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Obama Cancels Trip to Landstuhl and America Jumps on a High Horse

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Obama canceled his trip to visit America’s wounded in Landstuhl, Germany. Now there’s no shortage of people questioning his patriotism and loyalty as an American citizen to the bravest of us all.

Get off your high horses, America. Your own president hasn't visited Landstuhl once during this entire war.

I don't think it was right for Obama to skip over this visit, no matter how "inappropriate" it would've been for a presidential candidate to have been perceived as using the opportunity as a backdrop for his campaign. There was nothing and no one stopping him from going in alone as an American citizen — without media or any of his people — and nothing did stop him from making phone calls to the wounded, which he did. He has also visited the wounded at Walter Reed in June.

At the same time, if anyone is going to say Obama slapped Landstuhl’s wounded troops in the face or any such crap because he didn't visit the wounded, then apply that nasty accusation across the board — and across the ocean — to include President Bush.

Making this all about Obama’s patriotism and loyalty — or lack thereof — doesn’t change two very important realities that not one person has bothered to note in their crying diatribes about Obama:

1) The wounded have been shamelessly used — on every level by a lot of people — to tout this belief and support that contention, and for what?

2) President Bush hasn't visited America’s wounded at Landstuhl. For that matter, there are a good many American visitors to Germany who canceled — or never scheduled — visits to Landstuhl. There are even a good many political figures who visited Landstuhl and specifically requested they not see facial disfigurements or burn victims, the ICU, or the psychiatric ward.

Enough already. Leave the wounded out of it, America – just as you’ve always done when voting on (and opting out of) better healthcare and providing for those who defend your country. The wounded have already been used plenty to prop up your ridiculous arguments that hold no water and don’t do a damned thing to provide for their care.

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About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.
  • Mark Schannon

    Well said, Diana. The treatment of the Iraqi wounded and killed is a non-partisan issue that brings shame upon all Americans.

  • Matthew T. Sussman

    [casually tears up “Even Wounded Soldiers Are In Favor Of Tort Reform” bumper stickers]

  • zingzing

    whyme: “Rather than attack Bush why dont you address the fact that while Obama claims to be a “different kind of polictician” he is actually worse than the rest because of his lies and bullshit rhetoric!”

    so… politicians aren’t usually full of lies and bullshit rhetoric?

    look, obama is turning out to be a politician. we should have been clued in from the start, since he was a politician then and he’s running for president… but being a politician isn’t the worst crime in the world, especially when you’re running for president.

    seriously, if saying “i’ll be a different kind of politician,” then doing the usual political junk is the worst thing you can come up with about obama, you’re just not looking hard enough.

    the man’s a politician! rhetoric is not even criminal! look for something real!

  • troll

    …the guy’s a lawyer which might just be the worst of crimes – with all due respect to our expatriate in Panama

  • Dr Dreadful

    All members of Congress are lawyers by default.

    And over 200 of them practiced law before getting elected. So it’s not exactly an unusual background for a politician.

  • troll

    I see that you get my point

  • Dr Dreadful

    Congress certainly serves as an effective clearing house for the more dangerous members of that species.

  • Intruder

    There’s no excuse for not visiting the injured troops…so he tried to lay it all on the Pentagon.
    If he couldnt bring his press groupies…there was no percentage in going. Our troops were his political props in Iraq this week, so he didnt feel the need to be with some lothsome soldiers again.
    This is the political bomb of the week

  • PJ

    25 years in the Senate and not once did John McCain visit Landstuhl. 8 years as president and not once did Geroge Bush visit Landstuhl. Obama tried to visit. McCain-Bush operatives instructed State Department not to co-operate with Obama team overseas to facilitate his visit. Would not be suprised if they foiled his visit to Landstuhl, and now sit on their high horse and pontificate. The time has come, Republicans! Don’t play with the lives of our wounded veterans. Can’t wait until election day to show them the door. Mad as hell at your games!

  • Dave Nalle

    President Bush hasn’t visited America’s wounded at Landstuhl.

    For the record, Bush has visited with wounded troops in a number of other locations including Walter Reed and Brooke Army Medical Center.


