In fact, it was President Obama, sporting a Bush-style bomber jacket, who made the surprise visit to rally troops in the war-torn country. But as he exhorted them to go on the offensive against the Taliban and vowed that Afghanistan cannot become “a safe haven for terrorists to attack the United States,” Obama sounded like no one so much as his predecessor.I'm not so sure that the troops are extremely pleased with him. Just by looking at the reaction of the troops when Obama enters the room (2:00)
Stirring wartime oratory has never been President Obama’s forte. Partly that is because the president himself has often seemed ambiguous about America’s military mission in Afghanistan, famously eschewing definitive terms like “victory” to describe America’s end goal in the conflict. But whether it reflects a reaffirmed commitment to America’s military campaign or merely a rhetorical change of course inspired by his party’s shellacking in the midterm elections, Obama’s call for a resounding defeat of the Taliban comes at a crucial time.
Americans would not have been reassured by the series of diplomatic cables made public this week by WikiLeaks. To be sure, it is not news that the Afghan government is deeply mired in corruption, with the regime of Hamid Karzai implicated in much of the graft and dark dealing. American officials have frequently made the point through public channels. Still, revelations that, according to one leaked cable, U.S. embassy officials considered only one of Afghanistan’s new cabinet ministers to be free from suspicions of bribery are only going to fortify public doubts about what the U.S. can realistically achieve in the country.
President Obama’s remarks this week will not have dispelled those doubts. Nonetheless, they send the vital message that the commander-in-chief of the armed forces believes in their mission and is determined to see them achieve it. There was nothing even remotely uncertain in the president’s insistence that U.S.-led forces were “going to break the Taliban’s momentum” and that they would no longer be playing “defense.”
President Barack Obama Visits Troops in Afghanistan, Part 1, Dec 3rd, 2010
And now this from George W. Bush's visit to Iraq.
President makes surprise visit to Iraq
I have been told by some that the Bush visits were a purely political feat. That the troops he spoke in front of where all hand-picked for their support of President Bush. That those who were against Bush's position, were kept away.
Since I wasn't there and neither were those who told me this were not there either, I cannot confirm or deny this. (Or the report that every visit to any where President Obama takes, his crowds are hand-picked. Especially at military bases.) If you do know if either one of these reports are true, leave the info either in the comment section below or you can e-mail me.