"He sounds like President Bush," I said to myself.
President Barack Obama somberly spoke at the memorial service for the 13
killed during the Fort Hood shooting rampage. The President movingly
praised the valor and selflessness of those who gave their lives, as
well as that of those who enlist to help protect the country.
Many enlistees, the President pointed out, joined after 9/11, willing to fight an unconventional war against an
unconventional enemy who kills and then hides among civilians. These
enlistees joined knowing that this is an enemy from whom we have no
expectation of a signed surrender. They joined knowing that much of the
"international community" blames America for the "Arab and Muslim
world's" anger, and many fellow Americans share that sentiment.
The President looked grim. He told the life stories of those slaughtered
at Fort Hood, apparently by a Muslim jihadist who, inexplicably,
remained in the military after publicly opposing Muslims fighting
Muslims and actually contacting a Muslim cleric living in Yemen, who
reportedly recruits for al-Qaida.
The President continues to ponder top Afghanistan commander Gen. Stanley
McChrystal's request for 40,000 more troops. If granted, this would mean
Obama places national security ahead of party politics, since most
Democrats oppose this war. Also at least at first the
anti-Afghanistan-war Obama-lovers would bite their tongues or
miraculously rediscover Afghanistan as the "good war."
President Bush "surged" in Iraq over the objections of members of his
own administration, to say nothing of Democrats including Obama, who
not only opposed the surge but also predicted its failure. Yet nothing
in Obama's political career suggests a courage to defy the wishes of
Democrats on any issue of significance.
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As a senatorial candidate, Obama opposed the then-popular Iraq war. He
later said, however, that had he been in the Senate at the time, he
wasn't sure how he would have voted and that he understood the basis
on which his fellow Democratic senators cast their pro-war votes. Most
of his Democratic presidential opponents including Hillary Clinton,
Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, John Edwards, etc. supported the war. Would a
Sen. Barack Obama have voted "no"?
Obama neither mentioned the suspect's religion nor described his actions
as "terrorism." But does the President, who campaigned promising to sit
with our enemies without "preconditions," finally grasp the
determination, intensity and lethality of our enemy Islamofascists?
Yes, the evidence suggests that the suspect acted alone. It is, however,
increasingly clear that this devout Muslim considered it a moral duty to
wage jihad by gunning down soldiers in the name of Allah. The President
talked of the suspect's "twisted logic." Does Obama not see that this
very "twisted logic" drives our death-worshipping enemy to fly planes
into buildings and kill 3,000 civilians on American soil?
Obama campaigned pushing the mantra that Bush took his eye off the ball
by entering into Iraq, a "war of choice." Does President Obama now get
it that the Iraq war made complete sense and that we are safer
because of it? Will the President now get serious about Iran?
When a candidate becomes a president, he receives daily national
security briefings. Obama sees the threats against America and American
interests via chemical, biological and nuclear weapons at the
hands of Islamofascists. Their motivation is nothing short of worldwide
domination and the replacement of secular governments by Islamic
Keeping the country safe remains the principal responsibility of any
president. This new President now sits in the Oval Office formerly
occupied by President George W. Bush a man maligned, attacked and
ridiculed for first failing to prevent 9/11 and then engaging in "undue
militarism" to prevent another one. Does Obama now wonder how Bush kept
it together while critics chanted, "Bush lied; people died"? Does he not
wonder if or when his own party or the country will turn against him
should he, in good faith, take an unpopular action to protect the
country by "surging" in Afghanistan?
During the memorial service, the cameras panned slowly across the row of
the fallen ones' Army boots with protruding rifles and helmets atop.
Suddenly, "reforming health care" Obama's campaign agenda centerpiece
seemed silly and insignificant. Obama asked the nation to honor,
remember and reflect on the sacrifices of those just killed and of those
willing to face death to keep the country safe. I found myself saying,
"He sounds like President Bush."
The President grimaced. He clenched his jaw. Obama ended the eulogy:
"Long after they are laid to rest . . . it will be said . . . that they paid
the price and bore the burden to secure this nation, and stood up for
the values that live in the hearts of all free peoples. . . . May G0d
bless the memory of those that we have lost. And may G0d bless the
United States of America."
ABC's Charlie Gibson then said, "President Bush just concluded his remarks." Apparently, I wasn't alone.