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Boardman writes: "Barack Obama may not be as obviously fatuous as his predecessor, but he's no less feckless and irrelevant to anything like the common good at home and abroad."

President Obama with George W. Bush. (photo: AP)
President Obama with George W. Bush. (photo: AP)

Obama, Like Bush, Just Makes It All Worse

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

09 December 15


resident Obama’s oval office talk on terrorism promises more of the same failed strategy based on no serious reconsideration of changed reality. From the top, by focusing on 14 Americans killed in San Bernardino, the President plays into the terrorists’ hands. President Obama, like the rest of the US establishment, appears to have learned nothing since President Bush played the fear card after 9/11, then used it to terrorize the Muslim world with ever more disastrous results (carried on by President Obama). 

It’s not as though the madness of the fear-based reaction wasn’t obvious from the get-go. Susan Sontag wrote soberly in The New Yorker in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 about how to respond rationally to the attack. For her trouble, she was pilloried by her peers, at The New Yorker and elsewhere: it was as if the herd had decided that she had no right not to be afraid, which was the same as saying she had no right not to react as the terrorists wanted, which is irrational to the point of self-destructive insanity. But it was what the herd wanted, and did, and still does. Now we’ve had 14 years of spiraling destruction at home and abroad, and the President as our terrorist-in-chief says let’s have more.

The President’s emotional appeal, based on the 14 dead in San Bernardino, is as maudlin and manipulative as it is irrelevant to terrorism. That may sound cold, but it’s true. And it’s not nearly as cold as using victims as cover for continuing a murderous failed policy that is most effective in perpetuating the cycle of violence.

Even if the worst-case scenario is true (and that’s far from clear yet), that Mr. and Mrs. Farook acted on behalf of ISIS or its ilk, what they did was no more a threat to national security than so many other mass shootings like Columbine or Sandy Hook or the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. They are all horrible events. Each of them might have been prevented if the right people had been alert to their surroundings at the right time, but none of them, or even all of them, do not threaten national security in anything like a military invasion and conquest sense. The actually serious threat is emotional and psychological. Fear, doubt, uncertainty, confusion, and secrecy all conspire to defeat confidence, calm, proportionality, and reason. Leadership and populace alike embrace a zeitgeist of agitation and over-simplification, lashing out in one-dimensional military responses to misperceived threats that are not even fundamentally military. Even though most American violence is unrelated to terrorists, the occasional, real terrorist act leverages the larger national distress disproportionately. The relentless, unprincipled, bigoted opposition to the current President has left the country with no coherent center, no rational government, no possibility of acting sensibly in a shared national interest, because there no longer is any shared national interest. This hollowed-out shell of a superpower is an easy target, promising mindless panic in the face of phantom dangers, and internecine, impotent quarreling over our real pathologies. 

Better responses to terror include courage, defiance, calm reason…

Among such lethal events, the Charleston church shooting is the most clearly  obvious attempt at terrorism, good old American terrorism, deeply rooted in our continuing racist history. The shooter in Charleston intended to ignite a race war, he said, which seemed a credible notion in the context of the endless American socio-economic, often violent guerrilla war against African-Americans or people who sort of look like them. What makes the Charleston church shooting different from other shootings, perhaps uniquely different, is that this church chose not to be afraid, this church chose not to lock its doors, this church chose to reassert its basic values in response to murderous intimidation. 

Not so this country, not so the home of the (once) brave, not so the most powerful nation in the world quivering in its collective boots and reacting in a way well-designed to keep the source of that quivering coming. 

So when President Obama links San Bernardino, “the broader threat of terrorism,” and “how we can keep our country safe,” he perpetuates a dishonest paradigm that has served the country disastrously through two presidential administrations, without significant dissent, official or popular. It is almost incredible that the country should be in thrall to its illusions for so long, in the face of so much evidence that we’re delusional, but that’s the way it is, and there’s no serious challenge to the terrorist-threat fantasy from any of the candidates seeking to replace Obama. 

