President Delivers Emotional Address During Visit with Troops in Afghanistan

President Delivers Emotional Address During Visit with Troops in Afghanistan

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Bad weather turned what was supposed to be the President’s previously unpublicized trip to Afghanistan to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai into a visit with troops.

According to the White House, wind, dust and cloud cover made it unsafe for President Obama to fly by helicopter from the Bagram Air Field to Karzai’s presidential palace in Kabul.  As such, the proposed face-to-face meeting turned into a simple call.

The detour gave the president the opportunity to meet with soldiers at the military complex during the late hours and give a speech at approximately 10:30 pm their time, Friday.

“I know it’s not easy for all of you to be away from home, especially during the holidays,” the President said.  “And I know it’s hard on your families.  They’ve got an empty seat at the dinner table.  Sometimes during the holiday season that’s when you feel the absence of somebody you love most acutely.”

The speech, given in a brown leather bomber style jacket, was at times emotional and encouraging.

Referencing the bravery of soldiers from earlier eras and wars, the President told the troops he understood why they have chosen to go to battle.

“They did it for the same reason that all of you do — because the freedom and the liberty that we treasure, that’s not simply a birthright,” he said. “It has to be earned by the sacrifices of generations — generations of patriots, men and women who step forward and say, send me.  I know somebody has got to do it, and I’m willing to serve.  Men and women who are willing to risk all and some who gave all to keep us safe, to keep us free.”

The secret trip that sent the media into a frenzy this past week wasn’t that much of a surprise.  Apparently, it had been planned for over a month, with the President targeting a visit to Karzi between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes, said the cancellation of the visit to the palace wasn’t of tremendous importance, because the president and Karzai spoke at a NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, a few weeks ago

While in Afghanistan, the president also visited injured and sick soldiers and awarded medals to others. The visit came one year after the president ordered 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

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Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt represents small, women, and minority owned business and technology companies at The Ghatt Law Group LLC, the nations’ first communications law firm owned by women and minorities. She's won landmark cases on behalf of her clients which include national civil rights and public interest organizations. In addition to actively authoring several blogs, being a radio show host and sitting on the boards of three non-profits, she is a tech junkie who has been developing online web content since the very early years of the Internet, 1991 to be precise! Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks, on her blog, Jenebaspeaks, which covers the intersection of politics and technology or on her Politics of Raising Children blog at The Washington Times Communities section. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and have complete editorial independence from any Politic365 partners, sponsors, or advertisers. For additional information about Politic365, please visit http://politic365.com/about/.

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s always a good thing to have the President speak to you, but action speaks louder than words. If our troops want to hear the truth about the war and our policy they need to go on Wikileaks. Was there anything memorable about what President Obama actually said? We are going on the offensive. Against who? The same guys we are supporting?

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