The most emotionally powerful moment in Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was also its most morally dubious. The nation’s commander in chief drew attention to a wounded warrior while eliding any responsibility for placing the young man in harm’s way.
President Obama introduced America to Cory Remsburg, “a proud Army Ranger,” who “on his tenth deployment … was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan.”
Remsburg’s sacrifice is plain to see: He has a long, visible scar on his head and, the president explained, he “is still blind in one eye” and “still struggles on his left side.” Regardless of political affiliation and ideological positioning, all Americans can appreciate Remsburg’s willingness to serve while questioning whether President Obama is right to use such a soldier as an applause line in a political speech.
I’m not so sure I’d go so far as to attribute any sentiment, let alone the one mentioned, to “all Americans.” As a veteran myself, I’m prone to respond to “thank you for your service” comments with “I apologize for the years I spent taking my paycheck out of your paycheck and making new enemies for you around the globe.”
But otherwise, yeah, Gillespie’s right. And of course Obama is far from the only politician to pull this kind of thing. It’s about time Americans started asking these guys why, if they love the military so much, they’re okay with sending its members off to bleed and die for bad causes that bear no reasonable relation to “national defense.”