None of them comes close to the sophisticated analysis of French journalist Nicolas Henin, who was an ISIS hostage for ten months until his government negotiated his freedom. Referring to the initial reaction of Europe to Syrian refugees, Henin observed that that was a huge blow to ISIS, the Islamic State – not only to have hundreds of thousands of Muslims fleeing their embrace, but fleeing to the infidel nations, who welcomed them with open arms (at first):

And that was so much a blow that I believe that one of the reasons behind the Paris attack was to disrupt this and to stop, to make us close our doors to the refugees, because, actually, welcoming refugees is not a terror threat to us, to our countries. It’s like a vaccine to protect us from terrorism, because the more interactions we have between societies, between communities, the less there will be tensions. I mean, the Islamic State believes in a global confrontation. What they want eventually is civil war in our countries, or at least large unrest, and in the Middle East, a large-scale war. This is what they look for. This is what they struggle for. So we have to kill their narrative and actually to welcome refugees, totally destroy their narrative. And if you kill their narrative, it’s even more efficient than if you drop some bombs and kill some of their fighters.

Smart, humane, and effective counter-terrorism, such as welcoming refugees, is no longer an easy political option. Not being easy, political leaders are variously exploiting it with fearmongering or fleeing from it out of sheer terror and cowardice.

The “don’t do stupid things” President does stupid things

President Obama would have us all be afraid of the Islamic state because, he says, it’s “a group that threatens us all.” This is simply not true. ISIS certainly doesn’t threaten him, or those around him, or most of the military or intelligence forces, or much of anyone else. The truth is that, although ISIS could be a threat to any of us, under rare circumstances, it is not yet remotely close to being a threat to us all. The odds are that it will never have that capacity. For the President to say so is fearmongering and part of the con job that supports the imperial state. 

Here’s exactly how the President three-card-monte’d the terror con:

So far, we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas, or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home. But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West. They had stockpiled assault weapons, ammunition, and pipe bombs. So this was an act of terrorism, designed to kill innocent people.

“So far, we have no evidence …” is a lovely way of suggesting that evidence doesn’t really matter and you just need to believe whatever the President says because he says it. And what he’s saying, nonsensically, is that even if these people were not terrorists, they nevertheless committed an act of terrorism. But terrorism is, by definition, a political act. Sometimes mass murder is terrorism, too, but other times it’s just mass murder. They need to be distinguished, and analyzed accordingly – and acted on honestly and rationally. 

Terrorism works when the target reacts out of terror

For the terrorist, terrorism is a tactic of weakness. Unable to defeat an enemy with superior force, the terrorist attacks in ways that are meant to bait the enemy into reacting both self-destructively and to the benefit of the terrorists. The US has been reacting self-destructively since 2001, destroying its own political freedoms out of exaggerated fear (call it terror). And the US, by fighting terrorists with terrorist tactics (death squads, drone assassinations, bombing civilians, etc.), has contributed to expanding the ranks of the terrorists responding to our terrorism. It doesn’t get more mindless than that, if you want to preserve the “exceptional” America we are all taught to idealize. And why are our own terrorist tactics less effective in inciting terror than terrorist attacks against us?    

What if 14 years of madness is not so mad after all? What if the aims of the terrorists and the covert aims of Western governments are more synchronous than not? What if the emerging police state here and in France and elsewhere is just what our rulers want? Promoting popular fear of terrorism just makes the police state easier to justify, and some of its deluded victims are even grateful for it.   

With that possibility in mind, President Obama’s lengthy repetition of the Bushian view that “our nation has been at war” (never mind legalities or constitutionalities here) and needs to continue to be at war, endlessly – even though we’re not actually at war, we’re just killing people where and when we feel like it – all makes a detached observer wonder what we think we’re actually accomplishing. We get no rationale. All we get, as our President put it December 6, is a grim re-statement of 2001 tunnel vision followed by a chilling pause:  

“… our military will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary.”   

So much for international law. So much for probable cause. You don’t have to be a terrorist, just a “plotter.” And who decides what’s “necessary?” For starters, you know who doesn’t get to decide. You also know who doesn’t explain any of those decisions. And “ANY country?” Russia? China? Iran? Saudi Arabia? Canada? Probably not, but watch out Venezuela, you may be next on the hit list once there’s nothing left of Yemen. But why? Why does the US need or even want endless war? And why wage this endless war against proxy enemies who pose no serious threat anywhere beyond random acts of terror killing?

Anti-terrorism, as practiced by the US, is an oxymoron

Trying to persuade his listeners of the reality of a “new phase” of the “terrorist threat,” the President cobbles together events many years and thousands of miles apart (Fort Hood, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, Boston Marathon) to try to create the impression of some sort of pattern where there is none – not geographically, not ideologically, not even ethnically. 

