War theater, political theater

Obama's opportunistic campaign trail takes him to Afghanistan

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“We don’t need to spike the football.”

– Barack Obama in May 2011, on the death of Osama bin Laden

Of course you don’t need to spike the ball. Not when you can spike the ball and do a touchdown dance a year later.

Once again saying one thing and doing another, President Obama used a surprise trip to Afghanistan this week to – again – trumpet the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy Seals a year ago and bask in their glory.

One gets the sense that this was, indeed, spiking the ball – and using U.S. soldiers in harm’s way as props to do it. It’s clear that the killing of bin Laden has become a political football for Mr. Obama, as his campaign just released a political ad wondering whether his Republican presidential rival would have done the same thing.

Obviously, someone in the Obama campaign – that is to say, White House – thought it would be great theater to make a dramatic visit to Afghanistan around the one-year bin Laden anniversary – not necessarily to raise the morale of the troops or to console or comfort them, but to get political mileage out of it.

An Associated Press writer even wrote on Twitter that Obama was “speaking to voters at home.”

Bare, naked politics. In a war zone.

How utterly disgusting and reprehensible.

“The killing of Osama bin Laden,” wrote the Associated Press’ Ben Feller, even before the Afghanistan trip, “first presented as a moment of national unity by President Barack Obama, has become something else: a political weapon.”

“Shame on Barack Obama for diminishing the memory of Sept. 11 and the killing of Osama bin Laden by turning it into a cheap political attack ad,” Sen. John McCain said in a written statement. “This is the same president who said, after Bin Laden was dead, that we shouldn’t ‘spike the ball’ after the touchdown. And now Barack Obama is not only trying to score political points by invoking Osama bin Laden, he is doing a shameless end-zone dance to help himself get re-elected.”

Even as political theater goes, Mr. Obama’s moment was short-lived and tainted: Less than two hours after his visit, the Taliban attacked a foreign housing complex with a suicide car bomb, killing over half a dozen, including children.

This, after the president said his administration is negotiating with the Taliban, and urged the terrorists to “break with al-Qaida, renounce violence and abide by Afghan laws.”

Really? Doesn’t that sound just a tad bit naïve, particularly considering what happened just after his departure? What can you possibly agree to with people who are willing to blow up innocent men, women and children?

So, ultimately, the policy is silly and the politics despicable.

And how smart is it militarily, for your commander in chief to visit the battleground and project weakness? The president admitted, before the world, that the U.S. goal is not to “eradicate every vestige of the Taliban.” This is a region of the world, remember, that smells weakness miles away, and mistakes many other odors for the same.

If the strategy is to drive a wedge between the Taliban and al-Qaida, good luck. It’s a most dubious approach. Even if there were great sympathy toward the U.S. in the Taliban, most Afghans figure we’ll be gone someday regardless. Even good allegiances can break down at the point of a knife.

Of course, nothing is more important to this White House than the politics of a particular move. This president has redefined the presidency. The office is no longer primarily about governing or leading; it is now about campaigning and fundraising.

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OJP
6171
Points
OJP 05/02/12 - 11:24 pm
7
1
He made the decision to go in

He made the decision to go in against the advice of those around him.

Give the President his due; and give these sour grapes a rest.

Osama bin Laden is dead, and that is a good thing.

ultrarnr
896
Points
ultrarnr 05/03/12 - 12:07 am
8
3
At least there was no
Unpublished

At least there was no "Mission Accomplished" banner behind him during his speech.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 05/03/12 - 12:25 am
3
7
how much prodding will the

how much prodding will the radical muslims take to attack the U.S.?

FriedFacts
61
Points
FriedFacts 05/03/12 - 05:01 am
1
0
The fact about the "Mission
Unpublished

The fact about the "Mission Accomplished" sign on the aircraft carrier Bush landed on is the service people put the sign up to proudly let their Commander-in-Chief know THEY had accomplished THEIR mission.

