Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 6/6/14
Thirty three of our 44 presidents have served in uniform. Prior to Bill Clinton, the last president without uniformed military service was Franklin Roosevelt. However, Roosevelt’s lack of time in uniform was mitigated by the fact that he was Assistant Secretary of the Navy during World War I.
Bill Clinton had no military service – a fact that might have crippled him as commander-in-chief had he not been the immediate inheritor of the brief interlude of relative calm following the end of the Cold War. The minor and limited deployments and humanitarian military efforts under President Clinton tested neither the president nor the resolve of the American people.
That post-Cold War interlude came to an abrupt halt on Sept. 11, 2001. America’s vacation from history ended dramatically and the world has not been calm since.
Thus in President Barack Obama are we now forced to confront – for the first time in living memory – what a commander-in-chief with no military experience looks like when things get tense.
The vision is not comforting.
We knew when we elected him that Barack Obama has never worn a uniform. But what we may have failed to appropriately consider is that he would surround himself with people equally devoid of a military resume. Not only has practically no one in the Obama administration ever served in uniform, many if not most are openly condescending toward those that do.
All of which creates a troubling juxtaposition at this hour.
Early in the morning of June 6, President Obama took part in the observation of the 70th anniversary of the Allied D-Day landings at Normandy. As we remember that momentous undertaking, it is worth imagining how the operation might have gone if Barack Obama had been in charge at the time.
To what degree would “leading from behind” have been effective in marshaling two million men to invade the European continent? To what extent would disappearing “red lines” have further emboldened Hitler (and later Stalin)?
In his remarks, the president intoned in his now predictable and tired way of the Allied D-Day campaign seven decades ago.
But in the immediate wake of two huge breaches of trust with the troops he commands – the VA scandal and now the monumentally bad decision surrounding the prisoner swap for Army sergeant Bowe Berghdal – his words land with a thud.
Five and a half years of his presidency that include two recent scandals involving the military has made clear that Obama has no idea of the real significance of D-Day nor any idea of what it took for America’s sons to do what they did.
No idea at all.
With the VA scandal and now Berghdal, the Obama administration’s military experience deficit is on stark display to the men and women of our armed services. It’s also on display to bad actors around the world who would do us harm.
Something to think about the next time we hire a president.