The Obama campaign  announced that it had decided to cancel the visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, saying that it would be "inappropriate" to make such a visit as part of a campaign trip.Mullen addressed the dangers of mixing the military and politics here earlier:
The McCain camp has nonetheless been using Obama's canceled trip to insinuate that he's anti-troops. "Barack Obama is wrong," McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers said in a statement yesterday. "It is never 'inappropriate' to visit our men and women in the military."
But it turns out that the Pentagon did in fact tell Obama that in this case, it was not only "inappropriate," but against DOD rules, for him to conduct the visit with campaign staff.
"We have longstanding Department of Defense policy in regards to political campaigns and elections," Pentagon spokesperson Elizabeth Hibner told me. "We informed the Obama staff that he was more than welcome to visit as Senator Obama, with Senate staff. However, he could not conduct the visit with campaign staff."
After being told this, the Obama campaign announced yesterday that it had decided it was "inappropriate" to make the visit as part of a campaign trip.
The highest-ranking U.S. military officer has written an unusual open letter to all those in uniform, warning them to stay out of politics as the United States approaches a presidential election in which the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be a central, and certainly divisive, issue.I had misunderstood and Bryan of Why Now? put me straight with this explanation in comments:
“Keeping our politics private is a good first step,” he added. “The only things we should be wearing on our sleeves are our military insignia.”
This isn't a change; this is what should have been happening. When you are identifiable as a serving member of the US military, you are not allowed to engage in any political activity. The rule goes back to the Civil War.Even McCain agreed using Petraeus for political fundraising was wrong.
The Hedgemony has been enforcing the rule selectively against anyone who disagrees with them, but it applies to partisans of either side.
No one who worked for me ever knew who I voted for in elections when I was serving. There are no campaign signs on military bases.
This shouldn't be happening, and Mullen knows it, and is concerned about it. Politics and religion have no place in the military. Do what you want off-base, off-duty, and out of uniform, but not when you are identified as a member of the military.
So when is using the military for political purposes a good thing? What do the politicians want when they pose with the military? To connote this?
Hoping some of that machismo will rub off?
Do they want to imply this?
Or to suggest that having served in the military suddenly makes you a leader and a supporter of the troops? Even if you're not:
Is this why politicians love parades?:
And love to talk about 'the romantic side' of war?
Even though they actually have little or no understanding what it is like to be in the military:
And have no concept of what their political actions result in:
And often do not listen to anybody except those who parrot back what they want to hear:
And mock those who earned their honor:
And think the military is there to fulfill their every wish?
Ignoring the inevitable results:
Because someone who has never been in combat thinks wearing the uniform will make him look manly, fearless and like a leader:
Oh, wait, that's not the one of Georgie taking charge, THIS is the one...
The Deciderer Commander Guy in costume?
And stopping a ship just before it arrives at port, turning it around and pretending to fly in on a jet? And then use the military as a backdrop for one of the lamest military speeches of all time?
And finally... aren't elected leaders asked to use the military ONLY for necessary actions, and always with a plan and an exit strategy?:
Which is why we have Congress be the ones to declare war:
We want thoughtful politicians who weigh all options, all possibilities, all outcomes: