After observing President Obama over the past six years in the White House, it’s become clear that political correctness is prioritized above the safety of soldiers serving overseas and the dignity of their sacrifices. Sure, the president gives speeches of commemoration — he has to. But a number of his actions expose a disconnect.
First, we can look to Afghanistan as an example. According to data compiled by CNS News, 75 percent of the casualties in Afghanistan have occurred since 2009, when Obama took office. The severe injury rate, meaning lost limbs, has also skyrocketed more than 200 percent. These numbers can be attributed directly to the rules of engagement, which come directly from the president. Split-second, life-or-death decisions on the battlefield were bureaucratized for political reasons, resulting in fatal consequences. Obama left our troops in Afghanistan with their hands tied behind their backs and gave the advantage to the enemy. Adding insult to injury, Obama pulled out of the war with a conclusion, not a victory.
After the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya, Obama stood in front of the flag-draped coffins of four dead Americans and lied about a video. Later in an interview with “60 Minutes,” he referred to the terror attack as “bumps in the road.”
When the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) overran the Iraqi city of Ramadi a little over one week ago, the White House classified the loss as a “setback,” discounting the American blood given to take the city years ago.
“Are we gonna light our hair on fire every time that there is a setback in the campaign against ISIL?” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who speaks directly for the president.
Despite the White House’s dismissal of Ramadi falling to a new enemy, of those who fought there, and of their families, remember what it was worth.
“The Iraqi army’s defeat in Ramadi last week surely came as gut-wrenching news for many of the troops and veterans who fought there during the eight-year Iraq War that officially ended in 2011. Those troops, mostly Marines, saw some of the most harrowing combat action in modern American military history,” the Military Times reports. “At least 70 U.S. troops lost their lives during the time dubbed the ‘Battle of Ramadi’ that ran from roughly April through November of 2006. Hundreds of others died in the city and its surrounding environs during other periods of the war. In all, more than 1,000 Americans died in combat in Anbar province, where Ramadi is situated. A decade later, their family members still think of those young men and women every day — even as they struggle to make some kind of sense of the new images depicting the Islamic State’s black flags rippling over Ramadi’s rooftops.”
Keep in mind ISIS has been able to prevail as a result of Obama’s political decision to pull U.S. forces out of Iraq too soon.
When American hero and Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, who saved countless American lives during deployments in Iraq, was killed in 2013, the president failed to issue any kind of acknowledgement of his service and sacrifice. When Kyle’s funeral was held at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, no representatives or aides from the administration were sent to attend. Obama did, however, find enough aides and officials to send to the funeral of Michael Brown, a criminal whose attack of a police officer resulted in his own demise.
Obama and the White House never mentioned Kyle at all. Not even a generic statement was sent out from the press office. The White House did, however, release a statement of condolences when singer Whitney Houston died of a drug overdose in 2012.
But perhaps Obama’s biggest disrespect of those who have died fighting the war on terror came last summer, when he held a Rose Garden ceremony to celebrate the homecoming of alleged deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban after reportedly walking away from his platoon in 2009. That release came at the cost of releasing five top Taliban commanders from Guantánamo Bay. The president traded the enemy for a deserter and a traitor. Thousands of men and women died fighting the very kinds of terrorists Obama released. Many of the soldiers who survived that fight no longer have all of their limbs, and their lives have been changed forever. Regardless, Obama’s White House maintains Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.”
When Bergdahl’s platoon mates hit the media circuit to expose him as a traitor, the administration, the White House and allies of the president publicly dismissed them as liars and kooks.
Karen Vaughn, mother of fallen Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn, summed up the Bergdahl swap nicely during a Concerned Veterans for America event over the weekend. “Aaron Vaughn did not die so the commander in chief could trade five enemies for a traitor,” she said.
Pavlich is editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.