‘Killing for optics’? Obama claims he ‘took no joy’ in drone strikes, but ordered them to avoid looking ‘soft on terrorism’, RT.com, 19 Nov, 2020
“The ex-president’s new book ‘A Promised Land’ sheds some light on the Obama administration’s controversial expansion of the US drone program, which was launched under his predecessor George W. Bush.
One of Obama’s original campaign promises was for US withdrawal from middle-eastern conflicts. However, that promise was not fulfilled during his eight years in office, and the Democrat is now often accused of having further escalated violence in the region through his policies in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere.” […]
And then he blames it on bloody Rahm Emanuel!
“In excerpts from the memoir published by Business Insider, Obama claims that his first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, was “obsessed” with the administration’s infamous terrorist “kill list.” Rahm had “spent enough time in Washington to know that his new, liberal president couldn’t afford to look soft on terrorism,” Obama writes.
Despite his willingness to ramp up the drone program, Obama confessed he “took no joy in any of this” and that it did not make him feel “powerful.” However, he adds that the work was “necessary” and that it was his responsibility “to make sure our operations were as effective as possible.”
The Business Insider link with another bullshit virtue-signaling, legacy-shopping outtake:
“In places like Yemen and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, the lives of millions of young men…had been warped and stunted by desperation, ignorance, dreams of religious glory, the violence of their surroundings, or the schemes of older men. They were dangerous, these young men, often deliberately and casually cruel. Still, in the aggregate, at least, I wanted somehow to save them — send them to school, give them a trade, drain them of the hate that had been filling their heads,” Obama wrote.”
The blurb on his book A Promised Land November 17, 2020 by Barack Obama:
‘In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs: A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy.’
In my Sept. 7, 2015 ‘Bernie Hearts Drone Assassinations, but with One Proviso’, Less Bug Splat) I’d noted:
“Since President Barack Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, at least 2,464 people and 314 innocent civilians [it’s unclear how they’d parsed the two] have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. At least seven US citizens have been extra-judicially killed by drones, including one 16-year-old, meaning they were never given a trial as required by the Constitution. Obama himself directly ordered many of the strikes on ‘Terror Tuesdays’.
Another study by the human rights group Reprieve found that as of Nov. 24, 2014, attempts to kill 41 alleged terrorists with drones resulted in the death of as many as 1,147 civilians, including more than 200 children, with thousands more injured.’
Now I know millions have held Bernie in the highest esteem, especially on domestic issues, but for me, US Imperialism (including alliances) has long been my signature issue, later anti-capitalism, not just DSA reform capitalism.
The US Empire is the largest terrorist organization on the planet. Who will stop it? Those who can…and must.
I’d brought a portion of this ABC interview with Martha Raddatz: Bernie Sanders on 2016 Campaign, Foreign Policy Positions
“Yes, Bernie; America ‘should have the strongest military on earth’ if one believes that the Empire needs to grow and thrive, and that the Global War on Terror is an admirable venture. How hideous it is to hear you to trumpet an alliance with the tyrannical Saudi state, though, and pretend that it’s all down to dollars and cents. And oof, how easily you accepted the agitprop framing of formerly embedded with the troops Martha’s questions, my stars! Watching your eyes dart back and forth like a pinball machine showed that you were on the defensive for being called some idiotic peace dove. Unbelievable.”
I’d let Sam Husseini take on Bernie’s ‘Saudi Arabia needs to get its hands dirty and fight ISIS’.
But back to hypocrite Obomba: isn’t it clear the he’ll be one of Joe Biden’s shadow advisors? (Joe’s actual dream wishes for his Senate confirmable cabinet of war criminals aside….)
The Business Insider piece is worth a read, but no: Obomba did not stop torture. He simply out-sourced it on whistle stop tours from black site to black site.
‘Maintain My Options’
“A phalanx of retired generals and admirals stood behind Mr. Obama on the second day of his presidency, providing martial cover as he signed several executive orders to make good on campaign pledges. Brutal interrogation techniques were banned, he declared. And the prison at Guantánamo Bay would be closed.
What the new president did not say was that the orders contained a few subtle loopholes. They reflected a still unfamiliar Barack Obama, a realist who, unlike some of his fervent supporters, was never carried away by his own rhetoric. Instead, he was already putting his lawyerly mind to carving out the maximum amount of maneuvering room to fight terrorism as he saw fit.” […]
“The way this is written, you are going to take us out of the rendition business,” Mr. Rizzo told Gregory B. Craig, Mr. Obama’s White House counsel, referring to the much-criticized practice of grabbing a terrorist suspect abroad and delivering him to another country for interrogation or trial. The problem, Mr. Rizzo explained, was that the C.I.A. sometimes held such suspects for a day or two while awaiting a flight. The order appeared to outlaw that.
Mr. Craig assured him that the new president had no intention of ending rendition — only its abuse, which could lead to American complicity in torture abroad. So a new definition of “detention facility” was inserted, excluding places used to hold people “on a short-term, transitory basis.” Problem solved — and no messy public explanation damped Mr. Obama’s celebration.”
~ New York Times, May 29, 2012
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)