dove, butterfly, bee By Pepe
What's that unheard-of political
specimen spreading its wings over the geopolitical
spectrum? It is aggressive as a hawk, compromising
as a dove; it dances like a butterfly and stings
like a bee. What kind of plumed composite is that?
A hawdovebutterbee (HDBB)?
Get used to it.
The HDBB happens to be no other than the President
of the United States (POTUS), Barack Obama. Yet
the question is inevitable. Will it fly?
POTUS as HDBB made a soaring entrance in
front of official delegations of 192 countries at
the annual UN General Assembly in New York. Here's
the 30-minute speech . And here's the little
blue bird's version. We'll do everything to
prevent Iran from going
nuclear. We won't
abandon the protagonists of the Arab Spring. And
we want regime change in Syria.
got a problem. Iran is not about to obtain a
nuclear weapon - according to the International
Atomic Energy Agency and the rosary of US intel
agencies. True protagonists of the Arab Spring -
as in Bahrain - have already been abandoned. As
for regime change in Syria, Washington has no
qualms to work for it embedded with
HDBB once more peddled the
US role of "defending democratic values around the
What he could not possibly admit
is that a "Greater" Middle East that truly follows
voters' wishes will hardly submit to Washington's
worldview - especially if Washington itself
continues to be blindly subjected to every Israeli
whim. HDBB himself could point to the new Egypt
under a Muslim Brotherhood (MB) president as the
HDBB also challenged the
Arab world to use its "newfound" embrace of
democracy to protect freedom of religion and
What HDBB could not possibly admit
is that this embrace was "newfound" because every
previous embrace for the past four decades was
stifled by US-backed dictators and petromonarchs -
against the wishes of their own people.
HDBB conveniently forgot that waves of Arabs have
not forgotten those long decades of Washington
being in bed with local autocrats and tyrants.
Still is, in fact; see the House of Saud for
Death from above
HDBB's crack advisor team knows foreign
policy does not win a US presidential election.
But it may be instrumental in losing one. So
HDBB is now essentially playing defense. With some
nuanced passing, of course. Four years ago,
POTUS-to-be Obama campaigned on a platform of
Enough War. Now HDBB says there's still some space
for a diplomatic solution on Iran, although time
is not unlimited. That implies no option is off
the table - to the delight of a substantial
warring sector of the
HDBB said, "There are no words that excuse
the killing of innocents ... There is no video
that justifies an attack on an embassy. There is
no slander that provides an excuse for people to
burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school
in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in
If HDBB had read the
just-published, devastating report by Stanford and
New York University's law schools , based on
extensive interviews with victims, witnesses and
experts, about the shadow drone war in the
Pakistani tribal areas, he would have seen the
true effect of HDBB-ordered "signature strikes",
when targets are selected via a shady "pattern of
So if HDBB asserts that "no video
justifies an attack on an embassy", he would have
to revert to cosmic silence to justify the killing
of Pashtun women and children, in fact an
indiscriminate US death from above operation
terrorizing the 800,000 people living in the
Waziristans, north and south.
HDBB would talk about this war OF terror. In fact
he didn't linger to talk about anything. After the
30-minute speech he vanished like a falcon,
spending zero time in one-on-one meetings with
Fly like an
eagle Contrast HDBB's flash appearance at
the UN with what took place in another part of
Manhattan; the Almighty Bubba himself, Bill
Clinton, introducing the man upstaged by an empty
chair, Republican presidential nominee Mitt
Romney, aka The Robot, to a room filled with
Democrats at the Clinton Global Initiative, a
flush bipartisan aid operation.
at least had the grace to admit, "If there's one
thing we've learned this election season, it's
that a few words from Bill Clinton can do a man a
lot of good. After that introduction, I guess all
I have to do is wait a day or two for the bounce."
There's no bounce in the cards for The
Robot. On the contrary. He's now on a two-day bus
tour of prime swing state Ohio. According to the
latest Washington Post poll HDBB leads The Robot
in Ohio by eight points. If HDBB clinches both
Ohio and Florida - as seems increasingly likely -
it's game over.
According to Nate Silver,
HDBB has now a 77.7% chance of winning on November
6, up 2.9% compared to last week .
What's left, as Tom Engelhardt impeccably
argues,  is HDBB investing in all manner of
aerial/rhetorical contortions to prevent the world
from exploding in his plumed face in the next 40
days. Then hawk, dove, butterfly and bee will gel
into a bald eagle - a formidable specimen flying
over the wreckage of a dystopian future.