  • Diana Hartman

    For the record, Bush has visited with wounded troops in a number of other locations including Walter Reed and Brooke Army Medical Center.


    for the record, obama has visited the wounded…whether or not either man has visited the wounded is not the issue…both have visited the wounded, therefore who has or hasn’t isn’t an issue because both have…

    for more record, those mad at obama are mad because he cancelled the visit – something bush has never done…

    for yet more record, bush has never cancelled a visit to landstuhl because he’s never made a visit to landstuhl…

  • Alan

    I am not questiong Sen. Obama’s patriotism for scrubbing the visit. But I certainly do question his political judgment in doing so. This story now overshadows everything else he has done on this trip. The glowing success of his Iraq visit already seems forgotten, all because of this Landstuhl business. He should have gone ahead with the visit no matter what, canceling it was a gift to his critics, and clearly a mistake.

  • MountainSage

    Obama’s “crime” was in canceling the visit because he couldn’t use it as a photo op and then trying to lay the blame for his decision on the Pentagon.

    The whole European trip was nothing but a political ploy and photo-op.

    Oh, and that speech with 200,000 people….they didn’t tell you about the free rock concert that opened for him, did they?

    Smoke & mirrors.

  • Baritone

    Rock or other type of music/entertainments prior to political rallies have been SOP for some time. It’s neither new nor noteworthy. I hear McCain has some of the surviving members of the Guy Lombardo Orchestra repeatedly play “Auld Lang Syne” to rev up his campaign stops. McCain should be advised, though, that Lombardo was a Canadian.

    The fact is, the Pentagon strongly urged Obama to cancel his visit. Had he ignored their request, all you Obama haters would have made an issue of that. Any port in a storm, I suppose.

    There is nothing this man could do short of cutting off his balls, Fed-Exing them to Jesse Jackson and quietly slinking back to south Chicago never to be heard from again, except perhaps as a counter tenor in the Central Christian Church choir, that would make his detractors happy.

    No matter what Obama says or does, there will always be some ignorant, mean spirited buttheads who will jump up and down and bitch about it. You are all so convinced that he is the anti-christ, that he is only capable of deceit and evil. Well, you’re wrong. So get over it. Obama’s going to be your next president. (Insert maniacal laugh here.) Just suck it up and make your reservations at the Armageddon Holiday Inn.

    I suppose it’s my “guilty” nature (as Clav would concur,) but while I don’t like McCain, and it is doubtful that a scenario exists that would compel me to vote for him, I do however accept him as a human being – just like most of the rest of us. He may be missing a few marbles, but I don’t hate the man.

    The vitriole spread about here at BC in spittle soaked diatribes against Obama are simply unreal. I actually think Hillary would not have been so thoroughly and hatefully vilified as has Obama had she won the nomination – and everybody fucking hates her!

    Yes, Barack Obama is a politician. Big surprise! No, he is not the second coming of christ. Not that he ever claimed to be, but that seems to be the gravity of the charges leveled against him. Again, get over it! Soon you will all be expected to genuflect in his presence and kiss his presidential ring.


  • Clavos


    “vitriole” = vitriol

    “spittal” = spittle

    I don’t hate Obama, in fact, I see much to admire about him. I think he IS an elitist, but I think that’s a GOOD attitude. The elite have run the world since time immemorial, and that ain’t gonna change anytime soon, no matter who gets elected POTUS, or even if the NKs manage to blow the USA to kingdom come. Those picking up the pieces will be the elite of who is left.

    I LIKE the fact that he’s an Ivy Leaguer; it means the chances of his being better educated than the proles are good, GWB notwithstanding. I like the fact that he uses a REAL vocabulary in his speeches, and I like that he won’t kowtow to bullshit like flag pins. I LIKE the fact that he sounds pretty smart, and I LIKE that he appears to be more than a little cunning and devious; he’s gonna need those and more to deal with the likes of assholes like Putin, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, and Nancy Pelosi.

    However, I don’t buy his sudden awakening to the Truth and Light of center-right principles; I believe when he’s elected, he will turn back to the lefty principles he has embraced all his life, which he should do – he’s a democrat.

    And that’s reason enough for me not to vote for him.

  • Baritone

    Ah, but Clav, you would be the exception that proves the rule.

  • bliffle

    Isn’t it popular American policy to ignore the dead and wounded, anyhow? That’s what we do. And how about the biggest casualty of the Iraq Vanity war: the bleeding and dying US economy?

  • Baritone

    I get all of my medical needs from the VA. While most of the patients I see there are old farts like myself – Vietnam era and a few older farts – Korea and WWII, I am now seeing some of the younger vets in the halls who have suffered catastrophic injuries in Iraq or Afghanistan. Many of these injuries would have resulted in death in wars gone by.

