Memorial Day was originally intended as the day Americans would remember and honor the 620,000 men and boys who died in the four years of our Civil War. It now rightly stands as a day when we recall those men and women who have died in all America’s wars. Local groups decorate veterans’ graves with flags and flowers; special religious services of all faiths are conducted; towns hold parades and community picnics; and Arlington Cemetery hosts those who come to visit the graves of fallen family members, and others who come to honor those they never met but to whom they owe much. It is a day on which we should all pay a quiet, honest, and thoughtful respect to our veterans.
Sadly on this Memorial Day the United States is led by a vastly inexperienced, political ideologue from Chicago. In his weekly radio speech on Saturday, President Obama heaped praise on America’s military and the veterans thereof, both living and dead, and then on Sunday arrived unannounced in Afghanistan to preen and grandstand before our remaining military personnel in the country. This, of course, is the kind of thing that all presidents do on Memorial day, but no president has ever done so with less sincerity or more hypocrisy. The speech sounded soothing and the visit made for good television, but neither can hide the disaster Obama and his lieutenants have been for U.S. military personnel.
Obama’s speech comes in the midst of his administration’s use of what appear to be exactly the kind of “death panels” that opponents of Obama Care warned of while that legislation was being debated in Congress. It appears that Obama’s bureaucrats simply decide who among our veterans will and will not receive timely and effective medical treatment. They also apparently create lists of those whose treatment will be delayed long enough to ensure that the sick or wounded die. The pro-Obama media and Democratic politicians and spokesman have been quick to come to the president’s aid, insisting that our veterans’ problems have been long in the making and are not in any way Obama’s fault.
While it is certainly true that the Veterans Administration has long been troubled, Obama’s team has arranged and then presided over the return home of U.S. armies from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — both of which Obama decided to lose. He and his lieutenants knew well before the first returning Marine’s boot hit American soil that the homeward-bound veterans were afflicted with unprecedented numbers of mental problems and with a percentage of amputees that America probably has not seen since the War of the Rebellion. Armed well in advance with a clear idea of the specific kinds of care the veterans would need, Obama and his lieutenants, over five and one-half years, did precisely nothing to prepare to handle the task effectively — save to take the opportunity to try out their plans for “death panels” behind the curtain provided by the opaque bureaucratic maze that is the Veterans Administration.
If this was the sole Obama administration abuse of our military personnel it would be plenty to make Americans wretch and pray that he and his lieutenants eventually rot in hell. But this abuse is only the latest in a series or assaults on the U.S. military that Obama has presided over since 2008. At the most petty level, Obama and Attorney General Holder categorized the terrorist attack at Fort Hood as an instance of workplace violence, a decision that was extraordinarily absurd even for Ivy League graduates. The Obama-Holder decision long delayed proper aid to the Fort Hood victims and their families and it was made for the same reason as Obama and Mrs. Clinton refused to send a larger protective force to defend Americans in Benghazi; namely, they wanted to make sure that their lie to Americans claiming that the Islamist threat was receding remained plausible.
Obama also has handled the wars he inherited from George W. Bush with the goal of making their termination useful electoral tools for his party. The Iraq war was ended in time for it to be used as a positive prop for Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, and he planned to end the Afghan war at a time when that event would be helpful to the Democrats in the approaching mid-term elections. In reality, of course, neither Bush nor Obama intended to win the Iraq and Afghan wars; neither man has nearly enough moral courage to use the U.S. military to win wars. But Obama’s cynicism and cruelty far and away outpace anything we saw from Bush.
Since Obama’s election in 2008, every U.S. soldier, sailor, or Marine who was killed, wounded, or maimed in Iraq and Afghanistan was a casualty of Obama’s desire to end both wars only when their conclusion would yield the most political advantage for the Democrats. Those who died in the wars during these years had their lives knowingly wasted by their president, and those who will have to go through the rest of their lives with prosthetic devises and/or psychiatric assistance are likewise his victims. In essence, since 2008 our military personnel have been under constant attack from the front by the mujahideen, and from the rear by Team Obama.
And so as this year’s Memorial Day arrives, we should perhaps be twice thankful for the efforts and forbearance that our veterans have displayed in defending our republic. First for their willingness to fight and die or be crippled in wars they know their commanders-in-chief do not intend to win. And a second time for their not yet being the kind of men and women who return home from war and deliver to their political leaders — Democratic and Republican — the retribution they so richly merit, and which would, in its application, destroy what little remains of our republic.