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Are you trying to make us laugh again?
Hell, no.He skipped a planned trip to visit wounded troops in Germany when he found out the press weren't going to be admitted with him, too.
I assume that this is a rhetorical question?
That's a pretty cynical question.Of course, if the answer is "no," then that's a pretty cynical president.
If you're asking the question, you already know the answer.
Hmmm. Who knows. A couple of things that can be determined with certainty, though:1)Asking this question places you beneath contempt, in my opinion. 2) Synova is lying
Obama should have known this is exactly the sort of thing that would be reported in the mainstream media.Obviously, alternative outlets like the New York Times and NPR wont say anything, but the news organizations the majority of the population gets its news from will. Obama needs to stop focusing his propaganda on a small fraction of the country and worry about the majority of voters.
Sadly, I do not believe so.
No, obama would not have made the trip if no family gave permission for the photo opportunity. He would have waited until one did.
Who knows?Wait to see if this searing experience shows up in a speech one of these days.Until then, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.His problem, though, is that there is doubt.
I'm lying about what, Monty? That Obama had scheduled a visit to wounded troops in Germany while he was there and then decided he didn't have time after all when he found out that a press circus was bad for the severely traumatized and they wouldn't be allowed?Of course he's not going to SAY that he was suddenly busy because the brass said no press. He's not STUPID.And his very first ever trip to Dover just COINCIDENTALLY is for the single soldier the family has given photography permission for?Hey, maybe his motivation was to get photographed being respectful of the body of the fallen in order to let all the other families know he cares, but his tin ear has struck again. Poor Obama.
It is not Obama's problem if people who always hated him continue to hate him and demonize his every action. Obama's problem is 51% of independent voters, and luckily most of them still retain a handful of brain cells.
Heck... maybe one of his CZARS scheduled the trip to get the pictures. Maybe Obama didn't have a clue. So he is surrounded by idiots.Poor Obama.
Obama needs better handlers.Poor Obama.
Monty:You do understand there is a big frigging difference between being wrong vs. outright lying?
So putting your mind reading skills to work here Synova - why did Obama visit troops in Iraq 5 days previous to the Germany trip without notice and entourage, and also Walter Reed without notice and entourage?
Monty doesn't acknowledge a difference. He's a lefty.
Obviously, alternative outlets like the New York Times and NPR wont say anything, but the news organizations the majority of the population gets its news from will.I see what you did there.On topic, I have no idea whether the President would have made the trip if the news media were not admitted, but even if it is the case that he wouldn't have done, I'm not sure there's necessarily a problem there. When a President shows up -- particularly this glitzy attention-grabbing President -- that's a clear intrusion on the private nature of the event, not quite as bad as the jackals of the media busting their way in, but still an intrusion. I think it's arguable that the President should refrain from transforming the event into a spectacle, unless the families involved invite him in. It would be less problematic for a President whose every move was not transformed into a spectacle (follow the gourd!). But Obama is not that President, so arguably, that restraint is entirely appropriate on his part.
Obama's problem is 51% of independent voters, and luckily most of them still retain a handful of brain cells.Fortunately for Obama, he actually doesn't even need 51% of independent voters -- the scales are slowly falling from their eyes, after all. Democrats have historically had a party ID advantage over Republicans. I think they preserved a strong party ID advantage even at the heights of Reagan's popularity. It was only in the early Bush II years that Republicans closed that gap, and of course the gap widened back in 2005 and 2006. If he holds all the Democrats, and there's say, a 35% to 30% gap in party ID favouring the Democrats, Independents can be split clearly in the Republican's favour (up to about 54% to 46%), and he can still win the popular vote.
What do you think, garage.You think it's a coink-i-dink? Hm?I don't have a clue what goes on in Obama's head. I do know that as far as military goes he's got a tin ear the size of Texas.The rest of the article was no more reassuring... detailing Obama's efforts to be reassuring. What I saw was days of labor lost on travel and speeches and flesh pressing. How does that convey the seriousness to which he is insisting he is applying himself to the problem of Afghanistan?Obama, no matter he said he considered it once, doesn't *get* the military. He probably thinks he does. He doesn't. Go watch the video up at Blackfive and see if you can imagine how good and moral men and women might find it awesome instead of horrifying. Good men, better than most, more compassionate than most. Do you think that Obama understands those men and women?
"I think it's arguable that the President should refrain from transforming the event into a spectacle, unless the families involved invite him in."I think that it's important for Presidents to observe, but without the spectacle. The military ceremony is profound and solemn even if there is no one else there to see it. The President *should* observe but only subordinate to the dead.
If citizens ask the wrong questions of Obama, they are 'beneath contempt!!!!!!!!!!!', according to Obama worshiper, Montaigne.That says all you will ever need to know about the person behind those comments.It is awfully coincidental, and reading Obama's memoirs make it clear he's basically one of the biggest assholes in the universe (please, read his books before you disagree). I think it's a valid question that the press corps should ask Obama, to his face.
Of course he would. But the real question is why didn't he simply go and NOT have a picture taken. Bush repeatedly met with families of wounded or killed warriors and he didn't allow pictures to be published. Why didnt Obama do this, especially given his previous visits to troops and his failure to visit wounded in Germany? Making a few visits without getting any press coverage buys him some credibility. So we cynics see this as him in another photo op.
My bad... here's the link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTs6a0ORdQU&feature=player_embedded
Ugh, Synova. Please spare us your sanctimony and sentimental flights about "those brave men and women." Your partisan bullshit has nothing to do with them, anyway. Spare us, please. You know, when you sign up for the military they don't check your partisan ID and they don't make you join the republican party. Blackfive may have served, but he's been a partisan hack for years. He's about as credible as me using Wesley Clarke to criticize republicans.
From the WSJ article:"Mr. Obama's predecessor, President George W. Bush, visited the families of hundreds of fallen soldiers but did not attend any military funerals or go to Dover to receive the coffins. In a 2006 interview with the military newspaper "Stars and Stripes," Mr. Bush said he felt the appropriate way to show his respect was to meet with family members in private."What is the missing piece of information here, students?Hint: It's not how many women Obama has played golf with since he became President.
