08 April 2009

TIME: Why the Hell Would the Commander-in-Chief Want to Visit Iraq?

You really have to wonder about the American media questioning why a Commander-in-Chief would want to visit the country in which we have been involved in a war for over 6 years. Sure, VIP visits to Iraq are a bag of dicks for the logistics folks, but boosting diplomacy, listening to Generals, riling up morale for the troops is pretty par for the course in what we should expect from the President. However, TIME appears to view the Obama presidency as one big permanent campaign and poo-poos this visit:

Surprise stops on presidential journeys became the norm during Bush era, with the U.S. engaged in two foreign wars — where the Commander in Chief could not be guaranteed satisfactory security if his intention to visit the troops was announced ahead of time. Still, Baghdad was the wrong choice for Obama. Iraq is Bush's war — or Bush's folly, depending on your point of view. Obama's main contribution to Iraq has been to criticize the war while on the campaign trail, and then to begin drawing down the U.S. troop presence as soon as he became President.
Uh, okay. No one is disputing that the OIF wasn't started by Bush, but does that mean Obama should just forget about it and not carry out his responsibilities? Fortunately, the President isn't that much of a dumbass.

This highlights the disconnect between American society and the fact that this is a time of war. When a long-running counter-insurgency/nation-building conflict is reduced to a campaign stop in the media, we shouldn't expect much public awareness of what's going on. MezzoSF emailed me that there's a new video game based on Fallujah 2004. Maybe that will raise consciousness...that or Obama bringing Kal Penn along on these overseas meet n' greets. That dude is fucking hilarious.


Mezzo SF said...

Better yet, let's combine all of the above: Kal Penn stars in the game Call of Duty: Why I left Hollywood. That could be the smack that's needed to the back of the head of the collective American consciousness.

Seriously, though (and keeping in mind that my governor *is* da Terminator), good for Kal Penn on being proactive and wanting to do a job he cares about.

Elizabeth said...

I would bet the farm - even if it's in Iowa - that if the media/blogosphere/punditocracy were not so incompetent and inept in covering a war, or any other critical issues...present company excepted, of course!...then there would not be such a disconnect between the public at large and what US soldiers are dealing with in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Speaking of Iraq, has your thinking changed at all with respect to what the US needs to do to promote political accommodation there?

Joe said...

Boy, why does the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Military want to visit members of the United States Military who are deployed to a combat zone?

Let me get my fucking calculator.

Elizabeth said...

This so-called journalist is explaining that President Obama, while he was in Turkey, should have bypassed neighbouring Iraq and a visit with the troops there - and telling Maliki a thing or two - because it was more important that the President visit Afghanistan, first.

I'm sorry...but, what an absolute idiot!

I'm guessing that the total and complete demise of journalism will happen sooner than even I thought.

J. said...

Wait, this is a time of War? I thought it was a time of going shopping at malls and ignoring bin Laden. Oh, my bad, that was the last administration.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 04/08/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.