In the years since the United States first went to war in Iraq, liberal groups and commentators have accused many media outlets of not asking the right or critical questions of the Bush administration. This is something our gatekeepers of information vowed would never happen again with future military endeavors.
Has it changed? This time around, under President Obama, as the US has engaged in military action in Libya, launched an unprecedented number of unmanned aerial drone strikes around the world and threatened military “punishment” in Syria, I have to ask if the media is completely falling asleep on the job?
In 2011, President Obama laid out a very expansive doctrine of his justifications for war, including genocide, humanitarian relief, regional security or economic interests. He declared his willingness to act unilaterally under certain circumstances, and just recently the White House signaled that with the British rejection of war in Syria, the US would consider doing just that.
Of course, this conflicts with the parameters of unilateral action that Obama laid out just a few short years ago, which would be “to defend our nation and its core interests.” And it certainly conflicts with the Vice President’s remarks made on MSNBC in 2007 when, as a Senator, he said, “the president has no constitutional authority to take this country to war against a country of 70 million people unless we’re attacked or unless there is proof that we are about to be attacked. And if he does, I would move to impeach him.” Maybe it’s because Syria is only a country of 20 million that Vice President Biden thinks it’s okay?
Just five years ago, the Huffington Post published a piece entitled, “The Bush/Cheney Holocaust in Iraq,” which claimed that the use of such language was justified, in part, because of the civilian casualties as well as the administration’s attempts to “exempt its actions from court oversight.” Why aren’t they putting the same stamp of contempt on the Obama Administration?
Drone strikes apparently have a kill rate of 50 civilians per terrorist, and the Obama administration has specifically justified the killing of American citizens through those strikes without any court oversight. In fact, the administration’s response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against them puts forth the claim that these killings are constitutional because Eric Holder and Barack Obama say they are.
I have not come across any Huffington Post articles deriding the administration for the Obama/Holder holocaust.
In an even further expansion of war making powers, the president declared that, “where a brutal dictator is threatening his people . . .I think it’s in America’s international – in America’s national interest to do something about it.”
He just presumably defined every country around the world ruled by a brutal dictator as being within the national interest of the US, and therefore a reasonable target of our military aggression. Apparently aggressive military action is only wrong if the office holder is a Republican.
On the other hand, the slur, “warmonger” was thrown around at President Bush by the media as though it were his middle name. It was even used to denigrate his supporters, from Ed Schultz, of MSNBC using the term to describe John McCain while warming up a crowd for Obama to salon.com calling Ed Koch a warmonger because of his support of Bush.
President Bush assembled a coalition consisting of 48 other countries to support the Iraq invasion, in addition to receiving a Joint Resolution from Congress authorizing it; the current administration took military action in Libya without congressional approval, was ready to proceed in Syria without a Congressional vote until the public outcry became too loud this weekend. Yet, previously they have already asserted the right to engage in limited action without authority from Congress. Ed Schultz is at it again, but instead of blaming Obama for his eagerness to go to war against Syria, he claims it’s the “neo-cons” pushing him into it. Poor President Obama is just paralyzed because he is unable to build a coalition for anything except for winning a presidential election.
In 2004, with the US embroiled in the Iraq War, the New York Times declared, “Before the Iraq fiasco, American leaders rightly viewed war as a last resort, appropriate only when the nation’s vital interests were actively threatened and reasonable diplomatic efforts had been exhausted . . . that is still the wisest course.”
Instead of offering similar guidance to the current president regarding Libya, The New York Times chose to give him preemptive cover for that mission, apparently in case things didn’t go so well. “Mr. Obama has been caught between criticism that he did not do enough and that he had done too much.” And in the case of Syria, a country which the president threatened before he even had a plan in place on how to follow through, the Washington Post says, “History says don’t do it. Most Americans say don’t do it. But President Obama has to punish Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s homicidal regime with a military strike — and hope that history and the people are wrong.”
Do you have any questions regarding military action? Apparently you are alone because most of the media and liberal commentators have few when a Democrat is in the White House.