FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

War Dealer

Barack Obama’s aides assert that the president wants to be the anti-Bush and that’s why, after the bomb-in-the-briefs incident, he said, “The buck stops with me.” This would be a departure from W whose eight years were marked by no apologies. Bush did, however, finally say he regretted standing in front of a “Mission Impossible” sign in 2003. Note his glaring parapraxia. The sign, in fact, was emblazoned “Mission Accomplished.”

It’s one thing though for Obama to express remorse and another to act on this compunction. Especially when one year after his swearing in, he has kept the campaign promise we in the peace movement hoped he’d denounce—continuing and escalating what he calls the “right war” in Afghanistan.

Seems there’s a statute of limitations on most pledges advanced on the campaign trail.

According to Wikipedia, passing the buck probably had its origin with the game of poker during frontier days. A knife with a buckhorn handle was used to indicate who dealt the cards. If a player didn’t want to deal, he could pass the knife to the next person.

Most of us know that President Harry Truman famously said, “The buck stops here.” A sign of the phrase, on his desk in the Oval Office, was a reminder that he would accept the consequences of his decisions. One wonders if he ever came to regret the choice resulting in his comment quoted in the August 7, 1945 edition of The New York Times: “We have spent two billion dollars on the greatest scientific gamble in history and won.”

Truman’s “scientific gamble” killed more than 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Most died from flash burns, but in the following months, many people suffered agonizing deaths from radiation sickness. Years later, there were more deaths from leukemia and other cancers related to irradiation. In both cities, most of the casualties were civilians.

Try as he may to convince us that he’s the anti-Bush, Obama’s failing. And he’s succeeding in being pro-Truman. In less than a year, the president has carried out more than 50 Predator strikes against terrorists—clear violations of international law, because drone attacks almost always incinerate more civilians than the intended targets.

Obama is spending billions, while asking Congress for even more, on what has become his gamble, one that George Bush initiated, but that he, Obama, is expanding. Experts say The Project for the New American Century ended in 2006. Certainly, it has been resurrected under a new administration.

In June of 2009, the president spoke in Cairo:

I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap and share common principles—principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

Yet, it is not justice and progress, tolerance and dignity that we’re extending but, instead, our violence that is overlapping explosively in five predominantly Muslim countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. And we send billions to Israel in support of the genocide of Palestinians.

“The buck stops with me.”

“The buck stops here.”

It’s not enough to merely say you accept the results of your decisions, to own that a “system failure” occurred on your watch. The very framework of the system must be examined, this imperialist/Zionist/racist foreign policy that breeds terrorists. Invasions and occupations, torture, and disregard for life are all choices, crimes against humanity.

If the buck truly stops with Obama, he’d be unable to sleep. The carnage his decisions are yielding would induce incapacitating insomnia. But that’s assuming war dealers have consciences.

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
April 27, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Graham Peebles
Crisis of Consciousness: Change and the Individual
Louis Proyect
Racism and Eugenics, American-Style
April 26, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
As Trump Berates Iran, His Options are Limited
Daniel Warner
From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes
Simone Chun – Kevin Martin
Diplomacy in Korea and the Hope It Inspires
George Wuerthner
The Attack on Wilderness From Environmentalists
CJ Hopkins
The League of Assad-Loving Conspiracy Theorists
Richard Schuberth
“MeToo” and the Liberation of Sex
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Sacred Assemblies in Baghdad
Dean Baker
Exonerating Bad Economic Policy for Trump’s Win
Vern Loomis
The 17 Gun Salute
Gary Leupp
What It Means When the U.S. President Conspicuously and Publicly Removes a Speck of Dandruff from the French President’s Lapel
Robby Sherwin
The Hat
April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail