Why Is Pres. Obama Pursuing An Aggressive War Policy?

Hamid Mir is a Pakistani journalist and editor. He is the only journalist to have interviewed Osama Bin Laden after 9-11. I was interested in this because I have written about how Obama has ordered more drone attacks since taking office than George W. Bush did during his entire two terms. In his first year in office, ordered at minimum 40 drone attacks inside Pakistan, more than the total Bush ordered during the last three years he was in office. Just this week, the C.I.A. has drastically increased its bombing campaign in the mountains of Pakistan with 20 attacks so far in September.

Mir says in the video above, “Drone attacks are creating more hatred against the United States of America in Pakistan than the Pakistan army.”

My question is why? Obama had promised that he would turn away from the agressive policies of Bush, yet he not only continued them, but increased them by an astounding number. This just doesn’t make sense, and I am curious why all the journalists that moaned and groaned over these kind of policies during the Bush years, haven’t seen fit to ask the simple question of why Obama is being so aggressive in Pakistan now.

Mir says that no high level Taliban have been killed in these attacks (although just a few days ago Sheikh Fateh, a senior Al-Qaida leader was reportedly killed in Pakistan with a drone). Out of hundreds of deaths, he estimates only 12 low level Taliban have been killed. His point is that it isn’t working, and it is only killing innocent people in Pakistan. So, if no high level Taliban (until Fateh) are being killed or targeted, again, why are we doing this? Although, I think the administration would argue that there are more high level Taliban/Al Qaida killed than Mir is willing to admit.

Mir is not the only one wondering. Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions wrote a report in June of 2009 that says in part: “Targeted killings carried out by drone attacks on the territory of other states are increasingly common and remain deeply troubling… The US government should disclose the legal basis for such killings and identify any safeguards designed to reduce collateral civilian casualties and ensure that the government has targeted the correct person.”

Now, in defense of drones, there has never been in the history of air warfare a way to distinguish between enemies and civilians as we can with drones. Drones and Predators cause much less damage than bombs or missles, and no one in our military risks life with them. So, one could argue that they make a more moral campaign in war. But still, there is much irony here for a man who received a Nobel Peace Prize to use aggressive war policies to such an extent.

I know many of you on the left are saying, “Where were you when Bush was doing this?” That would be missing the point. We all knew where Bush stood on agressive military policies. Drone attacks were no surprise with him. But Obama promised the opposite, yet he has increased these attacks dramatically.

Why?

The common sense answer is that we are targeting and killing militants for which we have intelligence that tells us they are a danger to us. Just as with Bush, there are things Pres. Obama knows that we will never know. When Obama became President he found that his philosophy hit the wall of reality. What other explanation could there be? He saw the danger, and he acted aggressively. The real world collided with the fantasy of the leftwing ideology.

It’s disturbing in a way. If what Pres. Obama knows could change his view so dramatically, I can only imagine what that intelligence shows.

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