Barack Obama

Obama Denounces U.S. Support of Dictatorship Forty Years Ago

What about today?

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Casa Rosada

President Obama continues his trip to Latin America with a visit to Argentina, where he remarked on U.S. support for the regime that replaced Isabel Peron after a coup 40 years ago.

Obama stopped short of apologizing for U.S. support for the military junta, but did say the U.S. was too slow in speaking out about human rights.

"There has been controversy about the policies of the United States early in those dark days," Obama said at a memorial for some of the victims of that regime. "Democracies have to have the courage to acknowledge when we don't live up to the ideals that we stand for. And we've been slow to speak out for human rights and that was the case here."

Obama's ease in sort-of-condemning U.S. foreign policies of nearly half a century ago fits into a broader pattern of foreign policy introspection displayed by the left recently: Note the misguided nature of a specific foreign policy from a bygone era, but draw no conclusions from them about the present day.

Yes, the United States had a history of ignoring human rights violations perpetrated by its allies, particularly during the Cold War. But it's also doing so today. Regimes like Saudi Arabia rely heavily on lucrative arms deals from the United States. Will some future president go there one day and sort-of-but-not-really apologize for U.S. support for the murderous House of Saud regime when it's finally, inevitably, overthrown? Or will U.S. support for the Saudi regime mean that we've helped destroy the room for democratic opposition and opened the door for it to be replaced by an equally or even more brutal one?

And what about the human rights violations the U.S. enabled with policies like its 2011 intervention in Libya? It'll have to be left for future generations to express regret about—for now the Libya legacy, such as it is in the U.S., is a potential political liability for the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton, the former cabinet member running for president, so don't expect any introspection.

Sanders does something similar when he talks about the "unintended consequences" of past U.S. foreign policy. The critique, already limited to the domain of foreign policy, is also limited to the past. At the same debate where Sanders warned about unintended consequences, he endorsed a more aggressive stance against Russia as well as Iran (even though he supported the Iran nuclear deal), and the idea that the U.S. should be a major force backing Muslim troops on the ground in their anti-ISIS campaign.

On Tuesday night Sanders appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The late night talk show host asked Sanders if he was ready to "drop a bomb on a house that might contain innocent people" because "when you're fighting terrorism that happens." Sanders agreed.

"It does," he told Kimmel before insisting that he would use the military "in an effective and appropriate way, and that's what a president does." He mentioned his 2002 vote against the Iraq war, talked about the threat of unintended consequences there, and finished by saying that "there are times when you do have to use force, and I would certainly be prepared to do that."

Absent was any reflection on the so-called "collateral damage" of the war on terror that Kimmel referred to, the thousands of innocent people who are killed, and the unintended consequences of waging something like a drone war, where many targets aren't identified by name but by profile, and are often fed to the U.S. by the repressive regimes where the U.S. is conducting its bombings.

Where reflections on the errors of past policies don't offer any lessons for today's destructive policies, to the domestic audience they are largely hollow.

NEXT: DA Recommends No Jail Time For NYPD Officer Who Killed Akai Gurley

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  1. Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’.

    And I got plenty o’ nothin’, and nothin’s plenty for me.

    Our nada, who art in nada, nada be thy nada.

    And so on and so on and scooby doobty dooby
    Ooooooooooooo sha sha
    We gotta live together!

    1. For a second, there, I thought you were singing some Cinderella.

    2. Marxist imbeciles and cronyist scumbags aren’t very smart.

      This dipshit doesn’t see much of a discernible difference between socialism and capitalism. How could he possibly understand history and our tendencies to repeat it?

  2. Is there anything Block Yomama can’t make worse?

    LOL so embarrassed as an American!

    1. Let’s go to Argentina and smooch some Peronist ass.

    2. Tweeeet! “Block Yomama. Five yard penalty.”

      1. Yeah, he left out “Insane”

    3. Obummer really did it this time. The Argentinians were pretty much Nazis once upon a time!

      1. Still kinda nationalist and socialist…

        1. Agreed! Where muh embargoes gone?!

        2. Could have sworn Hitler killed off the socialist part after he won.

    4. This Che-loving socialist is a black mark on American history. We used to stand for something!

      1. Really grinds my gears when these shithead youngins don’t remove their hats during the national anthem. Talk about respect for freedom!

