Gene Healy on Obama's Adventures in Africa

A recent United Nations report notes that U.S. military drone flights over Somalia are now frequent enough to endanger local air traffic. Calling Africa "the new frontier in terms of counterterrorism and counternarcotics," the Drug Enforcement Administration has begun training paramilitary drug warrior teams in Ghana, and plans to expand the program to Nigeria and Kenya.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is considering intervention in the West African nation of Mali, where al Qaeda-inspired Islamist rebels have seized territory in the North. The insurgents are "a looming threat," a Pentagon official claims, and "all options are being considered."

Four years ago, writes Gene Healy, few would have predicted that one of President Obama's legacies would be increased militarization of U.S. policy toward Africa—but that seems to be the case.

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  • John||

    If we had just elected Obama rather than that war monger McCain, we wouldn't be at war all over the world.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Bob Barr wouldn't have started wars in Africa, that's for sure.

  • John||

    Because no politician has ever disappointed his supporters. Nope, never happened.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    In 2002 Barr voted for the Iraq Resolution.

    Nope, he would never vote to invade another country.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    If only Obama would just focus on the continent he was born in.

    ...OR IS HE?

  • Sudden||

    Dude, he was born on Krypton. Get it straight. /leftist interpretation of reality.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Calling Africa "the new frontier in terms of counterterrorism and counternarcotics," the Drug Enforcement Administration has begun training paramilitary drug warrior teams in Ghana, and plans to expand the program to Nigeria and Kenya.

    And as soon as photographs of their mutilated corpses appear on the NBC Evening News, the clamor for vengeance will force a reluctant President to send in the troops.

  • Hyperion||

    That continent has not seen enough turmoil and misery. Just what they need, the DEA. I am sure that things will improve greatly for them now that the good guys are arriving.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    Meanwhile, the Obama administration is considering intervention in the West African nation of Mali, where al Qaeda-inspired Islamist rebels have seized territory in the North. The insurgents are "a looming threat," a Pentagon official claims, and "all options are being considered."

    Is there nowhere these fucks don't think we should go to kill people? And then they put out the drivel of "why do they hate us."

  • Tulpa Doom||

    One option that's certainly not being considered is minding our own fucking business.

  • Rich||

    That's "doing nothing".

    "Doing nothing" is not an option.

    /sarc

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    "Doing nothing" to these disingenuous fucks equals "Negotiating with Terrorists."

  • Hyperion||

    Is there nowhere these fucks don't think we should go to kill people?

    nope

  • Tulpa Doom||

    The Mali thing in particular is classic interventionist recursion... intervening in response to the problems created by the last intervention.

  • Ptah-Hotep||

    It's ok, we'll get it right this time.

  • Sudden||

    Exactly. We have the right Top. Men. in charge now.

  • Sudden||

    the Drug Enforcement Administration has begun training paramilitary drug warrior teams in Ghana, and plans to expand the program to Nigeria and Kenya.

    Are you fucking serious? I was unaware of the khat epidemic here in the states. None of the drugs being trafficked in Africa ever end up on American shores, so what fucking rationale can they have for using American blood and treasure to combat and African and European issue.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    It's like Wickard... people overseas who can't get khat will buy more cocaine, so we won't have to deal with it here. Or something.

  • John||

    Since interdiction drives up the price, it is not action, it is just a tax.

  • Sudden||

    So it's like a penaltax because we're not consuming any significant quantities of khat?

  • John||

    Pot and cocaine come from South America. Meth from Kentucky. Heroin comes from Pakistan and Afghanistan. What kind of drugs are we buying from Africa? Coffee?

    Other than disposing of international pirates, we have no business in Africa. This is pure stupid.

  • mustard||

    We screwed up Africa with the slave trade so we have a responsibility to them.

    How would you like it if the Chinese took all the best workers in America into slavery and left all the worthless people here to fend for themselves? Wouldn't you expect China to look after the US in that scenario?

  • John||

    No. I would want China to go home and leave us alone. And Africa has had a hundred plus years to recover from slavery. Their misery is their own fault. And they are actually starting to fix it. They really don't need us running around screwing it up.

  • ||

    At the rate the US is declining and devolving into a police state, all the best workers will soon be leaving of their own volition.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    And going where?

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    The center of the Earth? Antarctica when it melts?

  • wareagle||

    except America didn't take the best workers from Africa. It those whose tribes lost to other tribes and who got the best of the three possible outcomes they faced, the other two being death or enslavement by their conquerors.

  • ||

    Shhh, don't screw up the narrative. Also don't mention the Slavs from whom the word slave originates.

