Barack Obama is already a terrible president, a war criminal who belongs in prison beside Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. He is an economic ignoramus who despises private enterprise, exalts the State over the individual, and dreams of a world in which the inert, gray, bureaucratic mediocrity of corporate-State socialism controls nearly every aspect of the education, finances, medical care, housing, parenting, transportation, employment, and behavior of everyone on Earth. We are only one quarter of the way through his sanctimonious presidency, and it is only going to get worse.
Barack Obama’s foreign policy should earn him the ire of self-described peaceful or anti-war liberals across the world, but all of the American liberals (at least, the supporters of the Democratic Party) love him and continue to defend him. Obama has continued the aggressive war, started by George W. Bush, in foreign countries that have not declared war on the United States. Civilians continue to be killed, retaliatory terrorism continues to kill many more, and young foreigners continue to become attracted to the terroristic, America-hating ideology that Obama and everyone else in Washington claim to be striving to quell. Libertarians predicted this would happen and routinely criticized Obama, Democratic politicians, Democratic voters, and the neocons for their imminent hypocrisy and warmongering, and we have been proven correct and justified in those attacks.
On January 23, 2009, Obama ordered air strikes against Pakistan by Predator drones, killing approximately 15 non-aggressing civilians, including 3 children in a country that had not attacked or declared war on the United States. This began Obama’s continuation of the bloody air-strike campaign carried out by CIA-operated drones (Predator aircraft) in Pakistan that was ramped up in September 2008 and continues unabated to this day. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reports that 708 innocents (non-combatants) were killed by drone air strikes in 2009:
Of the 44 predator strikes carried out by US drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan over the past 12 months, only five were able to hit their actual targets, killing five key Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but at the cost of over 700 innocent civilians.
According to the statistics compiled by Pakistani authorities, the Afghanistan-based US drones killed 708 people in 44 predator attacks targeting the tribal areas between January 1 and December 31, 2009.
For each Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist killed by US drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die. Over 90 per cent of those killed in the deadly missile strikes were civilians, claim authorities.
You can find a list of CIA drone air strikes carried out in Pakistan in the Wikipedia article Drone attacks in Pakistan. I was going to list them all to emphasize how bloody and counterproductive Obama’s foreign policy has been, but, as you will note if you read the news articles cited therein, those articles rarely contain details or even estimates of the number of non-combatants killed by the drone attacks. Whatever the reasons, sinister or not, the important point is that these civilian deaths are not highlighted by the media, are not stressed to the public by CIA, Defense, or White House officials, and are apparently not much concern to most Americans. Least of all the liberal Democrats who voted for Obama, continue to defend him to this day, and therefore have the blood of innocent Pakistanis and Afghanis on their hands.
They are of concern to Pakistanis, Afghanis, and terrorists and civilians across the Middle East. There is much evidence that drone attacks are counterproductive regardless of how many terrorists they kill and of the support they might receive from Pakistani and Afghani officials. For instance, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani has said, “These (strikes) are counterproductive and not in the interests of the country. I think the Obama administration will have to reconsider this policy.”
Afghanistan is, of course, more deadly for both U.S. soldiers and local civilians. This U.N. report (pdf) says that approximately 310 (one-third) of the civilian casualties that resulted from combat in Afghanistan in the first half of 2009 were caused by international military forces, which means U.S.-led forces. It is probably easier to just read the Wikipedia article. (Hey, it’s the best source for a summary of this information.) The U.N. report also concludes that civilian deaths and injuries are probably significantly under-reported because of the lack of ability to confirm many of them.
True to his promises to expand and focus the war on terrorism in Afghanistan, Obama sent 30,000 more soldiers there in December. This is another example of counterproductive warmongering that will only continue to inspire hatred, kill innocent people, and waste billions of dollars that could be spent improving our own country, something the military cannot do. He says this is a precursor to the beginning of a withdrawal from Afghanistan in 18 months (say, July 2011), so while we’re on the topic, I’ll predict that a significant withdrawal will not begin on schedule, and after it does happen and Afghanistan is controlled by its own people, the war in Afghanistan will be shown to be largely a futile effort.