  3. President Obama continues his trip to Latin America

    You mean pointless, lavish, taxpayer-funded family vacation junket.

    Frankly, Congress should step in and make an effort to put a stop to this garbage, because this abuse of the system and total disregard for the public well-being is absolutely sickening.

    1. That is exactly why he is doing it. He has had his middle finger up to America from the minute he was elected. Before that even.

      1. And if Congress were to try to put the brakes on this they’d, predictably, be accused of racism. The only way this is going to be fixed is by a congressional majority of the same party as the sitting president. Not holding my breath.

    2. Only Obummer would be narcissistic enough to visit foreign countries and leaders. It’s outrageous.

      1. Hey stupid shithead, nobody brings their fuckin’ mother-in-law with them to work.

      2. Have to disagree. Bringing family makes it not a work trip but a vacation where you spend some time doing work. If someone was fiscally responsible with the taxpayer purse, they could communicate via phone or Google hangouts or whatever. If there needs to be some peace deal, you fly as few people as possible, for the shortest time possible.
        Vacation after you’re done being the president. You get something like 400k a year.

        1. Sure. They could also order in Shake Shack whenever they’re receiving a foreign leader at the White House instead of holding some lavish dinner, but we know that’s not going to happen.

          That big spender Coolidge abused the system and brought his wife along with him when he visited Cuba.

          1. I would imagine that Coolidge’s visit, even in inflation-adjusted dollars, was considerably less expensive than the current President’s.

            Honestly, no small part of the cost is likely due to security. A lot of which is due to different expectations. By the time Coolidge left office, he had broken a trend whereby a President was assassinated every other decade (Lincoln, 1865; Garfield, 1881; McKinley, 1901). Nowadays, we expect the Secret Service and intelligence apparatus to be “on top of” everything. The idea that the President is just a man and the country doesn’t require one specific individual’s life to be protected at high cost is politically unthinkable.

  4. Can someone explain to me why it is that being willing to do business with tyrannical enemies is a virtue while doing business with tyrannical regimes friendly to you is a vice? Because that does seem to be the tenor or the articles I’m reading here at Reason lately.

    And by the way, when are the guys on the other side going to apologize? Wake me up when the folks in the Shining Path, FARC or the Sandanistas submit their apologies.

    1. Are you trying to draw a comparison to Cuba? I think there’s a substantial difference between not embargoing a country, and actively supporting coups and dictatorships, which the US government has done quite a bit of over the years. Also, I would hope that the US would hold itself to a higher standard than FARC, Shining Path, and the Sandinistas.

      1. So, tell me, how many state visits from a US president did the Argentine junta enjoy? When during a state visit to the Argentine junta did a U.S. president publicly find fault with his own country’s domestic policies (e.g. the lack of “free” healthcare)?

        And frankly, whatever standard the U.S. holds itself to in foreign policy and $4.95 will get you a large latte at Starbucks.

        1. A state visit is the same thing actively supporting a coup to install a regime, or providing ongoing military and diplomatic aid to a regime? Nixon visited China and Reagan visited the USSR, were they actively supporting and allying with Mao Zedong and the Soviet dictatorship? I agree Obama’s comments in Cuba were stupid, but trying to equate lifting an embargo and reestablish diplomatic relationships with active and material support for coups and dictatorships is a gigantic stretch. That’s essentially saying the US is allies with and supporting any country it is not actively embargoing or refusing to engage in diplomatic relations with.

          1. the Soviet dictatorship

            At the time Reagan visited the USSR, it was not a dictatorship. The last dictator of the Soviet Union died in 1953.

            1. It was an authoritarian state whose populace had no control over its leadership, regardless of whether or not you want to play semantics about whether or not it qualified as a dictatorship after 1953.

              1. It was an authoritarian state whose populace (by and large) had no control over its leadership, and that quality endured after it ceased to be a dictatorship. It is irrelevant to what you were saying but it is not a trivial or purely “semantic” point.

          2. And you see no difference between Cuba and the Soviet Union? Here’s a start. The Soviets had a shitload of nuclear weapons pointed at us (just as we had at them). Our government doing business with theirs was kind of a nice way of making sure we didn’t slaughter one another en masse. What’s the similar imperative for a presidential visit to Cuba? As I’ve said before, you can lift an embargo without a presidential visit.

    2. I generally agree with your overall point but would note that FARC has been making some steps in this direction recently.

    3. How many tyrannical regimes are actually friendly to us, as opposed to expecting us to be their friends? Saudi Arabia comes to mind, here. I don’t think tyrannical regimes can ever be true friends to democracies since democracy represents an existential threat to them.

    4. Selling F-16s to Saudi Arabia != allowing Americans to travel and trade with Cuba

      1. How is selling someone something supporting them?

        1. When it’s heavily subsidized, and you give them the money to buy it first?

        2. If I own an ICBM and the facility to launch it, and sell it to ISIS, would you be concerned?? Or a bunch of US military weapons, is it okay for me to sell those to ISIS??

          How about if I sell it to someone who will in turn give it to ISIS?? Is that okay?? Because the Saudis give what they get from us to ISIS. Selling them things is not a good idea.

          But even without trading weapons to the Saudis:
          Helping the Saudis in war, giving them free monetary “aid”, and bombing targets in Yemen for THEIR benefit and our detriment IS /supporting/ them.

          Argentina’s dictatorship, likewise got MILITARY SUPPORT from the USA.

          There is a clear difference between giving someone monetary support and doing business with them, even ignoring the issue of selling weapons to ISIS and ISIS supporters being really, really stupid.

        3. Given the existence of ITAR, are there any actual sales of arms (other than small arms)? What actually happens is the exchange of government-granted vouchers for arms.

  5. I can’t wait for his post presidency so Obama can finally tell everyone in America how terrible we are and why we should feel bad about the things we’ve done.

    SHAME ON YOU AMERICA!

    1. He’ll be shitting on President Trump every day.

  6. Well of course he did, those were anti-communist dictatorships.

    1. *most of the dictoators we supported, anyway. It was a pattern

      1. *Double-checks data*

        *realizes frevious disclaimer not required*

        1. Frivolous + Previous = Frevious

  7. And this is why I have stopped supporting Democrats. Pro-peace my ass, they still support drone strikes in foreign countries that may kill innocents, which in turns creates more “Terrorists”. If a foreign country came and killed your family, how do you think you would react? I know how I would react….

    And its not like they actually care for civil rights, especially not Obama who has continued the Patriot Act, signed the NDAA with articles 1021 and 1022 (which terrifies me even more if Trump or Hillary get into office), and of course he has no problem with the NSA and spying on our own citizens. Mind you the Republicans aren’t any better, but this isn’t an article about them.

    Stop supporting Democrats if you are Pro-Peace and Pro-Civil Rights, because they are not. Instead I suggest the Libertarian Party, its the party I switched to in 2012. Check out Gary Johnson.

    #NeverTrump #NeverHillary #GaryJohnson2016

    1. Tul…Tulpa? I don’t how to greet new people anymore.

      1. Look, gay people call everyone “Mary.” No reason (!) we can’t call everyone “Tulpa.”

          1. It’s not a popular opinion, but I think Peter Polari was the more talented of the leads on Bosom Buddies.

            1. It’s not a popular opinion,

              Ladies and gentlemen, Hugh Akston

          2. I’ve got your number, Duckie.

    2. Tulpa would never throw in with GayJay. But just to make sure…How do you feel about Kosher Coke, KaiMolan?
      *eyes KaiMolan suspiciously*

      1. Would Rollo say Tulpa is a Lier? I think that’s how it worked in the labyrinth.

      2. I’m legit trying to figure out who Tulpa is lol. And I had to look up Kosher Coke lol. I gotta admit though coke with sugar over corn syrup is better anyway. I also thought you meant the drug not the soda lol, which make me want to ask “Isn’t coke already Kosher???”

        Seriously though can someone educate me on who is Tulpa, I would appreciate link if you have it (tried googling it, no avail).

        1. https://reason.com/blog/2013/05…..nt_3754524

          If you are Tulpa, have fun reading about yourself again. If you’re not, this is Tulpa. Have fun.

