AND ANOTHER SIGN – AT 11:11 A.M. ET: We reported last night on a survey of Army officers showing that only 26% of active-duty commissioned officers believe the Army is heading in the right direction under Obama administration leadership.
There apparently is discontent elsewhere in the ranks as well. From the Daily Caller:
President Barack Obama was greeted with fleeting applause and extended periods of silence as he offered profuse praise to soldiers and their families during an Aug. 31 speech in Fort Bliss, Texas.
His praise for the soldiers — and for his own national-security policies — won cheers from only a small proportion of the soldiers and families in the cavernous aircraft-hanger.
The audience remains quiet even when the commander-in-chief thanked the soldiers’ families, and cited the 198 deaths of their comrades in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The audience’s reaction was so flat that the president tried twice to elicit a reaction from the crowd.
“Hey, I hear you,” he said amid silence.
The selected soldiers who were arrayed behind the president sat quietly throughout the speech.
CNN and MSNBC ended their coverage of the speech before it was half-over.
The president’s speech to the soldiers is part of his constitutional duties as commander-in-chief.
But Obama and his wife are also trying to reach out to military families in several critical swing-states, including Virginia and Florida. (RELATED: Obama warm to scientists, cold to soldiers)
That outreach, however, has been damaged by repeated flubs from the White House, including its public emphasis on soldiers’ wounds rather than on their accomplishments, and Obama’s effort to distance himself from the anti-jihad campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For example, Obama gave Vice President Joe Biden the task of developing a post-war agreement with Iraq’s government in 2009. The effort failed, reducing U.S. gains from the campaign that killed almost 4,500 troops, and as well as thousands of jihadis and Sunni insurgents seeking to regain power. The subsequent withdrawal of nearly all U..S. troops has allowed Iran to increase its influence in Iraq. In turn, that influence helps it support Syria’s dictatorship against Sunni insurgents.
White House officials are trying to avoid additional flubs. On Friday, for example, White House officials rushed to debunk a report that the president had used an autopen to sign condolence letters to soldiers’ families.
COMMENT: These are soldiers. They're proud of their calling and they want to win. They're all volunteers. They made their feelings known in the presence of their temporary commander-in-chief.
September 1, 2012