In light of the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, former President Barack Obama has just decided to end his period of silence and express his views on the ongoing hostilities. In a social media post, Obama expressed his endorsement of Israel, denounced the act of targeting non-combatant individuals, and advocated for the establishment of durable peace within the region.
While certain individuals may find merit in Obama’s expressed thoughts, it may be argued that he may not be the most suitable conduit for conveying a message regarding the moral reprehensibility of civilian casualties, considering his track record with drone operations and financial backing of Iran.
The ex-president said in a written statement on Monday:
“All Americans should be horrified and outraged by the brazen terrorist attacks on Israel and the slaughter of innocent civilians. We grieve for those who died, pray for the safe return of those who’ve been held hostage, and stand squarely alongside our ally, Israel, as it dismantles Hamas. As we support Israel’s right to defend itself against terror, we must keep striving for a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
All Americans should be horrified and outraged by the brazen terrorist attacks on Israel and the slaughter of innocent civilians. We grieve for those who died, pray for the safe return of those who’ve been held hostage, and stand squarely alongside our ally, Israel, as it…
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 9, 2023
It is possible that Obama may have perceived a potential lack of recollection among individuals of the events that transpired during his tenure as president. Consequently, he may have made a strategic decision to abstain from active involvement in the current situation.
Let us embark upon a retrospective journey using the hypothetical concept of a time machine to transport ourselves to a period during which Barack Obama held the position of President of the United States. Recall the instance when a monetary transaction of $1.7 billion was executed by him, directed towards Iran. Indeed, you possess the knowledge or capability in question. The act was explained by a Treasury spokeswoman who argued that the payments were deemed necessary due to the efficacy of U.S. and international sanctions on the Iranian regime, which has been designated as the primary global sponsor of terrorism.
Presently, it is evident that Iran has played a significant role in assisting Hamas in strategizing and carrying out a highly impactful offensive, which stands as the most severe assault Israel has encountered inside the last fifty years. Could it be said that the monetary gift given by Obama, in addition to the $6 billion donated by the Biden administration to the Iranian regime, potentially facilitated the government’s ability to assist Hamas’ offensive actions against Israel?
However, that is not the sole extent of the matter.
The reception of Obama’s remarks regarding civilian casualties could have been more favorable had he not been accountable for the numerous civilian casualties resulting from the American drone program, which claimed it was aimed to target terrorists.
Less than two weeks ago, the United States conducted a drone strike over central Yemen, killing one al-Qaeda operative. The strike was the last under Obama (that we know of). The 542 drone strikes that Obama authorized killed an estimated 3,797 people, including 324 civilians. As he reportedly told senior aides in 2011: “Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.”
It is important to acknowledge that the aforementioned figures just represent official statistics, so leaving uncertain the exact count of innocent individuals, including men, women, and children, who may have lost their lives as a result of drone strikes conducted by President Obama in the pursuit of countering terrorism.
Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the previous president appeared to be unaffected by the significant gravity associated with the mass massacre of numerous individuals. When questioned about the matter in 2016, he provided a justification that was perceived as lacking in strength.
“The truth is that this technology really began to take off right at the beginning of my presidency,” Obama stated. “And it wasn’t until about a year, year and a half in where I began to realize that the Pentagon and our national-security apparatus and the CIA were all getting too comfortable with the technology as a tool to fight terrorism, and not being mindful enough about how that technology is being used and the dangers of a form of warfare that is so detached from what is actually happening on the ground. And so we initiated this big process to try to get it in a box, and checks and balances, and much higher standards about when they’re used.”
The efficacy of Obama’s foreign policy is diminished when taking into account his rhetoric. In the pursuit of peace in the Middle East, each action and choice have significant repercussions for the individuals and groups impacted by it. The awful irony is in the thoughts expressed by the former president, who, despite being accountable for the loss of innocent civilian lives, now denounces the act of taking innocent lives in a different nation.
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