It's curious, how the Great Nobel Laureate picks his spots for being all contemplative and disturbed and sensitive and whatnot. Was El Presidente racked with doubts every time another wedding party or funeral or picnic among the wogs of the Near East got blown up? Maybe, but, if so, we weren't told about it. So what's different now?
He looked down at his text, but seemed to drift away from it. He had planned to say something about the drone strike that killed two hostages by mistake, about how the tragedy would be reviewed.
Then President Obama paused and recalled that someone had just asked him how he absorbed such awful news. “We all bleed when we lose an American life,” he said. “We all grieve when any innocent life is taken. We don’t take this work lightly.”A day after announcing the deaths of the hostages, an American and an Italian, Mr. Obama found himself on Friday at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in McLean, Va., and he was in a ruminative mood. “These aren’t abstractions, and we’re not cavalier about what we do, and we understand the solemn responsibilities that are given to us,” he told the intelligence professionals.“And our first job is to make sure that we protect the American people,” he said. But, he added, “We have to do so while upholding our values and our ideals and our laws and our constitutions and our commitment to democracy.”Rarely has a president wrestled with the grim trade-offs of war as publicly and as agonizingly as Mr. Obama has over the last six years. He wanted to get away from the messy ground wars that his predecessor waged in Iraq and Afghanistan and institute a seemingly cleaner, more exacting form of war, one waged only when there was “near certainty” that civilians would not be hurt.But the strike that killed Warren Weinstein, a 73-year-old American aid worker, and the Italian hostage, Giovanni Lo Porto, 37, in January underscored that there is no such thing as near certainty in war, even one waged with precision instruments like the drones swarming the skies of places like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The only near certainty of war is that innocents die and that presidents have to live with the consequences.
Oh, yes. The dead this time are an American, and an Italian. Take away the American, and you have to wonder: would a dead Italian, by himself, have haunted the dreams of our oh-so-compassionate prexy? I don't know, but speculation is fascinating, no? Still, one thing's for sure: another few dozen dead Moooslims don't even show up on O'Bomber's radar screen. I may as well admit that, miserable cynic that I am, I doubt that our current First Sociopath genuinely gives a rip about even the American victim. Do you suppose that, as a child, Little Barack enjoyed torturing kittens? That's the classic pattern, isn't it?