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President Obama's Historical Legacy: Promoter of Peace or Proliferator of World Conflict and Instability?

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historical legacies by National Park Service Digital Image Archives

How will history judge President Obama? He might have gone down in history as a president who promoted peace in the world, one whose foreign policy revived the art of diplomacy and negotiations to solve conflicts between nations. He could have proven, by his policies and actions, that he was deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize that he was awarded in 2009.

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Sad to say, Mr. Obama has not, at this point in his presidency, taken the direction that would have assured him of a revered historical legacy. He has, rather, decided to use military power to pursue America's agenda in the world and, in doing so, he has embraced the use of remote controlled drones to enforce his policies. And, by these actions, history will record that he opened the era of drone wars on this planet; or, stated in other terms, he opened the door to a form of warfare that will be almost impossible to close.

Of course, many Americans will disagree with this conclusion. They like the idea that these remote controlled vehicles can be used to go after suspected enemies rather than risk the lives of U.S. troops. And they may be correct to a certain degree. But in their excitement over this high tech military weapon they are failing to see the bigger picture and the extreme danger that the proliferation of drones will bring to all the nations of the world.

Why is it that these drones present such a distinct danger to the world? The U.S. military has possessed and used weapons that are far more powerful and destructive than missile-equipped drones; nuclear devices, bunker-busting bombs, and stealth bombers come to mind. And many Americans will remember the "scorched earth" program that used lethal, deadly chemicals in Vietnam.

The destructive power of a drone is nothing compared to those weapons but here is exactly why drones pose a much greater and ominous threat to world peace and stability. They are relatively inexpensive to manufacture, the technology is easily obtained by friend or foe. At least 70 countries already possess some form of drones and many others are developing them.

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As more and more countries amass their own fleets of drones the chances of confrontations between nations will greatly increase. Think of drones as sparks that will have the power to ignite military confrontations that could escalate into full blown wars. Drones could make diplomacy and negotiations between nations completely obsolete. A massive proliferation of them throughout the world could create a perpetual state of military conflicts and instability.

Just think of the dangers that American embassies and consulates and their employees around the world will face when those seeking revenge can so easily obtain these new, relatively inexpensive weapons of civilian destruction. Did President Obama think of that when he significantly expanded this deadly drone program? Did he give thought to the possibility that those who seek revenge against this country and government may someday use drones to attack targets in America?

Mr. Obama knows full well that many, many children have died as a result of his drone program but his spokespersons insist the deaths have been minimal. Has anyone ever heard even one word of remorse coming from this president who, just recently at a Washington D.C. prayer breakfast, stated: "Sometimes I search Scripture to determine how best to balance life as a President and as a husband and as a father. I often search for Scripture to figure out how I can be a better man as well as a better President."

He also said, "Love your neighbor as yourself. See in everyone, even in those with whom you disagree most vehemently, the face of God. For we are all His children." I can't even begin to comprehend the apparent conflict that seems to be present here. He seems to be saying that we are all the same in the eyes of God but his specific actions against "his neighbors and God's children" in other countries are in direct opposition. When Mr. Obama next searches the Scriptures he should think very deeply about what he says versus what he actually does.

Diane Feinstein, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, during the CIA confirmation session of John Brennan, stated that the number of innocent civilians that have been killed in drone attacks is in the "single digits." That is absurd, totally unsubstantiated, and is in direct opposition to the conclusions made by the United Nations Human Rights Council that has, for many years, been directly involved in determining civilian collateral damage. Its conclusions from on the ground observations and interviews indicate that as many as 1000 civilians have been killed in these drone attacks, including up to 200 children.

Think about how the media can take the tragedies that take place in this world and show only one side of critically important moral issues. Take the case of the teenage Pakistani girl that was viciously attacked by Taliban terrorists in that nation and suffered terrible wounds but is recovering. That was a dastardly, inhuman act and the terrorists who did it should be hunted down and be made to pay the price for their cowardly actions.

But now let's compare how the pitiful, pathetic mainstream media disgraces the profession of journalism by showing only one side of the issue of violence against innocent children. Why is it that the story of that young girl has been given such large exposure while, at the same time, the ongoing deaths of many, many children caused by drone attacks receive virtually no attention. Why is there concern for some children and absolutely none for others? As Mr. Obama said in that recent speech, "For we are all His children."

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Many Americans have become aware that our government has now taken steps to allow the use of these drones in the skies over towns, cities, and municipalities across America for surveillance and other police activities. That, of course, has alarmed many Americans as well as a growing number of state and city officials. However, these plans to spread drones across America may be derailed if enough cities and municipalities follow the actions of the government of Charlottesville, VA. which just passed legislation to restrict their use. Here is the link.

Another article reports that Seattle, WA. Mayor Mike McGinn has banned the use of drones by his police department. Other cities and municipalities across the whole of America should follow suit and refuse to allow the use of these drones. They should say no to further infringement of the rights and privacy of their citizens.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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