Surprise, Surprise, Surprise - Dems Now Become Anti-War Advocates After Years of Ignoring Obama's Pro-War Policies

From Politico:

For much of Barack Obama's second term, Congress sought to pass a formal authorization for the war against the Islamic State — both to signal the country’s resolve and to provide a check on the president's unfettered war powers.

That failure to act now means Donald Trump will effectively have free rein to wage what he calls a global U.S. war on radical Islam, a prospect that terrifies many Democrats.

“You could easily see him wanting to ramp up the war on terror and take it to new parts of the globe,” said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “There are few limits on what he can do.”

Yes, in Trump we now face the prospect of a fire breathing, unpredictable megalomaniac in the White House instead of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama. Which reminds me, what was President Obama's record on the use of military force around the world in the ever-expanding Global War on Terror? Let's review, shall we?

Drones and Air Strikes

Obama took the war out of the hands of boots on the ground (that's short for armed human soldiers) for the "kinder, gentler" method of killing one's enemies, which hardly ever kill innocent civilians cause collateral damage unless they do.

Drone strikes conducted by the United States during a 5-month-long campaign in Afghanistan caused the deaths of unintended targets nearly nine out of ten times, leaked intelligence documents suggest.

The apparent 10 percent success rate with regards to a specific span in America’s drone war is among the most damning revelations to surface so far as the result of a series of articles published by The Intercept on Thursday this week which rely on classified and confidential intelligence documents supplied by an unknown source.

“These docs illustrate what a video game, drained of all humanity, these drone assassinations have become,” founding editor Glenn Greenwald tweeted on Thursday.

Even the warmongering neocons who publish the Washington Post find little to like about Obama's dramatic increase in the use of drone strikes around the world. The title to the opinion piece they published last May says it all: "Obama’s drone war is a shameful part of his legacy"

There have long been policy, constitutional and moral questions about the drone program — all made more difficult to answer by the Obama administration’s refusal to even acknowledge the program until 2013. As Obama’s presidency comes to an end, we have stunning new details about how the program works — first released in October on the Intercept website, now updated and collected in the book “The Assassination Complex” by Jeremy Scahill and Intercept staffers. “The Assassination Complex” is in large part built around the revelations of an anonymous whistleblower who leaked documents about U.S. use of drones in Somalia, Libya and Afghanistan from 2011 to 2013. What he or she reveals further confirms the practical, legal and moral failings of Obama’s expanded drone war. [...]

... The leaked documents show the disturbing ease with which an innocent civilian — American or not — can be added to the U.S. government’s main terrorist database, such as on the basis of a single “uncorroborated” Facebook or Twitter post. In a 2014 court filing, the government admitted that 469,000 people had been nominated in 2013 for inclusion in an additional government database of “known or suspected terrorists.” Only 4,900 were rejected. Presumption of innocence this is not. And although Osama bin Laden’s name was in a terrorist database long before he was killed, so too was the name Abdulrahman al-Awlaki — innocent, 16 years old, an American citizen and killed by a U.S. drone strike.

Drones and other airstrikes are very good at killing people with little to no risk to US armed forces. There's no question about that. But their use has expanded beyond all reasonable bounds. Furthermore, their effectiveness as a weapon that avoids mass slaughter is highly questionable, as Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept noted in his article "Manhunting in the Hindu Kush."

Operation Haymaker, has been described as a potential model for the future of American warfare: special operations units, partnered with embedded intelligence elements running a network of informants, pinpointing members of violent organizations, then drawing up plans to eliminate those targets from the battlefield, either by capturing or killing them.[...]

[T]he military’s own analysis demonstrates that the Haymaker campaign was in many respects a failure. The vast majority of those killed in airstrikes were not the direct targets. Nor did the campaign succeed in significantly degrading al Qaeda’s operations in the region. When contacted by The Intercept with a series of questions regarding the Haymaker missions, the United States Special Operations Command in Afghanistan declined to comment on the grounds that the campaign — though now finished — remains classified. [...]

[D]uring a five-month stretch of the campaign, nearly nine out of 10 people who died in airstrikes were not the Americans’ direct targets. By February 2013, Haymaker airstrikes had resulted in no more than 35 “jackpots,” a term used to signal the neutralization of a specific targeted individual, while more than 200 people were declared EKIA — “enemy killed in action.”

In the complex world of remote killing in remote locations, labeling the dead as “enemies” until proven otherwise is commonplace, said an intelligence community source with experience working on high-value targeting missions in Afghanistan ...

Confirming a chosen target was indeed killed can include days of monitoring signals intelligence and communication with sources on the ground, none of which is perfect 100 percent of the time. Firing a missile at a target in a group of people, the source said, requires “an even greater leap of faith” — a leap that he believes often treats physical proximity as evidence.

Nonetheless, under Obama, drones were considered the newest, best way to fight "terrorists" over there. This is how it worked: people were put on an assassination list, one often compiled arbitrarily with little if any indication that moral or legal considerations played any role in determining when and where to use them.

The source said he decided to provide these documents to The Intercept because he believes the public has a right to understand the process by which people are placed on kill lists and ultimately assassinated on orders from the highest echelons of the U.S. government. “This outrageous explosion of watchlisting — of monitoring people and racking and stacking them on lists, assigning them numbers, assigning them ‘baseball cards,’ assigning them death sentences without notice, on a worldwide battlefield — it was, from the very first instance, wrong,” the source said.

Of course no one dares call these drone attacks "assassinations." These are "targeted killings" of individuals who pose an "imminent threat" to our nation's security. That's the official line, in any event, and one that neither Republicans nor Democrats (with a few notable exceptions) found objectionable. I'm no fan of Rand Paul, but at least he pointed out the hypocrisy of President Obama's unfettered use of drone strikes to kill people whenever and wherever he or his advisors wished determined their deaths, and those of anyone anywhere near them, constitutued a "military necessity."

[I]t was not until May 2013 that the White House released a set of standards and procedures for conducting such strikes. Those guidelines offered little specificity, asserting that the U.S. would only conduct a lethal strike outside of an “area of active hostilities” if a target represents a “continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons,” without providing any sense of the internal process used to determine whether a suspect should be killed without being indicted or tried. The implicit message on drone strikes from the Obama administration has been one of trust, but don’t verify.

Despite the, at least internally, much lauded "death by drone" program adopted by the Obama administration, many military and intelligence experts see it as not only immoral, but also an operational failure that did little to advance the national security interests of the United States, and likely exacerbated the continuing threat of radical jihadist organizations, in the Middle East, Europe and at home.

Taken together, the secret documents lead to the conclusion that Washington’s 14-year high-value targeting campaign suffers from an overreliance on signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and — due to a preference for assassination rather than capture — an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. They also highlight the futility of the war in Afghanistan by showing how the U.S. has poured vast resources into killing local insurgents, in the process exacerbating the very threat the U.S. is seeking to confront.

Drone attacks have been conducted all over the world, from Afghanistan and Pakistan in Southwest Asia,to Syria, Iraq and Yemen in the Middle East, and also in Libya, Somalia and perhaps other countries as yet not identified by journalists or disclosed by our government. What good they have done us is questionable at nest. But, sadly, most Democrats stood by silently and did not oppose this remarkable overreach of the President's unfettered use of military power because Obama was their guy.

Obama's Policy of Regime Change

The Obama administration's record in using special operations forces, drones and airstrikes has not been limited to its assassination program. Specifically, the United States actively used our armed forces to effect regime change in Libya, and continues to use special ops forces, drones, traditional airstrikes and the arming of jihadist militias to overthrow Bashar Al-Assad's government in Syria. The policy of using military resources to effect regime change in theses countries has been, to put it bluntly, an unmitigated disaster.

While it is true that Libya was not a democratic regime, it was relatively stable until we, with our French and British allies, decided to arms militant jihadist rebels and use our massive military resources to overturn the Gaddafi government. Now Libya is a failed state thanks to our intervention, one where terrorist groups such as ISIS can operate relatively freely, as this new study by the British Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee makes clear.

Was regime change really necessary? The report takes serious issue with the idea that Qaddafi was on the verge of committing a mass slaughter. The Select Committee notes: “Despite his rhetoric, the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.” Indeed, only days before the launch of military action by the West, Qaddafi addressed the rebels, telling them: “Throw away your weapons, exactly like your brothers in Ajdabiya did. They laid down their arms and they are safe. We never pursued them at all.” Which, as the report observes, is true.

Disturbingly, all of this was clear by the time President Obama addressed the situation in Libya on March 18, 2011, when he told the nation that if “left unchecked…Qaddafi would commit atrocities against his people. Many thousands could die. A humanitarian crisis would ensue. The entire region could be destabilized, endangering many of our allies and partners.” [...]

[T]he cost of the regime-change war in Libya in lives and treasure has been immense. Libyan GDP collapsed from $75 billion in 2010 to just over $41 billion on 2014, while its place on the UN’s index of human development slid from 53rd (in 2010) to 94th (in 2015). The report points out that by 2016, out of Libya’s 6.3 million people, “3 million have been impacted by the armed conflict and political instability and that 2.4 million require protection and some form of humanitarian assistance.”

Still worse, the intervention resulted in an estimated 400,000 internally displaced people, helped cause a migrant crisis in Europe, and made space for the rise of ISIS which, according to the report “emerged in Libya in 2014, seizing control of territory around Sirte and setting up terrorist training centers.”

Meanwhile, the US military has returned to Libya, conducting drone and special operations there, five years after the initial intervention. In an interview with The Atlantic earlier this year President Obama described the Libyan intervention as “a shit show.” As the UK report notes, “It is difficult to disagree with this pithy assessment.”

And then there is Syria. The continuing black hole that is the Syrian conflict, one that keeps sucking in ever increasing amounts of US military resources, and ever more jihadist paramilitary and terrorist combatants. The conflict that continues to bring ever greater and greater misery and death for the people of Syria. Obama's policy of regime change in Syria is another clusterfuck in which diplomacy has taken a back seat to the use of military force to achieve dubious objectives.

The US decision to support Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in their ill-conceived plan to overthrow the Assad regime was primarily a function of the primordial interest of the US permanent war state in its regional alliances. The three Sunni allies control US access to the key US military bases in the region, and the Pentagon, the CIA, the State Department and the Obama White House were all concerned, above all, with protecting the existing arrangements for the US military posture in the region.

After all, those military bases are what allow the United States to play at the role of hegemonic power in the Middle East, despite the disasters that have accompanied that role.

At present, the United States and it's European and Gulf allies, who want Assad out, are at odds with Russia, Iran and now Turkey, all who apparently now favor an end to the violence and a return to some revised version of the former status quo in which Assad remains in power, much as existed before the United States and the Saudis decided Syria was next on their Middle East hit list.

US is World's Biggest Arms Dealer/Supplier under Obama

What more can be said but that the United States under the Obama administration continues to authorize the sale of and/or supply tens billions of dollars worth of US military weapons to governments, armed forces and even terrorist groups freedom fighters all over the world each year. Indeed, the Obama administration has authorized, sold or supplied more weapons than any other presidential administration since WWII. And each year the US tops the list of the world's largest arms supplier.

The United-States remains the largest exporter of conventional weapons in the world. The U.S accounts for 33 percent of global arms transfers, up from 29 percent in 2006-2010, according to SIPRI. TOP CLIENTS 2011-2015 – Saudi Arabia (9.7 percent), United Arab Emirates (9.1 percent), Turkey (6.6 percent) 2006-2010 – South Korea (15 percent), Israel (13 percent), United Arab Emirates (11 percent).

For the record, this is not a good thing in my opinion and the opinion of many, including, no doubt the millions of people suffering from the use of US military grade weapons in conflicts around the globe.

Yemen and the issue of war crimes

The US military has been supporting Saudi Arabia in its murderous and criminal bombing campaign against the Houthi Shi'ite population of Yemen. We became the Saudi's indispensable partner in their war of aggression against the Houthis in Yemen.

Since March 2015, the U.S. has been providing support to a Saudi-led military coalition fighting Houthi rebels. The Houthis ousted Yemen's government and forced the president, Abed Mansour Hadi, to flee to Saudi Arabia.

Initially the Saudis thought they could easily uproot the Houthis, but the conflict has ground on much longer than the Saudis expected.

As a result, Chris Murphy, a Democratic senator from Connecticut, says the U.S. is becoming an indispensable partner to Saudi Arabia and its bombing campaign there.

"The United States provides the bombs. We provide the refueling planes in mid-air. We provide the intel," Murphy tells NPR. "I think it's safe to say that this bombing campaign in Yemen could not happen without the United States."

Even Time magazine, not noted for opposing US miliatary misadventures in the Mideast, has called the Obama administration's support for Saudi's genocidal attacks on civilians "indefensible."

In the more than 3,000 strikes since the conflict began, civilian sites are routinely in the line of fire. Hospitals, schools, factories, homes, markets—there is no safe space in Yemen today. And with Saudi Arabia’s purchase of more than $115 billion in U.S.-manufactured military equipment approved since the war in Yemen began—including air-to-ground munitions as well as tanks—the jeopardy civilians are facing is marked with a deep American imprint.

Newly disclosed government documents reveal that State Department lawyers warned that the U.S. could be implicated in war crimes for supporting a Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen.

Yes, you read that right. President Obama has been complicit in war crimes committed against the Houthis in Yemen. War Crimes such as are described in this article in The New York Times published in August of this year:

The Abs Hospital was the fourth health facility supported by Doctors Without Border to be hit during the war. Teresa Sancristóval, the group’s emergency program coordinator, said that Doctors Without Borders had given the GPS coordinates of its facilities to the Saudi military, and that its representatives had traveled to the Saudi kingdom twice to protest. But the botched airstrikes continue. [...]

The Saudi-led bombing campaign resumed this month after a monthslong pause for the unsuccessful attempt to draft a peace agreement. On Aug. 7, more than a dozen civilians were killed in an airstrike that hit a small marketplace near the village of Al Madeed, approximately 35 miles northeast of Sana.

Sada al-Othari, a witness who owns a drugstore in the village, said that two of his customers were killed in the bombing and that there was no military target in the area.

He gave a graphic account of victims burned beyond recognition and panicked locals who were reluctant to provide help, fearing a second airstrike would hit the rescuers — a tactic that the [Saudi] coalition has used during the campaign.

Not such a great record, is it? Drone wars, government assassination lists, "collateral damage" with who knows how many innocents killed by US airstrikes, botched regime change leading to death, terrorist havens, a massive refugee crises, and complicity in war crimes.

"Well, but Obama was someone we could trust with those awesome responsibilities of whether to wage war," a long term Democratic Party member might say. "Not someone as unstable as Donald Trump." And yet, in the recent general election campaign, who ran as the candidate who most vigorously promoted an aggressive and militaristic foreign policy , whether in Syria, or when confronting our "enemies" such as Russia and Iran? Who boasted that she had the most endorsements from former members of the military? Who did former Bush neocons support for President? That's right, the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

But that was then and this is now. Expect to see more clarion calls by prominent Democrats for the anti-war left to rally to the side of the "angels," i.e., the Democratic Party, in the months and years ahead. You know, the party who loves to court the left whenever it is out of power. The party that promises it will never carry out illegal wars or unconstitutional military actions if we help them win elections. Because, if there is one thing we know, the Democrats will always oppose our nation's numerous wars and covert military actions whenever a Republican is on the White House. When a Democrat sits in the Oval Office? Not so much.

0 users have voted.


Jazzenterprises's picture

for a pacifist to go.

There are two War Parties, one just pretends it isn't.

0 users have voted.

Progressive to the bone.

CB's picture

Since Obama’s election, few Americans have wanted to talk about Afghanistan, our longest war ever, now in its thirteenth year, nor the continuing violence in Iraq, which has claimed over 4,000 lives in 2014 to date. Liberal pundits have remained similarly quiet on Obama’s drone wars in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Syria, while cheering the attack on Libya. Meanwhile anti-war and feminist sentiments have been deployed to organize “grassroots” campaigns demanding further U.S. intervention in central Africa and Nigeria against Joseph Kony and Boko Haram.

Many of the liberals who rally around Obama and the flag probably don’t actually have a principled opposition to war. But what about those who do? They are trapped in the cognitive dissonance produced by one of America’s fundamental political falsehoods: that the Democratic Party is opposed to war.
...the narrative that the Republicans have historically been the party of war, and Democrats all peace-loving doves, is an absurd fiction, one that both parties benefit from. And it’s a false narrative that keeps winning the Democrats the votes and loyalty of people who should know better.

It’s important to face this fact squarely: in the 20th century, it was the Democratic party that was the more aggressive pursuer of foreign wars. You can make whatever claim you like about historical contingency, necessity, or immediate context. None of them should convince anyone that the Democrats, as a party, are opposed to war. They’re not even more opposed to war than Republicans. They are a party of warmongers.

0 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

seen a war which Democrats have not liked--it ain't just Killary. Your citation is right on point.

0 users have voted.
Strife Delivery's picture

How exactly do you tell people that the President, the cool President who knows how to use a selfie stick and one whom they love, is also a war criminal? Of course people brush that aside, "that isn't true".

Victors are not tried for war crimes, the powerful are not tried for war crimes, only the weak and the losers of war.

0 users have voted.

Oh, wait. I did.

0 users have voted.
Steven D's picture

Which led to my surprise surprise lead-in.

Which as you stated back on 12/19 was not going to be a surprise at all.

0 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

EdMass's picture

You are so obviously conflicted. Confusing then with now. Confusing who Democrats are. Confusing Sh*t and Shinola.

Silly man. Just stop it and trust in your betters.

0 users have voted.

Prof: Nancy! I’m going to Greece!
Nancy: And swim the English Channel?
Prof: No. No. To ancient Greece where burning Sapho stood beside the wine dark sea. Wa de do da! Nancy, I’ve invented a time machine!

Firesign Theater

Stop the War!

0 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

0 users have voted.

We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

detroitmechworks's picture

Sorry, Civilization 5 joke.

In the game you can usually tell when somebody is gearing up to attack your country by a public announcement of a "Denouncement" followed up by ejection of the Diplomats.

Obama just fucking did it.

Course, considering the guy regularly used robot suicide bombers, I'm not surprised.

0 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Big Al's picture

party have lost all credibility with 16 years of democratic party led imperialism and wars out of the last 24 years. The democrats talking and others talking are certainly not antiwar, they're just saying the U.S. empire needs a new, updated AUMF to justify waging imperialism across the planet.

The problem is, even that is absolute nonsense because the war OF terror has been fraudulent from the beginning, totally manufactured to justify the middle east wars and the push for global hegemony. At this point, the war OF terror is institutionalized in American society, it will never end, it can't end, so any new AUMF would not stop Trump and his Generals from doing what Obama and Bush have done.

0 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

AUMFs be totally banned as unconstitutional abdication of war declaration. We might might better restate the glib acronym as "Abdication of Unconstitutional War Permissiveness". This will not happen, because as Steven D correctly illustrates, both parties at leadership level are largely composed of war mongers.

Secondly, the military might of the U.S. might actually her increased confident with budgetary reduction of military expenditure of GDP, by not expending military equipment AND our own soldiers' lives by not engaging in continuing wars of aggression. By so doing, there would actually be increased funding for Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid, infrastructure, environment etc.

Sad but true, there lying Obomber is a great proponent of guilty until proven innocent--at least until decided post-droning. Nobel Peace Prize, my ass. Nobel Piece of this and Piece of That Prize would be more like it.

0 users have voted.
asterisk's picture

These are "targeted killings" of individuals who pose an "imminent threat" to our nation's security.

Imminent means immediate (that is something that is gonna happen right away).

Definition of imminent
: ready to take place; especially : hanging threateningly over one's head

Apparently a guy on the way to his wedding is an immediate danger to people on the other side of the world. So is a sixteen-year-old American kid drinking coffee with his teen-aged cousins. Not to mention Muslim toddlers. Because they might grow up to hate America.

There is word with a similar spelling that has religious connotations:

im·ma·nent (ĭm′ə-nənt)
1. Existing or remaining within; inherent: believed in a God immanent in humans.
2. Restricted entirely to the mind; subjective.

This is really just a Crusade-- with the traditional reason for the Crusades--GREED.

0 users have voted.

Remember the Vietnam War? LBJ escalated to, 600,000+ troops. Widened the war to Cambodia and Laos. What was the legal justification? UNSC resolution? Imminent threat to the US? Nope. One completely bogus Gulf of Tonken resolution, a lie and insufficient cause on its own. Democrats make war at the drop of a hat, perhaps to prove their war creds ?
I'm completely disgusted. War making is never ending and there is no moral progress. Perhaps it's because we have never suffered the ravages on modern warfare on our soil, with the exception of Pearl Harbour. I have found that Russians are far, far less enthusiastic about making war than Americans. We could learn a lot from them. Instead the worst president in my lifetime is goading Russia to confrontation.

0 users have voted.

Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

asterisk's picture

For a century after the Civil War most people lived in poverty. This included a lot of white people. Although some Southerners have antisocial views on social issues they also have a disproportionate number of their kids coming home in the body bags. Young people who signed up for the National Guard to get an education were repeatedly redeployed to Iraq instead. If Dems were as peace-loving as advertised, parts of the south would be a lot more purple.

0 users have voted.

Lincoln conducted the war against the rebellious South, and unless I had Texas-approved textbooks in school, he was a Republican. He even tried to give the South Democratic Congressman Clement Vallandigham to help them since Vallandigham was against Mr. Lincoln's War. It must have worked, because the South was Democratic until Lyndon Johnson eliminated any legality Jim Crow laws enjoyed. THEN they became Republicans.