Montaigne Montaigne: It is not Obama's problem if people who always hated him continue to hate him and demonize his every action. Obama's problem is 51% of independent voters, and luckily most of them still retain a handful of brain cells.Everyone has brain cells, there's no need to call people who disagree with you stupid. Does that make them more likely to agree with you?I wonder if there are independent voters. I mean, if thinking of people as existing in three groups (Democrats, Republicans, Independents) is even very useful anymore. I see at least four groups: Huckabee supporters, dissatisfied Republicans, Obama supporters, and moderate Democrats. Obama could do terribly in the next Presidential election but still win if the country's political landscape is divided between these groups.
"Why didn't he go and not have a picture taken?"If a tree falls in the forest . . .
I can't read Obama's mind, so I'll refrain from speculation on that point.I do think that it would have been politically much more effective had Obama asked the press to not photograph his visit.Think about it. All the Obamabots could have pointed with pride at how their Messiah showed such sensitivity and respect to military families.We Wingnuts would have been forced to admit that for once Obama showed some class.By allowing the press to photograph the ceremony he cheapened himself.I think we have to face the fact that our current President, when not reading a teleprompter, just isn't very smart. Certainly not as smart as President Bush.
He skipped a planned trip to visit wounded troops in Germany when he found out the press weren't going to be admitted with him, too.People should not be hard on Synova; this was a particularly sticky bit of McCain campaign spin. According to Andrea Mitchell, one of the press travelling with Obama, the press was never meant to go to the hospitals with him. They were to stay behind, lest the visit appear to be a campaign photo op.That much is clear. So why didn't Obama visit the wounded? The Obama people's explanation for not going to the hospitals was that the military viewed those visits as campaign events, which were taboo, and not as congressional delegation visits, which were cool.But Obama had already visited three sets of wounded soldiers, without media coverage, in the Middle East. So why weren't those visits taboo?
If it wasn't a photo op, why was Robert Gibbs along for the ride?
Let me get this straight: is the thought that Obama should have forbidden the press to take photos though the family gave permission? And then you would have called him a tyrant, hypocrite attacker of the constitution and the bill of rights.
I said earlier that I was willing to give President O the benefit of the doubt on this one.Then I saw the picture.Obama, you fucking weenie, just how stupid and gullible do you think our soldiers are? You depend on their respect to be an effective leader. Why the hell would you pull a trick like that when you need their respect so badly?
No, Michael. Obama could go on an occasion when there would be no photos. Or he could arrange a photo that does not have the coffin in the foreground and him saluting behind it. (Do you know just how huge that facility is?) Or he could have arranged for a photo that emphasized the soldier and not him. Or he could have asked the photographers not to photograph him. etc etc etc.Disgusting.I live in a military town. I know what the reaction will be to this.
He doesn't arrange the photos. The press pool takes the photos it wants to take. That is how the press works, in our country.
"Let me get this straight: is the thought that Obama should have forbidden the press to take photos though the family gave permission?"The press had permission to take photos of the casket and transfer. Obama could have forbidden the press to take pictures of OBAMA. They could have taken all the pictures of the casket and ceremony that they wanted.DUH.
First you said he skipped a visit to troops because the press wasn't going to be there. Then you say you have no clue what's in his head. There is absolutely no proof whatsoever, none, that he canceled a trip because of press access. Actually, DoD regs prohibit any campaigning on military bases and have news media present. A pretty sick question from Althouse, but seeing as she has gone into full blown wingnut mode, we shouldn't be surprised.
"But Obama had already visited three sets of wounded soldiers, without media coverage, in the Middle East. So why weren't those visits taboo?"Because it was an excuse.
If Bush never made a big deal out of how many wounded soldiers and bereaved families he visited, then how do we know about it?
If Bush never made a big deal out of how many wounded soldiers and bereaved families he visited, then how do we know about it?Because his supporters -- particularly his ex-military supporters -- make a big deal about it all the time.
NS Webster over at mudville gazette said it best in the comments... ""But Bush didn't position himself behind caskets for photo ops! Nor did he invite press cameras into his meetings with families of the wounded and fallen!"If that's how you see it, that's fine, because I think any CinC needs to sometimes stand in front of the caskets of the men he sent to battle...so we just agree to disagree...I personally believe Bush owed it to the soldiers - as their commander - to show up when some, not all, returned home at Dover. BUT, I'm not at all upset or irate that Bush didn't, and I don't see political calculation in that decision. He made a choice that he felt was appropirate with the situation. I have an opinion, but I'm sitting on my couch. Bush had to make a real world choice, same as Obama.And of course the hippies used it against him - "oh Bush is disrespecting the dead, oh why can't he go to a funeral, oh it's so terrible!" Which is absurd.So there's really no difference between that, and to seeing cynical intentions when Obama actually shows up. Switch the words around and it's basically the same partisan argument.You see it that Bush should have stayed in the background, despite that left-wing criticism. No problem. As long as you're consistent that Clinton, Nixon, Johnson, Reagan should also have never appeared at these return ceremonies, I have no problem with your point of view critiquing Obama. I know that Reagan was there when the Marines came back from Beirut, and I think he should have been. So, we simply disagree philosophically and we're obviously never going to come to the same position.To me, it's not a political issue. It is ANY CinC's choice of how to honor the dead, and I'll take their intentions at face value. People want to call me naive? Whatever. There's a million other things to be cynical about."
"If Bush never made a big deal out of how many wounded soldiers and bereaved families he visited, then how do we know about it?"Well, where I live the local paper ran an article about one of the families. Of course, they waited until after the election to do so. In fact, now that he is no longer president, I have seen articles about his initiative against AIDS in Africa, and the policy for the homeless that is still in place, as well as some of his visits to the families. I guess it's now ok to print favorable things about him.
So guys... coinkidink or not?You don't think I ought to speculate about the inner workings of a politicians mind (wow, is THAT rule ever going to put a damper on political discourse if it were evenly applied and not brought out for special occasions) so do you think it's a coincidence? A smart political move? An idiot move by a staffer? Press secretly out to crucify him?Because it doesn't really matter if he had a single thought at all in his pretty little head. The impression given is the same one of self-promotion and disrespect.And he spent a couple of days trying to politic soldiers into thinking he *cares* while not getting around to the necessary decision making and leadership and *work* of being the CiC.
Once is better than never. Maybe our President will have a smoke and reflect on seeing that young men are really dying in Afghanistan mountain valley ambushes so that others can live free. Visiting the scene of the accident always cleared up my confused thinking for me.
