War is (Still) Peace

Yesterday, Bob Woodward - American journalist of journalists - joined the chorus of the new paradigm, embracing the 'Obama the Nobel Peace Prize winner' image, and depicting the president and Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel as "soul mate[s]" out to apply what you would think was a fundamentally antiwar policy.

Of course, it will be nothing like that at all, but the facts on the ground won't dissuade beltway journalists from calling it how they want to see it.

Woodward has long mastered this art, throwing in what seem like amazing revelations from behind the scenes, and little anecdotes that make you feel like you're getting a true inside story.  But this is only a distraction, and comes off as completely self-serving when you see through the facade - or when he comes to a laughable conclusion like this one:

When I interviewed President Obama in the summer of 2010 for my book “Obama’s Wars,” his deeply rooted aversion to war was evident.

Yes, even though Obama has continued to prosecute Bush's wars, increased the suffering in Afghanistan through the "surge", bombed Libya to bits, and regularly kills people with drone strikes in at least six different countries, Woodward believes he has a "deeply rooted aversion to war".  How is this possible?  Well, Woodward seems to think that "war is sometimes necessary" - unironically quoting from Obama's Nobel Peace Prize speech - and thus it's enough that a president claims to be against it.  This is a classic form of fetishization of 'the weight placed on powerful minds, who must partake in some form of evil, and not be torn apart in the process'.  As usual, no peaceful option is ever considered - either you want to war and you war, or you don't want to war and you war.

And the usual, standard-fare apologetics that avoid the heart of the debate are everywhere:

"..the Afghanistan war has been mismanaged and the Iraq war unnecessary."

"..quagmires like Afghanistan should be avoided."

"War is an option, but very much a last resort."

Then there's this gem:

"Avoiding war is tied directly to the credibility of the threat to go to war."

..which seems to be saying that a country needs to war every now and then, so that it can adequately threaten war to get what it wants, so that it doesn't have to go to war.  Brilliant.

Throughout, Woodward uses the word "war" 20 times, but fails to mention drones, air strikes, assassination, special forces raids, or indeed any type of killing, slaughter, or destruction whatsoever.  It's all about management, policy, and a sterile philosophy which serves only to justify the crimes committed within.

All in all, just another day in the campaign to obfuscate and redefine basic concepts to the point where 'reluctantly' justifying war becomes the utmost of moral positions one can take.  In other words: Obama's America.

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