Friday :: Oct 30, 2009

A Dignified Transfer

by paradox

I have been waiting and withholding criticism of President Obama for not attending a military funeral on his watch, for once an immutable, implacable call for patience bearing good results. There are many, many things for a President to do, and correctly honoring the dead from our wars is a very careful evolution not to be taken lightly. I, among many others, fiercely criticized President Bush for not giving the occasion more official gravity by only meeting privately with grieving families.

I’m also a fierce believer in living through the experience of a military funeral in ultimately driving home the responsibility of ordering the inevitable deaths of our people. When a President won’t attend a military funeral it gives the appearance of weakness, of not being able to shoulder and accept real military consequences.

Night before last President Obama attended the Dignified Transfer of 18 of our people recently killed in Afghanistan. Video of the evolution can been seen here, text here. Thank you CBS News.

Needless to say I live for the day when these devastatingly tragic nights never happen again, when generations of peace deliver a wisdom and appreciation of our people to the point where it’s unthinkable to have them slaughtered in a faraway place for such tragically elusive goals. Whatever we talked ourselves into the mission of the week is for Afghanistan the price should have been crystal clear many years ago that it was unbearably too high.

Will attending a Dignified Transfer like a man and a President drive that point home to our President? I don’t know. In many ways it doesn’t matter, in no way is this about me or what I think or believe in, not freaking hardly.

Thank you, President Obama, for accepting responsibility as a President by attending an official function of our fallen people in war. It wasn’t a funeral but I refuse to see how anyone witnessing it could deny the same results weren't horrifyingly driven home. Indeed, it could have been far worse (if that were somehow possible), for eighteen coffins were inside that C-17. A long, long night for our President, yes.

We shall have to wait and see the effects of this evolution on the war. It was only one very long, bad night for the President, but staying the course in Afghanistan surely means the long, drawn out blade of many, many more. Perhaps then, one day, enough will finally be enough, and the solemn, grave ceremonies at Dover Air Force Base will stop.

paradox :: 7:16 AM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!