I was startled to find this important editorial in the NYTimes:

A Final Verdict on the Presidential Salute

After a couple of paragraphs explaining the writer’s expertise in saluting, and another couple of paragraphs on the history of presidential salutes, we come to the conclusion:

(President Obama’s) salute, it struck me, was impeccable in every way.


It’s true that even BlackfiveBlog has noticed the improvement, but why is the subject important enough to print in the editorial page of the premier newspaper of the USA?

Nor is this the only editorial with the exact same praise. Did someone send out talking points or something?

Well, maybe they did: because a quick google showed that the evil Rushbo got some publicity saying the President’s visit to the Dover Air Force base was merely a photo-op.

Some of those soldiers whose bodies arrived at Dover were among the 14 who died did so in a helicopter crash. Helicopters are dangerous, as anyone who calls in Medivac copters to transfer patients know. especially in bad weather or in mountainous terrain. Nor was that the only accident that took the lives of military personnel: Nine Marines and Coast Guards personnel were killed last week in a collision off of California’s coast, while searching for a lost boat.

But the soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan were fighting a war that the press has decided is unwinnable according to their own talking points.

More hardheaded (and experienced) observers scoff at their naive way of thinking:

It’s more politically useful, in the U.S., for Afghanistan related problems to just go away, or at least require less American money and troops. But Afghanistan won’t go away…. The terrorists are still operating their training camps, and the graduates are still being caught in the West. The more graduates there are, the greater the probability some of those planned attacks will come off.

That doesn’t stop the NYTimes from printing nonsense, of course.

One of their columnists, Nicolas Kristoff, who should know better,  wrote a clueless editorial, again in the NYTimes, saying that we should be spending money to build schools there, not funding the military.

Fine, but unless Laura Croft is one of the teachers, the teachers may find themselves and some of their students dead, and the school blown up, because ignoring or ignorant of the long and rich history of Islamic schooling of women, the  Taliban insists that  teaching women to read and write is wrong.

The Taliban are criminals who sell drugs and use the money to kill unarmed civilians, including UN workers who are merely committing the sin of trying to improve the lot of the common people.

One of the UN workers who was killed was Jossie Estom a teacher and a peacemaker, who had worked with the UN in Liberia, East Timor, and Nepal, trying to establish the institutions needed to ensure a free election. She leaves behind a husband and two children.

Ironically, if Josie had been killed in the Philippines, the left would be (rightly) up in arms about another “extrajudicial killing” of someone trying to ensure honest elections. But since she is killed by an enemy of the US, we hear silence.

Hatred of the US trumps the murders of innocent civilians by those who have never confronted the hatred of ideologues with guns.

I speak from experience. When I worked in Africa, I was sent home because it became too dangerous for me to stay. One friend, also a physician, decided her hospital was not yet in danger, so she stayed; she was killed two months after I left the country. Why kill those saving lives in isolated hospitals? Because they could. We were unarmed.

One hopes that the US President will  start realizing that his dithering on the decision to increase troops in Afghanistan until the US elections are over is an action hurting the troops and giving the world the appearance of weakness.

And one of these days, one hopes the president will notice that both India and China could be part of the solution to his dilemma and stop ignoring these two powerful Asian countries.So one is glad to see the President taking time and energy to salute those who do the hard jobs instead of complaining about how hard it is to change things.

Learning to salute is just the first step. Now learn to act like an adult willing to take responsibility.——————–

Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest KindClinic and Fishmarket.


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