Peter L. Bergen on Barack Obama, »Warrior in Chief«

Here’s an interesting op-ed piece on the last four years of American warfare. Peter L. Bergen, director of the New America Foundation, writes in The New York Times:

Mr. Obama decimanted Al Qaeda’s leadership. He overthrew the Lybian dictator. He ramped up drone attacks in Pakistan, waged effective covert wars in Yemen and Somalia and authorized a threefold increase in the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. He became the first president to authorize the assassination of an American citizen

… and lest we forget, he had Osama bin Laden killed in a rather daring raid. Just this weekend, the NYT reports, there’ve been new American drone attacks on foreign territory, killing three »suspected militants« in Pakistan.

Yet somehow, Obama seems to have been a Teflon president when it comes to military actions and/or accomplishments. The Right, Bergen writes, still prefers to regard him as a weakling, while the Left thus far has failed to produce the same kind of moral outrage that George W. Bush once provoked (leave that to the Germans).

That may change now.

Barack Obama is trying hard to capitalize on the bin Laden raid, starting with a 17-minute online video he commissioned, that calls his decision to send troops to Abbattobad »the ultimate test of leadership«. He followed up with a TV ad he launched this weekend:

Peter L. Bergen’s appraisals will do no harm to Obama’s attempts to reframe his presidency. Shortly after his op-ed in the New York Times, Bergen published a three-page article on the Abbattobad raid in Germany’s leading news magazine Der Spiegel, out on newsstands today, along with a book about the hunt for bin Laden, also out today. Oh, and then there is his Time magazine cover story on the same topic. This Gentleman knows how to work the press.

Earlier, Bergen called the killing of Osama bin Laden »the end of the war on terror«, suggesting that Obama brought to an end what George W. Bush hadn’t been able to finish. Mitt Romney disagrees. »The killing of Osama bin Laden was a landmark in the struggle for which President Obama deserves credit«, he writes on his Web site. »Much more, however, remains to be done.«

O.K., but where are the anti-war protesters?


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