Reagan with soldiers' caskets
Monty: its Wesley Clark without the e
I prefer to give the President credit for doing a good thing.I'm well aware of how cynical politicians and politics are. It is certainly very possible he was cynical in this matter. But I prefer to give Mr. Obama the benefit of the doubt.
Oh for crying out loud, can we please affirm without any equivocation that this President and his ideological ilk have a complete distaste to an utter hatred for the military which is used as nothing more than a political prop to forward their devastating agenda of apologetic defeat at the hands of a rank incompetent novice? This isn't about cynicism. This is about having a President that is frankly to stupid to understand the nature of the problem while he tries to coddle the likes of Pakistan that is unwilling and frankly incapable of dealing with their Taliban/AQ/Lawless territorial problems.
The only relevant question in this time of war is whether the soldiers have confidence in Obama or not. Some men can lead their troops into hell, others wouldn't be followed into a Hooters beer tent on 2-fer-1 night.I have my guesses as to how he is perceived by the rank and file, but a man is either a leader or he ain't. For a military commander, Obama makes a great lawyer.
I initially mis-read that as Denver, not Dover, and was hoping for more snow talk.If he would not have gone if the family of Sgt. Griffin had not given permission for a photograph, then I'm glad they did give permission because I'm glad he went to Dover.If he would have gone regardless, I'm still glad he went to Dover.
Synova said... Hell, no.He skipped a planned trip to visit wounded troops in Germany when he found out the press weren't going to be admitted with him, too.Old campaign BS. Obama had met some wounded soldiers in several hospitals stateside. His purpose of going overseas was to meet foreign leaders and start to buff up his foreign policy credentials. He was on a tight schedule. And the military wasn't keen on supporting an Obama visit to Landsruhe as part of a Presidential campaign, since it would be impossible to stop such "political backdrop" overtones in the media.Then there is a faction that says the President should do nothing while in office but visit troops, be Healer in Chief to "wounded warriors", greet coffins, spurn foreign leaders and only go to US bases overseas, go to each and every "Heroes funeral". Ignore the rest of the job as unimportant since every minute working on the economy, healthcare, flu response, visiting State leaders...is minutes "taken away from Our Heroes" and disrespectful.Sorry, but military worshippers and those who see the President as having no responsibilities but as Commander in CHief neglect the other vast, important duties and responsibilities of the office. And, since most have never been a manager or business owner or executive...have no real concept of what other vital matters are not dealt with by over-focusing on the military obligations of the President. Or how much time it would take for "A truly moral President who should meet with ever wounded hero and meet with the families of each fallen hero, preferably at each funeral!!".Some exhalt George Bush for spending thousands of hours over 8 years meeting with "each 9/11 family, each family of a Fallen Hero he could".I don't.Bush's other duties and responsibilities he was tasked with as an executive, suffered. He badly mismanaged his time. Would that he spent half the time he did with favored Victim's Familys on other matters (0.1% of the Families of the 2.3-2.5 million Americans who died, many tragically, many in service to country - during his Presidency).What if he had allocated 1500 hours to not rendering military people soothing words or empathy, but had instead put those 1500 hours into looking into warnings that our finacial system and healthcare system were in danger of collapse unless he pushed some urgent fixes??FDR, Truman, Lincoln, Nixon, even LBJ knew better executive skills, and managed the need to be in touch with the troops vs. Bush spending thousands of hours as some personal Consoler-In-Chief.Bush II was like Carter, who ignored many things, mismanaged the limited time of the President, to over-focus on his "Iranian Hostage Heroes".Better that Obama strives for a healthier balance.
1500 hours into looking into warnings that our finacial system and healthcare system were in danger of collapse unless he pushed some urgent fixes??Honestly, I'm still not sure what kinds of changes would have staved off the collapse here. Particularly given that there was bipartisan agreement that lending money to poor people so they could buy houses was a good thing. In retrospect, unless you were willing to ban mortgage securitization -- ban Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, essentially -- it's not clear to me how you could have avoided the dominos falling.
I see a bigger picture, with the trip to Dover AFB as a small part, there in the background.What I see (more accurately: suspect) is that after a week or ten days, Obama will speak about the horrible toll the Bush wars are taking on American servicemen and their brave families.He will speak emotionally about meeting the family members at Dover, and relate how several of them begged "Mr President, can't you stop this horrible war so no other family has to go through what we are going through?"And he will say that the time has come to end the worry and suffering of the families, and that he is going to end this meaningless war in a far-off country that poses no threat to the people of the United States.And he will order a withdrawal.And many more will die because of it.
I am glad he made the trip, sorry it took him so long and frankly don't care whether or not he did it solely for the publicity. In the event he will have witnessed something first hand that should animate his military decisions going forward
The photograph, at least, was not Obama's fault. But it is by far the most backwards photo imaginable. Obama, in the background, holding a somber salute in crisp focus. The casket, blurred so that it becomes obvious who the real focus is. A funeral and it's associated ceremonies is about the deceased, not the mourners or those paying their respects. I would guess whether or not Obama viewed the procession as a photo op, he would be disgusted by that picture. It makes him, not the soldier, the center of attention in a very crass way.
@Meade (3:47), beg your pardon, but what do you mean "if"?
For what it's worth, I recall how, shortly after he was defeated for re-election in 1992, President Bush (the first) quietly visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial after midnight to briefly participate in the Reading of the Names for Veterans Day. The press was not informed ahead of time. One of the networks did get ahold of someone's amateur video of Bush reading some of the names aloud (I remember noting that the video was not professional quality). Some people are defending press coverage of President Obama's trip to Dover AFB, saying it would have been pointless without any record of it. Maybe, and I don't presume to know or judge the president's motives. I'd like to think that his reason for going was for the best of reasons: That it was simply the right thing to do.
"It makes him, not the soldier, the center of attention..."And that is exactly what he and people like Monty and Garage want it. Don't think for a moment creatures like them give a shit about our soldiers. These people are scum.
I don't think it was fair for lefties to criticize Bush for not attending soldiers' funerals, when they would have criticized him for "using it as a photo op" if he had.I'm forced to give Obama the benefit of the doubt here.Bush met privately with military families. I don't know if Obama does the same. I don't think Obama HAS to cynically manipulate the press; they fall all over themselves to make him look good.I'm not willing to accuse him of bad faith on this without more evidence. It wouldn't have been fair to Bush to do so. I was very angry for the last eight years at the media and left never giving Bush the benefit of any doubt.
