Figuratively, of course, but stay with me. On Sunday, Obama hopped to New York to make his United Nations speech — yes, that speech, the America caused global warming speech. As he exited Marine One, Marines saluted as always, and what happened next was a personal insult to every American who ever served the United States of America in uniform.
The Commander-in-Chief of the world’s lone super-power, who currently has the military engaged in a conflict, passed the Marines, tossing up a casual return salute with a drinking cup in his salute hand. What a Gorram cretin.
It’s more about how we took it
Already, you cake-eating liberals, media operatives, and other Obama apologists are saying, “You’ve got no right to be mad at Obama. Relax, it’s just a salute. Maybe he doesn’t know any better.”
Um, no. And shove that. The fact is, we who have served are outraged at such mockery. “Just a salute?” So tell me, is it OK when a guy tells a fat joke in front of an overweight woman? Or tells a racial joke, ever? Or a rape joke? Hey, it’s just a joke, right? Relax. You’ve got no right to be so indignant about it.
Or is it fine when an old white woman refers to black Americans by the N-word? Hey, she was raised that way, doesn’t know any better, ya know? She doesn’t mean anything by it.
Nope, that’s not how it works, is it? Especially to the braying donkeys in the Leftist Outrage Industry. What matters is not that the perpetrator means no harm. Oh no. That these things are insulting/offensive/threatening to the target/recipient/victim, THAT is what matters.
Good for the gander, good for the goose. Perpetually insulted leftists do not get to hold a monopoly on symbol-related outrage. A salute thrown in such a way by a superior officer (or anyone, really, but especially from a superior to whom you have render the courtesy) carries every bit of the spite and offense as would the middle finger. Exactly the same.
So we’re very angry, and you’re just going to have to make allowances for it. We will not back down, nor will we forgive or forget.
Than about how he intended it
So you see, I don’t care if this guy didn’t mean anything by it. It was vile, and it was a personal insult.
Let this be a lesson to all you who never served. Don’t screw around with the salute. If you don’t know how to properly execute a salute, then don’t do it, even with good intentions. Not during the National Anthem or the Pledge, or when your ex-military buddy shows up at your house for poker and manly war movies. You’re likely to get punched, or at the minimum receive a dog-cussing.
Rendering military courtesy the right way
This is a very short primer. In basic training, before the sun has gone down on your first day, possibly before you’ve even gotten your buzz-cut and your first uniform, you’ve been trained how to salute. Over the following days the when-and-where business is drilled into your heart, where it will remain until your dying day.
The salute is done with right hand; upper arm straight sideways from the shoulder; forearm straight all the way to the tip of your fingers, never bent at the wrist; hand and fingers on a flat plane, never cupped, never spread; if hat is on, the forefinger meets the bill, otherwise it meets the right eyebrow; the plane of the palm is either flat or preferably facing slightly toward you – the palm is never, ever showing to a viewer, and yes, there is a very specific reason for that; the salute is snapped from the beginning position (arm to side in formal situations), and the salute close is snapped down as well. It is not out-and-down as you see on so many movies. Sadly, I see some military personnel do that, but it is wrong.
It’s been 25 years for me, and I didn’t look up one bit of this. Any of you military out there that take exception with any single point of this, please feel free to point it out in the comments.
The salute is not difficult, but it is exact. Saluting is referred to as “military courtesy”. The lower-ranked person always salutes the higher-ranked person (I am skipping group situations and the when-and-where), and holds that salute until the higher-ranked person returns (and closes) the salute, or waves him off, or has plainly ignored or not noticed him. Then he snaps the salute closed (arm back to side).
It is never, ever casual or slouchy, and you never, ever carry something in your saluting hand. You wouldn’t even have to ask yourself if that was permissible. I would say there was some leeway on how straight the arm is if you’re walking on stairs or a slope, or if other environmental constraints come up.
OK all that, and why is it such a big deal? Why so insulting to see the C-in-C so flagrantly, so flippantly mis-executing it? It’s because this is military courtesy. The rendered salute says “I acknowledge you as my leader, my superior in command who I will obey.” The return salute says “I accept your respect, and I acknowledge that I serve the Republic and the Constitution and will lead and command you with that in mind.”
So, do you understand the big deal about the salute?
But since you mentioned intentions
If a new Commander-in-Chief did such a thing out of ignorance, I’d be inclioed to forgive — particularly if corrections were quickly made and a sincere apology quickly given. But there’s a bit of a track record between Obama and the military, between Obama and the Constitution, and in general between Obama and respect for patriotic traditions.
I could fill a book with the deeds and insults that Barack Obama and his administration have perpetrated against those who serve. I will only mention a couple, just to make a point. He and his administration have constrained the troops in the field with ROE’s that have needlessly cost American lives; many American lives, and for no better reason that political correctness. Second, he has ignored their needs, and in doing so needlessly cost lives. He waited for months to OK the Afghan version of the “Surge” and in the end only approved a smaller version. He pulled out of Iraq on a timetable that suited his political needs, not the needs of the military, nor of Iraq, nor of our Republic. You see the results played out right now.
And this. Remember this?
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