    That these men and women have survived such wounds is, for some I suspect, a double edged sword. Yes, they are alive, and some are no doubt thankful for that. But the quality of that life is in many cases seriously hindered. Missing limbs, disfigured faces and bodies, horrific burns. Life has forever changed for these young people.

    As to their care, the military hospitals and the VA are both doing an exemplary job of providing the best care possible to all who come to them in need. I will not fault them.

    If there is fault to be cast, it is the Bush administration that put these people in harm’s way ill equipped in elective wars and approximating Rumsfeld’s words “not with the army you want, but with the army you have.”

    Both our incursions into Afghanistan and certainly into Iraq could have been forestalled until proper equipment was in place that would have provided greater protection for the troops.
    But a cowboy sensibility and hubris trumped good sense and concern for our own people.

    Had our government made better, more reasoned and thoughtful decisions, the VA hospitals would not be overflowing with Vietnam and Iraq war veterans sporting scars of the body and mind.


  • zingzing

    mountainsage: “Oh, and that speech with 200,000 people….they didn’t tell you about the free rock concert that opened for him, did they?”

    several months ago there was a similar argument made in portland, when the almighty decemberists opened for obama. decemberists couldn’t pull 10k on their own.

    now some reggae band and a rock band open for obama. ok. it’s possible that some people showed up for a free concert. maybe if it had been bob marley reincarnated and the zombie beatles reformed, that could explain 200,000 people.

    i live in new york. there are free shows put on by top indie acts all the time, in the summer, in the parks. 200,000 people don’t show up for these things. this is new york. new yorkers love free shit.

    trying to suggest that 200,000 showed up for a free concert and then just happened to stick around to hear obama speak is… ridiculous.

    fucking stupid is more like it.

  • Alan

    “There are even a good many political figures who visited Landstuhl and specifically requested they not see facial disfigurements or burn victims, the ICU, or the psychiatric ward.”

    Can you name any of those political figures?

    And since Obama has visited wounded troops before, why are his people now saying that it would be “inappropriate” or “disrespectful” for him to visit the wounded soldiers in Germany?

  • Condor

    “perhaps as a counter tenor in the Central Christian Church choir” Baritone

    Actually those altered choir boys were called Castralto’s (no kidding).

  • Condor

    Let’s bring up experience again.

    “Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” – Texts and Pretexts, 1932 Aldous Huxley

    WWOD (what would Obama do). The politically castrating effect of the inexperienced politician.

    Oh how refreshing.

    Even I have visited the wounded at Walter Reed and it wasn’t an easy thing to do, but I learned that those troops are really a great bunch of Americans.

  • Clavos

    Castrato. No “L”

  • Baritone

    Yes, technically, if the removal of Mr. Obama’s family jewels did in fact alter his voice upward, he would be a ‘castrato’ performer. However, given the delicate nature of the, uh, transformation and the painful image it presents, I opted to use the modern term ‘counter tenor’ which does not indicate any physical alterations to one’s anatomy.

    Most castrati did not become ‘altos’ but rather more likely mezzo sopranos with a few achieving lyric or even coloratura abilities. It should also be noted that the ‘removal’ was usually done when the singer was still a boy. Actually, the removal of ones nugies as an adult would not likely result in any significant voice change.

    Today, a very good counter tenor is, for most listeners, indistinguishable from a true (female) soprano or alto. I suppose a trained ear could recognize the difference.

    It is a bit disconcerting to watch a counter tenor in performance – at least for this novice. But, if the voice is good, I can usually forgive and forget and just listen and enjoy, perhaps while studying the floor tiles.


  • Diana Hartman

    Alan said: Can you name any of those political figures?

    no, alan, i cannot because the “what you hear here stays here” rule applies when visiting the wounded…this is to say that whenever american politicians and/or dignitaries were at landstuhl at the same time as me, i was not privy to their identities (or didn’t recognize them) and i didn’t ask them for their names…i only knew they were politicians and/or dignitaries because someone on staff and/or the marine liaison escorting me told me as much…i’m sure there are others who do, but in my experience, only the politicians and/or dignitaries specifically requested not to see disfigurements or the psyche ward – but they did almost always request pictures with the wounded…

    most non-politician/dignitary type visitors don’t ask for photographs unless they’re friend or family (or the wounded specifically asks for a photograph – say, with a celebrity…

    most of the (inpatient) wounded at landstuhl are less than 36 hours from the battlefield and fresh from surgery…many are scared, traumatized, angry and/or disoriented…for anyone to suggest to the wounded person that s/he get a picture with mr. whothehellever just because mr. whothehellever showed up seems horribly ill-mannered at best and downright exploitive at worst…

    let’s not paint all those who visit the wounded as virtuous, because they’re not…i think those who get their photograph taken with a wounded person they don’t even know are visiting with a camera, not a servicemember – else they wouldn’t have asked for a picture; the visit (read: what the servicemember got out of it) would have been good enough…