0 users have voted.

Vowing To Oppose Everything Trump Attempts.

asterisk's picture

The flip to Repubs was due both to enforcement against illegal Jim Crow laws and the fact that a lot of Southern kids were coming home in body bags due to the mismanagement of the Vietnam war. JFK and LBJ were both damnYankees. Their war-games in Vietnam killed a lot of kids from the South, too.

0 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Obama addressed the situation in Libya on March 18, 2011, when he told the nation that if “left unchecked…Qaddafi would commit atrocities against his people. Many thousands could die. A humanitarian crisis would ensue. The entire region could be destabilized, endangering many of our allies and partners.” [...]

So many thousands could die if the USA and its buddies didn't bomb the hell out of Libya? How many people were killed because he said that he needed to protect them?
He is responsible for the biggest refugee crisis ever.
How does that make sense to Obamas's loving supporters?
I keep reading that they are so going to miss him and Michelle when they leave the WH. Even though the economy is worse off since he took office, except for the millions of people who now have health insurance even if they can't use it because of their high premiums and deductibles.
Or even though there are more people employed now, most of the new jobs people are working at pay so little they have to work at 2-3 places to make ends meet.
I rarely listen to a long video or podcast, but I started listening to this podcast because of the comments about it. These three people absolutely nailed what Obama has done to this country and the world and they too can't believe how he has fooled so many people.
Eric welcomes back to the show Yvette Carnell and Pascal Robert for a retrospective look at Barack Obama's presidency: the lies and the crimes, the sell-job and the sell-out.
I hope you find the time to listen to it all but at least listen to the first 10-15 minutes.
And if Pelosi runs again on rolling back the Trump abuses like she did in 06 when after they were back in power she took impeachment off the table and they continued funding the wars, I'm going to tell her to go to hell.

Most Americans don't even know how many countries we are fighting in, but what's more maddening is that they don't know that Obama is arming the terrorists that 'attacked' us and are attacking other countries.

Excellent essay, Steven.
Great comments everyone.

Here's his and Hillary's hypocrisy for all to see on Libya?
Absolutely stunning hypocrisy!

0 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

"...The entire region could be destabilized, endangering many of our allies and partners."

is where I can only see the deep state actors laughing hysterically at our gullibility.

0 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

I wish you could possibly list some of the negative ones....Oops, sorry! You wouldn't have space to do that as we must make space for other laudatory evaluations of mysteriously "popular" Obama.

0 users have voted.
expatjourno's picture

Fantastic piece. Well argued, heavily researched and backed up. It goes in my Evernote politics folder permanently. Thanks for writing.

0 users have voted.

Hillary: Making sure women get a bigger piece of the middle-class pie that her neoliberal, DLC, pro-Wall Street, pro-Pentagon, pro-TPP, Republican-lite economic policies are designed to shrink.

Bollox Ref's picture


But seriously, what do you expect from people who treat politics as some sort of team sport.

After years of shilling for Obama, I'm sure the likes of Stephanie Miller, etc., will hard on Trump's case.

Rah, rah, team!!

0 users have voted.

from a reasonably stable genius.

the about face on the fact that we are on the verge of nuclear war with Russia, no less than WWIII, suddenly, now, because a jerk has become president instead of a nice guy, epitomizes the power of image to control the behavior and opinions of the American people.

This is why the industry of war controls, funds and operates both parties, to produce imagery that controls us. Ash Carter, our aptly named Defense Secretary and career-long physicist and nuclear weapons procurement specialist, has been promoting modernization of our nuclear weapons, to include a "dial-a-yield" feature in order to make them more usable, such that in a nuclear exchange only part of the world would be destroyed, not all of it. If George W. Bush had done this, we, including the Democrats now suddenly alert, would have been outraged, would have called for Bush's impeachment on the grounds he had lost his mind, would have been calling him a madman. But no, because President Obama is responsible for this nightmare, this $trillion total loss of humanity, our Democratic base has been uninterested, mute, out to lunch, high on latte.

This is exactly why so may of us were relieved that Clinton lost, even if she lost to a flamingo. I am one of many Americans who hoped that having a total jerk in the presidency would wake up the Democratic electorate to the fact that fascism has taken control of our foreign policy. I am actually shocked at how fast this awakening has happened.

