Obama’s Rubicon & Press Bias

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Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.47.58 AMOn Monday evening, Barack Obama ordered terror sites in Iraq and Syria to be bombed.  We all knew the terror camps in Iraq would be bombed.  But, did he go too far by bombing sites in a soverign country, even if it is Syria?  In doing so, it is quite obvious he has relinquished any of the pseudo high ground the Administration has used to castigate Russia for attempting to deal with the Ukraine, going so far as to allow our nation to back known neo-Nazis who are in power within the Ukrainian government.  I have a very big problem with that one, to the point where, once I learned of John Kerry’s connections (via a former aid, who is now an lobbyist for a Ukrainian faction) to the Ukraine, my confidence and faith in the Obama Administration has been shaken to the core.  Once that faith has been shaken, it is almost impossible to regain.  I voted for the man.  I admire him, but he’s lost me, primarily due to John Kerry, and to some very heavy- handed actions which are starting to have some nasty consequences for the US.  The problem is the fact that, had Obama done, last year, what he did Monday night, he would have had a greater effect.

“…Another alarming part of the U.S. legal theory is that among this new “coalition of the willing” – the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan – only Jordan shares a border with Syria. So, this novel principle would mean that distant countries have the right to destabilize a country from afar and then claim the destabilization justifies mounting military attacks inside that country.

Such a theory – if accepted as a new standard of behavior – could wreak havoc on international order which is based on the principle of national sovereignty. The U.S. theory also stands in marked contrast to Washington’s pious embrace of strict readings of international law when denouncing Russia just this summer for trying to protect ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine from brutal assaults by the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev.

In Ukraine, the Obama administration rejected any and all mitigating circumstances, such as the overthrow of an elected president and the coup regime’s use of artillery, airstrikes and even neo-Nazi militias to suppress eastern Ukraine’s ethnic Russian population. In the Ukraine case, the Obama administration insisted that national sovereignty was inviolable despite the fact that the Feb. 22 coup had violated Ukraine’s constitutional order and had produced a human rights disaster.

An entirely different set of rules were applied to Syria, where President Barack Obama decided that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “must go” and where Obama authorized the CIA to provide arms, training and money for supposedly “moderate” rebels. Other U.S. “allies,” such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, supported some of the more extreme anti-Assad groups…”

I voted for the man.  I like him.  Because of this, I’m terribly disappointed in his 2nd term foreign policy and the joke of a 2nd term Secretary of State.  I agree that he needed to take these psychopaths out, the sooner the better.  I wouldn’t have though much of it, if I hadn’t seen a liberal comment the other day, about how long it would take for Obama to try an ‘October Surprise’ to help the fading Dem chances in November.  The question would have been plastered all over the media had a Republican been in office.  We all know it’s a stupid question.  No one is evil enough to start a war just for votes in a mid-term election.  But, that has never stopped the liberal media from going after a Republican POTUS.  I just find it rather remarkable that these same individuals are now a cheering section for a Democratic POTUS.

One of the few exceptions is Fire Dog Lake and Digby.

“...So, last night I noted that the array of friends and enemies in our bombing campaign in Syria is … complicated. It’s even more complicated than the fact that our close friend Saudi Prince Bandar (aka Bandar Bush) is implicated in creating ISIS as a way to defeat Assad. Today we’re seeing more reports about the shadowy group called Khorasan which is allegedly even worse than ISIS which is worse than al-Qaeda which is actually the group behind Khorasan. (I wrote about Khorasan last week when it first bubbled up in the press.)...”

Fire Dog Lake
Fire Dog Lake

What a mess. According to Peter Van Buren the similarities of the never-ending war we have managed to drag ourselves into, between Islamic factions is basically a modern day Vietnam.  His theory is that Obama did not cause the problem but he has helped to make it much worse.  My theory is that Obama made it worse the day he nominated John Kerry to be Sec State, replacing Hillary Clinton who was was an excellent Sec State.

“...Under a new president, elected in 2008 in part on his promise to end American military involvement in Iraq, Washington’s strategy morphed into the more media-palatable mantra of “no boots on the ground.” Instead, backed by aggressive intel and the “surgical” application of drone strikes and other kinds of air power, U.S. covert ops were to link up with the “moderate” elements in Islamic governments or among the rebels opposing them — depending on whether Washington was opting to support a thug government or thug fighters.

The results? Chaos in Libya, highlighted by the flow of advanced weaponry from the arsenals of the dead autocrat Muammar Gaddafi across the Middle East and significant parts of Africa, chaos in Yemen, chaos in Syria, chaos in Somalia, chaos in Kenya, chaos in South Sudan, and, of course, chaos in Iraq.

