Obama Playing Basketball
Ken Timmerman says that Obama didn’t win a lot of votes while visiting the troops (for benefit of media cameras) in Afghanistan.
Everything seemed planned for the future campaign commercials â€” at least, thatâ€™s how it seemed to a U.S. Air Force captain when Sen. Barack Obama and his entourage swooped into Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan for an hour-long visit last Saturday at the start of a week-long foreign tour.
â€œHe got off the plane and got into a bullet proof vehicleâ€ without pausing to acknowledge the U.S. troops who had been waiting all day just for the opportunity to meet him, the officer told the Blackfive (7/23 posting) pro-military blog.
As the soldiers lined up to shake his hand, the Illinois senator â€œblew them off and didnâ€™t say a word,â€ ducking into the conference room to meet the general.
Then the armored vehicles took him to where â€œhe could take his publicity pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the opportunity to talk to soldiers to thank them for their service,â€ the captain wrote.
â€œAs you know, I am not a very political person. I just wanted to share with you what happenedâ€ during Obamaâ€™s visit, the captain related.
â€œI swear, we got more thanks from the NBA basketball players or the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders than from Senator Obama,â€ he added.
Blackfive 7/24 has a second very similar account from a location in Iraq:
When his plane arrived (also containing Senators Reed and Hagel, but the news has hardly mentioned them), there was a “ramp freeze.” This means if you are on the flight line, and not directly involved with the event in question, you stay where you are and don’t move. For a combat flight arriving or departing, this takes about ten minutes, and involves the active runway and crossing taxiways only. For Obama’s flight, this took 90 minutes, during which time a variety of military missions came grinding to a halt. Obviously, this visit was important, right?
95% of base wanted nothing to do with him. I have met three troops who support him, and literally hundreds who regard him as a buffoon, a charlatan, a hindrance to their mission or a flat out enemy of progress. Even when the rumors were publicly admitted, almost no one left their duty sections to try to see him, unless they were officers whose presence was officially required.
Mister Obama’s motorcade drove up from the flight line and entered the dining hall toward the end of lunch time. Diners were chased out and told to make other arrangements for food, in the middle of the duty day.
Now, there are close to 8000 troops on the base and its nearby satellites. No one came up from the Army side (except perhaps a few ranking officers). The airbase resumed operation, once he cleared the flightline, as if nothing had happened. The dining hall holds about 300 people and was not full. The troops did not want to meet him and the feeling was apparently mutual. In attendance, besides the Official Entourage, were the base’s senior officers, some support personnel, and a very few carefully vetted supporters who’d made special arrangements. No photos were allowed. No question and answer with the troops. No real acknowledgment that the troops existed.
Obama left around 1530, during the Muslim Call to Prayer, so he’s not a practicing Muslim. He was in a convoy guarded by (so I’m told) both State Department and Secret Service Personnel.
Less than three hoursâ€¦
Within 48 hours he was in Afghanistan. It takes most troops longer than that to in-process and get cleared on safety, threats, policies and such. Yet he somehow made a strategic summary by not talking to anyone and not seeing anything.
Twenty-four hours after that, he was in Kuwait, back here, and then home, so fast we didn’t even know he arrived the second time at this base.
I can’t imagine any officer of the few he met told him anything other than what they tell the troops, and what their own leadership at the Pentagon tell themâ€”we’re winning. Our troops are stomping the guts out of the insurgency. The surge worked and is working. If the insurgents have to divert to Afghanistan, it means they can’t fight in Iraq anymore. We should not change the rules and retreat with the enemy on the ropes as we did in Vietnam. We should finish kicking their teeth in. The Iraqi government now controls 10 of 18 provinces, with US assistance in the rest. Let us win the war. 90% of the troops I know, even those opposed to the war, say that is the way to win. Victory comes from winning, not from “change.” In fact, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is on record as opposing Obama’s strategic theory.
Since he obviously knew in advance that’s what they’d tell him, and since he didn’t care to talk to the troops (we’re told by the Left that the troops are horrified, shocked, forced to commit atrocities with tears in their eyes, distraught, burned out, fed up with losing, etc) and find out how they feel, and was barely in country long enough to need a shower and a change of clothes, we can only call this for what it is.
A disgraceful PR stunt, using the troops as a platform for his ego and campaign.