According to the President, with no evidence, “Many Americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure.” Cancer is the image you choose when you want to scare people. There’s no evidence that ISIS is a cancer in the US, or anywhere else outside the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. For Americans, ISIS – like al Qaeda – is more like acne: unpleasant, curable, usually temporarily inconvenient, and sometimes but rarely lethal

That reality helps explain why the President proposes to go on treating the condition much the same way the US has been treating it for years. He lists the methods, apparently in prioritized order, with no intended irony: bombs, troops, working with allies, and talks. “This is our strategy to destroy ISIL [ISIS],” the President told us, “designed and supported by our military commanders and counterterrorism experts,” as if their past successes could go without mentioning. 

Then the President shifted to a grab-bag of unrelated proposals, including profiling, as well as a Congressional vote to authorize the war the President is already fighting. He currently wages war in unnumbered nations based on the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) passed in the wake of 9/11. President Bush was the first to abuse that authorization, which was of dubious constitutionality from the beginning. There has been nothing to prevent President Obama from proposing a new authorization at any time since 2009, and he’s not proposing one now, he’s playing deflective politics by asking Congress to act when he knows it won’t as long as Republicans are in control. 

President Obama’s speech was not without other ugly little jokes besides his call for the authority to wage the war he’s waging:

  • “We’re working with Turkey,” he said, without explaining why Turkey maintained supply lines for ISIS, or why it bombs the Kurds that the US is helping to fight ISIS, or why Turkey shot down a Russian plane, or why Turkey is tilting toward becoming an Islamic state itself. That’s funny!

  • “The vast majority of terrorist victims around the world are Muslim,” he observed accurately, without taking the US share of responsibility for killing Muslim civilians with our own terrorist actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, as well as the near-genocide we support in Yemen. That’s clever.

  • “It is the responsibility of Muslims around the world to root out misguided ideas,” he said, without implying that we’ll bomb them till they do, or suggesting that they follow the rather effective US suppression of “misguided ideas.” Isn’t it ironic?

  • “We are on the right side of history,” he said, probably not punning (although the pun may turn out to be correct), but exercising the cliché rooted in the absurdity that history has a “right” side except when it’s just propaganda. Are you laughing yet?

This President may not be as obviously fatuous as his predecessor (the strutting “I’m a war president!” popinjay), but he’s no less feckless and irrelevant to anything like the common good at home and abroad. No wonder both presidents typically close their acts with the same dark comic line, “May God bless the United States of America.” Who else would? 

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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Founder, Reader Supported News

+23 # John Escher 2015-12-09 14:20
"Kill their narrative." Brilliant. And Donald Trump is a dope. But he's not the only one.
+26 # Vardoz 2015-12-09 20:56
The more terrorists the better as far as the military is concerned = more money for war.
+74 # rich black 2015-12-09 17:36
"Terrorism works when the target reacts out of terror"

The War on Terrorism works---when you are a defense contractor, gun maker, Government contracted surveillance company, Blackrock, big banker, Government contracted mercenary, private security company, etc, etc, etc

It also works for retiring politicians who become 'consultants' for these entities.
+53 # GDW 2015-12-09 18:25
Terrorism works, and it's why its used, by the US also. I think Obama knows war and more terrorism,death s and attacks are. coming. We are knee deep in this and the cause of terrorists retaliating against US meddling in the region. Obama is president but is powerless against the Military Industrial Complex and Empire.

He is powerless unless the American people fill the streets with anti war protestors
+38 # Radscal 2015-12-09 20:10
The largest protests in human history preceded and immediately followed our invasion of Iraq in 2003.

I don't know what all it will take to stop the Empire, but anti-war protests didn't do it.
+7 # NLS 2015-12-10 12:35
I agree Radscal, although there were many large protests over the Vietnam war, and citizens killed for protesting. I was a protester every Sunday afternoon for 18 months before our invasion of Iraq. I'm 80 years old and so sad that our country has been taken over by the military industrial complex. The coup seems so complete to me that I don't see any way to get our country back from the MIC.
+11 # Radscal 2015-12-10 14:44
First, thank you for your true service to the ideals that many of our politicians pretend to support.

