Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 24, 2013

Obama: Expect More Drone Strikes

Only one of the following headlines is mostly correct. Guess which one.

Obama restricts drone strikes overseas
LA Times
Obama Resets War on Terror
Wall Street Journal
Obama pledges new rules on use of armed drones
Washington Post
President Barack Obama defends US drone strikes - but moves to rein them in
The Independent
Obama limits U.S. drone strikes in shift from constant war footing
Globe And Mail
Pivoting From a War Footing, Obama Acts to Curtail Drones
New York Times
Obama restricts drone killings and foresees end to 'perpetual war'
Obama speech suggests possible expansion of drone killings

As usual McClatchy comes nearest to the truth. Here is the White House "Factsheet" on the "new" policies: U.S. Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations Outside the United States and Areas of Active Hostilities (pdf).

One can easily fly dozens of drones through the obvious holes in those "new" rules. I for one can think of no past drone strike Obama ordered that would not be allowed under these "new" policies.

By now everyone should know that when Obama says "A" the people will hear their preferred "B" while what Obama will be doing is "C". "A" is great rhetoric, "B" is vague content and the wish to believe while "C" will be a bad policy. Why do most media still fall for this?

Posted by b on May 24, 2013 at 14:09 UTC | Permalink


When Obama speaks, one can be sure of one thing, and one thing only. He's speaking, which he does well. That's why he was tapped to run for president. But what can we expect from a former community organizer and partial one-term senator who lacks character? Not much, and we rarely have evidence otherwise.

Obama has disappointed in nearly every field possible, besides drones. Economy, guns, immigration, Afghanistan/Pakistan, Gitmo, domestic surveillance and repression, Syria, Libya/Benghazi, Social Security, broken military -- the list goes on. We're truly blessed. /s

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 24 2013 14:48 utc | 1

Two possible choices for Obama's behavior: A. Obama is a slick hypocrite. B. Obama is a figurehead. Real authority and power lie elsewhere, perhaps at sites in Virginia and/or Maryland.

Posted by: JohnH | May 24 2013 14:56 utc | 2

Obomber reads from the teleprompter well, but when unscripted is as mealy-mouthed and unconvincing as Shrub ever was, particularly when he's lying, which is whenever his lips move.

Posted by: ran | May 24 2013 15:16 utc | 3

DB @ 1: "When Obama speaks, one can be sure of one thing, and one thing only. He's speaking, which he does well. That's why he was tapped to run for president. But what can we expect from a former community organizer and partial one-term senator who lacks character? Not much, and we rarely have evidence otherwise."

This statement mirrors my thoughts on the Obama's latest speech. Making actions match the rhetoric is the goal. Never happen. IMO, character, hasn't much to do with care takers of the Corporatocracy. His rhetoric is only meant to placate the country's sheeple, while pursuing the goals of the empire and it's minions. As stated above, " that's why he was tapped to run for president."

Posted by: ben | May 24 2013 15:21 utc | 4

Obama's adherents have a pat answer to every objection: he's being ham-strung by Congress. He's trying to do the right thing but the reactionaries are holding him back!

Posted by: ruralito | May 24 2013 15:32 utc | 5

Barack Obama, a virtual nobody in 2008, with zero professional accomplishments, became the first major-party candidate to refuse public funding for both the primary and general, a campaign for which his team managed to raise a staggering $750 million. A virtual nobody with that kind of backing? What does that tell us? And while he has been a huge disappointment to US citizens, as well as to the countless foreigners he has assassinated and otherwise harmed, he hasn't disappointed his financial backers, at all.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 24 2013 15:32 utc | 6

"...what can we expect from a former community organizer and partial one-term senator who lacks character?"

Not just a community organiser, but a follower of the cynical and manipulative Saul Alinsky.
Not just a Senator either but one from Chicago, sponsored by the most notorious machine in the States, one which has been allied with criminal gangs for decades.
For Obama the end justifies the means, sadly the end is little more than respect from the wealthy, material prosperity and a agreement to pretend that he is anything more distinguished than a greedy and empty headed windbag.

Posted by: bevin | May 24 2013 15:42 utc | 7

OT but it seems the Battle for Qusayr is out of the news. Anyone knows what happened in the last 24 hours?

Posted by: ToivoS | May 24 2013 17:22 utc | 8

Obama is and has always been the creature of the Democratic Party, from his days in Chicago as part of the corrupt city machine. It was obvious from the time he was selected that the computer programmers were at work, calculating the percentages and gearing his election strategy to say what the people wanted (desperately) to hear. Yes, it was a calculated risk selecting a black man, but all presidents are expendable fronts and with Hilary as the backup, what could wrong?

How the 'left' got taken in by this man is truly amazing but it rested on that tried and tested myth of the 'lesser of two evils'. Hah!

Posted by: William Bowles | May 24 2013 17:41 utc | 9

@8 Here is the news from AFP. Hezbullah only gets mentioned 3 times so there may be some truth to it.

