Drones

Obama's Wars: Biting Drone-War Parodies and The Dawood Military Hospital Scandal

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For those curious about the other side of the aisle, Charles Davis has an amazing piece that really gets into the mindset of the left as they desperately try to defend their guy against the threat of a Mitt Romney presidency.

Check out these first paragraphs from the New Inquiry article:

With all the attacks on his leadership from the professional left, it's all too easy to forget that Barack Obama is by far the most liberal president in American history. From permitting gays to serve openly in the military to saying they should even be allowed to get married, the president has deftly tied his most progressive policies to America's most reactionary institutions, upholding the long liberal tradition of making the status quo more sustainable, its excesses more subtle. But to the outraged left, helping Americans isn't enough. He's supposed to concern himself with the lives of foreigners, too….

If you can stomach the toxicity, just consider the implicit Birtherism: that President Obama should be more concerned about non-Americans than registered American voters, as if he's not even American himself. And consider the classism and misogyny. Amid a GOP-led war on women, the privileged far left would have us believe protecting the life of some impoverished stay-at-home Buzkashi mom is as vital as safeguarding a successful, independent American woman's access to subsidized birth control — that a Madeleine Albright or Hillary Rodham Clinton are no more important than some willfully oppressed third-worlder in a burka.

But I got a bit farther and suddenly remembered (I had a lot of tabs open, alright?) that I had found Davis' essay linked in a Glenn Greenwald tweet. So, this, thank God, was a parody.

Writes Davis:

Don't let the baby-killing rhetoric from the emo-left fool you, though: drones don't just protect important people, they protect Pakistanis and Yemenis too. Indeed, we know that because that's what those who use them say. Repeatedly, the boss of country's advisors have assured us that civilian deaths in his drone wars are "exceedingly rare" and that, even when they do take life, it's only to protect it. Not even Glenn  Greenwald — basically just a whiter, more privileged Anwar al-Awlaki — disputes these facts.

Because liberal apologies for war do happen, but they are never stated quite so bluntly as this:

After all, if you don't like that Barack Obama possesses the unilateral ability to decide who lives or dies, imagine how insufferable that power would be in the hands of the former Massachusetts governor. Instead of laughing with the president as he jokes about drone striking the Jonas Brothers, we would probably be stuck listening to an awkward Romney make dated quips about offing the Allman Brothers.

Out of the full context, the deftness of the parody is not clear, but Davis dances on the line between familiar, partisan waffling and more overt, satirical absurdities (that Greenwald line hasn't been used with any seriousness yet, I hope) and God, just go read it.

Especially read it because of the reports on the Dawood National Military Hospital scandal in Afghanistan (with Buzzfeed supplying the most brutal of the photos, click with caution).

According to Buzzfeed:

There are currently two ongoing investigations looking into the Dawood Military Hospital abuses: one centered around the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, the other concerned with [three-star Lt. General William] Caldwell's politically-motivated decision to delay investigations into the hospital until after the 2010 elections.

It's not pretty to see the effects of the Afghanistan war that America has fighting for more than a decade. Worse still, accusations that in the hospital:

wounded Afghan soldiers: open vats of blood draining from soldier's wounds, feces on the floor, and Afghan doctors and nurses demanding bribes to provide patients with food and basic care. According to the witnesses, patients routinely starved to death, were operated on without sedatives, and died of simple infections.

Former military analysts testified on Tuesday that there was a determined cover-up about the "Auschwitz-like" conditions in the mostly U.S. tax-payer funded hospital so as not to sully Democrats chances in 2010.

Army Colonel Mark Fassl was NATO's Training Mission Afghanistan Command Inspector General in 2010. He says when he requested the inspector general to investigate the hospital, he was admonished by the three-star general in charge, Lt. General William Caldwell.

"His first response to me was 'how could we make that request with elections coming?'" Fassl told a House oversight subcommittee Tuesday.

Another advisor in Afghanistan, Col. Gerald Carozza, says Caldwell's deputy delivered a similar message: that the general was upset that Fassl had asked for an independent investigation "so close to the (2010 midterm) election."

"We were to consider postponing it until afterwards," Carozza testified. "It was a stunning moment for me."

It's rather optimistic of Caldwell to think that even pictures like this would make people change their minds. Remember, when it's our guys, our country, our party, it's never a crime, it's just the unfortunate cost of war.

Reason on drones, ReasonTV on "What Happened to the Anti-War Movement?"