I am certain that the US Empire will collapse one day as has every other empire in history. I don't know how nor when.

There have been a handful of successful non-violent revolutions of the sort Chris Hedges describes. Mass strikes, mass boycotts, mass protests and an artistic community that informs and reflects the ideologies of liberty, democracy and universal human rights.

Perhaps... perhaps. But it will take the energy of those much younger than you and I. I hope you are able to connect many younger people with their ideological heritage for many, many years to come.

Peace and Love.
+9 # Thomas0008 2015-12-09 20:48
he is powerless because he is bush 3 a neocon hack...
+11 # dquandle 2015-12-09 21:54
He's not powerless against the Military Industrial Complex. He never had any intention of fighting it. He was always completely aligned with it. His only intention ever, was to be the best carrier-out of its wishes that any president could be. And he has been wildly successful in that,
0 # harleysch 2015-12-14 14:14
Obama is not "powerless" -- he is an instrument of the Empire, and has been since Day One. Those who see him as a victim of "powerful forces" are missing the point: Those "powerful forces" put him in office, to serve as their puppet -- and he has been doing so.

One of the things holding people back from becoming part of an anti-imperial movement is their delusion that Obama is really on the right side, but has been cowered into doing the evil demanded by the empire. It's long past time to give up that delusion, and work to bring down the Empire, and Obama with it.
+29 # Anarchist 23 2015-12-09 18:29
Too bad no one thinks to question the reality of 9/11...the 'terror' that started it all (this time) because frankly, the physics of the Official State Myth are ludicrous as is the narrative but hey...just be very,very afraid and run off that cliff!
+13 # futhark 2015-12-09 19:37
The thing to do is to point out that the official narrative about 9/11 has been recognized by those who invented, propagated, and continue to defend it as being too fragile to close objective scrutiny. This is why its critics have been anathematized as terrorist dupes or fools. Any hypothesis, theory, or narrative whose source relies on innuendo and ad hominem attacks of those who are skeptical is one that is probably worthy of little merit or confidence.
+31 # Inspired Citizen 2015-12-09 18:31
Nowhere is Obama's un-American neo-liberal agenda more treacherous than the three Obamatrade treaties (and they are treaties) coming down the pike. The 9th characteristic of fascism is the PROTECTION of corporate power. The TPP will do A LOT more than protect corporate power; OBAMATRADE TREATIES WILL IMPOSE CORPORATE POWER ON large segments of the world. In the U.S. the TPP is supplant democratic self-government with corporate self-government in the areas of regulatory laws.

The CAPS are meant to be an alarm. Unless you are stuck at home, and even then, citizens need to start working toward a municipal resolution to make your town, city, village or county a TPP-Free zone. See point 6 in article below.

The TPP is before Congress and has a higher priority, time wise, than who should be the next President. There is huge risk of lame duck passage, and if that happens, only Bernie Sanders would even have an interest of pulling out if it unilaterally.
+14 # Inspired Citizen 2015-12-09 18:33
will supplant, not is.

The 14 characteristics of fascism.
+7 # GDW 2015-12-09 18:46
Good list "Inspired Citizen" and fits the US
+13 # Anonymot 2015-12-09 18:51
Well, Sir, don't fret. I don't think that what Bush The Dumb or what Obama The Brilliant says comes out of their minds. They are Charlies from the Edgar Bergen tradition. They are only superficially stupid. The truly stupid, really dangerous ones are the Edgars.(To anyone too young to know who & what Candace Bergen's father was, google him. He had the audience of the Kardashians without being vulgar and ignorant.)

It's their manipulators who are doing the scripts. That's who we must attack, not the poor idiots out front. Not a one of the figurehead candidates, our friend Bernie included, has a clue about what to do with this enemy they don't know, don't understand, can't decipher where they and their wildness comes from.

Isis comes from the deep recesses of Islam and rose to the surface because of the way we, goaded by the neofascists from Israel, treated them. Once put in motion, even those among us who profit are shocked, but Pandora is not going back into the box and Hydra is growing heads faster than we can gather our idiots into armies.

