More then just a Photo-opt

Obama Fallen Soldiers

While I disagree with Obama on a ton of issues, he sometimes does things that make me say to myself, “Thank gawd GW isn’t the president anymore.” Going to Dover AF Base to meet families of fallen soldiers and saluting their service to the country was one of those things. I hope Obama’s visit to Dover ways heavily on his decision of what to do in Afghanistan. Get OUT NOW, it is not worth the price!



7 comments ↓

#1 Plaintiff Guy on 10.30.09 at 7:43 am

Normally, a citizen who was not in the service should not salute but place their hand over their heart. As commander in chief, Obama earned an exception. This seems sincere and respectful. It was a momentary media moment. I (personally) feel it was not a photo-op.

#2 Sy on 10.30.09 at 8:01 am

You’re kinda fuct on this one, L3wis.

Bush banned the press from covering these guys coming home in a box because he understood they made the ulitmate sacrifice and their return shouldn’t be politicized, regardless of whether it was for criticism of war policy (negative light) or to do a solemn looking photo-op. (positive light)

Bush & Cheney were very respectful of the men/women in uniform, they just didn’t go out of their way to publically flaunt it, because our soliders are smart enough to see right through that kind of crap.

All through the campaign, BHO railed about how we took our eye of Afghanistan and presumably was not going to make than same mistake. How is cutting and running now, at the time when his top General is requesting more troops to finish the job, going to honor these fallen soldiers when the place will drift right back into Taliban control the minute we leave?

#3 Costner on 10.30.09 at 9:22 am

“Bush banned the press from covering these guys coming home in a box because he understood they made the ulitmate sacrifice and their return shouldn’t be politicized, regardless of whether it was for criticism of war policy (negative light) or to do a solemn looking photo-op. (positive light)”

So I guess violating a key aspect of our Constitution is ok provided you do it for good reason?

Give me a break – the ONLY reason Bush didn’t want photos of caskets is because it might provide the American public a visual example of the true results of fighting a worthless war. Eventually the public figured it out anyway, but it probably took a year or two longer than it should have.

I’m not sure I agree with Obama’s actions in this case not because I feel he was trying to gain politicla points or pose for a photo op, but because there will always be the appearance of political motives, and thus that detracts from what the moment is really about.

#4 l3wis on 10.30.09 at 10:11 am

“the ONLY reason Bush didn’t want photos of caskets is because it might provide the American public a visual example of the true results of fighting a worthless war.”

EXACTLY!

One of our greatest presidents, FDR championed not censoring the images of dead soldiers coming home. He felt it was important for Americans to see the sacrifice our soldiers were making, and I agree 100% with FDR and BHO on that.

#5 Sy on 10.30.09 at 10:29 am

Costner,

Are you suggesting that without visual confirmation, our American public is clueless to the fact that soliders die when soldiers are called to fight?

We already had (noticed how it’s disappeared, though) the daily running body count in both Iraq and Afghanistan, which is also a new sign of the times. We didn’t do that in any major previous conflicts, precisely becaue it can be demoralizing. Would we have won WW2 if every radio newscast or moviephone preview began with something like this?

“Today we lost 174 soldiers in Europe and another 98 in the Pacific, which brings our total to 369,465 soldiers killed in this war…..” (we averaged 270 killed a day for the entire war, BTW)

#6 Sy on 10.30.09 at 10:36 am

L3wis:

“One of our greatest presidents, FDR championed not censoring the images of dead soldiers coming home. He felt it was important for Americans to see the sacrifice our soldiers were making, and I agree 100% with FDR and BHO on that.”

FDR also didn’t have a Congress that ever threatened to withhold funding or publically question his strategy, a Speaker or Majority Leader basically calling him a liar at any chance they got or mocking him for never serving, he didn’t have people holding up “FDR = Napoleon” signs, nor did he have to field questions like: “Didn’t you intentionally provoke Japan, by secretly supporting China so we could all go to war to enrich your banker & business friends?”

#7 Costner on 10.30.09 at 11:54 am

Sy: Are you suggesting that without visual confirmation, our American public is clueless to the fact that soliders die when soldiers are called to fight?

Some of them…YES. Face it, much of our public is only able to grasp concepts fed to them via radio or television. If the media doesn’t focus on an issue, the masses simply ignore it. Why be bothered to learn about some soldiers – there is a new episode of Desperate Housewives on and some people just can’t multi-task.

Besides, it is one thing to hear that 14 soldiers being killed in combat. It is an entirely different thing to see 14 caskets unloaded from a cargo plane while a line of 14 hearses queues up on the tarmac.

Why do you think good reporters always want to be embedded rather that sitting back at base camp? Because they know the impact to the viewer is much more powerful when they can actually see bullets flying, soldiers being injured, or enemies being blown to pieces.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a powerful image can burn itself into your brain like no text could ever manage.

I bet you can remember that student standing in front a tank at Tiananmen Square – and that occurred over 20 years ago. I bet you can also recall the image of a flag being raised on Iwo Jima, but do you think you could recall the names of any of the men responsible?

How about the image showing a pistol against the temple of a Viet Cong Man taken during Vietnam? Do you know that single image is believed to be responsible for public opinion being swayed against the war? Do you think that would have occurred if a journalist merely wrote a story about the execution?

I think not.

Don’t think for a second our leaders don’t understand the ramifications of a single image. A dead soldier is one thing, but the picture of a dead soldier is much more powerful in terms of public opinion.