Friday, June 8, 2012

Some facts for the "Obama worse than Bush" crowd

I must admit that I am every bit as flabbergasted by those who suggest that President Obama has been worse than Bush as I am at Romney's breathtaking deceptions. The former are ramping up the rhetoric in response to recent revelations from the White House about the use of drone strikes.

As I've written before, there are deep moral and precedent questions that are very legitimate when it comes to the drone strikes. But it's impossible to talk to people who want to suggest that it comes even close to the completely immoral act of invading an entire country and justifying it with lies.

So I went to look for some numbers to provide perspective. According to the New America Foundation, the United States has killed approximately 2,700 people (militants and civilians) as a result of drone strikes in Pakistan since the beginning of the Obama administration.

Now lets talk about Bush. Remember this?

Yes, that was March 2003 Shock and Awe in Baghdad. According to Iraq Body Count, over 7,000 civilians were killed in just 2 months. They also report that approximately 100,000 civilians were killed overall during the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq.

I say none of that to justify drone attacks. But if we are ever going to have any meaningful dialogue about them, we need to deal with reality.

If a critic would prefer to make a case that war and killing are always wrong...I can truly respect that position. But it is simply absurd to claim that President Obama is doing something worse than his predecessor because he has targeted the killing with precision weapons that significantly reduce civilian casualties.

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