All of the fools who built bunkers on their Texas ranches in the '60s because "The commies are coming!!" had better dig them out of the drifted sand, because our stupidity will be paid for.
+20 # wrknight 2015-12-09 19:02
Quoting Anonymot:
Well, Sir, don't fret. I don't think that what Bush The Dumb or what Obama The Brilliant says comes out of their minds. They are Charlies from the Edgar Bergen tradition. They are only superficially stupid. The truly stupid, really dangerous ones are the Edgars.(To anyone too young to know who & what Candace Bergen's father was, google him. He had the audience of the Kardashians without being vulgar and ignorant.)

Absolutely right except for one small point. Bush was, and is, truly stupid and there's nothing superficial about his stupidity.
+8 # Anonymot 2015-12-09 22:02
Of course, but his stupidity is of little consequence. It's what he was DIRECTED to say that counts, what Cheney & Rummy, and the Wolf whizz, and his very clever father and the CIA directed him to say. Georgie boy probably didn't even know where Afghanistan & Iraq were, maybe still doesn't. He may have known where third base was... and then...........
+3 # Shades of gray matter 2015-12-09 18:53
There is considerable truth in this tirade, but underpinning is a GOP trick: Pretend that Obama doesn't have to struggle mightily with maniac "allies"(Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Shiite Iraq, Pakistan, etc.) Not to mention Russia, China, India, pipeline states and end of pipeline consumers. Then there are the domestic nutcases with enormous power, the National Security rogues, Pentagon, MIC, and those willing to kill Obama's family. Not easy to please Boardman under ANY circumstances, let alone these. So much history that cannot be reversed, also. I'm not an Obama fan, but he avoided WWIII over Iran, and has not sent large ground forces to fight ISSI: Islamic State in Sunni Iraq, whom I do NOT WANT acquiring WMDs.
+11 # dquandle 2015-12-09 21:58
Obama is not struggling with Saudi Arabia or Turkey. They all have the same goal. Keep terrorism up and going, ad infinitum, both on "our" side, and "theirs", because that way lies profit unimaginable.
+2 # trottydt 2015-12-10 13:12
Quoting gray matter:
"Not easy to please Boardman under ANY circumstances, let alone these. So much history that cannot be reversed," I would add "overnight".

President Obama has shown himself to be smart and reflective. We must therefore thank Boardman for his clear perspective of the fundamental issues and contradictions that ought to be addressed, and trust that the President will ask himself "am I missing something".
+3 # WBoardman 2015-12-10 15:27
"Not easy to please Boardman under ANY circumstances,
let alone these," says ShadesOfGrayMat ter.

Insofar as that implies that I or anyone should be pleased,
under present circumstances, please elaborate.

Avoiding a WWIII that wasn't really threatened over Iran is
pleasing in a trivial way [Ukraine and Syria remains much more likely paths to WWIII], but sending "just a few" special forces
to fight with the Kurds and Iraqis and whoever in the murk
of ISISland is about as pleasing as sending "advisors" to
Viet-Nam in 1962.

As for Shades's main point: that Obama is confronted by
real and serious obstacles at home and abroad –

this is self-evident, but the argument is an excuse for failure.

This is not to say that success would be easy
or even possible,
under the best of circumstances.

Obama, by failing to confront any of these forces,
makes failure inevitable
(assuming that he sees it as failure,
which so many here doubt).
+26 # wrknight 2015-12-09 19:25
To quote Mr. Boardman, "Why does the US need or even want endless war?"

The simple answer is for profit and power. The profit comes from the endless production and sales of weapons and munitions, and the power comes from the fear instilled in those who believe it is war.
+17 # wrknight 2015-12-09 19:40
According to the President, with no evidence, “Many Americans are asking whether we are confronted by a cancer that has no immediate cure.”

In fact we are confronted by a cancer but one that has nothing to do with foreign terrorists. It's a cancer consisting of bigotry, hatred, narcissism, greed and the insatiable quest for wealth, influence and raw power. Ayn Rand would be proud, and George Orwell would shudder to see his worst nightmare come true. 1984 may be late, but it's just around the corner.
+1 # economagic 2015-12-12 11:51
This note is well after the fact, but as a couple of comments have already suggested, while most Americans were "Amusing [Them]selves To Death" watching television (Neil Postman, 1985; also Jerry Mander, "Four Arguments For the Elimination of Television," 1977; and many others), transnational corporations replaced republican government as surely and more quickly than republican governments replaced the feudal aristocracy that dated back almost to the Agricultural Revolution.

