View From The Ridge…

With altitude one can gain clarity.

Obama Chooses Sightseeing Over Visiting Wounded Soldiers

with 3 comments

In spite of the spin back at home, Barack Obama’s swing through Europe has garnered mostly yawns from citizens of the European Union.

As reported on Hot Air, it seems the Obama Campaign nixed visits to wounded American troops in Germany and France in favor of down-time revelary according to Jake Tapper at ABC New’s blog.

Ed Morrissey @ Hot Air said:

“I guess this is a question of priorities.  Barack Obama apparently ran short on time in his visit to Germany today, and travelers know how schedules can slip during long tours, even without all of the events Obama had planned.  Those circumstances force people to prioritize their time, and eliminate less-useful stops.”

So what’s happening? What did Obama cut? According to Der Spiegel’s blog…..

++ Visit to US Military Bases Cancelled ++

1:42 p.m.: SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that Obama has cancelled a planned short visit to the Rammstein and Landstuhl US military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday. “Barack Obama will not be coming to us,” a spokesperson for the US military hospital in Landstuhl announced. “I don’t know why.” Shortly before the same spokeswoman had announced a planned visit by Obama.

Der Spiegel also reported the following:

++ Paris Left Cold by Obama Visit ++
3:30 p.m.: While Obama’s Berlin visit has caused a stir, hardly anyone is interested in his trip to Paris on Friday. There are hardly any French media reports on the eve of his visit. There is merely some grumbling about the extensive itinerary for his trip to Berlin. “A speech in Berlin, five little hours in Paris,” writes French daily Le Monde.

Well, you know The French….always so touchy about those Germans, lol.

So…..Obama canceled a previously-planned stop to visit thousands of American military personnel, including troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan being treated at Landstuhl, so he could hold a political rally for Germans (and the videographers capturing it all for campaign ads in the States) so he could wine and dine in Berlin, sample the night life? Now that’s a nice set of priorities for a man who wants to become Commander in Chief, isn’t it?

Jake Tapper follows up, saying the Obama campaign says a visit to Landstuhl would have been “inappropriate” for a campaign trip:

“During his trip as part of the CODEL to Afghanistan and Iraq, Senator Obama visited the combat support hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad and had a number of other visits with the troops. For the second part of his trip, the senator wanted to visit the men and women at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to express his gratitude for their service and sacrifice. The senator decided out of respect for these servicemen and women that it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign.”

It begs the question as to what, exactly is Obama’s trip? A campaign event or one to familiarize himself with Europe? Previously the campaign has stressed that although the campaign was paying for the EU portion of his travels, the purpose of his visiting Europe was to meet with various leaders, gather “facts” and opinions of various world leaders.  Is it ever “inappropriate” for an American leader to take the time to visit wounded warriors?

Here is a headline sampling of a Google News search on “European reaction to Obama trip”, it is very telling:

Gee… could substitute “Obama” for “President Bush” and it would exactly match what Bush has said on previous European speeches!  At home is the only place one will see headlines like the Atlanta Journal, saying “Obama Rising Star In Europe”.  It has become so blatant that all one can do is laugh at how stupid most of the media think we Americans are.

The main purpose of Obama’s trip is to gather video footage for campaign spots. And that is pretty damn cynical and sick, but nor surprising from Team Obama.


3 Responses

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  1. Are any of our American Soldiers super delegates, I don’t think so. Are any of them going to give him a party and donate thousands of dollars, I don’t think so. The soldiers wouldn’t even pose for pic’s with Obama, they are so ungreatful. Just because they risk their lives for the United States dosn’t mean they are deserving of a visit from the almighty Barack Obama. Our wounded American Soldiers should be happy he even considered visiting them.


    Friday, July 25, 2008 at 10:04:42 AM

  2. Stop your hating and tell the truth. The Pentagon scrapped the trip and deliberately waited to the 11th hour to notify him.
    It’s like the guy can’t do anything right in the Right’s eyes. If he did go and disobey the Pentagon, you’d all be saying he’s cocky, disobeyed his government, etc. So, stop all your nonsense hating.
    McCain made the same trip and and made speeches in 3 nations, why isn’t he getting any heat?? Are you guys owned by the FOX network too?
    I doubt this will get posted, but whomever is reading this, stop spreading the hate.


    Friday, July 25, 2008 at 11:41:17 PM

  3. I take it on faith you believe what you are saying, Mike, so why not approve it?

    However, you made a declaratory statement, so please provide citations, not from the Daily Kos or Huffington Post backing it.

    You won’t be able to because Barack Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe, confirmed what the Pentagon said and did. They went to extraordinary lengths to accommodate Senator Obama. The DOD didn’t wait until the last minute, but Obama’s people did.

    The truth is, the campaign staff was worried about it looking like Obama was politicizing those in the hospital recovering. As a policy professional, with no little experience in making just such calls, I understand their worries. In running for office you are often, very often, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Still, they made the wrong call, and it ended up hurting their man….and it will continue to hurt him. Obama, being from the left, as outside the main stream as someone on the far right, always has to be cautious about defense issues. Why? Because the last three Democrat candidates were defeated primarily because the American people didn’t have enough confidence in them to exercise good judgment on defense issues.


    Saturday, July 26, 2008 at 3:23:41 AM

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