Do you think people around the world want to emulate [America] now? Because any time we don’t like anything they do, we…send sanctions to punish the people, and we send bombs to kill a bunch of people, and then we kick out the leaders we don’t like. And you don’t persuade people that way, you do it by setting a standard…It isn’t like you have to have a PhD in some fancy science to understand well, uh, don’t hurt people.

"Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No, I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over.

This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here….. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people, they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow.

I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.” - Muhammad Ali, convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted on June 20, 1967.

This week’s column is about the way the President apparently micromanages drone strikes and now bombing in Syria—and how that’s just a symptom of a much bigger problem.

Remember the “kill list”? In 2012, the New York Timesbroke the shocking story that President Obama hand selects the targets for drone bombing campaigns in Middle Eastern countries like Pakistan and Yemen. The irony was sharp and the ethical concerns sharper:

Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.

Now, as air strikes begin in Syria in an attempt to stop the advance of ISIS, it seems Obama’s extremely hands-on war management style continues: The Wall Street Journalreports that “Obama plans to tightly control strikes in Syria.”

Just how tight will that control be? Well, I’ll give you a hint: It sounds a lot like the control he exercises over drone strikes:

The U.S. military campaign against Islamist militants in Syria is being designed to allow President Barack Obama to exert a high degree of personal control, going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential signoff for strikes in Syrian territory, officials said. […] By demanding the Pentagon gets his signoff on any strikes in Syria, Mr. Obama can better ensure the operation remain focused on his main goal for that part of the campaign: weakening the militants’ hold on territory in neighboring Iraq.

Sounds familiar, right?

Obama has been accused of micromanaging in the past. Back in 2009 the charge came up regarding economic policy. In 2006 he reportedly said, “I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it. It’s hard to give up control when that’s all I’ve known.” In 2011, the First Lady emphasized how detail-focused her husband tends to be, saying he “reads every word, every memo, so he is better prepared than the people briefing him.”

There’s an extent to which that diligence is a good thing, and a welcome contrast to Obama’s more recent reputation for claiming ignorance of all kinds of important things. So I’m not interested in attempting some sort of pop psychology analysis of Obama’s plan to handpick the targets and people he bombs.

Maybe, as some have suggested, it’s a guilt thing. Or maybe, as others have posited, Obama is attempting to take the role of restrainer of the dogs of war. Or maybe, as the President himself supposedly said, he’s just “really good at killing people.”

I don’t know which, if any, of these, is the reason behind the President’s decision to micromanage these wars. Again, I’m not a psychologist.

No, what I see here is a much bigger problem—namely an out-of-control presidency which would have too much authority whether the President were Republican or Democrat, smart or dumb, a micromanager or an easygoing delegator.

Read the whole thing here.

Watch on againstpower.tumblr.com

Help Barack Obama kickstart World War III. :)

Text
Photo
Quote
Link
Chat
Audio
Video