        2. Tulpa is a troll here who uses a bunch of different handles. He’s annoying, and terrible to argue with. He will make his presence known if you stick around. The “you’re tulpa!” Meme comes from thrown accusations of people who comment here ‘slipping’. He sometimes starts a handle that’s normal or libertarian and months later it’s revealed that it’s tulpa. He’s argued against himself several times using twould handles at once.
          TLDR were all tulpa sock puppets. Tulpa.

          1. Ahh I gotcha, okay. Well just so you know these are the names I go by online, and you can google them. William Meador, Kai Molan, and an old gamer name WolfMoonstrike, though I suppose not that old since my current twitter is @WolfMoonstrike lol.

            I’ve met these sort of trolls before. Sorry that you have to deal with such a person, even if he does seem to be from a similar camp.

          1. Careful not to step in the Tulpa!

          2. Just because creating a new handle and then masturbatorily asking about himself is classic Tulpa narcissism doesn’t mean that every new commenter who asks about Tulpa *is* Tulpa.

    3. I despise people with an anti war sticker and an Obama 2012 sticker next to each other on their car.

      1. Agreed, it makes me so angry that my Aunt who said she was Pro-Peace vote for him again even after I pointed out his transgressions. All out of fear of Mitt Romney, who (Let’s face it) isn’t really all that different than Obama, other than being less charismatic and bit more prone to putting his foot in his mouth.

        1. Exactly. If they wanted, truly wanted, the wars to end they wouldn’t have voted him back in. They are either lying about caring about wars, or idiotic.

    4. Indeed. Most Democrats are only against -declaring- wars because it creates a paper trail of blame. They give no shits whatsoever about the effects of said ‘little wars’. At least with most Republicans they don’t pretend to be anything except war mongers: It’s written right there on the label in bold-face print in twelve different languages.

      1. Yeah but Republicans lie about being limited-government, and don’t really have a problem with Republican sponsored socialism. So I mean really not much better on the truth department.

  8. OT but hilarious: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tec…..robot-wit/

  9. Wasn’t this shitbird just paling it up with Raoul Castro? Photographed in front of a Che portrait?

    He isnt upset about the human rights record of the Lonardi government. He is upset that Peron was a lefty and got thrown out of office.

    If he could do something to be more detestable I dont know what it would be. Fuck everyone who voted for the piece of shit.

    1. He’s talking about the Videla regime that replaced Isabel Peron, not the one that replaced Juan Peron in the 50s.

      1. Oh. Same thing.

        I guess I should break the rules and actually RTFA before commenting.

  10. Will some future president go there one day and sort-of-but-not-really apologize for U.S. support for the murderous House of Saud regime when it’s finally, inevitably, overthrown?

    President Camacho isn’t going to care enough.

  11. The same Isabel Peron who embezzled from state charities and fought extradition from Spain on charges of making inconvenient people disappear? Damn shame we didn’t support her more.

    1. One can think that Peron was a bad woman and still think supporting a coup and military junta wasn’t the right thing to do. The junta is the same regime that ended up attacking a major US ally during the Falklands War. You don’t have to be an anti-American leftist to disagree with that (now maybe Obama really thinks Peron was a great lady and just hates the US. You can call out his hypocrisy without defending the military regime).

      1. One can think that Peron was a bad woman and still think supporting a coup and military junta wasn’t the right thing to do.

        Which is all too clear when we’re accused of loving Pinochet.

      2. Sounds like we did the right thing – stayed out of the business of Argentina and their revolving coups. Then let the British beat their ass.

        The good thing about Peronist economic policies is that they have left the country so broke they literally cannot afford a military capable of threatening their neighbors any longer.

        1. “stayed out of the business of Argentina and their revolving coups”

          Yeah, good thing we did that!! It’s not like we built a school and gave them free military training or anything like that. Clearly nothing like THAT happened. It would have been equally absurd if we taught the people at said school that military coups were morally justifiable and gave them lessons on how to torture people. It would have been really bad if we had done something like that!! A good thing we stayed out of their business entirely.

          Oh wait, the US Army School of the Americas was a thing, wasn’t it??

          1. Correction:

            I was wrong. It is STILL a thing. My use of past tense was in error.

            1. I think a more thorough reading about SOA would discussion anyone of bottoms that it is somehow a school setup to deliberately teach soon-to-be-dictators/terrorists on not just planning and staging coups, but also on how to expertly control said population after takeover utilizing torture.

