Peter Bergen continues his blatant PR efforts for the Obama campaign and his new book about the Bin Laden raid with an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Warrior In Chief“, in which he writes that Obama is “one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.” In Bergen’s neoliberal, Beltway elite, opinion this is a good thing.
Soon after Mr. Obama took office he reframed the fight against terrorism. Liberals wanted to cast anti-terrorism efforts in terms of global law enforcement ”” rather than war. The president didn’t choose this path and instead declared ”œwar against Al Qaeda and its allies.” In switching rhetorical gears, Mr. Obama abandoned Mr. Bush’s vague and open-ended fight against terrorism in favor of a war with particular, violent jihadists.
The rhetorical shift had dramatic ”” non-rhetorical ”” consequences. Compare Mr. Obama’s use of drone strikes with that of his predecessor. During the Bush administration, there was an American drone attack in Pakistan every 43 days; during the first two years of the Obama administration, there was a drone strike there every four days. And two years into his presidency, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president was engaged in conflicts in six Muslim countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya. The man who went to Washington as an ”œantiwar” president was more Teddy Roosevelt than Jimmy Carter.
No-one has asked an ordinary member of the citizenry of any of those six Muslim nations to pen an op-ed for the NYT on how wonderful Obama’s often-undeclared wars are.