June 21, 2013
OUR REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT:
A tale of two presidents: The one we voted for - and Obama : Recent leaks reveal a frightening reality: In fighting terrorism, we have resorted to engaging in terrorism (DAVID SIROTA, 6/20/13, Salon)
Posted by Orrin Judd at June 21, 2013 5:16 AMThis is a tale of two presidents - the one we hope we have and the one we actually have. It is also a tale of two kinds of violence - the surgical and the indiscriminate - and how the latter blurs the distinction between self-defense and something far more sinister.This story began last year, when the White House told the New York Times that President Obama was personally overseeing a "kill list" and an ongoing drone bombing campaign against alleged terrorists, including American citizens. Back then, much of the public language was carefully crafted to reassure us that our country's military power was not being abused.In the Times' report - which was carefully sculpted by Obama administration leaks - the paper characterized the bombing program as "targeted killing" with "precision weapons." It additionally described "the care that Mr. Obama and his counterterrorism chief take in choosing targets" and claimed that as "a student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, the president believes that he should take moral responsibility" for making sure such strikes are as precise as possible.The unstated deal being offered to America was simple: Accept a president claiming unprecedented despotic authority in exchange for that president promising to comport himself as an enlightened despot - one who seeks to limit the scope of America's ongoing violence.Many of the president's partisan supporters would never have agreed to such a bargain if the executive in question were a Republican.