The response to President Barack Obama’s Oct. 14 announcement that U.S. military boots were on the ground in Africa to assist in another “overseas contingency” “non-war” operation in Africa is another example of the left’s ever-evolving definition of war based upon which political party is in control.
Even more troubling is statements made on film by Invisiblechildren.com activists/lobbyists who claim they influenced Obama’s decision to send troops and claim they received a “heads-up” call from the White House letting them know boots would soon be on the ground in Africa. The video can be viewed online at vimeo.com/30575828. The implication is the activists had a direct line to an administration that is more than willing to do their bidding. But interestingly, with Obama, activists seem to find a savior, when only a few short years ago; President George W. Bush was clearly a target for their venom.
Overall, it seems the Cindy Sheehans around the country have been missing in action and conveniently lost their voice sometime in early 2009. Most have remained relatively quiet during recent troop surges, drone attacks, the assassination of a U.S. citizen (Anwar al-Awlaki), Gitmo’s non-closing, and military intervention in Libya.
The president was one of them once. Doing what anti-war activists do best at an anti-war rally in 2002, Obama admitted Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, “butchers his own people” and “developed chemical and biological weapons and coveted nuclear capacity,” yet reasoned Hussein was “no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors.”
I suppose that analysis makes sense if you set aside certain facts surrounding Hussein’s reign of terror such as village razing(s), kidnappings, tortures, rapes, gassings and executions of Iraqis. Nor should one forget that Bush’s wars were waged with Congressional approval. Even still, Obama defined the Iraq war as a “dumb war” because at that time he believed our military should not be in the business of disposing of disreputable dictators.
But that was then, and Obama was not the leader of the free world. It is astonishing what a little power can do to influence one’s perception. Now, with the presidency plus a couple of “dumb wars” under his belt, he’s found a way to convince feckless followers that it is morally acceptable to deploy America’s sons and daughters into harm’s way as “advisors” to meddle in Africa’s business - without Congressional consent. Let’s not forget, America’s involvement in the Vietnam War began by advising the country of Vietnam.
Our military should be applauded for their selfless dedication and unwavering devotion to duty in defense of our Constitution, but as John Adams once argued, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” While most would agree the world would be in a much better state were it devoid of murdering thugs like Africa’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Joseph Kony, fact is, similar to deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Kony is not an imminent threat to our national security.
During his Aug. 27, 2008, Democratic National Convention speech, Obama vowed, “I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission.” First was Libya and now Africa. Just like the rest of us, the political left cannot have it both ways. No matter how tragic the case or seemingly noble the cause, America should not be in the practice of international meddling, nor should our president be in the business of using our military to appease well-intentioned activists.
• Susan Stamper Brown is a motivational speaker and military advocate and can be reached at www.susanstamperbrown.com