December 06, 2009

Curtains for Obama?

Injured British soldiers refused to meet with Prime Minister Gordon Brown when he came to visit them at a hospital because of complaints that his government doesn't support troops fighting in Afghanistan. Those unable to physically leave their hospital beds requested for their privacy curtains to be drawn shut.

After President Obama's speech at West Point where he promised to implement a surge before self-imposed defeat, will American soldiers and Marines wounded in the conflict give their coldly-calculating Commander in Chief the same treatment?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 6, 2009 01:13 PM

I doubt it. I think the British military has a different power structure than the U.S. does.

Brown is only political head of the government whereas Obama is both head of government and Head of State, a ceremonial position.

It would be a far bigger deal if U.S. soldiers snubbed Obama because, like it or not, he is the figurative representation of the nation's will and the soldiers would effectively be snubbing the entire nation in the gesture. This is not the way American soldiers function. If they could put up with Carter, they will put up with Obama--at least publicly. There are other ways of making displeasure known than public demonstrations.

For England, the Queen holds this ceremonial role and I doubt British soldiers would snub her.

Posted by: Slveryder at December 6, 2009 02:41 PM

It's not Obama's "ceremonial" role that would proscribe such behavior. It's his legal role as their Commander-In-Chief.

Knowing how his cabal of lawyers works, you could see one of them arguing that wounded soldiers refusing to see the President were engaging in making "contemptuous remarks" about the NCA, thereby violating the UCMJ.

If Obama were smart (big if, I know) he would not even put these soldiers in this position, and would clear his visit with them prior, out of respect for them and their sacrifice.

Posted by: Gunpowder Chronicle at December 6, 2009 02:50 PM

you'd be facing UCMJ action in a second, if for no other reason than your CO would be worried about his career......

Posted by: redc1c4 at December 6, 2009 06:20 PM

like it or not he is the "comander in chief.

many many years ago when I went thru basic training it was on of the required learning asignments to be able to recite the chain of command right up to the president.

you could not do what you describe without serious repressions

Posted by: rumcrook® at December 6, 2009 09:49 PM

that should be repercussions

Posted by: rumcrook® at December 6, 2009 09:52 PM

You can argue commander in chief are repercussions all you want but you already saw this happen with the families of the dead recently. When this happens with the wounded Our Commander in chief will not dare show his face around these men and women because repercussions or not the political fallout would loose him any place in history let alone and future public office for him or anyone associated with him. So yes with will see a possibility of this happening but he and his advisors will not be stupid enough to put themselves into this type of position.

Posted by: ken at December 6, 2009 11:08 PM

family members may do as they wish. serving military members may not.

Posted by: redc1c4 at December 7, 2009 05:05 AM

Excuse me but I see to remember from my time in the service that you could tell an officer F*** o** as long as you were respectful and added sir. I am as conservative as most and all but some here are not being realistic in their interpretation of the UCMJ or military etiquette. And you are all missing the cornerstone of this thread. When you abuse the trust, good will, and honor of the military (like during Vietnam and may be starting now) it will break in much the same way as our society is breaking now... We are talking about the lead up to that. There are many ways a wounded soldier can be respectful and still cut a commanding officer apart especially if a number of GI's do it at the same time. I would hope that unlike during Vietnam our officers and politicians would be smarter and possible realize there are a number of wolves at our doors and not let it come to this....

Posted by: Ken at December 7, 2009 11:56 AM