According to an estimate recently released by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), in 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs in seven different countries.
As even the most pro-administration publications have noted, that amounts to 72 bombs per day – three bombs per hour – every day for the entire year. Unfortunately, this didn’t classify as “violence” worthy of criticism by Meryl Streep and her colleagues in Hollywood.
As noted by the CFR estimate, however, the figures are relatively conservative, meaning the number of bombs dropped by the Obama administration in 2016 may be much higher:
“In President Obama’s last year in office, the United States dropped 26,171 bombs in seven countries. This estimate is undoubtedly low, considering reliable data is only available for airstrikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, and a single ‘strike,’ according to the Pentagon’s definition, can involve multiple bombs or munitions. In 2016, the United States dropped 3,027 more bombs—and in one more country, Libya—than in 2015.”
Syria, the country bombed most heavily by Obama in 2016, is actually not officially at war with the United States. Sure, the U.S. is there to fight the terror group ISIS (the evidence for this purported goal is questionable at times, including when the U.S. targeted government troops that were battling ISIS). But this does not absolve the U.S. of its obligation to provide legal justification for bombing Syrian territory. Though the corporate media rarely focuses on the details of Obama’s bombing campaigns, the outgoing president is targeting countries without any legal justification other than the unjustifiably broad scope of the Authorization of Military Force, which was enacted after September 11, 2001.
The other countries on Obama’s hit list for 2016 include Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen – which is currently facing a humanitarian catastrophe.
As astutely argued by the Guardian, a regularly pro-administration outlet:
“Most Americans would probably be astounded to realize that the president who has been painted by Washington pundits as a reluctant warrior has actually been a hawk…While candidate Obama came to office pledging to end George W Bush’s wars, he leaves office having been at war longer than any president in US history. He is also the only president to serve two complete terms with the nation at war.” [emphasis added]
Some Americans are getting ready to defend the Obama administration’s trigger-happy use of bombs in the Middle East and Africa (my personal favorite rationalizations are “But he inherited the wars from Bush,” and/or “But he downsized the military a little bit and did what he had to do to fight terrorism!”). But they should bear in mind that Donald J. Trump, the wildly racist billionaire reality TV star who has vowed to “bomb the shit” out of ISIS’ oil fields, is about to inherit all seven bombing campaigns.
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