Smile and grin at the change all around meby Clifford F. Thies The New York Times, among others, is noticing that as far as the war on terror is concerned, it's like Bush is back as President. Not only did we withdraw from Iraq on the Bush-negotiated time table, and followed-through on the Bush-plan for the surge in Afghanistan, and not only do we still have detainees down in Gitmo, but we have a secret memo authorizing unilateral Presidential action (in the case of targeted assassination of U.S. citizens overseas), and the unilateral dispatch of U.S. troops here, there and every which where based on the loose wording of the 2001 use of force resolution. According to the Times, there are differences, and there are. Although, while the Times only identifies the differences that show Obama tilting to the side of restraint, there are in fact a mix of differences. Among those not identified by the Times, is Obama's assertion that he did not need a use of force resolution in Libya in spite of initially indicating that he would need one. Under the same doctrine of unilateral Presidential war-making power, the President has dispatched teams of soldiers in many places in Africa, under the rubric of the Africa Command, of which most Americans remain unaware. To its credit, the Times includes some reactions by the ACLU to Obama's continuation of our drift - under both Republicans and Democrats - into a form of government in which the President, once elected, is not subject to any meaningful check and balance by the other three branches of government, in the area of foreign policy. We, at L-R, notice such a drift also in domestic policy. The main difference between the Bush and Obama conduct as President seems to boil down to this: Bush is not Obama, and Obama is not Bush, one of which is a good thing if you're a Republican that puts party loyalty above principle; and, the other of which is a bad thing if you're a Democrat that puts party loyalty above principle. For party loyalists, the only reason to favor limits on Presidential power is the thought that the President might belong to the other party. For us, we believe in limited government subject to checks and balances because we don't trust any of those bastards.
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again.
THE WHO, 1971