Montagne Montaigne said... Ugh, Synova. Please spare us your sanctimony and sentimental flights about "those brave men and women." Your partisan bullshit has nothing to do with them, anyway. Spare us, please.I know, you were up there cheering when the Dick from Illinois and Teddy who spent the Korean War in Paris were comparing our guys to Nazis.Cram it, pal.
Somebody once said "Character is what you do when nobody is looking". We won't be able to see what he would have done with nobody looking, but we'll see what he does with the memory and images of this moment in the future.
@Gabriel, I think you summarized it for most of us.
And that is exactly what he and people like Monty and Garage want it. Don't think for a moment creatures like them give a shit about our soldiers. These people are scum.Care enough not to send them on hair brain mission across the world because some keyboard commandos like you shit their collective pants. And them keep them there for a decade driving over IEDs with absolutely no clear reason for even being there. And then voting against the GI Bill that would give them benefits for blown off limbs, brain injuries, or counseling to try to pick up their wrecked life from sitting in that shithole that the likes of you demand that they stay for an undefined empty "victory". Yea, you care.
Garage.I am a veteran. My father was a veteran. I have had people like your ilk call me a chicken hawk. I saw people of your ilk pray for a 1000 mogadeshus before we went to Iraq. I have seen the glee that you and your ilk had with every casualty that happened in Iraq. Now that those casualties can be pinned on your side, you are so concerned. You wake up every day and get to live in the richest and freest country in history thanks to people like me. You have never done anything to deserve the luxury and freedom you live in. You are an ungratful piece of shit. I have no use for or interest in creatures like you.
Iraq distracted us from Afghanistan, now Afghanistan distracts us from Pakistan...Whay is the war liberals support never the one we're actually fighting?"The images and the sentiment of the president's five-hour trip to Delaware were intended by the White House to convey to the nation that Mr. Obama was not making his Afghanistan decision lightly or in haste."If he did go for the "optics" I hope he came away with something else.
"I saw people of your ilk pray for a 1000 mogadeshus before we went to Iraq."it was actually a "million mogadishus" wished for by columbia university assistant professor nicholas degenova in 2003.
Monty: "You know, when you sign up for the military they don't check your partisan ID and they don't make you join the republican party."You think? Of course, I actually *did* sign up for the military.
I saw people of your ilk pray for a 1000 mogadeshus before we went to Iraq. .You can't even fucking spell Mogadishu for one thing, that's a dead giveaway that you're lying, or you read it somewhere on the internet. And if you served, so what? How is sending people to Iraq for no good reason patriotic? How is denying them care if they're lucky enough to return patriotic? Actually, just fuck off, and don't answer.
"And them keep them there for a decade driving over IEDs with absolutely no clear reason for even being there."So, tell Wonder Boy to either make up his fricking mind already or else bring them home! The "clear reason" comes from leadership, of which there has been none. Obama's JOB is to give our soldiers *clear reason*. Maybe seeing the truth of it (no matter that one wonders he hadn't figured out he holds actual lives in his hands when he was campaigning for the job) will prompt him to finally decide.I don't have a whole lot of hope, however, because the Democrats don't have a strong recent History of anything but using the military in a halfhearted manner, getting soldiers killed, and not accomplishing anything to speak of. If he's not going to be serious about it and provide *direction* which is his job to do, then I'd prefer he withdraw our people entirely.
A lot of us care.I just wonder why he is making such a big deal about how he is going to manage the Afghanistan war, when he has the time and energy to try and cram environmental changes which will devastate families, put us and our grandchildren into debt for trillions of dollars and demand the deconstruction of American medicine all because it is a CRISIS.(!)(Is this what might be called kabuki theater?)Meanwhile our troops and NATO guys are at risk of death in Afghanistan and their bosses want some more help.I have a personal interest. Son is in Iraq. His best friend / best man is in Afghanistan. I think our family has a better than average care reading on our meter.
"How is denying them care if they're lucky enough to return patriotic? Actually, just fuck off, and don't answer."Stop the hyper-emotive spin, garage. It's not a mystery how it works. Put a bad bill up that Republicans will vote against and then slander them as "hating troops" or... oh yeah... last week it was "pro-rape." Wow, same playbook again? Or just always?In any case... Democrats have a filibuster proof Congress. No one is being denied a thing by Republicans any more.
Ok, what was in Jim Webb's GI Bill, that was "bad"?
I have a personal interest. Son is in Iraq. His best friend / best man is in Afghanistan. I think our family has a better than average care reading on our meter.I hope you son and his friend emerge safely. My nephew got back in September, somewhat thinner, but safe. One close call (according to my sister, his Mom). That was his third trip over, but first to Afghanistan.
Like it or not, John, Garage is asking some of the proper questions.1. Why are we there? It is not adequate to say we are there because the "troops" are there and therefore we must support the war. Why are the troops there?2. If they are there for a reason that serves US vital interests, how long will it take after 8 years to achieve our objectives? 3. If we are not there for ourselves, but there to "liberate the noble Afghan Freedom-Lovers", "Free women of their Burquas", or declare that only in this of a dozen failed Muslim nations requires invasion, occupation & American blood and treasure to prevent "Evildoer sanctuary" - what is the cost-benefit to that the public will accept?4. If our logistics supply line is cut by Pakistani politics - do you support war with Pakistan's 3 million man army to reestablish it? Or would you rely on Vlad Putin to enable our war, vs. our retreat and humbling?5. With all the other significant security challenges that are present elsewhere, or could arise in the next 5 years....is it wise to be bogged down and putting our best forces through their 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, etc combat tours for a country of no geostrategic importance to the USA? Admittedly, Afganistan is of geostrategic importance to India, Pakistan, Iran and Russia (through the Border 'Stans). But not us.Paraguay is of no geostrategic importance to us, but is to Argentina and Brazil. If there is trouble in Paraguay, why should we beg Brazil or Argentina to sent our troops in?
JAL, good luck to your son and friend. My friends are going over now or are there. My time is coming. We all bitched about Iraq but Afghanistan is tougher. Altitude, terrain, the distances. I'm betting Obama bags this and tries to do this on the cheap.