0 users have voted.
CB's picture

is a leader in Russia that will give a sane, mature and reasoned response to the adolescent dolts running the US.

0 users have voted.
edg's picture

When have sanity, maturity and reasoned responses ever stopped the US from doing whatever the hell it wants to do?

0 users have voted.

who asks when have maturity or common sense, on anyone's part, stopped our rogue foreign policy from being carried out. So I'm both hopeful and nervous.

I may agree with you that compared to our leadership Putin appears to be consistent in acting from a position of anti-terrorism in Syria and anti-Nazism in Ukraine. Our leadership instead funds the Nazi paramilitary force in Ukraine, threatening a Balkans-like war against Russia, forcing Putin to secure his naval base in Crimea, and setting up more nuclear weapons procurement and NATO funding on the part of the United States, which is consistent with being pro-military industrial complex or pro-fascist or both.

The problem, though, is that to fascists or military industrial rogues, things going badly are a good thing. Therefore Putin has to respond to psychopathic actions, not common sense actions, on our part. And that being the case, at some point, he has to act in his own interests.

Gorbachev could challenge the Bush psychopaths by saying, "take our nuclear weapons, come to Russia and take them apart. We don't want to be the bad guy anymore." It kind of worked. Reagan was in no position to refuse that offer, and he agreed with Gorbachev to begin dismantling thousands of nuclear weapons. But Gorbachev could do that because he was openly advocating social democracy, along the lines of Finland's, for the Soviet Union. He was seen as a reasonable person with a reasonable outlook for a peaceful future. Putin can't do that. He's got Exxon on his back, and he's in no position to visualize Russia becoming Finland.

0 users have voted.
CB's picture

like a petulant child. Obama is becoming a fucking embarrassment.
Putin: Russia will not expel anyone in response to US sanctions

Report on ‘Russian hacking’ offers disclaimers, barely mentions Russia
Given the incongruous name of “Grizzly Steppe,” the Joint Analysis Report (JAR) on “Russian malicious cyber activity” issued by the FBI and the DHS National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) on Thursday begins with the following disclaimer:

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within.”

0 users have voted.

Joint Analysis Report (JAR) on “Russian malicious cyber activity” issued by the FBI and the DHS National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC)

that you've pointed out disclaims its findings. It's like so much of this entire saga, hoaky, substanceless, aimed at people who aren't knowledgeable about the subject.

It goes with the premise that Assad has caused all the deaths in the war in Syria. As if the Nusra, ISIS and FSA soldiers just cradled our explosives-laden mortar shells in their arms waiting for Assad to give them freedom, without ever projecting them onto neighborhoods with children in them. They've just sat there, cringing and crouching in the neighborhoods along with the children, allowing Assad to bomb them without lobbing any shells. Totally defensive, they started nothing, initiated nothing, killed no one except possibly a few Syrian soldiers. Nusra. That's Al Qaeda. Remember 9/11? Maybe we don't. It's so insulting. But maybe we deserve it.

Sorry. I'm ranting.

0 users have voted.

with a bang, and this ginned-up, lame duck war will be his real legacy. The nerve! Three weeks left and he decides to muck up the Donald's presidency out of ... Spite? What an a..hole.

0 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

will be consigned to the dust-bin of history in a few short weeks and will not take the bait. Obama thinks that this will make him look strong. In fact, it makes him look like the coward that he is.

Steven D, thank you for this excellent essay. There are several take home points that I wish to re-emphasize, which you have already discussed quite well:
1. Obama is a piece of shit
2. Guilty until proven innocent
3. Obama is a piece of shit
4. No war is a bad war unless Republicans start it
5. Obama is a piece of shit
6. The Democratic party leadership is composed of warmongers
7. Obama is a piece of shit
8. Thank goodness Medusa lost

And did I mention that Obama is a piece of shit?

0 users have voted.
Thaumlord-Exelbirth's picture

It's Obama! He's a democrat, and that basically makes him equivalent to jesus, and he's only smiting the bad muslims because of that. But Trump is even more evil than ISIS and will arm the drones with puppies carrying anti-matter photon bombs and split the world in half. And gosh darn it, we just can't let him use those puppies in that way!

0 users have voted.
Wink's picture

in the M.E. is just a warmup - practice - for when the White House needs them to find and eliminate the leadership of the 47% and the "others" with torches and pitch forks. Becuz they Know it's coming.

0 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.