Sunday, December 6, 2009


I have had several questions from various people about President Obama's speech at West Point and what I thought of it.

First off, I missed it. I was in an online class for ILE Phase IV (CGSC for the older generation) during it so I missed a lot of it. I read a bunch about it afterwards (including that idiotic comment about West Point being an "Enemy Camp") so I have the general idea.

Short and sweet of it is I really don't have much to say about it. I wasn't really surprised by anything he said or any of the reactions (too much or not enough depending on who you listened to). It was about what I was expecting.

I have my own personal option about his decisions, the length of time it took him to reach them, and about his delivery. But they are just that, personal. As a serving officer I don't feel that I need to be spouting off about them on a public forum. I'll talk privately about them if you want to call me. The only thing I will say is that publicly stating a pull out time is not the most militarily intelligent thing to do, but it may have been a smart thing politically. And the big thing to remember is that the government drives the train. The military has gotten orders to do things that are not good military sense before due to political situations (the US Civil War has numerous examples of this and many of them make much more interesting points than anything from Vietnam). Its not always nice, but that is an accepted part of being a US Soldier.

That may sound a bit odd, but its a good thing that we accept it (and we can always quit if we don't like it or can't accept it) becuase if we didn't deal with it that way the US would go the way of the Roman Republic. If the army back then felt like it was getting a raw deal they didn't soldier on, they marched across the Rubicon.

The other thing I will say is about that asinine comment about West Point being an enemy camp. If President Bush had gone to Berkley, would the crowd have stood up when he walked in, listened quietly and politely, and then politely applauded when he left? Yeah, thought so. It doesn't matter who the President is, we soldiers serve the US. We chose to, so that means that we go "yes sir" and carry out orders even if we DIDN'T vote for the guy in the White House (unless he decides to violate the Constitution, but that is another story). Enemy Camp? We are the greatest supporters of this country bar none. That comment was huge insult to every servicemember out there.

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