervention became the irresistible force for Obama. The key to this was that the definition of genocide – but not the definition of WMDs – had downsized, just like the US economy, its culture and society. The death of 1000 people is now “genocide”, if they are killed by WMDs owned by a “bombable” regime.

Like downsized citizen expectations, the definition of genocide was whittled down – to mean, when it suits, the death of 1000 persons. The threshold for morally obligatory war was downsized, but out there in the real world the real threat of WMDs of all classes and types has exploded. Taking only the chemical-biological weapons used in Syria – neurotoxic agents – these as noted were first produced by the Nazis, and by 1946 had been developed as organophosphorus pesticides and rat-icides. Today, about a fifth of all pesticides manufactured are this type. Their “dual use capability” in massive.

In addition to giant nuclear weapons stocks spread globally, radioactive nuclear waste and storage sites, as well as impossible-to-defend civil nuclear reactors are abundant in nearly every region of the world today. The environmental risks now far out weight any of the perceived benefits.

FRIENDS: Libya’s Gaddafi greases Obama’s palm before the US take him out.

The new types and classes of WMDs mean that the mantle of arrogant fascist power has slipped away from those their neo-imperial shoulders.

This is the quandary Obama and his lookalikes find themselves in, today. Staying with Obama’s apologists, their parting sally is that their Nobel Peace prize-winning hero wanted nothing to do with Syria but the ideology of WMDs and humanitarian intervention forced him to shift course. Obama found no way out of the quandary – because it doesn’t exist. Even as recently as the 2011 war against Libya – a totally isolated regime without any kind, or type of real industrial-strength WMDs – the US, France and Britain could play invulnerable avengers and vigilantes of white middle class morality. Libya could not be hit back. NATO attacked, bombed, struck and killed, but suffer almost zero casualties.

Modern military brass talk a lot about their own ability to wage “asymetric warfare”, but that door now swings both ways. Real security and prosperity can no longer be found in the old paradigm of mafia military mentality.

Put another way, as Russia and China put it – the reckless and arrogant unilateral military action is now much too dangerous.

The bottom line is simple – any regime which does possess WMDs is respected by the self-elected guardians of Western morality. They will back off. They will play civilized.

Mexican standoff?

This is Obama’s “New Doctrine on WMD”.

READ MORE WMD NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire WMD Files



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