Remember when former president Bush bandied about the term "war of terror?" His particular way of speaking lended itself to ridicule by the left who jokingly called it the "war on terr." That was about the only thing that was funny when it came to US involvement in attacking first Afghanistan and soon after Iraq where the would be "axis of evil" was to butt heads with our military prowess. Michael Moore said while accepting an academy award that:
"We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results, that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons."
His statement was wildly applauded by progressives and that breath of truthful air gave us hope in what at the time felt like an era of lies, authority, and death of innocents by our hands.
Today this fictitious war continues and worse has been expanded upon. Here are the counties we are using drones on in alphabetical order:
Mali and possibly Iran
Forget Republicans for a moment and ask a self identified liberal or progressive if they know all the countries our president has signed off on drone striking and then ask if they know why were there. My guess is these folks will be unable to name the countries or reasons. Why? Well certainly liberal news sources such as MSNBC say little of these ongoing fights against the never ending list of boogeymen in the countries. Even news-for-comedy pundits like Jon Stewart or Bill Maher have little to say. Moderate or even conservative news does bring up occasionally a foreign policy report but usually it's presented as our country vs. a single country or boogeyman in a country that we killed because Obama said so.
So part of the problem is that information wise, our citizens are not being told much about what is really happening. But the other part, the really scary part is that deep down we know but we just don't want to know that we know. And worse we know our previous heroes like Moore know and are not saying anything either. And what we have to ask ourselves and each other is why. Why do we back track and defend a president whose actions are worse than Bush's? Why do we simply use the excuse "well at least he's not Romney or McCain" and then go about our lives? Or we simply say "well being the president is hard." Why do we ignore or rebuff friends who ask us to look at the murder of innocents, and the actions of the guilty? Why didn't we make excuses for the very same actions Bush engaged in?
Geoffrey St. Clair, editor of CounterPunch recently asked "Is there a Left in America today?" This is a question I have been asking out loud for at least a year. His words sum up my own observation about some of the people I love.
Our politics has gone sociopathic and liberals in America have been pliant to every abuse, marinated in the toxic silt of Obama’s mordant rhetoric. They eagerly swallow every placebo policy Obama serves them, dutifully defending every incursion against fundamental rights. And each betrayal only serves to make his adoring retinue crave his smile; his occasional glance and nod all the more urgently. Still others on the dogmatic Left circle endlessly, like characters consigned to their eternal roles by Dante, in the ideological cul-de-sac of identity politics.
St. Clair notes
A fabricated war, a looted economy, a scalded atmosphere, a despoiled gulf, the loss of habeas corpus, the assassination of American citizens…
and he asks
How much will we stomach before rising up?
The answer may come if another republican becomes president. Perhaps then progressives will be done patting themselves on the back for not being racist and remember that war is bad and indefinite detention is bad and that transparency is good and citizen privacy is good. Maybe assassinating people simply for suspicion of terrorism is not okay and that our constitution being destroyed in the name of global war has something to do with global expansion and that this manifestation of only certain elite people's destiny is killing us.
In a recent speech by president Obama regarding drone use he sounded less like the great orator he was in his first presidential campaign and more like his goofy sounding predecessor when he said:
“We must strengthen the opposition in Syria, while isolating extremist elements -- because the end of a tyrant must not give way to the tyranny of terrorism.”
But how the president says something isn't nearly as important as what he says and does or says and doesn't do. For the past 5 years Obama promised change and hope and all we've gotten is this lousy ever expanding war machine that is aimed at everybody. And oddly the anti-war left doesn't seem to notice or care.