  • DEG||

    Slav probably doesn't originate from the Latin word for slave.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slav#Ethnonym

  • ||

    From my Webster's Unabridged:

    slave:...[1250-1300; ME sclave. from sclavus (masc.) sclava (fem.) slave, special use of Sclavus Slave, so called because Slavs were commonly enslaved in the early Middle Ages; see Slav]

    Latin words for slave: servus, famulus, mancipium. The English word for slave, comes from Slav, as it does in many other Western European languages (German, Swedish, French, etc).

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Let's also forget about the African-Based Arabs who were snatching blonde-hair/blue-eyed people for manual labor and general fuckery. Nobody gives a shit about the Old World white slaves.

  • Calidissident||

    Some slaves were brought over in this fashion, but by no means all. And I don't know if I'd call New World slavery preferable to Old World. The Transatlantic voyage itself was probably worse than anything they'd experience before or after

  • tarran||

    Contrary to popular belief the slave pipeline to the new world started with one African tribe taking members of another tribe captive.

    The Portugese started purchasing slaves from a preexisting market - although, the market expanded a thousand fold during the peak of importing slaves to the new world.

  • Calidissident||

    Are you saying all remaining Africans are worthless?

  • ||

    GENOCIDE! STARVATION!

  • Your Old TV||

    There's certainly plenty of that, but I doubt the president is very interested in it.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Actually, meth comes from Mexico too.

    Kentucky is in the middle of the pack, nationwide, for meth use. It's much higher out west (CA, MT in specific) than it is in the midwest or south.

  • John||

    I was being a bit sarcastic.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Or the occassionally fireballing labs of Southern Illinois.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Meth comes from Walter White.

  • Hyperion||

    we have no business in Africa. This is pure stupid

    What is your point?

  • Raston Bot||

    preemptive Sarcasmic: FYTW

  • Hyperion||

    so what fucking rationale can they have for using American blood and treasure to combat and African and European issue.

    Well, you can never tell when those drugs might become in fashion here. We have to be proactive, it's for the children!

  • Pope Jimbo||

    Maybe you should stop listening to Rush and turn on a real radio station like Minnesota Public Radio to hear about the scourge of khat.

    /sarcasm

  • Hugh Akston||

    Does anyone else notice that the blog post doesn't link to the full story, and that the story and the post have separate comment sections?

  • ||

  • Pro Libertate||

    Huh. Why the separation?

  • ||

    It's just trial separation. Mommy and daddy still love each other very much.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, they just don't want the real world to see libertarian commenters at work.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure it was just an oversight, they used to do that occasionally on the old blog, the one that had readable text and working preview and stuff.

  • Pro Libertate||

    They're ashamed of us, ashamed!

  • ||

    If only we'd listened to Ken...

  • T||

    Wouldn't you be? I mean, years of work at attracting libertarians and we're the best they could come up with?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Are you familiar with the term "representative sample"?

  • ||

    I'm just here for the Lobster Girls.

  • Y||

    Separate but equal...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Get on the hot dog, Mustard.

  • Loki||

  • Tim||

    This is brilliant. You got the perfect war: millions, billions in tax dollars passing through the Pentagon to Defense giants. No US soldiers in the war zone, no reporters in the war zone and every single casualty among the locals is written off as a terrorist. LBJ never had it like this.

  • DJF||

    And since they put Africa Command in Germany even the General in charge and his staff gets to stay in a nice place with all the amenities.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Yeah, but all the SHAPE and USAFE guys still make fun of them.

  • ||

    Is anyone aware of a well argued bright line for intervention related to human rights? I'm not sure the question even can be answered. But what we're seeing here is essentially a poorly defined foreign policy regard when intervention is appropriate, leading to these flimsy justifications.

  • John||

    The question has never been answered because human rights has never been used as a justification for war until recently. Traditionally, war was justified in self defense or over self interests. It really is a recent thing. The more time goes on, the worse the Kosovo War looks. It not only prevented a genocide that wasn't happening, it also created the precedent of intervention for humanitarian reasons alone. Since no one knows what that means and no one is willing to pay much of a price in blood to do it, it has just become an excuse for the world community to bully smaller countries and ignore the sins of more powerful ones.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The more time goes on, the worse the Kosovo War looks. It not only prevented a genocide that wasn't happening,

    Muslims alleging genocide to garner sympathy? That's unpossible!

  • Pip||

    "it has just become an excuse for the world community to bully smaller countries and ignore the sins of more powerful ones."

    Not really all that different than progressives bullying Chick-fil-A.

  • John||

    And the Kosovo war pissed away all of the post cold war good will we had with Russia and among the Russian people.

