Liz Cheney discussed the question with John Gibson, Thursday on his radio show:
Video via Gateway Pundit
It’s too awful to think that the President would be so base and cynical as to use the death of these brave and worthy men to prop himself up. One is inclined to hope that he only had the best of intentions.
But one wonders.
Via The Mudville Gazette I noticed that The New York Times had originally reported in their article, Obama Visits Air Base to Honor Returning Dead:
The images and the sentiment of the president’s five-hour trip to Delaware were intended by the White House to convey to the nation that Mr. Obama was not making his Afghanistan decision lightly or in haste.
That line was changed to this:
The image of the commander in chief standing on a darkened tarmac, offering a salute to one of the soldiers, highlighted the poignancy of a decision he is facing.
Greyhawk noted that the President’s approval ratings on Afghanistan have been in free fall:
How to turn the situation around? Some say more troops, some say change strategy, others say withdraw – but someone in the White House got the bright idea that now would be a good time for a photo op.
“This week alone, about two dozen soldiers have died in attacks and accidents.” But while the remains of 15 soldiers and three federal agents arrived at Dover while the president was there, only one family elected to participate:
The other families chose not to, officials said, under a new Pentagon policy that lifted an 18-year ban on media covering the return of U.S. service members killed in action if families provide permission.
…someone ensured no angle on this story was left unexplored in the global coverage of this event.
President Barack Obama has attended the removal of fallen Irish American hero Dale Griffin.
As originally reported by IrishCentral.com, Obama’s decision to attend the removal of American soldiers at Dover Air Base draws a clear line in the sand between this administration and the Bush administration.
President Bush refused to allow filming of soldier’s coffins returning and was never present when the bodies were flown back.
Last night President Obama broke with that policy in a poignant fashion as he attended the removal of 18 soldiers at Dover.
And so on and so forth along those lines from England, Australia, as well – the point being, Bush banned photographers, and stayed home, while the valiant Obama has poignantly flown to Dover to meet the fallen soldiers upon their return to our shores.
Needless to say, the nutroots have picked up this theme, and run with it, as Uncle Jimbo has noted at Blackfive:
FireDogLake Buttheads clueless about Bush and our war dead
I never cease to be amazed by the sorry haters on the left and their inability to understand the military, respect, dignity and the difference between a gesture and a heartfelt gesture. They are busy hating on George W because he failed to go to Dover and get photo-opped like our current Commander in Chief. Now first of all I will give Obama credit for gong to Dover, but as soon as it became a photo op it was cheapened as Matt noted. Anyone smell the stench of Axelrod and Emanuel? Well the brain-addled, land apes at FireDogLake are calling out the former CinC for not being so blatant. Admire their bile.
This is what a president does.
US President Barack Obama has paid his respects to 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan, the first time he has honoured the fallen in this way.
NPR notes that,
The dramatic image of a president on the tarmac was a portrait not witnessed in years.
Let me help you with that you pathetic, whiny little bitch. Turning a solemn occasion into a photo op that becomes about you is not respectful, it is sorry. President Bush knew that and chose to show his respect in private to the people who really matter, the Gold Star families.
The charge that President Bush didn’t care about fallen troops, just because he didn’t have himself photographed during the deeply private and solemn moments with their families is disgusting and obscene.
Last December, after the completion of Bush’s two terms, The Washington Times finally published an exclusive story about the former President’s dedication to the troops, something he never felt the need to publicize:
For much of the past seven years, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have waged a clandestine operation inside the White House. It has involved thousands of military personnel, private presidential letters and meetings that were kept off their public calendars or sometimes left the news media in the dark.
Their mission: to comfort the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to lift the spirits of those wounded in the service of their country.
But the size and scope of Mr. Bush’s and Mr. Cheney’s private endeavors to meet with wounded soliders and families of the fallen far exceed anything that has been witnessed publicly, according to interviews with more than a dozen officials familiar with the effort.
“People say, ‘Why would you do that?’” the president said in an Oval Office interview with The Washington Times on Friday. “And the answer is: This is my duty. The president is commander in chief, but the president is often comforter in chief, as well. It is my duty to be – to try to comfort as best as I humanly can a loved one who is in anguish.”
Mr. Bush, for instance, has sent personal letters to the families of every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that consumed hours of his time and escaped public notice. The task, along with meeting family members of troops killed in action, has been so wrenching – balancing the anger, grief and pride of families coping with the loss symbolized by a flag-draped coffin – that the president often leaned on his wife, Laura, for emotional support.
“I lean on the Almighty and Laura,” Mr. Bush said in the interview. “She has been very reassuring, very calming.”
Mr. Bush also has met privately with more than 500 families of troops killed in action and with more than 950 wounded veterans, according to White House spokesman Carlton Carroll. Many of those meetings were outside the presence of the news media at the White House or at private sessions during official travel stops, officials said.
Read the entire thing.
That was what a President does.
See Cassandra at Villainous Company for more on the Bush front. Have a box a tissues nearby.