We learned last week that Israel, the presumptive aggressor in he upcoming war, won’t warn the United States before starting a war that US officials have already committed us to join. But suppose President Obama decides to start the war somewhere along the line – will he be any more likely to warn the United States before doing so?
Recent history certainly leaves open some doubts. Last week US ground troops were attacked in Aden, Yemen, despite repeated Obama Administration insistences that ground troops would not be sent to Yemen. The US Pacific Commander Admiral Willard let several cats out of the bag in reporting on US special forces already operating in five countries, including India, none of which were known to have US ground troops.
In October President Obama announced the deployment of US ground troops to Uganda to fight Christian militants, with no public dialogue beforehand, and last month announced, after the fact, that those troops had fanned out into several neighboring nations. When jumping into the Libyan Civil War last year, President Obama used a UN call for a no-fly zone as justification, and openly fought Congress to avoid ever seeking Congressional authorization.
Though President Bush was no less unilateral about his use of military aggression, in retrospect it seems that his confidence about the inherent virtue and praiseworthiness of military adventure at least kept him very public about his decisions, and invasions such as the 2003 attack on Iraq were prefaced with months of brow-beating and lying to convince the public of the wisdom of the action.
President Obama’s administration has eagerly proffered lies about Iran’s “threat” to the American public here and there over the past several years, but has done so in the context of sanctions while constantly insisting that the military option is a “last choice” and not the preferred action. Even today’s comment about “loose talk” suggests that the US decision to go to war is liable to come with little to no public discussion beforehand.
Obama has never seemed anywhere near so interested in conning the public into supporting his wars. In December 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton openly mocked the notion that massive public opposition could affect US foreign policy, insisting no amount of popular discontent would keep them from continuing to occupy Afghanistan. In this environment of secrecy the American public may well be the last to know about a US attack on Iran.