C-SPAN recently released the 2017 Presidential Historian Survey, in which a group of presidential historians rank all previous presidents from best to worst. President Obama did extremely well, coming in as the 12th best president of all time. Obama was commended for his handling of the economy, public persuasion, and (the most unsettling reason) his moral authority. Survey respondents seemed to have overlooked a simple fact, though, which should shatter any image of moral authority from the Obama tenure in office: his destructive and inhumane foreign policy.
Obama’s record on warfare is, frankly, abysmal. It’s particularly galling considering that he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. In 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped over 26,000 bombs on seven different countries; that’s three bombs every hour. The campaign in Libya destabilized the country in a vein similar to the US invasion of Iraq. He killed a 16 year-old American citizen living in Yemen, and recently increased US involvement in the Yemeni civil war — a war that is starving the country’s citizens. And there is significant skepticism that his administration came even close to telling the truth about the amount of civilians killed in drone strikes over the last eight years.
This does not sound, at all, like a president that retained any semblance of moral authority. To the group’s credit, they gave him “below-average” marks in international relations. It seems like a generous standard, though, for an administration that had a secret “kill list” and caused foreign teenagers to dream about their own deaths by drone strikes.
Continue reading at The Libertarian Institute.
Politico recently ran a piece by Bill Scher on the 1980s miniseries Amerika, a program that depicted a Soviet puppet government installed in the US “after a sham election in which both major party candidates were Soviet stooges.” Scher’s dystopian piece compares Amerika to the election of Donald Trump, hysterically rhapsodizing about “American conservatives with a nationalist, and even authoritarian, bent like Donald Trump [who] are not unnerved by the prospect of Russian influence over the U.S. government.”
Scher’s hysterical tone conveys exactly what the highly distrusted left-media means it to, namely that Trump is an illegitimate aberration whose every move must be thwarted. The fourth estate recoils at the effectiveness of Trump’s Twitter bully pulpit, and recognizes that the formerly dominant “media gatekeepers” might soon be settling into a diminished role. Despite the fact that Obama is the one who doggedly pursued media whistleblowers, Trump’s non-cooperation with news outlets who despise him—ditching the press pool time and again—has been labeled “a dangerous precedent.”
Astute observers will recognize that the controversy about Russian meddling in the election has more in common with Wag the Dog, a film in which the president’s PR men fabricate a foreign policy crisis as a means of distracting from the commander-in-chief’s sex scandal, than it does with Amerika.
Of late, Barack Obama has done his damnedest to politicize the intelligence community and escalate tensions with Russia to distract from this conclusion from the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian hacking: “DHS assesses that the types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.” The left-wing calumny that Russia changed the results of the election simply can’t be substantiated.
Continue reading at Townhall.
Ten years ago, Iraqi and Coalition Forces were boots-deep in Operation Together Forward, a two-phase mission to reduce violence and increase security in a war-torn Iraq. Soon after, the Iraq Study Group concluded that the operation’s results were “disheartening,” to tread lightly.
In July, the Chilcot Report yielded another sobering analysis of meddling in the Middle East. This inquiry unpacked the UK’s involvement in Iraq. Though much of the report simply confirms what the public already suspected – that leaders knew Hussein did not have WMDs, and that there were peaceful alternatives to war – this report, once again, exposes misguided military interventions only after the fact.
The findings of the Chilcot Report and memory of a failed Operation Together Forward should reinvigorate our efforts to curb the sleazy rhetorical tactics used by political leaders to sweep us off our feet and whisk us off to conflict somewhere beyond the sea. In other words, brace yourself for Trump v. Hillary before the storm of September 26 hits.
Time and again, politicians have incited wars without terribly strong public resistance. Why? Some don’t care. Some don’t believe they can affect the path to war if they do care. And some truly find themselves persuaded when leaders wax romantic about the duties of international, militaristic evangelism.
Continue reading at Antiwar.com.
Today’s Young Voices Podcast features Sergio Monreal and YV Advocate Zachary Yost discussing Montenegro’s invitation to NATO and what that could mean for U.S. foreign policy with Russia.
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Americans Must Claim Memorial Day as a Day to Promote Peace
Memorial Day often seems to bring about uneasy feelings among many Americans. People too often allow their anti-war views to manifest into disdain for U.S. troops. This shouldn’t be the case.
Memorial Day is an opportunity for Americans to honor the memory of American soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice — a reminder of the true costs of war.
Memorial Day began as a Union holiday to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War and was eventually merged with Confederate remembrances to their Civil War dead. The joining of the north and south’s Memorial Day celebrations into a national remembrance for the fallen of all American wars was a critical step toward post-Civil War reconciliation between the north and south.
Today, Memorial Day can serve the same purpose. Americans must join together to honor the brave people who gave their lives in service of their country. But we must also take the next step by making the moral case of honoring the fallen through peace, rather than more war.
There have been 6,882 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 15 years. This is more than a statistic. Every soldier who has died was a human being with parents, siblings, a spouse and possibly children. Every life lost through violent conflict prematurely cuts short the hopes and dreams these men and women, and their families, had for the future.
Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor the fallen, and to highlight the need to ensure that more Americans are not sent to perish in conflicts that do not advance our national interests.
Read the full article at the PanAm Post.