I’ll just say, before I rip Obama a brand new hole, that the loss of 22 members of SEAL Team Six and their Afghan trainees in the recent attack by Taliban insurgents is very sad indeed – particularly since this was the same team that killed Bin Laden just weeks ago. Our boys in the Navy SEALs deserve better leadership than they currently have, but serve unquestioningly in the worst of times and do it gladly.
But I did feel that Obama’s announcement of the attack was callous and politically sickening on at least three levels:
1) He appeared not to care much.
Watch the way he delivers his address and you’ll note that he scans from teleprompter to teleprompter, never looking at the camera. He uses gentle, uncreative words like “tragic incident” and “helicopter crash” to describe what is clearly an attack with a small surface to air missile…a casualty of war, not a tragic crash (which makes it sound accidental). He gives no clues that he might feel any emotion at all for the fallen veterans. He robotically reads from the teleprompters and refuses to look directly at the press corps or the camera. He took no questions from the press. Everything about this speech seemed to indicate that all Obama cared about was looking “presidential” and keeping up appearances that he could be the commander and chief of our military.
2) He announced the deaths of 22 SEALs before the military had gotten word to the families of those affected.
This might, at least in part, be due to media leaks of the story hitting the AP Wire, but protocol demands that the military families get calls from the MPs or the team’s commanding officer to inform them of the deaths of their loved ones BEFORE the president gives a speech about it on national television. Many of those involved have indeed expressed their disappointment that they had to learn about this attack on TV. And worse…for those fortunate enough not to lose someone in the attack, Obama’s speech probably scared the living hell out of them, since he gave no detail about who was on the mission (it could have been any helicopter!).
3) He took this moment of grief as an opportunity to once again needle conservatives in Congress for their supposed unwillingness to negotiate and play fair. Specifically, he said:
These great men and women came from all walks of life and all parts of the country, but they put aside their differences to establish common ground in their common goals – defending America from its enemies abroad. Would that we shared in their cooperative spirit back home in these trying times.
It just AMAZES me that he would have the unmitigated gall to use such an unfortunate incident to once again press his “point” that conservatives are the ones who won’t negotiate. Put aside the utter ridiculousness of blaming the other side because you won’t see reason on government spending. It simply astonishes me that you imagine you are more important than the message you’re delivering…that you would turn a memorial speech into a stump speech for your own glorification. Please sir…go to hell.