Our challenge is not to prevent that state of affairs, but somehow to supersede it.
+9 # Radscal 2015-12-09 20:14
Yes, the speech by President Obama, the non-stop xenophobic racism of The Trump as well as President Hollande’s military escalations and many Europeans’ fear and loathing of Muslim refugees all play into the ISIL handbook.

Whether these things are deliberate or impulsive, carefully planned or reactive, the Global War OF Terror is the winner.

Some of us looked at the history of Israeli false flag terrorism (1946 bombing of the King David Hotel, the 1956 “Lavon Affair” firebombing of tourists in Egypt, the 1967 brutally deadly air and sea attack on the USS Liberty, the 10/10/01 attack on the Mexican Congress and many, many others). And when we saw the manipulated rise in “Palestinian violence” we forecast a major false flag terrorist attack or attacks in the West.

When we saw hundreds of thousands of “others” fleeing into Europe to escape our Global War OF Terror, we knew this would lead to increased animosity and the growth of the right wing. Now, French voters overwhelmingly voted for the neo-nazi Front National party, joining Ukraine’s Svobada and Right Sector and Greece’s Golden Dawn as politically powerful fascist movements, exactly as those who created the “refugee crisis” in the first place must have known would be one result.

I, for one do not believe that those who successfully implemented domination of most of the globe are stupid. So, I find it hard to believe that the effects of decades-long plans and actions were unknown, or even unwanted.
+14 # GDW 2015-12-09 20:35
Those that dominate are way ahead of the rest of us. They want endless war. Wall Street profits as well as fascism. They want to inavde and control the Mideast and extend the Empire
+1 # Radscal 2015-12-10 14:48
Precisely. Some of them are decades, or even a century or more ahead of most of us.
+3 # Vardoz 2015-12-09 20:54
To many puppets spoil the broth.
+9 # margpark 2015-12-09 20:58
Dear President Obama.
You have gotten lost in the bubble surrounding your throne. You knew when you were running for president in 2008 that our presence in the middle east was not good. When you bomb from a plane or send a bomb from afar, you knew you were making more terrorists than killing more people. Please, sir, get us out of the middle east.
-9 # Robbee 2015-12-09 22:34
boardman and everyone here who can't distinguish our current prez from bush 2 is full of it and deserves bush 3!

how come is it that nobody recalls that raving lunatic, "bring 'em on" bush 2?

hove you all gone stark, raving zomblican?
+12 # Radscal 2015-12-09 23:35
The brown-skinned children who are incinerated in their homes probably don't really care whether Duhbya or President CareBear was sleeping in the White House as the missile exploded.
+1 # jimallyn 2015-12-10 00:44
Quoting Robbee:
... deserves bush 3!

I take that to mean you're supporting Hillary Clinton?
+4 # WBoardman 2015-12-10 15:34
Robbee can't seem to distinguish between
Bush and Obama tactics on the one hand,
and the employment of those tactics for
the same, falild strategic aims.

Robbee can't seem to distinguish between
style and substance

When Obama perpetuates Bush disasters,
the result is still disasters,
even when they are disasters of different detail ;-)))
-10 # Robbee 2015-12-09 22:42
yes, Obama Makes It Worse

compared to bush 2, tho, he's a prince!

moreover he gives us a practical alternative to re-occupying syraq - the most counter-product ive tactic ever!

when bernie or hill, following in obama's footsteps, face a zomblican candidate reluctant to re-occupying syraq forever, american voters will tell the difference!
+18 # jimallyn 2015-12-10 00:45
“Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it.” - Noam Chomsky
+8 # KyleFreeman 2015-12-10 00:51
Why would a god, if there were one, bless any country, much less the country that has killed more of Its souls than any other country has?
+8 # montone23 2015-12-10 01:52
Bravo, Mr. Boardman. This article should be required reading for everyone in the states--especia lly those at "the top." Your fourth paragraph alone should be in the history books forever. Thank you for a brilliant article.
+5 # Nominae 2015-12-10 05:32
Quoting montone23:
Bravo, Mr. Boardman. This article should be required reading for everyone in the states--especially those at "the top." Your fourth paragraph alone should be in the history books forever. Thank you for a brilliant article.

One Thousand Times "Bravo" to your comment above, montone23 !

Part I

Boardman IS good, but if this article is *not* his "Magnum Opus", then it runs a very close Second to whatever article actually IS !!

