Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama Scrubs Troop Visit in Germany, Readies Transition Team

Via Hot Air, Barack Obama today cancelled a scheduled visit with deployed American service personnel in Germany, at Rammstein and Landstuhl U.S. military bases. Der Spiegel reports:
1:42 p.m.: SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that Obama has cancelled a planned short visit to the Rammstein and Landstuhl US military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday. "Barack Obama will not be coming to us," a spokesperson for the US military hospital in Landstuhl announced. "I don't know why." Shortly before the same spokeswoman had announced a planned visit by Obama.
Note that the U.S. hospital facility at Landsthul is the premiere American armed forces medical center in Europe:

LRMC [Landstuhl Regional Medical Center] is the largest American hospital outside of the United States, and the only American tertiary hospital in Europe. We provide primary and tertiary care, hospitalization, and treatment for more than 52,000 American military personnel and their families within the center’s boundaries. The center also provides specialized care for the more than 250,000 additional American military personnel and their families in the European Theater.
The bulk of serious casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan are treated at Landsthul, and an Obama visit there would have sent a powerful message of support for America's fighting men and women.

Why'd the Illinois Senator
blow off the troops? He wanted to party in Berlin:

Obama noted that in a break from his whirlwind schedule, "we've got some down time tonight. What are you guys gonna do in Berlin? Huh? Huh? You guys got any big. plans? ... I've never been to Berlin, so...I would love to tour around a little bit."
So here we have the presumptive Democratic Party nominee, who some are predicting that "this man will become the 44th president of the United States," putting a stroll along the Potsdamer Platz ahead of an up-close-and-personal visit the American grunts who are fighting and dying for our country.

The troops are noticing as well.
Blackfive reported yesterday the disappointment of one enlistee in the USAF who saw Obama at Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan:

He got off the plane and got into a bullet proof vehicle ... As the soldiers where lined up to shake his hand, he blew them off and didn't say a word as he went into the conference room to meet the general ... I swear we got more thanks from ... the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders than from one of the senators, who wants to be the President of the United States...
Blackfive has more first-hand reports from troops in the field, "More Witness Email - Senator Obama's PR Tour."

It takes no great leap of imagination to tie Obama's indifference to U.S. military personnel to questions surrounding the Illinois Senator's patriotism. Some star-bangled European photo-ops with the troops would have gone a long way in helping Obama distance himself from his earlier controversies involving the Pledge of Alligiance and American flag pins.

But Obama's got no time for that. He's too busy taking in the European nightlife, not to mention assembling his
presidential transition team.

Change we can believe in...