Obama's Midnight Ramble to Kabul

Thomas Lifson
Perhaps the most notable aspect of President Obama's sneak visit to Afghanistan was its transparency. Every aspect of the trip indicates it was a campaign function, building the Obama brand.

The timing was blatant.  The anniversary of Osama kill for starters. But the entire Kabul visit was held at crazy hours of the early morning. Transparently, it was timed for a prime time speech to the nation with a suitably patriotic military backdrop and setting. Cheers from the assembled troops. No spontaneous interaction with the troops, of course. Too risky.

The agreement, whose early morning signing served as a pretext for the visit, is maddeningly vague, but commits the US to an additional decade of involvement. Details to be figured out later. It almost screams photo-op.

The taxpayer-funded ploy will work, at least with a big swath of the population. The images generated will linger in their minds, Obama the warrior, the Osama avenger.

But to the minority who pay attention and think, Obama is looking more and more cynical in his exploitation of the bravery of troops.

Update: Peter Foster of the Telegraph focuses on the terrible message the trip sends to the world about the tenuousness of America's position:

Not for Mr Obama a ticker-tape parade as he entered the Afghan capital for the ceremonial signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement that will underpin Coalition support to Afghanistan for a decade after 2014.

Instead, after landing at Bagram Airbase just after 10pm local time, there was a low-level, cover-of-darkness of helicopter insertion to the Presidential Palace where the ten-page deal (which contains no specifics on funding or troop levels) was signed around midnight. (snip)

Mr Obama tried to make a virtue out of absurdity, referring to a "new light" breaking on the horizon for Afghanistan, even as he gestured to the "pre-dawn darkness" in which he was speaking, but even Mr Obama oratorical skills couldn't disguise the  tail-between-the-legs 'optics' of the event. It was terrible.

Hat tip: Lucianne.com

 

 

Perhaps the most notable aspect of President Obama's sneak visit to Afghanistan was its transparency. Every aspect of the trip indicates it was a campaign function, building the Obama brand.

The timing was blatant.  The anniversary of Osama kill for starters. But the entire Kabul visit was held at crazy hours of the early morning. Transparently, it was timed for a prime time speech to the nation with a suitably patriotic military backdrop and setting. Cheers from the assembled troops. No spontaneous interaction with the troops, of course. Too risky.

The agreement, whose early morning signing served as a pretext for the visit, is maddeningly vague, but commits the US to an additional decade of involvement. Details to be figured out later. It almost screams photo-op.

The taxpayer-funded ploy will work, at least with a big swath of the population. The images generated will linger in their minds, Obama the warrior, the Osama avenger.

But to the minority who pay attention and think, Obama is looking more and more cynical in his exploitation of the bravery of troops.

Update: Peter Foster of the Telegraph focuses on the terrible message the trip sends to the world about the tenuousness of America's position:

Not for Mr Obama a ticker-tape parade as he entered the Afghan capital for the ceremonial signing of the Strategic Partnership Agreement that will underpin Coalition support to Afghanistan for a decade after 2014.

Instead, after landing at Bagram Airbase just after 10pm local time, there was a low-level, cover-of-darkness of helicopter insertion to the Presidential Palace where the ten-page deal (which contains no specifics on funding or troop levels) was signed around midnight. (snip)

Mr Obama tried to make a virtue out of absurdity, referring to a "new light" breaking on the horizon for Afghanistan, even as he gestured to the "pre-dawn darkness" in which he was speaking, but even Mr Obama oratorical skills couldn't disguise the  tail-between-the-legs 'optics' of the event. It was terrible.

Hat tip: Lucianne.com