- Posted June 12, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Obama - The Warring President?
There is increasing evidence that President Barack Obama may very well be remembered by history as the warring president.
Even though the President campaigned in 2008 on ending the war in Iraq, since taking office, under his direction the US has been involved in a number of military actions in a number of countries.
Yes, following the plan and agreement worked out by the Administration of President George W. Bush, Obama oversaw the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and the end of the decade long war. At the same time, the President directed a surge in the number of boots on the ground in Afghanistan.
Troops have been sent to various countries in Africa during his watch. The President was in charge of engagement with Libya which toppled Mohamar Ghadfi. The President ordered a clandestine attack within an ally's borders which took out Osama Bin Laden in his compound in Pakistan.
Drone attacks have continued to pound and take out Taliban and other terrorist leaders and camps in Pakistan. Drone attacks have launched in increasing numbers in Yemen against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Penninsula.
There is talk of eventual military action against Iran to prevent the development of a nuclear weapon. Some claim that the US has already committed an act of war with covert virus attacks on Iran's internet and computer grid.
Syria looms as trouble for the President. Plans have been developed, though listed as a last resort, for military intervention in Syria.
Some say that the President is using his warlike positions as a way to enhance his re-electability during this election year. Some say that by being able to lay claim to national security and foreign affairs it takes wind out of the sails for Republicans who have traditionally been the hawks and strong on those issues.
President Obama is celebrated and criticized for greatly accelerating the number of CIA drone attacks in Pakistan, but the similar covert war that he has launched in Yemen has received considerably less attention.
The Obama administration has launched an estimated 28 drone strikes and 13 air strikes in Yemen, according to data compiled by the New America Foundation from reliable news reports. By contrast, the administration of George W. Bush only launched one drone attack in Yemen. (The data was gathered from media outlets that include the Associated Press, Reuters, CNN and the Yemen Post.)
On April 25, the White House approved a new policy inaugurating a more aggressive campaign of drone strikes in Yemen allowing so-called "signature" strikes. These are strikes on individuals whose patterns of behavior signal the presumed presence of an important militant or of a plot against the United States, even if the targeted individual's identity is unknown.
If Barack Obama could make three wishes, he would probably ask for the crisis in Syria to go away. That would help him receive another wish: Getting reelected as president of the United States.
Unfortunately for Obama, and tragically for the people in Syria, history has brought the American presidential campaign and the Syrian revolution to the same pages of the calendar. That means Obama will do whatever he can, for as long as he can, to keep the carnage in Syria from interfering with his reelection plan.
That means the killings in Syria could go on longer than if the uprising had erupted during a nonelection year.
Anyone who doubts that electoral considerations have become a major factor in U.S. foreign policy should look to Obama's own words from a few months ago. Obama did not realize his microphone was on during a meeting in Seoul with then-Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, so he leaned in close and whispered, "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility." In this instance, Obama was referring to the contentious issue of missile defense.
With less than five months until November, the last thing Obama needed on his already very full plate is another shockingly cruel, politically complicated conflict in the Middle East, complete with gruesome, heartrending images, a recalcitrant dictator, and prominent voices calling on Washington to do something.
You can't put history on hold until after Election Day, but you can certainly try.
Then there are the leaks of state secrets which appear to be aimed at casting the President in a favorable political light.
Reportedly, Israel has been asked to hold off a strike on suspected Iranian nuclear sites until after the election.
What will happen militarily if the President wins re-election?
How many more "police actions" or "conflicts" will the US of A become embroiled?
Will history see the President as warring?
From the Cornfield, is the increase in military and covert activity in the interest of national security or is it more a political motivation?
Can the US of A continue to involve itself in military actions around the world?
Can the reputation of the US of A stand up to global scrutiny when being cast as more of a "cowboy" nation ready to ride into any conflict than when Bush was president?