              Such as a total of 65 people graduated in 2015 – from 13 nations including from Canada and the US. And in one case, a so-called SOA trained reporter was found to have taken a single class on radio communications. BudgetFY2010 14 million.

              So claiming such a small number of trainees, some being taught only minor military skills over very sorry periods of time, combined with minimal budget and training people from multiple countries…

              Calling this material aid and acting as if it represents enough support to rewrite continental history only makes sense if one also assume the US can perfectly select students most likely to be fully functional and capable military and societal leaders, who are also completely motivated for the exact reason the US wants.

        2. It’s true. They’re so hilariously broke they still haven’t rebuilt their Air Force – and their Navy (mostly kept safe in port after they realised how hopelessly inadequate their ASW was against SSNs) has gradually withered away.

          1. When Kirchner visited Europe, she had to lease a plane because the creditors she stiffed would have repossessed an Argentinian owned aircraft.

        3. The US didn’t stay out of the business in Argentina. That’s the whole point.

      3. The problem is that it becomes a sort of political confirmation bias. When you rightly condemn the horrible actions of those on the opposite end of the political spectrum, while ignoring or at least glossing over those on the same end, that’s not insight, it’s just hypocrisy. Our presidents LOVE military backed coups when it puts the “right people in charge,” and Obama has been enthusiastic in continuing the policy. Ironically, of the remaining candidates, only Trump seems to be one who might actually think twice about it.

        When a guy in a Che shirt rants and raves about Pinochet, the takeaway shouldn’t that the guy is right about Pinochet being a vicious asshole. The takeaway should be that the guy doesn’t really mind vicious assholes as long as they’re HIS vicious assholes. That’s fine if that’s what you truly believe, but at least own it.

        1. I think it’s perfectly fine to condemn Obama’s hypocrisy on this issue. I’m talking more about the people who think criticizing the US government’s support of Argentina’s military dictatorship means you’re a Peronist or you hate America.

          1. I think part of the problem is, we already know Obama is a Peronist who hates America, regardless of recent commentary

    2. Riiiiight.

      The only decisions we had was to give military support to one evil side, or give military support to another evil side. There was totally NO WAY we could just not give anyone support. This is AMERICA. We need to pick sides even when both sides are a blatant evil!!

      1. Holy shit…

        Mind. Blown.

      2. Staying out of all fights is as idiotic as getting into all fights would be.

        So the question isn’t a simplistic, “Can’t we just out?”. The question is wether we have an interest in the outcome.

        Disclaimer: Not saying we have/had any interests in this particular area to make intervention a good idea, only saying that bumper stickers like “War is not the answer” and platitudes such as “why must we take sides” are wrong be default as they outside an answer without facts and context.

        IE – War is not the answer is equally as stupid as War is always the answer.

  12. In addition to whatever else has been said about Obama, it should also be added that he is woefully incompetent.

    He’s still incompetent.

    Exhibit 5,187: Obama’s interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic.

    Goldberg: “What if Putin were threatening to move against, say, Moldova?another vulnerable post-Soviet state?”

    Obama: “People respond based on what their imperatives are, and if it’s really important to somebody, and it’s not that important to us, they know that, and we know that”.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/mag…..ne/471525/

    Shultz: So long, Moldova!

    Even if Obama believed that, why would he say it?

    What is the upside of saying such a thing, when all signs point to Putin wanting to do the same thing in Moldova that he did in Ukraine? There is no reason for Obama to say that ahead of time!

    Even if you agree with that policy, even if you think that’s the right policy, why would you say that to Vladamir Putin ahead of time?

    Obama walks past a hundred interns every day that are smarter than he is.

    1. The twink has scrambled shit for brains. He was indoctrinated with leftism and useful idiocy from birth by his America hating mother and family. He never had a chance because he isnt one of the smart types that see through the shit they are fed when they are young.

      He walks past a hundred squirrels and gophers on the white house lawn every day that are smarter than he is.

      1. He always gets in trouble when he goes off script.

    2. I only have to read, what, one paragraph into that article to read the name Ben Rhodes. Ben Rhodes, one of Obama’s closest national security advisors, is nothing more than a fucking failed would-be novelist who then wrote papers for Lee Hamilton for 5 years before getting hired by Obama a speechwriter. He has zero fucking business advising anyone about anything other than writing speeches.

  13. remarked on U.S. support for the regime that replaced Isabel Peron after a coup 40 years ago.

    Which would be a different coup than the one that got the Peron’s into power in the first place. Argentina’s history is a long sordid list of coups.

    I know the Peron administration is beloved in this country for its glamour and progressive labor policies, all while explicitly providing support to former Nazis.

  14. “And what about the human rights violations the U.S. enabled with policies like its 2011 intervention in Libya? It’ll have to be left for future generations to express regret about?for now the Libya legacy, such as it is in the U.S., is a potential political liability for the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton, the former cabinet member running for president, so don’t expect any introspection.”

    Yes, if only it weren’t for Obama calling on the Libyan people to rise up against Qaddafi, they’d still be living in paradise.

    Actually, the Libyan people were already in a state of civil war, and the French, British, and Qataris were going in with us or without us. Whether the Libyans would have succeeded as quickly, or whether they would look even more like Syria today is an open question.

    But whether the Libyan people would have continued the rebellion against Qaddafi with the assistance of the British, the French, and the Qataris and without our assistance is not an open question. Obama was dragged into that fight reluctantly. He even resisted calls from Congress to send in ground troops. What he did, he may have done in the hope of preserving his image as the leader within NATO. It wouldn’t have looked good back home if our allies started fighting wars without Obama, now, would it?

  15. Regardless, if the Libyans of the future are someday grateful to Barack Obama for saving them despite all the carnage of the aftermath–sort of like how many of us are grateful for the sacrifices of the American Revolution despite the carnage of the Civil War–then their gratitude will be misplaced.

    The Libyan people would have risen up without us.

    The British and the French would have provided air support without us.

    The Qataris would have invaded on the ground without us.

    Barack Obama is a shithead, but he isn’t any more responsible for everything that goes wrong in this world than he is for everything that goes right. The future of the Libyan people was, is, and always will be in the hands of the Libyan people–not Barack Obama.

    1. Barack Obama is a shithead, but he isn’t any more responsible for everything that goes wrong in this world than he is for everything that goes right.

      The ultimate irony of Obama is that he was elected as a ‘different kind’ of candidate. All the Hopey-changey marketing… and yet in the end, he’s been a remarkably unremarkable president. A mainstream and inside-the-beltway thinking as you can get.

      And the DC types scratch their head over the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders is a reaction to Obama.

    2. He is responsible for dropping bombs on Libya without congressional authorization. He dropped bombs, he gets to share in the blame.

      And it’s pretty rich that Mr. Hopey Changey Leader of the Free World and Lead Sled Dog for NATO doesn’t have enough stroke to get France and Britain to refrain from assaulting a North African nation that poses no threat to their national survival.

      1. He gets to share the blame for what?

        For what happens to the Libyans?

        We should judge him based on whether what he did was in the interests of the United States.

        Not whether what he did was in the best interests of the Libyans.

        The best interests of the Libyans is up to the Libyans.

        To me, giving Obama the blame (or credit) for Libya is like giving Obama credit for the recovery after the recession. The economy came back despite Barack Obama–not because of him. If you’re not going to give him any credit for things that would have happened without him, why give him the blame for things that would have happened without him?

        Obama is a shithead for so many things he’s actually done that made things worse. Why not pick one of them?

        1. giving Obama the blame (or credit) for Libya is like giving Obama credit for the recovery after the recession.

          What recovery?

          1. Ken is off his meds again.

              1. GDP includes government spending, and as such is a piss-poor metric of economic health.

                How’s that workforce participation rate going?

        2. Wasting American money on a pointless war that enraged our enemies and gave our enemies a new place to colonize and set a precedent for the president gaining the power to wage war without Congressional declaration whilst helping to topple a timid dictator who complied with every security-related demand the US leveled against him somehow DIDN’T negatively affect Americans??

          Oookay then. Silly me, I thought we lived in a world where bombs cost money, our enemies held long grudges, and removing the checks and balances from a constitution weakened the whole of the Republic.

          What other things can we do without consequence in this amazing fantasy world??

