Don’t believe a word President Obama says. He promises one thing today then changes his mind later.
He promised repeatedly to have no “boots on the ground” in Syria. Now he’s reversing course. Obama says it’s only 50 Special Operations forces. But we’ve heard that story before. Start small then expand involvement.
Americans have to wonder why U.S. troops are even in Syria just as they wondered why the U.S. launched a bombing campaign on the Islamic State in Syria in 2014.
It’s all war, war with Obama even though the U.S. has no business fighting in the Middle East.
As U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared recently: “The fighting must stop in Syria. There is no military solution to wars. Those who control combatants are defying humanity’s most basic rules.”
Ki-moon is right about stopping the Syrian war, but his plea for humanity is wrong. Humanity’s basic rule is war.
Since last year 10 nations have dropped bombs in Syria: the United States, Russia, Britain, Canada, France, Australia, Turkey, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.
Obama has escalated the U.S. “duty to make war,” recently sending 12 F-15s to the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and intensifying the air war in Syria.
This was the president who warned in 2014 that the U.S. must “always guard against mission creep.” Yet he keeps creeping: fighting in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and drone striking from Pakistan to Yemen.
The U.S. has 3,600 troops in an Iraq American once left. Obama is rapidly becoming the most infamous mission creeper in history.
Nick Turse, an expert on the military, notes that U.S. elite forces are “deployed in a record-shattering 147 countries.”
In Cuba, Obama is not making war but not making peace either. The U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the continued U.S. commercial, economic and financial Cuban embargo.
The vote was 191-2. The United States voted no, joined by Israel, which is protected by the U.S and hence is its voting toady.
U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Ronald Godard, said the resolution “falls short of the spirit of engagement that President Obama has championed.” What a champion!
Every year since 1992 the U.S. has voted no on those resolutions, ignoring as usual international consensus. Since Russia is bombing in Syria against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Obama figures the U.S. should drop bombs too to keep the Cold War alive.
The European Parliaments in Brussels passed a resolution urging the 28 nations of the European Union to recognize Edward Snowden as a “whistle-blower and international human rights defender” who should not be prosecuted.
Snowden, living in Russia on a three-year permit, has criticized the United States for eavesdropping and wiretapping. Obama will have none of it. Snowden’s exposure of U.S. crimes is beyond the pale to him.
And here’s another broken promise. Obama vowed to close Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba if elected in 2008. It’s still open, costing $2.5 million a year per detainee.
Gitmo is no threat to national security. Prisoners are held without charges and without trials, violating sacred American principles. Above all, as Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and vice chair of the Select Committee on Intelligence declared: “it’s a huge waste of money.”
Yet the House in Congress recently approved a defense bill barring Obama from closing Gitmo. The action leaves Senate Democrats and a few sane Senate Republicans as the last hope for closing the prison.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. (firstname.lastname@example.org)