President Obama gave a speech at Elmendorf AFB in Alaska on his way to Japan. I am sure it was intended as a rah-rah, we support you type of speech. Unfortunately, there is some awkward phrasing that perhaps reveals a little too much of the President's real thinking toward the military and its mission.
"So as your Commander-in-Chief, here’s the commitment I make to you....I want you guys to understand I will never hesitate to use force to protect the American people or our vital interests. (Applause.) But I also make you this promise: I will not risk your lives unless it is necessary to America's vital interest. (Applause.) [...] And if it is necessary, the United States of America will have your back. We will give you the strategy and the clear mission you deserve. We will give you the equipment and support that you need to get the job done. And that includes public support back home. That is a promise that I make to you. (Applause.)"Hmmm....lets parse that a little bit....
"We will give you the strategy and the clear mission you deserve..."OK, that must be a promise for the second term, since it has been 10 months now, and the administration is still showing the indecisiveness of my three-year-old when it comes to choosing a strategy for our hottest and most vital engagement.
The big dollop of condescension however is contained in the sentence just prior to that.
"And if it is necessary, the United States of America will have your back."Uhhhhhhh....we are the United States Armed Forces, and you are the President of the United States and our Commander-in Chief.....shouldn't you ALWAYS have our back?!?!?
President Bush may have ended up being a little squishy on a lot of issues I would have preferred he not be, but at least I always knew he had my back. Come hell or high water.
Now I will just have to settle for "if necessary" during this time of war. Not exactly the change I was hoping for....