During an April 2007 speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Obama said the U.S. cannot try to “bully [the world] into submission.”
In a 2007 essay in Foreign Affairs, he specifically warned about breaking off from European allies: “In the case of Europe, we dismissed European reservations about the wisdom and necessity of the Iraq war.”
During his July 2008 campaign speech in Berlin, Obama told Europeans that “no one nation, no matter how large or powerful, can defeat such challenges alone.” He warned that “on both sides of the Atlantic, we have drifted apart, and forgotten our shared destiny” and that neither America nor Europe can “turn inward.”
He was the peace candidate who became a war president, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has regularly ordered executions by drone.
Just three months ago, President Barack Obama called for an end to America’s “perpetual war-time footing.” On Saturday, he said he had decided to take military action against Syria.
“But if we really do want to turn away from taking appropriate action in the face of such an unspeakable outrage, then we must acknowledge the costs of doing nothing,” he said.
There is a crucial difference: Obama is contemplating several days of cruise missile strikes, not a ground invasion. That, critics say, is the conundrum: What can be achieved by such a limited application of force?
For a man who entered the White House in 2009 promising a swift withdrawal from Iraq and a new era of multilateralism after eight years of the Bush administration’s “cowboy diplomacy”, the predicament could hardly be more poignant.
Obama has hardly been, or presented himself, as a pacifist. While running for office, he declared his opposition only to “dumb wars,” not all of them. And he continued the fight his predecessor had begun against al Qaeda, only with different means.
In May, against a background of civilian casualties from the drone strikes, growing anti-American sentiment and escalating criticism of the use of drones at home, Obama narrowed the targeted-killing campaign, saying it was time to step back from a “boundless global war on terror.” But the strikes continued.
At the same time, any strikes on Syria may give Obama political problems during his last three years in office with the anti-war camp that helped elect him in 2008 and re-elect him last November.
I an still unsure as to how the U.S. government can declare war on a country that has not targeted any U.S. citizen, has not even attempted to launch a missile to engage in military action against the U.S. I have read that the Obama Administration’s reasoning for military strikes against Syria is that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against its citizens. I have stated this before and I must state it again. So has the U.S. government, many times over! The U.S. government sent troops to Vietnam and sprayed the Vietnamese people and their country with Agent Orange, napalmed them and we did not stop there. Napalm was also used in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. What I would like to know is why does the U.S. government now think that it has a leg to stand on in deciding to go to war with a country based on the fact that our government has engaged in the very same atrocities that it is accusing the Syrian government of? Those of us who are not asleep or being otherwise entertained need to understand that the U.S. government is not on some ‘humanitarian’ military mission to help out the people of Syria. That is not the true objective here. Remember what the objective was when we started the war in Iraq? The WMDs that did not exist? Then former president George W. Bush changed the focus to ‘liberating the Iraqi people from their horrible dictator and decided to shove democracy down their throats. How well is that working out? Have you seen the reports coming out of Iraq lately?
And lastly, government officials make promises all the time. We know that. They do it to garner votes. They do it to pay lip service to certain constituents, but when it comes down to lying about the reasons for engaging in military action, there needs to be accountability because of the seriousness of taking military action for whatever trumped up reasons. And for those who think that the government would not lie to you, don’t be so naïve. Just look at how easy it was for Obama to change from a staunch opponent of war to its biggest fan. Many of us voted for Obama because we thought that he was the very antithesis of George W. Bush. Many of us protested the war in Iraq and were called many names, i.e., traitor, unpatriotic, et al. We did not care, we knew that it was wrong to invade Iraq. It is just as wrong to involve ourselves in the situation in Syria. We are not in the Middle East and yet, we are involving ourselves in every country in the Middle East even when they have done nothing that should warrant military intervention. Yes, chemical weapon use on anyone is an abomination, but we cannot solve all of the world’s problems with more bombs. It only adds to the problems and solves none. And after Syria, what country is next? Because make no mistake, we will not stop at Syria. We cannot continue to ‘bully'(Obama’s own words)the world into submission and that is what we are hell bent on doing because we are sending a clear message that it is going to be ‘our’ way or prepare for a military strike!