Novers got her titties all in a twist tonight.I love the "coinky-dink" term.So red state and very patriotic.She really is a hack...but I love it.
"Ok, what was in Jim Webb's GI Bill, that was "bad"?"Why hasn't it been reintroduced and passed?
"Like it or not, John, Garage is asking some of the proper questions."And Obama should be answering them.Instead he's giving speeches to soldiers to assure them that he *cares* and he's taking it all *very seriously*.I'm sure everyone was vastly reassured.Look... Bush may have been *wrong* but he did express *direction*.
John, thank you for your service. You made it so me and my family can do ordinary things without wondering if our rights and liberties will be taken away.As for the Boy President, I'm wondering if perhaps he couldn't get his tee time at the golf course.
I agree with C-4's last comment.
Montagne Montaigne said... You know, when you sign up for the military they don't check your partisan ID actually you do.1. You swear to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foriegn and domestic..."2. Aeticle 88 makes it a UCMJ offense to: "“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, ... tshall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”3. It was in our code that Officers never discussed religion or politics, on or off duty.Don't project your biases and ignorance on others...
garage? Why haven't the Dems passed that bill now? Do they need Republicans to show their support for the troops? I'd like to know the answer to Synova's question.
And may God bless all of the commenters here who are serving, have served, or have family serving. I don't know whether we should be in Afghanistan anymore. I really don't. I hope whatever decision is made makes our Americans over there safer.Home or safer.
Montagne Montaigne said..."He doesn't arrange the photos. The press pool takes the photos it wants to take. That is how the press works, in our country."Monty, you need to get out a little more.
I have my guesses as to how he is perceived by the rank and file, but a man is either a leader or he ain't. For a military commander, Obama makes a great lawyer.Before advising his clients, a lawyer is trained to look for the peril in every course of action. This will manifest itself as hesitancy. Hillary is far more lawyerly than her husband, and likely more lawyerly than Obama.But the active military hated and despised the slacker and shirker Bill Clinton. I don't think they would have pissed on him if his heart were on fire. Obama at least did not start off as bad as Clinton did.
Clemanceau, in a quote engraved in every liberal's heart, famously said that "War is too important to be left to the generals". OK, but consider this: At the end of WWI, Marshal Foch, the head of the allied forces, recommended that the allies reject Germany's armistice offer and press on to Berlin.....However, the armistice was accepted. The plus side is that no American or French soldier died in the invasion of Germany. The down side: WWII. The Germans never really felt that they had lost the war. In a way they were right: the war had mostly been fought on foreign territory, and the Germans had inflicted greater casualties on their opponents than vice versa.....Nothing demonstrates defeat better than a troop of French Dragoons marching down the Alexandreplatz. Clemanceau and Wilson should have followed Foch's recommendation.....I don't know what the right course of action is in A-stan, but, as a general rule, victory is a better result than withdrawal.
William:I'm no liberal but . . . .A drive to Berlin in 1918 would have resulted in a gigantic insurrection in the French and other allied armies. No chance they could have pulled it off.If the allies tried, it could have resulted in a communist revolution in Germany. Not a good result.If--in some parallel universe--they could have successfully invaded Germany and gone to Berlin, it might have made another war even more likely. The draconian peace, Germany's political instability, Hitler's ruthlessness and a host of other factors brought WW II. Not just the sense in some Germans that their leaders had betrayed them into a surrender.
"If Bush never made a big deal out of how many wounded soldiers and bereaved families he visited, then how do we know about it?"Mothers like Cindy Sheehad came of their meetings with President Bush and praised him to the press.
This just in:Obama has given a TV interview saying, in halting and concerned terms, that his visit to Dover was " a sober reminder" of the sacrifices being made by American troops.He needed a reminder?
David: We're dealing with unprovable counter factuals. That said, consider this: At the time of the Armistice, the German armies were surrendering in mass or just evaporating. The cause was lost. The German General Staff knew this. That is why they resigned and gave the govt to the social democrats with the recommendation that they sue for peace....The peace treaty was not all that draconian. The reparations that Germany had to pay were only a fraction of what Germany had demanded and received from France at the end of the Franco-Prussian War. Keynes' book, The Economic Consequences, which promulgated the view that Germany could never recover to prosperity because of the reparations was a big best seller in Germany. It was accepted as true by the educated classes in England and America. Most economists nowadays disagree with Keynes, but that's the narrative that has passed into history. It should also be noted that liberals like Walter Lippmann also objected to the fact that several million Germans in the Sudetanland would have to live under Czech rule.....The Germans were not an oppressed people; they were a defeated people. They would have been better off learning that hard fact in 1918 rather than 1945. The fact that they did not is not solely because of Hitler. Hitler propogandized liberal lessons.
Well, whatever else one might make of this thread or of any particular post herein, I think the accidental coinage of "exhalt" sorta kicks ass. So many layers, so much nuance, such a number of available interpretations and--above all--so much wordplay potential.It's a coinage for which the time has come.
So, implicit in my posting thisReagan with soldiers' casketswas the question: if you disapprove of Obama having his photo taken at Dover, do you similarly disapprove of this photo of Reagan? If not, then why not?And Drill Sgt. and Synova, I still maintain that no branch of the military requires to know your party affiliation... you imply otherwise? Everyone in the military is a Republican, huh? And you both know what everyone who wears a uniform thinks about Obama, because you once wore a uniform too? Amazing.
I'm sorry to point this out, but Reagan hasn't been President for 20 years. So why trot him out? Can't you defend your President with something more contemporary?I'm still surprised he couldn't get a foursome together and had to resort to this.
I'm not defending Obama. I'm attacking views I think are petty and idiotic. Do I not have the right? If citizens have the right to say lazy, stupid and outrageous things about the president, don't I have the right to call those citizens nuts?
Timing is everything to the current POTUS. I am of the mindset, until proven otherwise, that Obama will use his Dover experience as a thinly disguised PTSD event which precludes increasing the requested number of troops to Afghanistan.If this administration expended as much energy fighting the Taliban/Al Qaeda alliance in the tribal areas along the Afghan/Pakistan border as he does FOX News we would be that much closer to winning there.The proof was made clear recently when he promised not to send troops into harms way without much forethought. That begs the question as to what happens to the troops already there who can do little more than hold the ground they already have paid a price for?WV: sonforch
I bet Rahm had him practicing that salute for hours so he wouldn't look like as much a doofus as Kerry did.
