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President Obama Proved Leadership By Meeting Flag-Draped Caskets

October 29, 2009

This is what a leader looks like.

President Obama made the correct decision earlier this year to allow media coverage of the returning bodies of dead soldiers.  The price of war is one that I have long argued needs to be shown, and there is nothing to be gained by hiding and denying what is sometimes the end result of a failure of diplomacy.  War is costly in many ways, and the visual result of war by means of the caskets are one that we must bear if we are to be honest about this part of our  foreign policy.

When President Obama traveled overnight to Dover Air Force Base to see the caskets of 18 soldiers return from the war he stepped up as a leader, and recognized first-hand part of the result of the policy that is taking place in Afghanistan.  Unlike his predecessor who started a needless war in Iraq, and then hid the many coffins from the media during his presidency, Obama proved that he knows the full price war brings a nation, and the sadness it casts over the land.

George Bush proved during his time in Washington (or more  accurately his time in Crawford) that it was more comfortable to stay far from the visual images of war.  Last night President Obama demonstrated what a forthright and honest approach to a policy of war is all about.  Leadership is hard to define on paper at times, but the image of Obama at Dover makes it clear to all.  We now have a President that understand the role of leadership.

President Obama traveled overnight to meet the flag-draped caskets of 18 Americans killed in military service this week, the height of the bloodiest month for the U.S. in the war in Afghanistan.

The president flew unannounced to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware by Marine helicopter to be present for the arrival of the fallen troops.

The solemn visit was the first of its kind for Obama and came as he is withdrawing troops from Iraq but contemplating a troop increase in Afghanistan. Earlier this week, the president spoke to sailors and aviators at a naval air station in Jacksonville, Fla., where he promised that he would count the full cost of war before deciding to send more military personnel into harm’s way.

The administration this year lifted a long-standing ban on media coverage of the return of fallen service members. Obama was accompanied by a small pool of White House reporters who were on duty overnight.

One Comment
  1. prehistoric rocket science permalink
    October 29, 2009 10:17 AM

    Well, Dubya did quit playing golf for a while. His idea of “sacrifice”…

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