Monday, May 28, 2012

As the Nation Remembers This Memorial Day, Don't Forget That Barack Obama Was Most Antiwar Candidate for President Since George McGovern

I'm watching President Obama's commemoration at the Vietnam War Memorial on CNN. And there's more coverage at The Hill (via Memeorandum).

While I appreciate the president's word of gratitude for our nation's fallen, I can't help feeling that his words are cheap. In 2007, as a candidate for the Democrat nomination, Obama laid claim to being the most far-left, antiwar candidate in the race. After he was elected, he set out to reorient American national security toward a dramatic and precipitous downsizing of our military presence overseas. I do not discount that Obama has made some monumental decisions as Commander-in-Chief --- decisions that undoubtedly made the country safer --- but those decisions should be always viewed through the prism of naked partisan politics, and not the more noble politics of our nation's higher calling to goodness in the world. Here's what I wrote in 2010, when the administration announced the final drawdown from Iraq, "President Barack Obama Claims Credit on Iraq War":

For all of the socialism and Islamist-appeasement of this administration, the one thing that has bothered me the most about this president (and candidate in 2007-08) is his screechingly perverse antiwar ideology and opportunism. Barack Obama was the most antiwar Senator in Congress throughout 2007 and in 2008 he tried to play both sides of the fence: After opposing the surge he then turned around and hailed its success, while insisting once more that the war was wrong.
There's more at the link.

This Cold Fury headline also captures the feeling back in 2010: "Obama singlehandedly wins Iraq war, comes home victorious, pats wonderful self on back."

So again, while I appreciate the dignity that Obama now brings to Memorial Day, I simply can't look at this president and consider him sincere. Indeed, when I hear MSNBC commentators like Chris Hayes diss the troops as false heroes "rhetorically proximate" to neo-imperialist warmongering, I'm reminded of the president. The Veterans of Foreign Wars is now demanding an apology from Hayes, "VFW Seeks Apology After MSNBC Host's 'Reprehensible and Disgusting' Comments" (via Memeorandum). And while some might be calling this a mini-tempest, I'd simply point out that Hayes' wife, Kate Shaw, is Associate Counsel to the President in the Barack Obama White House. Perhaps Ms. Shaw should step down so as to eliminate the close connections to Chris Hayes at MSNBC. No worries thought, right? I'm sure in no time we'll be hearing Press Spokesman Jay Carney promising that such associations have no impact on the president's national security policy making, wink, wink.

PHOTO CREDIT: "President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet the U.S. Navy’s first contingent of women...", via the White House Flickr page.