Obama's Corrupt and Immoral Abuse of the Military
Barack Obama's decision to send American special forces to Syria is not only hypocritical, but also a corrupt and immoral abuse of his powers as commander-in-chief.
This is not a comment on his circumvention of Congress, which is something that most modern American presidents have done at one time or another with respect to military engagements abroad. Rather, in Obama's case – uniquely in American history – we have a president who puts Americans in harm's way for no evident reason other than personal political calculations.
The insertion of fifty U.S. special-forces troops into Syrian peril, whether to serve as "non-combatant" advisors or something more, has been undertaken without any reasonable hope of meaningful military success or of advancing American interests. It is simply a political ploy, so obvious that no right-thinking American, on the right or the left, ought to countenance it, including the military officers charged with executing the mission.
Were this Obama's only foray into meaningless and dangerous military policy, it might be excused as a rookie mistake or a well-meaning misapplication of power. But Obama has been president for seven years, and he has consistently abused the American military in ways that violate accepted principles of warfighting and application of power. In Afghanistan, Obama senselessly surged American forces and sent soldiers and Marines into some of the toughest fights of the war, with haphazardly selected force levels and without any plan or commitment to stick it out or produce a victory. The deaths and maiming of thousands of American troops in Afghanistan during Obama's watch is a stain on his presidency.
Obama's more recent decision to maintain a residual American force in Afghanistan, again with a randomly chosen strength suited to political calculations rather than military necessities, shows that, like an absolute monarch, he has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
In Libya, leading from behind, Obama sent American aircrew to arbitrarily bomb that country without serious consideration for the consequences, either long-term or short. The result was the murder of an American ambassador, those charged with protecting him, and a scandal that would have, in an honest administration, resulted in the removal, for cause, of the secretary of state.
In Iraq, Obama squandered a hard-won military victory. With the stroke of a pen, heroic troops, including thousands of fallen, who fought in a just war, saw their efforts discounted and their accomplishments destroyed. Military members are willing to sacrifice. What is harder is accepting that sacrifices are in vain.
That profound error of military and diplomatic policy in Iraq was made only to advance Obama's personal political agenda. Backfiring, this policy has so embarrassed the president and his party, and so destabilized the Middle East, that Obama, at the urging of advisers, announced the dispatch of the special forces troops and the redeployment of aircraft to bases in Turkey.
But this effort is without military justification or merit. Obama is going through the motions to deflect political criticism of his leadership. Special forces troops and air crew will put their lives at risk to cover for the president, with little or no chance of making any meaningful difference in the military/political disaster that is Syria. Their dispatch, without sound military rationale, is corrupt and immoral.
In this, Obama is arguably worse than the most cold-blooded captains who have shed the blood of their men in history, or even in fiction. These men, real or imagined, who engaged in seemingly senseless fighting, in vainglory or out of a misguided sense of martial responsibility, at least, despite flaws of character or stupidity, also pursued goals out of national interest, seeking victory.
Generals in World War I sent millions to their deaths in what today appear like senseless charges into no man's land, but for the most part, these men, while often befuddled, unimaginative, and callous, acted in legitimate pursuit of national goals, and in the belief that national and martial honor was at stake. At Normandy, Dwight Eisenhower sent thousands of young men to their doom at Omaha Beach, but he did so out of military necessity, and the resolve to make good the terrible losses of the first waves, in the firm belief that what he was doing was both practically sound and morally right.
Many more men died in one day at Normandy than have been lost in all the military operations carried out under Obama's leadership. Yet none of those men died in vain, or for the parochial political benefit of a narcissistic politician. Most Americans would doubtless agree that it is better that many men die in a just cause, well, righteously and professionally pursued, than a few for nothing. Under Obama, we have had none of the former – only the latter.
Even Obama's one righteous military undertaking, the raid the killed Osama bin Laden, is tainted by politics. Many such commando raids have taken place over the years, yet none that I can think of have been so associated with the political leader in power at the time, as opposed to the brave men who actually accomplished the mission. From the day the White House announced the raid, the mainstream media and Democrat operatives proclaimed that Obama, not the Navy SEALs who were actually there, killed Osama bin Laden. Shortly after the raid Obama, announced, "We got him," quite as if he had been there with Navy Petty Officer Rob O'Neil as bin Laden went down.
Compare the Wikipedia page on the bin Laden raid to that of Israel's famed Entebbe rescue operation. In the bin Laden entry, the first participant listed is Barack Obama. In the Entebbe entry, the Israeli participants are limited to the military commanders who led the raid, not the prime minister at the time. Try almost any other similar operation. The Gran Sasso raid that freed Mussolini doesn't list Hitler. The SAS raid that liberated the Iranian embassy in London doesn't list Margaret Thatcher. Only Obama, uniquely, it seems, among leaders in such situations, gets treated as an actual participant.
Obama has a tendency to micromanage military operations – fifty commandos here, a few sorties there. He also thinks he's smarter than his own generals. But at least other such figures actually wanted to win a war. Obama doesn't want to do even that. He just wants to win political points.
This brings us to the final question: at what point will America's generals say "enough"? Even some of Hitler's officers, on pain of death, could be pushed only so far from their professional training and honor before they resigned, or else got themselves fired, or shot, or hung by piano wire.
Our military officers are sworn to defend the country and the Constitution, not the commander in chief. When will they resign in protest?