The sorry spectacle of Obama visiting the site of a war he chose deliberately to lose, and a country that he is willing to turn over to Islamofascist extremists, to visit troops for which he holds scarcely concealed contempt is enough to gag a maggot on a gut truck.
No one quite knows why he made the visit in secret. I suppose it could be argued that there was some risk involved but Bagram air base is hardly behind enemy line. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was offered a meeting and he declined:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai was offered a meeting with President Barack Obama at Bagram Air Base outside Kabul but declined, a US official said Sunday.
The official said that Washington was not surprised that the meeting did not work out at short notice, after Obama arrived at the base on a surprise visit after night fell on Sunday.
"As we said, we weren't planning for a bilateral meeting with President Karzai or a trip to the palace, as this trip is focused on thanking our troops," the official said.
Nice spin. But when the President of the United States shows up in your country you take time out of your busy schedule to meet with him. The trip is billed as one to "thank the troops" but it is much more likely that Obama is trying to divert press attention from the cascading series of epic failures that will be this administrations legacy. It seems like this is a cheap way, in particular, of weathering the ongoing VA scandal. For instance:
And I also want you to know that as you’re doing your duty here, we’re going to do right by you back home. We’re going to help take care of your families, and that’s why the First Lady Michelle Obama visited with military families and makes sure that their needs are met. That’s why she stays after me once she gets home, when I’m at the White House. And we’re going to make sure that we are keeping to improve your pay and your benefits, but also things like childcare and support that ensure that you’ve got a little bit of security knowing your family is being looked after back home.
Really? Someone needs to tell Obama what the hell his administration is up to. Via CBS,
Teeing up what could be a politically explosive fight before the midterm elections in November, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday will recommend billions of dollars in annual budget cuts that would reduce housing allowances and other benefits, increase health-care premiums, and limit pay raises, [my emphasis] CBS News confirms.
The recommendations, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, are part of a broader effort to trim the Pentagon's budget while minimizing the impact on preparedness and capability. But they're likely to provoke fierce opposition from veterans' interest groups and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
The Pentagon argues that personnel costs are simply too big a share of the defense budget to ignore. "Personnel costs reflect some 50 percent of the Pentagon budget and cannot be exempted in the context of the significant cuts the department is facing," Adm. John Kirby, the Defense Department's top spokesman, told the Journal. "Secretary Hagel has been clear that, while we do not want to, we ultimately must slow the growth of military pay and compensation."
Indeed, it was the Republicans in the House of Representatives that stopped this harebrained scheme of prioritizing Defense contractors above those serving in uniform.
Let's pick up the speech:
And we’ll be there for your when you come home. It’s why we’re improving care for our wounded warriors, especially those with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. We’re moving forward with the Post-9/11 GI Bill so you and your families can pursue your dreams. And we’ve made the biggest increase in the VA budget in 30 years, because we’re going to keep our sacred trust with all those who serve.
At this point the audience would have been completely justified in breaking out into a chant of "You lie!"
After being stiffed by President Karzai, the most poignant testimony to the utter irrelevance of the petty, selfish, and vindictive little man who is destroying the presidency is in his relationship with the troops. This silent indictment comes by way of the LA Times. On the left is how an American president is greeted by the troops. On the right is how a rank poseur is received.