  • Gray Ghost||

    And the Kosovo war pissed away all of the post cold war good will we had with Russia and among the Russian people.

    If this account is correct, it nearly did all that, and then some. I wonder how close we really did come to going force on force with the Russians? Doubt it'd have ended well.

    Still hate that song, of course.

  • John||

    The Russians would never go to war over western intervention against the Serbs. That just impossible. Never happen.

  • Gray Ghost||

    + Gavrilo Princip

    There has to be something missing from Blunt's account. There's no way an American officer seriously ordered NATO forces to shoot at the Russian Army, is there?

  • John||

    Anything is possible. And I was being sarcastic above.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Oh, I know. Hence the +.

    In other news, I've heard of blue flu as a tactic in contract negotiations, but this is a little ridiculous. Three aging hippies managed to get all the way through umteempth layers of security to the building that's one of the (two? three?) repositories of highly enriched uranium in the U.S. It has absolutely nothing to do with the security company's plans to cut 50 jobs at Oak Ridge, including 34 security officers at Y-12...

    Me, I'd fire the company (WSI) instantly---not like they're the only ones that can do this sort of thing---and send a DOJ IG team to subpoena every computer, phone, and file that company had. The next move would be indictments for conspiracy to commit gross security violations.

    I'm still amazed the activists got that far. Even with the direct connivance of the security team.

  • R C Dean||

    Is anyone aware of a well argued bright line for intervention related to human rights?

    Try this: When another country violates the human rights of US citizens via invasion of US territory, our military will intervene.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Problem with that is that it means that, if Hitler doesn't foolishly declare war on us first, the Nazis inevitably win in the Euro theater of WW2 and the Final Solution is completed.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Well, Looks like Hitler made at least one big fucking mistake then.

  • Tman||

    Meanwhile, they are just beginning to clean up the WMD's left over from Saddam's regime.

    You know, the ones we never found, that made Bush lie about everything or whatever so those poor Democrats were fooled in to supporting the war in Iraq.

    http://news.yahoo.com/uk-exper.....04378.html

  • Hyperion||

    They were there, until right before the invasion, when they were moved to Iran or Syria. We can't be sure which, so the best plan is to invade both countries now, after the election of course, to make sure we find them this time...

  • Tman||

    Brilliant!

    Actually, in all seriousness there is some evidence that there are stockpiles of Iraqi chemical weapons currently stored in Syria, accessible via the House of Assad. There are quite a few parties very worried that when Assad goes down he will use them en masse.

    This isn't to argue WE should do anything about it, but it is currently being discussed as a serious problem.

  • Gray Ghost||

    We didn't seem to be that worried about Iraq chemical weapons in either 1990/1991 or 2003. Other than having the troops in MOPP gear and sounding false GAS! GAS! GAS! alarms every 20 minutes, if the memoirs are anything to go by. Why then, should we be more worried about Assad's stocks?

    Think it was T who pointed out that US policy towards use of NBC weapons against US personnel was that any use entitled the US to go nuclear if they wished. Whether the US actually would retaliate with nukes (or---God, I hope not---pre-emptively use nukes against suspected WMD depots.) is another question. Chemicals are supposed to make it a giant PITA to do anything, however, and despite MOPP gear, et al, I am guessing they would probably cause quite a few U.S. casualties.

    I do think though, that with the examples of Hussein and Khadafi to fear, Assad's a hell of a lot more likely to use any than the previous two guys were. Makes you long for the days when the U.S. would fly the disgraced dictator to France. Or Hawaii.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Oh, and I thought the giant boogeyman we were frightened of from Iraq in 2002 was nuclear, not chemical? Hard to make a mushroom cloud over London from a GB rocket. (Well, you can, but you couldn't see it...) Did we find any evidence of an operating nuclear weapons development program in Iraq? Any weaponizable fissile material?

    But keep on going with the idea that finding these chemical bunkers makes the 2003 Iraq War and occupation justified, or any less of a fiasco. I think the tradeoff of ~$850 billion + ~3500 dead Americans + ~15000 wounded Americans for one dead dictator's family and a half-assed client state, to be a fine one.

  • Tman||

    I hate re-arguing this all the time, but enough with the "WMD's were the only reason we got rid of Saddam" argument.

    Again, read the AUMF.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Resolution

    WMD's were on this list of reasons, but hardly the only ones and certainly not the main ones.

    The primary objectives behind our reasoning contained within the AUMF in Iraq were met and satisfied.

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, I know, but I am skeptical as always. Syria has chemical weapons and Iran will have a nuke any day now. We will see, but I am siding with 'we shouldn't do anything about it'.