          1. The question was whether Obama is responsible for the state of chaos in Libya today.

  16. The dynamic is to stir up trouble in a foreign country, forcing a wave of migration to your own, which you can exploit for cheap labor. Which after a couple decades realize that it was actually an ‘invasion’ and they must all leave immediately and we must ‘build a wall’ because we simply cannot trust ourselves to resist the temptation of cheap labor and providing overly generous social services. In the same way we support Saudi Arabia, which funds and staffs ISIS, which forces Arabs out of their homelands, which provides cheap labor to Europe, who now suddenly realizes they are an ‘existential threat’ and ‘World War III’ and must impose a police state where the vulnerable minority can now be abused and exploited for fun and ratings. And of course, if we let any of them in, it will surely be our own undoing.

  17. “Where reflections on the errors of past policies don’t offer any lessons for today’s destructive policies, to the domestic audience they are largely hollow.”

    Well, as Hollow Man, the President plays to his strengths.

  18. Obama loves apologizing for things he didn’t do. I’ll be damned if I’ve ever heard him apologize for one of his own actions, though.

    1. You win the day. If I were not a compulsive commenter I would retire for the day.

    2. +1 apology.

    3. He’s apologized for not adequately explaining his policies to us.

      1. No he was explaining that we were just too stupid to understand him.

  19. let’s see so:

    Military intervention against dictators = collateral anything + eventual result are all US’s fault.
    Trade with dictators = regime’s abuses are US’s fault.
    Embargo’s against dictators = economic hardships are US’s fault.

    Think I’m starting to see a pattern.

    Seriously, though, I guess there is some middle ground in there still. How about free trade but with a regular and stern finger-wagging directed at them?

    1. Seriously, though, I guess there is some middle ground in there still. How about free trade but with a regular and stern finger-wagging directed at them?

      Then we’re “Not doing enough” and “financing the regime”

    2. Argentina got AID, not TRADE. Giving someone free shit is not an exchange of goods. Giving people stuff at a discounted rate because it serves your political interests isn’t either. We trained their soldiers for FREE. That DOES kind of make the skill level of their soldiers the US’s fault, now doesn’t it??

      1. “Yes, the United States had a history of ignoring human rights violations perpetrated by its allies, particularly during the Cold War. But it’s also doing so today. Regimes like Saudi Arabia rely heavily on lucrative arms deals from the United States. Will some future president go there one day and sort-of-but-not-really apologize for U.S. support for the murderous House of Saud regime when it’s finally, inevitably, overthrown? Or will U.S. support for the Saudi regime mean that we’ve helped destroy the room for democratic opposition and opened the door for it to be replaced by an equally or even more brutal one?”

        ^^^ “TRADE”

      2. I’m at a bit of a loss to care about helping one bad regime resist a communist insurrection. It was a well understood tactic of the communists to gobble up one country after another in glorious revolution- expanding their borders so they could infiltrate the next country and so on.

        I’m not sure what the US was supposed to do here. Were they supposed to ignore the creeping red threat until they were dealing with a communist mexican regime on the other side of the border?

        (+1 Red Dawn)

        1. +1 Domino Theory

  20. He went to Argentina to meet Lionel Messi not realizing Messi is busy playing for Barcelona which is not in Argentina.

    Now he may have to settle for Daniel Passarella or Diego Maradona or Xavier Zanetti!

    Ew! Not good enough for his daughters!

    1. Who the fuck is Lionel Messi and why does anyone care?

      1. The President’s daughters wanted to meet him but it didn’t happen.

  21. “Obama’s ease in sort-of-condemning U.S. foreign policies of nearly half a century ago fits into a broader pattern of foreign policy introspection displayed by the left recently: Note the misguided nature of a specific foreign policy from a bygone era, but draw no conclusions from them about the present day.”

    Maybe one of the reasons they can’t really be coherent on the Cold War is because although the left can talk out of both sides of their mouths like their mouths were designed for it, they can’t get past the fact that we won the Cold War–and we won it the way we did because of some of the things they’d have to criticize.

    No doubt, we made mistakes, and pragmatism can be an ugly thing–but then so were billions of people living under communism and so was America living under the constant threat of communist aggression.