YES ! Speaking Truth to *really* weak-kneed Power as represented by this simpering and transparent Obama National Embarrassment of a Bullshit Speech !

Boardman *ALSO* offers a much-needed "curtain removal" exposing our National Pathology which ALLOWS human terror to arise at levels that are so *TOTALLY* out of proportion to the proposed "bugaboo".

Even if the mindless slaughter of 14 people WERE connected to terrorism, how can 320 MILLION people be led to "wet down their pant-legs" over THAT mere fact ?

These same people blithely drive to work everyday on American Highways where over 30,000 Americans are killed every YEAR !

That means that, every two years, we kill more Americans than we lost in the ENTIRE Vietnam War (58K) *and* 9/11 (3K) put together.

And, not only do we continue to drive, but many of us can't even be persuaded to wear a seat belt or to put away that gawd-damned texting device while driving.

+5 # Nominae 2015-12-10 05:33
Part II

So, as Boardman cogently points out, we need *perspective* regarding the tragic loss of 14 innocent people, but the tragedy *itself* does NOT even approximate sane translation into a wildly overblown International "Chicken Little" moment unless we "puff it up" and ALLOW it to do so !

If we are truly *THAT* easily led ... *THAT* easily frightened, then we simply don't DESERVE, as a populace, TO "lead the free world". And, we are hearing THAT loud and clear from the rest of the World even NOW !

Sack Up Folks, get a GRIP, or go hide under your beds where at least you will be out of the way !
+1 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-12-10 11:03
Time for the Supreme Court to step in and "select" Trump to be sure Reagan, Bush, Clinton, W.Bush, Obama policies as President are continued until they work.
"our" government has served the interests of people with money since day one. A few people make money off of war so they can buy politicians who promote war.
"Greed is good" --- Ronald Reagan.
WAKE UP AMERICA. A huge military build up, more than "daily" mass shootings = a sign of a declining empire
-4 # ProfT 2015-12-10 11:08
Obama has his strategy. Strategies. I cannot say whether they will solve the problem(s) entirely, but nobody else's strategy is much good either. War and boots? Bombs? do even less, do more?

But maybe it matters only a little. Whatever his strategy may be, the GOP won't let him do it.

And if I were President, I would not make the strategy public.
+6 # Radscal 2015-12-10 15:04
Putin's strategy has, to a large extent, worked in Russia's "near abroad," and is working remarkably well against ISIL today. Certainly, if the goal is to "degrade and destroy" ISIL, et al, Russia's strategy is far more effective than Obama's.

Air strikes specifically targeting "rebel" command centers, armaments and sources of income, carefully coordinated with the Syrian military has driven ISIL from large sections of Syria, recaptured numerous cities and military bases.

Although the powers that be in the US have placed their fingers in their ears and yelled "nananananana!! !!!," much of the rest of the world is listening and does see the evidence he's presenting that show Turkey's role in brining Jihadists and weapons into Syria and oil, antiquities and slave women out.

We, the people of the US must stop buying into the propaganda we're fed 24/7 and judge every event by the legal question, "who benefits" and demand every action be aimed at promoting self-determinat ion. No one has the right to determine who or what is the Syrian government except the Syrian people.
+1 # economagic 2015-12-12 11:57
"We, the people of the US must stop buying into the propaganda we're fed 24/7 and judge every event by the legal question, 'who benefits'. . . ."

I mentioned Postman and Mander above, but Ellul and Bernays paved the way, with plenty of others demonstrating the effectiveness of that form of warfare.
0 # hwmcadoo 2015-12-10 13:00
Good picture of the two worst presidents ever.
-5 # Susansis 2015-12-11 12:18
This screed is full of nitpicks and complaints. The opinions of pundits, left or right, does not sway me. I still believe in the ultimate wisdom of our President, and in his ability to intelligently weave the ship of state through all the icebergs of opposing camps, hereditary grievance, contradictory religionists, and convoluted allegiances that is the mess in Syria and elsewhere in the middle east. I appreciate thoughtful commentary, but I am afraid that his complaints are as hurtful to national solidarity as any rash statement by Faux Nuz. I stand with Obama, and find his words appropriate and calming. This article just stirs up the wasps nest.
+5 # economagic 2015-12-12 11:58
You gotta be kidding.

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