The most embarrassing part of this presidency so far was Obama’s acceptance speech for his Nobel Peace Prize, which he should have rejected. That speech consisted mostly of a promotion of military force as a vehicle of peace and a justification of the aggressive interventions of the Imperial Federal Government. Chris Floyd covered it sufficiently.
Obama’s legacy will probably be written in terms of his economic policy, which has been abominable. The idiotically named American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was his huge $787-billion stimulus bill that aimed to increase consumer spending and lending when they both needed to be curtailed like never before. Reckless borrowing (debt), which fueled unwise consumer and commercial spending and industrial expansion into unsustainable projects, is exactly what caused so many people to default on their mortgages and credit cards, so many companies to go out of business, and such a high rate of unemployment. Obama’s myopic stimulus plan operated under the Keynesian assumption that the economy is static and circular, and that more consumer spending means more economic growth, and has only delayed a true recovery.
In the second-biggest economic fiasco to date (after the trillions of dollars given to undeserving, failing automotive and financial corporations), the Cash for Clunkers program was an economic failure to anyone who paid attention. Part of the problem is that the defined goals of the Cash for Clunkers program were harmful to the American economy, so by succeeding in promoting spending, raising prices, and destroying wealth (literally), the program failed horrendously.
As alluded to above, Obama’s Treasury and Federal Reserve have committed or printed a total of $11 trillion to forestall the Second Great Depression. This number is not mentioned frequently, and the individual sources or components of this total are hardly ever highlighted or discussed, even right after the funds are printed by the Treasury and given to the companies. It is possible that they actually believe printing money out of thin air and keeping failing, inefficient, unproductive, parasitic companies afloat will promote an economic recovery and economic strength in the foreseeable future. If Obama, his economic advisers, and the people in the Treasury Department and Fed believe that, then their ignorance of the basic principles of economics and even of common sense are astounding—Krugmanian, even. If they don’t believe it, which is a distinct possibility, then they are intentionally exacerbating the economic crash in order to buy some time, possibly in the hopes that another Democratic government can be elected in 2012. How ignorant and/or short-sighted. Bloomberg reported that the bailout and stimulus funds approach the total GDP of the United States.
Being too stupid and caught up in his own messiah complex to learn from the dot-com bubble and the housing bubble, His Eloquence is hell-bent on pumping up bubbles in the automotive industry and “green” technologies as fast as he can. It is unlikely the automotive bubble will ever pop because American car companies are well on their way to becoming de facto arms of the Imperial Federal Government, which will not be subject to the pressures of the free market, such as it is (though they will, as everything governmental and private is, still be governed by the laws of economics and human action, meaning they will only impoverish dollar holders more). This month, Obama announced that $2.3 billion of his $787-billion stimulus package will be rewarded for clean-energy technologies in the form of tax credits. These will go to 183 companies in 43 states. This is one of a million examples of the government interfering in the economy by taking money from people who earned it (taxpayers) or simply printing it (impoverishing all dollar holders) and giving it to people or companies for political reasons, to achieve goals defined by politicians and bureaucrats. This is not how a free society functions. This is not how a man of the people treats his people’s money.
Contrary to popular belief, Obama is terrible on issues of civil liberties, and this was even obvious during the campaign, when he voted to grant legal immunity to telecommunications companies that spied on users.
The Obama regime’s Department of Justice [sic] sided with that of George W. Bush regarding the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and anyone else the State deems an “enemy combatant.” The D.C. Circuit Court had issued a ruling agreeing with the Bush DOJ that prisoners being held in American prisons outside of American soil did not count as legal “persons” and that they have no Constitutional protections against torture, and Obama’s lawyers urged the Supreme Court not to hear the appeal of that case, meaning they support the ruling.
On October 28, 2009, Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, under the bizarre impression that hate crimes legislation protects people’s civil liberties. Oh, but the Democrats assure us the First Amendment–protection clauses in the bill will protect all of our Constitutional rights. People convicted of “hate crimes” will still be punished for their thoughts, and certain victim groups will be treated differently under the law than other victims of the same crimes, so, you know—civil liberties, Orwellian police state, it’s all the same to the Democrats.