Posted by: dh | May 24 2013 17:55 utc | 10

As an Iranian I can say Obama has no charisma and mo strength to govern a country ...

in best case he is a " weakling king " ...

Are you notice that he never watch his forward during all of his speech and and moving his head like a pendulum in all time ...

Posted by: a person | May 24 2013 18:56 utc | 11

8) obviously the rebels are losing badly

Turkey, the United States and Qatar called May 24 for an urgent debate on Syria at the U.N.’s top human rights body next week, citing the escalating conflict and the regime’s assault on the central town of Qusair.

“We have the honor to request the Human Rights Council to hold an urgent debate on the deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent killings in Qusair,” the ambassadors of the three countries wrote in their request to council president Remigiusz Henczel."

Posted by: somebody | May 24 2013 19:04 utc | 12

Who does Obama think is going to end up holding the bag for all this. That's it Pres. Obama, you just keep listening to the those military and military-industrial people telling you that drone strikes, indefinite detention, and torture is the way to go, and that our interventions ('when led by a genius like you, Mr President') are necessary and will advance America's interests. After all, you know all those people have your best interests at heart!

The man is a freakin' chump. His Mom made a big mistake when she let him go out without a responsible, knowledgeable adult to guide him. He's going to end up holding the bag for Bush. Good God, how dumb do you have to be to do that?

Posted by: Mooser | May 24 2013 19:51 utc | 13

"Not just a community organiser, but a follower of the cynical and manipulative Saul Alinsky."

Of course you are right, bevin. I mean who needs a "cynical and manipulative" "community organiser" like Obama, when America has the Koch brothers to guide it. And the way they've sacrificed their own wealth for America's advancement, well, it just takes my breadth away!

BTW, you wouldn't mind briefly reviewing Alinsky's crimes and depredations for us? You know, the "cynical and manipulative" ones.

Posted by: Mooser | May 24 2013 20:00 utc | 14

"I mean who needs a "cynical and manipulative" "community organiser" like Obama..."

Well, I meant to write 'like Alinsky', not "Obama". But hell, what's the difference? Both are "community organisers" which we know is just one step from serial murder. The very though of people in a community organising (except around money, monopoly or racial privilege, of course) makes me sick! Anomie is the only thing poor people deserve!

Posted by: Mooser | May 24 2013 20:05 utc | 15

What do you believe Alinsky's opinion on the bailout of the banksters would have been? Obama voted for it.
Alinsky said this in a Playboy interview late in life.
"We'll show the middle class their real enemies: the corporate power elite that runs and ruins the country."
Not sure that Obama has been much but a pro-corporate neolib.

Posted by: amspirnational | May 24 2013 21:28 utc | 16

Obama is a nihilist. A corporate lawyer executing corporate strategy for the corporate usa. has a good observation :

Obama is well aware … that the assassination program is unconstitutional and illegal, and that, as president, he is guilty of multiple impeachable offenses. As if nervous that he would be held solely responsible for these actions, he repeatedly reminded his audience that Congressional leaders had been briefed about them on many occasions.

Obama’s speech expresses the deep crisis of the American state as it carries out a violent and definitive break with bourgeois democracy. At least within sections of the ruling class, there is a fear that the state as a whole risks losing any legitimacy in the eyes of the population of the United States and of the world. This fear is entirely justified.

The loss of legitimacy will be undeniable at the collapse of the dollar. Nobody cares about anything, really, but money.

Then it'll be up for grabs. Although the 'smart money' has spent the years of Obama's reign gearing up for 'real' fascism.

Posted by: john francis lee | May 24 2013 23:01 utc | 17

@ 17: "A corporate lawyer executing corporate strategy for the corporate usa"

Yes, and this description crosses party lines. And it's going global.

Posted by: ben | May 24 2013 23:54 utc | 18

He is an arrogant tit - I feel his comments has just opened Pandora’s box, setting a legal precedence and framework (Without and framework) will just allow every man and his Dog use drones. He should have stepped back, made an 'Interpol' type solution and asked for international inclusion, and kept a ridged framework that could be accepted by all nations (Ok, the UN is not a great Org other than on paper). What he did is say, we are the USA and we do what we want if 'We' feel it is justified, even on our own people. His failure, other Nations can do the same and cite his reasoning. Anyone in Drone sales will be making a killing (Excuse the pun).

As for his second Gitmo shout, again he used his 'Ace' card; 'If congress'... Slippery legal pigion.

Posted by: kev | May 25 2013 0:59 utc | 19

Obama is nothing more than Black Bush. Bush was a drugged and drunken son of the wealthy class who bailed him out of jail and out of failing college, and planted him into a pretend career of losing other people's money. Bush was born into the role of service to the ultra-rich.
Obama was the product of a middle class dream to give junior a shot at the big time. He had to work in school (like his parents) unlike Bush, and for $20K a year, he went to school with the wealthy class, did their drugs and learned the drill - suck up and say what they want to hear.

