Sometime last week, an RQ-170, CIA operated drone crashed, landed in, or was somehow hijacked by Iran, and they have been gleefully showing it off since.
As reported in the BBC and elsewhere, President Obama, in the course of a Monday press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that the U.S. has asked for its wayward drone to be returned. You know, like you might ask a grumpy neighbor to give you your ball back. When it comes to dealing with our enemies and adversaries, this administration’s playbook appears to be “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”
As the President is rather busy, he perhaps had not been informed that Iran had already said that it was not giving the drone back, and in fact intends to reverse engineer the fallen spy-craft and then mass produce it. This may overstate their engineering and industrial capability, but Iran competing with Israel on the international arms market would be better than the apocalyptic scenario the Islamic Republic is currently pushing. This was reported by ABC and Al Jazeera, among others. We all know the daily intelligence briefing the President (and this has been the case for quite a while, long before Mr. Obama took the job.)receives is just a rehash of what is on the networks, but one would think the collators could be a bit more timely,
CNN quotes Iran’s Fars New Agency reporting that on Sunday, Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of Iran’s military said”No nation welcomes other countries’ spy drones in its territory, and no one sends back the spying equipment and its information back to the country of origin.”
Hossein ( a variant of Hussein) Salami! How great is that? I could proceed with various bend over, hide the salami jokes, with reference to the President’s middle name, but I won’t, because the general’s name, in this context, is the only thing funny about this disaster.
That the president appears,weak, ineffective, and just plain dumb in this matter is summed up by ABC’s lead in: “Obama: Hey Iran, Can We Get Our Drone Back?”
The use of drones for both surveillance and attack has been key to the president’s tactics in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, and has yielded some spectacular successes. Were he expanding this approach to Iran, he would find much support across the political spectrum.
This, unfortunately is unlikely, given the President’s ongoing reluctance to confront Iran, dating from before his lack of enthusiasm for the abortive 2009 “Green Revolution ” in the Islamic Republic.
So the question that remains is Why was the drone not destroyed on the ground( Indeed, why don’t they have a fail-safe “kill-switch’? Or if they do, why wasn’t it used?
The blogosphere is replete with accounts that Obama nixed actions to destroy, or retrieve the drone, fearing that such action would be regarded by Iran as an act of war.but I cannot find much reporting on this in what are considered reliable sources, at least among Mr. Obama’s supporters.
Typical of such reports is this in the UK Daily Mail:
A senior U.S. official confirmed it was the drone earlier today. ‘Yep, that’s it – it’s intact,’ a source told Fox News. ‘This is a big prize in terms of technology.’
Meanwhile the official added that President Obama decided not to retrieve or destroy the drone because that could have been seen as an act of war.( I know, the Daily Mail quoting Fox: must be a lie, right?)
One would not doubt that such discussions occurred, however, and the question remains: why was nothing done? Similar reports appeared at the time of Bin Laden’s killing, but whether or not the President was reluctant to make the call, he did give the word.
On the Internet, those who see President Obama as a Fanon style-anti imperialist, and /or jihadi sympathizer closet Marxist Internationalist Manchurian candidate go so far to say the drone drop might have been a set up. or at the very least, the President simply doesn’t mind much if Iran gets a break
Newt Gingrich was called a racist for Saying the President’s world view derived from his Kenyan roots, but it is difficult to explain both his actions and lack of action with out reference to his origins and upbringing: An African socialist father( for more on African socialism,look into Julius Nyere) advocating taxes of up to 100 per cent of income on the rich, a mother who saw much virtue in the developing world, and little in America, and grandparents who were decidedly to the left of most in their native Kansas.
In a conflict with non-western nations, Obama will almost always give the benefit of the doubt to the victims of long gone imperialists, with the Usama takeout a salient exception.
The President has demonstrated that he does not fear war. He was willing to bomb Libya, ruled by a regime with which we had had amiable relations for some, time, because he thought it would benefit the Libyans. He was not willing to bomb the drone on the ground because that would have been of no benefit to any party other than the U.S.
Mr Obama is not a Manchurian candidate, but a product of his background and our universities,. He has no grand plan, as many fear, to “take down: the U.S. ” At best, he does not see America as a discrete entity, distinct from the world which he wishes to heal,
Although I oppose almost everything this President does and thinks, at times it is possible to feel sorry for him. Historians may well cast him as a tragic figure, someone whose very nature precluded him from being the post racial ,non-ideological unifier that the country wanted him to be,
Mr. Obama is among us. but the cannot be of us.
( For a detailed look at Mr. Obama’s background, see Dinesh D’Sousa’s “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.” A caution, however: this work is not up to the standard of some of Mr. D’Sousa’s other efforts, in my view. He seems to be aiming for an edgy, hip style that would resonate with Huffington Post Readers, and it not only misses that mark, but falls flat.)