Not everyone on the left (nor the Ronulan right) were fooled into pulling the lever for Obama in 2008, as the anti-war candidate who would end the war(s) and bring our troops home. Yet pull the lever they did when the alternative was John McCain (although if it were Ron Paul in '08, perhaps the Code Pink vote would have gone to the GOP). Some on the anti-war left read between the lines of Senator Obama's rhetoric, yet were willing to take a gamble on “hope and change” after 8 years of “Bush's wars”.
But now that they've experienced almost 4 years of an Obama presidency in action, how much has actually changed and how much has stayed the course?
I believe some of this is merely continuity of government. Regardless of the “R” or the “D” next to the name of any president, there is still some consistency on certain policy issues as it relates to America's national security.
Yet for so many Democrats who relentlessly criticized President Bush, they fail to recognize or acknowledge their own hypocrisy when they now support a president who perpetuates much the same or similar policies his predecessor was known for: Renditions, signing extension to the Patriot Act, warrantless surveillance, airport screenings perceived as an intrusion on our civil liberties, troop surge (in Afghanistan for Obama), NOT bringing the troops home any sooner on Iraq than what was negotiated under Bush, (natural) expansion of armed Predator drone attacks begun in the Bush era, Guantanamo not closed down, military tribunals, indefinite detentions and no legal rights for enemy combatants….
In some ways, President Obama seems to be trying to out-Bush Bush when it comes to prosecuting the
war on terror overseas contingency operations (a rose by any other name…):
We were told that America lost its moral standing in the world; that anti-Americanism was on the rise, all thanks to President “you're either with us or with the terrorists” Bush.
Well, President Obama seems to be carrying on the American tradition of breeding anti-American sentiments along with Islamic ire, in his own way.
Are we any more popular amongst Afghans today than we were under a Bush presidency?
How about in Pakistan?
Aden, Yemen — Across the vast, rugged terrain of southern Yemen, an escalating campaign of U.S. drone strikes is stirring increasing sympathy for al-Qaeda-linked militants and driving tribesmen to join a network linked to terrorist plots against the United States.
After recent U.S. missile strikes, mostly from unmanned aircraft, the Yemeni government and the United States have reported that the attacks killed only suspected al-Qaeda members. But civilians have also died in the attacks, said tribal leaders, victims’ relatives and human rights activists.
“These attacks are making people say, ‘We believe now that al-Qaeda is on the right side,’ ” said businessman Salim al-Barakani, adding that his two brothers — one a teacher, the other a cellphone repairman — were killed in a U.S. strike in March.
as in the tribal areas of Pakistan, where U.S. drone strikes have significantly weakened al-Qaeda’s capabilities, an unintended consequence of the attacks has been a marked radicalization of the local population.
The evidence of radicalization emerged in more than 20 interviews with tribal leaders, victims’ relatives, human rights activists and officials from four provinces in southern Yemen where U.S. strikes have targeted suspected militants. They described a strong shift in sentiment toward militants affiliated with the transnational network’s most active wing, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.
“The drone strikes have not helped either the United States or Yemen,” said Sultan al-Barakani, who was a top adviser to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. “Yemen is paying a heavy price, losing its sons. But the Americans are not paying the same price.”
In 2009, when President Obama was first known to have authorized a missile strike on Yemen, U.S. officials said there were no more than 300 core AQAP members. That number has grown in recent years to 700 or more, Yemeni officials and tribal leaders say. In addition, hundreds of tribesmen have joined AQAP in the fight against the U.S.-backed Yemeni government.
The first Predator drone strike in Yemen happened in 2002. So is expansion of this program under President Obama a natural extension of “Bush policy”? Would we have evolved in this direction no matter if it were McCain or Obama in office today?
Liberal and anti-war critics believed that Bush's approach to answering the global jihad movement- by treating al-Qaeda's 2001 attacks as an act of war rather than as a law enforcement issue- was exacerbating the problem and creating more terrorists. Not less.
So is President Obama now responsible for breeding more terrorists?
Since the Bush-era of terrorist-hunting and killing, homegrown jihadis seem to be a rising menace.
al-Qaeda- the “Base”- may not be the same organization with the same exact players it once had- but it is still alive, metastasizing, adapting, branching, and inspiring.
And is there also hypocrisy coming from the right, criticizing the current PotUS (D) for policies they would be supporting today were it carried out by an (R) PotUS?