Obama would have been a great Bush if he had a different family. He turned out just the way he wanted - he's in the club. The reason for the misleading rhetoric (it's called LIES, by the way) is that he represents the Democrats, and the way it works is you get money from the owners of both parties, but you have to say something the people like to hear once in a while to get a few more votes.

why do you guys expect anything different? by the way, Hitler rose to power by playing off socialist sensitivities and then making his own rules to keep the buzzards in power. it's really similar here, and everyone wonders how it was so easy. apparently it is.

Posted by: anon | May 25 2013 1:46 utc | 20

p.s. it made me sick to hear Obama calling Medea Benjamin "ma'am" or "the woman" or whatever over and over again. He knows her name. It felt like he was taunting someone he grew up with, which is not too far from reality. He knows that. Who knows what Americans will do, but lining up behind Black Bush like lemmings isn't going to suit them forever, and I hope Benjamin and the people don't give up. Without her, that speech would have gotten a different spin, I think. Go, girl!

Posted by: anon | May 25 2013 1:51 utc | 21

Lol, the Drudgereport(I know!) has a hilarious spoof movie poster up: The Drone Ranger with Biden as Tonto.

Posted by: ruralito | May 25 2013 2:00 utc | 22

I have a Dream! Drone!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 25 2013 2:26 utc | 23


Posted by: b real | May 25 2013 12:29 utc | 24

William Bowles @ 9 -- You say Obama has always been a creature of the Democratic Party.

I beg to differ: Obama has always been a creature of his wealthy benefactors, donors, and, well, masters. He is not a Democrat, at least not in the meaning held by the great leaders and the base of that party. He is a NeoLib Dem, if a Dem at all.

Obama ran for office in Chicago, then statewide in Illinois. The only party which would really support a black man was the Democratic Party and it had been prepared to accept a "soft" Dem for many years. During his primary run for the Dem presidential nomination, Obama drew attention because he seldom if ever identified himself as a Democrat. As the nominating convention approached, many in the party openly wondered if he would even say the words "Democratic Party." Well, he did, and then even mouthed many words which seemed to indicate he would be a Democrat in the tradition of FRD and LBJ. Except he weasel worded much of what he said, and, in private donation settings, came clear with his plan to cut SocSec and Medicare, other programs important to the party base and independents.

He is a con man.

If he's anything other than a con man, he's a Corporatist, and he has, as noted by others above, provided his Corporatist masters with excellent service and protection. Those who were malefactors with great wealth have come through the economic meltdown with even more wealth and with stay out of jail cards provided by Obama, Holder, and others enlisted or tricked into giving them the means to now legally cheat their way to more riches.

But, Obama has well and truly trashed the Democratic Party image, which had many dents from the Democratic Leadership Council crew, which includes Bill Clinton. But Obama may well have provided the coup de grace.

Which leaves Americans with...what? Where can people who need their government to help them and protect them turn?

Posted by: jawbone | May 25 2013 16:09 utc | 25

re the media, Iran and the IAEA emptywheel has a good piece today:

re Alinsky, Mooser, he was to the organisation of the poor what Walter Reuther was to organising workers. He was the business unionist of community organising, and just as the current state of the US autoworker and Detroit are an apt monument to the idiocy of business unionism, so with Alinskyism, nothing has lasted, there was of raising of political consciousness, no development of a culture of resistance. It was George Meany vs Joe Hill.

Posted by: bevin | May 25 2013 16:20 utc | 26

Well, I agree with you on that, bevin. A union should have a healthy adversarial relation with business, not a servile one.

But my contention, one I have repeated since the day Obama took office, is that Obama will end up being the one who has to account for Bush's crimes.
Haven't you noticed the decreasing degree of separation (which any loyal military officer would try to increase) between military crimes and the President?
Instead of trying to shield the Pres. the military (with Obama's chumplike assistance) is putting him out front.

I'm not saying Obama isn't all those things people are saying. What I'm saying is that he will end up with worse then nothing for it, while Bush laughs.

Obama will end up holding the bag for Bush and the neocons. He's a fool.

Posted by: Mooser | May 25 2013 17:49 utc | 27

We've gone from Washington, who could not tell a lie, to Nixon, who could not tell the truth, to Bush, who could not tell the difference, to Obama who can tell you whatever is on his teleprompter.

Posted by: Cynthia | May 26 2013 5:03 utc | 28

Obama met privately with Friedman, Ignatius, etc.

President Obama held a private meeting with top national security journalists on Thursday afternoon following his national security policy address at the National Defense University in Washington, POLITICO has learned.

Present at the meeting were Thomas Friedman, The New York Times columnist; Gerald Seib, The Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau chief; Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor of The Washington Post; David Igantius, The Washington Post columnist; Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic correspondent and Bloomberg View columnist; and Joe Klein, the Time magazine columnist.

"top national security journalists"

People like Friedman or Hiatt are neither journalists nor do they have any ideas of "national security". All of the above are zionists though.

Posted by: b | May 26 2013 18:14 utc | 29

Well, I gotta say, Obama has destroyed the last remaining vestiges of any exceptionalism I ever felt. All men truly are equal.

Posted by: Mooser | May 28 2013 18:03 utc | 30

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