In a recent column in the New York Post, retired Colonel Ralph Peters expressed the opinion this is likely held by a lot of service people, both retired and active duty. When it comes to the War on Terror, the Commander in Chief is missing in action.
Ralph Peters’ angry reaction in the New York Post is understandable. President Obama, who is commander in chief of the soldiers Malik Nadal Hasan is alleged to have gunned down, was only to fit a trip down to Fort Hood for Tuesday, almost a week since the massacre. By contrast, the former commander in chief, former President Bush, was there by Saturday, visiting the wounded and bereaved.
The somewhat cold blooded attitude that President Obama has toward the troops seems to derive from the faith Malik Nadal Hasan professed, indeed shouted, as he sprayed bullets on his fellow soldiers. Ralph Peters posits a similar situation and a different reaction.
“Imagine if, instead of Fort Hood, the massacre had gone down at a mosque in Detroit – carried out by a maddened Christian or Jew. Obama would’ve been aboard Air Force One before the pilots had time to file a flight plan and he would’ve been on site before the gun smoke cleared, hugging and boo-hooing and dispensing stirring rhetoric for the evening news.”
One can be forgiven for coming to the conclusion, as Ralph Peters seems to have, that Prtesident Obama seems to have a disdain for the troops. “Not a chance. It’s not like they’re real human beings with Ivy League degrees.” Of course President Bush has two Ivy League degrees, but never lost the common touch.
President Obama’s cold reaction to the slaughter of American soldiers seems to extend to policy in the War on Terror. Months after the commander in the field in Afghanistan requested reinforcements, President Obama is still dithering. And American soldiers in Afghanistan are still fighting and dying.
Why this “bloodless” attitude, as a British journalist described it? Partly it seems to be elitism. Barack Obama, the off spring of a couple of students, one from Kenya, the other from Kansas, exudes a kind of “greater than thou” air about him. What matters the deaths of soldiers, especially in battle against Islamists terrorism?
President Bush, the real aristocrat, the son himself of a President and heir to old money, felt every death in battle of a soldier as if he or she were one of his own. He still does, by all accounts.
No wonder Ralph Peters is angry. Any soldier would be if the Commander in Chief didn’t bave his back.
Sources: Obama can’t be bothered by Islamic terrorism, Ralph Peters, New York Post, November 8th, 2009
Americans are Starting to Miss President Bush, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, November 7th, 2009