When I put the name of our President in the same sentence with the name of the nation where that “good & just war” is being fought I get mixed feelings.
This morning I was moved to patriotism – sort of. At 9:00AM I clicked on the Fox News website. The first headline and photograph is a picture of President Obama saluting a flag draped casket of an American hero. My generic feeling was pride and patriotism as my President was saluting the flag that adorned the casket of a deceased trooper from the fight in Afghanistan.
The Fox headline was flattering as well. It stated “Honoring The Fallen.” The picture shows Mr. Obama, a dour and stern expression, his jaw locked in seeming determination as he renders a smart and militarily proper salute. Makes me proud as Hell. Wanna know when I LOVE this man? That picture is it!
Below the headline we are teased as to the photo. It states “Obama makes a midnight visit to Dover Air Base to greet the flag-draped cases [odd choice of words] of 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan, as he mulls whether to send more troops.” I assume the writer of the headline meant to say “caskets,” but indeed “cases” is the word in the headline. Anyway…
Then the doubt crept in. Was this a “photo op?” I mean yes, whenever a President does anything, especially along the lines of military, it is a photo op of sorts. As I read the headline and took in “midnight visit” I was proud that Mr. Obama would so trouble himself. But pride soon gave in to creeping doubt. Am I being unfair in having any doubt creep in? I desperately want to be fair, but questions arise.
This administration is no different then any other in many respects. BUT, if Mr. Obama actually were “post-partisan” my doubts would not be creeping up. Considered in this era of hyper-partisanship I am saddened that this may just be a photo op and not at all any genuine sense of duty. I realize that is perhaps my bias, and am acknowledging the possibility of such. If my feelings are just bias, I am being unfair, and I am not happy about that.
However given the news of the day regarding Afghanistan, I am not being biased. The request for 40K more troops for Afghanistan has sat on the President’s desk for 2 months. He has met with Gen. McChrystal twice for less then 1.5 hours since he appointed him commander in Afghanistan.
My point is this: It took longer for the President to fly from DC to Dover, have the ceremony, and then return to DC then he has spent with his own commander that he appointed. Not knocking the President for the good and positive things he does do – I applaud him for it, but still, it does bear consideration.
Was this merely a photo op? Clearly the time and effort to achieve this is more then has thus far been invested in meeting and talking with the military commander in Afghanistan. Given this fact, it is hard to reconcile pureness of heart on the part of Mr. Obama and the Administration. And that allows the creeping in of bias and partisanship.
If Mr. Obama were really post-partisan in his deeds, words and initiatives, I would believe the Dover trip were a genuine heartfelt effort. But when we add in all that has gone before and specifically consider Afghanistan has just had its worst month ever in terms of American deaths, and the McChrystal request goes unanswered for 60 days and then some, it is exceedingly difficult to see this act as anything more then politics as usual.
Believe me, my initial response was not at all political. But within seconds, knowing all that has gone before and the quandary as it now manifests, and especially considering this President’s non-addressing of the crisis, this seems nothing more then triangulation.
I’m afraid this is postponing the troop decision until AFTER the American elections on Tuesday next. As I said, Obama has already, with his trip to Dover Air Base, invested more time in a photo op then he has in meeting and discussing the dire situation with his own appointed commander.
I know Obama is a busy man, but if he could take the time to do this, he could have quite easily met with McChrystal. Time for a photo op and time to give speeches promoting his health care reform. Time to defame and war with Fox News. But no time for the really important and post-partisan stuff.
I’m very sorry Mr. Obama, but my patriotism and goodwill for you and your act, as beautifully staged as it was, is waning fast in light of all the other facts surrounding this situation specifically as well as all the current nonsense our nation is presently enduring.
But man-o-man does Mr. Obama look sharp rendering that perfect and crisp salute. His expression is totally reminiscent of Mr. Bush’s as he sat in that classroom in Florida when WH Chief of Staff Andy Card whispered into Bush’s ear. “Another plane has hit the second WTC. We are under attack!”
I truly hate these mixed feelings – really I do.