Obama lectures West Pointers like they’re a bunch of clueless kids, wonders about ‘icy’ reception

West Point AP

President Obama was at West Point today speaking to the cadets, and the consensus is that the Commander-in-Chief got an “icy” reception. CNN’s Jim Clancy said it was “not really a great speech to give at the U.S. Military Academy,” and the Daily Mail reported that less than 25 percent of the cadets stood for his introduction.

Why would those who are charged with protecting the nation from harm and securing its vital interests around the globe lack enthusiasm when greeted by their commander-in-chief?

Perhaps it’s because he chose to lecture them like they were a bunch clueless high school students instead of the newest crop of leaders for the greatest military on the planet. Perhaps it’s because he somehow worked in calls to combat climate change while talking to the Black Knights of the Hudson on their big day. Perhaps it’s because he said he believed “in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,” when every single one of them was familiar with his infamous line: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

Watch the look of disgust appear on Mr. Obama’s face when he is asked the question in 2012. It says: “Great, I have to answer this dumb question…”

Does the president not think that those attending West Point would remember such a telling moment? Does the president believe that when he said he wanted to “fundamentally transform” America that future military leaders would simply forget about it?

Defense One provided the full text of the speech. Here’s an excerpt:

You see, American influence is always stronger when we lead by example. We can’t exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everybody else. We can’t call on others to make commitments to combat climate change if a whole lot of our political leaders deny that it’s taking place. We can’t try to resolve problems in the South China Sea when we have refused to make sure that the Law of the Sea Convention is ratified by our United States Senate, despite the fact that our top military leaders say the treaty advances our national security. That’s not leadership; that’s retreat. That’s not strength; that’s weakness. It would be utterly foreign to leaders like Roosevelt and Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy.

I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.

Translation: “While I’ve been in charge, we’ve been doing things the correct way. B.O. (before Obama) you guys were simply flouting international norms for that cowboy from Texas. I’m awesome. As you lead troops going forward,  just remember ‘hope and change’ and you’ll be all right. P.S. I just told China to do whatever the heck it wants while I’m in office.”

There’s really not much else to say. Mr. Obama is so philosophically divorced from the kind of men and women who graduate from West Point that he really doesn’t understand why this particular speech at this location was just weird. Drones are already online taking shots at the cadets instead of wondering why some of the most honorable, courageous and intelligent men and women the country has to offer would give the president a chilly reception. It’s sad and depressing that there are so many people who still don’t understand where “leading from behind” has gotten us.

There’s always a silver lining, and on this day I guess it comes from knowing that the West Point Class of 2014 is now ready to take the leadership skills they learned in the classroom out into the field.

At long last, Michael Moore openly admits he hates the troops

Michael Moore wants you to know he's going to stop saying he "supports the troops" — because he doesn't. It's not really news; most of us knew he never did. (Image: AP)
Michael Moore wants you to know he’s going to stop saying he “supports the troops” — because he doesn’t. It’s not really news; most of us knew he never did. (Image: AP)

In the last remaining hours of 2012, the New York Times enlisted a liberal scholar to finally admit the truth — guys like him want to do away with the Constitution. In the past I’ve tried to say that liberal activists loath the constraints the Constitution places upon their utopian goals, and their defenders have insisted that no, that isn’t the case, and that it’s all just a figment of my radical conservative imagination. Louis Seidman’s willingness to publicly admit his disdain for the document makes my job much easier. I can’t thank him enough.

Likewise, for years I’ve talked about liberal activists who hate our military. Regular readers know that my own conversion to the conservative side of the fence started with leftist professors who said: “Only redneck Republican hicks who are happy to get a free pair of boots join the military.” These likely-tenured academics also gave extra credit to go see Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine,” which dovetails nicely into the filmmaker’s New Year’s confession: He doesn’t support the troops.

Numbers four and five on his “to do” list for 2013 are as follows:

4. Stop saying, “I support the troops.” I don’t. I used to. I understand why so many enlisted after 9/11. Sadly, many of them were then trapped and sent off to invade Iraq. I felt for all of them. I understood those who joined because of a lousy economy. But at some point all individuals must answer for their actions, and now that we know our military leaders do things that have nothing to do with defending our lives, why would anyone sign up for this rogue organization?

5. Apologize for No. 4. I have enormous respect for anyone who would offer to sacrifice their life to defend my right to live. Is there any greater gift one can give another? It’s not the troops’ fault they’re sent to invade other countries for dubious reasons and outright lies. It’s OUR responsibility to prevent this, to elect representatives who believe in peace, and to only put our troops in harm’s way when it’s absolutely necessary. My uncle was killed in World War II. Today would have been his 90th birthday. My dad still misses him. Our family has served this country in the military since the Revolutionary War. None of them watch Fox News.

See what Moore does there? He realizes that he can’t directly come out and say that he hates the troops, so he has to add some mealy-mouthed addendum about his uncle’s military service during World War II.

What Michael Moore says at first is that the servicemen who enlisted well into the Iraq War and up to today knew what the mission was and enlisted anyway because on many levels they believed in the mission. But Michael Moore doesn’t believe in the mission. This puts Moore in the position where he desperately wants to make such soldiers “answer for their actions,” (i.e., invading countries “for dubious reasons” or supporting “outright lies”), but he can’t because he doesn’t want to be known as the guy who would have spit all over returning Vietnam Vets decades ago while screaming “baby killer!” So what does he do? He surreptitiously telegraphs that he absolutely despises guys like Marcus Luttrell and Chris Kyle and Mark Owen (I won’t use Owen’s real name here), before redirecting attention to a safe target — the civilian leaders who ultimately determine where the U.S. military’s might will be used around the globe.

Michael Moore infamously called al Qaeda in Iraq and former Baathist regime thugs “freedom fighters.” Since many of his supporters adhere to the “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist” mentality, it was hard to nail them down and get them to admit that their idol was rooting for dead American soldiers. But with Moore’s 2013 resolution, the wiggle room for sane adults nears zero.

Thank you for finally admitting to the world in 2013 what some of us veterans always knew, Mr. Moore. It’s refreshing to run across a little honesty from you for a change.

Related: Michael Moore: Let’s stand in front of the Obamacare ‘locomotive’ and see what happens