A post by Maynard
Yesterday, Tammy tweeted this link. Obama, in expressing his resolve to oppose terrorists, explained that “when four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.”
This in the wake of Obama’s earlier words describing the murders as “bumps in the road”.
I’m flashing back to the Fort Hood shootings. When the terrible news went out, the networks cut to Obama. At moments like this, the leader is expected to reassure the nation. But that’s not what happened.
Instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a “shout-out” to “Dr. Joe Medicine Crow — that Congressional Medal of Honor winner.” Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms.
We expected a serious president and words of concern. Instead we got lighthearted banter.
An ugly fact leaps out: Obama doesn’t care.
Maybe I should say Obama doesn’t care about normal people. Oh, he was falling over himself to offer a few heartfelt words on behalf Trayvon Martin and the false narrative the media was pushing. He rushed into the fray to lecture the nation on that “teachable moment” when Cambridge police arrested Henry Louis Gates. But warriors that die in service of our country get form letters. (Obama did send a personal letter to the family of rapper Heavy D.)
We have become so used to dysfunctional government that we forget it wasn’t always this way. I’m thinking of Ronald Reagan and Libya…
In 1986, Ronald Reagan ordered a bombing raid on Libya. This was after Libyan diplomatic messages had been intercepted proving Libyan responsibility for the bombing of a discothèque in West Berlin in which a U.S. serviceman was killed, along with other deaths and injuries. The raid targeted Gaddafi, who escaped from his compound moments before the bombs fell.
When someone murdered Americans, Reagan took it seriously.
There had previously been a military clash with Libya in the 1981 Gulf of Sidra incident. Libya had laid claim to international waters, and Reagan rejected that claim. American warships went to patrol the area, respecting internationally accepted boundaries. Libyan MIGs approached and fired upon American Tomcats from the aircraft carrier Nimitz, and the Americans returned fire. When the dust cleared, two Libyan fighters had gone down in the Mediterranean.
That was the meat of the story. But the aftermath gives us something of a punch line.
The Sidra clash came at night in Washington. Ronald Reagan was asleep. He was not awakened with the news.
The next day, the media pundits jumped on Reagan. Why didn’t his staff wake him up? Wasn’t this important enough to require the president’s immediate attention?
The decision not to rouse the president was made by Ed Meese. It’s said that Reagan was privately annoyed, and put out the word that he should be awakened immediately in future incidents. But, when publicly challenged by critics, he said this:
“If our planes were shot down, yes, they’d wake me up right away. If the other fellows were shot down, why wake me up?”
Reagan was the American president. He cared about us, and it showed.
The irony comes in retrospect. The 1986 bombing raid was opposed by France, Spain, and Italy. Bombers were dispatched from Margaret Thatcher’s England, and they traveled a circuitous route through the Straits of Gibraltar to avoid overflying the turf of our European “friends”. Of course the Lefties condemned the raid.
A generation later, those same allies that shunned Reagan would be begging Obama’s America for a military campaign against that same country and same leader, and without any of the justification of the 1986 raid. We had failed to kill Gaddafi in 1986, and he subsequently “reformed” (sort of) in the wake of the second Gulf War. But in 2011, we used our military to aid the people that captured and sodomized and murdered Gaddafi.
It’s a strange world, and we’ve done some strange things. Is it any wonder that our situation is “not optimal”?