I don't see any service people proudly telling Obama anything except the Navy Seals telling him he had nothing to do with their killing of Bin Laden.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 05/03/12 - 06:15 am
7
5
Did anybody see the President

Did anybody see the President in a flight suit? Musta missed that one, eh? Didn't see this kinda "editorializing" when the mission was accomplished ten years ago. There was an editorial I'm sure but it wasn't a petty snit like this I'll guarantee.

As stated earlier, sour grapes indeed. Just can't stand the fact that our President is a true and courageous leader who can rightly and justifiably boast of a "Mission Accomplished" under his watch.

Osama bin Laden is dead. Barrack Hussien Obama the man people of the United States of America elected to be the Commander in Chief of our valiant military forces did not shirk his duty under extreme political duress. He risked his whole legacy with the courageous decision to let the best military team the world do their job. He put his trust in true American patriots and we the American people were rewarded with results. They shot that dirty rotten no good SOB in the head because they were given the chance to do so by their Commander.

I have an idea. Since the ACES seems to be so petty and jealous of our President, let's get them a football and let them spike it from the saftey(thanks to our President) of their ivory towers down on Broad street.

Rhetor
978
Points
Rhetor 05/03/12 - 07:03 am
7
5
Mr. Obama accomplished what

Mr. Obama accomplished what Mr. Bush did not. It galls conservatives, doesn't it? The conservatives posed the absurd, unpatriotic idea that Obama wanted the terrorists to win. He then struck a major blow against terror, and conservatives are now envious. Not happy for their nation, as they should be, but envious. Raw naked politics drives this editorial, nothing more.

Bizkit
30133
Points
Bizkit 05/03/12 - 07:54 am
2
4
Mr. Obama accomplished what

Mr. Obama accomplished what Clinton and Bush didn't, but he also said he was a "different" kind of politician (which obviously he isn't). Just because Bush was an idiot I would hope most would not want the present president to follow suit (but apparently so which is illogical to hold contempt for Bush and Mission accomplished and then turn a blind eye to the same in Obama). It's fine to speak of his success but to infer Mitt would do otherwise lacks logical reasoning (consider the context of what Mitt said and when he said it) and makes him look like a blathering idiot (where that intelligence-I'd give my students a fit for such an ignorant association and inference). But Obama wants us to hold Mitt to his word, so in "fairness" we can do the same and call the president a flip-flopping liar. To be fair. To be fair we really don't know that bin Laden is dead-after all the only proof is our lying president. A video could be theatre and there is no body, no DNA, no evidence. Of course it was much more humane to kill bin Laden rather than capture him and water board him. Probably in five years bin Laden will show up in South America-along with a few old Nazis. LOL> But didn't Obama initially say what a great thing it was and how he wouldn't use it as a poltiical football. OK now to be true to his word he should stop the political tactic.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/03/12 - 08:24 am
5
2
Sour grapes indeed. The Mayor

Sour grapes indeed. The Mayor from New York, Giuliani ran for President on 9/11, using 9/11 for everything! Bush and his 'Mission Accomplished" is a classic- spiking the ball before he even had it. Republicans saying if a democrat became President instead of Bush, this country would be in danger. Bush in Iraq, sitting with Iraqi leaders giving hints at the country being weaker in the war on terror if his opponent won. Dick Cheney attempts to spike the ball, but only instilled fear about the war on terror, and how only Bush can save us....

It's this hypocrisy that is the biggest problem with the right. It's this idea that Americans do not have a memory and will not recall what they did.... it's cheap and

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 05/03/12 - 08:29 am
5
0
...we need to get out of

...we need to get out of there.

allhans
23471
Points
allhans 05/03/12 - 08:36 am
3
3
I have twice now seen mention

I have twice now seen mention of Obama not wearing a flight suit. Why should he start now, that would be kind of silly.