"Look... Bush may have been *wrong* but he did express *direction*."Wow! That is some statement. So decisions ought to be judged not by their outcomes, but by the speed and certitude of their delivery?That truly is an amazing statement.
"And Drill Sgt. and Synova, I still maintain that no branch of the military requires to know your party affiliation... you imply otherwise?"The Drill Sgt answered your question thoroughly and explicitly. Pretending he did not might be normal procedure for you, but we're used to that.What YOU are maintaining, is that being pro-military IS being Republican. That is not MY problem. If I imply that being anti-military is "liberal", it's no less at all than what you say in an even more outright manner. Obama is a poor leader by military standards because he is not providing leadership. This is not his *politics* it's his personality and character. Because it's not about *policy* it's about not having one, about not providing the direction and clearly stated goals that the military needs. Dithering and giving the *appearance* of dithering is not *politics* it's about failing to provide leadership and leaving those in very serious harm's way in limbo to sort of muddle along until they are told what their goal is and what support they'll receive in support of that goal. And they are supposed to feel better about this when told that the decision not being made is being not-made in a very serious manner.I had an NCOIC once who we called "Pinger"... and no, I have no idea about his POLITICS. What I know is that even on days with regular amounts of stress he was excitable. Even on normal, 9 to 5, chair-force pencil pushing days he tended to "ping" off the walls. When emergency happened he was hopeless. Utterly incapacitated. Oh, he still went around telling people what to DO but the competent NCO's ignored him, fixed problems, arranged emergency responses, and went around him to get the job done.But the thing about that is you only get to do it on the sly because it's really against the rules and there's always the chance you screwed yourself over.McCrystal can't DO that.If Obama had POLICIES that I didn't like on this matter I'd be complaining about his POLITICS.Unless, of course, your claim is that dithering on military policy and not providing clear leadership is a DEMOCRAT political policy? Are you?As for photographing the dead... generally those in the military object heavily to that and will spontaneously block and bar reporters from photographing their brothers. It's not a political lesson for them about some abstract "price of war", it's a representation of their own self lying there. I recall how profoundly angry the AF people around me were when the Stars and Stripes ran a photo of an Army soldier dead on the sidewalk in Angeles City. We felt betrayed. This is not a REPUBLICAN thing. It's a MILITARY thing.IMO, permission to photograph shouldn't be issued by the family, it should only be given by the service member him or herself.If you want to make it a Republican thing, Monty, that's on YOU.
"Wow! That is some statement. So decisions ought to be judged not by their outcomes, but by the speed and certitude of their delivery?That truly is an amazing statement."Only if you excuse the outcome of not making a decision as not your fault. One abdicates responsibility for those outcomes not "decided" about, the other does not.Our soldiers are not waiting in a SAFE place for Obama to get around to making up his mind.
That was me.
Just send 100,000 troops. That's leadership!
Or *don't*, garage.Do or *don't* send the 40,000 troops McCrystal wants.Do or *don't*.
'Only if you excuse the outcome of not making a decision as not your fault."What? What does this have to do with my comment? I'm not seeing the connection.
Wow, even the house liberals here have a hard time defending our dithering president and his drifting foreign policy. I say we should just get out of Afghanistan now before President Hamlet does more damage and wait for a real leader to resume the post.
No Tahl, the Drill Sgt. deliberately or not took something I said and made it seem like I was saying the opposite. THE MILITARY IS NON-PARTISAN was my point, all along, and the Drill Sgt. felt the need to explain my own point to me while calling me ignorant. I am calling BS on people trying to make partisan political hay out of an issue like the president visiting Dover AFB and having his picture taken there. BS on people who claim to speak for the ENTIRE CORPS of military personnel while issuing their hackish, partisan opinions about the fecklessness and disrespect that "Obama" has for all the troops. Don't shamefully and sanctimoniously USE the high esteem and respect most people have for the armed forces to burnish your hackish, stupid, and petty political opinion, UNLESS and only unless your position is that "no president should ever be photographed with the casket of a fallen soldier" and not just OBAMASATANHITLERSTALIN or whatever you call him these days.
Oooh the liberal anger of those that DARE question their patriotism and even suggest our Dear Leader is not beloved by all the troops. Would they were more exercised at code pink and the other paleoliberals heaving garbage at the troops the last 7 years, maybe they would have more credibility.
gk1: have you denounced the Westboro Baptist Church lately? Because apparently you are responsible for everything that they say, as they fall somewhere along the conservative spectrum of ideology, as you do. So? So do you believe in picketing military funerals? WELL? DO YOU?
Liz Cheney lies about Bush ever honoring the fallen at Dover: "I think that what President Bush used to do is do it without the cameras. And I don't understand sort of showing up with the White House Press Pool with photographers and asking family members if you can take pictures. That's really hard for me to get my head around...It was a surprising way for the president to choose to do this."- Liz CheneyActually, Bush never even visited Dover to honor the fallen. AND he hid their sacrifice behind a censorious ban on photographs. I guess Abe Lincoln was also an opportunist at Gettysburg. Never should have gone there. Anything Obama does, the right wing will scream is wrong. Reason has no place in their world.
"Our soldiers are not waiting in a SAFE place for Obama to get around to making up his mind."Thanks to Obama's escalation in March & April, our warfighters have about 40% more support in the field than they did a year ago. So if more soldiers = safer soldiers, as some seem to imply, the US warfighter is safer today in Afghanistan than they were on 19 Jan 2009.
Jon Stewart made a great point the other night about how Cheney and Bush dithered on Afghanistan until Fall, 2008. That's SEVEN YEARS. But the wingers are all atwitter over Obama deliberating to find the best plan and not rushing into some new foreign adventure. Do they even hear themselves?
Interseting enough I just visited Gettysburg last weekend. Lincoln was not the main speaker the day they dedicated the cemetary, and there is one photograph that we think contains him.We cannot add or subract from what they did here.It was not about him.
Ah delicious squeals of protest from our 'men without chests' on the left. No one believes you or your weakling president when they puff out their chest and proclaim what an improvement it is to have a dithering president more worried about how he "appears" than providing the support he promised 24/7 as a candidate. The only thing obama and biden are planning is how to scurry away but still pin it on Bush.
