Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Metamorphosis of Barak Obama

 (1) Barak Husain Obama came to presidency of USA on the platform of closing Guantanamo Bay and end of Iraq war.
(2) He shunned the legislative deal-making required to close the detention facility at Guant√°namo Bay in Cuba.
(3) Persistent on targeted killings.
(4) Has relegated the responsibility to himself near completely.
(5) Approves lethal actions without hand-wringing.
(6) He finds such decision easy.
(7) Uses his lawyer capabilities to this end.
(8) Drone attack reports skewed to under report civilian deaths.
(9) Closing Guantanamo Bay meant no detention policy.
(10) This in turn means no prisoner taking.
(11) Result : Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron P. Munter, complained to colleagues that "he didn’t realize his main job was to kill people."
(12) That C.I.A.’s strikes drive American policy there.
(13) Obama's counter terrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, working like a dogged police detective from White House basement.
(14) Blessings of a priest have become indispensable for Obama to apply just war Christian theology to a modern conflict.
(15) Drone attacks since April : 14 in Yemen, and 6 in Pakistan.
(16) Every attack personally approved by the President.
(17) Drone attack refrain in White House : This is the only game in the town.
(18) Reminded me of body counts in Vietnam : Dennis C. Blair, former director of national intelligence.
(19) An unfamiliar realist side of Obama came to the fore, not carried away by his own rhetoric.
(20) Government lawyer John A. Rizzo, panicked at the prospect of closing once and for all the secret overseas “black sites” where interrogators had brutalized terrorist suspects.
(21) "Don't worry, it is only short term detention that has ended."
(22) Those who could not be transferred or tried but were judged too dangerous, their “disposition” would be handled by “lawful means, consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice.”
(23) Without showing his hand, Mr. Obama had preserved three major policies — rendition, military commissions and indefinite detention.
(25) US laws seen as inconvenient stumbling blocks.
(26) "The protection of innocent life was always a critical consideration" - transfer of responsibility directly to the President.
(27) "All military-age males in a strike zone are combatants."
(28) Civilian do not hitch hike with Al-Qaida.
(29) Low civilian death because all killed were enemies.
(30) Outside officers alarmed at deceptive estimation - single digit civilian deaths in a year.
(31) President thinks that all it takes is to sketch a vision. Oblivious to the practical route to it.
(32) "Lyndon Johnson would have steamrolled the guy."
(33) Every week US security apparatus prepares the list of new targets by video conferencing run by Pemtagon.
(34) What is Al-Qaida facilitator? "If I open the gate and you drive in, I am the facilitator".
(35) A student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, the President believes that he should take moral responsibility for such actions.
(36) He believes that his own judgment should be brought to bear on strikes.
(37) "He’s a president who is quite comfortable with the use of force on behalf of the United States."
(38) "Mr. Brennan, the C.I.A.’s agent in the White House, steering Mr. Obama to a targeted killing strategy".
(39) "Mr. Brennan, who saw closing of GB is like a priest with extremely strong moral values who was suddenly charged with leading a war."
(40) "Their policy is to take out high-value targets, versus capturing high-value targets."
(41) C.I.A. worry : " Mr. Mehsud, whose group then mainly targeted the Pakistan government, did not meet the Obama administration’s criteria for targeted killing."
(42) Attempted airliner bombing and Forthood shooting bolstered President's resolve.
(43) Target and neighbouring two families killed in first strike in Yemen.
(44) Trail of cluster bombs killed more innocents later.
(45) How do you differentiate between terrorists loading a truck and farmers loading fertilizer?
(46) Obama solution moves into secrecy against promised transparency.
(47) The president "was very interested in obviously trying to understand how a guy like Awlaki developed".
(48) "Is it legal to kill US citizen in another country?"
(49) Convenient secrecy.
(50) "Nixon to China" quality in Obama operations.
(51) Program is based on personal legitimacy of the president and is not sustainable.
(52) Childhood years in Indonesia. No war with Islam. Drones.
(53) Mrs. Clinton criticized drones only approach.
(54) If OBL complained that US undermined Al Qaida by constant propaganda of no war with Islam then we must be doing the right things.
(55) Unlike his predecessor Obama's criticism in not sweeping.
(56) Mr. Obama’s liberal reputation and “softer packaging” have protected him.
(57) Because of focus on strikes new relations with Muslim countries are difficult to forge.
(58) Drone strikes: low cost, no U.S. casualties, gives the appearance of toughness.
(59) Drone strikes is not a lurid fascination with covert action and special forces.  It is practical.

Source :NYT