And then came the Islamic State (IS) and the new “caliphate,” the child born of a neglectful occupation and an autocratic Shia government out to put the Sunnis in their place once and for all. And suddenly we were heading back into Iraq. What, in August 2014, was initially promoted as a limited humanitarian effort to save the Yazidis, a small religious sect that no one in Washington or anywhere else in this country had previously heard of, quickly morphed into those 1,600 American troops back on the ground in Iraq and American planes in the skies from Kurdistan in the north to south of Baghdad. The Yazidis were either abandoned, or saved, or just not needed anymore. Who knows and who, by then, cared? They had, after all, served their purpose handsomely as the casus belli of this war. Their agony at least had a horrific reality, unlike the supposed attack in the Gulf of Tonkin that propelled a widening war in Vietnam in 1964 or the nonexistent Iraqi WMDsthat were the excuse for the invasion of 2003.

The newest Iraq war features Special Operations “trainers,” air strikes against IS fighters using American weapons abandoned by the Iraqi Army (now evidently to be resupplied by Washington), U.S. aircraft taking to the skies from inside Iraq as well as a carrier in the Persian Gulf and possibly elsewhere, and an air war across the border into Syria….”

Think Progress has been a light against totalitarian government actions – when Bush was in office.  Once in awhile they will go after a point or two with the Obama Administration, but not loudly.  If this had been GWB, their protests would have been long and loud.  So far we get this:

Think Progress
Think Progress

There is a bottom line here and it isn’t pretty.  Now that the Khorasan Group was planning to make explosive clothes, I gather Homeland Security is now going to require everyone to be naked when they fly.  Heck, I knew it was coming.  The whole point behind the Al Qaeda philosophy was to disrupt life in the US, opening us up to terror.  The cure for their 9/11 attack has been a total disaster for this nation, robbing us of far too many things we hold dear, like the right to wear shoes in an air port security check-point.  What I don’t comprehend is why people have not protested the many indignities pushed on us, in the name of security and safety.  We have none, so why even bother trying?

Was it legal?  Maybe.  I don’t know.  That’s beyond my pay-grade.  What I do think is that it was suspicious to wait until Congress was out of town for the election.  I know we’re not to question Obama’s motives.  He’s the good-guy.  The Republicans were bad-guys.  But, having been burned, once, well, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice and shame on me.  I’m not going to be fooled, again.  I don’t care who is sitting in the Oval Office.  I apply the same rules to everyone, Democrat or Republican.

Let’s apply those same rules.  Is this just another salvo in the war for oil?

“...The relation of the U.S. / NATO proxy war in Ukraine to renewed military intervention in Iraq and Syria is about who supplies Europe with oil and gas. The strategy appears to be to break the relation between Russia and Europe and use U.S. and ‘coalition’ control over Middle Eastern oil and gas to sell it to Europe. This ties twentieth century geopolitics to the long-standing use of American state power to further the private interests of multi-national oil and gas companies. It is also in every conceivable dimension a moral, political, economic and environmental atrocity. Mr. Obama was able to sell his ‘humanitarian interventions’ in North Africa to apparently receptive audiences. Now he is selling his wholly implausible ‘war on terror’ to perpetuate permanent death, misery and destruction across a wide swath of the Middle East. Odds are there will be a lot of ‘takers.’…”

Counterpunch
Counterpunch

I’m not going to be fooled again.  While we’re being snippy, there is the fact that the US is posed to become a major exporter of oil and gas.  Just a little bit of creative nastiness in the Middle East, and well, we get to make more money that Russia does.  It is a never-ending war, convenient, and quite good for the perpetual military-industrial complex.  It is also quite good for the Brother’s Koch.

What bothers me the most is the fact that we just bombed a soverign country, without a declaration of war, or going to the UN for permission.  At least Bush did just that, before invading Iraq.  This, though, is different.  Sure, these were bad guys who needed to be taken out, but the way it was done is chilling.   What happens when someone decides we are the terrorists and propose bombing a military base here, or one there, or taking out Los Alamos, or bombing White Sands into oblivion?  What about bombing DC?  That’s what we now do.

Where does it stop? Why not bother addressing the real problems?  We know the terror groups are recruiting.  There’s a good reason.  First, young people need a future.  One of the reasons Hitler was so successful was that he appealed to the unemployed young people who needed a future.  The Treaty of Versailles was absolutely ruinous to the recovering Germany’s future.  When you have young people who need jobs, have no future, and need something in which to believe, you have a disaster.    This is a generation raised on video games, where the dead are not dead, but back again.  Do they even grasp what they are doing?

But – to attack a soverign nation, after turning Russia into a monster is deplorable.  In a justified attempt to take-out murderous psychopaths, the Obama Administration has gone about it, all wrong.  We’ve lost the moral high ground.  I think it is a loss we may never again be able to regain.  Any student of Roman history knows that the beginning of the end came when a leader took a baby step toward totalitarianism.  The next leader need not worry about that baby step, which had been taken, so he took another, and another and the Republic was DOA.

This one is going to leave a mark, rather like Marius when he ignored the Senate.  His actions led, eventually, to the crossing of the Rubicon. This is Barack Obama’s Rubicon.  The great irony is he is the last person you would expect to make such a move.  He castigated George W. Bush enough.   There is a right way and a wrong way of doing things.  The end does not justify the means, even this day and age.

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