11 December 2016

Looking at U.S. Government: Reality

For those who look at U.S. government through rose-tinted glasses, it might be enlightening to look occasionally at reality:

Obama also accurately described himself and his own record of militarism. To defend against charges that he Loves the Terrorists, he boasted:
As commander-in-chief, I have not shied away from using force when necessary. I have ordered tens of thousands of young Americans into combat.
I’ve ordered military action in seven countries.
By “ordered military actions in seven countries,” what he means is that he has ordered bombs dropped, and he has extinguished the lives of thousands of innocent people, in seven different countries, all of which just so happen to be predominantly Muslim.
The list includes one country where he twice escalated a war that was being waged when he was inaugurated (Afghanistan), another where he withdrew troops to great fanfare only to then order a new bombing campaign (Iraq), two countries where he converted very rare bombings into a constant stream of American violence featuring cluster bombs and “signature strikes”(Pakistan and Yemen), one country where he continued the policy of bombing at will (Somalia), and one country where he started a brand new war even in the face of Congressional rejection of his authorization to do so, leaving it in tragic shambles (Libya). That doesn’t count the aggression by allies that he sanctioned and supported (in Gaza), nor the proxy wars he enabled (the current Saudi devastation of Yemen), nor the whole new front of cyberattacks he has launched, nor the multiple despots he has propped up, nor the clandestine bombings that he still has not confirmed (Philippines).
(As the military historian and former U.S. Army Col. Andrew Bacevich noted in the Washington Post after Obama began bombing Syria, “Syria has become at least the 14th country in the Islamic world that U.S. forces have invaded or occupied or bombed, and in which American soldiers have killed or been killed. And that’s just since 1980.” That is the fact that, by itself, renders tribalistic Westerners who obsessively harp on the violence of Muslims such obvious self-deluded jokes.)

Glenn Greenwald, To Defend Iran Deal, Obama Boasts That He’s Bombed Seven Countries, The Intercept (August 26, 2015).