Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Final Review: End Of An Error, Part 1 - The Many Failures of The Obama Administration: Military Failures

As the Obama Presidency starts to wind down we thought it would be a good idea to do a final review of the Obama era. We took an initial swing at that topic back in October, 2016 with a series of seven posts starting on October 9, 2016 with the following post:

Not unexpectedly, the review across those seven posts captured the myriad of failures of this Presidency. Diplomatically, economically, fiscally, militarily, legally, Constitutionally, integrity-wise,and in many other ways, in my opinion, this has been the worst Presidency of my lifetime. If you are a liberal, please read the seven posts, starting with the first one listed above, all of which are extensively sourced, before going off the deep end without thinking. This Presidency has stunk.

This week, we will update these topics, relying mostly on some fine analysis by Reason magazine, that again will verify how bad this administration has been. Today we will focus on how Obama and his administration has been the most warlike President, engaged in active military efforts the ENTIRE length of his Presidency, the first time ever.

What makes Obama so bad from a military and diplomatic perspective is how he promised he would be the exact opposite of what he turned out to be. Consider some of his quotes that helped him get elected:

- Obama, October 2, 2007: “Five years ago today, I was asked to speak at at rally against the war in Iraq...yet Congress voted to give the President a blank check”... “that left America mired in an endless war….We all know what Iraq has cost us abroad but these last few years we’ve seen an unacceptable abuse of power at home. We’ve paid a heavy price for having a president whose priority is expanding his own power.” 

- Obama promised if elected he would “turn the page on a growing empire of classified information” and would turn the page on the imperial presidency. "It’s easy to be cynical, about politicians promises, but I’m running for the presidency of the United States of America so that together we can do the hard work to seek a new dawn of peace.”

- Obama back in 1983 talked about "the relentless , often silent spread of militarism in this ocuntry."

- Obama: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Okay, given these bold statements, what actually happened after these promises were made:

  • By October, 2009, just nine months into his Presidency, Obama had launched more drone attacks than Bush had done in his entire eight year term.
  • A week before he won the Nobel Peace prize, he sent an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.
  • He promised to have U.S. military forces out of Afghanistan by 2014 but in 2017 they are still there.
  • During his two terms Obama ended up launching ten times as many drone attacks as Bush.
  • He deployed U.S. Special Forces to 85 different countries.
  • This past Labor Day, Obama ordered 70 airstrikes across six different countries: Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya.
  • Less than a year after getting the Nobel Peace prize, Obama launched a seven month war against Libya, a country that posed absolutely no threat to the United States, without legal or Constitutional authority.
  • Relative to Libya, he had the nerve to claim that seven months of military actions did not constitute a “war” for Constitutional purposes nor did it rise to the level of “hostilities.” How seven months of intense bombing does not raise to the level of war or hostilities is laughable.
  • Obama initially claimed that U.S.military involvement in Libya would last days, not weeks, but eventually lasted seven months for which he was warned numerous times by numerous government legal resources (the Pentagon’s top lawyer, the attorney general, and the Office of Legal Counsel) that he was in violation of the 60 day window of the War Powers Act (WPA).
  • But he ignored their advice and later had the gall to claim that this was not a war since there was not “the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties, or a serious threat thereof.” So in his convoluted logic, drone attacks and Air Force bombing runs are not war-like actions, insanity.
  • We recently reported on an analysis that tabulated the number of missiles and bombs that Obama's Pentagon had fired and dropped in just 2016: the final tally was over 26,000 missiles and bombs had been dropped on seven different countries although there has been no authorization or approval by Congress or the American people for us bombing seven different countries at the rate of about 70 missiles and bombs every DAY in 2016.
  • Despite all of Obama’s war actions across multiple countries, ISIS and terrorism is still very much alive and on the march and according to retired General Stanley McChrystal, former commander of all U.Sl troops in Afghanistan: “They [local civilians] hate us on a visceral level, evenb y people who have never seenone” [a U.S. bombing or drone attack] and Obama’s military actions are feeding a “perception of American arrogance that says, ‘We can shot where we want, when we want.’”
  • And it is not just the Middle East where the Obama war actions are going on: he has deployed U.S. troops throughout Africa with little or no Congressional oversight or American public knowledge.
  • And quite possibly all of Obama’s drone and bombing attacks have made a bad situation worse relative to the losing war on terror, according to intelligence analyst Patrick Lang: “The global war on terror has acquired a life of its own. It’s a self licking ice cream cone.”
Let’s review, Obama’s words prior to being elected: “mired in an endless war,” “unacceptable abuse of power,” “a new dawn of peace,” “turn the page on an imperial Presidency,” and “does not have the power under the Constitution.”

Let’s review, Obama’s actions after being elected: an almost unfathomable amount of drone and bombing attacks, undeclared, illegal and un-Constitutional warfare across at least seven different countries, likely thousands of civilians deaths and likely hundreds of children deaths as a result of Obama’s Pentagon actions, a terrorism threat that continues to grow quickly despite his military actions, and tens of billions of dollars in costs for a strategy that has failed miserably.

To quote Obama: “It’s easy to be cynical, about politicians; promises.” Uh, yeah, especially when the words are so very far out of alignment with the promises of the most warlike, ineffective commander in chief this nation has ever known. More Obama administration reviews throughout the week, they are not pretty.

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