    If I were Iran, I would be getting a nuke as fast as I could, as it appears to be the only defense against the aggression of the USSA world police squad. Saying this on some blogs makes conservatives act almost as stupid as the liberals. I did say almost...

  • DJF||

    These are left over from 1991 when airstrkes destroyed the production faculties and UN personnel then dumped the leftovers in a bunker. These bunkers were then damaged in the 2003 war and it was left because nobody wanted to go into what was a toxic waste dump. None of these “weapons” were usable by 2003 invasion and the UN and the USA knew that.

  • o3||

    worse lil w und his playmates were in fact warned when hans blix said there were NO nukes in iraq, they were NOT "reconstituting" their nukes as cheney lied about repeatedly, and NO yellowcake pruchases just as the wilsons said....u know, the traitorous wilsons who told the truth ?!?

  • Hyperion||

    But not to worry now since the evil Boosh has been vanquished by the prince of peace, wielding his glorious Nobel Peace Prize with infinite wisdom and benevolence. He will personally march into the heart of the dark continent leading his band of heroic DEA agents and save the childins from evil meanie capitalists!, and big oil too!, and, and global warming!

  • Tman||

    No he didn't Mary-

    United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix delivered his report on Iraq's compliance with UN resolutions, which concluded that thousands of chemical weapons are missing.

    He told the UN Security Council that Iraq has been cooperating with arms teams but there were question marks over its weapons declaration.

    He said Iraq had failed to account for 6,500 chemical weapons and to prove it had destroyed all its supplies of anthrax.

    "In the last two years we know that Iraq imported - against sanctions - 300 rocket engines," said Dr Blix.

    "Also imported were chemicals that could be used for proscribed purposes, or in rocket propellant. But what is clear is that it was imported in defiance of sanctions," he said.

    He went on: "The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve but rather points to the thousands of rockets that are unaccounted for," he said.
  • ||

    Don't you know that o3 is immune to the truth?

  • DJF||

    Under that standard the US is in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention since there are thousands of chemical weapons buried in dumps all over the USA. Should the world go to war against the USA because it has failed to account for and destroy all chemical weapons?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Citation for this claim

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • T||

    I'm almost certain this ends up with more dead Africans and more live ones pissed off at us. So what's the upside, again?

  • Hyperion||

    JOBS! Got to hire some more DEA agents, so it's jobs! And the children!

  • ||

    If you have to ask what the upside is, you are unpatriotic.

    *seize him*

  • ||

    Nonsense, Tony says Obama is more nuanced and savvy at foreign policy. Note that all those liberals have stopped protesting agiainst the needless killing of innocent dark skinned people.

  • Hyperion||

    As we have lurnt, the killin be's good when their homey be doin it.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    They can't be innocent if the our dear leader is taking them out.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They're ashamed of us, ashamed!

    I blame myself Sugarfree.

  • Hyperion||

    I blame Sugarfree also, for everything.

  • ||

    I hereby motion to ban Sugarfree. Anyone opposed?

  • Hyperion||

    I am opposed. I propose that instead we just send Sugarfree to Guantanamo to post from there. I spotted Sugarfree last night with known terrorists, and also consorting with the Devil.

  • ||

    Help, I'm lost. What is this I don't even....

    What doesn't work so far? The comment preview? Is it just my browser? Serious Man is getting upset.

  • Loki||

    Barack Obama: Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

  • Hyperion||

    If there is one thing that leftists really love, it is making up phoney awards and giving them to each other. It makes them feel good about themselves, makes them feel accomplished. I mean, if they had to rely on their real accomplishments for that, how would that work out? They are sort of like Hollywood, living outside of reality with an inflated sense of self importance.

  • ||

    If there is one thing that leftists really love, it is making up phoney awards and giving them to each other.

    That conjures up an image of North Korean Generals with dozens of large gold medallions pinned to their uniforms for all of those military conflicts they never took part in.

  • Hyperion||

    Give our feds a little more time, they will look just like that.

  • Sevo||

    Loki| 7.31.12 @ 1:15PM |#
    "Barack Obama: Nobel Peace Prize recipient."

    Can it be delivered by a drone?

  • nipplemancer||

    I'm just happy that Amakudari got Reasonable up and working so fast. Thanks for the umpteen millionth time.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Jesus Christ, this.

  • Gray Ghost||

    OT: Why let a tragedy go to waste? OTOH, it's Illinois; sponsoring gun control probably helps his chances for re-election.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    That way our knucklehead governor can lose lawsutis just like the City of Chicago has!

    By God's teeth, I am ashamed of my state.

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