WASHINGTON — President Obama sought on Sunday to reshape the controversy over the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the fully operational Guantanamo Bay prison by asking the American people to remember that he tried really hard.
Speaking at an event for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Obama strongly touted his legacy as the only president to semantically end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and reminded the American people that he has been talking serious about closing Guantanamo Bay, “since like, the 2008 election.”
When pressed to explain the current military operations against ISIS in Iraq and a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama responded with “I said I ended the wars didn’t I? There’s no more war. What’s going on now is more like ‘kinetic foreign advising.’”
Like all presidents before him, Obama has sought to brand and message his legacy as one in line with the sweeping campaign promises he staked his candidacy on.
The Obama administration’s reluctance to call the actions in Iraq against ISIS which have claimed the lives of three US serviceman “combat operations” has angered veterans and the other dozen or so Americans who pay attention to the nation’s continuing wars.
“The third time we took indirect and sniper fire, I asked my squad leader if we’d get our CIBs (Combat Infantryman Badge) yet,” said Army Pvt. Anthony Dunn, “but he just shrugged and said the commander was going to see if we could get a pizza night in the DFAC.”
The establishment of the Guantanamo Bay detention center in January 2002 has long been a political lightning rod, made especially so following then-Sen. Obama’s pledge to close the facility beginning with his campaigning in 2007.
“Hey, this stuff is hard,” Obama said. “But every prisoner we detain on the battlefield deserves a fair trial. Just not the ones on the wrong end of a Predator drone.”
“I mean, am I right or am I right?” the president added, after high-fiving Vice President Joe Biden.