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Obama’s final ‘jihad’ in Asia

President Barack Obama has opted to ratchet up military tensions in Asia as one of his last foreign policy acts as president of the United States. Using climate change and free trade backdrops at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, and the U.S.-ASEAN and East Asia Summits in Vientiane, Laos, as mirages intended to mask his aggressive military posture in the Asia-Pacific region, Obama seeks to cement his “pivot to Asia.” It is Obama’s sincere hope that his anticipated successor, his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, will expand on the expansionistic and aggressive regional showdown with China and Russia that his administration launched with his Asia “pivot.”

The ultra-protocol conscious Chinese threw diplomacy and decorum to the wind when Obama touched down at Hangzhou International Airport and his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and deputy national security adviser became embroiled in an argument with Chinese security personnel. When White House officials traveling with Obama began issuing orders to the Chinese personnel, one Chinese official yelled at them, “This is our country. This is our airport.” It was as if the Chinese, realizing that this would be their last encounter with Obama as president, were letting him and his war hawk national security team know who was the boss as long as they were on Chinese soil. At least on the tarmac at Hangzhou International Airport, the Chinese swung Obama’s Asia “pivot” back to China.

It was an ignominious final “hajj” for Obama’s anti-Chinese jihad. Obama began his presidency in 2009 with being awarded, incredibly prematurely as it turned out, the Nobel Peace Prize. For the Asia-Pacific region, Obama’s presidency would end with angry words between his aides and Chinese officials at a Chinese airport.

Obama began his journey as the host for Pacific Island leaders at the Central Intelligence Agency front, the East-West Center, which is located at his mother’s alma mater, the University of Hawai’i. Obama was the official host at the 2016 Pacific Islands Conference (PIC) of Leaders at the CIA-linked center. Obama’s speech before the leaders, many from small Pacific island states, focused primarily on global climate change. Obama also addressed the World Conservation Congress at their meeting in Hawai’i.

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