    1. On this we agree. It’s easy to forget 25 years after the fall of the Soviet Union how different world politics was during the Cold War, when the first and foremost concern was stopping the spread of communism. That concern led to a lot of alliances with unsavory types, and a lot of moral compromises.

      I don’t understand foreign policy today, it appears to mostly be a series of random acts. Maybe that’s our strategy – scare the shit out of everybody by acting in a chaotic manner.

      1. Wasn’t part of Nixon’s diplomatic strategy to confinve the Soviets he was just crazy enough to fire off Nukes?

      2. Speak softly out of both sides of your mouth and carry the nuclear football

  22. Since we’re on the subject of Messi, for soccer fans eyes only. Baggio hooks up with old friend Guardiola and meets Messi:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij-n7SPoNIc

  23. Obama only supports evil dictatorships for all the right reasons. It’s different when he does it.

  24. Wow, the Bush rednecks are piling in the comment section on this thread. Suthenboy must be having a family reunion down in the bayou.

    1. That’s your best shot? Carb-heavy lunch, huh? Maybe a nap would get you ready for the PM links.

      Suthenboy must be having a family reunion down in the bayou.

      I would totally go to that. Suthen, how about it?

    2. Hey Weigel! Speaking of Bush, how many total delegates is he now up to anyway?

      1. ’bout 8% of the total?

        600? No, wait, that is the current price of an ounce of gold, right?

        20? No, that is the # of $ he didn’t pay off on his “you lost everything, asshole” bet.

  25. Weird that everyone is acting like this is somehow equivalent to allowing trade with Cuba.

    Our “support” for Argentina involved giving them FREE military training. That’s fairly different then trading goods and services. And YES, if you give dictatorial maniacs FREE MILITARY SUPPORT, you kind of are responsible for the level of power they have.

    Acting like giving away free shit is the equivalent of a business transaction is stupid. Taxpayer money went to fund the military training of a foreign dictatorship. How does anyone think the US did nothing wrong here??

    1. Yes the US should have sat idly by while country after country fell to Communist Dictatorships.

      Sorry, but I’m not too broken up about this. Sometimes you really ARE confronted with a greater evil. And Communism was the greater evil. It was expansionist and clear in its goal to create a worldwide political system. Seeing what happened in Vietnam, Cambodia and China- as well as the track records of the Sandinistas and other communist insurgents in South America, it seems that propping up some dictatorships may have been the best option for the US as well as the people of those countries. Shrug.

  26. NATO helped overthrow Qadaffi – not the USA. The Peanut Gallery can’t seem to grasp that.

    And Obama has never apologized for any US military mistakes – not even the Bushpigs mistakes. Wingnuts only CLAIM he apologized.

    He did say we acted “arrogantly” – which is the understatement of the century.

    AXIS OF EVIL, BITCHES!

    1. The US was not the only partner in Afghanistan (which also involved NATO, as ISAF) or Iraq, either. But nobody would be so stupid as to suggest we weren’t the leading force.

      The same is true of Libya.

      1. Nobody would be so stupid? Isn’t the post you’re replying to prime evidence that, yes, there absolutely are in fact people stupid enough to say so?

        1. tarran remains convinced that whatever else “Palin’s Buttplug” is, a sentient human being it is not

  27. ” And we’ve been slow to speak out for human rights ”

    Says the prez who just schooled the Cuban dictators on human rights.

    Oh, wait…

  28. Obama Denounces U.S. Support of Dictatorship Forty Years Ago

    Days after his public tour to celebrate the Great Castro Bailout.

  29. The United States was “too slow” to speak out about human rights abuses in Argentina. It sounds like Obama never heard of Patt Derian. (Believe me, the Argentines heard of her, and from her.)

  30. sometimes dude you just have to roll with the punches.

    http://www.Anon-Net.tk

  31. Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize for exactly this sort of empty apologetic speech-making. It is kinda his thing.

  32. obama so dumb when you stand next to him you hear the ocean!

    obama so dumb he hears it’s chilly outside so he gets a bowl

    obama so dumb he got locked in a grocery store and starved!

    obama so dumb he got hit by a cup and told the police he got mugged

    obama is so dumb not even Google could translate him.

    Obama so dumb he tried to climb mountain dew

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