Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Bombs-Away Election

Many Americans are rightly disgusted by the non-choice they are offered in the presidential race every four years. This year is no different despite the serious problems that the United States faces at home and abroad. Mitt Romney has no actual plan to fix the economy, and the record of President Barack Obama over the past four years speaks for itself. Romney is a big-government Republican, while Obama is an even-bigger-government Democrat. Either will increase the deficit to the bankruptcy point; Romney through more spending on arms, soldiers, and wars, Obama with a sorely needed health-care program that will break the bank because it was created in collusion with the health-care and insurance industries and makes no effort to limit costs.

Most other differences are cosmetic, since the Democrats and Republicans in reality represent two nearly identical faces of the Washington policy elite, an elite that inevitably circles the wagons and protects its own first, last, and always. There is, however, one area in which American voters can actually register a preference, and that is foreign policy. The presidential foreign policy debate on Oct. 22 appeared to be a consensus product, with challenger Mitt Romney agreeing to most policies supported by incumbent Barack Obama. As expected, Israel was repeatedly exalted as the most valued U.S. ally, even though it is a strategic liability. Iran was mentioned no less than 47 times, repeatedly described as the greatest international threat to the United States even though it has never actually threatened to harm the American people and has no capability to do so. Obama shifted position somewhat on supporting an Israeli military operation against Iran by indicating that he would do so with U.S. military resources, a position that has been part of Romney’s playbook ever since he began his run. The only real difference between Romney and Obama consisted of Romney’s assertion that Iran should be denied the “capability” to create a nuclear weapon. “Capability” presumably means the ability to enrich uranium and engineer a bomb, which Iran already can do, meaning that Romney for all intents and purposes believes that he already has a casus belli to go to war against the mullahs.

The record of President Barack Obama is, to put it mildly, despicable. The public has learned recently how he has sought to make war a permanent feature of the U.S. landscape while allowing Iraq and Afghanistan to wind down to diminish any popular concern over what is happening in the name of “security.” So there will be fewer boots on the ground while the government moves full-speed ahead on creating an infrastructure in which kill lists will be managed by the White House through the National Counterterrorism Center. The lists will be expanded and will include detailed information on when and how the target might best be identified and killed. Information will be obtained through a massive data-mining operation that will quite plausibly intrude on the privacy of billions of people all around the world, including nearly everyone inside the United States itself.

The White House reportedly sees a continuing decade long struggle against militancy that will require an increasing number of drone strikes and special-operations assassinations in a number of countries with which the United States is not officially at war. A major part of the plan to take out the alleged terrorists identified in the government’s “disposition matrix” will involve killing suspects in areas where drones either cannot or do not operate, which means that teams of Delta and SEAL commandos will do the dirty work. That is what President Obama, who portrayed himself somewhat disingenuously as a peace candidate to win in 2008, has turned into: another all-American monster and war criminal.

Read the entire article