Question: What’s the difference between conservative foreign policy and liberal foreign policy?
That’s the way it looks to me, noting a few stories in the media. First, US military supplies and troops are going to Turkey:
The United States and Germany are sending Patriot missiles and troops to the Turkish border, a warning to Syria’s besieged President Bashar al-Assad.
The surface-to-air interceptors would be “dealing with threats that come out of Syria,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Threats would include Syrian strikes inside Turkey and fighting between the government and rebels that extends into Turkey.
Errant Syrian artillery shells struck the Turkish border town of Akcakale and killed five Turkish civilians in October.
“We can’t spend a lot of time worrying about whether that pisses off Syria,” said Panetta after signing the order Friday. He spoke after arriving Friday at Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, a U.S. Air Force installation about 80 miles from Syria’s border.
Despite the prospect of U.S. missiles on Al-Assad’s doorstep and a weakening regime, U.S. intelligence officials said the Syrian leader is showing no signs of giving up.
The second is that American drones are engaging in a despicable tactic known as a “double tap,” where they come back and fire at a target again…and hitting emergency responders:
Late in the evening on 6 June this year an unmanned drone was flying high above the Pakistani village of Datta Khel in north Waziristan.
The buzz emitted by America’s fleet of Predators and Reapers are a familiar sound for the inhabitants of the dusty hamlet, which lies next to a riverbed close to Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan and is a stronghold for the Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur.
As the drone circled it let off the first of its Hellfire missiles, slamming into a small house and reducing it to rubble. When residents rushed to the scene of the attack to see if they could help they were struck again.
According to reports at the time, three local rescuers were killed by a second missile whilst a further strike killed another three people five minutes later. In all, somewhere between 17 and 24 people are thought to have been killed in the attack.
The Datta Khel assault was just one of the more than 345 strikes that have hit Pakistan’s tribal areas in the past eight years but it reveals an increasingly common tactic now being used in America’s covert drone wars – the “double-tap” strike.
More and more, while the overall frequency of strikes has fallen since a Nato attack in 2011 killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and strained US-Pakistan relations, initial strikes are now followed up by further missiles in a tactic which lawyers and campaigners say is killing an even greater number of civilians. The tactic has cast such a shadow of fear over strike zones that rescuers often wait for hours before daring to visit the scene of an attack.
This is a foreign policy of peace?
I ask because, throughout the first decade of the 21st century (the “Naughty Oughties”), conservatives were all gung-ho for war and taking the fight to our enemies, being hawks (more appropriately, “chickenhawks,”) while liberals were for peace, and finding alternatives to fighting, being doves. At least, that was my perception.
But it’s painfully obvious now that conservative foreign policy is really liberal foreign policy, and vice versa. Both “sides” are fully engaged in the culture of war and death, and make no moves to escape from it. I know others have driven this point home numerous times, but it remains to be said: There is no difference between the parties.
Obama should turn his Nobel Peace Prize in. This man is no president of peace, not when he orders drone strikes around the world at emergency responders—which I shouldn’t have to remind anybody is a war crime.
Tell me how we are not living through Bush’s third—soon to be fourth—term here.