A major indicator of Barack Obama’s ineptitude and corruption is the people he has chosen to surround himself with.
Most of my Democratic friends not only supported but lauded the selection of Joe Biden as Obama’s running mate. Presumably this was because it improved the chances of the Savior of America being elected president and was certainly not an indication of deep-seated, in fact fundamental, hypocrisy and amorality among liberal Americans. Joe Biden is a fantastic warmonger who voted to invade Iraq in 1998 and has been described as “perhaps the single most important congressional backer of the Bush administration’s decision to invade” Iraq. He is a staunch opponent of civil liberties as well. Biden voted for the original PATRIOT Act, voted to reauthorize (!) the PATRIOT Act in 2006, and in fact bragged about having authored a predecessor to the PATRIOT Act in the wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh and another sweeping terrorism bill the year before that. This moran also supports a federal ban on smoking. Biden has a long, dirty history of supporting the Recording Industry Association of America and the FBI’s privacy-invading endeavors. He is also an ardent drug warrior who was instrumental in creating the National Office of Drug Control Policy and boasts about coining the term “Drug Czar”. Joe Biden is truly a despicable human being.
Among Obama’s cronies, Biden might only be surpassed by Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who is a creepy, slimy, vindictive, malicious politician of the worst sort. He seeks the political destruction even of fellow Democrats who have crossed him in the past, he believes the State can abrogate anyone’s right to bear arms at any time for whatever reasons it pleases, and of course he was involved in former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s pay-for-play schemes.
It was expected that Obama’s nominees for Secretary of Commerce would know nothing about business and less about economics, but it was a true sign of his ineptitude that he would nominate two who were ethically challenged hypocrites who actually, literally belong in prison under current state and federal law. Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination because he was under investigation by a grand jury for influence-peddling, meaning his political donors had received state contracts. The charges were eventually dropped, but, as you should know by now, that doesn’t mean he was innocent. (Judd Gregg, the second nominee, withdrew his nomination because of irreconcilable differences with Obama, and was a bad choice for Obama anyway because Gregg had actually voted to abolish the Department of Commerce in 1995, which makes him a great candidate from my perspective but underscores the ineptitude of Obama’s team.) The third and final nominee was Gary Locke, a money-laundering tax evader who repeated the crimes of the Clinton Chinese fundraising scandal and played the race card when he was scrutinized. This apparently made him a perfect fit for Obama’s cabinet. I’ll link to Michelle Malkin for the first time, only because she covered Locke when he was Governor of Washington and she worked for the Seattle Times.
Obama’s choices for Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve Chairman have also proven to be terrible. This should be self-explanatory. Timothy Geithner and Ben Bernanke have been the primary implementers of the corporate-State socialist doctrine that large investment banks (particularly Goldman Sachs) and the American automotive companies are too big to fail, must be bailed out with stolen (printed) taxpayer money at every turn, and will ultimately better serve Geithner’s and Bernanke’s ideal way of life by becoming de facto arms of the Imperial Federal Government. They desperately cling to the Keynesian fantasy that spending = economic growth, when Americans need to save and invest, not borrow and consume. This policy will only end as Mises and Hayek predicted: with crippling inflation and more government intrusion into the economy to fix the problems it created.
It is hard to imagine how Obama could have done better at surpassing George W. Bush in the stupidity and ignorance of his selections and nominations to fill various governmental posts, but history might show that he succeeded.
His Eloquence signed two bills requiring increased energy efficiency, following the all-encompassing Statist mantra of “if you want something, regardless of whether it is desired by the people it affects, simply mandate it,” during the worst economic period since the Great Depression.
The Savior of America also appears bound and determined to inflict cruel, crippling environmental and medical-insurance policies on the United States, as evidenced by his constant fear-mongering, his blatant patronizing, his demagoguery, his terrifying speech at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, and the passage of the politicized and ill-advised health care bill. However, the Green USA and Obamacare are not realities yet, so I’ll have to save those for next year (probably).