Susan Stamper Brown

The response to president Obama's October 14, 2011 announcement that U.S. military boots were on the ground in Africa to assist in another "overseas contingency" "non-war" operation in Africa is another example of the left's ever-evolving definition of war based upon which political party is in control.

Even more troubling is statements made on film by activists/lobbyists who claim they influenced Obama's decision to send troops and claim they received a "heads-up" call from the White House letting them know boots would soon be on the ground in Africa. The video can be viewed online at The implication is the activists had a direct line to an administration that is more than willing to do their bidding. But interestingly, with Obama, activists seem to find a savior, when only a few short years ago; President Bush was clearly a target for their venom.

Overall, it seems the Cindy Sheehans around the country have been missing in action and conveniently lost their voice sometime in early 2009. Most have remained relatively quiet during recent troop surges, drone attacks, the assassination of a U. S. citizen (Anwar al-Awlaki), Gitmo's non-closing, and military intervention in Libya.

The president was one of them once. Doing what anti-war activists do best at an anti-war rally in 2002, Obama admitted Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, "butchers his own people" and "developed chemical and biological weapons and coveted nuclear capacity," yet reasoned Hussein was "no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors."

I suppose that analysis makes sense if you set aside certain facts surrounding Hussein's reign of terror such as village razing(s), kidnappings, tortures, rapes, gassings and executions of Iraqis. Nor should one forget that Bush's wars were waged with Congressional approval. Even still, Obama defined the Iraq war as a "dumb war" because at that time he believed our military should not be in the business of disposing of disreputable dictators.

But that was then, and Barack Obama was not the leader of the free world. It is astonishing what a little power can do to influence one's perception. Now, with the presidency plus a couple of "dumb wars" under his belt, he's found a way to convince feckless followers that it is morally acceptable to deploy America's sons and daughters into harm's way as "advisors" to meddle in Africa's business - without Congressional consent. Let's not forget, America's involvement in the Vietnam War began by advising the country of Vietnam.

Susan Stamper Brown

Susan Stamper Brown's weekly column is nationally syndicated. She can be reached at or via her website at Her Facebook page can be found here.