CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 9, 2014 — Hand signals often have important meanings that say a great deal without using words.
We all know what “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” mean. In the United States, touching the tips your forefinger and thumb while raising the other three fingers means “everything is OK.” In other cultures that sign is a serous profanity. Winston Churchill used to use the “V for victory” sign with his forefinger and middle finger.
And then there is President Obama, who has mastered the “half V” to the American people.
On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, while speaking at a press conference in Belgium, Obama responded to the controversy surrounding the release of Bowe Bargdahl by saying, “We saw an opportunity and we seized it. And I make no apologies for that.”
READ ALSO: Should we be angry at Bowe Berghdal?
Under normal circumstances from a credible leader, those words would carry weight and receive support from the American people. Obama certainly thought they would.
But circumstances are never normal in the Obama administration, and the president has not one ounce of credibility. “We have a basic principle,” he said defensively as he attempted to justify his latest slap at the American military. “We do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind.”
While that has always been the policy of the men and women who wear American military uniforms, listening to Obama recite the same policy is jarring and unbelievable.
Try to imagine how secure you would feel if you were a soldier sharing a foxhole with Barack Obama during a firefight.
Whether Bowe Bergdahl is a traitor or a deserter or an informer or a defector is a matter for the armed forces to resolve. Bringing him home was not the cause of the boiling debate. Trading him for five, hard-line jihadists and attempting to make Bergdahl a hero is the problem.
Taking a presidential victory lap for the effort is what is sticking in the craw of the American people.
Obtaining Bergdahl’s release is hardly the most important aspect of this controversy. Lying about the reasons for the negotiations is a different matter. Trying to convince the American people that it was done out of dedication for our military is a travesty of dishonesty.
Some 40 veterans died while waiting for treatment by the Veterans Administration. How does the president reconcile that with “We do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind”?
Perhaps because in Obama-world, a veteran is no longer someone who wore the uniform. That mindset is precisely the callous, compassionless arrogance that puts the current occupant of the White House in a category all his own. There has never been a president of the United States with less respect for the people he serves than Obama.
One day, Obama will be old. As a former president, his healthcare and privileges will be far superior to those of the man on the street. But would it not be poetic justice if he suddenly woke up one day only to discover that he was playing by the same rules as his constituents and find himself on a healthcare waiting list? How quickly would the rules change then?
The president said he wasn’t surprised by the backlash he received from congress for not giving advance notice about the swap of Bergdahl for five Islamic extremists. Another lie.
READ ALSO: Is Bergdahl a hero, traitor or victim?
Obama said Bergdahl’s “health had deteriorated and we were deeply concerned about it.” Where was the urgency in Benghazi when an actual terrorist attack was in progress that resulted in the deaths of four American diplomats? Where was “President Compassion” during the hours when that attack was actually in progress? They are not saying.
Attempting to evaluate the level of the president’s concern for anything that does not directly affect his realm of self-indulgence is virtually impossible.
No president in history has ever been as disengaged from the people he serves as this one. He says he gets letters from parents whose sons and daughter are going to war, and that it is his job to “make sure that that child is being taken care of.” Tell that to the parents of the soldiers who lost their lives searching for Bowe Bergdahl, Mr. President.
There was a time when the American Eagle was a symbol of our strength. Today, the “Obama Bird” is a symbol of our weakness.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com).
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod