1. “The Supposed Legality of Murder
War is legal, but pointing out its illegality is not mistaken; it’s irrelevant and un-strategic. That’s the argument I’m hearing from a number of quarters.
But, our goal, our vision, our salvation cannot be and will not be transparent adherence to the “laws of war,” any more than asking rapists to wear condoms will solve the problem of rape-crimes or rape-atrocities. The problems we are up against are these: military funding; military bureaucracy (Gareth Porter has reported on the CIA’s purely bureaucratic motivation for expanded drone wars); love of technology for its own sake; racism; ignorance; secrecy; a democracy deficit; and acceptance of war as a legal, reasonable, and appropriate instrument of national policy.
Let’s not regulate murderous flying robots. Let’s create a world that gets along without them.”
2. “Celebrating our “Warrior President”
Peter Bergen, the Director of National Security Studies at the Democratic-Party-supportive New America Foundation, has a long Op-Ed in The New York Times today glorifying President Obama as a valiant and steadfast “warrior President”; it begins this way:
THE president who won the Nobel Peace Prize less than nine months after his inauguration has turned out to be one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.
Just ponder that: not only the Democratic Party, but also its progressive faction, is wildly enamored of “one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.” That’s quite revealing on multiple levels. Bergen does note that irony: he recalls that Obama used his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to defend the justifications for war and points out: “if those on the left were listening, they didn’t seem to care.” He adds that “the left, which had loudly condemned George W. Bush for waterboarding and due process violations at Guantánamo, was relatively quiet when the Obama administration, acting as judge and executioner, ordered more than 250 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2009, during which at least 1,400 lives were lost.”
To explain the behavior of “the left,” Bergen offers this theory: “From both the right and left, there has been a continuing, dramatic cognitive disconnect between Mr. Obama’s record and the public perception of his leadership: despite his demonstrated willingness to use force, neither side regards him as the warrior president he is.” In other words, progressives are slavishly supportive of “one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades” because they have deluded themselves into denying this reality and continue to pretend he’s some sort of anti-war figure.
As several commenters suggest, there is another delusional aspect to the Democratic glorification of Obama’s foreign policy which I did not mention here (though I have on many other occasions): the ludicrous notion that continuously killing civilians in the Muslim world — more than a decade after 9/11 — is Keeping Us Safe rather than exacerbating the very Terrorist threat it is ostensibly intended to solve. The crux of the Bush/Cheney mentality was that Terrorism will end just as soon as you kill all the Terrorists — even as those efforts did more to ensure the continuation and escalation of anti-American hatred than any other single cause — and that’s the same mindset at the core of the Obama defense.”