Bizkit
30133
Points
Bizkit 05/03/12 - 09:03 am
3
2
People do have a memory and

People do have a memory and remember 40 years of Dem domination. People should remember the history of Afghanistan and wonder why Bush went and really, really, really why Obama would have a push then leave. He should have pulled out of Afghanistan the day he took office. Killing bin Laden has really done nothing in the war on terrorism. The war isn't against a single group or individual. All the fallen muslims are heroes and in paradise, and are still recruiting tools. Why are we giving the corrupt Afghan govt any money. I think Paul has a better take on this with his libertarian approach. The nation building idea in Iraq was a worthy goal (creating friendly democracy) but it just doesn't work with their culture and it is too expensive. Why we are in Afghanistan defies logic-should have just been an air war with drones, etc.

faithson
5085
Points
faithson 05/03/12 - 09:54 am
4
2
personally I would like to

personally I would like to have been a fly on the wall during the Karazi, Obama meeting. Not having been sucked into the 'hatemongering' ilk allows one to see the President in 'human' terms. One thing I am sure of is Our President's ability to speak truth to power when opportunity arises. One reason He got in trouble with Israel's prime minister. You that see a weak kneed socialist only see what you WANT to see, the Augusta Chronicle being a perfect case in point. One of most interesting story lines as the campaign continues is the constant deriding of the President by the likes of the AC, Faux news and AM radio over a reasoned attempt to promote their morman millionaire stumbling candidate. Doesn't say much for what they WANT, just a lot about what they don't. Petulant child comes to mind.

TParty
6003
Points
TParty 05/03/12 - 11:01 am
0
0
Techfan: What's the point you

Techfan: What's the point you are trying to show by posing that link?

OJP
6171
Points
OJP 05/03/12 - 11:22 am
4
0
Look, it's abundantly clear

Look, it's abundantly clear to everyone - literally, everyone - what the reaction from these detractors would have been had Bush been President when bin Laden was killed.

That alone makes all this noise seem silly.

Just accept that a good thing was done while the guy from the other party was in office. The world won't end.

burninater
9328
Points
burninater 05/03/12 - 12:12 pm
2
1
Now if the Dems REALLY wanted

Now if the Dems REALLY wanted to do something "utterly disgusting and reprehensible", they could stage their renomination convention in the city of Ground Zero. Oh wait ...

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 05/03/12 - 01:56 pm
4
1
And can anyone guess what the

And can anyone guess what the reaction of the "Editorial" staff would have been had the mission been a disastrous failure?

I can see these cats on their knees at night praying to their "Prosperity Jesus" and lamenting as to why He has allowed this to happen. Why have You allowed a Marxist, Muslim, false birth certificate, skinny half black kid who associates with known terrorists and America Haters to be such a success. Why, oh Lord of the Prosperous, have you abandoned us in our hour of need. Couldn't you have just let the Seals fail so we could win?

justthefacts
21052
Points
justthefacts 05/03/12 - 03:31 pm
1
2
"Did anybody see the

"Did anybody see the President in a flight suit?" "The good old second grader defense of he did it first." Both of the above quotes from RA.

carcraft
25015
Points
carcraft 05/03/12 - 07:24 pm
3
0
I am glad to give Obama

I am glad to give Obama credit for Killing Bin Laden. That said if this is whole campaign it will become thin gruel 3 or 4 months from now...

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 05/03/12 - 08:16 pm
2
0
Proof positive that Hell is

Proof positive that Hell is ectothermal, carcraft just got a thumbs up from me. :) (That's frozen over for you carcraft)

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 05/03/12 - 08:35 pm
2
0
I agree with RA some people
Unpublished

I agree with RA some people are hoping for bad things to happen to this country because President Obama is in charge.

KSL
124683
Points
KSL 05/03/12 - 08:38 pm
0
2
Bad things have happened

Bad things have happened already, oj3. We want bad things to stop happening.

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 05/03/12 - 08:41 pm
2
0
Like what?
Unpublished

Like what?

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 05/03/12 - 08:42 pm
2
0
Like saving The Auto industry
Unpublished

Like saving The Auto industry

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 05/03/12 - 08:43 pm
2
0
Like preventing a great
Unpublished

Like preventing a great depression

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 05/03/12 - 08:45 pm
2
0
Oh like ending the Iraq war
Unpublished

Oh like ending the Iraq war

owensjef3
5639
Points
owensjef3 05/03/12 - 08:45 pm
2
0
Ah yea killing Bin Laden
Unpublished

Ah yea killing Bin Laden

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