If you read the article like Mr Bergen of New America Foundation wants you to read it and you'll focus on Commander In Chief Obama's EFFICIENCY at using the US Military war machine. Activeness and absent protests and lawsuits appear to be Mr Bergen's evidence of Commander In Chief Obama's success.
The main flaw in the argument is that it is based upon certain circular references - the absent of JUSTIFICATION for these actions - per the claims of "Due Process", "Permission From The United Nations" and "Anti-Human Rights/Torture Morality" - Mr Bergen's analysis seems reasonable.
If those on the left were listening, they didn’t seem to care. The left, which had loudly condemned George W. Bush for waterboarding and due process violations at Guantánamo, was relatively quiet when the Obama administration, acting as judge and executioner, ordered more than 250 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2009, during which at least 1,400 lives were lost.
¶Mr. Obama’s readiness to use force — and his military record — have won him little support from the right. Despite countervailing evidence, most conservatives view the president as some kind of peacenik. From both the right and left, there has been a continuing, dramatic cognitive disconnect between Mr. Obama’s record and the public perception of his leadership: despite his demonstrated willingness to use force, neither side regards him as the warrior president he is.
Strange it is that Bergen does not care to switch from an inspection of OBAMA and (do as this blog does) go into the gallery and look at the psychological motivations of the people who are watching as THE MACHINE is now free to do its thing.
(I didn't forget about the right wing). What relevance is it that that the right wing believes Obama to be a "peacnik" (who is also a Muslim)? Just as a friend of mine told me that Progressives taunt Conservatives as "racists" with the hopes that they will do MORE progressive actions than they would normally do in an effort prove that they are not "racists" - it is likely the case that such taunts against Obama are to a crowd that is quite pleased with his war-hawkishness.
Still this misses the point. Few people are inclined to ask if Obama - per the seat of POWER that he now resides in - had the compunction to allow the machine to do its present deeds and that the public face that was appealing to the Progressives - is now effective in CHECKMATING them.
It is my opinion that since the progressive left has so much vested in Obama and live vicariously through him - that to take a stand against him - THE STAND THAT THEY HAD TAKEN AGAINST THE MACHINE when it was doing the same thing which ran counter to their soul prior to Obama - would be counter to their real interests - the instillation and perpetuation of PROGRESSIVE FUNDAMENTALISM into power.
(Executive summary - Why is anyone surprised at any of this? MASKS have been taken off)
Why is it that the invasion of Libya under the auspices of enforcing a "No Fly Zone" a VICTORY yet not a sign that the United Nations is merely a front that must be defended against?
How is it that several raids in Somalia that killed 4 times the number of people than it rescued is a sign of EFFICIENCY rather than PSYCHOSIS (among those who are cheering yet believe themselves to be just?)
The summary point that is missed by Mr Bergen is - just as Commander In Chief Obama was given the "Nobel Peace Prize" at the front end of his presidency - for his POLITICAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN that seemed to unite the world - IF these same people who now see a track record that calls into question the merits of his Peace Prize and went into action to demand a revocation of the prize - IT IS THEY WHO WOULD BE ATTACKED by the "JingOists" for their SLIGHT AGAINST OBAMA.
For you see - there are far more people who wish to have OBAMA'S STATURE STAND ERECT - all the while their own INSTITUTIONAL INTEGRITY - that which they wanted us to believe about their moral character prior to it being tested - now stands tarnished - the fake gold leaf now peeling off to expose the plastic underneath.