  • Ruvy

    Obama’s going to be your next president. (Insert maniacal laugh here.) Just suck it up and make your reservations at the Armageddon Holiday Inn.

    Baritone, if the boys controlling Bush do not find a way to cancel the results of the up-coming American election, I suspect you will be right – both on the winner, and on the choice of hotels to check into.

    Just remember that “Armageddon” is really Har Megiddo, in Israel, near an IDF air-force base, and we in Israel can use all the tourists we can get. It’s good for business. Just make sure that when you visit, you have your passports and visas in order. The Israeli government, like the Soviet regime it modeled itself after, is a document conscious bunch.

    darkón v’mismakhím, b’vakashá “Passport and documents please.”….

    This has been a public service announcement on behalf of the Israel Ministry for Tourism.

  • Baritone


    I noticed in coverage of Obama’s visit to Israel that he encountered a heckler saying something to the effect that Obama cannot buy Israel, or that Israel was not for sale.

    Was that you?


  • Lee Richards

    McCain is much more concerned about what Obama says and does than Obama is about McCain.

    Darn near obsessed with him is McCain, it seems.

    McCain’s campaign is reacting with name-calling and innuendo about patriotism rather than leading with convincing ideas and high ideals. Makes him look desperate, mean or both.

    Interesting that there are so many would-be Obama campaign managers commenting here, who can’t stand him but want to tell him whom to visit, for how long, and what to say.

    If he walked on water today or or opened fire in the senate with a Uzi tomorrow, the response would be all the same from his ever-predictable haters.

    Say something new, for once?

  • Alan

    I appreciate your very informative answer to my question. Your points about politicos visiting the wounded are well-taken. Cheers.

  • Ruvy


    I noticed in coverage of Obama’s visit to Israel that he encountered a heckler saying something to the effect that Obama cannot buy Israel, or that Israel was not for sale.

    Was that you?

    No. I would have been honored had it been, though. My support for him is based on the fact that he is against this country’s existence, and his natural political allies are “Palestinians” – the South Syrian Arabs who think that they can beat us and the G-d of Israel together and steal our land and Divine Patrimony.

    Someone with the stink of Jew-hatred is what we need in the White House today, given that all the American candidates follow what is in essence an anti-Israel line, albeit packaged in different ways. Obama fits the bill nicely, and has a real chance of winning – and of getting shot to death as well, according to some friends of mine who keep a pulse on American politics better than I do.

  • Sam weaver

    Last time I checked, people that run for an elected office become politicians by definition. All politicians, musicians, professional athletes, lawyers, entertainers, and doctors are usually recognized as elitists to a certain extent. But what is the big deal? “We the people”have created this celebrity phenomena.
    I have always paid attention to how a leader runs his or her organizations. Based on that, it scares me to think of McCain as President. Just this past week he made statements that were contradictory of what some of his camp were publicly stating. It is confusing to me because he has a lot of experience in running campaigns. Normally, one expects a politician with less experience to have organizational slip-ups. Even the TV campaign Ad’s that McCain’s brain trust have come up with are ineffectual and off target. I would suggest to find a theme that Americans care about and hammer it. Do not make the message about what Obama has or has not done. His presidential campaign ranks with some of the worst in recent history. Sometimes, even his spokespeople seem at a loss. I am a sports fan when it comes to politics and enjoy a good game. With all this said, why are the polls still close?
    It’s because Americans are diverse in knowledge, experiences, superstitions and fears. I think it is called being human. Obama is a change. He is a fast learner. Policies and beliefs aside, a good leader assess and makes necessary adjustments as swiftly as possible. Media nit pits items for story lines. Please, do not buy into the hype. The press and the political campaigns are just doing their jobs, some obviously better than others. I also urge everyone to go back and read what the surge was suppose to accomplish. Then makeup your mind who is more right.