FYI:President Reagan was photographed honoring coffins of Americans killed in action exactly twice.The first was after the Beruit terrorist attack in 1983 which killed over 200 American soldiers.The second was in 1985, when El Salvadoran terrorists killed four off duty Marines in an attach in a restaurant/entertainment district in El Salvador.In both cases he was drawing attention not to himself but to those killed by terrorism. In neither case was he in the middle of a public, confusing and messy reconsideration of a war policy he had campaigned upon and recently endorsed.I perceive important differences between the two Reagan events and the Obama event. Others may differ, but Obama is playing a dangerous game in connection with his respect from the soldiers if too many conclude as I have--that Obama's suddenly showing up was an act of political manipulation and not of respect.Different audiences will have different reactions to this. Obama's most important audience consists of the soldiers he commands, not the voters at large. Does he understand this?
Alpha--I agree that the Afgan situation does not make the Bush/Cheney White House look good. In no way, however, does this let Obama off the hook. People are getting sick of hearing about the mess Obama inherited. He volunteered for the job, and volunteers should not whine. He also inherited the power of the Presidency and command of the United States military. Stop complaining, Mr. President, and take ownership of your job.
"if you disapprove of Obama having his photo taken at Dover, do you similarly disapprove of this photo of Reagan? If not, then why not?"It's interesting to compare the pictures. In Obama's pictures, Obama is clearly the focus of the picture, the casket is out of focus, appearing more as a prop.In the Reagan picture the caskets are the focus, Reagan is very small and to the side. The Reagan picture is about the fallen military members. The Obama pictures are about Obama.And please don't tell me that Gibbs didn't decide exactly how the photos and videos of Obama would be framed. You known the press on this trip consisted entirely of Obama-approved 'reporters' eager to please their Patron.
AL: "Actually, Bush never even visited Dover to honor the fallen. AND he hid their sacrifice behind a censorious ban on photographs."Political spin.Respect means doing what the *soldiers* would like to have done and hold to the policy that most *soldiers* would like see held to. They deserve that consideration even if someone else sees some higher purpose to use them as a prop for.The whining about the ban on photographs some how *dis* honoring the dead is pathetic and reprehensible political spin. No fallen soldier was *hidden*. Their stories and biographies are available, their names and faces *available*,.. to anyone who actually cares. But actually finding out about men and women and how they died isn't the point, is it. The point is that coffins don't have a face.
If the President made the trip to Dover as a part of using all elements of our national power to defeat al Qaeda, and to defend America, our allies, and all who seek a better future, I say, more power to him.If not, he's wasting his time and American lives and we need to replace him as Commander in Chief as soon as possible.The problem now is that, by doing it, he has created an ambiguous message. He needs to clear that up right away and end the "drift."
It's like the draft for liberals, isn't it.They don't *want* the draft, don't care about a draft, don't think that a draft would actually benefit the military... but there should be a draft so that people *understand* war and oppose war. Therefore, of course, not *having* a draft isn't because it's the best military decision, it's a political decision to maintain support for the war.Same with photos of dead soldiers and coffins arriving at Dover (press coverage of local funerals is too personal). The feeling of the military about their own right to dignity isn't the issue. Who cares what the soldiers who watched their friend die think is important? The issue is that people see the horror of war, understand war, and oppose it. And *therefore* if the photos are not allowed it is *only* and *ever* for the purpose of maintaining support for the war. Sure it is.The soldiers need to be "honored" by being turned into faceless, nameless representations of the meta-concept of war? Really?(That's why local funerals don't count. You can't take a local funeral and turn it into a lesson on the meta-concept of war because the local boy has a *name*.)
Alpha--I agree that the Afgan situation does not make the Bush/Cheney White House look good. In no way, however, does this let Obama off the hook. People are getting sick of hearing about the mess Obama inherited. He volunteered for the job, and volunteers should not whine. He also inherited the power of the Presidency and command of the United States military. Stop complaining, Mr. President, and take ownership of your job. .Oh balderdash. Look, let's make a deal: if Republicans stop blaming Obama for the troubles he inherited from Bush, we'll stop pointing out that those troubles came from the previous Republican Administration. But, no, let me guess. You want it both ways. To snipe at Obama, drag him down, blame him for Bush's fuckups, AND to silence Democrats who point out that we're still cleaning up Bush's messes.
Such nonsense from Synova: They don't *want* the draft, don't care about a draft, don't think that a draft would actually benefit the military... but there should be a draft so that people *understand* war and oppose war. . WTF? We don't want a draft but there should be a draft? Who are you talking about? Your imaghinary friend in your brain? Fact is, we have diversity of opinion and you are citing views from DIFFERENT PEOPLE. No? Show us the person who holds both views at once. The feeling of the military about their own right to dignity isn't the issue. . If you don't think the photos were banned to avoid generating opposition to the occupation, you're seriously self-deluded. (well, OK, you are). Returning dead was a huge issue in the vietnam War and galvanized opposition to that war. Likewise, your bizarre post about the focus in photos reflecting badly on Obama is just plain insane. You DO understand Obama peple didn't take the pictures and have no control over the focus? Yeesh.
To build on what David just posted, Obama didn't just volunteer for the job, he worked his butt off to win it.If he didn't want to have to deal with Afghanistan (or Iran or Pakistan or a resurgent Russia or even France) then he shouldn't have run for office. It doesn't matter how we got to wherever we are with respect to any of the foreign policy challenges that Obama faces; he wanted it, he's got it, it's time for him to get to work on it.As Peggy Noonan put it, it's his job now.
Regarding the attacks on Obama for honoring the returning dead at Dover, I will quote Steve Benen: What's more, President Obama didn't "show up with the White House Press Pool." The trip was not announced in advance -- the White House wasn't seeking publicity -- and only a "small contingent" of journalists were allowed to attend. In fact, "most of the event was closed to media." . It was done at about 3 AM. But when George Bush flew in a plane that landed on an aircraft carrier and strutted around in front of the troops with his package puffed up to prematurely declare victory, THAT was admirable? Mission Accomplished!
Liz Cheney lies about Bush ever honoring the fallen at Dover:"I think that what President Bush used to do is do it without the cameras. And I don't understand sort of showing up with the White House Press Pool with photographers and asking family members if you can take pictures. That's really hard for me to get my head around...It was a surprising way for the president to choose to do this."- Liz CheneyActually, Bush never even visited Dover to honor the fallen. AND he hid their sacrifice behind a censorious ban on photographs.Ok, let's see if I understand you. Liz Cheney apparently lied because, presumably, she is the daughter of Darth Cheney. And, you know that Bush never visited Dover because you were there during the entire 7+ years, etc. I frankly don't think that your argument is all that persuasive.Let me suggest that what she said (or meant to say) was that Bush (43) routinely went to Dover to meet the fallen dead and their families. He just intentionally did not bring along the White House press pool. He believed that this was a private moment for them, and kept it that way. And, he apparently did the same with the wounded too. Just didn't bring the WH press pool along when he did it. Of course, this was also the President who gave up golf for seven years because he didn't think it seemly to be playing golf when they were fighting and dying for our country. The issue was not that Obama went to Dover, but rather, that he brought the WH press pool along with him, turning what should have been a private moment of morning by the survivors into a photo-op for the President.
Big Mike: It doesn't matter how we got to wherever we are with respect to any of the foreign policy challenges that Obama faces; he wanted it, he's got it, it's time for him to get to work on it. . Actually, when the same people who got us into the situations we are in demand we follow the same ruinous policy and attack people trying to fix the problems we made, it matters very much. Imagine a teenager in trouble telling their parents "It doesn't matter how we got to wherever we are . . . ." It matters!
Bruce Hayden: Ok, let's see if I understand you. Liz Cheney apparently lied because, presumably, she is the daughter of Darth Cheney. . Your words, not mine. It's based on a statement by a CBS reporter: "It's the first time the Commander in Chief has witnessed such a homecoming since the wars in Afghanistan & Iraq began."
Let me also add that Liz Cheney was in a much better position to know how often President Bush (43) went to Dover to meet the fallen dead than most others. Not only was her father the VP during that time, she was also a member of the Administration (I believe in the State Department). I would be interested in the identity of the person who provided you with the evidence that President Bush did not go to Dover (on a fairly regular basis). If you actually do have such a witness, my guess is that she and her father are more in the loop. We shall see when we find out who your witness was.
Let us see if I understand you argument. Some reporter who was not there is reporting something that he did not witness, if for no other reason than the press was not invited.
More utter bullshit from CONservative factasy world: Of course, this was also the President who gave up golf for seven years because he didn't think it seemly to be playing golf when they were fighting and dying for our country. . Yeesh.
Bruce, how could a reporter be somewhere at an even that didn't happen? You know, the President's schedule is published. And reporters keep records which they can go back and check. If you want to disagree, why don't you just post a link to news about Bush's visit to Dover AFB to honor the fallen? i.e., put up or shut up!
Here, that reporter answers another bush backer: @carlabond Unless Bush made a secret visit to Dover without the press pool that is always with him, he didn't do a homecoming at Dover.
And the crickets go..chirp, chirp.
Some information on history of releasing images.Scroll down for "Chronology of DOD Policy on Images of the Honors Provided to American Casualties" (citations include links to pdf files of official documents).
Why that particular homecoming at Dover? Why not all such homecomings?Why did Obama begin with that one?
This is one of the downsides of having a liberal pussy as president. The troops don't respect them our adversaries don't fear them. It just means more trouble down the road. Oh and 'Smart diplomacy' will kill more people stateside too.
DAFB Dignified Transfer page
Meade, I don't why President Obama chose to visit DAFB at this particular date/time. But I did see a report somewhere that of the 18 soldiers who were involved in that particular transport of casualties, only one of the families--that of Sgt. Griffin--had given permission for their loved one's dignified transfer to be open to the media.
We can only speculate why Obama visited at this time. But we saw a record month for US soldiers' deaths in Afghanistan, so I suppose that played a role. Though that doesn't demonize Obama so I doubt any conservative would accept it. p.s. Hey, Meade, if you live in MadTown now, welcome!
Thanks, Alpha. I didn't know you lived here. We should meet up for a beer sometime... with garage mahal and Uncle Jimbo and MadisonMan and anyone else here who might like to do such a thing.
Imagine a teenager in trouble telling their parents "It doesn't matter how we got to wherever we are ...Very poor analogy, Alpha. The point of revisiting how we the kid got into a situation is to learn a life lesson. But the first order of business is dealing with the situation. And that's what bothers me so much about the Afghanistan situation right now. He knew that Afghanistan was bad when he ran in the primaries; and he has found plenty of time to take vacations, play golf and take boondoogle trips to lobby the IOC, but (apparently) no time to meet with his generals to discuss strategy.
All 18 of those in this particular transport/dignified transfer died in Afghanistan--10 on Monday in a helicopter crash (including three DEA agents), and the other eight on Tuesday after to roadside bombs hit their military vehicles.
"WTF? We don't want a draft but there should be a draft? Who are you talking about? Your imaghinary friend in your brain?"ONLY anti-war democrats introduced or even talked about wanting to have a draft during the Iraq war. It was politics.And really, Alpha, the dignity of our fallen soldiers is far more important than "galvanizing opposition" but you can't see at all that you confirmed what I said. Because "galvanizing opposition" is the most important thing to you, you assume that this really is the basis of decision making on the other side as well. The soldiers themselves don't exist for you, only the political consequences.
Yeah it was that corrupt turd ball Charlie Rangel that wanted the draft. True is was typical democratic posturing, but its one of the reason why no one believes them when it comes to foreign policy. They aren't serious people.http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/01/07/rangel.draft/
"Why that particular homecoming at Dover?Why not all such homecomings?Why did Obama begin with that one?"Trying to go to all of them (or disrupting funerals) would be silly. And I'm glad he went. I'm not at all glad for pictures and it's hard to think that it's a *coincidence* that he went to Dover when pictures were allowed. I think it's *interesting* that of 18 people returning home, only one family gave permission for photographs. I'd think that someone who cared about empirical evidence would conclude that for the real human beings involved the pictures at Dover are seen as an imposition. According to AL, of course, the feelings of families are not reason enough to deny photographs. Only the political need to shield the public from the horrible reality is reason enough to deny photographs.
"The ban on photographs" was begun under Bush 41 and continued by Clinton and Bush 43. So it was a near 20 year policy endorsed by Republicans and Democrats. The notion that it was some sort of Bush 43 invention to shield him from criticism is not correct.
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