President Obama's biggest disappointment, at least to progressives, has been his, I guess, "rebirth", as a neo-conservative.
During Obama's campaign for the presidency, he made political hay out of George and Dick's offshore gulags, torture of detainees, unprovoked military attacks and occupations of countries posing no threat to America, eavesdropping on Americans without warrants, secrecy, and much more. Rightfully so. The Bush years were marked by an expansion of presidential powers in violation of the Constitution....and the worst part is, the Bushies got away with all of it...thus setting a precedent.
But now Obama has made the Bushie doctrine, his doctrine. Now, the lawlessness of the neo-con Bush regime has been made into a bipartisan, and probably permanent, national doctrine.
Obama has continued the neo-conservative and lawless foreign policies of his predecessors. What's more, Obama has expanded those lawless powers....with his shiny new lawlessness theory that the President has the power to order the assassination of U.S. citizens on only his say so.
Indeed, all the ususal-suspect neo-cons,....Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Dick Cheney, many others....have heaped high praise on Obama the Neo-con....especially because Obama ordered the assassination of the U.S. citizen, Awlaki. It's worthy of remark that the only policy with which neo-con renegades from the Bush administration agree with Obama is on Obama's embrace of neo-con lawlessness.
That said....and with the understanding that American neo-cons have long ago targeted Iran for takeover.....it's interesting to see the Obama administration, including Obama and Hillary Clinton, hellbent to make something huge out of the recent allegations of an assassination plot by two Iranians against the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
(AG Eric) Holder called the bomb plot a flagrant violation of U.S. and international law. And Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said, "We will not let other countries use our soil as their battleground."
Behold the double standard. Or is it simply a total lack of self-awareness?
Since 9-11-2001, the United States government has declared that the entire globe is a "battlefield" where U.S. military forces have the perfect right to wage war just about any way they see fit. In other words, at the same time that DOJ officials are claiming that "other countries" cannot be permitted to "use our soil as a battleground"....U.S. officials have claimed the unique right among all nations...to "use the soil" of any country as our "battlefield."
Chalk it up to "American exceptionalism"....or blindness....or whatever. The point becomes: do as we say, not as we do.
Two weeks ago, the United States assassinated one of its enemies in Yemen, on Yemeni soil. If the U.S. believes it has the right to assassinate enemies like Anwar Awlaki anywhere in the world in the name of a "war on terror" that has no geographical limitation, how can it then argue that other nations don't have a similar right to track down their enemies and kill them wherever they're found?
Other than simply chanting very loudly...U.S.A., U.S.A., U.S.A.....in order to drown out those objecting to such an obvious double standard....the U.S. really cannot argue convincingly that we, of all nations, are the only ones who are allowed to use the soil of foreign countries to conduct military adventures against our "enemies."
Why is it that the U.S., alone, should have the power to wage war against alleged enemies anywhere we choose to wage that war.....yet other nations shouldn't also have that power?
The L.A. Times editor finishes with a huge understatement...
The world is unlikely to accept that the United States has a right to behave as it wishes without accountability all around the globe and that other nations do not.
If you really want to find out what this alleged Iranian plot to off a Saudi ambassador is about....read Glenn Greenwald's excellent take. Here's a description by folks who knew the alleged plotter which describes him as hapless....just like many of the others whom U.S. officials have coaxed into staging a plot against the U.S., and then later, announced how safe those officials had kept us by breaking up a domestic plot they, themselves, nurtured into existence.
But the ass-kicker of the day on this story goes to President Obama,...
“There’s a great similarity between how Iran operates and how North Korea operates, a willingness on their part to break international rules, to flout international norms, to not live up to their own commitments. And each time they do that, the United States will join with its partners and allies in making sure that they pay a price,” Obama said.
If the similarity between how N. Korea and Iran operate is....."a willingness...to break international rules, to flout international norms..."....then, the United States of America operates in a similar fashion to N. Korea and Iran.
What else could violating the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment(s) be called? I mean other than operating similarly to Iran or N. Korea?
How about Guantonomo? Our offshore, secret, prisons? Isn't there a "great similarity" between the U.S. and N.Korea and Iran concerning gulags?
How about the American violation of international norms prohibiting attacking a sovereign nation (Iraq) which poses no threat to the U.S? Hell, Iran doesn't even do stuff like that....only the U.S.
Obama may think he is standing strong by talking all Cheney-like over this most recent ginned-up emergency. But the rest of the world's occupants who heard Obama's words yesterday recognize the gargantuan double standard and lack of self-awareness contained in his words.
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